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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Russia is disengaging from Syria: Arms shipments stopped, warships exit Tartus

Russian naval vessels have unexpectedly departed the Syrian Mediterranean port of Tartus and Russian arms shipments to Syria have been suddenly discontinued. DEBKAfile’s military sources reveal that those and other steps indicate that the Russians are rapidly drawing away from the Syrian arena to avoid getting caught up in the escalating hostilities expected to arise from military intervention by the US, Europe and a number of Arab states. Russian intelligence appears to have decided that this outside intervention is imminent and Moscow looks anxious to keep its distance for now.

According to our military and Russian sources, these drastic steps must have been personally ordered by President Vladimir Putin. He is believed to have acted over the objections of some of his army and naval chiefs. This would explain the mixed statements issuing from Moscow in recent days about the disposition of Russian personnel at the naval base in Tartus and Russian military personnel in Syria.

Wednesday, Aug. 22, Commander of the Russian Navy Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov said that if the fighting in Syria reached Tartus, Moscow may decide to evacuate the base. He stressed that this decision would have to be taken on the authority of President Putin. He was the first Russian official to suggest the possibility of an evacuation.
A week later, Aug. 28, Russian chief of staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov denied anything had changed in the working procedures of Russian military personnel in Syria or that there were any plans to evacuate the Russian naval base in Tartus:

"I think it's too early to draw conclusions [from the situation in Syria]," said the general. "No one is running away from there.”

When a Russian journalist pressed the general and ventured to ask whether Moscow was terminating its military involvement in Syria, Marakov retorted, “Why are you so worried about Syria?"
But he didn’t answer the question.

DEBKAfile's military sources disclose that the Russians have taken five significant military steps with regard to Syria in the last two weeks:

1. They cancelled a large-scale naval exercise dubbed “Caucasus 2012” scheduled to start mid-August in the eastern Mediterranean opposite the Syrian coast;

2. Warships from three fleets - the Northern, Baltic and Black Sea – concentrated opposite Syria have dispersed and returned to their bases;

3. Syrian President Bashar Assad was notified that Moscow was halting military aid to his army - except for intelligence updates and advice on logistics from Russian military advisers;

4. Moscow has not clearly announced a freeze on arms shipments, including replacement parts for Russian weapons, which make up the bulk of the Syrian army's weaponry. Officials have only said, “There are no large Russian weapons shipments planned in the near future to Syria."

5. The only Russian naval ship left in Tartus - a floating Russian Navy PM-138 shipyard – is also under orders to depart Tartus and return to the Black Sea in September.
A Russian source disclosed that all the remaining Russian personnel in Tartus have gathered on the floating shipyard, except for two officers on shore. This vessel and the remaining personnel are evidently packed up and ready to sail at any moment out of the Syrian port.


Hierarchy of Design Chuck MIssler

Marc Faber Bloomberg Radio 28 Aug 2012

Internet data tracking seen as 'a police state'

PROPOSED laws that would allow the web and telecommunications data of all Australians to be stored for two years have been dubbed ''characteristic of a police state''.

The federal government has sent its contentious discussion paper on changes to the national security legislation to a parliamentary inquiry rather than introduce it as legislation. In July, the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, acknowledged the privacy and financial costs of the scheme, saying ''the case has yet to be made'' for the controversial plan.

In a heated submission to that inquiry, Victoria's Acting Privacy Commissioner, Anthony Bendall, dubbed the proposals ''characteristic of a police state'', arguing ''it is premised on the assumption that all citizens should be monitored''.

'Not only does this completely remove the presumption of innocence which all persons are afforded, it goes against one of the essential dimensions of human rights and privacy law: freedom from surveillance and arbitrary intrusions into a person's life,'' he said.

The government says its proposals are under consideration only, and it has sought the views of the multi-party inquiry on the plans in its discussion paper.

These include allowing authorities to access anyone's computer to get to a suspect's device, or to ''enter a third-party premises for the purposes of installing a surveillance device''.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/internet-data-tracking-proposal-seen-as-a-police-state-20120828-24yvn.html#ixzz24weWpHgO

Jim Rogers: It's Going To Get Really "Bad After The Next Election"

In a riveting interview on CNBC, legendary investor Jim Rogers warned Americans to prepare for "Financial Armageddon," saying he fully expects the economy to implode after the U.S. election.

Rogers, who for years has been an outspoken critic of the Feds policies of "Quantitative Easing," says the world is "drowning in too much debt." He put the blame squarely on U.S. and European governments for abusing their "license to print money." In the U.S. alone, the national debt has surged to nearly $16 trillion, that's more than $50,000 for every American man, woman and child.

"[They] need to stop spending money they don't have," Rogers said. "The solution to too much debt is not more debt... What would make me very excited is if a few people [in the government] went bankrupt..." Rogers added.

Rogers also charged Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel with promoting dangerous policies that create the illusion the economy is stable... but are really only intended to buy time before their upcoming elections.

"Mrs. Merkle has an election next year," Rogers said. "Mr. Obama has an election in November. The Americans and the Germans - they want to do everything they can to hold the world up until after the next election."

"It's going to be bad after the next election."

How bad? Worse than Rogers predicts, according to a new investigation.

In a newly released documentary that went viral last month, a team of influential economic experts say they have discovered a "frightening pattern" they believe points to a massive economic catastrophe unlike anything ever seen in the history of the world.

Money Morning

Syrian Rebels Claim to Take Over some Chemical Weapons

The Supreme Military Council of the Syrian rebels released on a statement on Tuesday which said that the rebel forces took control of an army missile base in Damascus, in which ten ready-to-launch missiles were found. Some of the missiles, according to the statement, were converted to carry non-conventional warheads.

“During the successful operation, the operatives of the Free Syrian Army found a large number of rockets ready for launching, with enormous destructive capability, and they were very surprised to find missiles that were converted to carry non-conventional warheads and which can be equipped with chemical or biological warheads,” said the statement which was translated by Arab affairs expert Dalit Halevi.

The Supreme Military Council of the rebels went on to claim that it had confirmed the report by examining photographic documentation of the scene.

The Council warned that these facts indicate that the Assad regime is getting ready to bomb cities in Syria using these missiles, and the possibility that he will use missiles with unconventional warheads cannot be ruled out.

The Council called on Arab countries and the international community to immediately intervene in order to protect the lives of the Syrian people “before the regime moves to a new level of crimes, which will have tragic consequences for the entire region.”

On Monday, French President Francois Holllande warned that any use of chemical weapons by Syria would be sufficient reason for Western countries to intervene in Syria.

Hollande said that France was working along with several other countries to create a protective zone around Syria, to be in position to move in if necessary.

A similar warning was made last week by U.S. President Barack Obama, who said that President Bashar al-Assad should heed U.S. warnings to neither use nor move chemical or biological weapons.

“We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people,” Obama told reporters at the White House. "We have been very clear to the Assad regime -- but also to other players on the ground -- that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized.”

He added, “That would change my calculus; that would change my equation.”

Israel has expressed concerns that Assad’s chemical weapons will end up in the hands of the Hizbullah terror group if his regime falls.

Syria has admitted it has chemical weapons and has threatened to use them if attacked by external forces. It claimed it will not use these weapons on rebels fighting to oust Assad.

Recent reports from Syria indicated that Assad has transferred a battery of advanced missiles to the al-Masna border crossing, which is the central route used to transfer equipment and weapons to Hizbullah. Members of the Syrian opposition said that one of two major chemical arsenals of the Syrian regime is located near that border crossing.

Israel National News

US Homeland Security Source: “It’s going hot”

“It’s going hot.” Those were the ominous opening and closing words from my source inside the Department of Homeland Security in two separate contacts we had within the last 72 hours. Readers to this website and listeners to my radio program know this source as “Rosebud,” a source with access to high levels within the DHS administration.

Readers of this website and listeners to my radio program are familiar with this DHS insider from previous leaks detailing alleged plans by members of the Obama administration to keep him in power beyond the 2012 elections. One could argue that any person of reasonable sensibilities would certainly find this a delusional prospect and tinfoil hat conspiracy nonsense. After all, we have a Constitution, or what’s left of it, that dictates our election process, at least for now. As such, one might logically ask how any sane person can even entertain the prospect of not having normal elections in November.

I would feel the same, and did so as well until the last few years. Today, things are much different than they were four years ago, or even last year at this time. Judi McLeod, award-winning founder and editor of Canada Free Press and not one to succumb to delusion or fantasy, points this out and provides a solid foundation for this possibility in her column published on August 27, 2012 titled “Staged crisis leading to suspended elections could happen on our watch.” What a difference four years can make.

For the purpose of full disclosure, I must note that what follows is a compilation of the information I obtained from my source from two separate contacts within a 72 hour period. Both contacts have been assembled into a single “conversation” for easier reading. None of the information has been changed or otherwise edited.

New information from DHS source

According to my well-placed source within the DHS apparatus, what amounts to a final authorization was reportedly given to DHS directly from the White House. A “go signal” if you will.

“It’s going hot. The plan, or whatever specific operation that was devised, is going hot, being put into motion. You’ve got to let people know that something is up, approval has been given, and unless somebody stops it, we’re going to have a staged event inside the U.S., and it’s being set up so that it gets real ugly real fast.” Obviously, I asked for clarification and more details.

“Look, I’ll tell you everything I know, what I’ve heard and seen, and some of what I’ve been told, but you’ve got to get this public. Even then, I’m not sure we know enough about the specific operational details, have enough time, or have the ability to overcome the characterizations of lunacy they’re going to throw at you, at us, for even talking about this. I’ve heard you talk about the ‘normalcy bias’ of most Americans, and that’s part of what we’re fighting. Look at what they did to you and the content of last information I gave to you. It was like that pass a secret game in first grade, you know, where one student whispers something in the ear of the kid next to him and it’s passed around the room until it gets to the last student. By that time, it’s nothing like the original ‘secret.’ It’s the lesson kids learn about spreading gossip. There was some state representative from Tennessee that sent out a mass e-mail of a screwed up version of what you wrote and then later retracted it,” he stated.

I reminded him that it was Tennessee State Representative Kelly Keisling who sent an e-mail to his constituents based on what amounted to third-hand information he read on the Internet. It centered around an alleged fake assassination attempt, something I never wrote, I told him. “Yes, that’s it. Didn’t you find the timing of that odd? I mean, the information I gave you was back in late April. When did Keisling send that e-mail and then make his very public retraction? Two or three weeks ago? Give me a break. They wanted to discredit you and anyone who makes public their intentions as bad as they want to know where the leaks are coming from,” he stated. “Believe me when I tell you they are desperate on a number of levels.”

My source continued: “Don’t think for one second that the sudden resurrection of the information, as incorrect as it was by that state rep, was an accident, because it wasn’t,” he replied. “Maybe the rep was played and clueless to the original story, but the way the story was managed after the fact made you look like a fool, like a real nutcase,” he said. I thanked him for the reminder.

“That’s their playbook,” he emphasized. “[Glenn] Beck, you on CFP, your show and others who talk about Alinksy tactics are right. Remember, Alinsky when he wrote that ridicule is the most potent weapon, and there is no defense because it irrational and infuriating. Trust me when I tell you that you are going to get hit hard and called crazy, this time with much greater intensity. Expect it the closer we get to the end game. But, pay attention to who is exploiting the false rumors, and you’ll get an idea who is behind the larger agenda,” he added.

I asked my source for details. “What exactly is the plan? Can you give me specific details? How do you know about this plan ‘going hot?’”

“Okay, from what I’ve been able to learn, there have been a couple different plans or scenarios developed, ready to be implemented at a moment’s notice, but each are distinctly different in nature and timing.” stated my source. “This is done for a few reasons. Look how the weather changed the plans for [Vice-President Joe] Biden’s visit to Tampa. That’s just one example. They’ve got contingencies. They are watching the poll numbers. They are closely monitoring public sentiment. But the objective of the plan is that they want to portray Obama as a victim of racist hatred by the white gun owners, the people concerned about the Constitution, the people they consider fringe. They want to silence their critics, prove that talk show hosts are causing hatred, and that all gun owners are behind the recent shootings. That’s at the heart of the plan. But to understand just how insidious this is, you’ve got to understand the people who are behind it.”

Nero in the White House, Caligula at the DHS

My source continued, “I’ve been trying to get as much information as possible, but it’s not been easy. This is definitely a plan that has its origins at the highest levels of the White House, and seems limited to maybe a handful of the people closest to Obama. The only reason I know about this authorization order, or approval, or whatever you want to call it, is that there was a major slip up at the very upper level of DHS, and I mean the very upper level” he stated.

“Remember the news about sexual harassment, intimidation and all of the garbage that’s gone on between the people Napolitano brought in and promoted due to their ‘lifestyle’ preferences? These are some sick people, mental rapists and perverts, who she’s brought in to her innermost circle. They make Caligula look like a boy scout, at least with power and sex. Well, one of those people, close to Napolitano, was involved in a meeting where the concept and approval of a false flag was being discussed.”

“This is where they almost lost it. You’ve got to understand that this whole thing is very compartmentalized and we’re talking about a very small group of people in this meeting. This person knew some of the information, not all of it, and let some information slip to a counterpart. That counterpart, who found herself involved in a situation way over her head, talked. I won’t go any further, but that’s how I ended up learning the latest information,” said my source. “Now you should have an idea of how this slipped out. But they had a quick handle on damage control, given the circumstances behind the disclosure. Potentially embarrassing circumstances, sexual blackmail” he added.

I asked my source whether DHS is involved in the actual planning or staging of the event. In response, this source stated that Janet Napolitano and her closest aides are playing a supporting role. ” She has to be involved because she has to control the response to a staged event. She’s involved to coordinate and implement the clampdown, after the fact. She does what she’s told. From everything I’ve heard, I believe the plans come from Valerie Jarrett and possibly a close friend and Obama associate who has a very big stake in Obama’s re-election.”

“What happens and when it happens depends on the events of the next sixty days. If it appears that Obama does not have a lock on the next four years to finish what he started, what he has been told to do, then watch for it ‘going hot.’”

Northeast Intelligence Network

Iran installed 350 new underground centrifuges

A new report to be circulated to IAEA member states later this week is expected to say that Iran installed 350 new centrifuges in its underground Fordow facility since May, AFP quoted Vienna-based diplomats as saying on Wednesday.

Iran is enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent -- easily upgraded to the 90 percent needed for bombs -- at Fordow, buried deep inside a mountain near the holy Shi’ite city of Qom to protect it from foreign attack.

The Vienna diplomats also expect the report to chastise Iran over sanitizing its military base at Parchin.

The ongoing sanitization efforts, meant to eliminate evidence of possible nuclear work at the site, may make inspections "pointless," according to the diplomats.

Iran indicated on Monday it might allow diplomats visiting Tehran for this week's Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summitto inspect the Parchin military base, which UN nuclear experts say may have been used for nuclear-related explosives tests.

When asked about the possibility, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh said: "Such a visit is not customary in such meetings.... However at the discretion of authorities, Iran would be ready for such a visit," the Iranian government-linked news agency Young Journalists Club reported.

Any visit to Parchin by NAM representatives would do little to calm Western concerns or those of the IAEA whose talks with the Iranians ended on Friday without agreement.

The UN body suspects that Iran has conducted explosives tests in a steel chamber at Parchin relevant for the development of nuclear weapons, possibly a decade ago.

Last week diplomatic sources said Iran had covered the building believed to house the explosives chamber with a tent-like structure, fueling suspicions about a clean-up there.

Iran says Parchin, a vast, sprawling complex southeast of Tehran, is a conventional military facility and has dismissed allegations about it as "ridiculous".

'West urges Arabs not to target Israel at IAEA'

Western envoys are urging Arab states not to berate Israel over its assumed nuclear arsenal at the UN atomic agency's annual conference, fearing this could imperil wider efforts for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, diplomats say.

A senior diplomat said Arab countries would criticize Israel but were divided over whether to submit a resolution on the issue to next month's annual General Conference of the United Nations' 154-nation International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Diplomats said Arab states had not yet decided whether to propose a non-binding but symbolically important draft text criticizing "Israeli Nuclear Capabilities" at this year's week-long meeting that starts on September 17.

They expressed concern that an Arab move against Israel would discourage the Jewish state from attending the talks due to be held later this year on a nuclear arms-free Middle East.

An Egyptian plan for an international meeting to lay the groundwork for the possible creation of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction was agreed at a review conference on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 2010.

Jerusalem Post

Spain in wait-and-see mode as recession worsens

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Tuesday (28 August) said his government has not yet taken a decision on asking for European help in refinancing its debt, pending a key meeting of the European Central Bank next week.

Speaking alongside EU council chief Herman Van Rompuy, who interrupted his vacation in Spain to meet the Prime Minister, Rajoy re-stated his commitment to "take all necessary measures" to get the country out of the worsening crisis.

"We've already taken complicated, painful decisions, but they were required in this situation. We have to lower our public deficit, we can no longer continue in this situation where refinancing is so difficult," he said.

Fresh data published on Tuesday by the country's statistics office showed that recession is now at 1.3 percent of GDP, compared to previous estimates that suggested the economy would contract by one percent.

On the same day, the country's most economically important region, Catalonia, said it would need a €5 billion bailout from the central government to refinance its debt.

Rajoy brushed off questions about the sustainability of the country's public finances and said Catalonia was not the first region to be bailed out.

Yet the worsening data and the soaring borrowing costs for both the central and the regional governments have fuelled speculation that Spain will need a bigger bailout, on top of the €100bn earmarked for its troubled banks.

Rajoy said there were "no negotiations, because we have not submitted any request". But he also said that "it is the government's duty to serve the interests of Spanish citizens and this is the basis for all our decisions."

EU officials in Brussels do not expect any request to be made before a key ECB meeting on 6 September. ECB chief Mario Draghi earlier this month announced that the bank may purchase bonds of countries who face "unacceptably" high borrowing costs, but only if those countries first make a formal request with the eurozone bailout fund (EFSF), which is authorised to draw up a reform programme.

An internal review within the ECB is due by 6 September on the practicalities of how this linkage can be made between a central bank - supposedly strictly independent from politics and governments - and a governments' bailout fund using taxpayers' money.

For his part, Van Rompuy also stressed it is up to the Spanish government to take a decision and formulate a request.

"If the financial markets' defiance persists and if Spanish authorities think it is useful, EU institutions, including the ECB, have expressed readiness to take appropriate action," he said.

The Belgian politician said he was convinced that "if and when used," the ECB tools will be "very effective."


Russian Expert Predicts president Will Declare Martial Law in America by End of 2012

Igor Panarin, dean of the Russian Foreign Ministry School for future diplomats, believes that President Obama will announce martial law by the end of 2012. He explains: “There’s a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur.”

In 2009, Panarin lectured at the Diplomatic Academy where he said that he believed that the US will begin to collapse in 2010. He compared America to Nazi Germany and blamed the US for the global financial crisis that destroyed the Russian economy.

Panarin said that American society is in decline, referencing school shootings like Columbine. Combined with the banker bailouts in 2008 as proof that the US is no longer the global dominating economy, Paranrin believes that the American dream is over.

He asserts that mass immigration, economic decline and moral degradation will plunge America into a civil war that will center on the collapse of the US dollar.

Panarin created a map [below] of how he perceived the US would divide. He asserted that parts of the US would be taken over by foreign interests.

Considering the social climate emerging in America, Panarin’s words seem prophetic.

Yesterday, Lubbock County Judge Tom Head said on a local FOX affiliate station that he is convinced that Obama’s re-election would spawn civil unrest which would justify the US government’s use of martial law to quell the public. Head is seeking an increase in local taxes to “beef up” the Lubbock County Sheriff’s office and district attorney’s office.

Head expressed concern that Obama would deploy UN NATO troops onto US soil should civil unrest be declared. Head said:

He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the U.S. to the United Nations, what’s going to happen when that happens? I’m thinking worst case scenario. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe…we’re not just talking a few riots or demonstrations.
In March of 2012, Obama signed the National Defense Resources Preparedness (NDRP) executive order that declared peacetime marital law. Obama granted himself authority over all domestic energy, production, transportation, food and water in the name of National Security.

The NDRP has roots in the Defense Production Act of 1950 wherein the US government was empowered to dispense “national resources” in the event of a national emergency that would define any or all Americans as a challenge to the government. Control over all US citizens would be required to maintain continuity of government. The president and advisors would be able to use this directive as they saw fit if the situation warranted.

It was no mistake that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) declared the domestic US a “battlefield”. The ability to detain any American citizen without charge or trial, solely on suspicion is key to the power of the NDAA.

As defined in the NDRP, the President allocated control over American resources to specific federal agencies to oversee their dispensation.

The Secretary of Defense has power over all water resources.
The Secretary of Commerce has power over all material services and facilities, including construction materials.
The Secretary of Transportation has power over all forms of civilian transportation.
The Secretary of Agriculture has power over food resources and facilities, livestock plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services has power over all health resources.
The Secretary of Energy has power over all forms of energy.
Under Nazi-controlled Germany, the beginning of Totalitarian control was evidenced in May of 1942 when freezing of food prices led to national rationing in 1943. With the Nazis controlling resource dispersion, all citizens needed ration cards to obtain food, gas, and even a vacation pass that allotted the restriction of movement.

Between the NDAA and NDRP, a Nazi-model of control over the general population in America is laid out. The Executive Branch, having been given the power to control all resources that are necessary to sustain all citizens, they have forced Americans to become completely subservient to the US government.

The executive order is not permitted by the US Constitution that states:

All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.The advent of executive orders completely circumvents the power of the Congress and gives the Executive Branch unilateral power. The use of executive orders has become popular as a way to control America in wartime and the advent of national emergencies.

Obama has set a precedent by announcing the pre-cursor to suspension of the US Constitution during peacetime.

The first suspension of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights was performed by Abraham Lincoln during the US Civil War. This enabled Lincoln to authorize the unlawful detainment of “political prisoners” without Congressional approval.

The second declaration of unconstitutional detainment of US citizens was ordered by President FDR in 1941 with the roundup of Japanese-Americans who were sent to detainment camps to be held without charge during WWII.

For the past 30 years, plans for the takeover of America have been laid in a long line of executive orders. By stifling Congressional approval, the Executive Branch has been empowered to detain any and all US citizens, suspend all media and restrict any and all Americans in any and all ways deemed appropriate by the President.

We are in the midst of a Fascist takeover of our Constitutional Republic.

Activist Post

China tests new generation ICBM capable of carrying 10 nuclear warheads

BEIJING: China today announced testing of a new generation of inter-continental ballistic missile, Dongfeng-41, with a strike range of 14,000 km and capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads.

"China last month tested a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missile, the Dongfeng-41, or DF-41, which is believed to have a maximum strike distance of 14,000 km," the state-run CCTV said in a brief report.

The television also showed a rare footage of its missile unit in action, which included the formation of new mobile women's missile wing.

It quoted experts of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission as saying that as many as 10 nuclear warheads can be put on the missile.

Last week state-run Global Times reported that China was developing the capability to put multiple warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The CCTV report followed New York Times article that said China has developed a new generation of inter-continental and submarine launched missiles capable of carrying as many as 10 nuclear warheads, increasing its ability to reach US and to overwhelm missile defence systems.

The US military and intelligence officials say that China has developed the new long range Dongfeng-41 ICBM with mobile launching system making it harder to find and destroy the missile before it is launched, the Times report said.

Separately, the CCTV today carried a report about the People's Liberation Army (PLA) mobile missile units undergoing training in different parts of the country to get used to local and climatic conditions.

Massive trucks with huge missiles were seen moving around and how the troops take positions and fire them.

The report also said the missile unit now have women's wing and shown several women soldiers taking part in missile firing exercises.

The NYT, quoting a Congressional panel, said that US and other western powers might have underestimated the size of China's nuclear arsenal, suggesting that the new reports say that Beijing currently have 55 to 65 ICBM.

The US experts also said that Beijing had separately tested submarine launched missiles in recent weeks, which it could use to outflank American missile defence systems.

The Economic Times

French minister says Syria buffer zone would require no-fly zone

I've heard that before ... ah YES Libya

Paris (dpa) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius admitted Wednesday that setting up a Western-imposed buffer zone inside Syria would be "very complicated" and would require the implementation of a no-fly zone.

France, which has the rotating chair of the United Nations Security Council, is working on a Turkish proposal for the establishment of a safe area for people fleeing the fighting.

Fabius told France Inter radio that if refugees assembled in areas controlled by Syria‘s rebels, "it will be necessary to protect them. That‘s called a buffer zone."

"It‘s very complicated. We can‘t do it without the agreement of Turkey and other countries," he said.

He also acknowledged that a buffer zone, without a no-fly zone, would be "impossible."

"To ensure the protection (of refugees) anti-aircraft and aerial means would be required," he said.

That, in turn, would require establishing an "equal" playing field in Syria, he said.

"Which means that ... that forces would be required - which could not be French forces alone - or, failing that, people on the ground, meaning the forces of resistance," he said.

"Obviously that requires international organization," he said, noting al-Assad‘s resistance to the imposition of a buffer zone.

Europe Online