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Friday, March 22, 2013

Netanyahu grant Iran another three months’ grace

President Barack Obama persuaded Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in their talks in Jerusalem this week to give Tehran three more months to work through nuclear diplomacy with the P5+1 group of world powers (US, Russia, France, UK, China and Germany), DEBKAfile discloses. After June, this format for resolving the Iranian nuclear issue will be judged to have run its course.

When the US president said “There is still time for diplomacy,” he added, “But Iran must know this. Time is not unlimited. Whatever time is left, there’s not a lot of time.”

When Netanyahu pointed out that the US and Israel might have different timetables and called for “a clear and credible threat of military action,” because “the clock is ticking,” Obama replied that all options were on the table and “We will do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from getting the world’s worst weapons” - a pledge he repeated in his speech to Israeli students Thursday, March 21.
Talking to reporters Wednesday, the US president allowed, “Each country has to make its own decisions… when it comes to engaging in military action. And Israel is differently situated than the United States.”

This public exchange of views undoubtedly sparked Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s bellicose televised rejoinder Thursday: “At times the officials of the Zionist regime threaten to launch a military invasion,” he said. “But they themselves know that if they make the slightest mistake, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”

In private, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources disclose, the American and Israeli leaders agreed to keep the diplomatic window open until after Iran’s presidential election on June 24. This does not necessarily mean that a joint US-Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities - or a lone Israeli military strike - will go forward the next day; only that a timeline for bringing the military option forward ahead of the diplomatic track is now before Tehran.

Obama explained to Netanyahu that he owed Khamenei the freedom to conduct Iran’s presidential election campaign without a bludgeon hanging over his head, in return for the same courtesy the Iranian leader afforded him in the run-up to his own re-election last November. In the campaign for his candidate, said the president, Khamenei can’t afford to show weakness by making concessions on the national nuclear program. After that, Obama trusts he will be more flexible.
All in all, on one pretext or another, Tehran has been able to shake off any “credible threat of military action” to curb its nuclear program for a decade or more. And there is no guarantee that things will be different after June 24.

Debka file

FEMA Federalizing Police for Domestic War

It is a heavily documented fact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has bought 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition (much of which is outlawed by the Geneva Convention and includes a startling amount specialized for snipers), fully automatic assault rifles, heavily armored assault vehicles with gun ports, and gads of riot gear.

As DHS is a domestic operation, it would almost seem the organization is prepping for a war against the American people, and it now has 30 years worth of ammunition with which to do so.

To further back up that hypothesis, on FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness site, a listing for Program J, known as “Field Force Operations,” details how DHS has been training state and local law enforcement “to prepare for and successfully mitigate threat incidents involving civil disorder” should “National Special Security Events” or NSSEs occur.

The site continues,

“Activities included in this course are mass arrest procedures, team tactics, demonstrator tactics, crowd dynamics and mob behavior, use of riot control agents and less lethal munitions, and the employment of personal protective equipment (PPE).”

Some of the training’s “critical skill sets” include how to:

“Understand how the First, Fourth, Eight and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution relate to civil action/disorder; express the considerations and processes for conducting mass arrests during civil action/disorder; act as a member of an arrest team and remove an arrestee using both two- and four-officer carry techniques; and select for use, based on the liabilities and limitations of each, the best riot control agents and less lethal munitions.”

The three-day course takes place at Homeland Security’s Center for Domestic Preparedness at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

The class is coupled with another, “Field Force Extrication Tactics,” which provides students with “knowledge and skills regarding the tools and information necessary to extricate an individual safely from a protester device.” This course is not limited only to law enforcement, but emergency management, health, fire, EMTs, and public safety communications personnel among others. One issue discussed is, “Distinguishing the roles and responsibilities of the extrication team from other law enforcement assets.” Teams here are also referred to as “civil disobedience teams” or CDTs.

A description on the Texas Department of Public Safety site claims one of the Field Force Extrication Tactics course objectives is “To identify and protect protester rights as guaranteed by the First Amendment while still conducting extrication procedures.” [emphasis added]

Registration for the initial Field Force Operations course is limited only to state and local law enforcement, and includes a four-step process with a medical screening form. Participants must, “have the ability to march 100 yards, lift 185 pounds with assistance, kneel on one knee, run 20 yards intermittently, stand for long periods of time (approximately 3 hours), shout commands, and don, properly seal, and doff an air purifying respirator.”

While these courses have been available for several years now, it puts all of these bulk weapons, ammo and riot gear purchases into much clearer perspective in regard to exactly what DHS is gearing up and training our law enforcement for: mass arrests of the American people.

In fact, many of the descriptions of these courses seem eerily similar to a leaked Army manual Infowars reported on last summer for “civil disturbance operations.” As Paul Joseph Watson wrote, the document “outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.”

In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, our Second Amendment rights are under constant, heavy attack. Homeland Security has led the charge for years,portraying American gun owners and political enemies of the state as terrorists.

Add that to the fact that DHS has paid $2 million for “training aids” to a supplier of “non-traditional” shooting targets — actual shooting targets of pregnant women in nurseries, elderly people, and little kids referred to as “no more hesitation” targets — and this situation has gotten way beyond out of hand.

DHS has also announced its idea of public safety includes unleashing spy drones on the public. Recently released government documents also show DHS has customized predator drones for domestic use to track cell phones and identify whether or not a citizen is carrying a gun.

While the documented pieces of this disturbing puzzle continue to paint a terrifying picture, the mainstream media would instead have us believe that it’s all just a conspiracy theory, that all these DHS purchase orders officially posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website are merely figments of our imaginations.

But Infowars has continuously covered Homeland Security’s neverending gear up against the American people. How much more evidence is needed for people to wake up to this blaring, in-our-face police state takeover?

If something looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it might just be a duck. If an organization releases reports on how ducks are terrorists, develops duck-related trainings to mass arrest ducks in the interest of national security, and makes purchase orders for billions of duck-subduing and duck hunting items, it is reasonably safe to conclude there is an objective here concerning the total subjugation of ducks.


‘Frankenstein’s monster’ becoming a reality?

When people think of cloning, they think of science fiction books and movies. They may even think of “Dolly the sheep” and various other animals that have been created by cloning. In the darkest recesses of our minds, we associate cloning with the moral of “Frankenstein’s monster” — and what happens to humans who attempt to play God.

It’s difficult to believe that a scientist would attempt to step into the shoes of “The Creator.” But, don’t kid yourself, human cloning is possible, and will become a reality soon (if it hasn’t already). I’m thinking that society should not allow that to happen, provided it can be stopped.

Cloning involves extracting an ovum and stem cell from a healthy specimen, removing the nucleus and placing it into the ovum. The nucleus of the cell is removed and put into the ovum, and electrically stimulated to simulate fertilization. The results are implanted into the uterus of a living specimen, and if all goes well, you end up with a “mini me” specimen.

At the moment, human cloning is not legal anywhere. Ah, but beware of the loopholes that do allow the cloning of body parts. Before you know it, you end up with a hodgepodge of parts that morph into Frankenstein’s monster.

Human rights groups rally against cloning of any part of the human body, and with good reason. The idea of creating “body part farms” for the rich, who can afford to replace an ailing heart, opens the doors to all sorts of ethical nightmares.

Besides, a lot can go wrong. Foremost, it appears cloning increases the risks of certain congenital conditions and abnormalities. If the donor is prone to congenital heart disease, his clone will likely be twice as likely to develop the condition.

Even in clones that have been successful, such as Dolly the sheep, scientists have found the majority of clones to have severe abnormalities that do not show up, or the clone doesn’t live very long.

On the other hand, cloning would benefit infertile couples or someone dying of a genetic disease. And, imagine a clone of Albert Einstein or Ludwig Van Beethoven sharing their brilliance with the world, once again.

Ah, but if a clone of Albert Einstein can be manufactured, so could a clone of Adolf Hitler. And, using clones to find cures might lead to using human guinea pigs to test such cures. Or, what would stop certain governments from cloning armies of perfect soldiers or obedient wage slaves?

Both the religious and non-religious have issues with cloning. The major world religions believe it is God’s place to create. Even those with no moral objection to cloning find the idea of a “created human” a bit too creepy to contemplate.

Despite the many potential legal, moral and medical issues related to cloning, it’s just a matter of time before some “mad scientist” clones a human being. Here’s the question: Will it be a step forward — or a step backward — for the human race?

Herald News

Freedom , Justice, Equality, Sovereignty Gone.....

Petrus Romanus Update

Cyprus bailout crisis: panic replaces anger as bankruptcy looms

'It's worse than a war. At least in a war you know who your enemies are," said Thanassis Iracleous, standing behind a till as he discussed the escalating crisis in Cyprus. "On Friday they were our friends," railed the pharmacist, whispering the word "German" in the same breath. "The very next morning they were suddenly our enemies."

As wars go, the bespectacled Greek Cypriot is having a good one. Relatively speaking. On Thursday, six days into the island nation's worst economic debacle in decades, Iracleous was still accepting credit cards and customers were still walking through the doors of the chemist he runs in the heart of Nicosia. But it is not clear how long he will be able to keep this up.

That is more than can be said for most retailers in Cyprus, the latest frontline in the eurozone's ever bloody conflict of sovereignty and debt. With the country's solvency hanging by a thread in the wake of the Cypriot parliament's overwhelming rejection of the tough terms attached to financial rescue from the EU and IMF, panic has gradually replaced anger and the shock born of the brutal realisation that bankruptcy is no longer an abstract concept.

"Today, suppliers began demanding payments in cash," said Iracleous, shaking his head incredulously. "Almost no one is accepting credit cards or cheques any more because everyone is saying that come Tuesday the game will be over. Our banks will have closed."

Societies fending off default descend into chaos by stages. Poverty hit Greece after successive rounds of austerity. Over the course of three years of tumult and despair, helplessness followed hopelessness.

In Cyprus, the former British colony that prided itself on its spectacular economic recovery nearly 40 years after Turkey invaded and seized the island's northern third, the descent has been more dramatic for being faster still. Locals speak of a situation worsening "by the hour". In towns across the island's southern sector, the panic spawned by uncertainty was underscored on Thursday by the long queues outside banks as fearful depositors rushed to withdraw cash from ATMs. "The radios, today, were full of talk that next week Laiki may not exist," said Kypros Kyprianou, standing patiently in line outside a branch of the bank on Diogheni Akritas, one of the capital's major avenues. "I'm waiting here till I get my cash," he continued.

"On Saturday, ATMs were giving out €800. Now you can't get more than €400 and already I've been in line for over a hour because the machine is only dispensing €40 at a time."

A 38-year-old carpenter, Kyprianou is proud that all 56 of Cyprus's MPs resoundingly rejected the bailout deal which, in an unprecedented step, stipulated that ordinary depositors pay part of the bill. "We are not like the Greeks who just sign up to whatever these people [the EU and IMF] dictate," he boasted. "We can say no."

But ever since the eruption of this latest stage of the crisis, the carpenter has been out of work. "There is no liquidity. The market has dried up. I was meant to get a deposit for a big project on a house on Saturday and it just fell through," he said, "just like that."

Vassos Pratziotis, a graphic designer who like Kyprianou is now withdrawing cash on a daily basis, says what is most worrying is that nobody knows what the future will bring. "There can't not be a solution," he said, drawing on a cigarette. "The problem is we have no idea what it is going to be. I'm very afraid that Laiki will collapse because the bank is my firm's main client and for several months we haven't been paid."

Food shortages are not in evidence. But in a worrying sign on Thursday major chains reported that suppliers were beginning to reduce produce and even withhold goods if payments weren't made in cash. "Many are insisting that we pay up front," said Andriana Anisia, manager of a branch of the local supermarket co-operative Green Tree. "People are clearly panicking. Today, our milk supplies came and they were inexplicably thinner. Who knows what next week will bring?"

Britons who have retired to the island are also expressing alarm. In Nicosia many could be spotted similarly rushing to banks to cancel transfers of their pensions from the UK. "Our biggest worry is that the whole banking system is going to collapse, not just one or two banks," said one, Francis Colley. "I called my pension fund and they said they are very concerned about the situation in Cyprus. Very, very concerned."

The streets of Nicosia have fallen eerily quiet with the intensification of the showdown. Uncertainty over the financial lifeline is such that no one has much appetite for anything, locals say. "Even if you have work, your mind is somewhere else," said Pratziotis. "Everyone is numb, really, with worry."

In his pharmacy, Iracleous, like many Greek Cypriots, laid the blame squarely with Berlin. "It's very simple. It's all about money," he said. "In this case Germany wanting to control the Russian oligarchs who have invested in our banks. If they leave Cyprus, which is what Merkel wants them to do, they will have to go somewhere else. Germany will be the top of that list. What we in Cyprus have learned is that you have to be very careful of your friends."

The Guardian

Pope Wants to Partner With Islam to Tackle Poverty

Pope Francis urged the West on Friday to intensify dialogue with Islam and appealed to the world to do more to combat poverty.

The new pontiff made his appeal in an address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican, sending a message through them to the leaders of the more than 170 countries with which the Vatican has diplomatic relations.

Speaking in Italian, he also made another impassioned appeal for the defense of the poor and of the environment, saying richer countries should fight what he called "the spiritual poverty of our times" by re-forging links with God.

"How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure!" he told the diplomats in the Vatican's frescoed Sala Regia.

He urged them to help keep religion central in public life and promote inter-religious dialogue as a catalyst for efforts to build peace.

"In this work (peace building), the role of religion is fundamental. It is not possible to build bridges between people while forgetting God," he said.

"But the converse is also true: It is not possible to establish true links with God while ignoring other people. Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam."

Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, said he was grateful that many Muslim religious and civilian leaders attended his inaugural Mass on Tuesday.

"Fighting poverty, both material and spiritual, building peace and constructing bridges: these, as it were, are the reference points for a journey that I want to invite each of the countries here represented to take up," he said.

He underlined the importance of protecting the environment when he explained why he had decided to take the name of St. Francis of Assisi, who is associated with austerity, help for the poor, and love of nature.

"Here too, it helps me to think of the name of (Saint)Francis, who teaches us profound respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment, which all too often, instead of using for the good, we exploit greedily, to one another's detriment," he said.


India tests BrahMos supersonic cruise missile

On Wednesday, March 20, India conducted first-ever tests of the supersonic cruise missile "BrahMos", designed for deployment on board submarines, officials with BrahMos Aerospace said.

The missile was launched at 14:10 local time (12:40 MSK) from a submerged position off the coast of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in the Bay of Bengal. The tests were successful: the rocket is ready to be installed on submarines, the tender for the purchase of which has already been placed.

Company officials did not rule out the possibility of installing missiles on Russian-made "Amur-1650" submarines developed by the Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering (CDB ME) "Rubin" - the company will also take part in the tender.

BrahMos missiles is capable of attacking targets at a maximum distance of 290 km, at an altitude of 10 meters above the ground. BrahMos is already in service with Indian Navy.


'The size of the US national debt’s amazing' :Ryabkov

The amount of the US national debt is amazing, to put it mildly, and it is unclear which ways should be found to reduce the debt burden”, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said during a press-briefing in Moscow. 

In view of this the diversification of BRICS currency package would be useful, he added. Voice of Russia correspondent Polina Chernitsa reports.

Moscow remains concerned despite a change in US missile plans

Moscow is not yet ready to assess a change in the US missile defense plans, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said during a press-briefing in Moscow. “The news surely deserves attention…yet it is too early to assess it either positively or negatively”, the diplomat said. Last week Washington announced that plans to place missile interceptors in Eastern Europe are being abandoned and that interceptors would be placed in Alaska instead. “We view this primarily in terms of our national security interests. Meanwhile, we remain concerned over the issue,” Ryabkov said.

Moscow is going to examine the proposal offered by the U.S. concerning its missile defense plans in Eastern Europe, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said during a press-briefing in Moscow, the VoR`s correspondent says.

Mr. Ryabkov confirmed that both sides are interested in continuing the talks, and said that Moscow is satisfied with the way the talks with Washington on utilization of outdated weapons were going on.

He, however, added that the agreement the two countries reached on the issue is no longer up-to-date and should be focused more on projects in third countries.
Voice of Russia

UN to Probe Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria

NEW YORK, March 21 (RIA Novosti) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday that the United Nations will open an investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria as soon as possible.

Ban said at a media briefing at UN headquarters in New York that the investigation would focus on a specific incident brought to his office’s attention by the Syrian government.

The Syrian authorities accused opposition militants on Tuesday of deploying chemical weapons in an attack near the northern city of Aleppo that state media reports claimed at least 25 lives and seriously injured more than 100.

The rebels have denied the allegation and instead accused the Syrian military of launching a Scud missile with a chemical warhead.

Ban said his “announcement should serve as an unequivocal reminder that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity.”

The mandate, mission composition, and operational conditions of the probe still remain to be decided, Ban said.

Russia has already volunteered to provide specialists for the UN investigative mission.

“We proposed, in principle, that if we find a good Russian expert [on the issue], he should be included [in the mission],” Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said on Thursday.

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, said in a statement on Thursday that Washington “welcomes” the probe and “supports an investigation that pursues any and all credible allegations of the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.”

“We demand the full cooperation of the Assad regime in particular, as well as Syrian authorities throughout the country, including by providing full and unfettered access to all relevant individuals and locations,” Rice said.

Speaking during his visit this week to Israel, US President Barack Obama said that any use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces would be a "game-changer” for his administration.

RIA Novosti