Sunday, May 31, 2015
While we are used to hearing of the 100s of "close encounters" between NATO and Russian planes,but,as reported by state news agency RIA - citing an anonymous source in Russia's armed forces, Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting "aggressively" in the Black Sea.
And now, as The Daily News reports, Russian attack jets were sent to warn off the American warship USS Ross from near the country's territorial waters in the Black Sea,
The source was quoted as saying that the U.S. destroyer Ross was moving along the edge of Russia's territorial waters and heading in their direction."The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet," RIA quoted the source as saying.“Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country.""Apparently, the Americans have not forgotten the April 2014 incident when one Su-24 practically 'blacked out' all of the electronics on board the newest American destroyer Donald Cook," the source said.Russia's Defence Ministry was not immediately available to comment on the report.
Saturday's incident is the latest in a series of border surveillance confrontations between Russia and the West. Europeans, especially the Baltic states, have repeatedly sounded the alarm over Russian jets coming close to their borders.The US is rotating several warships in and out of the Black Sea, where Russia's naval bases are located. The USS Vella Gulf, USS Ross, USS Truxton, and the USS Taylor – as well as warships from other NATO member states – were spotted in the area over the past few months.
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This appears to be the first reported ship-to-plane 'encounter' and,
just as US and China tensions are escalating in the South China Sea, it
appears US and Russian military 'discussions' are shifting from words
just as US and China tensions are escalating in the South China Sea, it
appears US and Russian military 'discussions' are shifting from words
Credit to Zero Hedge
By David Blair,
China has delivered a pointed message to its Asian neighbours and America by staging a military parade on Hainan Island, the province closest to the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
The “Patriotism National Defence Weapons Exhibition” took place in Haikou, the capital of Hainan. The weapons on display - supposedly developed by China within the last 20 years - included a J-10 jet fighter, a WZ-10 helicopter gunship and a tank designed for amphibious operations.
China's frigate 'Yulin' in action in the South China Sea (GETTY)
Hainan’s position off China’s southern coast means the island would be the primary base for any military operations in the event of war in the South China Sea. Phoenix News, a Chinese state website, said the event “displayed the nation’s prestige”.
China has laid claim to 90 per cent of the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas. Beijing’s claim to the Spratly islands overlaps with those of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. This remote archipelago – which has no indigenous population – lies across some of the world’s most important shipping lanes.
The rival claims have been outstanding for decades, but China has begun to change the status quo by constructing artificial islands inside the Spratly chain, which lies over 800 miles from its coastline. Neighbouring states fear these ambitious projects could herald the construction of Chinese naval and other military facilities.
Chinese dredging vessels in the waters around Mischief Reef
As if to confirm these fears, American surveillance has detected two motorised artillery pieces positioned on one artificial island, according to the Wall Street Journal. This particular island was completed by China inside the Spratly archipelago about one month ago.
If China has deployed military assets in the Spratly chain, this would mark a “substantial escalation”, said Jonathan Eyal, the head of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute.
“The militarisation of the situation would make it very clear that the Chinese objective is to impose physical control over some of the most sensitive international waterways in the world,” said Mr Eyal. “It would show China’s long term intention, which is a permanent, physical, military presence in these waterways."
Mr Eyal added: “We are moving to a far more dangerous phase where the Chinese are not merely asserting their claims, but cementing them in military terms.”
Credit to The Telegraph
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Major Business Publication Sees Arrival Of “Implants In Your Hands For All Buying & Selling” In Near Future
Is it retail therapy gone mad? The dawn of a new cyborg age? Or a new meaning to going down under?
Whatever the case, a fair proportion of Australians are receptive to technology mixing with their precious human organic flesh, if it means making payments at retail stores is easier.
A survey, commissioned by global payments firm Visa, found 25 per cent of Australians were “slightly interested” in having a commerce-oriented chip implanted in their skin.
Research firm UMR conducted the survey for Visa, interviewing 1000 local consumers.
A subcutaneous chip would let consumers pay at a retail terminal without a wallet, credit card, smartphone or smartwatch. They would simply wave their bare hand over a terminal.
The finding was revealed as Visa and University of Technology Sydney announced a partnership to explore the future of wearable technology. Visa’s research looked at the wearable technology Australian consumers were interested in using for payments.
Thirty-two per cent would be interested in paying with a smartwatch; 29 per cent with a smart ring, and 26 per cent with smart glasses.
It is little wonder Visa regards Australians as adventurous with tech. “Australians are among the world’s earliest adopters of new technology,” said George Lawson, Head of Emerging Products and Innovation for Visa in ANZSP.
There’s nothing new about implanting tags under the skin. The US firm VeriChip obtained approval to do just that more than a decade ago.
Their chip consisted of a tiny antenna and an identification number. It was designed to be implanted in the soft tissue between the thumb and index finger and detected by a radiofrequency identification (RFID) scanner.
Before you see the human species morphing towards a cyborg future, there is a cautious note. Research in the past has linked subcutaneous chips to cancers in laboratory animals at the implant site.
Credit to http://www.theaustralian.com.au
In most of the northern hemisphere, summer comes in June, July, and August. Not so in India. Here, summer begins in April and ends with the start of the monsoon wind shift– late May or June.
Deadly summer heat waves are not unusual in India; hundreds died in the events of 2002, 2003, and 2010. But this May has been especially brutal, with temperatures soaring to near 120 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of southeast India.
Following a cool (relatively) April, the extreme heat caught meteorologists, and most Indians, by surprise.
With much of India lacking air conditioning, and with power outages preventing those who have it from using it, residents were overwhelmed by the heat, and many (up to 1,800 by some reports) succumbed to it.
According to the International Disaster Database, this is the second deadliest heat wave in India, and the eighth deadliest in the world, going back to 1900.
Loo Delivers The Hot Air
A local phenomenon of the Indian subcontinent known as Loo, a hot wind from the northwest, is responsible for the high temperatures. Loo brings air from Pakistan and Afghanistan across India to the southeast coast. The dry, cloudless flow heats under the high spring sun as it moves southeast. Temperatures normally reach 100 degrees and higher over much of India in May.
This is the the average rainfall in India by month. There is a huge increase from May to June as the rainy phase of the monsoon begins. Graphic courtesy of NOAA.
Loo is actually one phase of the Indian monsoon, and the country will enter a different phase — the one people are most familiar with — in the next few weeks, as somewhat cooler, humid, and rainy conditions overspread the country.
We normally associate the word monsoon with this rainy phase, but the complete monsoon is a yearlong sloshing of air back and forth from land to sea.
Credit to decodedscience.com
Meet Gulmurod Khalimov, the US-trained and funded former commander of Tajikistan's special forces, who,as Reuters reports, has now gone to Syria to fight with ISIS. He has a message: "Listen, you American pigs, I’ve been three times to America, and I saw how you train fighters to kill Muslims...God willing, I will come with this weapon to your cities, your homes, and we will kill you."
Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov commanded the Central Asian nation’s special-purpose police known as OMON, used against criminals and militants. He disappeared in late April, prompting a search by Tajik police.He reappeared Wednesday, vowing to bring jihad to Russia and the United States as he brandished a cartridge belt and sniper rifle, in a professionally made, 10-minute video clip posted in social networks.
Here is an excerpt of that video, in Russian
“The video, allegedly made in Syria, says that Khalimov joined the jihadists in protest against government policies that do not allow namaz (canonical prayer) or the wearing of Islamic dress,”the video’s Russian source states.
The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor compiled some of Khalimov’s fun video soundbites:
“Listen, you dogs, the president and ministers,” Khalimov says in the video, “if only you knew how many boys, our brothers are here, waiting and yearning to return to reestablish sharia law there.”...“Listen, you American pigs, I’ve been three times to America, and I saw how you train fighters to kill Muslims,” he said. “God willing, I will come with this weapon to your cities, your homes, and we will kill you.”
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The big question is - was he 'recorded' as a moderate when America considered funding and training his elite special forces unit?
Credit to Zero Hedge
Something Smells Fishy
It’s always interesting to see a long term chart that reflects your real life experiences. I bought my first home in 1990. It was a small townhouse and I paid $100k, put 10% down, and obtained a 9.875% mortgage. I was thrilled to get under 10%. Those were different times, when you bought a home as a place to live. We had our first kid in 1993 and started looking for a single family home. We stopped because our townhouse had declined in value to $85k, so I couldn’t afford to sell. In 1995 I convinced my employer to rent my townhouse, as they were already renting multiple townhouses for all the foreigners doing short term assignments in the U.S. We bought a single family home in 1995 with the sole purpose of having a decent place to raise a family that was within 20 minutes of my job.
Considering home prices on an inflation adjusted basis were lower than they were in 1980, I was certainly not looking at it as some sort of investment vehicle. But, as you can see from the chart, nationally prices soared by about 55% between 1995 and 2005. My home supposedly doubled in value over 10 years. I was ecstatic when I was eventually able to sell my townhouse in 2004 for $134k. I felt so smart, until I saw a notice in the paper one year later showing my old townhouse had been sold again for $176k. Who knew there were so many greater fools.
This was utterly ridiculous, as home prices over the last 100 years have gone up at the rate of inflation. Robert Shiller and a few other rational thinking people called it a bubble. They were scorned and ridiculed by the whores at the NAR and the bimbo cheerleaders on CNBC. Something smelled rotten in the state of housing. We now know who was responsible. Greenspan and Bernanke were at least 75% responsible for the housing bubble and its eventual implosion, which essentially destroyed our economic system. They purposely kept interest rates at obscenely low levels, encouraging every Tom, Dick and Julio to buy a home with a negative amortization, no doc, nothing down, adjustable rate mortgage, so they could live the American dream of being in debt up to their eyeballs.
Greenspan and Bernanke were also responsible for regulating the Wall Street banks. They allowed them to leverage themselves 30 to 1. They allowed them to create fraudulent high risk mortgage products. They looked the other way as Wall Street sliced and diced these guaranteed to default mortgages into AAA rated derivatives that were then spread throughout the global financial system like ticking time bombs. As home prices rose three standard deviations above the long term average, these Ivy League educated geniuses cheered it all on. Bernanke saw no bubble, just as it was bursting. He saw no mal-investment or systematic risk from this orgy of greed and fraud. And then it all blew up in our faces, while the perpetrators walked away unscathed to pillage and rape once more.
And now we come to present day and something really smells fishy again. Home prices crashed by 40% between 2005 and 2012, putting prices back to 1978 on an inflation adjusted basis. All of the bubble gains were wiped out in the blink of an eye. Bernanke and his Wall Street owners had a real problem with this development. Wall Street banks had/have billions in toxic mortgages on their books and only accounting fraud by not having to mark them to market has kept these banks from having to declare bankruptcy. Bernanke, Geithner, and the Wall Street banks hatched their master plan to save themselves at the expense of young people in 2011/2012.
We know for a fact that real median household income is still 7% below 2007 levels and sits at the same level as 1989. We know for a fact that wages have been stagnant since 2007. We know for a fact GDP has barely broken 2% since 2009. We know for a fact the price of healthcare, food, energy, tuition, rent, and a myriad of other daily living expenses are dramatically higher since 2009. We know mortgage originations are at 1997 levels. We know housing starts are 60% below the 2005 highs and at levels seen during the 1991 and 1981 recessions. Existing home sales are 30% below the 2005 high, only up 10% from 2012 levels, and sitting at levels reached in 1999 before the boom.
A critical thinking person might wonder how median single family home prices could possibly skyrocket by 37% in the last three years when household incomes are falling, living expenses rising, and the number of houses being sold are at recessionary levels. The stinking rotting fish again sits in the hallways of the Eccles Building in Washington D.C. Janet “Yellowfish” Yellen has inherited the bubble blowing machine from Ben “Blowfish” Bernanke and has continued to inflate a new housing bubble, because one housing bubble just isn’t enough.
There is nothing free market about the 37% increase in home prices. It has absolutely nothing to do with supply and demand. It has nothing to do with normal families looking for a home. It has everything to do with the Federal Reserve’s 0% interest rates, the $3.5 trillion of QE injected into the economic gambling system, Wall Street banks withholding foreclosures from the market, hedge funds buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed homes and renting them out to the former middle class, Fannie and Freddie guaranteeing 70% of all sales, the government encouraging 3.5% subprime loans again, Chinese and Russian billionaires parking their ill gotten wealth in US real estate, and flippers reappearing in the same old places (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Florida, California).
The Federal Reserve created the last housing bubble and they’ve created the new housing bubble, along with stock and bond bubbles, with their easy money policies designed to enrich their Wall Street owners and the parasites who feed off the financial industry. Their entire plan smells to high heaven. They have thrown young people and most of the middle class overboard, while the bankers, billionaires, politicians, and connected cronies party like it was 2005 on their $250 million yachts.
Now what? The Fed says they are going to raise rates. The QE spigot has been turned off. The hedge funds are selling their buy and rent hovel investments, cash buyers are dwindling, the flippers who appeared in 2005 are back, Boomers are looking to sell and downsize, young people are already in debt up to their eyeballs thanks to the government doling out student loans like candy, the number of full-time good paying jobs continue to dwindle, and the rigged 37% price increase has priced millions of people out of the market.
The good news is the Wall Street banks have inflated their balance sheets and celebrated by giving themselves $20 billion in bonuses for a job well done. If mortgage rates rise to 4% or God forbid 5%, the entire housing complex would implode faster than a blowfish out of water. If you’ve bought in the last two years you will be underwater sleeping with the fishes like Luca Brasi in the not too distant future.
Credit to economic Collapse