” A U.S. Navy commander has been accused of moving ships ‘like chess pieces’ to ports in Asia to financially benefit a defense contractor, in return for prostitutes and Lady Gaga tickets, according to naval court documents.
Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz also allegedly passed confidential information on ship routes to the firm, Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd, or GDMA.”
” President Barack Obama called off plans to visit Asia and attend two summits because of the U.S. government shutdown, raising questions about the strategic “pivot” to the region that he announced just two years ago.
Obama had planned to depart on Saturday for a four-nation, week-long trip. He canceled visits to Malaysia and the Philippines earlier this week because of his budget struggle in the U.S. Congress and said late on Thursday he would not attend the regional summits in Indonesia and Brunei.
The political standoff over the U.S. budget has shut down non-essential government services and appeared likely to drag on for another week or longer. Another crisis looms in two weeks when lawmakers must decide whether to increase the U.S. government’s $16.7 trillion debt borrowing limit.
“The president made this decision based on the difficulty in moving forward with foreign travel in the face of a shutdown, and his determination to continue pressing his case that Republicans should immediately allow a vote to reopen the government,” the White House said.”
” Pentagon intelligence agencies are closely watching Russian and Chinese war games now taking place in Europe and Asia involving tens of thousands of troops.
“The Russians are moving forces closer to Europe, and that is troubling,” said a military official.
Russia’s Zapad-13 military exercises in Belarus are scheduled to end Thursday. They included practice attacks on a western state, said one official familiar with reports of the maneuvers.
Some 13,000 Russian and Belarusian troops took part with over 60 aircraft and helicopters and up to 250 vehicles.
Russian officials recently denied Polish press reports that the Zapad-13 would include a notional nuclear attack on Warsaw. However, Russian officials have said the war games will involve practicing precision air and missile strikes.
On the Russian air base, Russian air force chief Lt. Gen. Vladimir Bondarev announced in June that the air base for Su-27 jets in Belarus would be opened near the city of Lida, near the border with Poland and Lithuania.
Meanwhile in China, Chinese military forces are engaged in large-scale exercises involving some 40,000 troops.
The exercise also will seek to boost Chinese combined arms warfare capabilities that integrate air, naval, and ground forces for long-distance fighting, joint air defense, and joint warfighting on unfamiliar terrain.”
” This is one of those stories about the gold market that almost seems too wild to be true since the numbers are so extraordinary. According to a Reuters article from earlier today, Australian bank Macquarie has reported that gold is flooding out of London and into Switzerland at a mind-boggling rate. Specifically, 240 tons were exported in May alone and 797 tons during the first half of 2013. That means gold is being exported at a annualized run rate of 17x the 92 tons exported for all of 2012. That’s insane.
Aug 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s gold exports to Switzerland surged in the first half of this year, Australian bank Macquarie said on Monday, suggesting bullion being sold out of exchange-traded funds may be heading for Swiss refineries before being sold on in Asia.
The UK exported 240 tonnes of gold to Switzerland in May alone, while its exports over the first half of this year totalled 797 tonnes, Macquarie said in a note.
In contrast, Britain exported just 92 tonnes of bullion to Switzerland in the whole of last year, it said.
“The UK does not have gold mines, so where has it all come from? The obvious source is the gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs), most of which hold their gold holdings in London vaults, and which saw huge outflows in 1H 2013,” Macquarie said.
It added: “But a bigger factor, we think, is that the gold bars from ETFs have gone to Switzerland, where most of the world’s gold refining capacity is, to be remelted into different size bars and coins and then sold on end consumers, predominantly in Asia, specifically China and India.” “
” To American ears that sounds like the set-up to a joke. The very idea of a North Korean giggling seems absurd. What can there possibly be to laugh about? The country has been ruled for more than half a century by absolute dictators who periodically threaten to blow up the world. It is populated by the children of a 1990s famine, malnourished orphans with oversized heads who never grew. It is forbidden to use the orphans’ nickname: kotchebi, or “little sparrows,” a reference to their habit of flitting around in the dirt looking for crumbs to eat.
Western impressions of North Korean culture are filtered through the prism of their totalitarian government and unrelieved misery. Day-to-day life is usually imagined as one of constant drudgery and fear. In 1965, Robert Jenkins was one of the few U.S. soldiers to defect into North Korea. Escaping four decades later, he wrote, “I did not understand that the country I was seeking temporary refuge in was literally a giant, demented prison.”
It’s easy to get into North Korea as a tourist. The reason is the most capitalist one possible: They need money. In 1980, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) achieved the dubious honor of being the first Communist nation to default on its loans, ruining its credit rating to this day. The following three decades were hardly better for the DPRK’s international reputation. The 1990s collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe removed most of their strongest allies. President George W. Bush famously included North Korea on his “axis of evil,” and despite Dennis Rodman’s best efforts President Barack Obama will not be calling on Marshall Kim Jong Un any time soon. Like his father, Kim Jong Il, and his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, this dictator is a global oddity. “
” Our reporter at the border uncovers the true story of North Korea that warmongering Kim Jong-un does not want the outside world to see.
A child of around 10 sits dying of starvation by the side of the road while just yards away soldiers load enough rice on to trucks to feed families for weeks.
As the young boy slumps on the grimy kerb in his filthy, oversized army jacket, locals stroll past zombie-style without even glancing in his direction or displaying an ounce of pity for his wretched plight.
Nearby his friends scavenge in disease-ridden rubbish tips for scraps of what might pass for food in a land where people are so poor they are forced to eat tree bark or even corpses, according to those on the inside.
And not far away, prisoners are herded from their harsh labour camps to frantically dig out crops from frozen ground while trigger-happy troops hover over them waiting for the one wrong move that could end with death.
” Obama Inc. is absolutely not backing down by cancelling a missile launch. That would be crazy. They’re just scrapping the missile launch to ease tensions which is nothing at all like backing down.
The decision to delay critical U.S missile tests is not a sign that the White House is bowing to North Korea’s “bellicose rhetoric,” a top administration official said Sunday.
During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” senior Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the decision was “absolutely not” a retreat after Pyongyang’s recent aggressive actions against the U.S. and its allies in the Western Pacific.”
” Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder is in North Korea and has been documenting scenes around the country that offer a glimpse into a largely unseen side of North Korea, capturing images of daily life that are at times quirky, at other times haunting.”
North Korean soldiers ride an escalator past a model of their country’s Unha Rocket as they enter an exhibition in Pyongyang on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013 where Kimjongilia flowers, named after the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, were on display. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
” Actually made before the MkI (dont ask), the MkII was the most common type of Welrod with some 14,000 produced. It was rather heavy for a weapon designed to be secreted away at 38-ounces and was
Welrod MK II could make use of captured German, Italian and Japanese ammunition.
slightly over a foot long. Chambered for .32ACP (7.65x17mm), the same caliber as many popular Italian, German, and Japanese pistols, the gun was stated to be able to fire a 72-grain Kynoch lead head at 920fps. Its single stack magazine held 8-shots.
The German military captured many of the weapons dropped to European Resistance groups and the MkII Welrod was often in these caches. The SS special operations groups led by Otto Skorzeny (called once the most dangerous man in Europe) are known to have carried the occasional Welrod. A number were given as reverse-Lend Lease to the US Navy who referred to them as “.32 Hand Firing Mechanism Mk.1 Mod 0″ to obscure its use as a weapon of special applications. Many of these later were passed on to the CIA.
A Black Hole of Information
The individual who invented the Welrod or even company that manufactured them is a matter of conjecture and is a question that has never been definitively answered. Even the name ‘Welrod’ has never been fully explained other than in urban legends that have found their way onto the Internet over the years. While small resolution diagrams abound, the full and correct set of manufacturer’s blue prints have seemingly never been declassified. Additionally, the guns were almost completely unmarked so they could be deniable if captured. It is thought that BSA made the Welrod production pistols, although this information is still classified. “
” See the three winning images, along with the viewers’ choices and honorable mentions. The grand-prize winner receives $10,000 and a trip to National Geographic headquarters to participate in an annual photography seminar.”
” Honorable Mention
Stilt fishing is a typical fishing technique only seen in Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole planted into the coral reef. This long exposure shot shows how unstable their position is.”
” The IEA report, World Energy Outlook 2012, concludes that in just a few years the United States will be so awash in domestically produced oil it will surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production. Moreover, by 2030 North America as a whole will become a net exporter of oil.
Revolutionary advances in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling are making this dramatic turnaround possible, observes IEA. These technological advances have enabled energy companies to inexpensively unlock vast amounts of tight oil and natural gas in shale formations that were previously considered economically impractical for production. ”
“The recent rebound in U.S. oil and gas production, driven by upstream technologies that are unlocking tight oil and shale gas resources, is spurring economic activity—with less expensive gas and electricity prices giving industry a competitive edge—and steadily changing the role of North America in global energy trade. By around 2020, the United States is projected to become the largest oil producer (overtaking Saudi Arabia until the mid-2020s) and starts to see the impact of new fuel efficiency measures in transport. The result is a continued fall in U.S. oil imports, to the extent that North America becomes a net oil exporter around 2030. This accelerates the switch in direction of international oil trade towards Asia, putting a focus on the security of the strategic routes that bring Middle East oil to Asian markets. The United States, which currently imports around 20 percent of its current energy needs, becomes all but self-sufficient in net terms—a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy-importing countries.”
They got what they asked for and now have buyer’s remorse .
“2008, many allies clearly wanted change to the benefit of Mr. Obama. Some 200,000 Germans
showed up in Berlin to hear candidate Obama speak. Der Spiegel wrote favorably at the time:
“For a moment, it was plausible to think that he wanted to quickly launch a global.transformation through this crowd …” “
Four years on and the koolaid has finally worn off . What misery the world has had to endure due to the corruption of the old media and their Chauncey Gardener of an empty suit , as well as the pagan , idol-worshipping , public school indoctrinated idiot American voters .
” In contrast, Obama has spoken primarily of trade eliminating U.S. jobs. He has implied that
much wealth is ill gotten and his policies presume that capital can be allocated better by government officials than free markets,especially in the field of energy. Taxes on investment are set to increase massively in January, with the levy on dividends rising from
15% to as much as 43%.
All of this is noted abroad. The consequence is that people increasingly do business elsewhere.
They invest capital elsewhere. Countries are now more willing to seek trade agreements with
Canada than with the United States, for example. Allies have to cut deals with the bad actors in their regions. More countries
contemplate nuclear arsenals of their own. Tyrannical governments see no cost to crushing dissent violently.”