November 7, 2012 By 4 Comments
A Moscow lawyer shot five of his coworkers in the head Wednesday, killing them in a murder spree that targeted those he deemed responsible for the recent end of a romantic relationship. Before the killings, he published a hate manifesto online
The Return of the Mammoth? Russian and South Korean Scientists Sign Deal to Bring Extinct Beast Back To Life
Huffington Post Russian and South Korea scientists have teamed up to recreate a woolly mammoth – a prehistoric creature that last walked the earth some 4,500 years ago. The deal was signed on Tuesday by Vasily Vasiliev, of North-Eastern Federal University of the Sakha Republic and stem cell scientist Hwang Woo-Suk of South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, AFP revealed. The team aim to get to work on thawed remains of the extinct mammal recovered after global warming thawed Siberia’s permafrost. The mammoth’s tissues are to be cloned by using eggs taken from a modern Indian elephant, the Korea Herald reported. Once the tissues have undergone a nuclear transfer process, the eggs will be implanted into the womb of a live elephant. Hwang lost face in the international scientific community in 2005 when his breakthrough human cloning research involving embryonic stem cells was found to have been faked. He is also responsible for creating the world’s first cloned dog, Snuppy, in 2005, an achievement which was independently confirmed. Last year Hwang and his team unveiled eight cloned coyotes in October last year. Sooam specialises in dog cloning, and claims: “Cloning technology is possible at Sooam for any dog no matter its age, size, and breed. Sooam not only performs dog cloning research, but we also heal the broken hearts.”
November 7, 2012 By 438 Comments
Watch this stunning documentary - as this film crew gets exclusive access to the most isolated country in Africa, which has been victorious in recent wars against not one but two superpowers. Visits to the key historical sites of a nation with a 1,200 km Red Sea coastline across from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and talking to stakeholders about massive infrastructural investment in a nation, currently the subject of UN Sanctions. Eritrea has defied Western neoliberal economic, political and cultural agendas and our cameras record the self-sufficiency experiment that has made Eritrea one of the fastest — if not the fastest — growing economy on the planet. Presenter Afshin Rattansi examines the complex issues that are at stake for Eritrea in its battle against U.S. hegemony — from its diverse religious heritage, the rebuilding of its health, education and urban/rural infrastructure to its cautious implementation of foreign investment strategy. ….
November 7, 2012 By 1 Comment
The US global missile shield is a component of the Pentagon’s strategy to encircle Eurasia and these three powers. In the first instance, this military system is aimed at establishing the nuclear primacy of the US by neutralizing any Russian or Chinese nuclear response to a US or NATO attack. The global missile shield is aimed at preventing any reaction or nuclear “second strike” by the Russians and Chinese to a nuclear “first strike” by the Pentagon.US Global Missile Shield versus Russian Naval Expansion All the new reports about branches of the US missile shield being established in other parts of the world are sensationalized in terms of the how they are portraying its geographic expansion as a new development. These reports ignore the fact that the missile shield was designed to be a global system with components strategically positioned across the world from the onset. The Pentagon had planned this in the 1990s and maybe much earlier. Japan and the Pentagon’s NATO allies have more or less been partners in the military project from the start. Years ago both the Chinese and Russians were aware of the Pentagon’s global ambitions for the missile shield and made joint statements condemning it as a destabilizing project that would disturb the global strategic balance of power. China and Russia even jointly issued multilateral statements in July 2000 with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan warning that the creation of the Pentagon’s global missile shield would work again international peace contravened the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The US government was repeatedly warned that the steps it was taking would polarize the globe with hostilities that would be reminiscent of the Cold War. The warning fell on deaf and arrogant ears. The Russians are now rebutting the Pentagon’s global missile shield through very practical steps of their own. These steps involve an expansion of their country’s presence in the high seas and an upgrade of their naval capabilities. Moscow plans on opening new naval bases outside of its home waters and outside of both the shorelines of the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The Russian Federation already has two naval bases outside of Russian territory; one is in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol in the Black Sea and the other is in the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean Sea. The Kremlin is now looking at the Caribbean Sea, South China Sea, and eastern coast of Africa (in close proximity to the Gulf of Aden) as suitable locations for new Russian bases. Cuba, Vietnam, and the Seychelles are the prime candidates to host new Russian naval bases in these waters. The Russians already had a presence in Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay until 2002. The Vietnamese port was home to the Soviets since 1979 and then hosted Russian forces after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russia also continued to have a post-Soviet military presence in Cuba until 2001 through the Lourdes intelligence signal base that monitored the US. The Kremlin is additionally developing its military infrastructure on its Arctic coast. New Arctic naval bases in the north are going to be opened. This is part of an overlap with the careful Russian strategy that includes the Arctic Circle. It is drawn with two dual functions in mind. One function is to protect Russian territorial and energy interests against NATO states in the Lomonosov Ridge. The other purpose is to serve the Russian global maritime strategy. Moscow realizes that the US and NATO want to restrictively hem in its maritime forces in the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea. US and EU moves to control and restrict Russian maritime access to Syria is an indicator of this strategic inclination and objective. The moves to strategically hem in Russian marine forces are one of the reasons that the Kremlin wants naval bases in the Caribbean, South China Sea, and eastern coast of Africa. The development of Russia’s Arctic naval infrastructure and the opening of Russian naval bases in places like Cuba, Vietnam, and the Seychelles would virtually guarantee the global presence of Russian naval forces. Russian vessels would have multiple points of entry into international waters and secure docking bases abroad. These bases will give the Russians permanent docking facilities in both the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean too. The future overseas naval bases, like the one is Syria, are not being referred to as “naval bases” by Russian officials, but by other terms. Moscow is calling them “supply points” or bases for naval logistics to make them sound far less threatening. The nomenclature does not really matter. The functions of these naval facilities, however, are for the strategic military purposes that are being outlined. The Russians at present only have permanent docking bases on their own national coastlines in the Arctic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Moreover, Russia’s naval infrastructure in the Russian Far East, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, has the greatest access to open international waters. Moscow’s naval infrastructure in the Baltic is geographically in a constrained environment and could be immobilized, like Russia’s naval infrastructure in the Black Sea, in the event of a confrontation with the US and NATO. The addition of the naval infrastructure in places like Cuba would effectively guarantee that Russia’s naval forces will have a free hand and not be hemmed in by the US and its allies. Russia’s New Nuclear Posture at Sea Historically, the mandate of the naval forces of the Russian Armed Forces has been to protect the Russian coast. Both Russia and the Soviet Union based their defensive strategies on countering a major land invasion. For this reason both the characteristics of the Russian and Soviet naval forces were always based on functions aimed at helping fight a land-based invasion. Thus, the Russian naval fleet has not been structured as an offensive attack force. This, however, is changing as part of Moscow’s reaction to the Pentagon’s strategy of encirclement. Russia, like both China and Iran, is now focusing on sea power. Russia is upgrading and expanding its nuclear naval fleet. The Russian media has referred to this as a new bid for their country’s “naval dominance.” Moscow’s aims are to establish the nuclear superiority of its naval fleet with sea-based nuclear attack capabilities. This is a direct reaction to the Pentagon’s global missile shield and the encirclement of Russia and its allies. Over fifty new warships and more than twenty new submarines will be added to the Russian fleet by 2020. About 40% of the new Russian submarines will have lethal nuclear strike capabilities. This process started after the Bush Jr. White House began taking steps to establish the US missile shield in Europe. In the last few years, Russia’s counter-measures to the US missile shield have begun to manifest themselves. Trials of Russia’s Borey class submarine in the White Sea, where the port of Archangel (Arkhangelsk) is situated, began in 2011. In the same year the development of the submarine-launched Liner ballistic nuclear missile was announced, which was said to be able to pierce through the US missile shield. A Russian submarine would secretly test the Liner from the Barents Sea in 2011. Future Cuba Missile Crisis in the Making? If an agreement is reached with Havana, there is always the possibility that Russia may deploy missiles to Cuba like the Soviets did. Speaking in the realm of the hypothetical, these Russian missiles would most probably have nuclear warheads. Simplistically, this can be portrayed as a replay of the scenario that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis between the US, Soviet Union, and Cuba in 1962. There is much more, however, to the background of this Cold War story and its causes and effects. The chief perpetrator of the Cuban Missile Crisis was the US government. The deployment of Soviet nuclear missiles to Cuba was a strategically asymmetric move to counter-balance the secret deployment of US nuclear missiles to Turkey, which targeted Soviet cities and citizens. The US government did not let its citizens know about its own nuclear missiles in Turkey that were targeting the Soviet population, because it would have led to many questions by the US public about whom the real aggressors were and what side was really at fault for the sparking of the crisis in 1962. The future deployment of Russian nukes to Cuba would likewise be a reaction to the nuclear weapons that the Pentagon is surrounding Russia and her allies with. Like in 1962, the US government would be at fault once again if nuclear missiles are deployed to Cuba and a crisis emerges. Hereto, there are only talks underway about a renewed Russian presence in Cuba. Nothing has been agreed upon in concrete terms between the governments in Havana and Moscow, and there has been no mention of deploying Russian missiles to Cuba. Any comments about Russian moves in Cuba are speculation. The nuclear upgrades that Russia is making to its navy are much more significant than any future Russian base in Cuba or elsewhere. Russia’s new nuclear naval posture actually allows it to cleverly station multiple mobile nukes around the US. In other words, Russia has “multiple Cubas” in the form of its floating mobile nuclear naval vessels that can deploy anywhere in the world. This is also why Russia is developing is naval infrastructure abroad. Russia will have the option of surrounding or flanking the United States with its own sea-based nuclear strike forces. Russia’s naval strategy cleverly is meant to counter the Pentagon’s global missile shield. Included in this process is the adoption of a pre-emptive nuclear strike policy by the Kremlin as a reaction to the aggressive pre-emptive post-Cold War nuclear strike doctrine of the Pentagon and NATO. In the same year as the test of the Liner by the Russians, the commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Karakayev, said that Russia’s inter-continental ballistic missiles would become “invisible” in the near future. The world is increasingly becoming militarized. US moves and actions are now forcing other international actors to redefine and reassess their military doctrines and strategies. Russia is merely just one of them. Source: Presstv
November 7, 2012 By 434 Comments
Editor’s Note: If it was the other way around, Israel would just go and get them.
“In absentia” trials against four senior IDF officersOn November 6, 2012, Turkey announced that a court in Istanbul will try in absentia four ex-Israeli military commanders over the IDF Freedom Flotilla raid in 2010. The Mavi Marmara was trying to break the blockade of Gaza and bring humanitarian aid to the refugees there. Nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli naval commandos (Shayetet 13), who had boarded the ship. The event caused a sharp deterioration in the relations between Turkey and Israel, which until then had been close allies. At the beginning of May 2012, Turkey’s Justice Ministry Sadullah Ergin finished his probe on the affair and requested information from the country’s Foreign Ministry on several IDF soldiers; a fact reported by the Turkish Today’s Zaman. On May 24, it was made public that criminal charges had been laid by Turkey against four IDF officers, demanding life sentences. Among the indictments were “inciting murder through cruelty or torture” (see Criminal Charges Placed against IDF General Ashkenazi). The accusations target the IDF upper echelon. The list is led by former IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi; the others are the ex-naval chief Admiral Eliezer Marom, the former head of military intelligence Major General Amos Yadlin, and the former head of the air force Major General Avishai Lev. Over 500 people will give testimony during the trials, most of them passengers who were aboard during the event. There is no question about the events; all the facts are acknowledged also by the IDF and the UN; both published reports on the violent event. The UN inquiry said that Israel’s decision to board the ship and the use of substantial force was “excessive and unreasonable.” Yet, considering the videos of the event, the UN asessment looks unreasonably soft towards Israel. Heavily armed commando soldiers attacked and killed people armed with little more than improvised sticks. Moreover, on June 13, 2012, Israel State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss published his report on the Israeli government’s behavior in the event. Prime Minister Netanyahu turned out to be rather clumsy and incompetent to the extent of causing an unnecessary disaster. In the words of the comptroller: “The decision making process regarding the dealings with the Turkish flotilla led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and under his responsibility was found to include essential and significant flaws” (see Netanyahu Found Guilty by State Comptroller). One could expect Turkey to make use of the Israeli reports and place charges also against Mr. Netanyahu. However, this is not posible. On February 15, 2002, the International Court of Justice halted a Belgian attempt to try Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Lebanon in 1982 when he was Israel’s Minister of Defense, ruling that serving ministers are protected from prosecution. Thus, Turkey chose to center its efforts on the responsible IDF officers. Nuremberg Trials “In absentia” is Latin for “in the absence;” a phrase which refers to a trial at which the defendant is not physically present. Turkey decided to conduct the trials in such a fashion because the four officers are in Israel and there is no chance the latter will allow them to be present at the event. Such trials are widely considered as violations since the defendant cannot answer the charges. This explains the rapid Israeli reaction; on the same day the trials were announced, the Israeli embassy in Ankara called them a “unilateral political act with no judicial credibility.” One could almost be tricked to support the Israeli position on this, but then one remembers two classes of events in which Israel clearly supported trials in absentia. Despite preceding Israel, the latter obviously accepts the process known as the Nuremberg Trials. These were a series of military tribunals, held by World War II Allied forces, of prominent Nazi Germany leaders. They were held in the city of Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, in 1945–46. One of the defendants, Martin Bormann, was tried in absentia, and sentenced to death; he had been the successor to Hess as Nazi Party Secretary. His body was found only in 1972; it is claimed that he died in 1945. An indirect testimony of the Israeli acceptance of the Nuremberg Trials is that Israel conducted similarly problematic trials. The Nazis and Nazi Collaborators Punishment Law (Hok Le’Asiat Din BaNatzim) from August 1, 1950, legalizes the execution of Nazis. Between 1950 and 1961, this law was used to prosecute 29 Jewish Holocaust survivors alleged to have been Nazi collaborators. The first and only time it was used to execute a person was in the Adolf Eichmann case. He was illegally kidnapped by Mossad from Argentina in 1960 and two years later was hanged. What makes this a special event from a legal point of view is that this law is a retroactive and extraterritorial law since the State of Israel didn’t exist during WWII. Moreover, the alleged crimes were neither committed in Israel nor against Israeli citizens. An ex post facto law (Latin for “after the fact”), or retroactive law, is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of actions committed prior to the enactment of the law. Such laws are expressly forbidden by the United States Constitution, though some countries accept them. They cannot be accepted as fair practice, regardless of the justifications used for their approval. Simply, how can one protect oneself against a law that has not been legislated? Years later, it was used to harass Ivan Demjanjuk (see Western Psikhushka Killed Demjanjuk). This is enough to render worthless Israel’s protest against the trials in Turkey. Yet, there is another issue. A topic which is often reported by Israeli media and that has never been denied by Israel, is its endless appetite for extrajudicial executions. I expanded on that in Scary Sicarii: Israeli Extrajudicial Executions, but the pattern is clear. A person is declared “undesirable” by the military establishment, it is specifically targeted, and assassinated. No trial is held, no chance is given to the victim to defend himself. Similarly distressing, are detentions held without legal process, since Israel claims that its officials possess precognition powers. They can detain someone on the grounds that he is about to commit a crime (see Minority Report: IDF arrests Palestinian prisoner released in Shalit swap). These cases show that Israel does not recognize the rule of law. It is a lawless, savage society. The victims of the Freedom Flotilla raid cannot find justice. The performance of similar crimes in the future cannot be deterred. In this context the Turkish reaction can be understood, despite being based on a problematic legal principle. Israel’s Nuremberg Trials are about to begin. Source: roitov.com
The current unravelling of the suddenly repellant BBC television presenter, Sir Jimmy Savile’s reputation provides the opportunity for much greater revelations… If you’re not in Britain, there’s a chance haven’t followed the Jimmy case, where Savile’s comic mug adorns practically every front page. Sir Jimmy died late last year, following a six decades-long career in the public eye. Savile began in radio, broadcasting from the famed “pirate radio” ship, Radio Luxembourg in the late 1950′s. From there, Savile went into television, hosting the iconic, ‘Top of the Pops,’ and later the child’s wish fulfillment program, ‘Jim’ll Fix It.’ Children and young adults were the common feature throughout Jimmy Savile’s career, and his personal life. In his off hours, he spent time travelling around to children’s hospitals and care homes, where his charity work garnered millions of pounds for various institutions, and provided him special access to, what we now discover was, an endless supply of victims. Sir Jimmy was a serial paedophile, preying on both boys and girls, (and adults too where he could manage it) to satisfy his sexual perversion.