Thursday, July 6, 2017

Korean ICBM Claim is Crap

And I fell for it:

"US vows tougher action on North Korea" by Choe Sang-Hun and Rick Gladstone New York Times  July 06, 2017

SEOUL — The United States responded Wednesday to North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test by conducting a rare joint missile exercise with South Korea and pushing to impose tougher United Nations sanctions against the North that would affect trading partners like China.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley, told an emergency meeting of the Security Council that North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile Tuesday was a “clear escalation.”

Haley said the United States was working on a Security Council draft resolution that “raises the international response” to North Korea’s repeated missile and nuclear tests. The sanctions to date, she said, “have been insufficient.”

She did not specify what the resolution would do or when it might be ready for a vote. But she alluded to punishments including a complete cutoff of North Korea’s access to international currency markets, severe restrictions on high-level North Korean officials, and, in a reference to China, penalties for “any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime.” 

I didn't think it could get any worse after Power down there, but remarkably, it has.

The top US general in South Korea said Wednesday that “self-restraint” was all that was keeping the United States and South Korea from going to war with the North.

The unusually blunt warning, from General Vincent K. Brooks, commander of US troops based in Seoul, came as the South’s defense minister indicated that the North’s missile had the potential to reach Hawaii.

“Self-restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war,” Brooks said, referring to the 1953 cease-fire that halted but never officially ended the Korean War. “As this alliance missile live-fire shows, we are able to change our choice when so ordered by our alliance national leaders.

“It would be a grave mistake for anyone to believe anything to the contrary.”

Although doubts remained about whether North Korea had cleared all the technical hurdles to make the Hwasong-14 a fully functional ICBM, the launch prompted the United States and South Korea to conduct a joint missile exercise off the east coast of South Korea on Wednesday. The drill involved firing an undisclosed number of ballistic missiles into the sea.

What? There were not any yesterday. In fact, the pre$$ twisted itself into knots making sure it read straight. 

President Moon Jae-in of South Korea asked President Trump on Tuesday night to endorse the joint exercise, arguing that the allies needed to respond to the North’s provocation with “more than statements,” Moon’s office said.

The South Korean military said the missiles, which had a range of about 185 miles, had been fired to test their ability to launch “a precision strike at the enemy leadership” in case of war. It did not say how far the missiles had traveled.

Some would call that a threatened assassination, but I'm trying to cool things down.

Japan’s chief Cabinet secretary, Yoshihide Suga, said Wednesday that Japan and the United States had agreed to take “specific actions to improve our defense systems and our ability to deter North Korea.”

Suga did not say what those actions were, but a spokesman for the Defense Ministry said the government was considering buying ballistic missile defense systems from the United States.


More fear for war profiteering if nothing else. 

Meanwhile, Trump criticized China on Wednesday for failing to do more to pressure North Korea on its nuclear program, suggesting that he was reevaluating the US trade relationship with Beijing.

Still dissing China, 'eh?

The propaganda battle between the Koreas escalated Wednesday, even as Asian stock markets appeared to shrug off the latest tensions.

The North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, said the missile test was intended to “slap the American bastards in their face” and was a Fourth of July “gift package” for the “Yankees.”

That's if the translation is correct.

Speaking to the South Korean National Assembly on Wednesday, the defense minister, Han Min-koo, said that although the Hwasong-14 was developed as an intercontinental missile, it was still too early to determine whether North Korea had mastered long-range missile technology, especially the reentry ability that allows an ICBM’s warhead section to survive the intense heat and destruction of its outer shell as it plunges from space through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Han said an ICBM warhead section must endure a heat of 7,000 degrees Celsius, or 12,630 degrees Fahrenheit, while hurtling toward Earth at a speed of at least Mach 21, or 4.5 miles per second. The North Korean missile’s maximum velocity was “far below” that, Han said, casting doubt that the missile was put through a proper atmospheric reentry test.

He added that the real test was whether the warhead section “performed its military function” after it reentered the atmosphere.

Oh, dear Lord, I was lied to again.

The North also said its missile was capable of carrying a “large-sized heavy nuclear warhead.” Some analysts say that North Korea is probably still years away from developing a nuclear warhead small and light enough to fit into a long-range rocket that could reach the continental United States.....

That's what they said yesterday after the surprise launch, and the intel was allegedly wrong again.



Is Korea the distraction and diversion from the G-20?


Get under the umbrella:

"European nuclear weapons program would be legal, German review finds" by Max Fisher New York Times   July 06, 2017

The assessment provides a legal framework for such a plan. Britain or France, it finds, could legally base nuclear warheads on German soil.

The document states that “President Trump and his contradictory statements on NATO” have led to fears “that the US could reduce its nuclear commitment” to Europe.

While the review is only an endorsement of the plan’s legality — not a determination to take action — it is the first indication that such an idea has escalated from informal discussion to official policy-making channels.

Alarming, isn't it?

Few analysts believe that Germany or the European Union are on the verge of pursuing a replacement nuclear umbrella. Most German officials still oppose such a plan, which would face steep public opposition and diplomatic hurdles. Even proponents consider it a last resort.

Nonetheless, analysts say, the review indicates the growing seriousness with which Germany is preparing for the possible loss of US guarantees that have safeguarded and united European allies since World War II.

While few are convinced Germany could overcome its taboo against nuclear weapons anytime soon, the existence of the assessment suggests that under pressure from Trump and growing Russian aggression, the taboo has eroded to an extent.....


The talk of nuclear war is really worrying me, as if they are preparing the public for the event.

"Aides’ biggest worry on Trump’s Europe trip: Putin meeting" by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Glenn Thrush New York Times  July 05, 2017

WASHINGTON — The highly anticipated conversation with Putin on Friday is also a diplomatic and political risk for Trump.

Trump’s team said he might bring up Russia’s documented meddling in the 2016 election, but he is unlikely to dwell on it: Doing so would emphasize doubts about the legitimacy of his election. Aides expect him to focus on Syria, including creating safe zones, fighting the Islamic State group, and confronting Putin’s unwillingness to stop the government of President Bashar Assad from using chemical weapons against civilians.

Yeah, who knows?

Trump’s meeting with Putin is one of several charged encounters he will face in Hamburg.

After North Korea’s announcement Tuesday that it had successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile, his planned huddle with President Xi Jinping of China took on greater significance, as Trump bristles at Beijing’s refusal to do more to confront the nuclear threat from North Korea and weighs his limited options for acting alone. He is also planning private discussions with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea that are certain to center on the North’s continued provocations.

But the political stakes could not be higher for Trump in his meeting with Putin, as lawmakers in both parties press him to stand tough.

“Let’s be clear: The Russians interfered in our election and helped elect Donald Trump president,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. “There is a serious, ongoing criminal investigation into this matter. And President Trump must refrain from any unilateral concessions to Russia.”

Yeah, they are weak, and this now conventional myth turned narrative regarding Russian interference in the election. 

So Obama just stood aside and let the Russians elect Trump, huh? Wow.


Also see:

Almost every state resists Trump’s voter fraud commission
Voter advocates challenge state’s registration deadline
White House gender pay gap more than triples under Trump
Trump tweet leads to ratings bump for ‘Morning Joe’

And on the eve of the summit.....

"Japan and the European Union are working against the clock ahead of a Group of 20 meeting in Hamburg....."

It's almost Doomsday.

"A former Morgan Stanley dealmaker in Paris told an employment tribunal that the lender unfairly withheld $1.5 million in deferred pay a year after he raked in more than $100 million in fees while advising Patrick Drahi on a $23 billion acquisition. Bernard Mourad told judges Monday that the New York-based bank used an incentive plan to deny him a bonus he earned at Morgan Stanley France before he left to work for Drahi in 2015. Lawyers for the bank countered that Mourad knew the compensation scheme was designed to reward loyalty tied to continued presence at the firm."

Also see:

EU court says pilots can be forced to retire at 65

Uber suffers another setback in Europe

"Foreign-exchange host accused of molesting girl kills self" AP  July 05, 2017

MIAMI — A man accused of molesting an underage foreign-exchange student killed himself Tuesday, days after being released from a Florida jail.

Dale Leary, 50, was found dead in a car parked in the backyard of his home near Miami. His 47-year-old ex-wife, Claudia Leary — found unconscious in the car next to him — was taken to a hospital.

Investigators found an apparent suicide note nearby.

The Miami Herald reported police arrested Leary and his 21-year-old second wife on a sex-related charge last month.

Authorities say Dale and Claudia Leary had hosted the second wife when she was a foreign-exchange student from Spain from 2012 to 2014. Days after she turned 18, the exchange student married Dale Leary, who divorced Claudia Leary in 2014.

Investigators arrested Dale Leary and his second wife last month on sex charges, saying the two had lured the wife’s 14-year-old sister to Miami and manipulated her into participating in sex acts and pornographic photo shoots.

According to investigators, Claudia Leary had remained a part of their lives.


"Burned police cars, wide no-protest zone presage G-20 summit" by David Rising Associated Press  July 05, 2017

HAMBURG, Germany — President Trump was met with thousands of protesters when he arrived at meetings in Brussels in May. But with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joining him at the Group of 20 meetings in Germany this week, Trump is unlikely to be the only target for demonstrators.

Add India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and other leaders whose policies have sparked unrest to the cauldron that is Hamburg — the summit venue is a short walk from a notorious hotbed of left-wing protest — and the brew could prove explosive. 

So what ISIS false flag has been scheduled? Security on alerts so I suppose there is no harm in the crisis drill going live.

‘‘We are calling on the world to make Hamburg a focal point of the resistance against the old and new capitalist authorities,’’ said the radical leftist organizers.

Yeah, I dismiss the left now and the fact that the pre$$ is putting the focus on them confirms their controlled opposition status. This will also provide distraction from what is going on inside, so it will serve that purpose as well.

In the weeks leading up to the summit, police cars have been burned and train lines have been sabotaged. Authorities in Hamburg and the nearby city of Rostock have confiscated improvised weapons such as fire-extinguishers filled with flammable liquid, baseball bats, and other items in several raids. 

I so reject all that, and it shows they are exactly what I said. Probably Gladio teams screwing with the Germans.

‘‘We have to assume that this is only a tiny percentage of what is still in basements and garages in and around Hamburg,’’ Hamburg police criminal director Jan Hieber said.

I guess you will have to search every house, huh? Who knew Hitler was still running the show?

The ‘‘Welcome to Hell’’ demonstration is just one of dozens of protests that have been registered under a smorgasbord of themes — including a far-right pro-Trump rally — with more than 100,000 demonstrators from across Europe and beyond expected to take part.

My hell is between 6 am and 8 am every day, and then it continues here. Less focus on that other rally though.

Officials estimate that some 8,000 protesters from Europe’s violent left-wing scene to be on hand and have been tracking known activists coming in from Scandinavia, Switzerland, Italy, and elsewhere, Hamburg Police Chief Ralf Martin Meyer said.

‘‘This isn’t about sit-ins,’’ Meyer said.

In a preview of what could come, police clashed in Hamburg with hundreds of protesters Tuesday night, using pepper spray and water cannons to control the crowd.

This is in the "free" West!

Most protesters aren’t violent and see the gathering as an opportunity to highlight their messages with the world watching and in hopes the assembled leaders will listen. 

They are not, and that was one reason I used to do do this. Not anymore. I do this now simply as a public service and duty to my readers.

Still, security officials are preparing for the worst, drawing upon decades of experience dealing with violent May Day demonstrations and other protests at major events.....

Therefore, if something happens, it is utter failure..... again!


Other certain reminders are sure to enter into the narrative, I'm sure.


"The agency that regulates the US nuclear industry will not fine a Canadian uranium mining company for twice spilling low-level radioactive sludge outside a Utah waste disposal facility, giving the company credit for efforts to prevent the problem from recurring....."

Is Canada part of the G20?

"Government supporters storm Venezuela congress, injuring lawmakers" by Joshua Goodman Associated Press  July 05, 2017

CARACAS — Progovernment militias wielding wooden sticks and metal bars stormed congress Wednesday and began attacking opposition lawmakers during a special session coinciding with Venezuela’s independence day.

Four lawmakers were injured. One of them, Americo de Grazia, had to be taken in a stretcher to an ambulance suffering from convulsions, said a fellow congressman.

‘‘This doesn’t hurt as much as watching how every day how we lose a little bit more of our country,’’ Armando Arias said from inside an ambulance as he was being treated for head wounds that spilled blood across his clothes.

The attack, in plain view of national guardsmen assigned to protect the legislature, comes amid three months of often violent confrontations between security forces and protesters who accuse the government of trying to establish a dictatorship by jailing foes, pushing aside the opposition-controlled legislature, and rewriting the constitution to avoid fair elections.

Tensions were already high after Vice President Tareck El Aissami made an unannounced morning visit to the legislature, accompanied by top government and military officials, for an event celebrating independence day.

El Aissami said global powers are once again trying to subjugate Venezuela.

‘‘We still haven’t finished definitively breaking the chains of the empire,’’ El Aissami said, adding that President Nicolas Maduro’s plans to rewrite the constitution — a move the opposition sees as a power-grab — offers Venezuela the best chance to be truly independent.

He's right. The attempted overthrow of Maduro has received spotty coverage in the Globe as he clings to power and forestalls a coup. Venezuela has loads of oil, and it would be a good gas pump in the event of a world war.

Despite the violence, lawmakers approved a plan by the opposition to hold a symbolic referendum that would give voters the chance to reject Maduro’s plans to draft a new political charter. Maduro condemned the Wednesday violence, calling for an investigation.

The clash followed Tuesday’s appearance of a 5-minute video posted by a former police inspector who allegedly stole a helicopter and fired on two government buildings last week.

Oscar Perez, seeking rebellion among the security forces, said that he had abandoned the helicopter along the coast and was ready for the ‘‘second phase’’ of his campaign to free his homeland from what he called the corrupt rule of Maduro and his ‘‘assassin’’ allies.

That one-day wonder made me want to cry.



"Calls for probe after Syrians die in Lebanese custody" Associated Press  July 05, 2017

BEIRUT — Anger mounted among Syrians in Lebanon on Wednesday as a Syrian opposition group and an international watchdog called for a quick investigation into the deaths of four Syrians in Lebanese army custody.

The four were detained in a sweeping security raid last week in refugee settlements in and around the border town of Arsal that netted 355 Syrians. The town and the surrounding area were the scene of a major cross-border attack in 2014, when a number of Lebanese soldiers were abducted.

Was that the one that caught fire?

None of the detained Syrians have been charged so far. During the raids, at least four Syrians detonated explosive vests, killing a Syrian girl and wounding seven Lebanese soldiers.

In Arsal on Wednesday, Syrian refugees blocked a road to prevent the return of the bodies of the four for burial, demanding that autopsies take place first, but the town mayor ordered they be taken to the local cemetery, a refugee from the Syrian town of Qusayr said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of his precarious legal status in Lebanon.

According to photos seen by the Associated Press, two of the bodies showed heavy bruising on the face and abdomen — which human rights lawyer Nabil Halabi said was consistent with beatings.

A third body was missing the head, another photo showed.

Mayor Bassil Hujeiri denied interfering with the ambulances, insisting the army controls traffic in and out of Arsal.

Initially, the military was praised in the media for the raids but Syrian activists raised allegations of abuse after photographs surfaced showing the detainees with their faces to the ground, many bare-chested and handcuffed.

As an AmeriKan citizen, my government has taken the right of criticism away from me.

The army over the weekend dismissed allegations of abuse, saying mass detentions were necessary to combat terrorism.

Can't argue with that!

A military statement on Tuesday said the four Syrians who died had chronic conditions that deteriorated because of soaring summer temperatures.

They were transferred to a hospital for medical treatment immediately after their arrest on Friday but died before they could be interrogated, the army said.

Maybe they committed suicide?


I'm sure they would have been welcomed in Cambridge.


"Some 300 Islamic State fighters remain in the small 600-square-yard patch of territory in Mosul....."

The fires must have gone out.

"Israel and India launched a technology fund Wednesday aimed at growing the countries’ business relationship, and signed seven accords boosting cooperation in areas ranging from space research to water and agriculture. The Israel India Innovation Initiative Fund, or I4F, was announced during an unprecedented visit to Israel by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is looking for military and other technologies as he seeks to move his country aggressively into the digital age. Israel, whose export-focused economy relies heavily on technology, is eager to penetrate India’s market of 1.3 billion citizens. Trade between the countries has grown from about $200 million in 1992, when they established diplomatic ties, to nearly $4.2 billion last year, according to figures from Israel’s Economy Ministry."


Time for taps:

Police Officer Is Shot and Killed in ‘Unprovoked Attack’ in New York City

Police seeking armed and dangerous fugitive after W. Mass. slaying, shooting

Pops fireworks broadcast fizzles with some TV viewers 

I heard it was quite a show.

Follow the red-brick road

Leads to Taylor Swift's house.

Mindy Kaling shares her Improper cover

What’s behind the multiple pens at signing ceremonies?

Just end up in the trash anyway.

Decision due Friday on fund to pay health care for ALS patients

‘A huge win for biology’

Top cancer doctors are more likely to be excluded from low-cost insurance plans

Look out, your town may switch you to a ‘greener’ energy plan

But you can pay by bitcoin.