Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Patrolling the South Pacific

After departing from Samoa, the U.S. war fleet encountered a bit of bad weather that slowed them down and nearly caused the grounding of the mission before it had started. A slight detour to New Zealand was required before the fleet could again turn west and head for port.

"Australia has kept the Great Barrier Reef from being listed as endangered, a win for the government, which had sought to avert the embarrassment of an endangered designation for the world’s largest reef system, so big it can be seen from space. It also comes as mining companies including Adani Enterprises are moving ahead with plans to expand a coal port near the reef."

What AmeriKan war commanders failed to realize was they were also being shadowed by a new fleet of Chinese "Shark" submarines. They rose to the surface as the U.S. fleet approached Indonesia, and U.S. commanders heard what they thought were the sounds of a missile launch. 

They returned fire, and....

"All 113 aboard killed as military plane crashes in Indonesia" globe wire reports   June 30, 2015

MEDAN, Indonesia — The death toll from the crash of an air force transport plane in the Indonesian city of Medan rose to 141 on Wednesday, indicating a growing list of victims from the neighborhood where the plane went down.

Wow, who wanted to rid of an enemy or a worrisome or quarrelsome figure?

North Sumatra police Major A. Tarigan told TVOne that 141 bodies have been recovered from the rubble of a residential neighborhood where the plane crashed shortly after takeoff on Tuesday.

Sumatra. That's where the big ape is from.

The air force said there were 122 people on the plane including military personnel and their families.

The crash of the C-130 Hercules, which had been in service since 1964, occurred only two minutes after it took off from Soewondo air force base in Medan, a city of 2 million on the island of Sumatra. The plane plowed into a building that local media said contained shops and homes.

Witnesses said the plane was shooting flames and smoke before crashing. 

Seems innocuous enough, except I no longer trust any official version of any plane crash anymore.

Images carried on local television and posted online showed onlookers gathered around burning buildings at the scene of the crash, with ambulances and fire trucks trying to make their way through the crowd.

Air Chief Marshal Agus Supriatna said the pilot had asked for permission to return to base, he said.

The plane was making a routine flight, with multiple stops scheduled.

The Indonesian Air Force has had five other plane crashes over the past 10 years, with 155 people killed, according to the Aviation Safety Network website. The deadliest was the 2009 crash of a C-130 near Madiun in East Java that killed 95 passengers and crew members and two people on the ground.

Indonesia has a troubled history of air safety, including several crashes in and around Medan. In 2005, a Boeing 737-200 operated by Mandala Airlines, a low-cost carrier, overran a runway during a failed takeoff there, killing 100 passengers and crew members and 49 people on the ground.

An Airbus A300 flown by Garuda Indonesia crashed on approach to Medan in 1997, killing 234 people. Miscommunication between the pilots and air traffic control and a thick haze caused by forest fires were blamed in that crash. In December, Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed in the Java Sea on a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 passengers and crew members aboard.


One plane that did make it:

"Japanese grandfather gets life term in Indonesia drug case" Associated Press  May 21, 2015

PARIAMAN, Indonesia — A Japanese man who says he was deceived into carrying someone else’s bag on a flight into Indonesia was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for smuggling methamphetamine into the country.

Masaru Kawada, 73, was arrested in November at Minangkabau Airport in West Sumatra’s capital, Padang, after customs officials found 5.2 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in his luggage.

A three-judge panel at the District Court in Pariaman found Kawada guilty, saying his deed weakened the government’s struggle against drugs.

‘‘We found no reason to lighten his sentence,’’ said presiding judge Jon Effreddi.

Chief state prosecutor Budi Prihalda said they recommended a light sentence of 16 years because of the defendant’s age. Kawada’s lawyer said they would appeal.

Kawada, who flew to Padang from Macau via Kuala Lumpur, said he had checked the bag and did not find anything suspicious. He only realized he was carrying methamphetamine when customs officials arrested him, he said.


Good thing they aren't Malaysian planes:

"Malaysian leader may face criminal charges over fund" Associated Press  July 06, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s prime minister is facing the risk of criminal charges over allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were funneled from an indebted state fund to his personal bank accounts, the first time a Malaysian leader has faced criminal allegations.

The country’s attorney general confirmed late Saturday that he had received documents from an official investigation that made the link between Prime Minister Najib Razak and the investment fund 1MDB. The existence of the documents was first reported by The Wall Street Journal’s Asia edition on Friday, showing some $700 million were wired from entities linked to the fund into Najib’s accounts.

The documents sent to the attorney general pave the way for possible criminal charges.

It is one of the worst political crises for Najib, who has come under increasing criticism over his leadership.

Najib, who has denied taking any money for personal gains, said Sunday that he would consult with his lawyers to decide his next course of action on the ‘‘malicious accusations’’ against him.

‘‘It’s damning and disastrous for Najib,’’ said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who heads the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs think-tank.

‘‘This is really uncharted territory in Malaysian politics. For the first time ever, we are seeing a prime minister facing the possibility of a criminal charge,’’ he said.

1MDB, set up by Najib in 2009 to develop new industries, has accumulated $11.1 billion (42 billion ringit) in debt after its energy ventures abroad faltered. Critics, led by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, have voiced concerns about 1MDB’s massive debt and alleged lack of transparency.

End print. 

The Wall Street Journal report said five deposits were made into Najib’s accounts and that the two largest transactions, worth $620 million and $61 million, were done in March 2013 ahead of general elections.

Najib slammed the report as part of a ‘‘political sabotage’’ by Mahathir to remove him. Mahathir, who stepped down in 2003 after 22 years in power but has remained an influential political figure, has been leading calls for Najib to step down.

1MDB said it had never provided any funds to Najib.

Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, however, said a task force investigating 1MDB for alleged impropriety had given him papers ‘‘including documents related to allegations of fund transfer into the account of the prime minister.’’

Abdul Gani said the task force raided offices of three companies linked to 1MDB that were allegedly involved in the fund transfer. He didn’t give further details on the documents or say what actions would be taken.

Najib’s deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, said the allegations must be investigated because they tarnish Najib’s credibility and integrity. Opposition lawmakers have said Najib should go on leave and also declare his assets.

Home Minister Zahid Hamidi said the allegations against Najib were ‘‘reckless’’ and ‘‘bordering on criminal offenses’’ because they were based on unverified documents. He warned that police would ‘‘not hesitate to use the full force of the law against those who attempt to harm Malaysia’s economy and our democratic process.’’

‘‘Even if nothing comes up from the investigation, the damage to Najib’s reputation has been done. The pressure for him to step down will increase,’’ said Wan Saiful, the head of the think-tank.

Najib, the son of a former prime minister, took over the premiership in 2009. He has fought criticism over his management of the economy, and being implicated in the murder of a Mongolian model nine years ago. Najib has said he had nothing to do with the model, and two security officers linked to Najib at the time were found guilty of her murder.


"Malaysian leader fires prominent critic" Associated Press  July 29, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Prime Minister Najib Razak, stung by allegations that he received some $700 million in government money, fired the attorney general who had been investigating him on Tuesday and a deputy who has been among his most prominent critics.

How Nixonian.

Najib is under increasing pressure over leaked confidential documents that allegedly show the money, from state investment fund 1MDB, went into his personal accounts.

Najib announced over national television that his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin will be replaced by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a Cabinet member who will also retain his home minister portfolio. Earlier Tuesday, the government announced it had terminated the services of Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail.

Najib said he also dropped four other ministers to strengthen his administration and ensure they can ‘‘work as a team.’’

‘‘I can accept differences in opinion and criticisms as part of the decision-making process, but these differences in opinion should not be made in an open forum that can affect public perception of the government and the country,’’ he said.

Critics slammed Gani’s abrupt removal and cast it as an attempt by Najib to avoid prosecution.

‘‘The purge commences. The attorney general is replaced. Any flicker of hope that the prime minister might be charged for misdeeds is extinguished,’’ opposition lawmaker Tony Pua tweeted.

Wow. Malaysian politics are rough.


That nearly gets us out into the Indian Ocean, and that's a different theater of war. Time to head north. This cruise is over.

NDU: Object under investigation for link to Malaysian plane 

They actually think that is going to fly?

My feeling on the matter is the plane was hijacked in some way and then dumped into a field in the Ukraine to try and get war with Russia really rolling.

Also see: Linking debris to missing jetliner may take a week

UPDATETJX to buy a 35-store Australian chain

Also seeIndonesia cites resetting of circuit breaker in 2014 AirAsia crash