Archive for November 2013
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the deal, saying it had made the world “a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world has taken a significant step toward attaining the most dangerous weapon in the world”.
Most of his senior ministers responded in a similar vein. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: “When you see the smiles of the Iranians in Geneva, you realise this is the Iranians’ greatest victory, maybe since the Khomeini revolution.”
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett warned: “If in another five or six years, a nuclear suitcase explodes in New York or Madrid, it will be because of this agreement.” [Note: Perhaps Western intelligence should consider this a veiled, false flag threat!]
Ms Livni adopted a more conciliatory tone towards the international community, however, saying: “We have to act resolutely now with the US and our allies to try to improve positions towards the next agreement.”
Israel’s main problem with the agreement is that it gives the Iranians some sanctions relief while not dismantling any of their capabilities to enrich uranium or develop nuclear-related components.
Despite that, the chorus of condemnation was by no means uniform.
In a statement on Sunday, Mr Peres said: “This is an interim agreement, not a permanent one. Its value will be judged on its results and not on words alone.” He added that “Israelis prefer a diplomatic solution over any other”.
Former commander of IDF Intelligence Branch, Major-General (ret) Amos Yadlin, was also positive.
- Deal with Iran “a historic mistake,” Netanyahu says (jta.org)
- Israeli Leaders Echo Netanyahu Doubts Over Interim Iran Deal (thetower.org)
- Netanyahu vows to banish ‘darkness’ of Iran nuclear program… (timesofisrael.com)
- Where does the Iranian nuclear deal leave Binyamin Netanyahu? (theguardian.com)
- Hard-Line Iranian Politicians Slam Nuclear Deal (eurasiareview.com)
China vs. Japan-U.S. Alliance: China Flies Warplanes Over Disputed East China Sea After Moving Aircraft Carrier There
(Reuters) – The United States pledged support for ally Japan on Wednesday in a growing dispute with China over islands in the East China Sea and senior U.S. administration officials accused Beijing of behavior that had unsettled its neighbors.
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel assured his Japanese counterpart in a phone call that the two nations’ defense pact covered the small islands where China established a new airspace defense zone last week and commended Tokyo “for exercising appropriate restraint,” a Pentagon spokesman said.
China’s declaration raised the stakes in a territorial standoff between Beijing and Tokyo over the area, which includes the tiny uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
The United States defied China’s demand that airplanes flying near the islands identify themselves to Chinese authorities, flying two unarmed B-52 bombers over the islands on Tuesday without informing Beijing.
It was a sharp reminder to China that the United States still maintains a large military presence in the region despite concerns among U.S. allies that President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” strategy has borne little fruit.
In a previously announced trip, Vice President Joe Biden will visit China, Japan and South Korea next week. He will seek to ease tensions heightened by China’s declaration, senior administration officials said.
Defiant flights: Japan, S. Korea military planes fly into China’s air defense zone
Key American allies in East Asia, Japan and South Korea, have followed US lead by sending military aircraft to fly through disputed airspace, which China unilaterally included last week in its air defense zone.
Tokyo and Seoul sent its aircraft into the disputed areas following a similar flight on Monday by two unarmed American B-52 bombers. Neither country informed the Chinese of their plans beforehand, stressing their defiance of Beijing’s claim over the airspace.
China announced last week that it now considers new airspace as part of its Air Defense Identification Zone and demanded that aircraft passing it notify Chinese authorities of their flight plans and identify themselves as they pass. The claimed zones include those over islands, the sovereignty over which China contests other nations.
Japanese military said Tuesday that it sent surveillance missions over the islands in the South China Sea, which are called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
“They are carrying out surveillance activity as before in the East China Sea, including the zone,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference.
The area is routinely patrolled by Japanese naval ships and P-3C aircraft, Suga said.
“We are not going to change this [activity] out of consideration to China,” he stressed.
Meanwhile South Korean forces flew over the Socotra Rock in the Yellow Sea, the northern part of the South China Sea. Both South Korea and China consider it to be within their respective exclusive economic zones and call it Ieodo and Suyan Rock respectively.
The Philippines, also engaged in a dispute with Beijing over islands, said it also was rejecting China’s declaration.
- Defying China, U.S. aircraft fly over East China Sea without notification (news.yahoo.com)
- U.S. aircraft fly over East China Sea without informing China (reuters.com)
- China Issues Subdued Response To US Overflights In East China Sea (albanytribune.com)
- China’s behavior has been unsettling to neighbors: U.S. officials (reuters.com)
- US Warplanes Defy Chinese Air Defense Zone (voanews.com)
- China looms over U.S.-Japan drills (edition.cnn.com)
- China looms large over U.S.-Japan wargames (cnn.com)
- U.S. warns airlines flying over East China Sea (worldbulletin.net)
Mysterious Coincidences? Like Japan’s Fukushima, Iran’s Nuclear Facility in Bushehr Hit With Earthquake 3 Times This Year!
For the safety of mankind, it might be time to investigate non-natural (manmade) causes of Iran‘s and Japan‘s earthquakes, especially given that right before Fukushima, Japan had offered to help Iran with its nuclear facility.
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake has hit an area some 62km northeast of Bushehr, where Iran has a nuclear power plant, the US Geological Survey said. The powerful earthquake has killed seven and injured a further 30, IRNA state news agency reported.
Tremors were registered at a depth of 16.4 kilometers and some 14 kilometers from the nearest city of Borazjan in Bushehr Province.
There are no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
Bushehr, Iran’s only power-producing nuclear reactor, suffered damage caused by earthquakes which struck Iran in April and May. Cracks of several meters long reportedly appeared in at least one section of the structure, according to diplomats from countries monitoring Iran’s nuclear program, cited by AP.
- BREAKING NEWS: 5.6 earthquake hits Iran’s Bushehr province (NUCLEAR PLANT AREA) (lunaticoutpost.com)
- Magnitude 5.6 quake strikes Iran’s Bushehr region – USGS (dailystar.com.lb)
- Quake strikes Iran’s Bushehr region (worldbulletin.net)
- Very dangerous earthquake near Borazjan, Iran (earthquake-report.com)
- Earthquake Strikes Town in Iran Near Nuclear Plant (abcnews.go.com)
- Magnitude 5.6 Quake Strikes Iran’s Bushehr Region: USGS (nytimes.com)
- Earthquake strikes town in Iran near nuclear plant (nzherald.co.nz)
- Earthquake strikes town in Iran near nuclear plant (foxnews.com)
Flashback Palm Sunday March 21, 1937: U.S. Gov’t Massacres 17 Unarmed Puerto Rican Protesters, Including Innocent Bystanders
The Ponce massacre was the largest massacre in Puerto Rican history.
It occurred on Palm Sunday, 21 March 1937, when a peaceful civilian march in Ponce, Puerto Rico, turned into a police slaughter that killed 19 Puerto Ricans and wounded over 200 others. The march had been organized by the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico by the governing Spanish National Assembly in 1873. The march was also protesting the U.S. government’s imprisonment of the party’s leader, Pedro Albizu Campos, on alleged sedition charges.
An investigation by the Hays Commission put the blame squarely on the U.S.-appointed Governor of Puerto Rico, Blanton Winship. Further criticism by members of the U.S. Congress led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to remove Winship in 1939 as governor. Governor Winship was never prosecuted for the massacre. No one under his chain of command – including the police who took part in the event, and admitted to the mass shooting – was ever prosecuted or reprimanded.
Several days before the scheduled Palm Sunday march, the Nationalists had received legal permits for a peaceful protest from José Tormos Diego, the mayor of Ponce. According to a 1926 Puerto Rico Supreme Court ruling, government permits were not necessary for the use of plazas, parks or streets for meetings or parades. However, as a courtesy to the Ponce municipal government, the Nationalists requested the permit nevertheless.
However, upon learning about the march, the US-appointed governor of Puerto Rico, General Blanton Winship, ordered the new Insular Police Chief, Colonel Enrique de Orbeta, to contact Mayor Tormos and have him cancel the parade permit. He also ordered Orbeta to increase the police force in the southern city, and to stop, “by all means necessary”, any demonstration conducted by the nationalists in Ponce. Without notice to the organizers, or any opportunity to appeal, or any time to arrange an alternate venue, the permits were abrubtly withdrawn, just before the protest was scheduled to begin.
Following Governor Winship’s orders, Colonel Orbeta went to Ponce where he concentrated police units from across the island sporting “the latest riot control equipment”, among which he also included the machine gunners in the island. For many days, Winship had planned to crush the activities of the Nationalists and their leader, Pedro Albizu Campos.
The Insular Police, a force somewhat resembling the National Guard, was under the direct military command of Governor Winship and ultimate responsibility for the massacre fell on Winship, who controlled the National Guard and Insular Police, and ordered the shootings.
Juana Diaz, Police Chief Guillermo Soldevilla, with 14 policemen, took a position in front of the marchers. Chief Perez Segarra and Sgt. Rafael Molina, commanding nine policemen armed with Thompson submachine guns and tear gas bombs, stood in the back. Chief of Police Antonio Bernardi, heading 11 policemen armed with machine guns, stood in the east; and another group of 12 police, armed with rifles, was placed in the west. According to some reports, police numbered “over 200 heavily armed” guards.
As La Borinqueña, Puerto Rico’s national song, was being played, the Ponce branch of the Cadetes de la República under the command of Tomás López de Victoria and the rest of the demonstrators began to march. The Insular Police then started firing on the marchers – killing 17 unarmed civilians, two policemen, and wounding some 235 civilians, including women and children.
A seven-year-old girl was also killed by a bullet. Police firing went on for over 15 minutes. The dead included 17 men, one woman, and the seven-year-old girl. Some of the dead were demonstrators, while others were simply passers-by.
A week before, the Nationalists had requested authorization for the march from Mayor José Tormos Diego, who was away from Puerto Rico on vacation and had left Dr. William Gelpí as acting mayor. Gelpí authorized Casimiro Berenguer, the military instructor of the Cadetes de la República to disseminate information to the effect that permission had to be granted by Mayor Tormos Diego. The Nationalists had filed the request despite the fact that the laws of Puerto Rico allowed parades or public acts to be held without the need to ask permission. When Tormos Diego returned to Ponce on March 20, Nationalists Plinio Graciany and Lorenzo Piñeiro visited him at his home, and the mayor promised them that he would issue permission on Sunday morning. Early Sunday morning, as police reinforcements armed with rifles and machine guns were arriving in Ponce, two Nationalists went to the office of the mayor for the permit that they were promised.
About noon, Orbeta met with the mayor and Colonel Blanco, the head of the police force in Ponce, and he questioned the permit that was given to the Nationalists, alleging that the parade was military in character. The mayor made it clear to him that the Nationalist leaders were responsible people and that nothing would happen. Orbeta told him that the Nationalists from Mayagüez would be coming armed, and he said he would hold the mayor responsible for any blood spilled. Tormos Diego then promised to speak to the Nationalists so that they would cancel the activity -revoking the permit that he had just given- because it was Holy Week, thus pleasing the priests who had asked him to do so. The document revoking the permit warned that the police would not allow the activity. The Nationalists, after talking with Mayor Tormos Diego and Colonel Orbeta himself, decided to go forward with the activity.
The police under the command of Guillermo Soldevila, the head of the force in Juana Díaz, and Felipe Blanco cordoned off the demonstrators, using expert marksmen mobilized from all the police stations in Puerto Rico. The police covered the corner where the Nationalist Council was located on Marina Street, between Aurora and Jobos Streets. Meanwhile, the Cadets of the Republic and the Nurses Corps organized in three columns. The cadets wore a uniform of white trousers, black shirts, black caps, and on the left sleeve, a Calatravian cross. Leading the column was cadet captain Tomás López de Victoria. The young women formed up as the nurses corps, wearing white uniforms and marching behind the young men. Bringing up the rear was the band, made up of five or six musicians.
Nearby, on Aurora and Marina Streets, almost in front of where the Council was located, the families of the cadets came together with other Nationalists who had come to see the parade. The band played “La Borinqueña,” and the captain of the Cadet Corps, Tomás López de Victoria, immediately gave the order to step off. At the precise moment when they were about to do so, Soldevila raised a whip, put it to the chest of López de Victoria, and told him that they could not march. Police officer Armando Martínez ran from the corner in front of the Nationalist Council toward Marina Street, firing once into the air, which unleashed volleys of shots from arms of different calibers. Eight people died instantly and later others died, for a total of nineteen. Police officers Ceferino Loyola and Eusebio Sánchez died victims of the crossfire of their fellows. Georgina Maldonado, a 13 year old girl, an employee of a nearby gas station, José Antonio Delgado, a member of the National Guard who was passing by, and fourteen Nationalists also died.
Shortly before the shooting, Colonel Orbeta and Captain Blanco inspected the area where the demonstration was to be held, then left in a police vehicle to drive around Ponce, returning to the area after the shooting had ceased and ordering the arrest of everyone in the vicinity. They went into the building where the Council was located, where several wounded persons were also arrested. In addition to the dead, there were some 140 to 200 wounded. The number is not certain, as many of the wounded ordinary citizens and Nationalists were not taken to hospitals but sought assistance from private physicians. The Nationalist prisoners in the La Princesa Prison in San Juan learned of what had happened in Ponce from the radio of a neighbor who lived near the prison, who turned up the volume so that they could hear.
- Two Puerto Rican nationalists attempt to assassinate President Truman (voxxi.com)
- Puerto Ricans march for release of nationalist (nzherald.co.nz)
- On the Island, over 40,000 March for Release of Puerto Rican Political Prisoner (repeatingislands.com)
- Rally to make Puerto Rico 51st state (wwlp.com)
- Puerto Rico Continues Efforts to Save Its Native Parrot Species (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
Turkey has declared Egypt’s ambassador “persona non grata” and downgraded diplomatic relations to the level of charge d’affaires, in a tit-for-tat move after Cairo expelled its envoy. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it also summoned Egypt’s charge d’affaires for an explanation in the latest row between the two countries, which began following the ouster of former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi.
Egypt’s charge d’affaires was summoned to be informed that “our relations were downgraded to the level of charge d’affaires and Egyptian Ambassador Abderahman Salah El-Din…is declared persona non grata in line with the reciprocity principle that forms the basis of international relations,” the statement added.
In August, Ankara and Cairo recalled their envoys for consultation. Turkish ambassador returned to Egypt in September, however, the Egyptian ambassador remained in the African country.
Ankara’s decision came after Egypt earlier on Saturday expelled Turkish ambassador to Cairo and downgraded bilateral ties to the level of charge d’affaires. Cairo also announced that it would not send its ambassador to Ankara.
- Egypt Expels Turkish Ambassador, Turkey Retaliates (uprootedpalestinians.wordpress.com)
- Turkey declares Egyptian envoy persona non-grata (dailystar.com.lb)
- Turkey and Egypt in tit for tat action (gulfnews.com)
- Egypt declares Turkish envoy persona non grata – Turkey responds in kind (balitaktakan.wordpress.com)
- Egypt, Turkey downgrade mutual ties (altahrir.wordpress.com)
The twin bombing, a vehicle laden with explosives followed by a suicide attacker in Iraq’s troubled northern town of Tuz Khurmatu killed at least nine people.
A further 54 people were wounded at the Shia mosque, police and medical sources said according to Reuters.
The National Security Agency systematically broke its own rules and collected information it wasn’t supposed to, according to 1,000 pages of highly redacted classified files released for the first time by the Obama administration.
The documents include 2009 court records in which the NSA acknowledged it improperly collected data despite repeated assurances to the contrary. The NSA engaged in what John D. Bates, the presiding judge over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, called “systemic overcollection.”
“Virtually every” record generated by the program “included some data that had not been authorized for collection,” the Guardian cites Bates as saying. Bates noted that the problems were endemic since the program’s inception.
In one instance, the government admitted its violations resulted from “poor management, lack of involvement by compliance officials and lack of internal verification procedures, not by bad faith,” the Associated Press reports. In another case, the NSA says it improperly collected information because of a typographical error.
- Here’s Your Checks and Balances: NSA ‘Continually’ and ‘Systematically’ Violated FISA Court Limits (reason.com)
- NSA Compliance Problem: Spies Don’t Follow Rules (slashdot.org)
- NSA Copped to Breaking Spy Rules – Over and Over (newser.com)
- NSA broke its own rules in ‘virtually every’ record, declassified documents show (thenewsdoctors.com)
- Fisa court order that allowed NSA surveillance is revealed for first time (noliesradio.org)
- As Documents Show NSA Routinely Collected Unauthorized Data, Fight Against The Agency Broadens (personalliberty.com)
- U.S. Court Allowed Internet Data Mining After Violations (bloomberg.com)