China discovers cross-border tunnels leading to Xinjiang and North Korea

•August 31, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Border-Crossing-583x390

http://thediplomat.com/2014/08/china-discovers-cross-border-tunnels-leading-to-xinjiang-north-korea/

In April 2013, China launched Gaofen-1, its first high-definition earth observation satellite (Gaofen-2 was launched just last week, on August 19). This week, China’s National Space Administration reported that Gaofen-1 had captured images showing “dozens of cross-border tunnels” in northwest Xinjiang and along the China-North Korea border. It’s unclear exactly what the tunnels are used for, but Chinese media tied their existence to previous reports on illegal China-North Korea border crossings, as well as reports that Uyghur militant and terrorist groups often travel to foreign countries for training.

For China, the cross-border tunnels in Xinjiang are likely to be of more concern. The East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and its offshoot, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), both have bases in the tribal regions of Pakistan. The groups are believed to train with other militant groups from around the region, including al-Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (which claimed responsibility for the June attack on Karachi’s international airport). China is quite concerned about this international training, as it leads to increasing sophistication on the part of ETIM and TIP as well as potentially converting other Muslim militants to the Uyghur cause. However, China’s major concern is that militants trained abroad will then sneak back into China to carry out terrorist attacks. That makes the tunnels a potential threat.

The brief reports in the Chinese media did not specify where the cross-border tunnels led. Xinjiang borders a number of different countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The description of the tunnels as being located in northwest Xinjiang, though, hints that they might connect western China with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. That in turn suggests a more benign explanation for the cross-border tunnels: they may be used by would-be Uyghur refugees rather than militants.

The North Korean border tunnels may represent a similar phenomenon, but in reverse. North Koreans often try to sneak across the Chinese border, looking to start a new life either in China or elsewhere. The reported tunnels may have been used by North Koreans seeking illegal passage into northeast China. The Chinese government regularly repatriates these refugees, despite outcry from human rights groups. The recent UN commissioned report on North Korea’s human rights situation estimated that Beijing has repatriated tens of thousands of North Koreans, almost all of whom then faced punishments ranging from imprisonment and torture to execution.

However, as my colleague Zach noted recently, North Korea is also a large supplier of illegal drugs, especially synthetic drugs. It’s possible that the China-North Korea tunnels could be used for smuggling, whether drugs or other contraband (including technological items like smartphones that are freely available in China but tightly controlled by Pyongyang).

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thanks to nomnomnom for the link..

pictures coming in from gaofen are incredible..these tunnels could be for a lot of different things and involve anyone..but i think it will be used as an excuse to target the “terrorists”..

401

 

Cameron to back Poland’s Donald Tusk as European council president

•August 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

The Quadriga Awards, Berlin, Germany - 03 Oct 2009

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/26/david-cameron-support-donald-tusk-european-council-president

David Cameron is prepared to support the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, as the new president of the European council as a counterweight to the incoming federalist European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The prime minister is set to tell fellow EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on Saturday that Tusk would be a strong candidate to lead a reform agenda in the EU. Cameron and Tusk, who has not yet announced his candidacy, discussed the summit in a phone call on Monday morning.

Britain suffered a setback on Monday when Juncker suggested that Lord Hill, the prime minister’s candidate to be Britain’s next European commissioner, would not secure an economics portfolio demanded by Downing Street. Sources close to Juncker told the Daily Telegraph that the incoming European commission president was disappointed by the failure of Britain and other EU member states to nominate a woman.

The British portfolio in the European commission will not be on the agenda for the summit on Saturday at which EU leaders will discuss a successor for Herman Van Rompuy, the European council president, and for Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief. Van Rompuy has chaired the meetings of EU heads of government and state since 2009.

Tusk has not yet declared his candidacy for the post. But Cameron believes that Tusk, who is from the centre right, would help balance the federalist instincts of Juncker. The prime minister also believes that it would be good for the leader of the largest of the new member states to take on such a major EU role.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Tusk

Tusk was born in Gdańsk, Poland. Tusk’s father, also named Donald Tusk (1930–1972), was a carpenter. Donald Tusk’s mother, Ewa Tusk (1934–2009), was a nurse. His uncle, Bronisław Tusk (1935–2000), was a sculptor from Gdańsk. His grandfather Józef Tusk (1907–1987) was a railway official who was imprisoned at the Neuengamme concentration camp; later, as a former citizen of the Free City of Danzig, he was compulsorily drafted by German Naziauthorities into the Wehrmacht on 2 August 1944.

Tusk got his English first name because his paternal grandmother Juliana travelled abroad in her youth and became enamoured with an English Lord called Donald. She gave this name to her son, who passed it on to her grandson.

Tusk belongs to the Kashubian minority in Poland. In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in December 2008, Tusk compared his own family history to the Jewish experience, describing the Kashubian minority as a people who, “like the Jews, are people who were born and live in border areas and were suspected by the Nazis and by the Communistsof being disloyal”.

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keep an eye on tusk then..if cameron wants him..hes gotta be in the club..a curious wikipedia entry above..

401

Footage emerges claiming to show Russian tanks in Ukraine..Russia’s Defense ministry ridicules NATO’s photo-proof

•August 30, 2014 • 1 Comment

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736529/Russia-directly-involved-fighting-Ukraine-sending-latest-air-defence-systems-border-says-US-ambassador.html

Russian tanks have been filmed rumbling through Ukraine today as the UN Security Council holds an emergency meeting to find a solution to the crisis.

Alarm has risen as a top NATO official said at least 1,000 Russian troops had entered Ukraine and had been in direct ‘contact’ with Ukrainian soldiers.

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko today accused Russia of sending troops into the country as he abruptly cancelled a trip to Turkey to meet his top security officials.

The Kiev leader, who changed his plans shortly before leaving Kiev’s Boryskil airport, had demanded an urgent meeting of the UN security council as one senior aide called on him to impose martial law.

Diplomats have now said the meeting was due to take place today at the request of Lithuania.

Echoing comments by Ukrainian Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a senior NATO official said at least 1,000 Russian troops have poured into Ukraine with sophisticated equipment, leaving no doubt that the Russian military had invaded southeastern Ukraine.

‘The hand from behind is becoming more and more overt now,’ Brig. Gen. Nico Tak said at NATO’s military headquarters, adding that Russia’s ultimate aim was to stave off defeat for the separatists and turn eastern Ukraine into a ‘frozen conflict’ that would destabilize the country indefinitely.

Politicians have been careful to refer to the conflict as an ‘incursion’ by Russia, rather than an invasion – prompting frustrated officials to vent their anger online at what they see as pointless diplomacy.

‘An invasion is an invasion is an invasion,’ tweeted the Lithuanian ambassador to the U.N., Raimonda Murmokaite.

And Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, said on Facebook: ‘The invasion of Putin’s regular Russian army of Ukraine is now an established fact!’

http://rt.com/news/183536-nato-images-ridiculed-russia/

It makes no sense to comment in detail on the satellite imagery released by NATO as “proof” of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine, Defense Ministry’s spokesman said, pointing out that even high NATO officials were hesitant to put their names on it.

Referring to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove, and NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov ridiculed the so-called NATO proof.

“You know, it has become ridiculous… If earlier, someone would at least put their names on those images, be it Breedlove, Rasmussen, or even Lungescu, now, they are hesitant,” Konashenkov said as cited by RIA Novosti. “It makes no sense to seriously comment on this.”

The General also criticized western media outlets for accepting such images and anti-Russian stance at face value.

“The phrase ‘NATO published satellite shots of Russian troops’ presence in Ukraine’ has become as common in recent months as the famous ‘British scientists have discovered…” Konashenkov said, referring to a media cliché often ridiculed in Russia. “Usually those words are followed by the results of some new crazy research that has no practical sense whatsoever.”

“Apparently, the new Secretary General of NATO in the near future will have to exert much effort in order to restore the severely tainted image of the alliance as a high-status international organization,”Konashenkov added.

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it comes down to who you trust..and thats a decision each of us have to make..those images could come from anytime and could be doctored..and the russian troops might be in ukraine on “holidays”..

phillip breedlove..the supreme allied commander of europe..what irony..

401

100’s of US troops and CIA agents helping ISIL in Syria and Iraq

•August 30, 2014 • 2 Comments

376206_Syria-ISIL

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/08/28/376817/100-cia-agents-help-isil-in-syria-iraq/

An American political commentator says there are hundreds of US troops or CIA agents with the ISIL in Iraq and Syria to help the terrorist group.  

Don DeBar, an anti-war activist and radio host in New York, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on a recent report which says there are as many as 300 American nationals fighting alongside ISIL members.

Senior US officials have told The Washington Times that the US government is currently tracking and gathering intelligence on American militants who could return to the homeland and commit terrorist attacks with skills obtained abroad.

DeBar said the ISIL “group is a construct of the US military intelligence. This is a terrorist cell that was organized by the US in order to destabilize Syria and perhaps other countries – they even made a threat against Saudi Arabia whether that’s just to make them look like they are on a particular ideological plane, or if it’s an actual threat, it’s a proxy threat from the US to Saudi Arabia.”

“My belief is that there are Americans that are a part of ISIL/ISIS with the knowledge of the US government and an assignment by the US government,” he added.

DeBar stated that there are perhaps 300 Americans fighting with ISIL “and then hundreds more US regulars, with CIA or whatever military formation they have, under the direction of US intelligence, that are a part of this. It doesn’t require that they are American nationals, of course, just that their paycheck is signed in Washington or Langley.”

“If you look at the outcomes of every action that this group has taken, they facilitate actions that the United States has wanted to take, has declared that it wanted to take a number of times, or has taken when it could, but it can’t get the authority from the [UN] Security Council to approve because they violate the integrity and sovereignty of either Iraq and/or Syria, and also would enable actions that violate a resolution that just passed the House of Representatives massively, last week or the week before, that attempt to constrains, at least on paper, the president from making anymore wars without specific authority from Congress,” he noted.

“So, it’s a no surprise for me that there are Americans in their units. There would be a surprise to me if they were all dupes and unemployed kids, who got duped, sucked into fight over there with a bunch of the crazies. It wouldn’t surprise me if you had good portion of units, including command and control, that would direct employees of the Pentagon and/or Langley,” DeBar concluded.

ISIL controls large parts of Syria’s northern territory. The group sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq in June, quickly seizing large swaths of land straddling the border between the two countries.

The US military has begun planning for airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria after last week’s beheading of American journalist James Foley. The US has launched a limited air campaign against the terrorist group in Iraq since August 8.

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i dont know if debar is a credible source but where there is smoke there is fire and the US has been involved in and would possibly still be involved in activities to do with IS..

““If you look at the outcomes of every action that this group has taken, they facilitate actions that the United States has wanted to take”

uh huh..and they still havent attacked israel..the great satan?

401

Qantas has suffered a massive $2.8 billion loss

•August 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

qantas-logo-250x300

http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/newsbusiness/aap/8897464/qantas-suffers-2-8b-loss

The airline posted a net loss of $2.84 billion for the year to June 30, compared to a $1 million profit a year ago.

The result included a $2.6 billion writedown to the value of its ageing international fleet.

Excluding the writedown and other one-off costs, Qantas made an underlying pre-tax loss of $646 million, compared to a $186 million profit a year ago.

Chief executive Alan Joyce described the result as “confronting”, but said the massive loss represented the year that is past.

“We have now come through the worst,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“With our accelerated Qantas transformation program we are already emerging as a leaner, more focused and more sustainable Qantas group.”

Meanwhile, the airline has ruled out selling or floating its profitable frequent flyer business, Qantas Loyalty in order to fund its turnaround.

“After careful consideration, our judgment was that Qantas Loyalty continued to offer major profitable growth opportunities, and there was insufficient justification for a partial sale,” Mr Joyce said.

Qantas has also decided to separate its domestic and international arms, creating a new corporate entity for the Qantas International.

Mr Joyce said the Qantas Sale Act, recently passed by the federal parliament, had paved the way for the structural separation.

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nearly the biggest loss in australian corporate history..

“Qantas has also decided to separate its domestic and international arms, creating a new corporate entity for the Qantas International.”

good bank..bad bank..

401

Christine Lagarde under investigation

•August 29, 2014 • 6 Comments

_77191265_tapie

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28948925

French authorities have formally opened a negligence investigation into Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

She has been questioned about her role in awarding 400m euro (£318m; $527m) in compensation to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008. She denies wrongdoing.

Ms Lagarde, 58, was finance minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government at the time of the award.

Mr Tapie supported Mr Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election.

He was once a majority shareholder in sports goods company Adidas but sold it in 1993 in order to become a cabinet minister in Francois Mitterrand’s Socialist government.

Mr Tapie sued Credit Lyonnais over its handling of the sale, alleging the partly state-owned bank had defrauded him by deliberately undervaluing the company.

His case was later referred by Ms Lagarde to a three-member arbitration panel which awarded the compensation.

Investigators suspect he was granted a deal in return for his support of Nicolas Sarkozy.

Ms Lagarde said last year that her decision to refer Mr Tapie’s long-running dispute with Credit Lyonnais to a panel of judges was “the best solution at the time”.

Although being placed under formal investigation does not necessarily lead to charges, the development could raise questions about the rest of her term at the IMF, which is due to end in 2016.

She told AFP news agency she had no intention of resigning from the IMF.

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http://seeker401.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/imf-head-lagardes-flat-searched-in-bernard-tapie-probe-payback/

it hasnt gone away..its back..take her down..

401

 
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