Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rumors Of War - Russia Posts Troops Close To Golan Border, China vs N Korea, Taiwan vs China, Russia-China Alliance

Russia has quietly moved troops to a point in southern Syria that is 8km from Israel’s Golan border, in the face of Israeli objections, Moscow used the uproar over the Temple Mount standoff and the diplomatic crisis between Israel and Jordan to cover its creeping troop deployment almost up do Syria's borders with Israel and Jordan.

Tuesday, July 15, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avidor Lieberman and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott visited Bashan Division headquarters on the Golan for a rundown on the Russian deployment just opposite. (see photo)

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that some 800 Russian troops face Israel and another 400 are positioned on the border with Jordan. They have set up a roadblock east of Quneitra 8km from Israeli positions on the Golan. They have also strung an additional four to six lookout posts, some of them 13km from Israeli military positions, along the 64km Syrian-Israeli border - from Mount Hermon in the north, up to a point south of Qunetra in the south.

Most of the Russian troops were recruited in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, republics known for their Muslim extremist activity.

Israel has repeatedly objected to the proximity of this Russian military presence, and asked the Trump administration to prevent it. But the protests from Jerusalem went unheeded in Washington and Moscow. President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis regard the creation of US-Russian sponsored ceasefire zones in southwestern Syria as an essential component of their military cooperation in Syria and the war on ISIS.

Moscow announced the Russian deployment after the fact in messages to Washington, Jerusalem and Amman. They were all too engrossed in coping with the crises that had sprung up over Temple Mount and in relations between Jerusalem and Amman to pay much attention to this Russian fait accompli.

According to the announcement by Col.-Gen Sergey Rudskoy, Chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, the Russian units were in already in place on July 21 and 22:
“We informed our colleagues from the United States, Jordan and Israel, through military diplomatic channels in advance of the deployment of the Russian-controlled forces around the perimeter of the de-escalation zone in southern Syria,” he wrote.

China's army looks like it's getting ready for something big to go down in North Korea

China's military has been increasing the strength and number of its forces along its 880-mile border with North Korea as Pyongyang's military provocations cause the US and its allies to think long and hard about military action against the rogue regime.
report from The Wall Street Journal says that China has established a new border-defense brigade, implemented 24-hour video surveillance of the border, and constructed bunkers to protect from possible nuclear or chemical attacks.
China conducted a live-fire drill in June and July with helicopter gunships and armored infantry units, including a simulated battle with artillery, tanks, and helicopters, according to The Journal. The nature of these military exercises goes beyond securing a border, and they mimic fighting a nuclear-armed adversary.
While China and North Korea exist on paper as allies, Sim Tack, an expert on North Korea at Stratfor, a geopolitical-analysis firm, previously told Business Insider that China would not likely defend Pyongyang from a US-led attack and instead try to prevent or dissuade the US from taking such a step.
Still, a US-led attack on North Korea remains unlikely. South Korea's new liberal government has sought to pursue engagement with its neighbor, and the US would ultimately need its support for such a campaign. From a purely military point of view, North Korea's artillery and nuclear arms hold too many civilians in Seoul at risk.

In June, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis described possible conflict with North Korea as "a serious, a catastrophic war, especially for innocent people in some of our allied countries, to include Japan most likely."
Even short of war, China now has reason to view North Korea as a liability.
In response to North Korea's missile tests and military provocations, the US based its powerful Thaad missile-defense battery in South Korea, frightening Chinese military analysts who think the Thaad's powerful radar could one day effectively neuter China's ability to engage in a nuclear exchange with the US.
Beijing, which could play a role in handling a refugee crisis, should the North Korean regime collapse, has now assembled forces sufficient to shape the outcome of any conflict between the West and Pyongyang.

The Taiwanese Defense Ministry has bared their teeth, promising that they are ready to defend their island from mainland China aggression if need be. This comes in the wake of a new exchange of provocations and saber rattling between the two.
After Chinese fighters buzzed Taiwanese (and Japanese) airspace by weaving their aircraft through narrow channels of international waters, ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi appeared at a news briefing.
"The People's Liberation Army has never given up on the idea of resolving problems through the use of military force," ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi told a news briefing.
"We believe in peace. We will not take the initiative that could lead to war. But we will not back down in the face of threats."

Chen added that Taiwan was ready to defend itself even against a much larger and more powerful Chinese military by both air and sea.
On July 12, China sailed their sole active aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, into the air defense identification zone around Taiwan's capital city of Taipei. China has also conducted numerous drills of military aircraft and warships, coming very close to Taiwan.

Russia and China are about to kick-off the operational phase of their first ever European joint naval exercises in the Baltic Sea.
The exercise is an indication of the growing strategic partnership between the Kremlin and Beijing. For China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, the Maritime Cooperation-2017 exercise is an opportunity to demonstrate its global reach and to show its support for a strategic partner. For the Kremlin, the war games are an important demonstration to show that Moscow has friends—if not allies—despite its isolation from the West.
"The first stage of the Russian-Chinese naval exercises ‘Maritime Cooperation-2017’ will be held from July 21 to July 28. It consists of two stages - a coastal stage, from July 21 to July 24, and an active sea stage, from July 25 to July 28,” Russian Baltic Fleet official Roman Martov told the TASS news agency.
“It is the first time in the history of Russian-Chinese relations that Chinese warships visit Baltiysk.”

Effectively, the message from Moscow and Beijing is that the era of Western—and particularly American—naval dominance is coming to a close. But there are questions as to how durable the partnership is between the two great Eurasian powers. Moscow and Beijing have had troubled relations in previous decades during the Soviet-era where tensions have nearly spilled over into open warfare between the two.

“The message is that the end of the age of Western maritime mastery is at hand. A couple of bonus effects - the PLA Navy gets to show it can operate effectively very far from home, while Moscow and Beijing get to make a show of unity,” Holmes said.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Melted Fuel Found At Fukushima

Expert: Melted fuel found at Fukushima — Corium up to 6 feet thick below reactor — Nuclear waste “piling up at bottom” — Lava-like material has spread all over… “hanging like icicles” — Mystery orange substance seen (VIDEO)

Kyodo, Jul 22, 2017 (emphasis added): In big step forward, Tepco finds melted fuel at bottom of reactor 3 in Fukushima… The debris was clearly identifiable to at least one nuclear expert. “The images that appear to be melted fuel debris match those found in the (1986) Chernobyl crisis,” said Tadashi Narabayashi, a specially appointed professor of nuclear engineering working at Hokkaido University. “It’s definitely fuel debris… It’s an epoch-making event.”
New York Daily News, Jul 22, 2017: Underwater robot captures images of melted fuel at wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant — An underwater robot captured photos of 3-foot thick lumps of melted nuclear fuel covering the floor

Sky News, Jul 24, 2017: Melted nuclear fuel spotted in Fukushima reactor — The radioactive material has been spotted and pictured by a submersible robot…
CNN, Jul 24, 2017: [The robot] has revealed appears to be stalactites of melted nuclear fuel, [Tepco] said… the robot sent back 16 hours worth of images of massive, lava-like fuel deposits
AP, Jul 23, 2017: [Images] showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor
Asahi Shimbun, Jul 23, 2017: Melted nuke fuel images show struggle facing Fukushima plant — Images captured on July 22 of solidified nuclear fuel debris at the bottom of a containment vessel of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant show the enormity of decommissioning of the facility… [TEPCO] also discovered that the nuclear fuel debris has spread throughout the containment vessel.
AP, Jul 22, 2017: [TEPCO] said the robot found large amounts of lava-like debris apparently containing fuel that had flowed out of the core… TEPCO spokesman Takahiro Kimoto said it was the first time a robot camera has captured what is believed to be the melted fuel. “That debris has apparently fallen from somewhere higher above. We believe it is highly likely to be melted fuel or something mixed with it,” Kimoto said…
Kyodo, Jul 23, 2017: The robot was sent closer to the bottom of the reactor on Saturday and found possible fuel debris scattered in a wide area.
Japan Times, Jul 21, 2017: Fukushima robot finds potential fuel debris hanging like icicles in reactor 3… The objects spotted this time look like icicles… Tepco is pinning its efforts on technology not yet invented to get the melted fuel out of the reactors.
Reuters, Jul 21, 2017: Tepco detected black-colored material that dangled like icicles that could be nuclear debris near the bottom of the reactor’s pressure vessel that contained the fuel rods, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
Bloomberg, Jul 21, 2017: New images show what is likely to be melted nuclear fuel hanging from inside one of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima reactors… [Tepco] released images on Friday showing a hardened black, grey and orange substance
Financial Times, Jul 24, 2017: [Kimoto] was reluctant to speculate on the nature of seemingly corroded orange patches in the images.
NHK, Jul 23, 2017: [TEPCO] says Saturday’s probe found lumps that are highly likely to be fuel debris piling up at the bottom of the containment vessel… The deposits are estimated to be one to two meters thick. Images released on Saturday show black, rock-like lumps and what appear to be pebbles and sand accumulating at the bottom.

U.S. Navy Ship Fires Warning Shots At Iranian Naval Vessel

US Navy ship fires warning shots at Iranian naval vessel

A US Navy patrol boat has fired warning shots towards an Iranian naval ship after it came within 150 yards during a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf, it has emerged.
The incident happened at 3am local time today and involved the USS Thunderbolt, a Cyclone-class ship involved in an exercise with American and other vessels in the area.
A US defense official said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard ship came within 150 yards of the Thunderbolt and did not respond to radio calls, flares or warning sirens, forcing U.S. sailors to fire warning shots. 
'The IRGCN boat was coming in at a high rate of speed. It did not respond to any signals, they did not respond to any bridge-to-bridge calls, they felt there was no choice except to fire the warning shots,' the defense official said.
The Iranian boat then went 'dead in the water' after the shots and the vessels all left the area.

The incident occurred at about 3am local time in the northern Persian Gulf, when the Iranian vessel began to approach the USS Thunderbolt.
After the US ship fired the warning shots, the Iranian vessel stopped, the official said, at which point the Thunderbolt continued on her way.
The episode marks the latest in a series of close encounters between US ships and Iranian naval vessels.
The U.S. Navy recorded 35 instances of what it describes as 'unsafe and/or unprofessional' interactions with Iranian forces in 2016, compared to 23 in 2015.
Of the incidents last year, the worst involved Iranian forces capturing 10 U.S. sailors and holding them overnight. It became a propaganda coup for Iran's hard-liners, as Iranian state television repeatedly aired footage of the Americans on their knees with their hands on their heads.

Iranian forces view the American presence in the Gulf as a provocation by itself. They in turn have accused the U.S. Navy of unprofessional behavior, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil trade by sea passes.

The Enduring Lesson Of Charlie Gard, Escape From A Fallen Planet

The Enduring Lesson of Charlie Gard

Connie Yates and Chris Gard have decided to end their five-month legal battle to take their son Charlie Gard to the United States for treatment. The baby suffers from a mitochondrial condition and on June 30 British officials ordered Charlie’s life support turned off. The child remained on life support as offers of help poured in from, among many others, Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump.
A judge told Connie Yates and Chris Gard that “no parent could have done more for their child,” but that is not quite right. The parents sought to do everything they could to save Charlie, but the British government monopoly health system prevented them from doing so. 
The parents blamed “a whole lot of wasted time” for the deterioration of Charlie’s muscles revealed in a recent MRI scan. As they told reporters, “Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy” adding, “Our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.” Their son Charlie, “has been left with his illness to deteriorate, sadly, to the point of no return.”
Charlie Gard was born a healthy baby on August 4, 2016, but at eight months diagnosed with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. Charlie began to lose weight but in January 2017 Connie Yates found an American doctor willing to offer the trial therapy known as nucleoside.
On April 3, 2017, a High Court judge questioned whether Connie and Chris should be allowed to take Charlie to America for treatment, and whether doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital should turn off the baby’s life-support system. On April 11, the court ruled that the doctors were in fact permitted to do so.
The decision devastated parents Connie and Chris, both in their thirties. In late April, more than 110,000 people signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to release Charlie for travel to the United States. Charlie remained in hospital and on May 25, three Court of Appeal judges ruled that doctors should end the child’s life-support treatment.
On June 8, three judges of the Supreme Court rejected the parents’ appeal but told doctors to keep Charlie on life support for another day so the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, could consider the child’s case. On June 13, the ECHR ruled that Charlie should be kept on life support until Monday June 19.
On June 27, the European court rejected the parents’ plea to intervene in the case of Charlie Gard.
As the ECHR statement put it, “the decision is final.”
Charlie would be “allowed to die,” and the parents were told that this was in his best interest.  Great Ormond Street Hospital bosses said they would be in no rush to change Charlie’s care and would engage in careful planning and discussion about the child’s fate.
As of this writing Charlie remains on life support. Connie and Chris will “let our son go and be with the angels,” but his story is far from over. Indeed, it brims with lessons for all but the willfully blind.
As the ordeal of Connie and Chris confirms, parents care more for their child than politicians, judges, courts, and hospital bosses. In tragic cases like Charlie’s, the parents need to believe they have exhausted all possibilities to save their child. Despite somber proclamations by British judges, Connie and Chris were not allowed to do so.
Connie and Chris have been battling a government monopoly, and in this system patients get only the care the government wants to give them. The British health service didn’t want to give Charlie the experimental treatment available in America. More important, the system also blocked Connie and Chris from taking Charlie to America, even at their own expense. He languished in hospital until, as the parents said, “the point of no return.”
As Charlie’s case confirms, government monopoly health care can involve a surrender of freedom of movement, the freedom to travel abroad. Once freedom of any kind is lost, it is hard to get it back. So best not to lose it in the first place.

Those working on health reform in the USA can learn a lot from the ordeal of Connie Yates and Chris Gard. The brave parents fought the good fight, but the government prevented them from doing their utmost for their beloved child.  That’s the injustice inherent in the kind of government monopoly system Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want.
Adoption of that kind of system in America could be a point of no return for the people’s freedom of choice in health care. In cases of infants with rare conditions, it could be a matter of life and death. That is the enduring lesson of Charlie Gard, born on August 4, 2016.

“The System” raised its brutal fist in the face of the world from Britain today.  It conceded, not in words, but in action how the parents of Charlie Gard had run out of time to secure outside help in trying to keep their baby alive. 
The System proved its terrible might in demonstrating to a World On Watch how it is impossible for a vulnerable baby and his parents to survive after hitting the brick and mortar of its imperious walls.
Those who can plainly see how cheaply a progressive world values human life, join Charlie’s parents in their heartbreak.

Herman Cain writer Robert Laurie was so apt when he wrote:  “This story is so tragic.”
“I’m old enough to remember a time when doctors would spare no effort - no matter how difficult or experimental - to save the life of a child. That’s no longer the case.  Nowadays, it seems federally-run healthcare systems would rather its “problem cases” just shuffle off the mortal coil and spare “the system” a lot of headaches. Since single-payer care is the ultimate in rationed care, regulations and federal power trump life.”“...At least that’s what happened to Charlie Gard, whose parents have ended their efforts to take their son to the United States for treatment.
“Gard will now be moved to pallative care where the NHS will guarantee he dies with dignity.”
“Dying with dignity” is the fairytale the Death Cult leave in their end-of-life script to cover for their guilt in the unnecessary deaths of innocents.
It’s first cousin to the meme used by abortion advocates who continue to call babies in the womb, “fetuses”.

“Essentially, what happened here is that the UK government “ran out the clock” by trapping these poor people in a maze of red tape.  Time was of the essence and whatever hope Charlie had dwindled as the days passed.  Now, the longshot treatment that was available in the U.S. will no longer work - so they’ve ended their efforts.” (Laurie)

As Christians, our hope, our reason for drudging on day after day lies in the reality, that Jesus is God, and He promised that one day He would return for us so that we could be where He is.

"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."  John 14:1-3

So where are we?

I’ve often wondered how long exactly the Lord would tarry.  We know His return is imminent in the sense that it could happen at any moment, but would He stay His hand another few decades or come before the end of the month?  Has the 2000 years been enough?  Or does the increasing population on planet earth necessitate a longer time needed to fulfill the final harvest of men and womens’ souls?  No one currently alive can peak into the future, and we are explicitly told by Jesus Himself that ‘no one will know the day or hour’ of His coming.

So how do we gauge were exactly we are in history?

Aside from scriptures, that leaves only looking around at our current state, and looking into the past to see where we’ve come from.  We also know, that certain prophetic events that are currently in motion, have if you will, a shelf life.  They just can’t continue to go on and on without some sort of finality to them.

If for nothing else, based on our level of achievement alone, we should realize that we are the well toward the end of the timeline, on the very trailing edge of our time left in this day and age we live in.  With prophetic scriptures pinpointing exact events that would transpire coming to the forefront of the news daily showing without a doubt, both the validity and accuracy of the Bible telling us where we are.

Armed Chinese Jets Drive Off U.S.Spy Plane Over Yellow Sea, N Korean Sub "Unusual Activities, In Mosul ISIS Had Access To Dirty Bomb Material

Armed Chinese jets drive off US spy plane over Yellow Sea

A US spy plane flying near the eastern coast of China was intercepted by two Chinese fighter jets and had to change course, US officials said. The surveillance aircraft was flying over international waters between China and South Korea.

The incident took place on Sunday, unnamed US officials told reporters on Monday. An EP-3 ARIES signals intelligence plane was flying about 90 miles (140km) south of the port city of Qingdao, when it was approached by two J-10 interceptors, armed with air-to-air missiles.
One of the Chinese jets flew under the EP-3 and popped up 300 feet (90 meters) in front of the US plane, causing the crew “to take evasive action to avoid collision,” according to one official.
The US Navy described the flight as “a routine mission operating in accordance with international law” up until the “interaction” between the spy plane and the Chinese interceptors.
“While we are still investigating the incident, initial reports from the US aircrew characterized the intercept as unsafe,” said Lieutenant-Commander Matt Knight, Pacific Fleet spokesman. “The issue is being addressed with China through appropriate diplomatic and military channels.”

The US armed forces have recently stepped up their activity in the region, provoking anger in China. In early July, Beijing accused Washington of violating China’s sovereignty and international law after a US missile destroyer sailed some 30 kilometers from the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea with Beijing sending warplanes and military vessels to intercept the ship.

This is the third time in recent months that Chinese interceptors have warned off US spy planes flying off the coast of China. In late May, as the US Navy sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea, two Chinese jets buzzed a P-3 Orion 150 miles (240km) southeast of Hong Kong in what US officials called an “unsafe intercept.”
A week earlier, Chinese jets intercepted a US Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix “nuclear sniffer” plane over the East China Sea.

A U.S. spy plane is forced to take evasive action after it was intercepted by two Chinese fighter jets over the East China Sea.
The Pentagon said the jets flew dangerously close to the U.S. Navy Reconnaissance Aircraft late Monday morning.
Reports say the U.S. plane was operating in international airspace during a routine mission when the Chinese jets came dangerously close.
At one point the aircraft even appeared to be flying wing to wing.
A similar fly-by occurred last May near Hong Kong.
The latest incident comes as the Trump administration plans to step-up sea patrols in contested waters around China.

The “unusual activities” of a North Korean submarine in the Sea of Japan last week has caused the US military to increase its surveillance to keep an eye on the 1,800-ton vessel.
"The Romeo-class diesel submarine has been engaged in activities for about a week," NHK reported. "Activities by submarines of this class in the area usually last about four days," according to the Chosunilbo World.
South Korean officials have not confirmed any military action against the submarine.

On Thursday CNN cited two unnamed US defense officials saying that a submarine from Pyongyang had been exhibiting “unusual deployment activity.” Using reconnaissance imagery, officials were reportedly able to determine that the sub had gone further into international waters than it ever had before.

"While there are several possible explanations, the most likely is preparations for a test in the near future of an updated Pukguksong-1 [KN-11] submarine-launched ballistic missile or a potentially newer system," wrote North Korea watchdog site 38 North.
The Johns Hopkins University-based institute added that the "Sinpo-class submarine and a submersible test stand barge have been repositioned" at the Sinpo shipyard, which could indicate a future missile test.

When the Islamic State captured the city of Mosul in its 2014 blitzkrieg, the militant group obtained access to a highly lethal material that would have been useful for a “dirty weapon,” the Washington Post reports.
In taking Mosul, the Islamic State controlled a city filled to the brim with with guns, bombs, rockets and tanks, due in part to the number of military garrisons and bases located all over the city, but these were by no means the most deadly of the weapons to be found there.
Hidden away in medical devices stored on a college campus in Mosul were two quantities of cobalt-60, a synthetic radioactive isotope produced artificially in nuclear reactors. The isotope emits gamma rays at high intensity, making it effective in radiotherapy cancer treatments, however its high radioactivity also makes it perfect for a “dirty bomb,” or a weapon that uses conventional explosives to disperse radioactive materials across a targeted area, making it uninhabitable.

In Washington, intelligence agencies were aware of the presence of the substance in Mosul and kept a close watch for any sign of its use, while nuclear and military experts theorized about the potency of the isotope and the potential damage it could do. Since cobalt degrades over time, its exact potency was not known to the experts.