Report: Somebody has opened fire on police in second possible attack. #Barcelona pic.twitter.com/EiqOymOsvj
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 17, 2017
Summary of the latest:
A terror attack took place in Barcelona when a van plowed into a crowd in Las Ramblas, killing at least 13 and injuring over 20 The Spanish passport of a person of Moroccan origin was found at the scene of the attack, TV3 reports. Spanish public broadcaster RTVE says that one suspect in the Barcelona van attack has been arrested. Spanish police say there is no one at large in any bar in central Barcelona. There are unconfirmed reports of a second attack. This would be the deadliest terrorist attack in Spain since 2004 bombing, when Islamist militants placed bombs on commuter trains in Madrid, killing 191 people and wounding more than 1,800. Update 8: The Catalan Police says that in response to reports, there is nobody held up in a bar in Barcelona. Meanwhile, Fox reports that someone has opened fire on police in a second possible attack:
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 17, 2017.
In what may be the first documented clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers who have been piling up across the border between the two nations over the latest territorial dispute, Reuters reports that “Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in an altercation” in the western Himalayas on Tuesday, “further raising tensions between the two countries which are already locked in a two-month standoff in another part of the disputed border.”
While there has been no official confirmation yet by either India or China, a Reuters source in New Delhi who was briefed on the military situation on the border, said Indian soldiers “foiled a bid by a group of Chinese troops to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, near the Pangong lake.” He added that some of the Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and in the melee there were minor injuries on both sides, the source said.
“There was an altercation near the Pangong lake,” said a police officer in Srinagar, the capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, under which the area falls. An army source in Srinagar, quoted by Reuters, spoke of an altercation following what he called a Chinese army “incursion in Pangong lake area“. This fresh standoff at Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh comes in the backdrop of tensions between Indian and Chinese troops over Doklam plateau in Sikkim sector with the PLA skipping the ceremonial border meetings on Independence Day.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 16, 2017.
The United States has several thousand operational nuclear missiles. It has a large fleet of strategic bombers, an enormous navy, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and marines. The US could bomb, blockade, and invade North Korea if it chose to incur the cost.
Yet North Korea is threatening to fire missiles at Guam, a US island territory in the Western Pacific where a substantial portion of the American strategic forces are now stationed. The North Koreans have been unyielding in insisting that they intend to complete a force of nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles that could strike the US.
This seems to be irrational behavior. But if these are the deeds of an irrational regime, how has this same regime, founded by the current leader’s grandfather, survived since 1948? It survived a devastating war, managed to stay nimble during the Sino-Soviet confrontation, and endured the fall of the Soviet Union and the transformation of China, starvation in the 1990s, and confrontation with the United States. The regime should have collapsed many times. It didn’t.
If survival is a measure of rationality, and it should be, then the leadership class (and it is of course more than just one person) could not have lasted for almost 70 years if it were irrational. North Korea may have bizarre values, but its leaders have not been stupid. So the question is, what are they seeing now?
This post was published at Mauldin Economics on AUGUST 14, 2017.
The former Soviet republic of Moldova may actually become yet another foothold for the US military in Europe. The US Naval Facilities Engineering Command Europe Africa Southwest Asia (NAVFAC EURAFSWA) plans to construct eight training facilities for military operations in urban terrain at the Bulboaca training base in Moldova. The fact that the US Navy Department is involved makes believe the facility will host American Marines.
A total of $1.6 million has already been invested in the renovation of the Bulboaca base located near Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria or the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic. The largely Russian-speaking region broke away from Moldova following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The secession led to an armed conflict that ended in a ceasefire in July 1992. Russian troops were deployed to the conflict zone in accordance with the Agreement on the Principles for a Peaceful Settlement of the Armed Conflict in the Transnistrian Region of the Republic of Moldova, signed in 1992 by the presidents of Russia and Moldova in the presence of Transnistria’s leader.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 14, 2017.
Having made the week for Vix buyers quite profitable, President Trump – whose North Korea rhetoric sent market volatility soaring in the past week – appeared ready to spread the love among long-suffering oil bulls, when on Friday afternoon Trump refused to rule out a U. S. military intervention in Venezuela, and said that the US has a military option in the insolvent, quasi civil war Latin American nation.
“I’m not going to rule out a military option,” Trump told reporters at his New Jersey golf club discussing recent events in Venezuela. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary,” Trump said after a meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley.
The president did not answer whether American troops would lead that potential operation.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 11, 2017.
Kim Jung-un in North Korea is refusing to blink yet he maybe. He has turned domestically first in the ongoing crisis and has now announced a massive army recruitment program. An article in a Pyongyang-based propaganda newspaper today declared already more than 3.5 million people had signed up to fight. The newspaper is claiming that millions were ‘volunteers’ including students and former soldiers.
The truth is that the North Korean army is subjected to absolute obedience to the Kim dynasty. If civilians are scrambling to volunteer, it is also likely that they are malnourished and desperate civilians. Yet this peals back the fact that Kim is blinking.
This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Aug 12, 2017.
With markets about to close for the next 2 days, the question on every trader’s mind is: “should i carry risk over the weekend, or should I dump it all in case North Korea fires another test, or non-test, ICBM launch which may be just the provocation Trump needs to give the green light to a squadron of B-1 bombers to begin a bombing campaign.” After all, Trump himself tweeted this morning that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
While we don’t know if Kim will “find another path”, late on Friday KBS World Radio, the official international broadcasting station of South Korea (which is owned by the Korean Broadcasting System), reports that according to Radio Free Asia (RFA), in a potential warning that Pyongyang may be preparing yet another imminent escalation, “North Korean authorities have dispatched emergency standby orders to the leaders of the ruling Workers’ Party committees and civil defense units.”
Friday’s RFA report quotes a source in Yanggang Province as saying that the Central Military Commission of the party delivered the orders via e-mail.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 11, 2017.
As is often the case, most people wait until the last minute to prepare for the worst.
As reported by CBS Detroit, one Army Surplus store owner reports that preparedness equipment is flying off the shelves:
‘We’ve been very busy. Unusually busy, I’d say,’ Orr told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. ‘It’s definitely an increase, just in selling all the normal prepper stuff, end of the world stuff. A lot of water prep stuff, food, MREs – the military meals.’
And there’s been a substantial increase in the sale of a particular item they don’t sell much of – a so-called radiation antidote called potassium iodide.
‘It actually stops your thyroid from absorbing any radiation. So, it fills your thyroid with iodine, which it normally does anyways,’ said Orr.
Another popular request: gas masks. But most people looking for those will be out of luck.
‘Gas masks are a big thing too, but we only sell them as novelty,’ said Orr.
Ed Thomas, a spokesperson for TopTierGearUSA.com, which distributes high-end protective equipment for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical emergencies, says that their web site has seen a 1200% spike in orders in the last week.
This post was published at shtfplan on August 11th, 2017.
In the latest escalation between two nuclear powers (aside for the US and North Korea of course), the Indian Army has ordered the evacuation of a village close to the Doklam India-Bhutan-China tri-junction amid to a standoff between Indian and Chinese solders, India’s News 18 reports. This takes place just days after, as we reported earlier this week, China turned the war threat amplifier up to ’11’ by threatening India (in an article published a Chinese state-controlled newspaper) that it could conduct a “small-scale military operation” to expel Indian troops from a contested region in the Himalayas.
As a reminder, the latest standoff started in June, after Chinese troops started building a road on a remote plateau, which is disputed by China and Bhutan. Indian troops countered by moving to the flashpoint zone to halt the work, with China accusing them of violating its territorial sovereignty and calling for their immediate withdrawal.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 10, 2017.
In the latest car-ramming terrorist attack in France, at least six French soldiers were injured, three of them seriously, after being rammed by what was described as a black BMW in a Paris suburb, French Armed forces confirmed, adding that the police were searching for the driver in what prosecutors are treating as the latest act of terrorism.
Patrick Balkany, the local mayor for the suburb of Levallois-Perret, said on French television that it was ‘without a doubt a deliberate act.’ Quoted by the WSJ, he said the vehicle involved was a black BMW. The driver waited in an alley near the local city hall before driving his car into the men as they walked out of a building toward their vehicle around 8 a.m. local time, Mr. Balkany added. He also said that the incident took place not far from the town hall.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2017.
In the latest escalation between two nuclear powers, China has turned the war threat amplifier up to ’11’ by threatening India (in an article published a Chinese state-controlled newspaper) that it could conduct a “small-scale military operation” to expel Indian troops from a contested region in the Himalayas.
The latest standoff started in June, after Chinese troops started building a road on a remote plateau, which is disputed by China and Bhutan. Indian troops countered by moving to the flashpoint zone to halt the work, with China accusing them of violating its territorial sovereignty and calling for their immediate withdrawal.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 7, 2017.
As part of the People’s Liberation Army’s 90th anniversary celebration – it was founded on August 1, 1927 – President Xi Jinping (in military fatigues) hosted a giant parade at the Zhurihe Training Center.
Zhurihe – Zhurihe certainly has enough room to hold all the people and equipment for a parade with thousands of soldiers, hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles, and dozens of ICBMs. -Xinhua News Agency
Here, PLA’s most elite forces demonstrated how far China has come in modern warfare. CCTV broadcast the session, which means a domestic and global audience of millions saw the army’s showcase of tanks, stealth fighters, artillery, and ICBMs.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 8, 2017.
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A ceasefire between Baltimore ‘gang leaders, drug dealers and others linked to the violence’ has been agreed on and will come into effect on Friday.
This is an act of desperation from a community that is currently experiencing a homicide rate doubled of Chicago’s and a murder count higher than NYC. The ceasefire aims to stop the killings for at-least 72-hours, starting on August 04-06.
The slogan selected by organizers gets right to the point: ‘Nobody kill anybody’.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 4, 2017.
21st Century Wire
Last month, UN war crimes investigators described the situation in Raqqa, Syria resulting from US airstrikes as a ‘staggering loss of civilian life.’ This from the US-led Coalition’s Operation Inherent Resolve – which the US has been trying to ‘resolve’ (rather unsuccessfully) since 2014.
US officials are now claiming that they have only killed around 600 civilians during its ‘anti-ISIS’ operations in Iraq and Syria, but that does not square with data collected by independent groups which brings the total to around 4,354 civilians (conservatively) who have been killed as a result of US-led coalition bombing campaigns since June 2014.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on August 5, 2017.
While the world’s eyes are focused on Syria, Russia, Ukraine, and North Korea; there is another – much more tense – fight between two nuclear powers that is getting far too little attention. The world’s two most populous nations, China and India, have been engaged in a border dispute for decades but in recent months it has flared once again with a Chinese Ministry of Defense official now warning explicitly that Indian troops must leave the contested Doklam area if they do not want war.
The latest standoff started more than a month ago after Chinese troops started building a road on a remote plateau, which is disputed by China and Bhutan. Indian troops countered by moving to the flashpoint zone to halt the work, with China accusing them of violating its territorial sovereignty and calling for their immediate withdrawal.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 3, 2017.
It is now almost six weeks since Chinese troops attempted to extend a road on Bhutan’s Dolam Plateau south towards the Jampheri Ridge. Indian troops, deployed at the Indian Army post at Doka La, physically prevented the Chinese from building a road from the ‘Turning Point’ on the Dolam Plateau to the Ridge.
Extension of the road would have endangered the security of the ‘Siliguri Corridor,’ a narrow strip that joins the Indian mainland with India’s northeastern states.
India’s action mentioned above elicited a shrill and vitriolic reaction from China which demanded immediate pullout of Indian troops and threatened war if India did not do so.
In contrast, India made an official statement on June 30 outlining its position and called for talks to resolve the differences peacefully. The Indian Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, stated in Rajya Sabha on July 20 that China’s action in Dolam violated a 2012 Agreement between the two countries to maintain the status quo in the area, till the issue was resolved through talks between India, China, and Bhutan.
Swaraj also suggested that both sides should withdraw their troops to restore the status quo ante, and commence talks to settle the matter. The Indian statements were couched in polite language, unlike those made by China. Nevertheless, China’s Global Times, called Swaraj a liar.
This post was published at 21st Century Wire on AUGUST 1, 2017.
Recently we learned that Erik Prince, founder of the security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Steve Feinberg, financier, and owner of DynCorp International, a leading military logistics, and training contractor, approached the Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, with their plan to use contractors instead of American troops to stabilize Afghanistan. The meeting was arranged at the behest of President Trump’s advisors who want to ensure their boss is apprised of the full range of options in Afghanistan.
The Secretary decided to stick with an in-house solution, that is to say, more of the same, for a war we are, in his words, ‘not winning.’ Secretary Mattis is no enemy of contractors, but hopefully, he reflected on what Messrs. Prince and Feinberg said before he briefed President Trump last week on the way ahead in Afghanistan.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.
The murdered cannot forgive. Their blood won’t be washed.
There is something eerily fascinating about cold-blooded murderers – a staple of Hollywood thrillers and crime dramas – killing without emotion or remorse. Ordinary humans, afflicted with guilt for minor, not even criminal transgressions, can’t conceive of pulling the trigger and then sitting down for dinner. In real life, the number of people who can is glancingly small. Even for those few, actions have consequences. The blood never washes away.
‘Live and let live,’ is, in American mythology, a benevolent and almost uniquely American attitude. We destroyed Japan and Germany in World War II and then helped rebuild them. Live and let live goes down well with the living, the winners. However, it’s often nothing more than balm for an uneasy conscience, hand sanitizer for bloodstained hands. A century and a half later, many Southerners lack this ‘unique’ American attitude towards their conquerers in the War of Northern Aggression.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 31, 2017.