[Telegraph] The Royal Navy has trialled a new missile to target small boats in the wake of tensions with Iran.
HMS Sutherland, a Devonport-based Type 23 Frigate, fired four new Martlet missiles at a fast-moving speedboat off the Welsh coast to see whether the weapon could be launched from a ship as well as a helicopter.
The target boat took a direct hit in the Irish Sea. That's near the stern
Carrying a 3kg warhead, the missiles can accelerate rapidly up to one-and-a-half times the speed of sound and are guided to their target by following a laser beam fired from the ship or other assets nearby.
Designed to be fired by Wildcat helicopters, the Martlet – also known as the Lightweight Multi-role Missile - is undergoing trials prior to coming into service.
They can't be less useless than the 50Cal machine guns I see on you tube firing away in practice using sppedboats for targets.
Posted by: Roger Smith ||
07/20/2019 12:33 Comments ||
guided to their target by following a laser beam fired from the ship or other assets nearby.
Trying to keep a laser pointer on a little boat moving at high speed, bouncing along on the waves... sounds challenging. I would naively think some sort of electro-optical guidance would be handy for fire-and-forget. Especially against a swarm of boats.
[DAWN] Protesters set tyres alight and lobbed stones at security forces on Thursday in the Æthiopian city of Hawassa, where residents are demanding the creation of their own federal state.
The Sidama ethnic group, the largest in the southern region, has been agitating for their own semi-autonomous state, and expectations were high they would declare their own region unilaterally on Thursday.
While one prominent party earlier said it had agreed to delay the formation of the state, not everyone appeared happy with this decision.
An activist for the cause, Mate Mengesha, said security forces had blocked a planned meeting of Sidama elders and youth activists in the morning, where it was hoped officials would declare the formation of the new region.
However the officials never showed up, and the activists threw stones at security forces blocking them from the site. "The expectation was today is July 18 and on July 18 they want to have a declaration," he said. "The meeting didn’t happen."
Elsewhere protesters set tyres on fire, and blocked off roads, while several residents reported that mobile internet was down in the city.
"There are some fires around the outskirts of the city. Tyre fires in the road and so on. Most of them are on the outskirts," said Dr Abel Gedefaw, director of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at Hawassa University. "Everybody is not allowed to go out. There are a lot of security forces and nobody is allowed to move."
He said the university’s medical facilities had not received reports of casualties as of early afternoon.
With my coffee habit I have unintentionally learned a bit about Ethiopia. There are 2 big cities the capital being the prime. Then only place the government gives a damn about is the capital with rural regions being tagged to it sort of like fodder ...
So this breakaway region likely makes perfect sense from a distance.
A good way to get a sense of it is to go to sweetmarias dot com and click on the green coffees. Then select Africa and select Ethiopia. View the videos and read the text about the peoples and plantations for each varietal. When you consider them in the political and geographical context the whole starts to make sense.
[DW] Maritime security firms are increasingly turning to India and other Asian countries to hire lower-paid security guards. For some armed forces veterans, it's a lucrative way to return to civilian life.
That confrontation with Somali pirates still sends shivers down Abdul Razack's spine. It was a close shave for the former Indian Navy sailor.
Razack and his team of former Indian veterans were manning an oil tanker in the Red Sea off the coast of Somalia in 2013, when they came under attack from pirates.
Continued on Page 49
[BBC] The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been accused of widespread abuses in Sudan, including the 3 June massacre in which more than 120 people were reportedly killed, with many of the dead dumped in the River Nile. Sudan expert Alex de Waal charts their rise.
The RSF are now the real ruling power in Sudan. They are a new kind of regime: a hybrid of ethnic militia and business enterprise, a transnational mercenary force that has captured a state.
Their commander is General Mohamed Hamdan "Hemeti" Dagolo, and he and his fighters have come a long way since their early days as a rag-tag Arab militia widely denigrated as the "Janjaweed".
The RSF was formally established by decree of then-President Omar al-Bashir in 2013. But their core of 5,000 militiamen had been armed and active long before then.
Their story begins in 2003, when Mr Bashir's government mobilised Arab herders to fight against black African insurgents in Darfur.
'MEET THE JANJAWEED'
The core of the Janjaweed were camel-herding nomads from the Mahamid and Mahariya branches of the Rizeigat ethnic group of northern Darfur and adjoining areas of Chad - they ranged across the desert edge long before the border was drawn.
During the 2003-2005 Darfur war and massacres, the most infamous Janjaweed leader was Musa Hilal, chief of the Mahamid.
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Lockheed Martin was awarded a $1.48 billion contract to build the THAAD missile defense system for Soddy Arabia ...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face... , bringing the total value of the deal to $5.36 billion, the Pentagon said on Friday.
The new contract was a modification to a previously awarded agreement to produce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptor for Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said.
In November 2018, Saudi and US officials signed letters of offer and acceptance formalizing terms for Saudi Arabia’s purchase of 44 THAAD launchers, missiles and related equipment.
In April Lockheed was awarded a $2.4 billion contract for THAAD interceptor missiles, some of which are slated to be delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The latest contract is for interceptor support items.
Posted by: Fred ||
07/20/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Saudi Arabia
Used to be we bought their oil and they sent our money back to buy weapons. Now they just send their money to buy weapons. An improved business model for us, no doubt.
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
07/20/2019 7:57 Comments ||
As we continue to 'follow the money' I anxiously await discovery of the role Jeffrey Epstein and others may have played in all of this.
[IsraelTimes] Petrobras says vessels belong to a company sanctioned by the United States.
Brazil’s state oil company has refused to supply two Iranian ships anchored in the southern port of Paraná because they belong to a company sanctioned by the United States.
Petrobras said in a statement Friday that the Iranian ships, which were hired by an export-import company, appear on a list of the US government’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.
"If Petrobras supplies the ships, it runs the risk of being sanctioned and included on the same list and suffer serious harm," the statement said.
In addition, Petrobras said, the ships arrived from Iran ...a theocratic Shiite state divided among the Medes, the Persians, and the (Arab) Elamites. Formerly a fairly civilized nation ruled by a Shah, it became a victim of Islamic revolution in 1979. The nation is today noted for spontaneously taking over other countries' embassies, maintaining whorehouses run by clergymen, involvement in international drug trafficking, and financing sock puppet militias to extend the regime's influence. The word Iran is a cognate form of Aryan, the abbreviation IRGC is a cognate form of Stürmabteilung (or SA), the term Supreme Guide is a cognate form of either Shah or Führer or maybe both, and they hate JewsZionists Jews. Their economy is based on the production of oil and vitriol... transporting urea, which is subject to sanctions by the United States. Urea is used in manufacturing fertilizer, which is important for Brazil’s big agriculture sector, but it also is an ingredient for explosives.
"Brazilian companies were warned by us of that problem (US sanctions on Iran) and are at risk in that sense," President Jair Bolsonaro said when asked about the ships by journalists in Brasilia, the capital.
Bolsonaro noted that he is getting "increasingly" close to US President Donald Trump ...the Nailer of NAFTA... , who pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal with world powers last year and imposed economic sanctions on Tehran.
Iran is one of the main buyers of Brazilian agricultural products. The Tehran government has not publicly commented on the matter.
Petrobras said there were other fuel companies in Paraná that could supply the Iranian ships. It did not provide the name of the export-import company that hired the vessels or say where the firm is based.
The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had limited its involvement to providing information to Petrobras.
[DW] Germany's Central Register of Foreigners registered 1.8 million people seeking protection in 2018, an increase of 6%. Most of those who had protection status came from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Some 192,000 of registered applicants had rejected protection status, an increase of 15,000 compared to 2017. This was due to either a rejected asylum application or loss of their protection status, meaning they had to leave the country.
However, man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them... the government temporarily suspended most of those rejected for asylum. Afghanistan (19,000), Iraq (14,000) and Serbia (11,000) were the origin countries with the highest number of rejected applications.
The number of people seeking protection from the Western Balkan countries fell for the third consecutive year, from 68,000 in 2015 to 42,000 by the end of 2018.
[AnNahar] German captain Carola Rackete, who sparked international headlines by forcibly docking in an Italian port with rescued migrants colonists, was questioned by an Italian prosecutor on Thursday over allegedly aiding illegal immigration.
The captain of the Sea-Watch 3 arrived at court in the southern Sicilian town of Agrigento just before 10 am (0800 GMT).
She was met by a media scrum as she climbed the steps to the court under a baking sun but made no comment.
Rackete was arrested on June 29 for entering Italia's Lampedusa port despite a veto imposed by far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, and knocking a coasties boat out of the way to land 40 migrants colonists who were blocked at sea for over two weeks.
A judge overturned the arrest three days later, saying the 31-year old had merely acted to save lives.
Rackete remains in police custody in the Sicilian port of Licata and is still the object of two investigations -- one for entering Italian waters despite a direct order to stop, and another for aiding illegal immigration.
She will be heard on the latter on Thursday, and will have to explain why her crew rescued the migrants colonists without waiting for the Libyan coastguard, which has jurisdiction over the stretch of water in which they were found.
The 31-year-old will also be asked why she then sailed the Dutch-flagged vessel to Italia rather than a Libyan or Tunisian port.
Salvini insists that Italia's ports remain closed to people who attempt the perilous Mediterranean crossing.
Prosecutors in Agrigento appealed to Italia's highest court this week against the decision to drop charges against Rackete for forcibly entering the port of Lampedusa, in the hope of establishing a precedent to put off other privately run ships.
A few days after the Sea-Watch drama, another charity vessel forcibly landed in Lampedusa, a scenario that is likely to recur.
- 'CRIMINAL' -
Salvini's hardline stance has led to an upsurge in investigations into charity rescue vessels.
In March 2017, the Spanish vessel Open Arms was seized and its captain and head of mission were prosecuted after the crew refused to hand saved migrants colonists over to the Libyan coastguard, which arrived at the scene during a rescue operation.
A month later a judge ordered the vessel be released on the grounds that crisis-hit Libya could not be considered a safe port.
And the prosecutor's office in Catania, eastern Sicily, recently archived the case against the captain and mission head.
The same prosecutor closed a similar probe against the NGO Sea-Watch after a rescue operation in January, concluding that the crew's actions were justified.
But the Sea-Watch 3's dramatic port entry in June marked a new chapter in the war between Salvini and charity vessels.
The arrest of the dreadlocked Rackete sparked an online campaign which raised over 1.4 million euros ($1.57 million) in a few days to pay her legal fees and enable the German NGO to continue its operations -- with a new boat if necessary.
On Tuesday the parliament of Catalonia in Spain voted unanimously to honour Rackete with a Gold Medal, its highest award.
And the city of Gay Paree announced a donation of 100,000 euros to Sea-Watch, as well as a medal for Rackete and Pia Klemp, another German captain prosecuted in Italia.
Gay Paree's move infuriated Italia's far right, which noted that the French government had remained silent throughout the 15 days the ship had been blocked at sea, despite Rackete's numerous appeals for a safe port.
Salvini has stepped up his attacks on the rescue charities, which he has accused of aiding people-smugglers, while calling Rackete a "bigmouth" and a "criminal".
Rackete filed a complaint last week for defamation and incitement to violence, noting that Salvini's hostile messages on social networks have prompted an outpouring of sexist, violent and threatening comments from users.
[AnNahar] Iraqi Kurdish authorities Friday identified a Kurdish man from The Sick Man of Europe Turkey ...the occupiers of Greek Asia Minor... as the suspected shooter in the murder of a Ottoman Turkish diplomat, as Ottoman Turkish state media said he's the brother of an opposition politician.
Mazloum Dag, 27, is "wanted" for Wednesday's murder of Ottoman Turkish Vice Consul Osman and two Iraqis at a restaurant in the regional capital Arbil, the area's counterterrorism unit said.
A wanted notice released by the unit showed two photos of a black-haired young man with a close-cut beard, with one image apparently taken from CCTV footage.
"We call on all citizens to provide security services with information about this suspect as soon as possible," the counterterrorism unit said, adding that Dag is from Diyarbakir in Turkey.
It called the murder a "terrorist" act.
Turkey's Anadolu state news agency said the suspect is the brother of Dersim Dag, a member of Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party, the People's Democratic Party (HDP).
The HDP, the country's second largest opposition group, is regularly accused by President His Enormity, Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan the First ...Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him. It's a sin, a shame, and a felony to insult the president of Turkey. In Anatolia did Recep Bey a stately Presidential Palace decree, that has 1100 rooms. That's 968 more than in the White House, 400 more than in Versailles, and 325 more than Buckingham Palace, so you know who's really more important... of links to Turkey's outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
It "strongly" condemned the Arbil attack, calling it an "absolutely unacceptable provocation attempt".
The HDP also slammed the accusation that one of its deputies was "designated as a target because of his brother", without mentioning any names.
No group has grabbed credit for the attack.
Posted by: trailing wife ||
07/20/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Sublime Porte
[Jpost] Fatah, the party PA President Mahmoud Abas, said that the decision to name a summer camp after Dalal Mughrabi is justified as she is a "symbol for the humanistic struggle" against Israel.
Mughrabi was killed in 1978 after she led eleven Paleostinian and Lebanese faceless myrmidons in a killing and hijacking spree within Israel that claimed the lives of 38 Israelis, 13 of them children. It is the deadliest attack on Israeli civilians in the history of the Jewish state.
Among Paleostinians, Mughrabi is often seen as a martyr and as a positive example. The deaths of the children are explained as the result of the Israeli efforts to rescue the hostages Mughrabi kidnapped. The Israeli claim is that she blew up the entire bus with the children, and herself, inside.
"There’s nothing humanistic about you or her," wrote Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson Ofir Gendelman on Thursday, "look at the kids she murdered.’
The Sisters of Dalal Summer Camp was organized by the Tulkarem branch of the Fatah Movement’s Shabiba Youth Movement high school committees, with the support of the PLO Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, Paleostinian Media Watch reported on July 14.
Posted by: 3dc ||
07/20/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Iran
I'm having some trouble figuring out just what Iran is up to. Is their economy so bad that they are hoping for war just as a diversion? This doesn't make any sense at all to me, but it's hard to think of any other explanation for all this.
Sanctions and inflation is crushing their economy, even the Ayatollah's and IRGC's personal economies. The populace is rising up, and they need the distraction and hope to split the EU/US. Approaching irrational decision time
Posted by: Frank G ||
07/20/2019 12:57 Comments ||
[IsraelTimes] 25 years after Jewish center bombing, Treasury Department says Salman Raouf Salman remains a threat; State Dept. offers $7 million reward for information on his location.
The United States on Friday imposed financial sanctions on a Hezbollah leader suspected of criminal masterminding the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.
The US Treasury sanctions on the 25th anniversary of the attack freeze any assets of Salman Raouf Salman for acting for or on behalf of Hezbollah, while the State Department is offering a $7 million reward for information on his location.
Salman, a top leader in Hezbollah’s External Security Organization, which directs terror attacks around the world, "coordinated a devastating attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina ...a country located on the other side of the Deep South. It is covered with Pampers and inhabited by Grouchos, who dance the Tangle. They used to have some islands called the Malvinas located where the Falklands are now. They're not supposed to cry for Evita... against the largest Jewish center in South America 25 years ago and has directed terrorist operations in the Western Hemisphere for Hezbollah ever since," said Sigal Mandelker, the US Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The Treasury Department said Salman "provided all necessary support to perpetrate the terrorist attack against the AMIA building, coordinating the activities of the Hezbollah attack squad in Buenos Aires, and maintaining communication with Hezbollah leaders in Leb and the operations logistics command center in the Tri-Border Area [of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay]."
He has since risen through the ranks of the organization, and in recent years was identified as being behind foiled terrorist plots in Chile and Peru.
The US Treasury said the new sanctions highlight Hezbollah’s "ongoing operational presence in the Western Hemisphere and that [it] continues to pose a threat to the region by actively plotting attacks against civilian targets."
Salman has been reported to have joint Lebanese and Colombian citizenship, allowing him to move more easily across Latin America.
Asked where he is believed to be now, a senior administration official said: "We think he is probably somewhere in the Middle East."
The Treasury designation will freeze any assets he may have in the United States and criminalize any assistance to him, although Hezbollah as a whole is already under heavy US sanctions.
A State Department official said that the United States has been encouraging Latin American nations to follow the US model in blacklisting groups and individuals as terrorists.
Additionally on Thursday a bipartisan group of US senators introduced a resolution to remember the 1994 bombing.
And Argentina’s government on Thursday branded Hezbollah a terrorist organization and froze its assets, on the day it remembered the attack. Sirens rang out in cities throughout the country at 9:53 a.m., the exact time the bomb destroyed the Buenos Aires building, and names of those killed were read out at an official ceremony.
Argentina has accused top Iranian ex-officials of being behind the AMIA attack but has never been able to question them. Decades of investigations have been beset by political interference and allegations of high-level corruption.
With its 300,000-strong Jewish community ‐ second only to the US in the Americas ‐ Argentina is the only country in Latin America to have suffered such an anti-Semitic attack.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.