Category Archives: World News

Holder says WikiLeaks under criminal investigation


(AP) – 54 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will prosecute anyone found to have violated U.S. law in the leaks of classified government documents by online whistleblower WikiLeaks, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

“This is not saber-rattling,” said the attorney general, who declared that the Obama administration condemns the leaks.

Holder said the latest disclosure, involving classified State Department documents, puts at risk the security of the nation, its diplomats, intelligence assets and U.S. relationships with foreign governments.

“To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law, who put at risk the assets and the people I have described, they will be held responsible; they will be held accountable,” Holder said at a news conference on another topic. He called the WikiLeaks probe “an active, ongoing criminal investigation.”

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S. Korea may strike N. Korea’s missile base: President Lee


DEVELOPING STORY:

SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) — President Lee Myung-bak ordered his military Tuesday to strike North Korea’s missile base around its coastline artillery positions if it shows signs of additional provocation, his spokeswoman said.

In a video conference with Gen. Han Min-koo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president ordered “multiple-fold retaliation” against the North for its artillery attack on a South Korean island, according to presidential spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung.


N. Korea threatens additional attacks, accuses S. Korea of provocation


Developing story:

By Sam Kim
SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Yonhap) — North Korea threatened to continue “merciless” strikes on South Korea on Tuesday after the communist state launched a deadly artillery attack across their western sea border.

In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, the North’s top military command accused the South Korean military of initiating the exchange by shooting toward its side.

source


North Korea fires artillery barrage on South Korea


by Jung Ha-Won Jung Ha-won Tue Nov 23, 4:22 am ET

SEOUL (AFP) – North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto a South Korean island on Tuesday, killing one person, setting homes ablaze and triggering an exchange of fire as the South’s military went on top alert.

In what appeared to be one of the most serious border incidents since the 1950-53 war, South Korean troops fired back with cannon, the government convened in an underground war room and “multiple” air force jets scrambled.

The firing came after North Korea’s disclosure of an apparently operational uranium enrichment programme — a second potential way of building a nuclear bomb — which is causing serious alarm for the United States and its allies.

Some 50 shells landed on the South Korean border island of Yeonpyeong near the tense Yellow Sea border, damaging dozens of houses and sending plumes of thick smoke into the air, YTN television reported.

One South Korean marine — part of a contingent based permanently on the frontline island — was killed and 13 other marines were wounded, the military said. YTN said two civilians were also hurt.

“A Class-A military alert issued for battle situations was imposed immediately after shelling began,” a military spokesman said.

Sporadic firing by each side continued for over an hour before dying out, the military said.

The shelling began at 2:34 pm (0534 GMT) after the North sent several messages protesting about South Korean naval, air force and army training exercises being staged close to the border, a presidential spokesman said.

“Flashes along with a thunderous sound were seen here and there across our villages and up to 10 houses were engulfed in flames,” said Woo Soo-Woo, 62, a guesthouse owner on the island.

The shooting started bushfires at several places in the hills, he told AFP by phone after fleeing the island by ferry for the mainland port of Incheon.

“Frightened villagers rushed to nearby shelters while others were busy running away and crowded the port to escape,” Woo said, adding about 1,500-1,700 civilians live on the island.

“When I walked out, the whole village was on fire,” another villager was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying. “I’m at the evacuation site with other villagers and I am scared to death.”

Yeonpyeong lies just south of the border declared by United Nations forces after the war, but north of the sea border declared by Pyongyang.

The Yellow Sea border was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and last November.

Tensions have been acute since the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, which Seoul says was the result of a North Korean torpedo attack. Pyongyang has rejected the charge.

South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak convened an emergency meeting of ministers and top advisers in an underground war room, a presidential spokesman said. He urged the officials “to prevent further escalation”.

The firing comes after Kim Jong-Un, the little-known youngest son of ailing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, was officially recognised as his father’s eventual successor.

“This is an intentional provocation to heighten cross-border tensions,” Dongguk University professor Kim Yong-Hyun told AFP.

“The North made a series of gestures but there has been no response from South Korea and the United States. It is now using its brinkmanship aimed at forcing Seoul and Washington to take action and agree to dialogue.”

Kim said the North would try to use the clash to promote solidarity among its people during the leadership succession.

“It is also sending a strong message to the United States and the international community that the peninsula urgently needs a peace regime.”

A US special envoy headed to China Tuesday to seek its help in curbing North Korea’s new nuclear project, revealed to US experts who described a sophisticated programme to enrich uranium.

Stephen Bosworth has also visited South Korea and Japan this week to discuss the disclosure, which US officials say would allow the isolated North to build new atomic bombs.

Bosworth, speaking in Tokyo, ruled out a resumption of stalled six-nation talks — aimed at denuclearising the North in return for aid and other concessions — while work continues on the enrichment drive.

China chairs the talks and is also the North’s sole major ally and economic prop.

It appealed for the six-party talks to resume after the new revelations, and expressed concern over Tuesday’s cross-border firing. Russia also warned against an escalation of tensions on the peninsula…continue to source.


Russian Made Chinese warplanes refuel in Iran and Pakistan, enroute to Turkey.


October 05, 2010 (Hamsayeh.net) – Last Saturday, Iran allowed Chinese warplanes use its airspace to join a military drill with neighboring Turkey before an upcoming visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Ankara. The two countries reportedly conducted a military drill in central Anatolian region, last month.

Powerful Turkey is a NATO member and the historic country is strategically located between Asia and Europe. Until last year, Turkish military allowed US, NATO and Israel the opportunity to conduct drills codenamed Anatolian Eagle over Turkish air space.. The joint Turkish – Chinese military exercise would include Turkish US supplied F-16, and Chinese Su-27 and Mig-29 taking part in, ‘mock dogfights during the drills.’ Press TV reported.

Ankara and Beijing have also jointly manufactured missiles and other weapons since 1990.  The government of President Abdullah Gul which enjoys massive support among Turkish population and within the country’s powerful military brass, has increased cooperation with Russia, China, Brazil, Iran and other leading countries outside US’ ever-diminishing sphere of influence. Turkish cooperation with Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan in the field of energy is set to expand substantially when it begins to transit oil and gas from the region though its territory to European consumers in the near future.

Ankara played a pivotal role in establishing peace between the Palestinians and Israelis until Tel Aviv with US backings started to take advantage of Turkey’s patience and goodwill. Following a brutal Israel’s attack on Turkish humanitarian flotilla destined for Gaza, last May, in which nine innocent Turkish civilians were killed inside international waters, Ankara suspended strategic relations with Tel Aviv. Despite plenty of evidence that prove Israeli crime against Turkish flotilla, Washington continues to blindly support Israel and it even ignored the killing of Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old student who held dual Turkish-American citizenship.

Ever since that incident, the US government has been busy  whitewashing Israel’s atrocities against the international community notably the  killings of innocent Turkish activists aboard Mavi Marmara. The Obama administration has repeatedly turned down Ankara’s demands from US to adhere to international norms by bringing Israeli regime pay for its crimes against humanity.

HISTORY OF ANATOLIAN EAGLE

At the end of 20th century and at the beginning of 2000s, the Gulf War, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Iraq Wars have shown that the Air Forces will play the major role in deterrence and in the determination of the outcomes of the future wars.

Starting from the beginning of the 1980s, with the consciousness of expected duties and with the philosophy of “No matter how modern the weapons are, it is men that use them.”, the Türkish Air Force gave importance to infrastructure, modernization of weapons and training. With the addition of experiences gained from the trainings and maneuvers attended in Internal Security Operation, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo Wars, the Turkish Air Force, as one of the major Air Forces in its region and in Europe, has come to a level to train Air Forces of other countries. The best example for this is the Anatolian Eagle (AE) trainings which have been performed starting from first Anatolian Eagle (AE) – 01 training carried out at 18-29 June 2001 until present.

As the geopolitical position of Türkiye is evaluated: being close to the energy sources in the world, the political instability and the over-arming in the surrounding countries force the Turkish Air Force to own weapons of the highest technology and to maintain the highest level of training.

The AE trainings are similar to the Red Flag (RF) trainings which have been performed in the Nellis Air Base of USA. The first RF training experience started in 1983 with a crew of 6 people consisting of 4 pilots and 2 WSOs going to this base as observers and flying 2 sorties in USAF aircrafts. The first participation to the RF training is realized at 09-23 August 1997 with the deployment of 6 x F-16s and 57 personnel to Nellis Air Base. Later on with the participation of Turkish and American squadrons in İncirlik, firstly at 02-15 May 1998 and secondly at 21 September – 02 October 1998, the RF-like Anatolian Flag (AF) trainings were performed. At 23 January – 05 February 2000 the second participation to the RF training was realized and in June 2000, and with the directive of Turkish Air Force Command, the preparations for the realization of the AE-01 training were started by TAF Operations Command.

The summary of activities from June 2000 until the beginning of the training are:

  • Presentation of AF Project to the Command (30 June 2000)
  • Publication of AF implementation directive (25 July 2000)
  • Implementation plan for AFP and AF-01 training (22 November 2000)
  • Nellis site survey (10-16 February 2001)
  • Presentation of the briefing to the Turkish Chief of Staff (29 March 2001)
  • NSC briefing (30 March 2001)
  • Publication of NSC resolution number 468 on “Anatolian Eagle (AE) – Turkish Armed Forces Joint Training Center” of date 30 March 2001
  • Publication of EXOPORD (14 May 2001)
  • Completion of Operation Center, White-Red-Blue Headquarters, ACMI and similar infrastructure (12 June 2001)

AE-01 training, under the responsibility of 1st Tactical Air Force Command, realized at 18-29 June 2001 with the participation of Turkish, American and Israel Air Forces and hosted by 3rd Main Jet Base Command. The participation and date information for the following years are shown below:

The summary of activities from June 2000 until the beginning of the training are:
Training Date Participants
AE-01 18-29 June 2001 Türkiye, Israel, USA.
AE-02/1 22 April 3 May 2002 Türkiye, USA.
AE-02/3 14-25 October 2002 Türkiye, UEA, USA.
AE-03/3 03-14 November 2003 Türkiye, Germany, Israel, USA.
AE-04/1 05-16 April 2004 National
AE-04/2 07-18 June 2004 Türkiye, Israel, Jordan, USA.
AE-04/3 27 Sept-08 Oct 2004 Türkiye, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Pakistan, USA.
AE-05/1 04-15 April 2005 National
AE-05/3 12-23 September 2005 Türkiye, Italy, France, Netherlands.
AE-05/4 14-25 November 2005 Türkiye, Belgium, Israel, USA.
AE-06/1 24 April-05 May 2006 National
AE-06/2 12-22 June 2006 Türkiye, France, NATO, Pakistan, USA.
AE-06/3 04-15 September 2006 Türkiye, NATO
AE-06/4 06-18 November 2006 Türkiye, NATO, USA.
AE-07/2 11 – 22 Haziran 2007 Türkiye, England, Jordan, NATO, Pakistan, USA.
AE-07/3 03 – 14 September 2007 National.
AE-07/4 05 – 16 November 2007 National.
AE-08/1 05 – 16 May 2008 National.
AE-08/2 09 – 20 June 2008 Türkiye, BAE, Jordan, NATO, USA.
AE-08/3 08 – 19 September 2008 Türkiye, Israel, Italy, USA.
AE-08/4 03 – 14 November 2008 Türkiye, Pakistan.
AE-09/1 27 April – 8 May 2009 National.
AE-09/2 08 – 19 June 2009 Türkiye, BAE, England, NATO, Jordan, USA.
AE-09/3 12 – 23 October 2009 Türkiye, NATO.
AE-09/4 02 – 13 November 2009 Türkiye, Pakistan
The planned AE trainings for the year 2010 are:
AE-10/1 19-30 April 2010
AE-10/2 07-18 June 2010
AE-10/3 11 – 22 October 2010

AE trainings are realized in close-to-real war environment, with a scenario from easy to hard, with the advantage of high technology and by monitoring the quality of the trainings on the computer environment. The aim is to test the knowledge and abilities of all participants, to raise the level of the training by detecting the hitches and deficiencies.

The fundamental of the scenario consists of the attack of BLUE team with Combined Air Operation (COMAO) on the tactical and strategic targets in RED lands which are defended by fighter aircrafts and SAM systems.

The White Headquarters, sort of the brain of AE in which the AE crew works, is the center building in which the trainings are planned and the statistical studies are carried out.

Command Control Center is the headquarters in which the information (location, position and flight information) of aircrafts, which are transferred through ACMI (Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation), can be observed in real-time. The tracks detected by AWACS and land radars and real-time searching, locking and shooting images of SAM and anti-aircraft systems can be observed. Also the MASE (Multi Aegis Site Emulator) Operation Center, Anatolian Eagle sorties and daily base flights are controlled and commanded here. The main briefing hall, which is located in the same building with CCC, has a capacity of 450 people and the last briefings before Eagle Sorties and the debriefings after flights are carried out here.

Located in the Red Building, Red Forces plan their tasks and have their briefings here. No one except the Red Forces can enter this building. Also in the same way, the Red Forces personnel cannot enter other building.

The national and foreign squadrons participating in Anatolian Eagle trainings are stationed in Blue-1, Blue-2 and Blue-3 buildings. Each building has briefing rooms for squadrons to have briefings and brain-storming.

With a capacity of 260 rooms and 520 beds, the construction of AE dormitory is completed before 2002 AE trainings and the settlement problem was partially solved. In the following years, in the same region with the dormitory, two dormitories, a restaurant, officer and NCO clubs and other activity centers will be built.

The AE Airspace is expended towards south and reached a dimension of 200 nm. east-west and 150 nm. north-south. The Salt Area, the main operation airspace, is being used from ground level up to 50,000 feet.

During the AE trainings the AWACS gives C2 support to Blue forces and the land radar located on the base gives GCI support to Red forces and the Turkish tanker aircrafts give AAR support to both forces…continue to source.


Is the war between Iran and Israel already starting? You must read this!


October 8, 2010

Iranian president Mahmoud  Ahmadinejad, in a classic “in-your-face” raspberry to the west, will come to southern Lebanon next week (despite flop-kneed protest from the U.S.)   He is scheduled to appear with reclusive Hizbollah header,  Hassan Nasrallah, who  is rumored to be coming out of his bunker for the first time since 2008.  Nasrallah  has lived in hiding since the fighting  with Israel in 2006.  The motivation and grim facts in the background of this visit should worry everyone.

According to Debka. com below, Iranian National guard have taken over the south of Lebanon to keep Ahmadinejad safe, a highly unusual and intimidating sight….and there’s more.

Imagine the spectacle of A-jad, a madman who wants to wipe Israel “from the face of the Earth,” and Nasrallah who has called Israel, “the state of the grandsons of apes and pigs – the Zionist Jews,”  standing on a platform throwing rocks across the border into Israel.

The Daily Star in Lebanon says Ahmadinejad and Nassrallah are scheduled for Al-Raya stadium together next week.  The facility holds 40,000.

Debka.com:

Fred Hof, the US diplomat said to have excellent connections in Damascus, is due in Beirut Thursday, Oct. 7, secretly assigned by the White House to try and get Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon cancelled. debkafile’s Middle East sources say he comes too late. Already, hectic preparations for the Oct.13-14 visit have advanced to the point that Beirut and South Lebanon up to the Israeli border have been taken over. It is now a virtual Ahmadinejad-land controlled by an estimated 2,500 members of the Revolutionary Guards special security unit who were imported for the occasion.

They were carried from Tehran by special airlift to Damascus whence a convoy of buses drove them to Beirut and then dispersed them across the Lebanese capital and the South.

debkafile’s military sources say that it is the largest contingent of IRGC special forces ever deployed outside Iran. Gen. Qasim Sulaimani, commander of the Al Qods Brigades (which is responsible for the IRGC’s external terrorist operations) arrived in Lebanon secretly to take charge of the security preparations for the visit. Wafiq Safa, head of Hizballah’ Special Security unit is acting as his deputy with  5,000 Hizballah commando fighters under his command.

Wednesday, Oct. 6, the entire Hizballah militia and its intelligence and security arms were on the highest level of the preparedness as the last arrangements for the Iranian president’s visit were put in place.

The event’s high point, our sources report, will be the joint appearance of Ahmadinejad and Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in his first public appearance in the flesh in the four years since he fled to a Beirut bunker after the 2006 war with Israel. It will also be his first visit to South Lebanon, where he will see every village, public building, road junction, highway and even one of the UN peacekeepers’ posts already plastered with Iranian flags.

At Maron al-Ras, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the 2006 war, a gigantic replica of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem has been erected to symbolically mark Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon as a step closer toward the “liberation” of Temple Mount from Israel.

And at Fatma Gate facing Israel’s northernmost town of Metulla, a platform has been placed in position for the Iranian president and Hizballah leader to throw rocks across the border at the Israeli population and the IDF units guarding it. They plan to enlist thousands of Lebanese villagers to stand at the border fence and join in the stone-throwing spectacle…continue to source article.


China Passes U.S. as World’s Biggest Energy Consumer


By SPENCER SWARTZ

China is now the world’s biggest energy consumer, knocking the U.S. off a perch it held for more than a century, according to new data from the International Energy Agency.

The Paris-based agency, whose forecasts are generally regarded as bellwether indicators for the energy industry, said China devoured 2,252 million tons of oil equivalent last year, or about 4% more than the U.S., which burned through 2,170 million tons of oil equivalent. The oil-equivalent metric represents all forms of energy consumed, including crude oil, nuclear, coal, natural gas and renewable sources such as hydropower.

The figures reflect, in part, how the global recession hit the U.S. more severely than China and hurt American industrial activity and energy use. Still, China’s total energy consumption has clocked annual double-digit growth rates for many years, driven by the country’s big industrial base. Highlighting how quickly its energy demand has increased, China’s total energy consumption was just half the size of the U.S. 10 years ago.

“The fact that China overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest energy consumer symbolizes the start of a new age in the history of energy,” IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said in an interview. The U.S. had been the biggest overall energy consumer since the early 1900s, he said. The IEA is an energy adviser to most of the world’s biggest economies…continue to original post