World Watching Geo-Politics #27

 

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The New EU Is Even More Insane Than The Old EU

Von der Leyen is more of a euro-integrationist than Juncker was… But the trends are clear… von der Leyen is the past and Nigel Farage is the future….



Iran says its seizure of British ship a ‘reciprocal’ move

 WAR DRUMS IRAN

A British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero which was seized by the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Friday is photographed in the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, Saturday, July 20, 2019. The chairman of Britain’s House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee says military action to free the oil tanker seized by Iran would not be a good choice. Tom Tugendhat said Saturday it would be “extremely unwise” to seek a military solution to the escalating crisis, especially because the vessel has apparently been taken to a well-protected port. (Tasnim News]

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A powerful council in Iran said Saturday the country’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the strategic Strait of Hormuz was in response to Britain’s role in impounding an Iranian supertanker two weeks earlier.

Spokesman of Iran’s Guardian Council, Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, was quoted in the semi-official Fars news agency saying “the rule of reciprocal action is well-known in international law” and that Iran’s moves to “confront the illegitimate economic war and seizure of oil tankers is an instance of this rule and is based on international rights.”

The council rarely comments on state matters, but when it does it is seen as a reflection of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s views. That’s because the council works closely with Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters.



Iran Seizes Foreign Oil Tanker Accused of Smuggling Fuel: State TV

July 18, 2019

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has seized a foreign oil tanker because it was smuggling fuel, according to the country’s state television.

Iran’s Press TV said on July 18 that the Guard Corps seized the “foreign vessel,” which was supposedly smuggling one million barrels of fuel. It was seized near Larak Island in the Persian Gulf.

According to Iran’s Fars News agency, the ship had 12 foreign crew members on board and capacity for 2 million liters of fuel.

The Revolutionary Guards said the impounded vessel—which Iranian authorities have not yet named—was the same one it towed after it sent a distress call.





US Tech Giants Are Top Contributors to China’s Surveillance State

July 16, 2019

The IBM and Google led non-profit “OpenPOWER Foundation may be skirting technology-transfer restrictions to assist Chinese censors to surveil 200 million people.

With Western companies using patents to protect their intellectual property and set technical standards, China’s State Council launched an initiative in 2006 to influence international technology standards to “make market space for Chinese innovations.” Leveraging its 1989 Technology Standardization Law as the “sole legal basis for China’s standardization system,” foreign firms seeking to do business in China must “proactively disclose any patents which may be infringed by the proposed standard.”

China tech-standards start as recommendations by university scientists at government-funded institutions, including the National University of Defense Technology. A researcher setting a standard favored by Chinese companies is eligible to receive “bonuses, travel permissions, or credits toward promotions and tenure.” Given the limited value of foreign patents in China is offset by market size, IBM and Google are the premium sponsors for a Linux open-source software non-profit called “OpenPOWER.”

The Intercept reported that IBM under the OpenPOWER banner as an effort to “drive innovation” in China, has been leading a collaboration with China’s Semptian Big Data Solutions and top U.S. chip manufacturer Xilinx to “advance a breed of microprocessors that enable computers to analyze vast amounts of data more efficiently.”

A source that gave documents to The Intercept claimed that Shenzhen-based Semptian uses high-performance cloud computing to “enhance the capabilities of internet surveillance and censorship technology it provides to human rights-abusing security agencies in China” that routinely surveils 200 million Chinese Internet users each day.

The Intercept “after contacting Semptian under the pretext of a potential customer, received documents through Semptian’s iNext unit for a product called Aegis that can “store and analyze unlimited data” to offer “a full view to the virtual world”; reveal “the connections of everyone”; and provide “location information for everyone in the country.”



India lifted 271 million people out of poverty in 10 years:

UNITED NATIONS, JULY 12, 2019 
According to a UN report, India and Cambodia reduced their Multidimensional Poverty Index values the fastest.According to a UN report, India and Cambodia reduced their Multidimensional Poverty Index values the fastest.   | Photo Credit: Shaju John

India lifted 271 million people out of poverty between 2006 and 2016, recording the fastest reductions in the multidimensional poverty index values during the period with strong improvements in areas such as “assets, cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition,” a report by the United Nations said.

The 2019 global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) was released on Thursday.

The report said that in the 101 countries studied — 31 low income, 68 middle income and 2 high income – 1.3 billion people are “multidimensionally poor”, which means that poverty is defined not simply by income, but by a number of indicators, including poor health, poor quality of work and the threat of violence.

The report identifies 10 countries, with a combined population of around 2 billion people, to illustrate the level of poverty reduction, and all of them have shown statistically significant progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 1, namely ending poverty “in all its forms, everywhere”.

The 10 countries are Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru and Vietnam.

The report said that within these 10 countries, data shows that 270 million people moved out of multidimensional poverty from one survey to the next.





Macron Echoes Trump, Announces New French Military Space Force

French President Emmanuel Macron talks to US President Donald Trump, as they visit Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb at Les Invalides in Paris, on July 13, 2017, during Trump's 24-hour trip that coincides with France's national day and the 100th anniversary of US involvement in World War I.
CAROLYN KASTER/AFP/Getty

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday the French air force will expand to include a space command to improve the country’s defense capabilities.

The move echoes U.S. President Donald Trump who signed a policy directive in February requiring the secretary of defense to create a separate Space Force within the United States military.

“The Space Force will organize, equip, and train the next generation of warriors to deter aggression and defend the nation, our allies, and American interests against hostile actions in the form of space and taking place in space,” Mr Trump said.

The president noted that America’s enemies were already creating technology to threaten the country from space, which he was determined to meet and surpass, an enhancement to U.S. military capabilites that was applauded by Vice President Mike Pence:

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

The brave men and women here at Vandenberg AFB have made it a priority to advance our country’s leadership on the frontier of space in their work towards President @realDonaldTrump‘s Space Force! Thank you for all for your hard work, dedication, and service to our nation!

Macron’s declaration meanwhile came on the eve of France’s Bastille Day national celebrations that feature a military parade down Paris’s Champs-Elysees.

“To assure the development and the reinforcement of our capacities in space, a high command for space will be created in September,” Macron told military brass gathered for a traditional pre-Bastille Day reception.

He called the renewed military focus on space a “true national security issue.”

Observers see military activities — including spy satellites, location tracing and jamming, communications and cyber attacks — increasingly being set up in orbit around Earth.

France has a 2019-2025 military spending plan that allocates 3.6 billion euros ($4 billion) to defence in space.

That includes the renewal of the France’s CSO observation and Syracuse communication satellites, the launch of three CERES electromagnetic-monitoring satellites, and the modernisation of a spatial radar surveillance system called GRAVES.

In March, United Nations-backed talks in Geneva to prevent an arms race in outer space ended without agreement.









Hongkongers Use Ingenious Method to Break Through China’s Information Blockade

BY OLIVIA LI, EPOCH TIMES
July 10, 2019

Historically, airborne leaflets have been used as an effective form of psychological warfare. During the Second World War, the Allies dropped packets of leaflets or hydrogen balloons from aircraft over German territory to refute the Nazi regime’s deceptive propaganda. After the Korean War, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in South Korea have been using balloons to send materials censored in North Korea to the North Korean people.

In the past month, Chinese state media kept silent on the mass protests in Hong Kong. Internet police and robot censors continue to stop the spread of pictures, videos, and reports about the Hong Kong protests on all social media platforms.

As a result, many Chinese tourists who witnessed the July 7 parade in Hong Kong, a vast march with 230,000 participants, were shocked and bewildered by the event, as they had no idea what has been happening in Hong Kong over the last few weeks.

Having realized how important it is to help mainland Chinese understand what they have been fighting for, the Hong Kong protesters figured out an ingenious method to share information with tourists from mainland China. They are now using “AirDrop,” a file sharing feature that allows Apple devices (mobile phones, tablets, etc.) to send photos and videos over Bluetooth and wireless networks. They write the information in simplified Chinese characters to make sure the recipients would easily understand the content.

“Did you know that in the past month, there have been three large-scale parades in Hong Kong, and as many as 2 million people have taken to the streets to protest?” said one of the AirDropped leaflets.


 



UK Ambassador to the US Kim Darroch Resigns After Criticizing Trump



Chief Investment Officer of Largest US Public Pension Fund Has Deep Ties to Chinese Regime

July 8, 2019 Updated

Newly discovered deep ties between the chief investment officer (CIO) of the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and the Chinese government, along with CalPERS’s China investment holdings, have provoked controversy about the operations of the biggest public retirement fund in the nation.

CalPERS is one of the largest public retirement systems in the West. It manages more than $350 billion in funds for public employees either already retired from or currently working for most of the state and local public agencies in California.

The fund holds tens of millions of shares in equities of Chinese companies. Among other things, these companies develop advanced weapons for China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and are involved in unethical business practices and human rights abuses, including the concentration camps holding Uyghurs in Xinjiang, according to one expert.

According to a 2017 report by the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the current CIO of CalPERS, Yu “Ben” Meng, as at 2015 was a participant in the Chinese government’s prestigious headhunting program called the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP).

In testimony by the FBI to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2018, the TTP was called part of “China’s non-traditional espionage against the United States.”


July 9, 2019

US-China Space Race: Amazon and SpaceX to Launch 7,661 5G and 6G Satellites

US-China Space Race: Amazon and SpaceX to Launch 7,661 5G and 6G Satellites



Chinese Regime Waging Economic War With West, US Experts Warn

Chinese Regime Waging Economic War With West, US Experts Warn
BY CATHY HE, EPOCH TIMES



Nintendo Says to Shift Part of Switch Console Production Out of China

July 9, 2019

TOKYO—Nintendo Co Ltd plans to shift part of the production of its Switch gaming console to Vietnam from China to diversify manufacturing sites, a spokeswoman at the Japanese video game maker told Reuters on July 9.



SPACE RACE: BRANSON ON BRINK!
GALACTIC GOES PUBLIC

FLIGHTS WITHIN YEAR



 

Trump–Xi Summit a Clear Win for America

Steven W. Mosher
Updated: July 4, 2019

Chinese leader Xi Jinping came as a supplicant to the G-20 summit meeting in Japan with President Donald Trump, and left having narrowly escaped disaster.

Xi faces a flagging economy at home and a popular uprising in Hong Kong. In fact, the political crisis that his hardline policies toward the former British colony have caused is so sensitive that the Chinese side insisted that the issue not be brought up at the summit. The fear in Beijing is that the unrest will spread across the border.

Worse yet, he faced a U.S. president who has his finger on the “kill switch” of the Chinese economy, or at least on both its export sector and its premier high-technology company, Huawei.

Xi knew, better than anyone, that if Trump imposed 25 percent duties on all $570 billion worth of Chinese imports, the export sector of the Chinese economy, already limping along, would be fatally crippled. Factories would flee China, and millions would lose their jobs.





 

With Google doubling down on its criminal enterprise of election meddlingand politically motivated censorship, the world is becoming increasingly aware of how unfair and evil Google has become.

A new meme has emerged that perfectly captures Google’s “philosophy” of brainwashing the public by rigging search results and search suggestions to annihilate independent journalism and push establishment, liberal lies that enslave humanity and cause untold human suffering.


Israeli Fighter Jets Renew Aggression against Syrian Army positions near Damascus

 

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FARS
Israeli Fighter Jets Renews Aggression Against Syrian Army Positions in Homs, Near Damascus

Israeli warplanes conducted fresh attacks on the Damascus Army’s military positions in Eastern and Southern Syria by using Lebanon’s airspace, and were confronted by the Syrian Army’s air defense batteries, the Arabic-language media outlets reported on Monday.



July 3, 2019

Iran Warns It Will Increase Nuclear Enrichment Within Days

Iran Warns It Will Increase Nuclear Enrichment Within Days


 



The Iran Crisis Is Exposing a Far Deeper Conflict Between Trump and Europe

Europe and the U.S. have clashed on Iran policy since the revolution. But as Trump exacerbates tensions, Europe’s fears are more fundamental: that America is set on trashing the transatlantic alliance



China's President Xi Jinping attends a bilateral meeting with France's President Emmanuel Macron during the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP/Getty Images)

China’s Global Times government newspaper cited experts Sunday who credited “China’s mediation and encouragement” to North Korea for this weekend’s surprise meeting between President Donald Trump and communist dictator Kim Jong-un.

China’s Communist Party chairman Xi Jinping visited Pyongyang in June to give Kim assurances that China would support his rogue state amid the strictest sanctions North Korea has endured since its founding, which China allowed to pass through the U.N. General Assembly despite having veto power. Since the sanctions took hold in 2017, abundant evidence has surfaced that Chinese companies, which act only under the authority of the communist regime, have been helping Kim evade the sanctions and keep his economy afloat





July 1, 2019

The World Faces a Choice on the Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Founding

The World Faces a Choice on the Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party’s Founding



Fake News Media in Serious Trouble

June 30, 2019
Image result for images cnnlogo

I can’t think of a single major mainstream media outlet that has admitted to its audience that it has examined how it ended up presenting the Trump-Russia collusion hoax as real news for more than two years, figured out what went wws Media in Serious Trouble   

I can’t think of a single major mainstream media outlet that has admitted to its audience that it has examined how it ended up presenting the Trump-Russia collusion hoax as real news for more than two years, figured out what went wrong, and made the necessary corrections to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

Isn’t that a telling sign? They can’t bring themselves to admit it was all a hoax, because that would mean exposing the role they themselves played in creating and sustaining it for more than two years, as they relentlessly gaslighted the entire country






TOGETHER AGAIN!









Trump at G-20: Democratic Party ‘Has Become the Socialist Party’

OSAKA, Japan— President Donald Trump commented June 28 on Democratic presidential candidates, calling them socialists during his bilateral …



Image result for satellite images

Russia Blamed For “Mysterious” GPS System Disruption In Israeli Airspace

Israeli Army Radio reported that the disruption was a result of a satellite signal jammer used by the Russian military at Hmeimim Air Base base in Syria.



Chinese Consumers Shun All American Products As Nationalism Soars

This could get very ugly for American companies.



Concern over Angela Merkel’s health as German chancellor seen shaking for second time this month

 



BUSTED: Democrats are intentionally withholding assistance and supplies to illegal minors at the border so they can blame Trump for “caging children”

Image: BUSTED: Democrats are intentionally withholding assistance and supplies to illegal minors at the border so they can blame Trump for “caging children”

(Natural News) Even as they feign being heartbroken over the plight of illegal alien children being held in detention facilities at America’s southern border, leftist Democrats have kept themselves busy actively blocking aid to these same children as a gesture of hatred towards President Donald Trump.



Trump Arrives in Japan for G-20 Summit

OSAKA, Japan—President Donald Trump arrived in Osaka on June 27 ahead of a two-day Group of 20 (G-20) …











US Sanctions Iranian Regime Leader, Military Commanders

President Donald Trump imposed new “hard-hitting” sanctions on Iran on June 24 that targeted Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, …



Thousands of Taiwanese Rally Against Beijing Infiltration Through Media

Tens of thousands of Taiwanese citizens braved heavy rain for more than four hours on June 23 to …



 

Trump–Xi Meeting to Take Center Stage at the G-20 Summit









Trump Reveals Why He Called Off Military Strike Against Iran: ‘I Am in No Hurry’



 

Interview With ‘Shield Girl’: The Story Behind an Iconic Image From Hong Kong Protests

BY FRANK FANG, EPOCH TIMES
June 20, 2019

As the world turned its attention to Hong Kong’s mass protests against a controversial extradition bill, a young woman stood out among the hundreds of thousands.

Right in front of a line of riot police officers holding shields, Lam Ka Lo, 26, decided to sit down, close her eyes, and meditate.

Photojournalists from around the world captured the image. It soon circulated widely on social media. People called her “Shield Girl.”

“I wanted to protect those who were younger than me. That night, seeing how the police line kept advancing toward [the protesters], I just sat down with my back facing the police. I just wanted to let the police know that, we do not want you to keep on advancing. At the same time, we don’t want to attack you either,” said Lam, in an interview with the Hong Kong bureau of the Epoch Times.

On the evening on June 11, before legislative debates on the controversial bill were to take place the following day, Lam decided to join protesters in an area near Hong Kong’s government headquarters, located in the Admiralty neighborhood.

The Hong Kong government first proposed controversial amendments to its extradition laws in February, which would allow the chief executive—the city’s top official—to sign off on extradition requests, including from mainland China, without approval from the city’s unicameral legislature.