Kurdish female fighter blows up herself at ISIS gathering – yes, it’s getting this out-of-control

October 2014 SYRIAA female Kurdish fighter blew herself up at a gathering of the Islamic State (IS) near the Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria Sunday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The unnamed woman, which was a leading figure at the Kurdish militants of the People’s Protection Units or YPG, stormed a gathering of the IS fighters at the outskirts of Kobane, hurling grenades at them before blowing herself up, Xinhua reported citing the observatory.
The observatory said the incident marked the first instance where a female fighter carried out a suicide mission, especially in Kobane where Kurdish female fighters fight alongside the Kurdish men to defend the city against the wide-scale attack by the IS. The clashes around Kobane are still incessant as the IS succeeded to seize control over 350 villages around Kobane since they unleashed the attack against the city in September, the statement said. The suicide bombing by the Kurdish woman came just a couple of days after another 19-year-old Kurdish woman fighter shot herself down after finding herself surrounded by IS forces near Kobane. –BD News24
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Pakistani Taliban declare allegiance to Islamic State and global jihad

October 2014 PAKISTAN The Pakistani Taliban declared allegiance to Islamic State on Saturday and ordered militants across the region to help the Middle Eastern jihadist group in its campaign to set up a global Islamic caliphate. Islamic State, which controls swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been making inroads into South Asia, which has traditionally been dominated by local Taliban insurgencies against both the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments. The announcement comes after a September move by al Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahri, to name former Taliban commander Asim Umar as the “emir” of a new South Asia branch of the network that masterminded the 2001 attacks on the United States. Although there is little evidence of a firm alliance yet between IS and al Qaeda-linked Taliban commanders, IS activists have been spotted recently in the Pakistani city of Peshawar distributing pamphlets praising the group. ISIS flags have also been seen at street rallies in Indian-administered Kashmir. The trend has been of growing concern to global powers struggling to keep up with the fast-changing nature of the international Islamist insurgency. In a message marking the Muslim holy festival of Eid al-Adha, the Pakistani Taliban said they fully supported IS goals. “Oh our brothers, we are proud of you in your victories. We are with you in your happiness and your sorrow,” Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement sent to Reuters by email from an unknown location.
“In these troubled days, we call for your patience and stability, especially now that all your enemies are united against you. Please put all your rivalries behind you …All Muslims in the world have great expectations of you … We are with you, we will provide you with Mujahideen (fighters) and with every possible support.” The statement, released in Urdu, Pashto and Arabic, was sent after Islamic State militants beheaded British aid worker Alan Henning in a video posted on Friday, triggering condemnation by the British and U.S. governments. It also came despite recent speculation that the Taliban leadership, whose goal is to topple the government and set up a Sharia state, is actually wary of IS, which is driven by different ambitions that have little to do with South Asia. The Pakistani Taliban, funded by local as well as foreign charity donations from wealthy supporters in the Gulf and elsewhere, operate separately from the Afghan insurgents of the same name, but are loosely aligned with them. There are concerns about further turmoil in the region as most U.S.-led foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan this year, with groups like the Haqqani network likely to exploit the security vacuum to strengthen their hold on Afghan regions.
The Haqqani network, despite being based in Pakistan, is narrowly focused on its insurgency in Afghanistan and has not commented on IS-related developments. The Pakistani Taliban have been beset by bitter internal rivalries over the past year, with the influential Mehsud tribal faction of the group refusing to accept the authority of Mullah Fazlullah, who came to power in late 2013. IS, in an effort to extend its global reach, could exploit these rivalries to its advantage, wading into a region ripe with fierce anti-Western ideology and full of young unemployed men ready to take up guns and fight for Islam. –BD 24 News
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The Coming Collapse: U.S. Vice-President Biden says world is ‘literally fraying at the seams’

October 2014WASHINGTONVice President Joe Biden said the world is “literally fraying at the seams” during a speech to students at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government on Thursday. Biden chronicled recent international crises including unrest in Ukraine and the Middle East and the potential Ebola epidemic. He underscored America’s commitment to combatting these challenges by priority or the “wolves closest to the door.” “This has all led to a number of immediate crises that demand our attention from ISIL to Ebola to Ukraine–just to name a few that are on our front door–as someone said to me earlier this week, the wolves closest to the door,” Biden said. “The international order that we painstakingly built after World War II and defended over the past several decades is literally fraying at the seams right now.”
The vice president slammed Russian President Vladimir Putin for stifling the sovereignty of Ukraine and sparking further chaos. While much of Biden’s speech focused on the negative, Biden said he is committed to leaving a better world behind for future generations. “I’m optimistic because I know the history of the journey of this country,” he said. “And I have never been more optimistic about America’s future than I am today, and that is not hyperbole.” –Free Beacon
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Global Ponzi scheme approaching ‘day of reckoning’ – US, China, Europe nearing ‘Minsky moment,’ warns Economist

 Global Economy Utopia the Collapse
October 2014GLOBAL ECONOMYThe world’s three economic superpowers – the U.S., China and Europe – are heading for a major collapse in asset values because their economic models favor consumption instead of productivity, one economist has warned. “We’re still not wise enough to realize that our current model is a ‘Ponzi scheme’ rushing toward its inevitable ‘Minsky moment,” Steen Jakobsen, a chief economist at Danish investment bank Saxo Bank, said in a research note on Friday. The term “Minsky moment” refers to a phrase coined for the Asian debt crisis of the late 1990s by Pimco’s Paul McCulley. Unsustainable debt will be the cause of the crash, according to Jakobsen, and will occur when the cash returns on assets become insufficient to service the debt taken on to acquire those assets in the first place. He gives no timeframe for his thesis but says that the problem of huge debts has been swept under the carpet by central bankers and policymakers and will come back as low inflation or even deflation.
“We’re still working with the same dog-eared script we were introduced to all of five years ago,” he said. “Maintain sufficiently low interest rates to service the debt burden, pretend to have credible plan, but never address the structural problem and simply buy more time. But while we were able to get away with this theme for an awfully long time, the dynamic is now changing.” Central banks across the world launched bond-buying programs following the economic crash of 2008. Aside from injecting fresh funds into the economy, some economists have argued that bond-buying could also have deliberately helped to stoke inflation, which then erases sovereign debt – as debt loads lose their value when consumer price growth is strong. High-profile economists including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers have warned on the potential for “secular stagnation,” when a lack of investment in a developed economy leads to falling incomes and stagnant demand.
Jakobsen calls debt the “elephant in the room” and uses a simple equation on the U.S. economy to put across his point. He argues that U.S. productivity growth is low when if you consider that any shortfall in growth is being made up by increased debt. “The move onto the internet has ironically made us bigger consumers and less productive. Had we remained at pre-1970s productivity, the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product) would have been 55 percent higher and the outstanding debt to GDP would be easily fundable,” he claims in his note. “No serious policymaker or central banker is talking about the truth told by simple maths and hoping that things turn out well. Hope is not good policy and it belongs in church, not in the real economy.” –CNBC
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Stagnation and Recession: Europe is crumbling into economic collapse

October 2014 EUROPE As Europe’s central bankers gather in Naples to discuss the state of the region’s economy, the city stands as a stark warning of just how bad things can get. “If there’s a periphery of the eurozone’s periphery, that’s Naples,” said economist Riccardo Realfonzo, a former councilman of the Southern Italian city. “The gap between the debate at the Royal Palace in Capodimonte and everyday life can’t be filled with just monetary policy.” In Naples “there is a hunger for bread and justice, hope and future, work, legality and planning,” local Catholic Archbishop Crescenzio Sepe on Sept. 19 told the faithful gathered in the city’s medieval cathedral for the ritual of the so-called miracle of San Gennaro, the patron saint. Last year, Naples scored the highest among Italy’s main cities on the misery index, a gauge which combines unemployment and deflation. With a reading of 26.7% it stood above Greece. Much like Greece, Naples, hard hit by Italy’s longest recession on record, risked default this year after a court rejected plans to cut municipal debt of about €1 billion ($1.3 billion). Naples’ 2013 gross domestic product per capita was one-third less than Italy’s average and its unemployment was more than double the national average at 25.8%.
The outlook for the future is far from rosy after Italy entered a new recession in the second quarter and the government was forced to cut the country’s growth forecast. Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said yesterday 2014 GDP is seen shrinking 0.3%, compared with an April forecast of a 0.8% expansion. The government also sees GDP growing just 0.6% next year, compared with a previous estimate of 1.3%. Record-low interest rates in Europe have flipped bond investing on its head. Some bond buyers, typically paid for lending out their money, have begun paying borrowers to look after their cash. In September, yields on two-year Irish government debt dipped below zero for the first time, just four years after the country needed a €67.5 billion ($85.6 billion) bailout to avert a banking-system collapse. At the height of the eurozone’s debt crisis, Ireland’s two-year bonds were yielding more than 14%. Now, they are yielding about minus 0.01%. Yields move inversely to prices. The sharp drop in Ireland’s borrowing costs marks a rapid return of investor confidence, but the recovery is also part of a wider theme in Europe: central-bank policy pushing interest rates ever lower, and in some cases, turning bond yields negative. “We think negative yields will spread, because the impact of the ECB’s rate cut is ongoing,” said Mr. Bayliss. Yields will continue their decline as short-term debt matures and cash is reinvested, he added. “You’re going to see more countries and longer maturities in the negative-rate camp,” he said. Given that backdrop, one way investors can boost returns is by buying longer-dated bonds. Spanish government debt maturing in July 2017, for instance, yields roughly 0.5%, according to Tradeweb.
Three in every five Greeks, or some 6.3 million people, were living in poverty or under the threat of poverty in 2013 due to material deprivation and unemployment, a report by Parliament’s State Budget Office showed on Thursday. Using data on household incomes and living conditions, the report – titled “Minimum Income Policies in the European Union and Greece: A Comparative Analysis” – found that “some 2.5 million people are below the threshold of relative poverty, which is set at 60% of the average household income.” It added that “3.8 million people are facing the threat of poverty due to material deprivation and unemployment,” resulting in a total of 6.3 million people. In the medium term, Europe will fall to bits. It’s inevitable. The crumbling of the walls could only be prevented by overall increasing wealth, but the very structure of the Union doesn’t allow for that to happen. And neither does the global economy. As for the cheap loans and the yields on peripheral sovereign bonds, the money that investors have out there will flee in a massive move to the global financial center, the US, as soon as interest rates there are raised. Which is another major reason why they indeed will be raised. Come to daddy. And the EU will go from the lofty ideal of a peacemaker to the reality of being a cause for unrest and then war. It has already made that switch, but nobody notices yet. –Market Oracle
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U.S. launch airstrikes on ISIS targets inside of Syria

September 2014WASHINGTON — The U.S. military has begun air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria late Monday, as the war ordered by President Obama against the militant organization took on an urgent new phase. The Pentagon acknowledged responsibility for the attack in a brief statement. “I can confirm that U.S. military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIS terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary. “Given that these operations are ongoing, we are not in a position to provide additional details at this time.” The attack, carried out by warplanes dropping bombs and ships firing cruise missiles, hit about 20 IS targets, including headquarters buildings for the militants who have based their movement in Syria, according to a senior Defense Department official who was not authorized to speak publicly about the attack.
The strikes in Syria were not invited by the government of Bashar Assad who is waging a brutal civil war against opponents of his regime, including ISIS militants. It’s unclear how Assad will react to the U.S-led attacks. His military possesses sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles, although most of them are near the capital of Damascus and near the border with Israel. About two thirds of the estimated 30,000 ISIS fighters are based in Syria. The remainder has captured large parts of northern Iraq, although their momentum has been blunted there by U.S. fighter, bomber and drone aircraft. Last week, French warplanes launched attacks on ISIS targets in Iraq for the first time. For the last several weeks, U.S. spy planes have been flying over Syria collecting intelligence on potential ISIS targets. There have been 190 U.S. airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq since bombing there started in August, according to statistics from U.S. Central Command, which coordinates military activity in the region. The goal of ISIS fighters is to dominate a vast stretch of territory from Iraq to the Mediterranean. Last month, they swept through northern Iraq, capturing Mosul, the country’s second-largest city after Baghdad, and threatening the semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Kurdish forces and Iraqi commandos, backed by U.S. airpower, halted the advance of ISIS fighters and ejected them from control of two key dams near Mosul and Haditha. –USA Today
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RAF jets scrambled as Russian nuclear bombers threaten British airspace

September 2014LONDON – Royal Air Force jets were deployed from Scotland to intercept Russian military ‘Bear’ aircraft that were flying too close to the airspace it guards. Aircraft based at RAF Lossiemouth, based in Moray, were sent to identify the aircraft – Tu-95 Russian Bear H bombers – that were spotted in international airspace. It was the first time a Quick Reaction Alert had occurred since the base took on the role of defending the UK’s Northern airspace. ‘The many months of preparation and infrastructure improvements have made us absolutely ready for this launch, and shows we are in the best position to provide the service to the United Kingdom that the Royal Air Force was primarily created for – that is, the protection of our airspace.’ Royal Air Force Lossiemouth began a new era in its history on the 1st of September when it assumed the provision of what the RAF calls the ‘Quick Reaction Alert (Interceptor) North’ task for the United Kingdom. The role is carried out by crews from 6 Squadron. 
The pilot of the first launch, who has not been named, said ‘it was an honour’ to be part of the first alert, something he called a ‘milestone in the history of RAF Lossiemouth.’ He added: ‘The fact that we had a flawless scramble and intercept of two Russian Bears was a testament to the hard work and commitment of all personnel involved. ‘A very proud moment, not just for the pilots who did the intercept but the engineering crews who did a fantastic job, as well as many other station personnel involved in this constant commitment.’ In June two Typhoon jets were scrambled into action to head off four separate groups of Russian aircraft that were flying near the Baltic. The jets were deployed to ensure the Russian planes didn’t enter the airspace of Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia. The Ministry of Defence said the aircraft appeared to be carrying out a ‘routine training’ exercise in international airspace and were later escorted out of the area. That incident followed another where four Typhoons were sent to the Siauliai air base in Lithuania in May to support a Polish-led Nato force which was operating in the region. That mission was a gesture by Nato following the Ukraine crisis. –Daily Mail  
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Vladimir Putin threatens Ukraine, also says Russia could invade Europe within two days

Perlious Times 2
September 2014UKRAINE — Things in Europe are heating up with threats made by Russia President Vladimir Putin to the Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. In a private meeting also attended by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barraso, Putin said that Russian troops could reach multiple points in Europe in just two days. “If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest,” he said, according to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, citing a European Union memorandum of the meeting. While troops could move that swiftly, Putin apparently conceded that it would take up to two weeks to actually capture Kiev. Riga is the capital of Latvia, Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, Warsaw is the capital of Poland, and Bucharest is the capital of Romania. If the report is true then it would be the first time Putin has threatened to invade any NATO or European Union member countries.
“If Mr Putin were to act on this, Britain could find itself at war with Russia. All five countries mentioned in this alleged conversation are members of both the EU and NATO. They are covered by the security guarantee in Article V of Nato’s founding treaty, which states that ‘an attack on one is an attack on all,’” noted the Telegraph. “In a speech in Tallinn earlier this month, President Barack Obama confirmed NATO’s commitment to this doctrine.” Obama said in that speech: “If you ever ask again ‘Who will come to help?’ you’ll know the answer: the NATO alliance, including the armed forces of the United States of America. We’ll be here for Estonia. We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania.” Putin also told Poroshenko not to rely on the EU, claiming that Russia can bring about a “blocking minority” through some member states. Ukraine is working toward membership into the union. On Tuesday, it ratified a historic Association Agreement, putting it on the path towards eventual EU membership. The European Commission wouldn’t confirm or deny the meeting involving Putin, Poroshenko, and Barroso. “We will not conduct diplomacy in the press or discuss extracts of confidential conversations,” said Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, the Commission spokesperson. “What matters to the EU and the Commission is to contribute to lasting peace, stability and prosperity in Ukraine.” –Epoch Times
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U.S., Canadian jets intercept 6 Russian aircraft near Alaska

September 2014ALASKA Two F-22 fighter jets intercepted six Russian military airplanes that neared the western coast of Alaska, military officials said Friday. Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said the U.S. jets intercepted the planes about 55 nautical miles from the Alaskan coast at about 7 p.m. Pacific time Wednesday. The Russian planes were identified as two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers. They looped south and returned to their base in Russia after the U.S. jets were scrambled.
At about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, two Canadian CF-18 fighter jets intercepted two of the long-range bombers about 40 nautical miles off the Canadian coastline in the Beaufort Sea. In both cases, the Russian planes entered the Air Defense Identification Zone, which extends about 200 miles from the coastline. They did not enter sovereign airspace of the United States or Canada. Jazdyk said the fighter jets were scrambled “basically to let those aircraft know that we see them, and in case of a threat, to let them know we are there to protect our sovereign airspace.” In the past five years, jets under NORAD’s command have intercepted more than 50 Russian bombers approaching North American airspace. NORAD is a binational American and Canadian command responsible for air defense in North America. –Yahoo News
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Fifty-three percent of Chinese polled believe World War 3 will happen soon

China-jan
September 2014BEIJING - 53 percent of respondents in China thought that China and Japan would have a shooting war in the next six years, which may inevitably lead to war on a world-wide scale. The poll highlighted the deep-rooted mistrust that exists between the two countries, and the pessimistic world view that could lead to World War 3. The poll was jointly conducted by the China Daily and Japanese NGO Genron. Although the majority of Chinese respondents thought there’d be war by 2020, only 29 percent of Japanese felt that same way. Nevertheless, high feelings of mistrust existed on both sides. 93 percent of Japanese had a negative impression of the burgeoning Asian superpower, and 87 percent of Chinese felt the same way about Japan. It’s a hatred that has run deep since World War 2. In fact, China just recently marked the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the World War. The Chinese government has even declared it a national day, right as tensions continue to rise. Japan isn’t helping matters much either. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been criticized as being “insensitive” after visiting the Yasukuni shrine in January. The shrine is dedicated to those who died in war, including convicted war criminals. Most disturbing of all is the conflict over the Senkaku islands (known as the Diaoyu Islands in China and the Pinnacle Rocks in English-speaking countries.) The islands have been a potential flash-point, with both sides claiming ownership despite Japanese administrative control.
The U.S. has stated publicly that it would defend Japan over the islands, and is duty-bound to protect Japan if attacked. Since the end of the last World War, Japan has been one of America’s closest allies in Asia. A situation that resembles the very first world war? Earlier this year, Shinzo Abe was quoted as saying that the situation in Asia was similar to Europe before the first world war, and that China and Japan needed to avoid what happened between Germany and Great Britain. Abe later said that he was misquoted because of a bad translation, but the analogy had already grabbed the media’s attention. The world is again a web of different alliances and loyalties. Any serious conflict between Japan and China would force allies on both sides, like the U.S. and North Korea, into the fray. It’s not clear if the respondents for the poll understood how severe a conflict between the two countries would be. Hopefully the people are wrong, and World War 3 stays in the realm of the hypothetical. –Inquisitor
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