unveils

Unmanned subs, sniper drones, gun that won’t miss: Israel unveils future weapons

https://www.timesofisrael.com/unmanned-subs-and-sniper-drones-israel-unveils-its-weapons-of-the-future/

 

The Defense Ministry’s weapons development department on Tuesday unveiled nine pieces of technology, including two unmanned submarines and a hybrid gas-electric powerful tank, that are due to enter service in the IDF in the coming years.

Some of these technologies are already in the advanced stages of development and have been presented to the military for consideration, while others are still in the planning phase and will need years before they will be combat ready. None of the technologies presented by the ministry has yet been declared operational by the IDF.

They were developed by the ministry’s Weapons Development Administration, in collaboration with foreign and domestic companies, and in one case with a public university.

The Weapons Development Administration, known in Hebrew by its acronym Mafat, is made up of thousands of workers, hundreds of soldiers. It manages some 1,500 defense projects at a given time.

Brig. Gen. (res.) Daniel Gold, who leads the department, said on Tuesday that he and his employees “try not to limit ourselves with the classic methodologies that are prevalent around the world,” which are typically top-down efforts.

Instead, he said, Mafat tries to connect with soldiers on the ground, determine what they need and then work to make them something that will fulfill that gap.

In addition, the department “tries to predict what the future battlefield will look like, in terms of both threats and technologies,” Gold said.

One of the more significant pieces of technology presented Tuesday was the Carmel armored vehicle, which is set to eventually replace the army’s current Merkava tank, in use for some 40 years.

In addition to its role as the military’s main battle tank, the Merkava is also the basis for the Namer armored personnel carrier and various combat engineering vehicles. According to the ministry, the Carmel is set to preform a similar function and can be outfitted with everything from howitzers to mine-clearing plows. And unlike the Merkava, which requires a four-person crew, the Carmel needs only two soldiers to operate it.

The new tank, which will feature a hybrid gas-electric motor, powered by a bank of batteries, is being developed by the Weapons Development Administration and the ministry’s Merkava Administration, along with various defense companies.

According to the ministry, the Carmel will be “light, small, fast, deadly, durable, easy to operate and comparatively cheap.”

The Weapons Development Administration also unveiled two unmanned submarines, one of them big and the other small.

The larger submersible, known as the Caesaron, can be equipped with a variety of sensors and payloads. It is specifically designed for intelligence gathering, the ministry said.

In addition to the larger Caesaron, the ministry also unveiled a small, as-yet-unnamed submarine that it is currently developing with the help of Bar Ilan University.

The small submersible drone is aimed at “searching and mapping missions,” the ministry said.

“It costs a third the amount of similar submarines in the world and surpasses them in its ability to float and move in every direction,” the ministry added.

The administration also unveiled three new types of drones. Two of them are transport unmanned aerial vehicles, while the third is an attack drone, capable of firing an attached assault rifle.

The two transport drones were developed for an open competition among defense contractors, called the “Green Yasuron.”

The ministry said the requirements for the competition were “deliberately very general: develop a small UAV or drone that will be able to fly autonomously to a distance of eight kilometers with a carrying capacity of 150 liters that weighs at least 60 kilograms.”

The drone would have to carry that package to a predetermined location, drop the package and return to its base.

Two very different UAVs completed the competition, one developed by the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, the other by the private Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd.

The IAI drone is essentially a remote-controlled helicopter. It has one main rotor to keep it aloft and a second rear rotor to steer. The UAV is able to lift nearly 400 pounds (180 kilograms) and has a top speed of 93 miles per hour (150 kilometers per hour).

The Aeronautics UAV, on the other hand, has multiple rotors that get it in the air. The drone is much smaller and much less powerful, capable of carrying half the weight as IAI’s aircraft and flying half as fast.

As both completed the competition, there was no clear winner. The Defense Ministry said it was still considering how to proceed and use the two drones.

In addition, the Weapons Development Administration unveiled an attack drone produced by a US-based company called Duke Robotics, Inc.

The TIKAD, as the drone is known, is capable of carrying and accurately firing an assault rifle. The drone is already in advanced stages of developing and has been presented to the IDF for consideration.

“Its operability will be considered in the coming year,” the Defense Ministry said.

It would be used to “carry out sniper fire, create surprises on the field of battle and prevent risks to our troops,” the ministry said.

The Weapons Development Administration also presented a number of unmanned vehicles that the army is considering for use. This included pre-existing vehicles — trucks, D-9 bulldozers and front-loaders — that are modified to allow them to be controlled from afar or travel autonomouslyt, as well as specially made ones.

The ministry said it expected that these autonomous vehicles will be able to replace some manned ones in areas like combat engineering and logistics.

The IDF already has a number of autonomous patrol cars and trucks in service.

Finally, the ministry unveiled a new gun system that is supposed to ensure that soldiers only hit their targets and not any innocent bystanders.

The soldier uses an electro-optical aiming system to lock on to a target and can then set the gun to not fire at anything else with the push of a button.

“Tests that have been carried out until now found that use of the system significantly increased the percentage of hits on target and lessened the percentage of hits on ‘bystanders,’” the ministry said.

The SMASH system is expected to go into service with the IDF’s Ground Forces soon, the ministry said.

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US unveils tougher new UN sanctions on North Korea

UNITED NATIONS: The United States on Friday (Aug 4) presented a draft UN resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea with a sweeping ban on exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood that could deprive Pyongyang of US$1 billion in annual revenue.

After a month of negotiations, the United States reached a deal with China, North Korea’s main trading partner and ally, on the measures aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Pyongyang to halt its missile and nuclear tests.

The United States requested the UN Security Council hold a vote on Saturday on the new raft of sanctions, but the meeting was not immediately confirmed.

The draft resolution calls for a ban on all exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state, according to the text seen by AFP.

If implemented by all countries, the ban would strip Pyongyang of roughly a third of its export earnings estimated at US$3 billion per year, according to a diplomat familiar with the negotiations.

The diplomat, who briefed reporters on the content of the draft, said he had “high confidence” that China and Russia would support the proposed sanctions.

Backed by its European allies, Japan and South Korea, the United States has been leading the push at the United Nations for tougher sanctions in response to North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Jul 4.

A second test on Jul 28 further raised alarm about Pyongyang’s drive to develop a missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

The draft text would also prevent North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad, prohibit all new joint ventures and ban new investment in the current joint companies.

North Korea is blamed for a “massive diversion of its scarce resources” toward the development of “nuclear weapons and a number of expensive ballistic missile programmes,” the draft resolution said.

The new raft of measures would be the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006, but these have failed to compel Pyongyang to change its behaviour.

Two resolutions adopted last year however have introduced economic sanctions with more bite.

The United States has put heavy pressure on China, which accounts for 90 per cent of trade with North Korea, to enforce the sanctions.

NO BAN ON OIL

The proposed resolution would add North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank, which manages foreign exchange, to a UN sanctions blacklist that imposes an assets freeze.

It would also tighten trade restrictions on technology to prevent North Korea from acquiring items that could be used for its military programs.

Under the proposed measure, North Korean vessels caught violating UN resolutions would be banned from entering ports in all countries.

The draft resolution however does not provide for cuts to oil deliveries to North Korea – a move that would have dealt a serious blow to the economy.

Russia, which like China is a veto-wielding council member, had warned that it would not support sanctions that would worsen North Korea’s humanitarian crisis.

The United States and its European allies, as well as Japan and South Korea, have argued that tougher sanctions are needed to force North Korea to halt its military programmes.

China and Russia have meanwhile insisted that sanctions alone will not change Pyongyang’s behaviour and that talks are needed to address the crisis.

As negotiations at the United Nations entered the final stretch, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that Washington was not seeking regime change in North Korea and was willing to talk to Pyongyang.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/us-unveils-tougher-new-un-sanctions-on-north-korea-9094900

On a disputed South China Sea island, Beijing unveils a high-tech cinema


The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) in waters east of the Korean Peninsula. (U.S. Navy/MC Third Class Kurtis A. Hatcher via European Pressphoto Agency)

Over 200 Chinese moviegoers attended a screening on Yongxing Island in the South China Sea on Saturday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The cinema is operated by Hainan Film Company and comes with up-to-date technology, the agency reported, including both 4K resolution and a 3-D perforated screen. The new movie theater has received widespread attention in Beijing’s state-run media — with Xinhua describing it as “China’s southernmost cinema.”

But its opening also plays a more controversial role in one of Asia’s most fraught territorial disputes.

Yongxing Island, known internationally as Woody Island, is the largest of the Paracel Islands. These islands are in a part of the South China Sea claimed simultaneously by China, Vietnam and Taiwan — part of a broader set of geopolitical disputes in the sea that also involve many Southeast Asian nations. China has long claimed much of the islands, reefs and atolls in this sea, pointing toward a historical claim known as the “nine-dash line.”

Disputes over the geographically useful region have long been a recurring theme of diplomacy. Last year, an international court in The Hague rejected most of China’s claims in the region. The United States has challenged China’s sovereignty in the area and has sailed Navy destroyers through the contested waters as recently as early July.

Beijing has dismissed international condemnation and instead worked to build up its presence on the tiny and often isolated islands it claims in the South China Sea. Many of these moves serve a military purpose: Last year, China was reported to have moved advanced surface-to-air missiles to Woody Island.

But Beijing has also made clear efforts to create a livable city for residents on these islands. In 2012, China set up a prefecture-level city named Sansha on Woody Island, soon unveiling structures such as a school and a hospital and even setting up a 4G mobile signal network. Xinhua reports that the city “also has a stadium and has organized various cultural activities to enrich the lives of residents.”

The greater purpose of these civilian-minded infrastructure installations may still be military — last year, a Chinese military newspaper reported that three-quarters of residents were military personnel who need something to do in their downtime. (The total number of residents is thought to be up to 2,000.)

There has also been talk of turning the islands into a patriotic tourist destination or even an offshore banking hub.

Gu Xiaojing, general manager of Hainan Media Group, told Xinhua that there will be “at least one film” screened every day, so that “residents and soldiers on Yongxing Island can enjoy films simultaneously with moviegoers across the country.” The plan is to screen blockbusters, and local authorities have also purchased mobile projection units that can be taken to other islands held by China in the area.

The movie screened on Saturday was titled “The Eternity of Jiao Yulu,” Xinhua reported. It is a documentary about the life of a Chinese Communist Party politician who is said to have worked hard and honestly before his death in the 1960s and is now held up as a hero in state-sanctioned history, though critics say the reality of Jiao’s life is not clear.

More on WorldViews

Is Trump ready for war in the South China Sea, or is his team just not being clear?

A Knesset bloc unveils its plan for peace: Total Palestinian surrender

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel has already defeated the Palestinians. All that’s left is for them to surrender.

That, at least, was an argument being made in Jerusalem this week. Led by the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, pro-Israel leaders and analysts gathered here to highlight local support for their aim of reframing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict internationally.

“After more than a century, the conflict is really over,” Daniel Pipes, the forum’s president told JTA. “As an American, I would like my government to say to the Israeli government, ‘Do what you need to do to convince the Palestinians they lost.’”

Pipes on Sunday night moderated an English-language event at the Begin Heritage Center to cheer Tuesday’s launch of a Knesset lobby committed to forcing the Palestinians to admit defeat. He said he hoped the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus — along with a public opinion poll he released Sunday to JTA — would help convince U.S. policymakers to “let Israel win.”

In an article in the December 2016 issue of Commentary, Pipes described the things Israel might do to “encourage Palestinians to accept Israel and discourage rejectionism.” They include charging the Palestinians Authority for material damage from terrorism; blocking its officials from returning to the West Bank if their colleagues incite violence;  quiet, anonymous burials for Palestinians killed attacking Israelis, and shutting off water and electricity supplies to punish violence by Palestinians.

“Inducing a change of heart is not a pretty or pleasant process,” wrote Pipes. However, he continued, “Wars usually end when failure causes one side to despair, when that side has abandoned its war aims and accepted defeat, and when that defeat has exhausted the will to fight.”

The Knesset Victory Caucus will be co-chaired by lawmakers Oded Forer, from the hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu political party, and Yaacov Peri, a former head of Israel’s Security Agency from the centrist Yesh Atid. A total of six Knesset members have so far joined, all but Peri from the governing coalition.

The lobby will be the sister organization of the Republican-only Congressional Israel Victory Caucus, whose co-chairs sent supportive statements to the crowd at the Begin Center.

Afterward, Israeli, American and British speakers took the stage one-by-one to advocate a zero-sum vision of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Zionist project was to build Israel. The Palestinian national purpose was to destroy Israel. Only one side could win, and it had been Israel.

Now, they argued, Israel’s allies – most importantly the United States – must dispense with long-unsuccessful peace negotiations and allow Israel to finish the job, by forcing the Palestinians to concede defeat.

Despite their shared view of the end of the conflict, the speakers evinced widely divergent worldviews and priorities.

In his opening remarks, Pipes said that by “losing” the conflict, the Palestinians might actually gain even more than Israel because they could “move on to something better, more constructive, built their own polity, economy, society and culture.”

Like Pipes, Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said that a priority for those interested in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be changing attitudes in foreign capitals.

“I think the key here is not Israel. Israel obviously must play a significant part in it. But the key is the international community. It’s the international community that by its actions continues to encourage aggression against Israel,” he said.

But Yehuda Glick, an Orthodox Jewish activist and Knesset member for the ruling Likud party, argued that Israel was responsible for its own destiny. By making itself “a light to the nations,” Israel would bring “shalom upon the region and the world,” he said.

“Yes, of course, they have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Of course, they have to stop anti-Semitism. But that’s not what we have to deal with. We have to deal with what’s good for us, and we have to continue,” he said.

Einat Wilf, a former left-wing Israeli lawmaker, said she had over time given up on making peace with the Palestinians. She suggested that the conflict would only end when Arabs were forced to reinterpret the role of Zionism in their history.

“We rewrite our lives to turn our defeats into triumphs, right? That’s what humans do,” she said. “So the Arabs and the Palestinians will one day rewrite their history, their theology to acknowledge the Jewish presence here as part of their view that the Jews came here because that’s how it should have been by Islam.”

Meanwhile, the poll commissioned last month by the Middle East Forum found that 82 percent of Israelis do not believe the Palestinian leadership will recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people under any conditions. A plurality of Israelis said this was the biggest obstacle to peace. The margin of error was 3.7 percent.

In his recent book, “The Only Language They Understand,” Middle East analyst Nathan Thrall argued that both the Israelis and Palestinians have historically only made concessions when forced to, by either violence or politics. But he said Israel has benefited from the peace process and would be unlikely to push for an end to it, nor would world powers.

“It allows the perpetuation of the status quo. When there’s an absence of talks, people start to get restless. The world doesn’t want to support indefinite occupation,” he told JTA. “It’s entirely implausible that the U.S. or the international community are going to adopt a position in support of ‘Israeli victory.’ It sounds to be like this group is just putting on a show and asking for some kind of rhetorical shift.”

MACRON UNVEILS DIVERSE CABINET FEATURING CRITICS, ADVOCATES OF ISRAEL

 

French President Emmanuel Macron presented a diverse cabinet of 22 ministers, including a Jew, a Muslim and both advocates and critics of Israel.

Macron, a centrist who had served in governments led both by Socialists and Republicans before his election on May 7 on an independent ticket, appointed on Wednesday as his foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a former defense minister under the previous president, Francois Hollande of the Socialist Party.

 

In 2014, Le Drian wrote in a statement that France “condemns” the firing of rockets into Israel “but requests that Israel” minimize any harm to civilians in its attacks on Hamas.

Macron appointed Edouard Philippe, a lawmaker from the moderate wing of the main center-right The Republicans party, as prime minister.

Macron appointed to health minister Agnes Buzyn, a physician born to a Polish Jewish couple. Her father survived the Holocaust and her mother was born in France shortly after the war to Jewish immigrants from Poland. She is one of 11 women whom Macron made ministers – exactly half of his cabinet.

Francois Bayrou, a billionaire-turned-politician who has in the past criticized what he has called Israel’s “arbitrary and unjust arrests of Palestinians,” among other alleged actions by the Jewish state, was named minister of state – a position equivalent to minister without portfolio which nonetheless suggests seniority.

Bruno le Maire of The Republicans party was made minister of the economy. Pro-Israel activists in France regard him as a staunch ally and defender of the Jewish state, according to the right-leaning news site Alyaexpress.

Last year, le Maire criticized Hollande’s government for supporting a vote at the United Nations educational branch, UNESCO, which ignored Jewish ties to Jerusalem. He called it “a moral and political error.”

Marielle De Sarnez, a former lawmaker at the European Parliament who in 2010 visited Hamas-controlled Gaza and co-authored a letter urging Israel to lift its blockade of the area, was appointed as the minister in charge of European affairs. The letter she co-signed did not mention Hamas’ violations of human rights and terrorist activities. It also praised the work of UNRWA, a UN agency which Israel in those years accused of incitement, as “fantastic.”

Macron appointed Mounir Majhoubi, a 33-year-old entrepreneur whose family is Muslim and has Moroccan roots, to be France’s minister in charge of digitalization. Majhoubi in 2010 opened a successful high-tech firm together with his then business partner, the French-Jewish developer Marc-David Choukroun.

Trump unveils biggest tax reform in over 30 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump proposed dramatic cuts in the taxes paid by corporations big and small Wednesday in an overhaul his administration says will spur economic growth and bring jobs and prosperity to America’s middle class. But his ambitious plan alarmed lawmakers who worry about ballooning federal deficits.

The plan would also reduce investment and estate taxes aimed at the wealthy. But administration officials said that action on other key tax code elements would ensure the plan would largely help the middle class instead of the affluent.

The White House has yet to spell out how much of a hole the tax cuts could create in the federal budget, maintaining that the resulting economic growth would reduce — if not eliminate — the risk of a soaring deficit.

The outlined changes to the tax code are the most concrete guidance so far on Trump’s vision for spurring job growth.

“The president owns this plan; don’t be mistaken,” said Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, joined by National Economic Director Gary Cohn, speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Cohn said Trump and his administration recognize they have to be “good stewards” of the federal budget. But the plan as it currently stands could cause the federal deficit to climb, unless it sparks a massive and lasting wave of growth that most economists say is unlikely.

The threat of a rising budget deficit could erode support for the plan among lawmakers in Trump’s own Republican Party. Administration officials intend to hash out additional details with members of the House and Senate in the coming weeks for what would be the first massive rewrite of the US tax code since 1986.

“We know this is difficult,” Cohn said. “We know what we’re asking for is a big bite.”

As Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin explained it in an interview, the plan would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets to three from seven: rates of 10 percent, 25% and 35%. It would double the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000, while keeping deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest payments. The administration plans to provide tax relief for families with child care expenses, too, although the specifics have yet to be included.

On the other hand, the proposal would also trim other deductions utilized by wealthier Americans. This would include deductions for state and local tax payments, a change that could alienate support from lawmakers in states such as California and New York with higher state taxes.

“It’s not the federal government’s job to be subsidizing the states,” Mnuchin said.

The administration has emphasized that the plan was focused on simplifying the tax code and helping middle class Americans. The median US household income is slightly above $50,000 (NIS 182,000) annually.

Still, the proposal could reduce the tax burden for the wealthy as well.

It would also repeal the estate tax, the catch-all alternative minimum tax and the 3.8% tax on investment income from President Barack Obama’s health care law. The proposal has yet to be vetted for its precise impact on top earners, as several details are still being determined.

On the corporate side, the top marginal tax rate would fall from 35% to 15%. Small businesses that account for their owners’ personal incomes would see their top tax rate go from 39.6% to the proposed corporate tax rate of 15%. Mnuchin stressed that the change for small business owners — a group that under the current definition could include doctors, lawyers and even major real estate companies — would be done to ensure that wealthier Americans could not exploit the change to pay less in taxes.

NY GOVERNOR (WHITE FREEMASON) UNVEILS NEW PLAN TO FIGHT ANTISEMITISM AND HATE CRIMES

 

NEW YORK- Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled on Thursday a new plan of action in order to combat antisemitism and hate crimes across the state of New York, including a $25 Million grant for schools to improve security, $5,000 rewards for any Information leading to arrest and conviction for a hate crime, and a new hate crimes text line to report incidents.

The governor made the announcement during a press conference held at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in downtown Manhattan, just after holding a roundtable discussion with representatives of the Jewish community and leaders of other faiths.

 

“New York must always be the beacon of tolerance and hope for all, and with the recent explosion of antisemitism and hate crimes, it is more important than ever before that we do everything in our power to ensure the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers,” he said.

“Any acts of bias or discrimination will be met with the full force of the law. New York is and always has been a place that celebrates diversity and religious tolerance, and we say to all New Yorkers who feel unsafe – we will always protect you.”

The $25 million grant program for schools, which is part of the new measures taken, is intended to “boost safety and security at New York’s schools and daycare centers at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs or mission.”

The grant program will provide funding for security upgrades such as additional security training, cameras, technology, door-hardening, improved lighting and others.

At the Governor’s direction, the state will also expand its toll-free hotline to include text message capability to report incidents of bias and discrimination. The hotline had been launched in November and has received over 3,175 calls to date.

Lastly, the $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime, the governor explained, aims to make sure the public is engaged in the cause.

“We encourage [New Yorkers] to step up if they see it, be part of the solution,” Cuomo said. “We are offering the reward to encourage that but it’s not going to require much encouragement because I know that 99.9 percent of the people in this state are sickened by what they are seeing.”

In recent months, many organizations fighting discrimination such as the Anti-Defamation League, have warned against a rise in hate crimes across the country.
According to Cuomo’s office, in New York State, there was a 31 percent increase in reported hate crimes targeting Muslims in 2016 compared to 2015 and an 18 percent increase in reported hate crimes against LGBTQ individuals.

As far as the Jewish community is concerned, in addition to hate crimes, bomb threats have also recently surfaced. Dozens of Jewish Community Centers across the US as well as the ADL’s headquarters have received such threats multiple times over the last month.

According to Governor Cuomo, these are not isolated incidents and the hate crimes are part of a clear pattern.
The governor also noted that the rise in hate crimes begun in November, which correlates to the date of the election of US President Donald Trump, but maintained he wants to “keep this out of politics”.

“I think it’s undeniable that the political tone from last year has created extreme views on both sides of the political spectrum and I think that’s one of the factors,” he said. “But whatever caused it, our focus is on ending it.”

Thursday’s announcement adds to Governor Cuomo’s recent actions to combat bias and discrimination. In November, he directed the State Police to create a new Hate Crimes Unit to offer assistance to other law enforcement agencies investigating potential hate crimes.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard unveils new attack drones

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards unveiled a home-built drone that they said was capable of carrying bombs, state media reported on Saturday, in what appeared to be another copy of a reconnaissance U.S. drone that Iran captured five years ago.

The drone, called Saegheh, or lightning, was unveiled at an expo showcasing the latest achievements by the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace arm.

“This long-range drone is capable of hitting four targets with smart precision-guided bombs with high accuracy,” the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace arm, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

The Guards did not demonstrate the drone’s abilities and did not say what range it had.

Photograph carried by the Tasnim news agency showed the Iranian drone looked similar to the US RQ-170 Sentinel aircraft that was captured in eastern Iran in 2011. Iranian media said the Iranian model was based on the US one.

US President Barack Obama asked Iran to give back the drone which belonged to American forces in neighboring Afghanistan, but Tehran said Washington should apologize for spying on the country with unmanned aircraft.

Shortly after the capture Iran announced their plans to reproduce the drown, claiming that it was captured with minimal damage.

The RQ-170 Sentinel, built by Lockheed Martin, was first employed by the US Air Force in December 2009. It has a full-motion video sensor that was used by US intelligence to monitor al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan ahead of the raid that killed him.

CDC Unveils Forced Vaccination and Quarantine Policy, Mass Aerial Spraying of Subject Populations

http://www.renegadetribune.com/zika-trigger-cdc-unveils-forced-vaccination-quarantine-policy-mass-aerial-spraying-subject-populations/

 

by James F. Tracy

On August 15, 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invited “public comment” on an especially disturbing edict that will allow the federal agency alongside the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to quarantine entire geographic areas of the United States, restrict the movement and behavior of inhabitants in these areas, and ultimately require they undergo vaccination–in a voluntary manner of course–or face criminal prosecution. 

In fact, municipalities need only be given a vague “precommunicable” designation to undergo an overall loss of civil liberties that can include mandatory vaccination. 

This action is being unilaterally undertaken by a bureaucracy that in recent months has proceeded in a thoroughly irresponsible manner to hype the alleged dangers of the Zika virus, even promoting the aerial dispersion of a toxic substance on South Florida populations to control Zika without any scientific evidence such a measure is safe or effective.

Accompanying this, in July the Obama administration sought $1.9 billion from Congress to “fight” the Zika virus. When it failed to secure such lavish funding Obama’s HHS funneled $81 million for Zika “research.” To be sure, Zika’s vague and difficult-to-diagnose symptoms make it an especially apt vehicle for creating widespread hysteria that could without much difficulty provide the basis for at least limited implementation of the CDC’s quarantine and vaccination project.

The CDC’s summary of its program reads as follows:

Through this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is amending its domestic (interstate) and foreign quarantine regulations to best protect the public health of the United States. These amendments are being proposed to aid public health responses to outbreaks of communicable diseases such as the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in history, the recent outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, and repeated outbreaks and responses to measles in the United States, as well as the ongoing threat of other new or re-emerging communicable diseases. The provisions contained herein provide additional clarity to various safeguards to prevent the importation and spread of communicable diseases affecting human health into the United States and interstate.

The document’s introductory passages point to the Public Health Service Act and Executive Orders by Presidents Bush and Obama, alongside recent encounters with Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), as the basis of its action.

HHS/CDC has statutory authority (42 U.S.C. 264, 265) to promulgate regulations which protect U.S. public health from communicable diseases, including quarantinable communicable diseases as specified in Executive Order of the President. See Executive Order 13295 (April 4, 2003), as amended by Executive Order 13375 (April 1, 2005) andExecutive Order 13674 (July 31, 2014). The need for this proposed rulemaking was reinforced during HHS/CDC’s response to the largest outbreak of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) on record, followed by the recent outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea, both quarantinable communicable diseases, and repeated outbreaks and responses to measles, a non-quarantinable communicable disease of public health concern, in the United States.

While measles is regarded as a “non-quarantinable communicable disease”, it is referenced a total 186 times through the NPRM, and repeatedly alongside Ebola and MERS, which are invoked 330 times and 60 times respectively.

In fact, the document emphasizes that “every case of measles in the United States is considered a public health emergency because of its extremely high transmissibility,” pointing to vaccination as an essential prophylactic.

measles-cali

An outbreak of measles beginning in California in 2015 resulted in severe government and media consternation over what was once regarded as an uncomfortable yet normal chapter of childhood.

The passage continues to highlight federal authorities’ “labor intensive” efforts to screen over 4,500 parties for a disease that has resulted in only one US fatality since 2003–a woman in her late twenties whose cause of death was directly attributed to a weakened immune system.

As a result of high vaccination coverage, measles was declared eliminated (defined as interruption of year-round endemic transmission) from the United States in 2000; however, importations from other countries where measles remains endemic continue to occur, which can lead to clusters of measles cases in the United States in pockets of unvaccinated persons. Of note, an unprecedented outbreak that originated in late December 2014 in Orange County, California resulted in 125 cases; measles cases associated with this outbreak were reported in eight U.S. states, Mexico, and Canada. Between 2010 and 2014, HHS/CDC investigated 91 measles exposures on international or interstate flights, which required time-consuming and labor-intensive location and evaluation of more than 4700 individuals, resulting in the identification of 12 cases of onward transmission.

Global public health authorities have clearly indicated, and evidence has shown, that Ebola, MERS, and measles could spread between countries, and a re-emergence after the current outbreaks are controlled is always a risk. Additionally, although public health responses to measles have become routine over the past decade, the recent unprecedented outbreak in a large U.S. tourist destination with high potential for onward travel by exposed individuals identified greater danger for measles becoming reestablished in the United States in communities with lower rates of immunization.

The Zika Trigger

Since the CDC repeatedly employs the non-fatal and indeed once commonplace measles virus throughout the document in such a way there is nothing preventing the agency and its partners from plugging in one or more other maladies that are largely the product of government and corporate media hype and disinformation. A case in point is the Zika virus, a phenomenon that has received a deluge of media coverage for a comparatively scant number of cases identified in South Florida.

The CDC has clumsily mandated spraying the insecticide Naled to control mosquitoes that can carry Zika, citing dubious research to back its directive. CDC Director Tom Frieden has thus far only cited one source upholding the efficacy of airborne insecticide dispersal to eliminate adult mosquitoes: “Unpublished research by a rookie mosquito control specialist,” the Miami Herald reports.

In a recent article for the influential medical journal JAMA, Frieden wrote that in New Orleans, planes spraying ultra-low volumes of insecticide reduced caged Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in open and sheltered areas by more than 90 percent.

His source for that data: a non-peer-reviewed presentation by a specialist named Brendan Carter at the New Orleans mosquito control board. Some of the presentation’s research was conducted while Carter was still an intern there in 2014, according to his LinkedIn page.

The board hired him that September after his internship. Carter earned his master’s degree in 2014 from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, his LinkedIn page shows.

Even so, other experts in mosquito-borne diseases were unconvinced when asked about Carter’s finding as described in Frieden’s commentary for JAMA.

“I know of no published reports that support this figure,” said Durland Fish, a Yale University professor emeritus of microbial diseases as well as a professor of forestry and environmental studies there. Fish worked with public officials in Dominica in 2014 to counter chikungunya virus, another disease spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

“This is a domestic mosquito, meaning they live inside the house — in closets, under the bed, in the sink. Spraying outside won’t be very effective,” he said.

A CDC spokeswoman said the agency carefully reviewed the New Orleans data and was “confident it was a good indicator of efficacy.” Frieden cited it in JAMA because “there is limited published peer-reviewed data on efficacy of ultra-low volume aerial spraying of naled against Aedes aegypti,” according to the agency. [Emphasis added.]

This is what passes for science at the CDC–the mass aerial spraying of a toxic substance on specific populations with almost no evidence of its effectiveness to eradicate a non-fatal virus–one that has been known to exist for decades and whose patent is actually owned by the Rockefeller Foundation.

rockefeller-screenshot-580

The takeaway from the above is that in the upside-down reality created by the government-corporate media nexus Zika’s symptoms can resemble the effects of the CDC’s method to counteract the virus’ spread.

According to the CDC, Zika virus symptoms are “usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.” In fact, “[m]any people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms, or will only have mild symptoms.” The most typical symptoms include

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache

The health impacts of naled are far worse and include reproductive harm that could be confused with microcephaly and other fetal abnormalities since the compound can cross the placenta and wreak havoc on the unborn.

In fact, as Jon Rappoport has exhaustively documented, in Brazil the increased incidence of microcephaly (babies born with small heads and brain damage) is likely being caused by the larvicide Pyriproxyfen, placed in drinking water supplies to control mosquitos. Thus the “Zika threat,” Rappoport posits, is a cover story designed to protect the pesticide manufacturers and associated actors, including the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

naled

Below is an overview of naled’s effects on animal and human physiology from the  Extension Toxicology Network, a collaboration between Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and the University of California Davis.

TOXICOLOGICAL EFFECTS
ACUTE TOXICITY

Naled is moderately to highly toxic by ingestion, inhalation and dermal adsorption. Vapors or fumes of naled are corrosive to the mucous membranes lining the mouth, throat and lungs, and inhalation may cause severe irritation. A sensation of tightness in the chest and coughing are commonly experienced after inhalation. As with all organophosphates, naled is readily absorbed through the skin. Skin which has come in contact with this material should be washed immediately with soap and water and all contaminated clothing should be removed. Persons with respiratory ailments, recent exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors, impaired cholinesterase production, or with liver malfunction may be at increased risk from exposure to naled. High environmental temperatures or exposure of naled to visible or UV light may enhance its toxicity.

The organophosphate insecticides are cholinesterase inhibitors. They are highly toxic by all routes of exposure. When inhaled, the first effects are usually respiratory and may include bloody or runny nose, coughing, chest discomfort, difficult or short breath, and wheezing due to constriction or excess fluid in the bronchial tubes. Skin contact with organophosphates may cause localized sweating and involuntary muscle contractions. Eye contact will cause pain, bleeding, tears, pupil constriction, and blurred vision. Following exposure by any route, other systemic effects may begin within a few minutes or be delayed for up to 12 hours. These may include pallor, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, dizziness, eye pain, blurred vision, constriction or dilation of the eye pupils, tears, salivation, sweating, and confusion. Severe poisoning will affect the central nervous system, producing incoordination, slurred speech, loss of reflexes, weakness, fatigue, involuntary muscle contractions, twitching, tremors of the tongue or eyelids, and eventually paralysis of the body extremities and the respiratory muscles. In severe cases there may also be involuntary defecation or urination, psychosis, irregular heart beats, unconsciousness, convulsions and coma. Death may be caused by respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.

Some organophosphates may cause delayed symptoms beginning 1 to 4 weeks after an acute exposure which may or may not have produced more immediate symptoms. In such cases, numbness, tingling, weakness and cramping may appear in the lower limbs and progress to incoordination and paralysis. Improvement may occur over months or years, but some residual impairment may remain in some cases.

Naled may cause dermatitis (skin rashes) and skin sensitization (allergies). It is corrosive to the skin and eyes and may cause permanent damage. An aerial applicator developed contact dermatitis after using Dibrom. The exposed area became red and felt burned. Later, water filled blisters formed. They became itchy and dry, then flaked off.

The amount of a chemical that is lethal to one-half (50%) of experimental animals fed the material is referred to as its acute oral lethal dose fifty, or LD50. The oral LD50 for naled in rats is 50 to 281 mg/kg, in mice is 330 to 375 mg/kg, and in chickens is 281 mg/kg. Rats have tolerated a dosage of 28 mg/kg/day for 9 weeks with no visible signs of poisoning and with only moderate inhibition of cholinesterase. The dermal LD50 for naled in rabbits is 1,100 mg/kg, and in rats is 800 mg/kg.

The lethal concentration fifty, or LC50, is that concentration of a chemical in air or water that kills half of the experimental animals exposed to it for a set time period. The inhalation LC50 for naled in rats is 7.7 mg/kg, and 156 mg/kg in mice.

CHRONIC TOXICITY

Repeated or prolonged exposure to organophosphates may result in the same effects as acute exposure including the delayed symptoms. Other effects reported in workers repeatedly exposed includeimpaired memory and concentration, disorientation, severe depressions, irritability, confusion, headache, speech difficulties, delayed reaction times, nightmares, sleepwalking and drowsiness or insomnia. Aninfluenza-like condition with headache, nausea, weakness, loss of appetite, and malaise has also been reported.

Reproductive Effects

Once in the bloodstream, naled may cross the placenta. [Emphases added.]

At present development of a Zika vaccine has moved to human trials. As noted, on August 10 the Obama administration’s HHS sought to bring such a vaccine to fruition by funneling $81 million toward vaccine research, Reuters reports. Less than one week later the CDC set in motion itsControl of Communicable Diseases policy by inviting public comment. Keeping in mind the pharmaceutical industry’s formidable ability to manipulate laws and regulation to its benefit, there is a strong possibility that these policies, cover stories, and commodities are being developed and rolled out in tandem.

At this point the concerned citizen has more than enough to question what’s really afoot here. A population so propagandized and ill-informed on the negligible threat posed by Zika could easily mistake Naled’s effects for the mild symptoms characterizing the virus–much as Pyriproxyfen proved cause for a similar frenzy among public health officials in Brazil. This would provide the basis for an ambitious and wide scale federal effort to quarantine one or more areas and introduce related emergency measures now being dictated by the CDC.


Via Centre for Research on Globalization.

Zuckerberg unveils 10-year plan to expand Facebook empire

 

Facebook announced that businesses would be able to start using their messenger platform to buy and sell products and offer customers support. Jefferson Graham reports from the F8 Developer conference in San Francisco. Chris Schodt for USA TODAY

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SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a 10-year plan to connect the world that sounded as much like a political cause as a grab for potential billions in dollars.

In a sweeping address that took on sharp political tones at times, Facebook’s 31-year-old CEO detailed how Facebook aims to reach the planet’s 7 billion people — half of whom do not have Internet access. And he took very direct aim at those who would limit free trade and immigration.

“We are one global community,” he said. “Whether we are welcoming a refugee fleeing war or an immigrant seeking opportunity, coming together to fight a global disease like Ebola or to address climate change.”

The theme of the keynote was, “give everyone the power to share anything with anyone,” positioning Facebook as a unifying force for good against the current political winds of divisiveness.  Zuckerberg detailed a plan to bring people together through an ambitious strategy of unfurling technology that jumps borders and crosses cultures, a sharp rebuke to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has advocatedbuilding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

“As I look around the world, I’m starting to see people and nations turning inward, against the idea of a connected world and a global community,” Zuckerberg said. “I hear fearful voices calling for building walls and distancing people they label as ‘others.’ I hear them calling for blocking free expression, for slowing immigration, for reducing trade, and in some cases even for cutting access to the internet.”

“It takes courage to choose hope over fear,” he said.

In a post on his Facebook page after the keynote, Zuckerberg said the speech was “personally important to me and I spent a lot of time writing it.”

“Even if it’s unusual for a CEO to address world issues and lay out a 10-year roadmap to improve them, I care deeply about connecting the world and bringing people together, so I wanted to put this out there. It’s different from any other speech I’ve given,” he wrote.

The keynote, the most politically charged Zuckerberg has ever delivered, staked him as a business leader on the world stage. Speaking to a crowd of 2,600 developers from around the world, one-third of whom used a passport to get to the conference, Zuckerberg presented his vision in three pillars:

— Artificial intelligence, which will help Facebook better sift through and understand all the photos, videos and updates people post to Facebook;

— Connectivity, the goal of making Facebook and the internet available everywhere and to everyone through lasers and drones;

— Virtual and augmented reality, which Zuckerberg says one day will bring friends together even if they are on other sides of the planet through a pair of “normal-looking” glasses that can overlay digital elements on the physical world and become “the most social platform.”

Not everyone buys into Zuckerberg’s plans for global domination. In February, India dealt a major setback to Facebook’s plans to use Free Basics service to deliver a limited version of the Internet that included Facebook, at no cost.

“Mark Zuckerberg’s vision is both benevolent and altruistic as well as entirely self interested at the same time,” said Greg Sterling, contributing editor to SearchEngineLand.