RUSSIA CONDUCTS FULL “NUCLEAR TRIAD” DRILL, LAUNCHES TOPOL-M ICBM (Source Zero Hedge) Russia was busy conducting its most comprehensive Nuclear preparedness drill in recent history, one involving the entire “nuclear triad” consisting of strategic bombers; submarines and an the ICBM. the silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast. A few minutes later, the dummy nuclear warhead hits its target on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s far eastern corner, the Ministry of Defense reports. The Ministry, conveniently, adds that the Topol-M missile has an “extremely high accuracy of target destruction.” This took place after a close encounter on Friday, when Norwegian F-16s were scrambled from Bodø airbase for the second time this week as a group of four Tu-95 strategic bombers were approaching from the northeast, Norway’s TV2 reports. The bombers, flying out over the Barents Sea from Russia’s Kola Peninsula, were accompanied by four Il-78 tankers. The third arm of Russia’s nuclear triad, the submarine based ballistic missiles (SLBM), were tested on Wednesday, when “Yury Dolgoruky” launhced a Bulava missile from submerged position in the Barents Sea. This was the first operational test launch of Bulava in line with the program of combat training. All previous launches were part of development testing of the new weapon. This was the first operational test launch of Bulava in line with the program of combat training. All previous launches were part of development testing of the new weapon. It is also the first time a Borey-class submarine had a full set of missiles on board when the launch was conducted. The Borey-class submarines carries 16 missiles that each may hold as many as 10 nuclear warheads.
PUTIN TO WESTERN ELITES: PLAY-TIME IS OVER (Source cluborlov.blogspot.com)
Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin’s speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946. The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:
- Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles. But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.
- All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins. There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.
- The builders of the New World Order have failed, having built a sand castle.Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia’s decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.
- Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order,but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.
- Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America’s ever-expanding “empire of chaos,”and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia’s challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.
- Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.
- Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war—nor does she fear it.
- Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order – until their efforts start to impinge on Russia’s key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselve s as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests, will be taught the true meaning of pain.
- In her external, and, even more so, internal politics,Russia’s power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.
Time for a ‘new world order?’ No, it’s already here (Source RT) Putin has called for a “new world order,” with the aim of stabilizing the globe. He believes the US is abusing its role as global leader. What’s not being widely reported is the fact that the pillars of the old order have been crumbling for years. It used to be all so simple. The world was split into two camps – the West and the rest. And the West was truly the best. Twenty years ago, six of the world’s biggest economies were part of the pro-Washington world. The leader, the US itself, was so far in front that its total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was more than four times larger than China’s and nine times the size of Russia’s. The world’s most populous country, India, had almost the same gross income as comparatively tiny Italy and the UK. Any notion that the order would change so dramatically in a mere two decades seemed laughable. The Western perception was that China and India were backward and would take a century to become rivals. Russia was seen as a basket case, on its knees and ruled by chaos. There was a lot of merit in that notion in the 90’s. Now the joke is on the West. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that by 2015, four of the world’s top economies will be members of the club known by its acronym, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China). China will replace the US as top dog. This might already have happened; economic figures tend to lag behind economic facts. Italy, the sick man of Europe, is out of the top 10 and the UK is barely hanging on, although London is still promoted as a financial powerhouse. The only people who believe that anymore are little Englanders. The UK has become the Julie Andrews of geopolitics, a fading star that was once luminous. France is impotent, lurching from crisis to mishap and back again.
Jehovah’s Witnesses Ordered to Pay $13.5M to Bible Teacher’s Alleged Victim (Source nbcnews.com)
A $13.5 million judgment was awarded Wednesday to a San Diego man who says he was the childhood victim of “very aggressive abuse” at the hands of his Bible study teacher. Jose Lopez, now 35 years old, came forward as one of eight children who accuse Gonzalo Campos of sexually abusing them between 1982 and 1995, according to his lawsuit. Campos served in the leadership of the Linda Vista Spanish Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Playa Pacifica Spanish Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Pacific Beach, Lopez’s attorney Irwin Zalkin told NBC 7. Although the alleged molestation happened on one occasion, the high amount awarded by a judge reflects the severe consequences Lopez has faced as a result, including post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction and trust issues, Zalkin explained. But the lawsuit does not seek damages from Campos himself, or even the Linda Vista congregation. Instead, it names the defendant as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, the entity that oversees Jehovah’s Witness churches. Zalkin said $10.5 million of the amount was for punitive damages as a result of the Watchtower’s response to the Campos scandal.
“Damages that reflect the reprehensible conduct of the Watchtower in how they covered this up for years and allowed multiple children to be injured,” said Zalkin. “They protected and harbored a criminal.”
Maine Judge Rejects Ebola Quarantine for Nurse Kaci Hickox (Source nbcnews.com) A judge in Maine ruled Friday that Kaci Hickox, the nurse who treated Ebola patients and is defying a state-imposed quarantine, can come and go as she pleases, as long as she is monitored for symptoms and lets health officials know where she’s going. The same judge issued a temporary order on Thursday night ordering Hickox to stay at least three feet away from other people and to stay away from crowds and public transportation. But the judge, Charles C. LaVerdiere of state court, lifted those parts of the order on Friday. He found that authorities in Maine had not proved that further restricting Hickox’s movement was necessary to protect the public from infection. The judge said Hickox must submit to what health officials call direct active monitoring — having her temperature taken and being checked for symptoms at least once a day. But he stresses that she has no symptoms and is therefore not infectious. Hickox, who returned from West Africa a week ago, has maintained that authorities in Maine violated her rights by demanding that she stay at home for 21 days. She took a defiant bike ride on Thursday, and Gov. Paul LePage said she was testing his patience. The nurse spent last weekend in an isolation tent near the airport in Newark, New Jersey. She objected to the conditions and had a public spat with Gov. Chris Christie, who dared her to sue him. The judge in Maine gave her a gentle rebuke in his ruling. “The court is fully aware that people are acting out of fear and that this fear is not entirely rational,” he wrote. “However, whether that fear is rational or not, it is present and it is real. “Respondent’s actions at this point, as a health care professional, need to demonstrate her full understanding of human nature and the real fear that exist. She should guide herself accordingly.”
Google seeks way to search bodies for disease (Source phys.org) Google is exploring a way to search inside people’s bodies for early signs of deadly illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. A Life Sciences team at the special projects Google X Lab are experimenting with having “nanoparticles” hunt for signs of medical trouble in bloodstreams and then essentially report findings to sensors people could wear. “This is still early-stage research, but we’ve done a number of promising experiments, so we’re going to keep going,” Google said in a description of the project made public Tuesday. Imagined applications include a test for enzymes given off by arterial plaques that are about to rupture and cause a heart attack or stroke, or a way to watch for cancer cells after surgery or chemo treatments. Early detection is known to dramatically increase chances of successfully treating a number of life-threatening diseases. Batches of specially crafted nanoparticles, each microscopic in size, could be swallowed in pills and then absorbed into bloodstreams where they would stick to targeted cells such as cancer. Magnetic qualities designed into nanoparticles allow them to be drawn to worn devices and counted using non-invasive detection methods such as light or radio waves, according to Google. If successful, the technology could “help physicians detect a disease that’s starting to develop in the body,” the California-based technology titan said. Google said that it would license the technology to companies interested in using it for medically approved diagnostics.
Muslims Pray in Rain After Israel Closes Al-Aqsa Mosque(Source nbcnews) Muslims prayed on a rainy street in the Old City Friday as Israeli authorities continued to restrict access to the Al Aqsa mosque following violence in east Jerusalem. Border police increased their presence in the cobblestone alleyways and around the Muslim access points or gates into the Al Aqsa compound, checking identification papers closely. Worshippers over the age of 50 were allowed inside, a day after the entire site was closed off in a security lockdown. “Yesterday it was painful for me not to pray in Al Aqsa,” said Nahil Salayme, 42, from east Jerusalem. “I go every day. They want to take this place from us. I will never let it happen, I will sacrifice everything, even my children. This is a red line for us.” Nabih Al Basty, 49, a businessman, said: “I prayed today in the street because the Israelis aren’t allowing us to go inside. We walked all the way from Wadi Joz, it’s a long way and it’s raining. My father is 70, he’s been going to the mosque every day since he was seven. Yesterday was the first day he missed going.” Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas described Thursday’s closure as “tantamount to a declaration of war” by Israel and called for a “day of rage” in Jerusalem in protest. However the rainfall – the first in Jerusalem for weeks – seemed likely to dampen any protests.
Ukraine, Russia, EU agree to natural gas supply deal (Source Reuters) Ukraine, Russia and the European Union signed a deal on Thursday that will see Moscow resume vital supplies of gas to its ex-Soviet neighbor over the winter in return for payments funded in part by Kiev’s Western creditors. After several failed rounds of talks in recent weeks as conflict rumbles on despite a ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, the accord also eases concerns that a new “gas war” could disrupt winter supplies if energy to EU states, notably through pipelines shut down across Ukraine since June. With overnight temperatures already nudging below freezing in Ukraine, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso hailed an accord clinched in Brussels barely 24 hours before he and the rest of his team make way for a new EU executive. “There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,” he told a news conference after witnessing the signing of documents by the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers and EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger. Worth $4.6 billion in total, the package calls for Ukraine to pay $3.1 billion in two tranches by the end of the year to cover debts for previous supplies from Russia’s Gazprom , and Kiev will have $1.5 billion, some from existing accords with the EU and IMF, to pay for about 4 billion cubic meters of new gas until March, for which Russia is insisting on cash up front.
Back to Cold War as Russia probes NATO defences (Source AFP) Nuclear-capable Russian bombers in European airspace, NATO intercepts, a foreign submarine in Swedish waters — the fall-out from the Ukraine crisis feels like a return to Cold War days. NATO has intercepted Russian aircraft on more than 100 occasions so far this year, three times more than all 2013, its new head Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday. “We have seen a substantial increase but we are doing what we are supposed to do. We intercept, we are ready and we react,” Stoltenberg said, repeating that NATO must deal with Russia from a position of strength. Earlier this week, NATO tracked and intercepted four groups of Russian warplanes, including long-range TU-95 strategic bombers and sophisticated fighters “conducting significant military manoeuvres” over the Baltic Sea, North Sea/Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea. “These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity,” NATO said. A few days earlier, a Russian Ilyushin IL-20 spy plane which took off from the Russian Baltic coast enclave of Kaliningrad briefly crossed into Estonian airspace, all part of a pattern of increased testing of NATO’s eastern flank. Viewed from Moscow, there is no cause for concern — Russia is simply asserting its position after long years of decline and NATO and the West had better get used to it. “Before, our aircraft did not fly. Now they do,” said Igor Korotchenko, a member of the Russian defence ministry’s advisory group. “This is nothing but a return to the military practices of a country which thinks about its defence and the readiness of its military,” Korotchenko told AFP.
Wal-Mart Is At War Against Apple Over The New iPhone Payments System (Source business Insider)
American retailers appear to have gone to war against Apple’s new mobile payments system, Apple Pay, and Apple is losing. Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Rite Aid, and CVS have all said they want nothing to do with the system. Apple appears to have created an ingenious and obviously superior mobile payments system. But retailers control their own checkouts — they get to say who pays with what, not Apple. And Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is backing the retailers’ system via a company it is partnering with called MCX.
The retailers don’t want Apple to monopolize a system that will produce a lot of valuable customer data. Their system, “CurrentC,” will let them keep that data. Apple Pay basically partners with, and sits on top of, the existing credit-card system and makes credit cards super-easy to use by funneling payments securely through your phone. It shields data from retailers, too — which is why Wal-Mart. don’t like it.
The retailers’ CurrentC system does something similar, but without the fingerprint and without the one-step approval. You have to scan things and punch in codes to make the payment. The advantage of CurrentC is that it automatically applies discounts and coupons to your purchase, so consumers are heavily encouraged to use it. It also funnels a ton of data to retailers.