China’s Xi tells military to prepare for war as US Navy warns of high seas encounters

Chinese President Xi Jinping told military officials responsible for the disputed South China Sea to be better “prepared for war” as tensions with the US are rising. Beijing may be bracing for a worst-case scenario with the US.

Xi made the blunt remarks last week as he was meeting the Southern Theatre Command, the military officials responsible for one of China’s five strategic war zones. The calls were made on Thursday as part of his four-day visit to Guangdong province, but the Chinese state media reported them only on Friday.

“It’s necessary to strengthen the mission… and concentrate preparations for fighting a war,” President Xi said. “We need to take all complex situations into consideration and make emergency plans accordingly.

We have to step up combat readiness exercises, joint exercises and confrontational exercises to enhance servicemen’s capabilities and preparation for war.

US and China Warships Nearly Collide in China Sea

One of the key responsibilities of the Southern Theater Command is protecting China’s interests in the South China Sea, where Beijing claims sovereignty over a number of islands. The sea is of strategic importance to Chinese trade. The US rejects the territorial claims and has been sending so-called Freedom of Navigation missions through the waters and airspace, which Beijing considers its own, as a gesture of defiance.

Chief of US Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said Tuesday the US and China “will meet each other more and more on the high seas” as the two nations confront each other in the South China Sea.

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Top Palestinian body suspends Israel recognition until it recognizes Palestine

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s decision-making body has ruled to suspend its recognition of the state of Israel until Tel Aviv formally recognizes a Palestinian state along 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Noting Israel’s continued disregard of signed international agreements, the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) on Monday has decided to “suspend recognition of the State of Israel until its recognition of the State of Palestine on the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Following a two day meeting in Ramallah, the PCC also agreed to “end security coordination in all its forms” with Israel, and “disengage economically” from its neighbor, WAFA news agency reports, citing the final communiqué.

 
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the meeting of the Palestinian Central Council in the West Bank city of Ramallah January 14, 2018 © Mohamad Torokman

Furthermore, the decision-making body established the PLO to be the sole “legitimate representative” of all the Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, slamming Hamas for failing to implement the agreements it signed with Fatah over the last decade, ever since the Sunni organization assumed control of Gaza in 2007.

Urging Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to implement the Council's non-binding decisions, the PCC stressed that it continues to remain opposed to Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” aimed at solving the decades-old animosity between the neighboring nations. In wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Council called on the Arab states to “sever all diplomatic relations” with the US and any state that follows its example.

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a controversial issue, as Palestinians continue to claim East Jerusalem as their capital. Abbas repeatedly vowed to oppose any purported peace initiatives by Trump, whose relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognition of the city as Israel’s capital marked the first time the president of the US has departed from established policy, which saw the issue of Jerusalem kept off the table.

Speaking to PCC delegates on Sunday, the 82-year-old leader reiterated that Palestine and Jerusalem are “not for sale or bargaining.”

READ MORE: Paraguay cancels embassy move to Jerusalem, Israel responds by closing its embassy in Paraguay

“East Jerusalem is the capital of our state. We will not accept a capital in Jerusalem or the capital of two states because they are fooling us,” Abbas said on Sunday. “Jerusalem, which was occupied in 1967, is our capital, every meter and centimeter of it.”

 

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The United States to End Missiles Treaty with Russia

¨The United States is saturated with weapons and it does not need additional nuclear weapons.¨the former Congressman Ron Paul said in reference to the very likely withdrawal of Donald Trump the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty while making an statement to the Russian RT mass media.

Ron Paul stated that the very likely withdrawal from that treaty signed in 1897 would not improve the U.S. security at all.
According to that former Republican Congressman for Texas State, his nation will justify the accumulation of nuclear weapons under the pretext that China was also militarizing itself.

¨We have enough weapons not only to destroy ourselves but also to destroy the word ten times. We should not be worried due to a lack of weapons.¨ He added.

Trump's Announcement

On the last October 20th, Trump announced the very likely possibility about the withdrawal of the aforementioned treaty with Russia in a political meeting in Nevada State.

The agreement forbids the United States and Moscow the possession, production and tests of nuclear missiles tests with a range among the 500 to 5.500 kilometers. It was reached in 1987 between the then president of the United States Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Mijail Gorbachov and that was the key aspect in relation to the easing of tension between the two powers, during the then Cold War period.

Russian sources accuse the United States to use a blackmail to achieve concessions after Trump's announcement about his nation's withdrawal from that treaty.

Putin and Trump Meeting

 Putin and Trump Meeting

The United States and Russia reached a preliminary agreement about the meeting between the president Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin to be held on November 11th in Paris, said the political advisor of the Kremlin.

Yuri Ushakov expressed to the reporters that Putin and Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, who had some meetings with Moscow on Tuesday, confirmed a preliminary agreement in relation to the two heads of states gathering in Paris.

According to Xinhua news agency, the Defense Minister of Russia, Sergei Shoigu, asked for solving many global issues, along with the mutual effort by Moscow and Washington.

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Kremlin alarmed by MoD report that US spy plane coordinated drone attack on Russia's Syria base

The Kremlin has said it is concerned about a report by Russia’s Defense Ministry that a US spy plane was in control of a drone attack on Russia's Khmeimim Airbase in Syria in January.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made clear that the military has analyzed all available data and has drawn the necessary conclusions before saying that the drone attack on the Russian airbase was directed from a US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane.

“This is undoubtedly a very alarming report,” he noted. 

All further details will be provided by the Defense Ministry. But President Vladimir Putin may raise the issue with his US counterpart Donald Trump when the opportunity arises.

READ MORE: US spy plane circled between Russian airbase & port facility during Syria drone attack – MoD

The Kremlin's response comes after Colonel General Alexander Fomin, the deputy defense minister, had reportedly addressed the January drone attack during the Beijing Xiangshan Forum, a high-profile conference on defense and security.

According to the top defense military official, 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had approached Russia’s Khmeimim base at the time when the Poseidon plane was traversing skies over the Mediterranean. When Russian electronic countermeasures were turned on at Khmeimim, the drones continued their flying mission in manual mode.

He said the drones were not manned “by some peasant,” they were flown from “a standard, well-equipped P-8 Poseidon,” which had manual control over the UAVs in question.

When these drones came across Russia’s electronic warfare measures, they pulled back from the kill zone and began receiving some commands via satellite communications, General Fomin explained. Someone, he said, “guided the UAVs to the so-called holes [in Russian defenses],” which they utilized before being downed by Khmeimim’s surface-to-air missiles.

The incident occurred overnight on January 8, involving 10 UAVs targeting Khmeimim itself. Three more drones attempted a strike on the Russian naval facility at the Syrian port city of Tartus. All 13 craft were then engaged by the Pantsir-S1 air-defense system.

READ MORE: Drones are new serious terrorist threat in Syria – Russian defense minister

Three enemy drones, overridden by the Russian electronic warfare team, landed intact outside Khmeimim and were later inspected by the military. It was the first time that Syrian militants had used remote-controlled top-notch weaponry in the war. The Defense Ministry said the drones had been acquired “only from a country possessing state-of-the-art technologies.”

The Pentagon tried to rebut the Russian allegations at the time, with spokesman Adrian Rankin-Galloway claiming “those devices and technologies can easily be obtained in the open market.”

The January attack was not the only one of its kind. Russian air defenses at Khmeimim have dealt with intruder UAVs on numerous occasions throughout this summer. No drone managed to get close to the facility.

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US could be at war with China in just 15 yrs, warns ex-US army chief in Europe

The former commander of the US Army in Europe has issued a sobering assessment of the deteriorating state of US-Chinese relations, predicting that it’s very likely the two nations will be at war in fifteen years.

 
 U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo © Reuters / Jason Lee

Speaking at the Warsaw Security Forum on Wednesday, Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said that the United States will have to shift its military to the Pacific “to deal with the Chinese threat” – requiring Europe to take a more active role in its own defenses.

“The United States needs a very strong European pillar. I think in 15 years — it’s not inevitable — but it is a very strong likelihood that we will be at war with China,” Hodges warned.

Funding and training for European security will still remain a top priority for Washington, Hodges emphasized, adding that the US will also have to prepare for “the eventuality that in 10 or 15 years we’re going to be having to fight in the Pacific.”

The former commander told the Associated Press that relations between US and China were becoming “increasingly tense,” accusing Beijing of stealing technology and gaining control of strategically important infrastructure across Africa and Europe. He claimed that in Europe, China owns more than 10 percent of the ports.

Hodges served as the US Army commander in Europe from 2014 until last year. He now works for the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington-based research institute. The think tank receives funding from Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, as well as the US Defense Department.

His remarks come amid a slew of economic, political and military tensions between Washington and Beijing. In recent months, the US has stepped up naval operations in the South China Sea, in what it claims is an effort to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterways around China. Beijing has described the frequent incursions as dangerous provocations.

Relations are also souring on the economic front. Citing alleged Chinese theft of technologies, as well the US trade deficit with China, Trump slapped tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods in September. Beijing reciprocated with tariffs of their own.

Trump has also accused China of trying to meddle in upcoming elections. Beijing has firmly denied the allegations, which have yet to be substantiated by evidence.

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Explosive Device Found Near Home Of Hillary And Bill Clinton: Reports

New Delhi: An explosive device has been found near the home of Hillary and Bill Clinton in a New York City suburb, news agency Associated Press has reported.

The Clintons have lived in Chappaqua, about 50 kilometres north of New York City, since former President Bill Clinton left office in 2001.

It is not yet clear if the Clintons were home when the explosive device was discovered.

Police in New Castle, New York - who cover Chappaqua - say they assisted the FBI, Secret Service and Westchester County authorities in "the investigation of a suspicious package."

The explosive device was found a day after an explosive device was discovered outside liberal philanthropist George Soros' suburban New York compound.

More details are awaited.

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Sculpture to Non-Violence at UN Remembers John Lennon's Activism

United Nations, Oct 22 (Prensa Latina) Although it seems much larger in postcards, the sculpture of a knotted pistol calls the attention, be they visitors or regulars, who enter the UN headquarters in New York.

What many may not know is that work is linked to one of the four of Liverpool's most famous: British musician John Lennon, who is not only remembered as member of The Beatles, but also for his activism against violence.

Swedish sculptor Carl Frederick Reutersward was a friend of Lennon and his assassination shocked him, then he decided to dump all his emotions into a sculpture that has become symbol of the fight against violence.

This greatly contributed to its being placed in the Square of visitors of the U.N building, an institution that should care for peace and security over the world.

Now, the bronze sculpture is one of the almost obligatory places to take photos by tourists who visit the headquarters of the multilateral organization and also the most frequent image of news and events on disarmament and non-proliferation.

Other versions indicate that after the assassination of Lennon on December 8, 1980, his widow Yoko Ono asked

Reutersward to make a work in tribute to the musician.

The certain thing is that the Swedish sculptor was inspired on the most anti-militaristic songs of Lennon, the well-known Imagine.

It was initially thought to put the sculpture in Central Park, in the avenue that evoques the British Singer that is named after one of his creations: Strawberry Fields, located in front of the building Dakota, where he lived and at which door was assassinated the author of Imagine.

The knotted pistol or Sculpture to Non Violence was a gift of the Great Dukedom of Luxemburg to the UN and the best known work of Carl Fredrik ReuterswÃñrd (1934-2016), whose work is full of irony and denunciation.

The original in bronze is kept in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York, but there are some 30 replicas throughout the world, among other countries, in France and Switzerland,l varying in size in each place.

But the knotted cannon of the great Colt Phyton 357 Magnum stays unalterable as monument of the pacifist desire to silence weapons.

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The Reality in Prison Centers of the United States

Reports issued from the nation have the alleged “higher democracy of the world,” where the five percent of the world population lives, imprison the 25% of the inmates of all over the world. The alarming number shows that one out of four inmates is American.

The related statistics do not stop there because the 60 % of the prisoners is subjected to forced labor by the own prison system and the 44% of that nation’s incarcerated teenagers have been victims of the use of force by their jailers and that hard reality is admitted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Other date show that more than two million of inmates in the United States, the 39% of them belongs to the black people, a rate even higher to the years of the inhuman racial segregation.

In the United States, which is a nation that has not ratified the International Convention of Human Rights on Children, all the states allow that the minors to be judged as adults under certain circumstances and there are thousands of children who are in prisons or detain centers for adults people.

The U.S. aberrant behavior is not only shown against its internal prison population but also its inmates who live in U.S. prisons out of the nation which are sadly famous for their embarrassing and terrifying history.

One of the most sinister chapters of the political history of the United States is the case of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq where the most painful and humiliating tortures were carried out since 2003 by the U.S. military army.

The Reality in Prison Centers of the United States

In addition, the prison center that is located in the illegal naval station in Guantánamo, which the United States keeps against the will of the Cuban people, has experienced disgraceful horror histories.

Even the U.S. Press admits that nation’s prisons are mainly a business, taking into account that many ones were privatized. The penitentiary policy of the United States is a key mechanism of its economic system and their inmates work for corporations which make millionaire sums, besides, there are analysts who talk about the slavery in the XXI and a despicable exploitation.

Certainly and while the United States supports or conceals some of the biggest and scandalous outrages carried out against the human rights in its own territory and the world, that nation pretends cornering Cuba through the use of a deceptive campaign of slanders planned to justify an unfair and criminal policy that does not have any support.

That nation left the Human Rights Council to prevent that institution’s scrutiny on its violations inside and outside its territory. Therefore, it should never pretend trying to give lessons on human rights to Cuba.

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