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Showing posts from April 16, 2013

Opium production increasing in Afghanistan: UN

The United Nations warns that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has been on the rise for the third year in a row and it is expected to hit a record high.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued a report entitled “The Afghanistan Opium Winter Risk Assessment 2013” on Monday.

According to the report, although the exact figure for opium production in 2013 is still unclear, it is expected to surpass the 154,000 hectares planted in 2012, and the 131,000 hectares in 2011.

The report predicted that out of Afghanistan's 34 provinces, 12 provinces are expected to increase their opium production, while no major change is expected in seven others.

“The southern region is expected to remain the largest opium cultivating region in Afghanistan in 2013. Poppy cultivation in Helmand and Kandahar, the main opium cultivating provinces in the country, is expected to increase and Helmand is expected to retain its status as the largest opium cultivating province in the country,” the repo…

North Korea vows attack on South over anti-North activities

North Korea has vowed to launch a military attack on South Korea without any warning if the South continues its anti-North activities.

North Korea's military issued the stark warning on Monday in response to what it said were insults from the "puppet authorities" in the South, AFP reported.

Earlier on Monday, protesters in Seoul burned portraits of North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung, his son Kim Jong-Il, and grandson and current leader Kim Jong-un.

Monday also marked the 101st birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, a day North Korea reveres as "The Day of the Sun."

"All the service personnel and people of the DPRK (North Korea) are simmering with towering resentment at this monstrous criminal act," the army's supreme command said in a statement.
The statement gave South Korea an "ultimatum" to end its hostile policies towards the North and warned that North Korea would not give any advance notice before attacking the South.

"Our retal…

'US Black Hawk crashes near N Korea'

An American UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter has crashed in South Korea near the North Korean border, a South Korean defense official says.

The official speaking on condition of anonymity said that the incident took place during ongoing South Korea-US joint military exercises in Cheolwon county of Kangwon Province bordering the North.

"The number of casualties was not immediately confirmed with an investigation currently underway to also identify the exact cause of the crash," South Korean Yonhap news agency quoted military sources as saying.

The incident comes at a time of heightened military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of escalating military rhetoric following the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers in its recent joint military exercises with South Korea.

The moves by the US prompted North Korea to step up its war rhetoric, authorizing its army to launch 'preemptive nuclear strikes' on th…

Multiple car bombings kill 55 in Iraq

The death toll from a spate of bomb attacks across Iraq has exceeded 55 with almost 200 injures, security and medical sources say.

On Monday, six car bombs went off in five neighborhoods of the capital, Baghdad. Eleven people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in the explosions.

Three car bombs were also detonated in quick succession in Tuz Khurmatu, situated about 175 kilometers (110 miles) north of Baghdad, at around 8:00 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) in the center and east of the town. The blasts killed six people and wounded more than 60 others.

Another three car bombs ripped through the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk, situated about 290 kilometers (175 miles) north of Baghdad, killing five people and wounding 30 others.

Meanwhile, 14 people were wounded in the city of Nasiriyah, situated about 305 kilometers (190 miles) south of Baghdad, when two explosives-laden cars exploded.

Explosions also occurred in the city of Hilla, situated about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south o…

Fighting Drone Wars Behind Our Back: Cheap, Invisible and Risk-free Mass Murder

The great advantage of drones for western governments is they can be used without domestic casualties and therefore, they hope, without the risk of popular opposition or protest.

By Chris Nineham

April 15, 2013  - RAF Waddington will soon be the control centre for British drone warfare. It may already be, we can't be sure.

The fact we don't know testifies to the secrecy that surrounds the operation of these remote control killing machines. Drones embody the sinister shift that has been taken in the West's wars post Iraq.

They blur the distinction between war and state execution, with no chance for public scrutiny.
Britain has been using drones in Afghanistan for some years. But by developing its drone capability, the British government is now stepping up its global ability to conduct arbitrary assassinations.

Official US language shows droes are normalizing such behaviour. There has been next to no public discussion about their use in Britain, but in the US drones are actual…

US Secretary of State Blackmails China over North Korea

By John Chan

April 15, 2013  -"WSWS" - In meetings with Chinese leaders last weekend, US Secretary of State John Kerry engaged in a barely disguised form of blackmail to pressure Beijing to use “all options” to force its ally North Korea to dismantle its nuclear programs and destroy its nuclear weapons. Impoverished North Korea is completely dependent on China for vital imports, including oil and economic aid.

In recent weeks, Washington has aggressively ratcheted up tensions on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea’s third nuclear test in February. As well as flying nuclear capable B-2 and B-52 strategic bombers to South Korea, the US has bolstered anti-missile ballistic systems in Alaska and Guam, and moved two Aegis-class destroyers, equipped with anti-missile defences, closer to Korean waters.

Beijing has in the past protested against the build-up of US anti-ballistic missile systems in the Asia-Pacific region, knowing that China is the primary target. Speaking in Seou…

FBI's History of Handing "Terror Suspects" Live Explosives

By Tony Cartalucci

April 15, 2013 -" LD" - In late September 2011, AFP reported that a man was charged with "planning to fly explosive-packed, remote controlled airplanes into the Pentagon and the Capitol in Washington." In its report, "US man charged with Pentagon bomb plot," AFP stated (emphasis added):

During the alleged plot, undercover FBI agents posed as accomplices who supplied Ferdaus with one remote-controlled plane, C4 explosives, and small arms that he allegedly envisioned using in a simultaneous ground assault in Washington.

However, ''the public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by undercover FBI employees,'' the FBI said.

Ferdaus was arrested in Framingham, near Boston, immediately after putting the newly delivered weapons into a storage container, the FBI said.

Authorities described Ferdaus as a physics graduate from Northeastern University who followed al-Qaeda and was committed to ''…