ASIA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ASIA

Dec 02 08:20

Video: US-Backed Thai Mobs Remove Barriers at Army Base

After the government took extensive measures to protect the army base the US-backed anti-government protesters originally targeted as their next protest site – protest leaders switched the venue at the last minute.

Immediately the protest guards began removing razor wire standing between them and the army base’s gates and security personel. Storming a military base anywhere in the world can be a potentially deadly provocation – and protest leaders by picking a military base to target and encouraging followers to dismantle security barriers is a reckless move that should be condemned by the media.

Instead the Western media and opposition media in Thailand is acting as if this is just a normal part of the protest and are likely to spin any potential violence as the government’s fault.

Dec 02 08:05

Turkey, Azerbaijan drone success should worry Europe, says European Council analyst

The success in drone warfare conducted by Turkey and Azerbaijan is a cause of concern for Europe and should force it to consider its options, a senior policy fellow and analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has warned.

In the analysis written by Gustav Gressel, he noted that Azerbaijan's victory over Armenia in the renewed conflict for the Nagorno-Karabakh region offers "distinct lessons for how well Europe can defend itself".

During that 44-day conflict, in which Armenia and its militias suffered the loss of thousands of troops and military vehicles, one of the key decisive factors which granted Azerbaijan superiority were the Turkish drones used by the Azeri military.

Those drones, along with the methods of warfare developed through their use in other fronts, enabled Azerbaijan to capture the strategic city of Shusha and force Armenia's surrender on 9 November, leading to the Russia-brokered ceasefire deal which returned the territory to Baku.

Dec 02 07:31

Thai court rules in favor of PM, more protests likely

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has won a legal battle in a conflict-of-interest case that had been brought by opposition politicians and could have seen him thrown out of office.

The prime minister, who was under pressure from months of street protests, was accused of a conflict of interest because he remained in military housing despite his retirement from the army in 2014, months after overthrowing an elected government.

The nine-member constitutional court, however, unanimously ruled in his favor on Wednesday.

The head judge said the military had changed the status of the residence from an army house to a guest house in 2012, "so, technically, the defendant's no longer living inside an army house."

Dec 02 02:53

California Judge Strikes Down Trump Administration Rules That Would Limit Visas To Skilled Workers

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White struck down two Trump administration rules Tuesday that would have reduced the number of visas issued to skilled foreign workers each year.

The Trump administration announced new changes to the H-1B visa program in October, which included new salary requirements on companies that hire foreign skilled workers and limited speciality occupations, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Deputy Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said the changes were necessary as the economy recovers from the pandemic, according to the AP.

“With millions of Americans looking for work, as the economy continues its recovery, immediate action is needed to guard against the risk lower-cost foreign labor can pose to the well-being of U.S. workers,” he said.

Dec 01 07:52

Video: War Ended but Armenia Still Suffers Losses. Azerbaijani Troops Enter Largest Armenian Gold Mine

This week, the Armenian leadership has reached an unprecedented height in its state management achievements. Prime Minsiter Nikol Pashinayan and his government did not stop at the successful campaign to undermine the Armenian regional position and the epic loss in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. Now, they are losing their largest gold mine, which was controlled by the Armenians for the last few decades.

On November 26, Azerbaijani troops entered the Sotk gold mine, which is located in the Gegharkunik province of Armenia, right on the border with the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The mine reserves are estimated at more than 130 tons. GEOPROMINING GOLD, which operates this mine, is one of the largest taxpayers and employers in Armenia. According to Armenian sources, the company paid $34 million into the Armenian budget in the period just between January to September of 2020.

Nov 30 07:00

Thousands of Thai pro-democracy protesters march on royal barracks wielding rubber ducks against armour-clad riot police to demand the King give up his regiments

Thousands of protesters marched on Thailand's royal barracks last night holding inflatable rubber ducks - a symbol used by the peaceful pro-democracy movement to ridicule the police.

Heavily-armoured officers defended by shields and banks of barbed wire kept the demonstrators from getting close to the King's Guard headquarters in Bangkok on Sunday.

Protesters are demanding curbs on of King Maha Vajiralongkorn's power, including that he renounce his claim on several of the royal army regiments.

Nov 28 07:51

Video: Why US-Funded Mobs Are Attacking Thai-Chinese Relations

Thailand’s ongoing US-funded anti-government protests aren’t “pro-democracy,” they are anti-Chinese.

Just like in Hong Kong, the US is attempting to create crisis for China and its allies and impede both China’s and Asia’s rise upon the global stage.

I go over the close and ever-growing ties between Thailand and China and why the US is so determined to undo them.

Nov 25 07:59

MAJOR: Russia Could Soon Intervene As Azeris And Turks Start Settling 4000 Terrorists In Artsakh (Karabakh)

Sources close to the government of the Syrian Arab Republic have managed to obtain information that Turkey, in cooperation with Azerbaijan, provided documents for the legal settlement of the first group of no less than 4,000 Turkmens (who came to Azerbaijan as terrorists and mercenaries) who will soon settle in towns and villages in southern Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

These towns and villages were formerly populated by Armenians, who were forced to leave the area after the Azeri attack on September 27. Since these “settlers” are mostly terrorists and extremists who fought in Jihadist organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra and even the Islamic State, the formation of Wahhabi strongholds in the border area with Armenia, especially on its southeastern border, cannot be ruled out.

Nov 24 06:16

WATCH: Azeri Military Molests The Elderly, Desecrates WWII Memorials, Ransacks Armenian Property In Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)

Although the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev stated that “he would make sure peaceful coexistence is established” in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) after Azerbaijan invaded the Armenian-populated area, the situation on the ground couldn’t possibly be any further from that statement. The following videos show just how “peaceful coexistence” looks like to Azeris.

Nov 24 06:14

Nagorno-Karabakh: victory of London and Ankara, defeat of Soros and the Armenians

The Pentagon, which had planned the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, was overtaken by its British allies. But none of the great powers worried about the deaths it would cause. Moreover, while London and Ankara renewed their historic alliance, Washington and Moscow gained nothing, while George Soros and the Armenians lost much.

Nov 20 13:32

AZERBAIJANI TROOPS ENTER FIRST OF DISTRICTS THAT ARE SET TO BE RETURNED UNDER KARABAKH DEAL

Late on November 19, Azerbaijani troops started entering the district of Agdam in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Agdam is one of the districts surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic that Azerbaijan lost to Armenian forces after the collapse of the USSR, as a result of the First Karabkah War. On November 20, the district is set to be fully transfered to Azerbaijan under the peace deal reached by Baku and Yerevan to put an end to the Second Karabkah War earlier in November. An overwhelming majority of Armenians living in Agdam have already left the area. Over the past days, authorities of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (also known as the Republic of Artsakh) were assisting in the evacuation. Many of the leaving Armenians were burning their homes in order to not allow the Azerbaijanis to seize them and use them in the future.

Nov 20 08:19

WATCH: Russian Electronic Warfare Systems Deployed To Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)

Russian peacekeeping forces in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) have deployed the advanced RB-341V “Leer-3” electronic warfare system. The system, based on KamAZ-5350 6×6 trucks, was spotted with Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh in a video that was shared by Global News on November 14.

Leer-3 was developed by the St Petersburg-based LLC Special Technology Center, a subsidiary of the KRET Concern. The system, which was first presented in 2015, was designed to monitor and attack GSM communications. Each Leer-3 system relies on one or two Orlan-10 drones carrying electronic warfare payloads. The drone can stay in the air for 16 hours and has an operating range of 140 km.

Nov 18 07:34

WATCH: Azeri Islamists Destroy An Armenian Cross Despite Putin’s Calls For Respect Of Christian Shrines In Artsakh

A video appeared, showing an Azeri Islamist, or possibly a pro-Turkish terrorist standing on the top of an Armenian church, destroying its cross. It is still unclear where exactly the video was taken, but it’s certainly in southern Artsakh, occupied by the invading Azeri troops. The rest of Artsakh is still under Armenian and Russian control, so it couldn’t have been taken in those areas.

However, this does raise questions of the fate of other Christian religious sites in areas that are or will come under Azeri occupation. If horrifying war crimes committed by Azeri troops and pro-Turkish terrorist allies against Armenian civilians and captured (or killed) soldiers are taken into account, the fate of Armenia’s ancient and Christian legacy, which predates the existence of Azeris for thousands of years, looks rather grim.

Nov 17 11:00

America's narrow idea of freedom is literally killing us by Ryan Cooper

OPINION: America's narrow idea of freedom is literally killing us

Ryan Cooper

November 16, 2020
Here's a question for all red-blooded liberty-loving American patriots: Who has a greater lived experience of freedom at the moment, citizens of Vietnam or the United States? Vietnam, of course, is a one-party Communist state, with fairly strict limitations on freedom of speech, the press, and so on, while the U.S. has (at least for now) a somewhat democratic constitution and (at least formally) some protections for civil liberties.

Nov 16 13:23

Assassination Attempt On Armenian Prime Minister Thwarted By Security Forces

Armenian security officials announced they had thwarted an active assassination attempt on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan plotted by a cadre of his political opponents amid widespread outrage at Armenia signing a ceasefire with Azerbaijan which Baku hailed as a "capitulation" by Yerevan, essentially admitting defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Armenian National Security Service (NSS) revealed in a statement that "one of the political opponents opposed to the government kept a large number of weapons, ammunition and explosives and reached an agreement with the leaders of the parties operating in Armenia and Karabakh to plan to seize power and kill the prime minister."

Nov 16 10:32

Asia-Pacific trade deal is a big win for China and a blow for US. America First has in fact put America Last on the world stage

The repercussions of the new RCEP free-trade agreement between China and 14 other countries are huge. It creates a massive trading bloc in Asia that America, though its insular policies, will play no part in.

This weekend, 15 Asia-Pacific nations came together to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a mammoth free-trade agreement that has been described as one of the largest in history.

It includes China, Japan, South Korea and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as Australia and New Zealand. The deal solidifies a tariff-free bloc spanning 30 percent of the world’s GDP and 2.6 billion people.

Nov 16 06:40

Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries strike world's biggest free trade deal in huge coup for China to extend its influence amid the pandemic

Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday signed the world's biggest free trade deal, seen as a huge coup for China in extending its influence amid the pandemic.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been struck as the world's financial markets have been destroyed by coronavirus.

China's is one of the few economies to have successfully weathered the storm, despite being the country from which the calamitous virus originated.

Nov 16 05:42

Armenians torch their own homes outside Nagorno-Karabakh

Outraged Kalbajar residents set their houses alight and fled to Armenia Saturday on the eve of a deadline that will see the disputed area just outside of Nagorno-Karabakh handed over to Azerbaijan.

The town of Kalbajar and its surrounding district are to be returned to Azerbaijani control on Sunday under the ceasefire which was signed on 9 November by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

After the ceasefire agreement was signed thousands of people poured out onto the streets of the Armenian capital of Yerevan to protest. Some demonstrators managed to force their way into a government building, occupying rooms and smashing furniture in the prime minister's office.

In Charektar, a mountainous village on Kalbajar border, at least six houses were on fire Saturday morning with thick smoke rising up over the valley.

Nov 12 12:50

RUSSIAN TROOPS TOOK CONTROL OF LACHIN CORRIDOR, OTHER KEY AREAS IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH

The Russian peacekeeping force has entered the Nagorno-Karabakh region and is working to establish 16 observation points to monitor the ceasefire regime. According to updated information, the core of the force is made up of units of the 15th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade “Alexandria” and the Military Police.

Russian forces have already taken control of the Lachin corridor, which links Armenia with Karabakh. The Armenian town of Goris is being using by the Russians as the build-up area for further deployment. The tasks of Russian observation posts in Karabakh, according to the Russian General Staff, are the following:

Nov 12 06:48

LEADERSHIP OF ARMENIA: HOW TO LOSE TERRITORIES AND SURRENDER INTERESTS FOR DUMMIES

Armenia is in a deep political crisis after losing the war in Nagorno-Karabakh and signing a peace deal with Azerbaijan. Despite Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s claims that “the loser is only he who thinks himself defeated,” agreeing to the peace deal was in fact the least Armenia could do to salvage a situation which was becoming more untenable for Yerevan with each passing day. In its turn, Azerbaijan, which was on the brink of capturing the largest regional city, Stepanakert, and cutting off the Lachin corridor linking Armenia with Nagorno-Karabakh, was forced to accept the de-escalation due to the intervention of Russian diplomacy and the deployment of Russian peacekeepers who are currently taking up positons in Karabakh.

How did the Armenian state manage to lose most of Nagorno-Karabakh? The order of events is here:

Nov 12 06:48

NAGORNO-KARABAKH LEADER REVEALED MORAL CRISIS OF ARMENIAN TROOPS

Arayik Harutyunyan, President of the de-facto state of Artsakh, has called on the region’s Armenians to stop looking for traitors and return to the region.

In a video message on November 11, Harutyunyan revealed a number of morale issues that led to the collapse of Armenian forces in Karabakh.

On October 3, when the enemy reached Matagis, part of the military retreated from the Yehniker area, there were not enough resources to provide the rear.

When we were supposed to go to Yehnikner with our elite units and the Armenian special forces, our units refused to go there. I asked, begged, said that I would go ahead, but received a negative answer! They didn’t go with me, they left the President of their country alone.

Nov 10 09:55

Thousands of cars were driving from Stepanakert to the mountains

Nov 10 09:45

Azerbaijan Downs Russian Attack Helicopter Over Armenia and Immediately Apologizes

A Russian Mi-24 helicopter was downed over Armenia near the border with Azerbaijan from a man-portable air-defense system, killing two and injuring one, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

“On November 9, at about 17:30 Moscow time, a Russian Mi-24 helicopter came under fire from the ground from a man-portable air-defense system when accompanying a vehicle convoy of the 102nd Russian military base on the territory of the Republic of Armenia in the airspace close to the Armenian settlement of Yeraskh near the border with the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (the Republic of Azerbaijan),” the Russian Defense Ministry stated. [Nakichevan is an Azeri exclave to the west of southern Armenia, whereas fighting is to its east.]

Nov 10 09:02

Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict: Israeli 'kamikaze' drones wreak havoc on Karabakh

In a basement in Stepanakert (known as Khankendi in Azeri), the capital of the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian fighter Bilad has what he believes to be the remains of an Israeli drone.

“It's bits and pieces gathered by our soldiers. We have removed the camera and the electronics but we're sure it's a Harop, one of those kamikaze drones,” explains the soldier, whose carefully trimmed beard is offset by heavy bags under his eyes.

It’s been weeks since Bilad had a proper night’s rest. On the morning of 27 September, Baku launched a major offensive against Nagorno-Karabakh, an unrecognised breakaway region that is officially part of Azerbaijan but is run by ethnic Armenians.

Nov 10 07:21

BREAKING: Russia Saves Artsakh In The Nick Of Time, 2000 Russian Peacekeepers Headed For Nagorno-Karabakh

Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed that Azerbaijan and Armenia have finally struck a deal to end the conflict over Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and that Russian peacekeepers will be deployed along the line of contact, RT reported. The deal comes after multiple violations of previous ceasefire deals.

The agreement will create conditions for a long-term settlement of the crisis in the interests of both peoples, Putin said shortly after midnight Moscow time on Tuesday (22:30 GMT Monday), confirming reports of the armistice which Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan described as “painful but necessary”.

According to the text of the agreement that appeared in Russian media around midnight Moscow time – when the armistice was to take effect – Russia will deploy almost 2,000 peacekeepers along the line of contact and the Lachin corridor, the road connection between Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Armenia proper.

Nov 09 13:43

Azerbaijan Shoots-Down ?Russian Mi-24 Military Helicopter Over Armenia, 2 Killed

Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed the downing of the country’s Mi-24 military helicopter over Armenia near the border with Azerbaijan. The ministry reported the killing of two crew members, with another wounded.

The Mi-24 (NATO reporting name: Hind) is reported to have crashed in the territory of Armenia near the village of Yeraskh. The military helicopter is said to have been shot down using a man-portable air-defense system (SAM), according to the Russian Defence Ministry.

Russia said the crash was caused by a loss of control after a missile hit the aircraft. The helicopter accompanied a convoy of Russian troops in Armenia and came under fire from MANPADS from the ground between Yeraskh and Paruyr-Sevak, which is the border with the Nakhichevan autonomy of Azerbaijan.

Nov 04 12:03

Nagorno-Karabakh Has Right to Counterstrike, Armenian Foreign Ministry Says

Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan, commenting on a rocket attack by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces on the cities of Stepanakert and Shusha in the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, said that the Karabakh authorities have the right to counterstrike.

According to Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan, on 3 November, the Azerbaijani military again struck civilian infrastructure in Stepanakert and Shusha with cluster munitions of the Smerch multiple launch rocket system (MLRS), in particular, in the direction of the Center for Maternal and Child Health in Stepanakert. They were injuries reported.

"We declare that in the conditions of the existential threat created for the people of Artsakh [Karabakh], the Artsakh authorities and the Defense Army have the inalienable right to defend their population and counterstrike the enemy," Naghdalyan said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry website.

Nov 04 06:56

US, India, Japan, and Australia Hold Naval Drills Aimed at China

The US, Japan, India, and Australia began their largest joint naval drills in over a decade on Tuesday with an eye towards Beijing. The four countries make up the informal alliance known as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or the Quad, a group the US is hoping to turn into a more formal security alliance.

The Indian-led Malabar drills began as an annual joint US-Indian operation in 1992. Japan joined the exercise on a permanent basis in 2015, and Australia last participated in the drills in 2007.

Nov 04 06:43

Human toll in Azerbaijan-Armenia fight for Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been at war again over the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the South Caucasus for over a month. Three ceasefires have failed. The conflict is taking its toll on civilians.

Nov 04 06:34

Nagorno-Karabakh Live Updates: Armenian Forces Encircling, Destroying Azeri Forces Near Shusha

Earlier, Armenian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan said that on 3 November, Azerbaijan's military had once again had struck civilian infrastructure in Stepanakert and Shusha, with missiles launced by Smerch multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS).

The fighting on the line of contact in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh started on 27 September. Armenia and Azerbaijan have accused each other of starting the firing. The international community has strongly condemned the escalation and called on parties to settle their differences via dialogue, while Turkey has pledged its full support for Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani troops managed to make significant achievements on the southern flank, but within the past week, the front line has stabilised, with the Azerbaijani troops trying to reach Berdzor (Lachin), Karmir Shuka (Qirmizi Bazar), Martuni (Khojavend) and Shusha.

Nov 03 13:19

TURKISH RISK INVESTMENTS IN LOCAL CONFLICTS AND PROSPECTS OF ARMENIAN COUNTER-OFFENSIVE IN KARABAKH

In early November, the Azerbaijani-Turkish advance in the directions of the Lachin corridor and the town of Shusha in the Nagorno-Karabakh region slowed down.

The main factors are the fierce resistance of Armenian forces, the complicated terrain, deteriorating weather conditions and overextended communications that run through recently captured territories, where Armenian sabotage units are still able to deliver regular attacks. 9 villages, the capturing of which Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced recently, are in fact located inside the territory captured by Azerbaijani forces earlier. This showcases the lack of progress of Baku’s forces in the recent battles.

Nov 03 07:35

Video: Azerbaijani Troops Are at the Gates of the Capital of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

The Nagorno-Karabakh war has apparently been developing in the favor of the Turkish-Azerbaijani bloc. On the evening of October 29, the Armenian side confirmed that Azerbaijani troops have almost reached the second largest town in Nagorno-Karabakh – Shusha, which is located just a few km from the capital of the self-proclaimed republic – Stepanakert. Arayik Harutyunyan, the president of the republic, called on Armenians to take arms to defend their homeland.

“Shusha is not just a town, it is the symbol of the determination of the Armenian people to live in their own cradle, a symbol of the victories of the Armenian people. Shusha is the beating heart of all Armenians. As the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of Artsakh, I once again call on each and every one of you to unite and defend our Shusha, our Artsakh, our national dignity,” he said.

Nov 03 07:05

Armenian PM to Post: Israel joins forces with the devil

Israel has lined up with Turkey, terrorists and Syrian mercenaries in backing Azerbaijan in the current conflict with Armenia, and will eventually suffer the consequence of that unholy alliance, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview on Monday.

Pashinyan, speaking from Yerevan through an interpreter via Zoom, blasted Jerusalem for arming Azerbaijan, which he said is intent on “carrying out genocide against Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Nov 03 07:02

Myanmar fugitive monk Wirathu hands himself in to face sedition charges

Hardline Buddhist nationalist monk Ashin Wirathu handed himself over to police in Myanmar’s commercial capital of Yangon on Monday after more than a year on the run from charges of sedition.

Nov 03 06:35

Russia Vows "All Necessary Assistance" To Armenia In Nagorno-Karabakh, Threatening Regional War

In a major weekend development Russia said that should Azerbaijan spread its military operations against Armenia beyond the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, it will give "all necessary assistance" to Armenia, with which Moscow has a defense pact:

Russia would be prepared to render "all necessary assistance" to treaty partner Armenia if the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict expanded to Armenian territory, Russia's Foreign Ministry declared Saturday.

Nov 02 13:28

“VIKINGS TO THE RESCUE”: UNITED STATES REVEALS ITS PEACE PLAN FOR ARMENIAN-AZERBAIJANI WAR

The diplomatic process surrounding the ongoing Armenian-Azerbaijani war in the Nagorno-Karabakh region has reached an expected stalemate. The Armenians do not want to surrender. The Azerbaijani-Turkish bloc does not want to drop its chances for a military victory.

On October 30, the sides tried to reach another humanitarian ceasefire brokered by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and once again agreed to exchange prisoners, dead bodies and not strike civilian targets. This agreement collapsed as expected a few minutes after it was reached. Speculations of US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien about the possible deployment of some mysterious Scandinavian peacekeepers looks like wishful thinking.

Nov 02 07:58

Armenia Releases Video Of Detained Syrian Mercenary Captured On Battlefield

On Sunday, the Armenian Ministry of Defense published a video clip documenting the interrogation of a person who was said to be a Syrian militant who was captured in the Karabakh region after he participated in the hostilities on the side of Azerbaijan.

The captured man who appears in the tape said that he is called, Yousef Al-Abed Al-Hajji, who is from the village of Al-Ziyadiyah, located in the countryside of Jisr Al-Shughour of the Idlib Governorate, adding that he was born in 1988 and is married with five children.

Nov 02 07:28

Malaysia :Health DG calls for power to stop elections

October 30, 2020
PUTRAJAYA(Malaysia): Amendments should be made in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 for the health ministry to prevent elections for safety reasons, says health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

Speaking at a press conference today, Noor Hisham said now was not the time to carry out elections because the country’s current infection rate (R0) had not reached the ministry’s target of less than 0.5.

He said amendments to the Act would be timely, adding that the Act was already in review even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country.

Nov 02 06:59

Chicken Kiev Meets Cold Turkey: Black Sea Axis Emerges?

On the face of it, an alliance between Turkey and Ukraine seems like a rather odd creation, yet one that may surprisingly durable simply because neither country has anywhere else to turn.

Kiev’s Unrequited Love

Nov 01 09:38

Armenia and Azerbaijan Agree to Avoid Targeting Civilians

Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed not to target civilians on Friday during talks in Geneva. Foreign ministers from the two countries met with envoys from the US, France, and Russia to discuss the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nov 01 09:02

‘Himalayan lie’: India raids over Kashmir ‘terror funds’ slammed

Activists and rights groups have condemned Indian agency’s raids on non-governmental organisations, activists and journalists in Indian-administered Kashmir, national capital New Delhi and the southern city of Bengaluru over alleged “terror funding” in the disputed region.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted a series of raids in those places on Wednesday and Thursday, accusing several “non-profit groups and charitable trusts” of collecting funds and using them for “carrying out secessionist and separatist activities”.

Nov 01 09:00

Homesick and bellicose, Karabakh's exiled Azeris yearn for return

Gassan Akhmedov has one last wish - to return to the land of his birth, a land he says has been occupied for more than 25 years.

That dream came a step closer, the 80-year-old resident of Baku says, when Azeri troops captured the region of Jabrayil as part of their southern march on the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Our native village has been liberated,” said Akhmedov, an elder in a run-down neighbourhood of the Azeri capital populated largely by exiles of the 1991-94 war over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nov 01 08:57

Live Updates: Armenian Troop Withdrawal From Karabakh Must Be Negotiated ASAP, Aliyev Says

In October, the sides agreed on ceasefires three times but failed to prevent the escalations, accusing each other of breaking the accords.

A new round of hostilities erupted in Nagorno-Karabakh on 27 September, with Baku subsequently launching a partial mobilisation and announcing a "counter-offensive", while Yerevan launched a full mobilisation to defend the breakaway republic.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict flared up in the late 1980s, with the predominantly Armenian-populated autonomy proclaiming independence from Azerbaijan in 1991. As a result, Baku and Yerevan waged a full-scale war for the area between 1992 and 1994 that claimed the lives of around 40,000 troops and civilians from both sides.

Nov 01 08:54

Russia promises ‘necessary’ assistance to Yerevan if Nagorno-Karabakh fighting spills onto Armenia’s soil

Moscow has promised to provide the “necessary assistance” to Armenia if ongoing fighting in the Azerbaijani breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region reaches the country’s territory, after Yerevan called on the Kremlin for help.

Russia has signaled it is ready to get more involved in the conflict between Azerbaijan and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic, backed by Armenia. The “assistance” will come only if the fighting reaches the territory of Armenia, which has security agreements with Russia, however.

“Russia will render Yerevan all necessary assistance if fighting takes place directly on the territory of Armenia,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday, urging the warring parties to cease hostilities immediately.

Nov 01 08:04

MAJOR: Azerbaijan Uses Banned White Phosphorus Munitions In Nagorno-Karabakh (VIDEO)

Invading Azerbaijani forces were caught using white phosphorus munitions, banned internationally, in a number of renewed attacks on the Armenian-populated Republic of Artsakh (more widely known as Nagorno-Karabakh), the Ministry of Defense of Armenia announced on October 31.

Oct 30 06:47

Soros sent 2 000 Kurdish mercenaries to Armenia, says Erdo?an

Meeting with his party’s MPs on 27 October 2020, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an said that he informed Russian President Vladimir Putin about Armenia’s deployment of mercenaries [1].

Quoting the National Intelligence Organization (Millî ?stihbarat Te?kilat? - M?T), he added that about 2,000 fighters belonging to the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan) had been moved to Armenia.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pachinian came to power in 2018 through a coup funded by Hungarian-born speculator George Soros. At the time of the Cold War, the PKK was a Marxist-Leninist party which had the support of the Soviet Union. It gradually shifted towards the western bloc and embraced anachism. During the war against Syria, it ran a puppet state, Rojava, under NATO military protection. It now looks like it is hiring out its services to George Soros.

Oct 29 08:38

Live Updates: Azerbaijan Takes Control Of Settlements in Four Karabakh Districts, Aliev Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier discussed the development of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the Russian president expressed deep concern over the ongoing hostilities, as well as the increasing involvement of terrorists from the Middle East in the clashes.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence has accused the Armenian military of shelling settlements of the Terter region on Wednesday morning. Yerevan has yet to comment on these claims.

The current armed conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region started on 27 September; Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of initiating the hostilities. The international community has strongly condemned the escalation and called on the parties to settle their differences peacefully.

Oct 29 07:38

Turks ‘search’ for Armenians in Lyon, France amid ethnic tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Turkish nationalists marched through the outskirts of Lyon, France, following violent clashes with ethnic Armenians who had blocked a roadway to show their support for Yerevan in its war with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Members of the ‘Gray Wolves’, a Turkish nationalist group, took to the streets of a Lyon suburb and a nearby commune on Wednesday night, after several Turks were reportedly injured earlier in the day by Armenian demonstrators.

France’s Independent Union of Police Commissioners said in a tweet that 150 “overexcited individuals” had participated in a “punitive expedition in search of Armenians” in Vienne, a commune 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Lyon. Footage posted to social media shows a group of people shouting and waving Turkish flags while moving through Vienne, as a police cruiser retreats.

Oct 29 07:18

Arms, oil and Iran – Israel’s role in Nagorno-Karabakh

Nagorno-Karabakh is a shambles. On September 27 hostilities flared up between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the breakaway enclave, located inside the borders of Azerbaijan yet populated by ethnic Armenians.

After three weeks of fighting and martial law the numbers of casualties differ massively, depending on the source, and are probably between a few hundred to several thousand killed. Around 75,000 ethnic Armenians fled their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh – more than half of the population. A tentative ceasefire has held since Sunday, replacing an earlier ceasefire from the previous week that fell apart within minutes.

Oct 29 06:35

Civilians Killed as Nagorno-Karabakh Fighting Rages

Armenia and Azerbaijan accused each other of killing civilians on Wednesday as clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh continue. Despite three attempts at humanitarian ceasefires and international calls for a diplomatic solution, the fighting shows no sign of waning.

Baku accused Armenia of shelling the Barda district in Azerbaijan on Wednesday, killing 21 civilians and wounding 70 more. Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev said Armenia used cluster munitions “to inflict excessive casualties among civilians.”

Armenia accused Azerbaijan of shelling two major cities in Nagorno-Karabakh, killing one civilian. Armenia said Azeri shells also hit a maternity hospital in Nagorno-Karabakh, but no casualties were reported. As has been typical in the conflict, both sides denied the other’s accusations.

Oct 29 05:09

Nagorno-Karabakh Live Updates: Azerbaijani Defence Ministry Says Fighting Continued Overnight

Earlier, the foreign ministers of Armenia and France emphasised the need for an immediate ceasefire in the unrecognised republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.

A new US-mediated humanitarian ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, the third since the outbreak of hostilities, entered into force this past Monday and was subsequently violated, just like its predecessors.

The fighting on the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan started on 27 September, when Yerevan and Baku accused each other of carrying out provocations in the conflict zone.

Oct 28 05:38

Third Karabakh ceasefire breached

The third ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh, brokered in Washington this time, held for only one hour, on 26 October 2020. Entered into force at 8 a.m., it had already fallen through by 9 a.m. .

Like the previous ones, in Moscow and Paris on 10 and 18 October respectively, this one too seems to have been violated by Azerbaijan.

Oct 28 05:18

40,000 in Bangladesh Burn Macron in Effigy over France’s Crackdown on Jihad

An estimated 40,000 people attended a rally in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Tuesday calling for a nationwide boycott of France and government policies meant to hurt the European nation in response to President Emmanuel Macron launching a campaign against radical Islamists.

Macron has begun the process of shutting down jihadist groups and arresting radical Islamists in the aftermath of the murder of Samuel Paty, a schoolteacher, for showing his students satirical cartoons of Muhammad by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. Macron has refused to apologize for the cartoons, as many in the Islamic world have demanded, instead announcing France would not yield to violence or intimidation in attempts to curtail free speech. The French government also held a national tribute to Paty, which many in the Islamic world considered an insult given Paty’s status as an infidel.

Oct 27 13:14

AZERBAIJAN IS IN ANGER. ARMENIANS OPEN FIRE AT ITS TROOPS PEACEFULLY ADVANCING IN NAGORNO-KARABAKH

The US-brokered humanitarian ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh collapsed immediately after its start on the morning of October 26. Clashes between the sides did not stop even for a minute and Yerevan and Baku immediately accused each other of sabotaging the peace efforts.

As of the evening of October 26, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan officially stated that the US-brokered ceasefire failed, while Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that “the mediators must either achieve the withdrawal of occupying forces, or move away from the path of Baku”. It seems that the estimation of the Karabakh conflict as an ‘easy case’ by US President Donald Trump did not stand the test of reality.

Oct 26 08:02

2020 ACT Scores: Asians Pulling Away, Same as on SAT

A few weeks ago, I wrote a Taki’s column entitled “Asian Supremacy” reporting on SAT college admission test score trends for high school seniors graduating in 2020. Now the rival ACT test (12 to 36 scale) has published its 2020 average scores, and trends are fairly similar: Asians are going up, up, up, while everybody else is in decline:

The recent declines aren’t as sharp as on the SAT, where the test was redone a couple of years ago, which messed up everybody except Asians. Plus the SAT has recently won a bunch of contracts from state legislatures to give their test to everybody in the public schools, a strategy pioneered by the ACT. So, while the number of students taking the SAT has gone up in the last few years, meaning the SAT is scraping the bottom of the barrel harder, the number of ACT test-takers has declined, I think in part because the SAT won some statewide contracts away from the ACT.

Oct 26 05:56

In Asia, Pompeo expected to bolster allies against China

U.S. Secretary of State of Mike Pompeo is flying to India next week to strengthen strategic ties with a nation that is locked in a military standoff with China, in Washington’s latest effort to bolster allies against Beijing.

As part of an intensifying pushback against China’s growing economic and military power in the region, Pompeo will also travel to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, two Indian Ocean countries struggling with a mountain of Chinese debt incurred to finance big infrastructure projects.

Pompeo will conclude his trip, which comes in the final week before the U.S. presidential election, in Indonesia, which is also locked in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

Oct 26 05:51

Police ordered to crack down on Thailand's landmark protests aren't sure what side they are on

The 21-year-old police officer arrived in Bangkok just after midnight on Oct. 15 with clear instructions: Disperse all protesters gathered in front of the prime minister's office, with force if necessary.

The young officer's commander ordered the operation to start at 4:20 a.m., shortly after the Thai government issued an emergency decree aimed at quashing the demonstrations that had rocked Bangkok over the summer, challenging the once-untouchable monarchy. Protected by their shields, the police bore down on the young protesters, some officers kicking and punching as they went, before arresting more than a dozen leaders of the youth movement.

"The commander in charge of our operation was quite aggressive and I was worried about that. I thought our actions were very unnecessary," said the officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions. "It made me feel ashamed of myself as a human being, and like I was a coward, betraying my principles."

Oct 23 06:21

Thailand’s Military Dictatorship Endangered By Impassioned Students

Six years ago, the clownish General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power in Thailand. His first act as dictator was to deploy military entertainers around the country to herald his illegal usurpation of power. Don’t worry, be happy, they proclaimed. The messiah-wannabe treated his country as an exotic location in a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera.

Yet Prayuth was serious about repression. He arrested opponents, forced critics to attend “attitude adjustment” sessions, made television stations carry his weekly show, and warned journalists that he could order them to be shot. His erratic behavior brought to mind Uganda’s Idi Amin, albeit without the latter’s many cruel, shameless murders.

Oct 21 06:17

China Is a Challenge, But an Asian NATO Is Not the Answer

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continues to undermine President Donald Trump’s "America First" agenda by promoting ever-expanding military commitments around the globe. Pompeo’s latest interventionist fling occurred last week when he attended the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, in Tokyo.

Also present were representatives of Australia, India, and Japan. This international meet-up was unashamedly directed against China. Pompeo urged participants to protect their people from Beijing’s "exploitation, corruption and coercion." He and Australia’s foreign minister reportedly discussed "China’s malign activity in the region."

Oct 21 06:14

Thais defy protest ban for sixth day with 'Hunger Games' salutes

Thai protesters raised three-finger salutes to the national anthem at public places across Bangkok on Tuesday in a sixth day showing defiance of a ban meant to end three months of protests against the government and monarchy.

Oct 18 07:41

Russia to Respond to US Deployment of Missiles in Asia-Pacific Region, Ambassador Says

Moscow will adequately respond to Washington's deployment of intermediate and short-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said.

"If American missiles are deployed in APAC, and it was once again confirmed to me yesterday that such missiles would be deployed, then the range of these missiles would reach the Russian Federation, covering strategic targets of tactical nuclear deterrence," Antonov said live on Channel One Russia.
The United States abandoned the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with Russia in August 2019. The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the last major arms control deal between the US and Russia, expires on February 5, 2021.

Oct 18 06:45

Thailand Protests Grow Fiercer Against Military Ruler & World's Richest Billionaire Monarch

Mass protests in Thailand demanding the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, a former military ruler, have grown fiercer over the weekend despite days ago the government banning all political gatherings of five or more people. Thursday's anti-gathering order is part of a crackdown against the unrest and anger that's been on for months.

Oct 18 06:36

Thai PM says not quitting, protest ban to last up to 30 days

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Friday he was not resigning after tens of thousands of anti-government protesters defied a ban on demonstrations under emergency measures that he said would last up to 30 days.

After an emergency cabinet meeting, Prayuth told reporters that the law would be used against those violating the ban on political gatherings.

“I’m not quitting,” he said. “The government must use the emergency decree. We have to proceed because the situation became violent ... It is being used for 30 days, or less if the situation eases.”

Oct 17 08:20

Kyrgyzstan ends state of emergency as nationalist consolidates power

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted on Friday to end a state of emergency imposed by its ousted president, as interim Prime Minister Sadyr Japarov, a Kyrgyz nationalist, took temporary control of the presidency of one of Russia’s close allies.

Oct 16 05:17

France is getting Involved in Regional Power Games in Asia – but in What Capacity?

In view of two noteworthy events which occurred in early September this year, it may be interesting to take another look at France’s plans to joining the power games being played out in the Indian and Pacific Ocean region, which is becoming a key arena in the current phase of the global political contest.

It is “another look”, as NEO briefly dealt with this subject back in 2016 in connection with a speech given by the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Jean-Yves Le Drian (now Foreign Minister) in the Shangri-La Dialogue forum, which is held every year in Singapore by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Oct 15 05:24

Kyrgyz President Resigns After Unrest: 'I Don't Want to Go Down in History as Leader Who Shed Blood'

The Central Asian country was hit by mass protests earlier this month after parliamentary elections, which have since been annulled. The crowds clashed with law enforcement and stormed the parliament building, which also serves as the presidential office.

Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov has signed his resignation, the press service of the presidential office announced.

"I am not clinging to power. I do not want to remain in the history of Kyrgyzstan as a president who shed blood and shot at his own citizens. Therefore, I've decided to step down", an official statement from Jeenbekov said.

Oct 12 07:09

New clashes in Bishkek as Kyrgyzstan slips deeper into crisis

At least five people were injured during fresh clashes between rival groups in Kyrgyzstan on Friday as the volatile Central Asian country slipped deeper into crisis.

Political factions were jostling for power as President Sooronbay Jeenbekov ordered military forces to enter the capital after claiming he was ready to resign to calm tensions.

Fresh clashes broke out Friday afternoon between followers of rival politicians in the centre of capital Bishkek, where one of the groups -- an opposition bloc representing several parties -- was holding a rally.

One of the five injured during the violence was a prominent youth activist, whom the bloc has proposed as the country's new deputy prime minister.

Oct 10 07:04

Live Updates: Kyrgyz Deputy Speaker Calls for New Nomination of Prime Minister

Mass protests erupted in the former Soviet Central Asian republic on Monday in response to what many considered to be an unfair general election. Protesters clashed with law enforcement officers and stormed the parliament building, which also serves as the office of the Kyrgyz president.

Aida Kasymalieva, the deputy speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament, said on Saturday that it was necessary to nominate a new candidate for the post of prime minister as the current pick, Sadyr Japarov, would be unable to unite the country and end turmoil.

"Dear deputies, I propose to the majority coalition of the Jogorku Kenesh [parliament] to reconsider their previous decision and to nominate a new candidate for the post of the prime minister of the Kyrgyz Republic", she wrote on her Facebook page.

Oct 10 06:24

Kyrgyzstan president calls in military as protesters clash in streets

Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov declared a state of emergency in the capital Bishkek on Friday and ordered the military to end days of unrest, as supporters of rival political groups fought on the streets.

A Reuters journalist in the capital heard gunshots and saw demonstrators from rival groups throwing rocks and bottles at each other and scuffling. One opposition politician was reported to have been wounded.

“Today we are witnessing a real threat to our statehood,” Jeenbekov said, explaining the move, a day after the Kremlin said it needed to prevent chaos in the former Soviet republic.

Oct 10 06:11

Live Updates: Kyrgyz Deputy Speaker Calls for New Nomination of Prime Minister

Mass protests erupted in the former Soviet Central Asian republic on Monday in response to what many considered to be an unfair general election. Protesters clashed with law enforcement officers and stormed the parliament building, which also serves as the office of the Kyrgyz president.

Aida Kasymalieva, the deputy speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament, said on Saturday that it was necessary to nominate a new candidate for the post of prime minister as the current pick, Sadyr Japarov, would be unable to unite the country and end turmoil.

"Dear deputies, I propose to the majority coalition of the Jogorku Kenesh [parliament] to reconsider their previous decision and to nominate a new candidate for the post of the prime minister of the Kyrgyz Republic", she wrote on her Facebook page.

Oct 08 06:39

Unrest brews in Kyrgyzstan as political crisis deepens

Kyrgyzstan slid deeper into chaos as rival opposition factions made grabs for power on Wednesday, a day after they stormed government buildings, forcing the prime minister to quit and a parliamentary election to be annulled.

There was also more unrest overnight, with reports of scuffles and clashes between people in the capital. Bishkek residents, who went through violent revolts followed by looting in 2005 and 2010, have quickly formed vigilante neighbourhood watch units to reinforce police.

Oct 08 06:38

Cambodian PM Says Ream Naval Base Not Just for China

China would not have exclusive access to a Cambodian naval base, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday, despite Beijing chipping in for upgrades after a US-funded facility was razed at the site last month.

The Ream base is strategically located in the Gulf of Thailand, providing ready access to the fiercely contested South China Sea — a key global shipping route.

Beijing claims the majority of the resource-rich sea — vying with six other countries.

“Other countries can also ask for permission to dock ships, re-fuel or hold (joint) exercises with Cambodia,” Hun Sen said in a speech at the opening ceremony of a Chinese-owned theme park near the capital Phnom Penh.

Oct 08 05:56

Quadruple trouble for China? Why Washington’s hopes of creating an anti-Beijing NATO-style bloc in the region is a pipe dream

Mike Pompeo wants to turn the “Quad” – an informal coalition of Australia, India, Japan, and the US – into a military alliance to counter Beijing. But it’s not going to happen, because of China’s economic clout.

In China, the term ‘Gang of Four’ is used to refer to an infamous clique who advocated Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution – the mass uprising among young people that, from 1966 to 1976, transformed the country into chaos. Today, however, it may have a different meaning for Beijing.

During his visit to Tokyo, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue forum, which he maintains is designed to counter China. He hoped the Quad would “counter the challenge that the Chinese Communist Party presents to all of us,” and denounced what he described as the “CCP's exploitation, corruption and coercion.”

Oct 07 08:58

Pompeo Slams China in Tokyo Visit, Seeks Asian Alliance

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo continued his crusade against Beijing on Tuesday in a meeting with representatives from Japan, India, and Australia in Tokyo. Trump administration officials are openly considering formalizing an alliance with the four nations, known as the Quad, to counter China in the Pacific.

Ahead of the meeting, Pompeo delivered a speech directly calling out Beijing, something the representatives of the other countries avoided in their remarks.

“As partners in this Quad, it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s [Beijing’s] exploitation, corruption and coercion,” Pompeo said. “We see it in the South and East China Seas, the Mekong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan Strait.”

Oct 07 07:53

Kyrgyzstan Color Revolution in Central Asia

The sudden outbreak of Color Revolution unrest in the historically unstable Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan following recent parliamentary elections in this Russian CSTO mutual defense ally intensifies the US’ Hybrid War “containment” of Russia when seen in the context of the ongoing regime change efforts in fellow ally Belarus as well as CSTO-member Armenia’s dangerous efforts to provoke a Russian military intervention in support of its illegal occupation of universally recognized Azerbaijani territory.

Oct 07 07:01

Kyrgyzstan cancels disputed election results after protesters seize government building, free jailed ex-president

Kyrgyzstan’s chief electoral body said on Tuesday that it was cancelling the results of a parliamentary vote that plunged the Central Asian country into clashes and political chaos.

The Central Electoral Commission said in a statement that it had "invalidated the election results" which saw parties close to pro-Russian President Sooronbay Jeenbekov score big wins amid accusations of mass vote-buying campaigns.

Earlier on Tuesday, protesters seized Kyrgyzstan's seat of government in the capital Bishkek and freed a jailed former president after demonstrations against the election results developed into violent

Oct 05 05:56

Cambodia demolished US-built facility on naval base: Report

Cambodia has demolished a US-built facility on the country's largest naval base, according to images published by an American think tank on Friday, amid increasing concern in Washington about China's access to military bases in the nation.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) published images which it said showed that the Cambodian government last month demolished a building that the United States had built at Ream Naval Base.

Last year the Pentagon had asked Cambodia to explain why it turned down an offer to repair the base, saying the decision had raised speculation of possible plans for hosting China's military.

Oct 01 10:53

"Today Might Be A Shock": World's Third-Largest Equity Market Suffers Historic All-Day Trading Halt

When we reported last night that Japan's stock exchange had halted all trading "due to network issues", we expected that the glitch would be resolved shortly and things would promptly go back to normal. We were wrong - instead, trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was brought to a complete standstill by a hardware failure for all of Thursday, in what is now the worst-ever outage for the world’s third-largest equity market.

Sep 29 07:17

US Considering Forming an Asian NATO

There’s a general consensus in Washington that Beijing is the number one threat to US global hegemony. This has led some administration officials to consider forming a NATO type alliance in Asia to counter a rising China.

US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun recently suggested that the informal partnership between the US, Australia, Japan, and India could be the beginning of a NATO-style alliance in the Indo-Pacific.

The four countries, known as the Quad, already regularly hold military drills together in the Pacific. On August 31st, Biegun spoke at the US-India strategic dialogue and discussed the possibility of forming such an alliance with the Quad.

“It is a reality that the Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures. They don’t have anything of the fortitude of NATO or the European Union,” Biegun said. “There is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalize a structure like this.”

Sep 21 09:21

Taiwan says it has the right to retaliate after China sent its military planes into the sensitive strait area 40 TIMES in a deliberate 'threat of force'

The island's defence ministry said it was facing a 'high frequency of harassment and threat from the enemy's warships and aircraft' amid high tensions between Taipei and Beijing, which claims Taiwan as its own renegade territory.

China's People's Liberation Army flew 18 warplanes over the mid-line of the Strait on Friday, followed by another 19 on Saturday, while US envoy Keith Krach was visiting the island.

Beijing also ramped up its rhetoric today by warning the US against helping Taiwan and saying that support for its independence was 'doomed to fail'.

Sep 21 09:04

Coronavirus Victoria: Treasury economist resigns in protest at ‘police state’

A former economist at the Victorian Treasury Department has quit his job in protest at Daniel Andrews’ “police state”, penning a devastating op-ed slamming the government’s coronavirus response.

Sanjeev Sabhlok, who moved to Melbourne from India in 2001, resigned last week after being asked to remove a number of inflammatory social media posts criticising the state government.

Mr Sabhlok runs a blog and has a Twitter account with more than 3000 followers where he has railed against COVID-19 lockdowns, and in some cases called for politicians responsible to be jailed.

“These monsters need to be tried for crimes against humanity and shot,” Mr Sabhlok said in one post earlier this month, responding to a tweet by UK conservative commentator Suzanne Evans criticising a Labour MP in that country.

Sep 21 05:24

Political Islam against China

You are probably aware that you are incompletely informed about what is brewing in Myanmar, and you probably haven’t heard about the military coalition that is preparing to attack that country. And yet, as Thierry Meyssan reveals here, these current events have been in preparation by Riyadh and Washington since 2013. Don’t take sides before you read this article and digest the information.

Sep 20 16:57

Systemic discouragement of Hydroxychloroquine is a ‘national scandal’

“Hydroxychloroquine saves lives. Italian lives, Saudi lives, Swiss lives, Filipino lives, American lives. So why not Australian lives, Mr Kelly?,” he said.

“I'll tell you why. Because all these clowns, these bureaucrats and politicians, are taking their advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, who in turn are taking their advice from some mob called the COVID-19 Taskforce, who have taken all their advice from the Recovery studies in Britain.

“Which have been repeatedly questioned and even debunked.

“By discouraging the use of hydroxychloroquine, by banning the drug in Victoria and criminalising its use in Queensland, Australian governments and their bureaucrats are directly responsible for the deaths of Australians.

“This is a national scandal and in time will be acknowledged as such.”

Sep 20 10:22

Australia coronavirus cases 'set to be lowest in months'

Australia looks set to record its lowest daily coronavirus increase for three months, with just 18 new cases reported so far.

The state of Victoria - the epicentre of the country's Covid-19 outbreak - recorded 14 new infections to Sunday morning, down from 21 the day before.

New South Wales and Queensland reported two cases each. The remaining states are yet to report their figures, but rarely record any new cases.

Figures were last this low on 23 June.

Sep 20 06:44

Thousands protest in Thailand demanding new government & monarchy reform

Bangkok has seen its biggest rally in years, as almost 20,000 gathered outside the Grand Palace to call for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and the limiting of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s powers.

Saturday’s action is the largest since the day Prayuth came to power during a military coup six years ago, which also saw thousands on the streets.

People in Thailand have been taking to the streets since mid-July, calling for the sacking of the government, a new election and constitutional changes.

Sep 20 05:18

Britain, France, and Germany Spurn US Plan for Iran Sanctions

Trump Administration officials have been saying this for weeks, but on Friday reiterated their intentions to try to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that includes broad sanctions against Iran. Officials say they expect every nation to comply.

The glaring problem with this is that the resolution doesn’t exist, at least not as an active resolution the US wants. The P5+1 nuclear deal gave the US the authority to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the US had withdrawn from that pact years ago. Though the Trump Administration argued that didn’t matter, the UN has virtually unanimously rejected their interpretation, and rejected the UN Security Council resolution. The US believes the resolution becomes active Sunday, but the reality is it just doesn’t exist legally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These actions spell desperation on the cusp of madness, and the world is not following suit; so, what is next here, an invasion of Iran?!?

Considering just how "brilliantly" the other US occupations around the world are going, you might imagine it might just be time for a "re-think" on this; but of course, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not allow that to happen; he wants the US waging war against Iran, so Israel will not have to.

Sep 15 10:27

Bureaucrats 'deny the evidence, Hydroxychloroquine reduces death by 73 per cent': Craig Kelly

Liberal MP Craig Kelly says studies have shown a 73 per cent reduction rate in mortality where Hydroxychloroquine was dispensed to COVID infected patients, yet Australian health bureaucrats continue to deny the evidence.

Mr Kelly said on Thursday an Italian peer-reviewed study showed a 73 per cent reduction of mortality where Hydroxychloroquine was administered.

A further study from Saudi Arabia produced the same figure – Hydroxychloroquine caused a 73 per cent reduction in death from COVID.

He told Sky News host Alan Jones early in the coronavirus pandemic period, doctors were free to prescribe Hydroxychloroquine to patients for off label use.

“It’s a drug that is lawful for doctors to use,” Mr Kelly said.

“We’ve got health bureaucrats in this country who think they know better than thousands upon thousands of doctors all around the world, and have banned this.”

Sep 14 08:21

Andrews is responsible for the ‘most savage devastation’ in the world: Jones

Sky News host Alan Jones says the “know-all dictator” Daniel Andrews has overseen the most savage response in the world causing the most savage devastation, both financial and non-financial.

Mr Jones said his “heart bleeds” for Victorians as up to 1.3 million are expected to be on JobKeeper in the December quarter while contributing 723 of the country’s 816 deaths.

The state is also under extreme stage four lockdowns, including a unprecedented curfew which is set to continue until at the very earliest October 26.

The premier has based the restrictions on modelling which, against the outcry of politicians and professionals alike, his government has refused to release.

“They won’t, because Andrews thrives on the psychology of fear,” Mr Jones said.

Sep 11 05:29

.UK Strikes Historic Free Trade Deal With Japan As Brussels Threatens To Abandon Talks

After a solid nine-month stretch that was blissfully devoid of major Brexit-related news as the global COVID-19 pandemic raged on, we declared last night that Brexit talks "suddenly matter again" as the drop in the pound was blamed - incorrectly, as Bloomberg later determined - for triggering yesterday's intraday declines in US markets.

But on Friday morning, American traders awoke to some surprisingly positive trade news out of Great Britain. A trade deal with Japan had been agreed to in principle, which would - if finally ratified by both countries - allow 99% of the UK's exports to Japan to cross the border tariff-free.

What's more, the deal even gave Johnson the opportunity to gloat, as Reuters reported the digital and data provisions in the agreement went "far beyond" those in the EU's trade deal with Japan.

The deal also allowed BoJo to show voters that Brexit is already giving them new options to strike favorable free trade deals.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It will be interesting to see how the EU's financial arrangements with the UK either evolve, of devolve, after this treaty.

Sep 09 18:08

‘Extraordinary revelations’ over pandemic and Victoria’s lockdowns surface

Sky News host Chris Kenny says “two extraordinary revelations” surfaced on Tuesday when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic and what’s happening in Victoria.

Mr Kenny said the two revelations were “crucial” because they help put the threat of the virus in perspective and demonstrate that some of the lockdown measures in Victoria, especially the curfew, are just random, overbearing and unnecessary.

Sep 09 17:50

'A national advertising campaign must tell the public the truth on COVID-19’: Alan Jones

Sky News host Alan Jones says he is challenging the Morrison government to take out a national advertising campaign to tell the public the truth about the coronavirus.

“And if you are not prepared to do that, tell us why you are not prepared to do it,” Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones said an advertising campaign is needed to tell the nation there have been no deaths of anyone below the age of 30 in the country.

“Tell Australians that 99 per cent of cases are mild,” he said.

“Tell Australians that expert epidemiological advice is that lockdowns should not exist.

"Why are we not telling the people the truth?

"Or are we prepared to go on as we are with 1.3 million Australians underemployed. As of late August, two million Australians are jobless, business being crushed because we have promoted fear and alarmism and we have failed to promote the truth."

Sep 07 08:58

Australian fruit being left to rot amid shortage of pickers

Fruit across the nation is in danger of being left to rot due to a chronic shortage of fruit pickers on Australian farms says Sky News host Peta Credlin.

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