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Friday, September 23, 2016

Inside North Korea, Russia Vs USA Part 3, and More

At times, you have to admit the international situation regarding North Korea is fairly comical. The core focus on it has basically been it's nuclear weapons programs but there's obviously there's a lot more to a country than just it's defense force. I wanted to take at what's happening inside. While they clearly have difficulties thing's don't seem entirely horrible?

North Korea’s Nuclear Threat - VICE News Interviews Victor Cha
Inside Story - Should N Korea's nuclear ambitions concern the world
Recovery op after 'worst floods in decades' in North Korea (state TV coverage w_English subtitles)
North Korea Detonates Its Biggest Nuclear Bomb Yet
Inside North Korea Documentary 2015
BBC Panorama 2013 North Korea Undercover

- they're human and things are bad but no where near as bad as some media outlets make them out to be? Things are not as primitive as I was presented to believe. My previous impression was that they were all living in huts and villages. They have cities and if you look at history you'll realise that they've only really been out of the international economic system for a few decades (still more than enough to make a significant different though). I don't think that they're naive? The one bonus of their situation is that they can pick and choose what's best for them? This sort of makes me think about economic development at the end of the USSR. If you listen to Western rhetoric has consistently said that they weren't able to 'keep up' but if you look across the board they clearly had an educated society and were able to keep pace (with the West) in the defense and space race so much so that both set each other 'on edge'. This is why I'm so curious to know what would happen if all socialist/communist and capitalist countries started off at the same point would they be able to keep pace ('Cold War' wasn't really fair because some countries took a massive hit while others actually did well out of it (from a financial perspective, The economics of World War II: an overview* https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/mharrison/public/ww2overview1998.pdf). It reminds me of the charity paradox. You can't afford to give away money without having money but to get the money in the first place sometimes you have to make some comprises to your integrity so are you a hero or are you the villain? Curious to what most people think?). According to Martin Wolff, church/socialist experiments in Spain, etc... they say it can?
10 Days in North Korea
What the North Korean internet really looks like
[116] New DNC Leak, Occupy 5th Anniversary, Military Buildup In Africa
- things don't seem as bad as sometimes stated in Western media? Good or bad, a lot of things are difficult to verify
10 Facts About North Korea That The Media Doesn't Tell You
10 Things North Koreans Actually Believe
YouTuber Vlogs North Korea Tour, Faces Criticism
North Korea
VICE on North Korea
5 Darkest Secrets From Inside North Korea
Inside North Korea Documentary 2015
Hidden state - Inside North Korea
- just like the Middle East most people don't care about the politics. They just want peace and prosperity. This is why I look at the FUD regarding their nuclear weapons programs as so odd. Most military people acknowledge that the North Korean leadership aren't crazy or suicidal. They're sane enough to not provoke a forceful reaction. This means that if everybody is 'sane' (but acting crazy for political reasons) there is absolutely no need for THAAD (or that should be the logic of things, right?). Deployment of THAAD can only mean that we're being led into another 'Cold War' type scenario of containment. If you understand the 'systemic nature' of Russian/Chinese thinking therefore think of deployment of THAAD to be over the top and directed at them. That said, who wants to make the miscalculation here? There have been incursions by both sides over the years
General - US held 'nuclear hostage' by North Korea
Cold War Series 
- would be very interested to know what the wealth spread is like in North Korea?
- think about them from their perspective. They are more scared then we are. If they honestly thought that they could go toe to toe with other nations they would have. They mostly have done silly things/engaged in skirmishes but have not engaged in anything that could escalate to full blown warfare?
- story of a US defector into North Korea. Did it as a young soldier. Denied for a long time by both government of US and North Korea. Never regretted it. Feels more comfortable. The idea makes sense. Most people miss the comraderie based on what I've heard. Reason why they consider one another evil is because of what they did to one another. They somehow ended up equating this to their way of living as well? Probably have a sleeper agent program? Clear problems with electricity and food. It isn't bad as the Western media sometimes makes it? Malnutrition problems have led to growth stunting problems across a large proportion of the population
BBC4   North Korea   Crossing The Line
- we don't really know much about them? or else we're just making up stuff? doesn't seem to correlate?
VICE on North Korea
- this guy did a video tour/holiday in North Korea and uploaded clips. Reminds me of what I hear about Russia and China at times. Life for the 'Average Joe' wouldn't be that much different (under normal circumstances)? The big problem is if you stick your neck out in which case you could end up in a lot of trouble?
North Korea
- food seems not too dissimilar to Asian street food that you can get locally in other parts of the 'developed world'?
Pyongyang Street Food - North Korea
- am thinking a lot of stories about North Korea are possibly untrue and/or unverified? Demonisation and psychological programming reminds me of the Cold War at times?
- as stated before subsidised food, housing, healthcare, etc...  Culture of perfection makes it a bit easier to understand how they've still managed to 'keep up' (in certain respects) with the West. Mobile Internet and international phone access possible but very expensive. They actually manufacture electronic devices such as Android based smartphones locally?
- countryside still very much 'pristine'. Only when you go further out away from the city areas that things look more backward. Limited running water, hot water, electricity, etc...
BEYOND THE TOURISM - North Korea Day 5
- fundamental difference of our lives is highlighted right here. The one major difference between capitalist states and North Korea and the limited ability to have 'personal property' which seems to be drilled into kids from a young age?
BREAKING BARRIERS  - North Korea Day 7
- there was someone who did a tour in North Korea recently. Understand them a bit more (though still not really). They sort of think a bit like the Chinese and Russians. For instance, if other countries they would think that demonisation (by focusing on bad aspects of North Korea) is akin to countries in the West wanting to cover up embarrassing incidents? They think less in terms of 'grey' areas and more in terms of straight black and white
YouTuber Vlogs North Korea Tour, Faces Criticism
YouTube Star Louis Cole Denies Making Propaganda Films for North Korea
- if you think about countries as people and then people as having certain characteristics it becomes much easier. Internal development reminds me of Chinese development at times. Intermittent and sparse (though I think this could be down to lack of hard currency?). Difficult to talk to the people. Kids grow up a lot quicker. Learning/working start earlier in life? Architecture has Soviet influence? They do not know much of the outside world? Same personal impression of North Korea as of Russia and China at times. North Korea more fearful than antagonistic according to Australian ambassador. Limited running water as indicated elsewhere in this post and other videos. When you think about the nature of 'self sufficiency' (Juche) in North Korea and global peace it sort of actually makes more sense than capitalism (in terms of peace)? Assume that every country can produce enough food, energy for itself and fend for itself (defensively). Logically, we have a greater chance at world peace? Makes you wonder if they trusted us the world not to invade/subvert them, we could engage in free trade with them (so that they could deal with their food, energy, other needs, etc...), they simply expelled those who didn't agree to their system, etc... whether they it would actually be a good 'social system', etc...
DPRK - The Land Of Whispers (North Korea Travel Documentary) (2013)
On The Line - Keegan Hamilton Discusses North Korea
- family background and geneology determines future, limited freedom, heavy penalties for defection (possibly for those in family of defector as well)? Kids go to school and work at the same time? Food shortages obviously from time to time
North Korea Through the Eyes of Witnesses
- workers, peasants, and intellectuals classes of people. All considered 'equal' though. State radio on constantly blaring in buildings? Limited running water even in cities. I'm guessing spaciousness of accommodation determined by importance to state/regime?
Cannibalism in North Korea
- if you go there you will be watched. There are rules that you must adhere to if you go there or you could end up in a lot of trouble
- photos and videos online (inside of North Korea) remind me of China at times, not quite here or there. Everything is rolled up in the one country. Spread of development reminds me China (as indicated above)
Mountain photographer shares dream of a unified Korea
- they have clearly propaganised themselves (stuck in the past) so understanding them can be very difficult. What's happened is they've made themselves believe that they're still technically at war? Moreover, it's here that the nature of how the Cold War started makes more sense. The West say that the communists were evil because of what they did during the war (and vice-versa in spite of a relatively small people being involved in the decision making and execution of those particular instructions). Peaceful end to Korea dispute requires primarily de-paranoiafication. What seems to be happening is that both sides are ramping things up though? At times, it seems obvious that even American citizens are confused about what constitutes a security threat?
North Korea Detonates Its Biggest Nuclear Bomb Yet
101 Facts About North Korea
Launching Balloons into North Korea - Propaganda Over Pyongyang
- a lot of stuff about North Korea is probably untrue? The North Korean version of history and that percolated in the West is the opposite. Western visitors to North Korea aware of the differences in the 'news' circulated in the West and what they see on the ground (makes you wonder how much of it is 'mis-information'. If you know enough, you'll realise that much of what you hear about them is untrue (people who were supposedly killed but were later confirmed to be alive, rumors regarding certain authoritarian practices which were later confirmed untrue, etc... Am thinking it's deliberate to make others think of them less of a 'threat'). Facade of freedom of thought and religion? Very protective of their 'system'. They seem to have a hybrid capitalist/socialist/communist system (though still entirely 'state controlled'?) They are aware of their 'limitations'. Working on them. They send workers out to other countries to work. Not a complete blanket control of information? Limited broadcast television. People interested in North Korea all aware in discrepencies in story propagated by North Korea and others. Once again, difficult to confirm information coming out regarding North Korea
The Propaganda in North Korea Documentary (ENGLISH)
Yuri Bezmenov - 'Unlike Myself, You'll Have Nowhere to Defect To!' (rec. 1984)
- think about religion the way it used to be practised? Fundamentalist, idealistic? That's what North Korea feels like at times. They've basically overlooked the fact that we're human though?
- seems as though there is plenty of variety with regards to food if you have enough money?
Eating In North Korea  2015
- patricarchal/hierarchal society in spite of what is said? Lot of money transferred via cutouts and other fronts. Engaged in weapons smuggling and arms trade. North Koreans citizens now working all over the world as 'cheap labour'?
New Documentaries 2015 - Hidden Economy - Money and Power in North Korea
- when you understand how complex modern statecraft, diplomacy, etc... means you have to wonder what 'rogue' means?
- you have to admit this whole affair can get pretty funny at times (when things aren't too serious)? Apparently, there are people who have 'successfully' negotiated with previous leaders of North Korea? As said previously, don't think that simply removing Kim Jong Un from power is going to change things too much? There's also the entire supporting structure around him. Watching video of people in the country itself makes you realise just how awkward any action may be?
Negotiating on the Edge: North Korean Negotiating Behavior (Cross-Cultural Negotiation Books)
- wonder whether a mutual defense shield would be acceptable to all parties (one vote means one vote, everybody chips in, shield operates all ways to defend all countries, which hopefully means we can reduce our offensive posture and reduce tension amongst countries such as North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, United States, etc... Too good to be true? Probably...)?

More on the Russia Vs US rivalry:
- have noticed that pure academics (on both sides) are more likely to be hawkish while those who have spent time in both countries are less likely to be so. Something as simple as an (academic or professional) exchange program could be enough to break the ice in the long term
- didn't realise military co-operation between Russia and China was so close? Find it difficult to believe that some people think that conflict between them and the US and it's allies would be easy as some people think?
Russia and China launch joint naval drill in South China Sea
- there is an opposition in Russia (though it's clear that it's limited)? Allegations of vote rigging, limiting power to opposition groups, etc...
‘Putin root of all problems’ - People’s Freedom Party (Duma elections 101)
Commies - Still kicking (Duma elections 101)
Something Green there - Russian Yabloko party (Duma elections 101)
14 parties, 450 seats at stake - Russia readies for elections to state Duma
Russian Trump - Liberal Democratic Party (Duma elections 101)
Day of silence before Russians hit the polls (Duma elections 101)
- one that is obvious is that they don't entirely believe that the USSR 'collapsed' (in and of itself). They think (that it was at least partially) pushed to that point. Some strong nationalists still in their midst
Putin popular in US, no surprise he comes up in election - Russian UN envoy Churkin-dVdB6J5D3s8
Top Russian Pol CRUSHES Hillary - 'Has a Major Illness - She's a Witch, a Vicious Snake'
Russian Ultra-Nationalist Zhirinovsky's Anti-US 2002 Rant
ASU GSV Summit - Keynote Interview with Dr. Condoleezza Rice
Crisis with Russia - Madeleine Albright, Robert Gates, Condoleezza Rice
Life and Career of Condoleezza Rice
Russian TV - Hillary Clinton Is A Witch Who Will Start World War 3
- a lot of blogs/media outlets/media personalities are obviously pursue particular topics or perspectives. They tend to work in the same networks? If they honestly believe that there is no difference (or have a case) then they need to compress the space/time/message in a way that people will understand. Some things impossible to confirm
- a lof of cynical people out there (both the Russians and the US but more so in the case of the Russians). They can see through a lot of crap quickly but it also makes potential friendship more difficult
- you're silly if you want this? I'm in favour of world peace and prosperity but like many others I'm very skeptical of the plan that's being laid out. The very fact that the TTP/TTIP are being negotiated in secret, there are hundreds and thousands of protesters all over the place, etc... tells you that there is something inherently wrong? A lot of people know that they will be worse off with the future that many of the political class seem to be looking at?
Hillary's Campaign Of Globalist Demoralization
Blood Money - Bayer Nazis Join Big Pharma in Global Food Supply Takeover
- it's clear that Russia continues to maintain networks of sleeper agents/NOC's in the West. In the past, the USSR (and Russia) have documented cases of agents living their entire life in the West undetected. Likely have layers upon layers of agents? Level of depth unknown. Even if they have them when do they activate? How to receive instructions? etc? Given that the JSF is almost self flying (based on what I've heard) and there are unmanned variants planed I find it very difficult to believe that simply neutralising pilots would remove the threat from the chessboard? Most bases are well guarded as well? Either way, find it difficult to believe that war between Russia and the US would go smoothly (for either country)
Cold War Series 
British judge denies request to name alleged new member of Cambridge spy ring
- really interesting how some of the former USSR have worked out over the years. The irony is that the present situation reminds me of the buildup to the 'Cold War'
- never really understood the USSR/Russia and US rivalry/antipathy. It wasn't just incompatible systems. It was what they did to one another which led to the escalating problems (much like the North Korea Vs US issue)
Visegrad Group of EU states 'could veto Brexit deal'
- in spite of what is being said, doubt that Trump is going to be as different to Clinton as they say he is going to be. Believe that he'll be much like other politicians. They'll say what they have to to reach office. Then it's (to a certain extent) it's anyone's guess to what will happen next (though they'll still be guided by some groups, think tanks, donors, etc...)
Russian TV - Hillary Clinton Is A Witch Who Will Start World War 3
- even if the US narrative is based on mumbo-jumbo it can be preferrable to the depressing nature of the Chinese/Russian version of the future (which can seem to be devoid of hope at times)
- if people understood how strange things look they would be scared and incredulous. It's bizarre and people in the know realise that this could blow up in our faces. A lot of people have tunnel vision of due to 'funneled knowledge'. They can see parts of the picture but not the whole picture? Clear that some countries are concerned about the system collapsing and are taking to measures to 'hedge' against this possible eventuality
Retired Green Beret Warns: "World Governments Are Preparing For Disaster And War"
Keiser Report - Zero-Sum World (E566)
Keiser Report - Minsky Moment in Global Economy (E660)
Keiser Report - Lunatics & Economy (E967)
Keiser Report - Privilege of Unfairness for Bankers (E969)
- even people in the US realise that there are strange similaries?
America Is Turning Into The Soviet Union
- Russian defense equipment generally simpler, cheaper? Effectiveness though?
- common themes running through anti-establishment media. One of them is strange anti-elite element?
- clear that there are a lot of attempts at obfuscation (multiple sides at the same time even if it suits their 'interests')?
- it's not just singular issues which separate the US and Russia. Factor in countries wanting to play them off against one another
- childish stuff sometimes? Back and forth, tit for tat
- even if you mean well, there's a strong possibility that you won't be able to do what you want to do. The only way you can change the system is to think many steps ahead (which many countries already do). In spite of this, change is still difficult
- it's already a proxy war though isn't it?
- the current situation reminds me a lot of the what I heard about during the Vietnam War era (it was a lot worse back then though based on what I've heard?)
Politicking - Stephen Cohen on the Ukraine crisis and his 'unpatriotic' views
US stuck their thumb on top of Russia after Cold War - US Rep
- conflict goes much deeper than I thought?
Why had the Superpowers become suspicious of each other by March 1946, when Churchill made his important speech at Fulton?
- given all the PSYOPS programs out there am curious as to whether people hear what they want to hear? Another thing that you wonder about is if country's are pursuing particular agendas then they need consent. Therefore, they're more likely to push in a particular direction. From an intelligence perspective is it possible to glean what a country wants simply by watching their news? Assume that some people will find fault with whatever others say no matter what they say

- think about people. How many of them could you say are out and out good people or out and out bad people? Extrapolate this over countries where their are heaps of differing and often competing interests. You can't say that there good countries and bad countries. Talk to people from different places and you'll realise that ultimately it's the people in charge who present the 'image' of a nation and not the people itself. Given this context, it feels pretty obvious that history has been driven by a very small group of people (when compared to the rest of the size of the human population?). At times, it feels as though some countries are not co-operating with one another for the sake of not co-operating? Do we see faults in one another because they actually exist or because we want to?
Obama & Putin Breakfast -  No comment
- it feels like they want to drag one another into conflict over and over again?
- obvious thing which runs through your head is if you create backdoors in everything and others not to use them is just ridiculous? Perhaps they all came to an agreement that this was the future of warfare rather than physical warfare?
France’s ex-cyber spy chief speaks candidly about hacking operations
- some stuff regarding Russian Vs Western media
- wonder whether a mutual defense shield would be acceptable to all parties (one vote means one vote, everybody chips in, shield operates all ways to defend all countries, which hopefully means we can reduce our offensive posture and reduce tension amongst countries such as North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, United States, etc... Too good to be true? Probably...)?
- a lot of people would be shocked if they knew what was actually happening in the world versus what they're being told? If you understood what was actually happening you'd also realise the reason/s for some of the strangeness in policy happening throughout the world? To a limited extent we're still playing a game of 'empires'. Part of the problem is the overall complexity of the game though. There are an incredible number of actors playing a large number of differing roles out there. If there is to be a new stage of a new 'Cold War' I'm guessing that a lot of people are severely underestimating how much pain we could all feel from it? Otherwise, there's no way the rhetoric would be this strong (else, there making the assumption that the other side will back down first. Miscalculation and we could find ourselves in a lot of trouble)?

Random Quotes:
- This world’s economy is a tinderbox, and let’s face it, the media is doing dick to save our balls in this time of need. Banksters, technocrats, and corporate hedge fund dickheads caused the financial meltdown with their insane behaviour. Rather than expose this immoral and even illegal behaviour, the mainstream media has been pretty much spending the past few years thoroughly going to town on the ass of corporate America. To say that the majority of mainstream media outlets are in bed with the same fraudsters who have thoroughly buttfucked the nation of America and the world would be a gross understatement. Berlusconi owned most of the damn media outlets in Italy during his three terms as PM of Italy.  Nobody is talking about what happened, giving adequate context, or even calling these corporations to account for their misdeeds, except of course, for Max Keiser on Russia Today (RT) news.

Max Keiser has been running a small segment dedicated to exposing the crimes of financial elites in America and the rest of the world. He is just about the only voice that thoroughly and explicitly expresses the explicit illegal activity that is going on, and the clear relationship between the media, the government, private industry, and the banking sector. Long dismissed as a conspiracy nut, it’s getting harder and harder for critics to refute his claims. His ideas are becoming increasingly more accepted among the younger generation who are becoming more aware of the systemic banking frauds worldwide.
- Professor Sussex goes further, saying he believes Australia will eventually have to "re-nationalise" its internet, not only taking a more activist approach to warding off cyberthreats from abroad but promoting its own ideas and values in its own backyard. And that would represent a sea change to the internet as we know it.

Dr Muraviev, who advises Canberra on security issues, warns that "an oversimplified approach to addressing Russia propaganda can be counterproductive".

The glut of Western reporting on Russia that focuses on President Vladimir Putin signals to Russian people who "feel they are under attack" that if the "West doesn't like Putin, he must be doing something right".

Meanwhile, Russia's English-language "stories that aim to disseminate a message are not as blunt as ours are. They are more subtle and analytical".

Russia often outsources their information campaign "to prominent Western commentators, who have a good reputation and who would deliver the news and opinion in a way that is presentable to Western audiences".

The blending of psychology and message hint at the reality of the information battle democracies face in the 21st century.

When this hits Australia may just be a matter of time.
- Yes, you have read the title of this article correctly. And no, this is not a press release by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.

What this is, however, is an article documenting what has happened on the international stage since, and as a consequence of, the USSR’s demise, 25 years ago – an event which continues to affect the lives of ordinary people across the world, whether they are aware of it or not, and whether they like it or not.

This article stands diametrically opposed to the West’s standard narrative of the USSR, and it is this which makes this article particularly pertinent today, given that the West’s portrayal of itself as the “foundation of global peace and stability” has come to be exposed as nothing more than a fa├žade and a manipulative lie. With that in mind, I ask of you, the reader, to be open-minded when reading this article and to set aside what Western politicians and mainstream journalists have constantly told you about the Soviet Union – a country which, amongst many other achievements, secured the victory over Nazism in the Second World War. As Winston Churchill wrote, it was the USSR that “tore the guts out of the Nazi war machine.”
- Last year Antonov built one An-148 and one An-158 with Russian parts that it still had in its stockpiles, but those are depleted now, so this year the company was unable to finish a single plane, Haustov confirmed, stressing that the issue is pressing. Nonetheless, he has hopes that production will resume next year.

“The market will not wait,” he said.

The problem is relevant to existing planes as well, Haustov pointed out. For instance, the only An-225 Mriya, which made its latest flight in May when it delivered a cargo from Prague in the Czech Republic to Perth, Australia, uses Russian-made tires, for which Antonov has yet to find a replacement, he said.

Antonov’s planned cooperation with China, which may invest in a second An-225, is overshadowed by the same issue. The Ukrainian producer is negotiating a potential deal under which a Chinese firm would help complete the aircraft, which has been mothballed half-built since the collapse of the USSR, and operate it as a co-owner. Eight major plants were involved in building the Mriya, including four in Russia, three in Ukraine, and one in Uzbekistan.

“The Chinese party may suggest some Chinese companies to outfit their plane,” Haustov suggested.

The potential deal with China revealed earlier this week is subject to controversy, however. The initial report in the Chinese media implied that Antonov would sell all An-225 technology to China to use as it sees fit. The Ukrainian producer denied this, saying that it had merely signed a roadmap for negotiating several business projects with the Chinese firm.
- TR: There has been a widespread propaganda campaign in the mainstream media this year, in particular against Russia and President Putin. Recently, we’ve seen it in the New York Times and other places against RT and other Russian media outlets. It just seems to be like a renewal of the Cold War. Now, what is interesting to me is that it doesn’t seem to gain any traction. I grew up during the Cold war, and people here were really terrified that “the communists are coming” and “the Russians are coming.” That is not a concern that you hear anyone on the left or on the right among ordinary voters talking about, if you talk to people who are driving a cab, or whatever. People don’t care about these things. They care about the economy and jobs – it is not catching on.

But the media just keeps trying. It is trying to portray RT as a state propaganda outlet. Therefore, appearing on RT somehow would make Trump a traitor to the US, or just like his positive comments about President Putin would. I think wanting to get along with other countries makes sense. These are the same people who wouldn’t say anything similar about someone appearing on the Voice of America or BBC.
- Members of the German media are paid by the CIA in return for spinning the news in a way that supports US interests, and some German outlets are nothing more than PR appendages of NATO, according to a new book by Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of Germany's largest newspapers.

Ulfkotte is a serious mainstream journalist.  Here he is on Germany's leading political talk show a couple of years ago.  The book is a sensation in Germany, #7 on the bestseller list.  Its political dynamite, coming on the heels of German outrage of NSA tapping of their phones.  Check out the RT.com story on it in the video below.
- So far in 2016, the report said, there have been nine military aircraft crashes, four of which involved Navy F/A-18 warplanes. There were 33 total crashes across all branches in 2014 and 2015 - up from just 23 in 2012 and 2013.

However, the admiral in charge of Navy aviation denies a link between the crashes and the age and readiness of their planes.

"I wouldn't characterize it as a crisis. I get the question a lot of, do you tie it to readiness or a lack of proficiency ... and in review of those mishaps, I can't make that connection," said Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker last month.

According to official figures released by the US Navy, only 21 percent of its early model Navy F-18 Hornets can fly along with only half of its newer Super Hornets. Over 100 Super Hornets are not flying due to shortages in critical spare parts.

The report further reveals that US Navy's fleet of MH-60 Seahawk helicopters is not doing much better, with only 57 percent of its 412 M-60s able to fly.

The Navy, like the Marines, is having a difficult time finding available jets for its pilots to fly and train in -- amid more than $100 billion in defense budget cuts since 2009, a steady tempo of combat missions, and a delay in the delivery of the F-18's replacement, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Currently, the report added, of the Marines’ 273 F-18 aircraft, only 91 are able to fly with 88 of them waiting for spare parts.
- The Pentagon is reviewing the US Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, fearing that the $12.9 billion warship would fail to perform as promised.

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall has recently told Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in a memo that the ship may need some changes to meet the Navy’s demands, American media reported Wednesday, citing a Navy official.

However, the official doubted that any changes were possible given that the carrier was scheduled for delivery in three months.

“With the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly premature to include so many unproven technologies,” Kendall wrote in the memo, which was first reported by Bloomberg News.

The USS Ford introduced a new class of US aircraft carriers that are slated to replace the current lineup of Nimitz class carriers.

“Capturing lessons learned and continuing to mature technology will be important to ensure follow-on ships proceed on schedule and budget,” said Commander Mike Kafka, a Navy spokesman.

Named after the 38th American president, the USS Gerald R. Ford runs on two nuclear reactors and is supposed to launch 25 percent more aircraft launches per day compared to the Nimitz class, while requiring 25 percent fewer crews.
- In a report about the agency's struggle to appear "cool" in order to attract security researchers, the Washington Post said there was a clash of cultures between skilled techies, who liked to work in casual or rebellious outfits, and the bureaucratic FBI.

One of the problems faced was the use of marijuana by many skilled hackers.

The agency's director James Comey spoke to this issue during an address at the White Collar Crime Institute in 2014.

"I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cybercriminals, and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview," he was quoted as saying.

Comey said at the time the FBI was "grappling with the question" of how to approach cannabis and coders at the time.

However, the rules for hiring hackers still require them to not have smoked marijuana for three years before they join.

During a Symantec symposium last week, Comey said the FBI had not yet added beanbags, granola and whiteboards — characteristics of many West Coast start-ups — but was working hard at moving in that direction.

The Post report said other issues that hampered the FBI were the huge salaries offered by private security firms and the fallout over the revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden about blanket surveillance of US citizens.

The FBI's legal battle with Apple earlier this year, to try and force the company to break in to a locked iPhone owned by a man involved in an attack in San Bernardino, California, had also contributed to the difficulty of recruiting researchers.
- “If we seek small gains at each others’ expense ... then the only winners are those who rely on slogans and easy answers,” she warned.

Defending her refugee policy again, Merkel said a controversial EU-Turkey deal that she championed is in “both our interests.” Under the deal, Ankara agreed to take back migrants who land in Greece in exchange for billions in aid as well as visa-free travel to the bloc.

“It is right for us to fight the illegal trade of people smuggling ... since we’ve had this deal, almost no one has drowned in the Aegean Sea,” Merkel argued.

The EU-Turkey deal should also serve as a model for future agreements with Libya and Tunisia, said the German leader.

Merkel acknowledged however that work remained to be done at home to integrate the newcomers, as well as beef up security to prevent attacks such as those carried out in July by asylum seekers in Germany.

“Terrorism is not something new that came with refugees. But, given that not all refugees come with good intentions, we will take further (security) measures,” she pledged.

Germany in August unveiled tough new anti-terror measures after the IS-claimed attacks, including a controversial proposal to strip jihadist fighters of their German nationality.
- Dr Armstrong advised that we should avoid entering into the conflict at all costs, because we have crucial trade relationships with the countries involved.

After all, China, Japan and the US are our top three international trading partners respectively.

“We’re very important to Japan, China and South Korea,” he said. “It’s often underestimated. We supply more than half of Japan’s strategic raw material needs — iron ore, aluminium, copper — and we’re the single largest energy supplier to Japan as well.

“Australia would want to avoid getting involved in any dispute in the East China Sea, should tensions escalate, because we have important relationships with the countries involved.”

Macquarie University security expert Adam Lockyer previously told news.com.au Australia should remain as neutral as possible.

“Australia’s position is we don’t want to choose,” Dr Lockyer said. “As soon as we’re forced to make a choice, we lose. The guiding principle of Australian foreign policy is ‘Don’t choose between the US and China’. Doing so will either affect our security or our economy — or both.”
- Hours before Putin's arrival, Daniel Rosenblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State, told reporters in Tashkent he had met Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov the previous evening.

Putin's meeting was seen as a further strong hint that Mirziyoyev, 59, is likely to succeed Karimov as head of state.

Last week, he was appointed head of the commission that organized Karimov's funeral, a duty which in the Soviet culture of the region normally falls to the successor. Mirziyoyev, in turn, told Putin his visit "says a lot."

"Our external political relations with the Russian Federation are those of strategic partnership, and we will continue to develop that bridge which you had been building together with Islam Abduganiyevich for so many years in order not to break it, but to further solidify it," he said.

Karimov distanced Uzbekistan from Moscow in 2012 when Tashkent suspended its membership in the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, which groups several ex-Soviet nations and is seen by some analysts as a regional counterbalance to NATO.

But Uzbekistan, the region's most populous nation, remains heavily dependent on Russia economically. At least 2 million Uzbeks are estimated to work abroad, mostly in Russia, to provide for their families.
- The TOS-1 Buratino is a unique Russian self-propelled multiple rocket launcher system (MRLS) that has seen action in global hotspots like Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq and Syria. Like the enormous 240-millimeter 2S4 self-propelled mortar, the TOS-1’s specialty is obliterating heavily fortified positions. Although some of these may be found in rural rebel strongholds and fortified caves, they have often been employed in heavily urbanized environments. It’s gained a uniquely nasty reputation because of the horrifying effects of its fuel-air explosive warheads.

To put it concisely, these are amongst the most devastating explosive weapons short of tactical nuclear weapons.
- According to the median guess of 25 economists polled by Bloomberg, when the official scorecard is published on Wednesday in the national accounts figures, Australia's GDP will have grown by 3.2 per cent in the past financial year.

That will confirm our status as the world champions of developed nations' growth by both height and length – it's 100 quarters since our last recession. Raise your bat, Australia – we're the second nation to ever score such a century and we're on track to overtake the current record holders, the Netherlands, which once managed 26 years of unbroken growth.
- "External enemy demonstrates the world and the people of Ukraine his readiness for the full-scale aggression. However, the internal enemy launches information campaign on discretization the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, thus helping foreign enemy. They are united by one goal – the defeat of our country in the war waged by Russia,"
- Between 1964 and 1973, US warplanes engaged in a secret bombing campaign, dropping over two million tons of bombs on villages across Laos, in a bid to cut off the supply trail of the Vietnamese army.

The US bombing raids left this long-isolated nation with the unfortunate distinction of being the "most heavily bombed country on earth."

American bombers dropped an average of one bomb-load every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, totaling more bombs than were dropped during all of World War II.

Tens of millions of those bombs, mostly cluster munitions, did not explode immediately and continue to harm unsuspecting civilians.

Obama, who became the first sitting US president to visit Laos, admitted during a speech on Tuesday that America’s secret bombing campaign against Laos obliterated the country and killed thousands of people.

"Villages and entire valleys were obliterated," during US bombardments, Obama told a group of Lao people at the capital city of Vientiane. “Ancient plains were devastated. Countless civilians were killed. That conflict was another reminder whatever the cause, whatever our intentions, war inflicts a terrible toll, especially on innocent men, women and children.”

The US president said Washington would spend 90 million dollars to clear millions of unexploded American bombs under a joint three-year contract with the Laotian government. Washington's 'goodwill' gesture, however, could be too little too late for thousands of people who lost their lives or limbs due to the leftover ordnance.
- Assange has openly stated his distrust of Hillary Clinton in the past and released info relating to both Clinton and DNC corruption. He has also claimed that Silicon Valley tech companies such as Google are purposefully painting Clinton in a positive light and are “directly engaged” in Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Assange denied that he was purposefully targeting Clinton, saying, “We don’t target the West. We are an investigative publisher.”
- “It is known that the US has a number of projects in the field of biological research, particularly some joint research programs with our neighboring countries,” Lavrov said.

He added that the refusal of the US to create a monitoring mechanism for the execution of the BTWC indicates that “these projects are not entirely peaceful.” He also stressed that the US has shied away from discussing the issue.

Lavrov also said that Russia has developed principles for the creation of a convention on combating chemical and biological terrorism in cooperation with China, adding that this idea is widely supported.
US rejected Russian offer for cooperation on cyber-security

The US has shown no interest in cooperating with Russia on the issues of cyber-security, the foreign minister said as he delivered a speech to first-year MGIMO students on September 1.

He said that many Russian citizens accused of cyber-crimes by the US were detained in third countries and illegally transferred to America in the past. At the same time, Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office still has not received any official answer from the US on its offer of cooperation, which it sent almost a year ago.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) refused to give Russia any official written answer while several department officials said they “see no sense in such cooperation,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov also said that he had repeatedly discussed the issue with US Secretary of State John Kerry, who called the DOJ’s position “wrong” and said he would try to change the situation.
No prerequisites for new Cold War

The Russian foreign minister said that he sees “no prerequisites” for a new Cold War and called such a development “unlikely.” He also said that the current situation in the international arena “significantly differs” from the one that existed during the Cold War.

“In contrast to that period, we do not have ideological differences,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia and the US now have common principles, which the two countries share as members of the UN and OSCE.

At the same time, he stressed that many modern problems arise from the fact that Western countries and particularly the US are still trying to maintain global dominance and impede the formation of a new polycentric international system based on “mutual concessions and respect as well as understanding.”

Some countries try to impose their will on other states and resolve international problems in a way that only fits their own interests, Lavrov said.

“In fact, they pretend to have a monopoly on the truth and use a number of illegitimate coercive measures and unethical means to influence their partners, [such as] rewriting history or aggressive propagandist media campaigns, unilateral sanctions or sponsoring coups as well as fueling regional conflicts and direct military intervention,” the foreign minister said, apparently referring to

the current policy of the West towards Russia, Ukraine and the Middle East.
- Apple is tightening up the rules for its App Store and will start removing abandoned apps in an effort to sharpen quality and improve user experience.

In an email to developers overnight, Apple said it would soon start culling apps that no longer function as intended, are unsupported, and that don't follow the current App Store review guidelines.

It warned coders to take app development seriously and not to submit programs that look "like they were cobbled together in a few days".

"We have lots of serious developers who don't want their quality apps be surrounded by amateur hour," Apple said.

Any app that crashes during the review process will be rejected instantly. Any attempt at gaming the App Store system or cheating during the review process will result in the coder in question being expelled immediately from the Apple developer program, the company said.

Apple did not say how many apps are currently abandoned. At last count the App Store had over two million apps available, with 100,000 new and updated programs submitted each week, the company said.

Starting September 8 Australian time, Apple will begin evaluating abandoned apps. If found lacking, developers will be notified and asked to submit an update within 30 days.

If the developers fail to provide updates, their apps will be removed from the App Store.

Apple also wants developers to stop using "extremely long names which include descriptions and terms not directly related to the app". From this month it will restrict app names to 50 characters.
- US foreign policy veteran Henry Kissinger says he will not endorse any of the 2016 presidential candidates in the race for the White House, rejecting reports that the Republican guru will publicly back Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

In a statement released on Friday, Kissinger, who served as national security adviser and secretary of state under former Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, asserted that he and George Shultz, who was secretary of state under former President Ronald Reagan, had no plans to endorse any candidate.

“We are not making any endorsement in the current presidential election,” the two former secretaries of state said in a joint statement provided to the Time magazine. “We are dedicated to fostering a bipartisan foreign policy, and we will devote ourselves to this effort now and after the election.”

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