Russia, China Charge Ahead With $400 Billion Mega Gas Project (Source thetrumpet.com)
More than 75 percent of the vast Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline from Russia to China has been finished, according to a March 21 statement from Russian energy firm Gazprom.
Construction of the pipeline is nearing completion, with more than 1,012 miles of the link now built, the state-owned gas giant reported. The link stretches from the Chayandinskoye field in Siberia to Blagoveshchensk, near China’s border. At the border, an extension will bring the pipeline into China.
When completed, the project will “allow Gazprom to provide gas supplies to domestic consumers in Russia’s Far East and start delivering pipeline gas to the extensive and fast-growing Chinese market.” A deal signed in 2014 between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp. stipulates that Russia will deliver 1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas to China per year through the pipeline for 30 years.
Exclusive: Satellite images reveal show of force by Chinese navy in South China Sea (Source Reuters)
Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry. The photos, taken on Monday, show what appear to be at least 40 ships and submarines flanking the carrier Liaoning in what some analysts described as an unusually large display of the Chinese military’s growing naval might. Sailing in a line formation more suited to visual propaganda than hard military maneuvers, the flotilla was headed by what appeared to be submarines, with aircraft above.
South Africa’s Cape Town Is Set To Run Out Of Water In April (Source npr.org) Cape Town, South Africa, is running out of water. Drought and overuse have brought the city to the edge of disaster. Day Zero, the day that taps run dry, is set to happen on April 16. Peter Granitz reports from Cape Town that people are angry, confused and afraid. Here in the low-key, upscale Newlands neighborhood, dozens of cars are backed up nose to trunk on this narrow, leafy, dead-end street. The attraction – a flowing spring of fresh water. The water is cold and clean enough to drink. Hundreds of people are waiting their turn to fill buckets, bottles and cans with water from the Newlands spring. Hair stylist Sarah Badi is filling 10 6-and-a-half-gallon water cans. Officials are indeed worried about public safety. The government says it will deploy police and military to guard water collection sites if authorities have to turn the taps off on Day Zero. The city will operate some 200 sites where residents can collect 6.6 gallons per person. It’s unclear when they’ll be open, how long the lines will be, whether people can send someone in their place.
Pope Francis ‘abolishes hell’, saying souls of unrepentant sinners will simply disappear (Source thetimes.co.uk)
It is been accepted Christian doctrine since the founding of the church, but Pope Francis appears this morning to have abolished Hell. The Pontiff told La Repubblica that the souls of unrepentant sinners were not punished in the afterlife, but simply disappeared. “Hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of the souls of sinners exists,” he told Eugenio Scalfari, a 93-year-old atheist philosopher, during a conversation in the Vatican.
US-MADE MISSILE DEFENSES SPECTACULARLY FAILED IN SAUDI ARABIA (Source MOTHERBOARD)
At least five American-made Patriot missiles apparently missed, malfunctioned, or otherwise failed when Saudi forces tried to intercept a barrage of rockets targeting Riyadh on March 25. That’s bad news for the US military and its closest allies, who are counting on the Patriot to stop large-scale enemy attacks during a major war. The ground-launched, radar-guided Patriot missile, which is 19 feet long in its basic version, has been controversial since shortly after its introduction in 1984. It missed many of its targets during the 1991 Gulf War. Twelve years later during the US-led invasion of Iraq, Patriot crews shot down two allied warplanes, killing three crew members. “It’s nothing but an unbroken trail of disasters with this weapon system,” Theodore Postol, an MIT physicist and prominent critic of US missile defenses, told me. Rebel forces from the Houthi group, which has taken over much of Yemen in recent years, fired at least seven rockets at Saudi Arabia on the night of March 25. Saudi Arabia leads a coalition of Middle East countries battling the Houthis in Yemen. The Saudi military launched Patriot Advanced Capability-2 missiles in an attempt to destroy the Houthi rockets in mid-air. The Saudis claimed seven of the Patriots struck their targets.
U.S. Military Admits Its “Helpless” Against a Hypersonic Missile Strike by China or Russia (Source Asia Times)
The United States defense establishment has not stopped ringing alarm bells on what they say are rising threats posed by Russia and China, and their warnings are prompting fear among members of Congress. Last week, US military officials and lawmakers highlighted hypersonic missiles as a particular area of concern. “Right now, we’re helpless,” Republican Senator James Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was quoted by The Hill as saying in advocating for more funding for hypersonic missiles. The talk on Capitol Hill comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted that Russia now has intercontinental ballistic missiles that are invulnerable to Western anti-missile systems. “We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us, so our response would be our deterrent force, which would be the triad and the nuclear capabilities that we have to respond to such a threat,” Hyten told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week.
Canada Tells Government Employees to Stop Saying ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ (Source thetrumpet.com)
Canada’s government says front-line employees may no longer use the terms “mother” and “father” in official correspondence. Instead, they must use gender-neutral terms like “parent” when speaking to the public. This directive was published Wednesday by Radio Canada, the French-language arm of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Other forbidden terms include “sir,” “madam,” “Mr.,” “Mrs.” and “Miss.” Instead, Service Canada’s front-line staff must call people by their full names until they have asked them how they wish to be addressed. An “In-Person Quality Monitoring Program” will oversee employees and ensure they comply with the new directive.
“This avoids portraying a perceived bias toward a particular sex or gender,” states a government memo prepared for managers and team leaders. “It is important that Service Canada, as an organization, reflects Canada’s diverse population and ensures that the views and interests of Canadians are taken into account when we develop policies, programs, services and initiatives.”
Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos clarified on Twitter that Canadians could still be called “Mr.” or “Ms.” if they choose, but government employees must confirm how people want to be addressed first. However, as the Radio Canada report shows, the terms “father” and “mother” have been removed from Social Insurance Number application forms. “This is only the latest in a string of policies elevating subjective ‘gender identity’ above biological sex,” reported LifesiteNews. “Last month, the Canadian Senate voted to replace the word ‘sons’ with ‘us’ in the country’s national anthem, to make ‘O Canada’ gender-neutral. In August, the government began allowing Canadians to mark their gender down as ‘X’ on passports, a move Campaign Life Coalition senior political strategist Jack Fonseca decried as part of a broader effort to condition Canadians to ‘deny the evidence of their own eyes.’”
While many regard this move toward more gender-inclusive language to be a harmless courtesy, it is part of a larger social movement to do away with traditional gender roles and erase distinctions between the sexes. This movement has become so radical that even the terms “father” and “mother” are now banned as sexist relics of a time when people thought men and women were different. Feminists, homosexuals and transgenders are trying and succeeding in convincing people that gender is a “social construct.”
CHINA MOVES TO DESTROY US DOLLAR AS THEY LAUNCH THE GOLD-BACKED PETRO-YUAN (Source blacklistednews.com) In a massive move against the global dominance of the U.S. dollar, China’s highly anticipated Petro-Yuan has been launched in Shanghai. With China being the world’s largest consumer of oil, this new currency is an international game-changer that was a predicted move by China to directly compete—and subsequently devalue—the US dollar. Analysts call the plan, announced by Beijing in September, a huge move against the dollar’s global dominance – and reserve currency status. The Chinese government reportedly plans to allow the crude oil futures contract priced in yuan to be fully convertible into gold. As TFTP reported at the time, in addition to serving as a hedging tool for Chinese companies, the contract will allow for increased use of the yuan in trade settlement. These contracts will thus enable China’s trading partners to pay with gold or to convert yuan into gold without the necessity to keep money in Chinese assets or turn it into US dollars, according to Bloomberg. Essentially, the new benchmark will allow exporters, such as Russia, Iran or Venezuela to avoid US sanctions by trading oil in yuan that is convertible to gold – thereby negating the hegemony of the petrodollar. On Monday, trading of the new oil futures contracts for September settlement started on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange at 440.20 yuan ($69.70) per barrel, reports Chinese daily the South China Morning Post. Some 18,540 lots have reportedly been sold and purchased so far. Leading economist, Carl Weinberg, managing director at High Frequency Economics, goes even further, predicting a major paradigm shift. Weinberg told CNBC last year that China will likely “compel” Saudi Arabia to abandon the petrodollar, and instead, begin trading oil in yuan—a move he says is likely to precipitate the rest of the oil market following suit and abandoning the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency.
At the BRICs summit last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed Russia’s support for the Petro-Yuan to specifically challenge the “unfairness” of the US dollar’s global dominance.
World War 3: Russia SHOCK warning – expulsion of diplomats could lead to WAR (Source express.co.uk)
WORLD WAR 3 could be sparked between the West and Russia following the expulsion of over 100 Russian diplomats after the country was blamed for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council – established by the Kremlin – insisted that cutting off communications between Russia and the West could have devastating consequences. Speaking on the Today programme, Mr Kortunov said: “By cutting these channel of communication, we increase risks of miscalculation. “Maybe not clear interpretation of intentions of the other side. And basically, here it increases the dangers of inadvertent escalation or even a war. “So, again, in my personal opinion, the expulsion of diplomats is not the best way to deal with the crisis because if we don’t talk to each other – how can we handle the crisis?
But former US ambassador to Russia Professor Michael McFaul warned there are new elements to Russia’s actions which make it “even more dangerous” than a Cold War.
The former US ambassador listed Russia’s “tremendous capabilities” including its cyber and even economic powers and its military. But he warned that Vladimir Putin is even less constrained than his predecessors. Mr McFaul said: “There is also an ideological dimension between the stand-off between Putinism and his autocratic ways and the democratic west. “Third, and I think most disturbingly, Putin seems less constrained by some informal rules of the game that kind of did constrain behaviour between the Soviet Union and the West during the Cold War.
This ‘beer’ will get you high, not drunk (Source Yahoo)
The man who became a disruptor in the beer industry back in 1995 has come up with a new concept of the beverage — by integrating the psychedelic component of cannabis. Alongside his wife Jodi, Keith Villa is now establishing himself as one of the first to create a marijuana-infused beverage that actually contains THC, the cannabis chemical that produces a buzz. And if it sounds enticing yet nerve-racking for those who haven’t experienced a marijuana high before, there will be three levels of the brew to try out.
“It really is a step back in time to just after Prohibition,” he told Forbes. “Back in 1933 you had a stigma with alcohol. After so many years of being illegal it took years to get over that. But once that goes away for cannabis, it will be a huge part of our economy.” Getting a head start on that market, Villa believes, presents him with the opportunity to work out all the kinks in the process of making a cannabis-infused beer. And by establishing his and Jodi’s brand Ceria Beverages around this product first, they don’t have to fear spoiling an established brand by irritating regulators — a likely possibility, as the concept is a bit controversial.
Although Villa is calling the beverage a “beer,” federal law prohibits alcohol and THC from being mixed. It’s why all previous “marijuana-infused” branded beers lack the psychoactive compound, and instead infuse (nonpsychedelic) hemp extract into the drink to give it a marijuana taste. “What we found is consumers of cannabis want the real deal,” Villa told the Forbes. “Giving them a beer with hemp or CBD is almost like giving a craft beer drinker an alcohol-free Russian Imperial Stout and telling them, ‘This is good enough.’” Ceria Beverages’ “beer” will do the opposite, by brewing a regular beer, removing the alcohol content, and then injecting the THC. The process is something that cannabinoid research company Ebbu has figured out. In partnering with Ceria Beverages, the pair has decoded how to infuse the THC to result in varying levels of highs, and with specific feelings or effects. The best part is that they’ve equated the effects of the marijuana to the effects of certain volumes of alcohol content, so that your high won’t be any more elevated than your drunk. Although the light, medium, and heavy-duty beers will be sold exclusively in Colorado this fall, Villa and the team expect to expand as the legality of marijuana does.