POPE FRANCIS CALLS FOR A NEW GLOBAL POLITICAL AUTHORITY TO SAVE HUMANITY(Source blacklistednews.com) Pope Francis says that global warming is a fact and that a new global political authority is necessary in order to save humanity from utter disaster. The new encyclical that was scheduled to be released on Thursday has been leaked, and it is being reported that this new global political authority that Pope Francis envisions would be in charge of “the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions”. The funny thing is that this sounds very much in line with the new sustainable development agenda that is going to be launched at the United Nations in September. Francis called for a new global political authority tasked with “tackling … the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions”. His appeal echoed that of his predecessor, pope Benedict XVI, who in a 2009 encyclical proposed a kind of super-UN to deal with the world’s economic problems and injustices. What is even more alarming is who will be on the stage with the Pope when this encyclical is formally released. John Schellnhuber is a German professor that has some very radical views on climate change. Professor John Schellnhuber has been chosen as a speaker for the Vatican’s rolling out of a Papal document on climate change. He’s the professor who previously said the planet is overpopulated by at least six billion people. Now, the Vatican is giving him a platform which many expect will result in an official Church declaration in support of radical depopulation in the name of “climate science.”
SOROS: The US needs to befriend China or all hell is going to break loose (Source Business Insider)
The US needs to befriend China or else all hell is going to break loose, argues George Soros in a new article for The New York Review of Books. “Both the US and China have a vital interest in reaching an understanding because the alternative is so unpalatable. The benefits of an eventual agreement between China and the US could be equally far-reaching,” he writes. “The US government has little to gain and much to lose by treating the relationship with China as a zero-sum game. In other words, it has little bargaining power,” he continues. “It could, of course, obstruct China’s progress, but that would be very dangerous.” Soros writes that if Xi Jinping’s market-oriented reforms fail, “he may foster some external conflicts to keep the country united and maintain himself in power” — which could lead to a Sino-Russo military and political alliance (whereas right now they’re mostly just cooperating financially). “In that case, should the external conflict escalate into a military confrontation with an ally of the United States such as Japan, it is not an exaggeration to say that we would be on the threshold of a third world war,” writes Soros. Soros adds, however, that he believes it would take at least a decade for a Sino-Russo military alliance that’s ready to take on the US to come together. “Rivalry between the US and China is inevitable but it needs to be kept within bounds that would preclude the use of military force,” he writes. The two powers have “fundamentally different” political systems. The US is founded on the principle of individual freedom, while China has a more hierarchical structure. “In recent years the US has led the world in the innovative development of social media, while China has led the world in finding means to control it,” he writes. China, like Russia, considers itself a victim of America’s aspirations to world domination.
Conflicts with the US — and others — in the South China Sea, as well as issues over cyberwarfare and human rights. “The US would like China to adopt its values but the Chinese leadership considers them subversive.”
“Fully recognizing these difficulties, the US government should nevertheless make a bona fide attempt at forging a strategic partnership with China,” Soros writes
Florida Beachgoers Warned About Deadly Bacteria — That’s Also Found in Raw Shellfish (Source Yahoo) If you’ve eaten at a restaurant that serves raw seafood, you’ve probably noticed this warning on the menu, or something similar: “Eating raw or undercooked shellfish can put you at a higher risk of foodborne illness.” Before you brush off the message, consider this: The state of Florida has issued a warning about vibrio vulnificus, an often deadly bacteria that can be transmitted by eating undercooked or raw shellfish such as oysters, clams, or crabs. Eight people have been infected by the bacteria in Florida this year, and two have died — one from eating raw seafood and another from “multiple exposures” to the bacteria. (The bacteria killed at least seven people in Florida last year, but the state says that number is underreported.) Vibrio vulnificus can also be contracted by wading in bacteria-infected water with an open wound, but ingesting raw seafood is by far the biggest culprit, infectious disease specialist Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, tells Yahoo Health.
Russia Gets Very Serious on “De-dollarizing”. The Russia-China “Silk Road” Strategy (Source New Eatern Outlook) Russia is about to take another major step towards liberating the Ruble from the Dollar System. Its Finance Ministry just revealed it is considering issuing Russian state debt in Chinese Yuan. That would be an elegant way to decouple from the dependence and blackmail pressures from the US Treasury financial terrorism operations while at the same time strengthening the bonds between China and Russia–Washington’s worst geopolitical nightmare. Russian Deputy Minister of Finance, Sergei Storchak, announced that his ministry is making a careful study of what would be required to issue Russian bonds denominated in Chinese Yuan. The latest news is part of a long-term strategy between Russia and China that goes at the heart of American hegemony—the role of the dollar as the leading world central bank reserve currency. The dollar is used in some 60% of central bank reserves today. The second largest is the Euro. Now clearly China is carefully moving, as the world’s largest trading nation, to create its Renminbi or Chinese Yuan as another major reserve currency. That has huge geopolitical implications. So long as the US dollar is the leading reserve currency, the world must de facto buy US dollar Treasury bonds for its reserves. That has allowed Washington to have budget deficits since 1971 when the dollar left the gold exchange standard. In effect, China, Japan, Russia, Germany—all trade surplus countries, finance Washington’s deficits that allow her to make wars around the world. It is a paradox that Russia and China at least, are determined to end as soon as possible. Last year Russia and China signed enormous 30-year energy deals for delivery of Russian oil and gas to China. The payments will be in local currencies not in dollars. Already in 2014 settlement in national currencies between China and Russia in bilateral trade increased nine times over 2013. Lin Zhi, head of the Europe and Central Asia Department of the Chinese Ministry of Economic Development announced last November that, “About 100 Russian commercial banks are now opening corresponding accounts for settlements in yuan.
Nato condemns Putin’s nuclear ‘sabre-rattling'(Source BBC) President Vladimir Putin said Russia would put more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles into service this year. It is part of a wide-reaching programme to modernise the country’s military. Tensions are high over Russia’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the statement from Mr Putin was “confirming the pattern and behaviour of Russia over a period of time – we have seen Russia is investing more in defence in general and in its nuclear capability in particular”. He said: “This nuclear sabre-rattling of Russia is unjustified, it’s destabilising and it’s dangerous.
Russia’s ‘Microwave Gun’ Can Disable Drones, Warheads Up To 6 Miles Away, Official Says (Source ibtimes.com) The Russian military has created a “microwave gun” capable of disabling drones known as unmanned aerial vehicles and the warheads in airborne projectiles, a spokesman for the Kremlin-owned United Instrument Manufacturing Corp. said Monday. Officials scheduled a private demonstration of the device’s capabilities at the Russian Defense Ministry’s Army-2015 expo. “The new system is equipped with a high-power relativistic generator and reflector antenna, management and control system, and a transmission system, which is fixed on the chassis of BUK surface-to-air missile systems. When mounted on a special platform, the ‘microwave gun’ is capable of ensuring perimeter defense at 360 degrees,” the spokesman said. In addition to its purported ability to disrupt drones and warheads, Russia’s “microwave gun” can disrupt radio frequencies and even “deactivate the equipment” of low-flying planes. The device has a range of 10 kilometers (approximately 6.2 miles) and it can be fired in any direction. Russia also plans to unveil its newest military aircraft, the Yak-130, at the Army-2015 expo, the Russian Defense Ministry. Russian officials have also touted the capabilities of the country’s new Armata T-14 tank for months. The tank is said to be clad in ceramic armor as much as 50 percent stronger than that of traditional mechanized equipment, a powerful 125-millimeter cannon and an electronic warning system to head off potential mechanical problems.
Why the Bear is Back: Russian Military Presence in Vietnam (Source globalresearch.ca) Russia-Vietnam ties that seemed to be cooling after the end of the Cold War are warming up all over again. More than 20 years after Moscow abandoned its largest foreign base, Russian military aircraft are once again welcome visitors at Cam Ranh Bay. The renewed Russian presence in Vietnam has predictably set the alarm bells ringing in the Pentagon, with the Commander of the US Army in the Pacific confirming that Russian strategic bombers circling the massive American military base in Guam are being refuelled at Cam Ranh Bay. On March 11 Washington wrote to Hanoi, requesting that the Vietnamese authorities not assist Russian bomber flights in the Asia-Pacific. The Vietnamese reaction was to remain publicly silent. Moscow helped train generations of Vietnamese leaders and supported Hanoi during its decades of international isolation.” “Few things are more vital to Vietnam than an independent foreign policy. Given Vietnam’s complex history, its leaders do not want their country to be caught between major powers again. Anything that resembles U.S. interference in Vietnam’s dealings with Russia could unnecessarily aggravate this fear.” Although the Vietnamese consider the US an increasingly important partner in Southeast Asia, it’s Russia that tops the pecking order. A per an agreement inked in November 2014, Russian warships visiting the deep water port of Cam Ranh only have to give prior notice to the Vietnamese authorities before steaming in whereas all other foreign navies are limited to just one annual ship visit to Vietnamese ports.
Russia says will retaliate if U.S. weapons stationed on its borders (Source Reuters) A plan by Washington to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO states on Russia’s border would be the most aggressive U.S. act since the Cold War, and Moscow would retaliate by beefing up its own forces, a Russian defense official said on Monday. The United States is offering to store military equipment on allies’ territory in eastern Europe, a proposal aimed at reassuring governments worried that after the conflict in Ukraine, they could be the Kremlin’s next target. Poland and the Baltic states, where officials say privately they have been frustrated the NATO alliance has not taken more decisive steps to deter Russia, welcomed the decision by Washington to take the lead. But others in the region were more cautious, fearing their countries could be caught in the middle of a new arms race between Russia and the United States. “If heavy U.S. military equipment, including tanks, artillery batteries and other equipment really does turn up in countries in eastern Europe and the Baltics, that will be the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War,” Russian defense ministry official General Yuri Yakubov said. “Russia will have no option but to build up its forces and resources on the Western strategic front,” Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. He said the Russian response was likely to include speeding up the deployment of Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave bordered by Poland and Lithuania, and beefing up Russian forces in ex-Soviet Belarus. “Our hands are completely free to organize retaliatory steps to strengthen our Western frontiers,” Yakubov said. U.S. officials said their proposal envisages storing a company’s worth of equipment, enough for 150 soldiers, in each of the three Baltic nations: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
World Day Against Child Labor highlights conditions on US tobacco farms (Source dw.de) Celia Ortiz was only 11 when she started working on tobacco fields in North Carolina. When most children were sleeping late, watching television, or riding their bicycle during spring breaks, Celia would wake up each morning at five to harvest crops for 10 or 12 hours in extremely dangerous conditions. She worked on tobacco fields for seven years. “When you’re a child, you’re out there because you need the money,” she said. “It’s not like you’re looking for fun.” Celia is taking part in the World Day Against Child Labor on June 12 with members of the Child Labor Coalition – a group of nonprofit organizations including Human Rights Watch. The coalition gathered in Washington DC to raise awareness and discuss problems and possible solutions for the country’s child labor issue. There are four states that produce 90 percent of the country’s tobacco – North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee – and in these states children as young as 7 are working 50-60 hours per week harvesting and cultivating tobacco plants, in most cases with severe repercussions. Human Rights Watch estimates nearly half a million such children work on these fields. “This is perfectly legal in the US,” says Zama Coursen-Neff, executive director of the children’s rights division at Human Rights Watch. “[It is legal] because of a loophole in child labor laws that makes it legal for children to work in agriculture at far younger ages, for far longer hours, under far more hazardous environments.”
Iran Seeks Closer Military Ties With China (Source thetrumpet.com) Iran and China are looking to build closer military ties, Iran’s top adviser for international affairs told the South China Morning Post. Ali Akbar Velayati said he is keen for Beijing to expand its naval power worldwide and called for closer military ties between the two nations. Following the disputed Russia-China military exercises in the Mediterranean Sea, which raised concerns over China’s growing naval power, Velayati said it is right for a great power like China to send out military vessels. Velayati also expressed an interest in conducting more port calls with China due to its growing commercial interests. He has also requested that China play a more active role in Iranian nuclear negotiations, saying it would promote a positive outcome for the talks.