Tuesday, October 25, 2016

China's Space Mission - First Pictures

First picture of the ShenZhou 11 module, manned with two astronauts, after docking to China's Tiangong 2 space station. The picture was taken from a nearby infrared satellite camera on October 23 and published today, October 25, by People's Network.


Recent U.S. visitor from Los Angeles and who is interested in Chinese carrier rockets.

Monday, October 24, 2016

ISIL - Different Heads of the Hydra

Picture: Assassination carried out by ISIL fighters [YOUM7 on October 24, 2016]

During the last days, different Arabic sources have been steadily covering a major attack of Iraqui forces on the ISIL stronghold of Mosul and which already succeeded in approaching the center of Mosul up to a distance of some five km. Evaluations of the military situation predict Mosul to fall to Peshmerga units and Iraqui government forces within the next few days.

On Friday, October 21, Arabic sources reported about ISIL counterattacks in different places of Kirkuk township where Kurdish Peshmerga forces cornered a rather small number of ISIL fighters who seemed to have suddenly appeared out of nowhere. During the proceedings an ISIL official had been captured who leaded the attack. According to Iraqui sources (October 24) he should have revealed that the ISIS group is planning to attack the province of Kirkuk again with some 300 suicide bombers.

Today, latest news are about the assassination by ISIL of five security members in Rutbah town which is the westernmost outpost of Anbar province and a strategic point linking Iraq to Jordan (Youm7). The massing of ISIL units near the border between both countries has caused fears of ISIL trying to carry the conflict into neigboring Jordan.

Related News:

Iran warns Turkey against its military presence in Iraq.
[Al-Arabiya on October 24, 2016]

On Monday, October 24, the spokesman of Iran's foreign ministry, Bahram Qasem, warned Turkish authorities against the consequences of Turkey's military presence in Iraq and a participation in the process of a restoration of Mosul. While speaking to the Iranian press, Qasem said that the participation of any country in the fight against terrorists in Iraq, should take place in coordination with the Iraqi authorities to obtain its approval (Al-Arabiya).

Monday, October 17, 2016

The BRICS Block of Nations

The prime minister of India (middle) and the presidents of Brazil, Russia, China and
South Africa (left to right) on the summit of BRICS nations, 15th Oct. 2016. Xin Hua

At a summit this weekend in Goa, India, the BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - were looking for ways to boost trade between their developing economies, representing nearly half of the world's population.

As all BRICS nations are facing similar challenges in lifting large populations of poor and protecting their environments, national economies have been slowing.

Brazil is Latin America's largest economy ($1.35 trillion) and which is predicted to contract about 3 percent this year after a similar development in 2015. Unemployment and inflation are both hovering around 10 percent. Some states including Rio de Janeiro are so broke they haven't paid public workers in months.

Brazil's recovery is crucial to South America's economic future. But the country of 206 million people relies heavily on prices of oil, soy and other commodities, which have plunged.

A disastrous political development and unpopular reforms announced by the new government of Brazil have added to create a difficult situation.

As tensions with the U.S.A. have escalated over the bombing of civilians in Aleppo, Syria, Russia is strengthening its links with China and officially supports Beijing's South China Sea policy.

Western sanctions and an oil price slump have hit Russia's $1.13 trillion economy hard. Shrinking of Russia's GDP in 2015, a weak recovery in 2016 and predictions of only modest growth in 2017 are describing the current situation.

Putin is due to meet with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit on Saturday, where they are expected to discuss Syria and Afghanistan. The two also aim to expand nuclear ties, with Russia building several reactors in India. After decades of close Cold War-era relations between New Delhi and Moscow, Russia has been annoyed by Modi's effort to build closer economic and defense ties with Washington.

Bilateral trade between Russia and India fell more than 14 percent from $10 billion in 2014, a decline Russia has blamed on the global oil market turmoil.

India's prime minister Narendra Modi chose climate change, infrastructure and sustainable development as the BRICS summit's main goals. India's $2.38 trillion economy is growing 7.5 percent annually, fastest of the five countries. But it also has the world's highest number of people in poverty, with more than half of its 1.3 billion population living on less than $3.10 a day.

China's economy is growing at its slowest pace in 25 years, but it is still the world's second largest after the U.S.A. and amounting to $11.4 trillion.

In a speech just held at the BRICS summit, China's president Xi Jin Ping already warned of a further economic slow-down.

That's why Xi Jinping is looking to expand access for Chinese goods to foreign markets. Last week, Chinese state media argued strongly for the BRICS to adopt a free-trade agreement. While the Chinese government has made no such proposal formally, its Commerce Ministry has said it is keen on the idea.

The other BRICS nations, already burdened by cheap Chinese imports and huge trade deficits with Beijing, are likely to oppose.

China, a nation of 1.38 billion people, will also likely be seeking support in Goa for a proposed trade route through Central Asia and Russia to Europe, and for a sea route traversing the Indian Ocean. Chinese Foreign Minister Li Baodong this week called that "One Belt, One Road" initiative a national priority.

South Africa's economy, the smallest of all BRICS nations, was estimated at $327 billion in 2015. With an unemployment of 23% among its 55 million population and a credit ranking near junk status, that country is no real match for other major developing nations like China and India.

Furthermore, the country's finance minister is facing corruption charges which makes South Africa's economic situation even more difficult.

South Africa, however, remains an interesting partner when it comes to its vast mineral wealth that could meet the increasing needs of China and India.


The Last Caliph

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Donald Trump Story

An exhaustive evaluation of Donald Trump's race for
the presidency of the U.S.A. in less than one minute !

In a heated climate following two days of revelations about both presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off in the 2nd U.S. presidential debate held at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri, on October 9, 2016.

One question directed to both candidates came from a Muslim woman of Palestinian origin who was born in the U.S.A. and is now working there as a franchisee. The question of Ghurba Hamid targeted the candidates' position regarding the subject of how to reassure the 3.3 million Muslims living in the U.S.A. as soon as the elections are over.

The exact formulation of the question is as follows:
" There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States and I’m one of them. You mentioned working with Muslim nations but with this Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over? "

وأكدت غربة حامد الأم لطفلين في لقائها مع العربية.نت القسم الإنجليزي أن ترامب لم يجب عن سؤالها، وعوضاً عن توضيح ما سيقدمه لطمأنة المسلمين في أميركا، اتهم كل مسلمي أميركا بإخفاء معلومات عن الأشخاص الذين يمثلون تهديداً للبلاد.ـ

Ghurba Hamid, the mother of two children, confirmed in her [talk] with the English service of Al-Arabiya network that Trump did not [meet with / properly answer] her question. Instead of a clarification what he would [do] to reassure the Muslims in America, he accused all American Muslims of hiding informations regarding people who represent a threat to the country.

[Al-Arabiya, Arabic Service on Oct. 11, 2016]

History: Internment camps for U.S. citizens of Japanese extraction
after Japan attacked the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour (1942).

History Link: Japanese-American Relocation

Obama Breaks Down How Republicans Ended Up With Donald Trump.


Monday, October 03, 2016

Israeli President Stopped Netanyahu Bombing Iran

ما سر منع بيريز هجوما إسرائيليا على إيران؟

What is the secret of the prevention of an Israeli attack
on Iran by [former president] Peres ?

[Source: Al-Arabiya العربية on 3rd October 2016]

If not for Shimon Peres’s intervention, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and defense minister Ehud Barak were planning to bomb Iran's nuclear sites, the former Israeli president revealed confidentially to high-ranking staff members of the Jerusalem Post in August 2014, one month after Peres had resigned from his post. When asked by the editor-in-chief who had established a close relationship with Peres whether he was allowed to publish that remark, Peres reportedly replied with a wry smile: Only after my death.

Shimon Peres who is considered as the architect of Israel’s nuclear program died only two weeks ago.

[Source: Jerusalem Post on September 30, 2016]


Deutschland - Alles Banane ?

Der 26. deutsche Nationalfeiertag im Spiegel der Weltpresse.

Am 3. Oktober 2016, an dem der Nationalfeiertag zum 26. Mal an die Wiedervereinigung Deutschlands erinnert, geht es schon lange nicht mehr um die Problematik der Zusammen-führung zweier Gebiete, die über Jahrhunderte hinweg kulturell miteinander verbunden waren.

Heute geht es um den deutschen Identitätsverlust, der sich gerade da besonders auffällig zeigt, wo eine vermeintlich heile bayrische Welt mit Bier und Weißwurst, mit Dirndl und Lederhose, das Klischee von deutscher Regionalkultur zu vermitteln versucht. Das Ganze dann ins Bild gesetzt von amerikanischen Touristen, die in ihrer eigenen Sprache die Begriffe "pretzel", "biergarten" und "lederhose" längst als Fremdwörter integriert haben.

Die Zeit - Fremd im eigenen Land.

Das Hamburger Wochenblatt Die Zeit beschreibt das Münchner Oktoberfest als ein "Zerrbild unserer Zeit" und damit unter dem Aspekt einer sich verändernden Gesellschaft, nicht nur was die ethnische Zusammensetzung der Bevölkerung und die daraus resultierenden Probleme betrifft, sondern auch die Gültigkeit überkommener Sitten und Traditionen.

Das Münchner Oktoberfest, das am 3. Oktober endet, repräsentiert dabei lediglich eine in Szene gesetzten deutschen Regionalkultur mit ihren längst überlebten Traditionen, die durch die realen Verhältnisse kontrastiert wird.

Kulturelle Konfrontation durch gefühlt ungebremste Zuwanderung aus der Türkei und den Balkanstaaten, sowie die immer noch anhaltende Flüchtlingswelle in der Folge regionaler Konflikte im Nahen Osten und Teilen Afrikas haben Deutschland zu einem Pulverfass fremdenfeindlicher und anti-islamischer Ressentiments werden lassen, wie es die letzten Anschläge in Dresden beweisen.

Tragisch dabei ist, dass die Stadt Dresden gerade am diesjährigen Nationalfeiertag ein Zeichen für die Toleranz in ihrer Region setzen und damit ihr fremdenfeindliches Image aufpolieren wollte.

The Guardian - Dresden mosque and congress centre hit by two bomb blasts.

Bliebe noch hinzuzufügen, was wohl passieren würde, wenn die nach Sachsen verfrachteten arabischen Flüchtlinge durch die in Bayern einquartierten dunkelhäutigen Afrikaner ausgetauscht würden. Also uns sind die, mittlerweile in jedem Dorf nördlich von München anzutreffenden Container-Flüchtlinge aus Somalia, Eritrea und dem Kongo bereits ans Herz gewachsen.

Als Krönung der Tagesnachrichten erscheint an diesem 3. Oktober ein Artikel auf der Website eines arabischen Fernsehsenders, der sich mit dem Versuch deutscher Behörden beschäftigt, asylsuchende Kriegsflüchtlinge in ihr EU-Eintrittsland Griechenland abzuschieben:

Al-Arabiya - Germany wants asylum seekers sent back to Greece.

Alles in allem ist der 26. deutsche Nationalfeiertag also kein Anlass zum Frohlocken, wenn man bedenkt, dass wichtige interne Probleme Deutschlands in diesem Zusammenhang noch nicht einmal angesprochen wurden wie die Gefahr einer künftigen Altersarmut durch die derzeitigen Verwerfungen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt. Hierzu nur die wichtigsten Stichworte: Eine Überalterung des deutschstämmigen Bevölkerungsanteils, der daraus folgende Mangel an Arbeitskräften, ein deutlich späterer Einstieg vieler junger Menschen in versicherungspflichtige Jobs und die Zunahme prekärer Arbeitsverhältnisse.

Anders gesagt: Anspruchsvolle Nesthocker, die erst im Alter von 20 Jahren allmählich den Arsch hochkriegen, werden im Proletariat einer veränderten Gesellschaft untergehen, in der soziale Leistungen auf ein Minimum reduziert sein werden und eine auskömmliche Altersrente den heutigen "Strebern" vorbehalten sein wird. Dagegen wird einzelnen Asylanten, die nach einer abenteuerlichen Flucht vor dem Bombenhagel in ihrer Heimat, mit dem Mut der Verzweiflung auch der soziale Aufstieg gelingen, und sie werden diese Gesellschaft, vielleicht unbewusst, weiter verändern.

Man erinnere sich, wer das deutsche Wirtschaftswunder in den 1950er Jahren geschaffen hat. Das waren die unterernährten und gesundheitlich angeschlagenen Überlebenden aus Krieg und Gefangenschaft.

In diesem Sinne sei mir noch ein lockeres aber trotzdem zutreffendes Schlusswort zum Tag der deutschen Einheit gestattet:

Bananen sind eben nicht alles !

Und es ist schon lange nicht mehr alles Banane in Deutschland.
Manches ist auch nur saure Gurke, in die wir beißen müssen ...


Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Emirates and Iran - Rising Tensions

On Saturday evening, the United Arab Emirates' foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed, announced from the general assembly of the United Nations that Iran did not waste time to undermine the security of the region since the conclusion of a nuclear agreement with the world powers last year. Flagrant violation of the principles of sovereignty and intervention in the affairs of its neighbors played a greater role in the continuation of tension and instability in the region.

The minister said that Tehran undermines the security of the region through its rudeness of speech, its volatile and rude intervention and the arming of militias apart from its development of a missile program. He mentioned that many "rude" statements from Iran, only recently issued, confirmed Tehran's abandonment to its intervention in many Arab countries, including Yemen, Lebanon and Syria.

الإمارات: إيران تقوض أمن المنطقة عبر تسليح الميليشيات

The Emirates: Iran undermines the security of the region by arming militias.

[Source: AL-ARABIYA العربية on September 25, 2016]

An earlier report by Al-Arabiya from September 29, 2014, referred to a territorial conflict between UAE and Iran that led to the Emirates' urging Iran to remove its flag from the island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf. Abu Musa is actually administered by the Islamic Republic of Iran but claimed by the emirate of Sharjah.

إيران ترفض طلب الإمارات إزالة علمها من "أبي موسى"ـ

Iran rejects the Emirates' request to remove its flag from 'Abu Mousa'.

Another news report by Al-Arabiya from April 5, 2016, mentioned that four spies from Hezbollah and Iran, i.e. three Arab and one Canadian citizen acting on behalf of the Lebanese Hezbollah, had been sentenced to six months and a following exilation from the UAE for the formation and managing of a subversive group, i.e. without permission of the government.

الإمارات.. السجن والإبعاد بحق 4 جواسيس لحزب الله وإيران

The Emirates: Four spies from Hezbollah and Iran sentenced to prison and exile.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ISIL Activities in Saudi Arabia

According to EMIRATES 24/7 news for Tuesday September 20, 2016, Saudi Arabian authorities uncovered an ISIL-linked terrorist network that was involved in past attacks in the kingdom and was planning future attacks against civilians, security personnel and government sites, the Saudi Interior Ministry said on Monday, September 19.

The terror network was comprised of three cells. Seventeen suspects, among them one Saudi woman, were arrested in the months-long operation. Eleven are Saudi citizens, in addition to three Yemenis, two Egyptians and one Palestinian, Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour Al Turki said in a press conference.

Among other crimes, the group is held responsible for a failed attempt to bomb an oil pipeline in the governorate of ad-Dawadimi. That attempt is mentioned as a main subject in today's online news of AL-ARABIYA TV:

هكذا خطط داعش لاستهداف أهم أنبوب نفط سعودي

This is how ISIL planned to target the most important oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

[AL-ARABIYA العربية on September 20, 2016]

Visitor from ARAMCO (Saudi Arabian Oil Company)