Sunday, February 26, 2012

Iran - Who is Threatening Whom ?

February 29 UPDATE further down !

Iran is surrounded by 46 well-equipped U.S. bases (yellow stars in above map). Everybody keeping an eye on the present conflict should have noticed the military constellation of Iran's enemies. The Islamic Republic being forced to face that dangerous constellation can by no means be expected to wait for U.S. politics to change or simply comply with any foreign demands. Strengthening its own military capabilities can therefore be seen as Iran's only way out.

By the way, they really don't have a single nuclear bomb up to now, even if 7 out of 10 U.S. citizens are inclined to believe in the existence of Iranian nukes (quotation from Al-Jazeera, English service).

The Arabic Peninsula and Central Asia are entirely
under the influence of the EMPIRE. Well, not entirely ......

Added on February 29, 2012:

صفقة أسلحة إسرائيلية لأذربيجان بمليار و 600 مليون دولار
Israeli weapons deal with Azerbaijan comprising 1.6 billion [U.S.] Dollar

كشف مسؤولون أمنيون إسرائيليون النقاب الأحد 26 فبراير عن عقد صفقة تبيع الصناعات الجوية الإسرائيلية بموجبها لدولة أذربيجان وسائل قتالية بقيمة مليار وستمائة مليون دولار
On Sunday, February 26, persons in charge of Israeli security laid open a contract of transaction for Israel's aircraft industry regarding the selling to Azerbaijan of equipment for combat equalling a value of 1.6 billion Dollar.

[Egyptian source:]

Editor's remark: Azerbaijan can be found on the above map at the Northern border of Iran. - On June 8, 2007, at the G-8 summit in Heiligendamm, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a proposal to use their Qabala radar station in Azerbaijan as a part of the U.S.-developed missile defense system. The proposal was supported by the Azerbaijani leadership, which considered it as a concrete contribution to stability and security in the region. Relations between Russia and Azerbaijan are generally considered as balanced. Now that Israel is selling its own missiles to Azerbaijan, Russia's position in further talks with the West might be weakened, thus giving Putin further proof that he cannot trust the West.

Who Needs Iranian Oil ?

Two days ago, People's Network, Beijing, published latest statistics related to national import of Iranian oil. According to data from the first six months of 2011, PR China, Japan and India are Iran's most important clients with daily oil imports of 543.000, 341.000 and 328.000 barrel. They are follwed by South Korea that imported Iranian oil at a daily rate of 244.000 barrel. Next come Italy, Turkey and Spain, two countries of the European Community (Italy 183.000 barrel and Spain 137.000 barrel) and Turkey (182.000 barrel) as an important member of the Western military alliance. South Africa (98.000 barrel) is following at almost the same level, while France and Sri Lanka are closing the sequence of nations importing higher amounts of oil from Iran. By the way, India's ranking should be considered under the aspect of additional gas imports from Iran by means of a pipeline passing through Pakistan.

As to the proportion of Iranian oil in the frame of national overall oil imports, Sri Lanka is fully dependent on Iranian oil (100%) while Turkey is dependent on a very large extent (51%). Next come Greece (14%), Italy (13%) and Spain (13%). India, China Japan and South Korea are providing only some 10% of their huge demand for crude oil from the Islamic Republic.

Now let's consider Greece, Italy and Spain as the weakest partners of the European Community whose national economy is either on the brink of collapse (Greece) or not too much better off (Italy and Spain). Their dependence on Iranian oil (13-14%) makes them appear as even more shaky candidates in the Euro zone since oil prices reached another maximum, even though their economic influence might be overestimated.

As to Turkey's dependence (51%) on Iranian oil, this is just one of the basic problems the Western alliance against Iran will have to solve, if it decides to rely on Turkey as an important partner in the region when it comes to military action against Iran.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Iran and Syria - Stepping Up the Conflict

Latest Update on February 24

Above: Iranian warship passing the Suez canal on a mission of
"peace and friendship" (Iranian admiral / photo from archives).

Iran has sent two warships to the Mediterranean that are now docking in Tartus, Syria. Background for the unusual mission is a treaty on naval cooperation with Syria which was signed the year before.

The Obama administration in Washington is on the alert as Israel already announced its intention to launch a pre-emptive strike at Iran. Tensions between Iran and Israel have culminated after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist and recently reported attacks against Israeli diplomats in India, Thailand and Georgia. U.S. President Obama's security adviser Tom Donolan is in Jerusalem to discuss latest developments with Israeli government members. He is expected to insist on Israel to refrain from any pre-emptive military action.

Below: Deadly clashes in the center of Damascus, "near the presidential palace and in streets where there are ministries" (CNN reporter).

A conflict of interest between different international forces is now emerging while the Syrian government is increasing military pressure on its citizens. At the same time, the Assad regime is threatening Britain and France with a cutting off from Syrian oil exports. Competitors like China might already be waiting for their chance.

Additional Facts and Evaluation:

While international sources are speaking of 5.000 civilians having perished in Syrian uprisings, Syrian opposition groups counted about 8.500 victims.

On February 24 we learnt that former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was accepted as a mediator between the struggling parties in Syria after earlier success in that role in Zimbabwe. This development has been welcomed by, both, Russia and China who are steadily pushing for talks instead of military action by international forces.

As to the recent killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist, Tehran is considering Israel rather than the U.S. being behind the plot because Israeli agents are known to have used U.S. identities in similar actions before, probably without knowledge of allied U.S. agencies. According to some sources this point has already troubled Israeli-U.S. relations in the past under the administration of Bush junior.

When it comes to recent attacks on Israeli diplomats, Tehran is denying any involvement, saying instead that Israeli Mossad has staged these attacks in order to increase tensions. As Iranian sources pointed out, there have been almost no remarkable Israeli casualties (India) or car bombs have been discovered before they exploded (Georgia). Professional attacks would have looked otherwise.

Comment by Ulysses: I would like to mention that Israeli diplomats are usually well shielded from possible attack by a high security level. Having experienced the bunker-like structure of Israel's embassy in Bonn, Germany, and security guards in front of the building awaiting embassy staff every morning, I would rule out any professional attack staged by a third party because of the high risk of failure being involved.

National Consequences of Sanctions Against Iran:


Pakistan is defying U.S. demands to close the gas pipeline passing through their country and connecting Iran with India. As Iranian crude oil exports are already reduced due to sanctions inflicted on Iran, countries like Sri Lanka are now suffering from extremely high prices for oil products (picture below). Sri Lanka's only oil refinery in Colombo, a 45-year-old installation, is known to be best working with Iranian crude oil.
[Source: Al-Jazeera on February 2012]

Above: Development of prices for oil products in Sri Lanka after sanctions against Iran took effect.


The Iranian moves to halt oil sales to Europe makes Indonesian government reconsider its state budget (APBN) as the oil price exceeds its previous assumption by + 10%. The Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs also expects to curb the inflation caused by the recent situation.
[Source: Republika, Jakarta, on February 21, 2012]


India Drops the Dollar and Pays for Iranian Oil in Gold

Media reports suggest that India has agreed to pay the price of its crude oil imports from Iran in gold, which makes it the first country to drop the US dollar for purchasing the Iranian oil.
According to a "Times of India" article, India has decided to explore payment options for oil imports from Tehran and will only abide by U.N. sanctions and not those imposed by any other bloc of countries.
India, which is highly dependent on imports to meet its crude oil consumption needs, is Iran's second-largest oil customer after China and purchases around $12 billion worth of Iranian crude every year, about 12 percent of its consumption.
India and China take about one million barrels per day (bpd), or 40 percent of Iran's total exports of 2.5 million bpd — and both India and China have huge reserves of gold.

[Source: MetalMiner - largest metals-related U.S. media site on February 4, 2012]


Below: Al-Jazeera evening news on February 19.

A summary of developing news on February 20 can be found in an extensive news report from People's Network, Beijing, published on February 21. Here is a shortcut of that report including the most important facts:

America urges Israel to delay the use of force against Iran.
Some member states of the European Community already stopped their import of Iranian oil.

Thomas Donolan, security advisor of the U.S. president, is just visiting Israel for talks with Israel's prime minister Netanyahu and defence minister Barak on
February 20. Israel's media are reporting that Donolan is urging Israel to "postpone using force against Iran".

On the same day, Herman [Nakeci], the deputy secretary general of the international agency for nuclear energy, arrived in Tehran as head of a delegation for a two days' stop. It is for the second time this month that his delegation came to Iran. On February 20 as well, a spokesman of the European Community named Belgium, Czechia and the Netherlands as such member states of the European Community that, at present, already stopped their oil imports from Iran.

UN IAEA inspectors return on February 22 after their fruitless visit to Iran where they had been denied access to a nuclear facility south of Tehran.

Headlines of Al-Arabiya on February 23:

الدبلوماسية الإيرانية تنتكس في الغرب الإفريقي
عقب تورط طهران في تسليح متمردين بجنوب السنغال
Iranian diplomacy returning to West Africa.
Tehran again engaging in the arming of rebels in Southern Sahel.


Other Subjects - Featured Article of the Day:

Al-Qaeda Rule in Southern Yemen

Saturday, February 18, 2012

China - Central Bank Reducing Bank Deposits

Special Topics of the Central Bank's Currency Policy:

The People's Central Bank of China decided to adjust bank deposits of its financial system. Starting on February 24, 2012, there is going to happen a reduction of the Renminbi [Yuan] deposit rate by 0.5 percent points.

The planned reduction of the deposit rate should benefit stock market investors.

存准率下调 不说明楼市调控放松
Decrease of deposit rate [should not necessarily be understood as] a regulation to get the slackening real estate market under control.

Editor's Note: 楼市 = 房地产行业
Source of News: People's Network, Beijing, on February 18, 2012.

Year of Water Dragon:
See You Later Alligator !

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bahrain - U.S. Between the Fronts

New uprisings in Bahrain on the anniversary of a bloody crackdown on protesters when some 30 Bahrainies were killed in February / March 2011.

U.S. say being committed to human rights and are trying to influence the Sunni-dominated royal government which can refer to a traditional basis of dominance over the Shia-majority of Bahrain's people since the 18th century.

After the U.S. signed a defence agreement with Bahrain in 1991 at the end of the Gulf war, the country became headquarters of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet in 1995 and was added to the list of major non-Nato allies in 2002. The U.S. and Bahrain government are since related to each other by extensive arms deals.

The following video is demonstrating U.S State Department's position in the conflict of Bahrain:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

China - New Strongman Meeting Obama

Yesterday, PR China's Vice-President Xi JinPing arrived in Washington where he is expected to meet with President Obama. As Xi is considered to become the new strongman of China in a near future, it is worth to leave some notes on that personality.

Below: Presentation of Xi JinPing on the occasion of the
17th Congress of the Communist Party's Representatives.

Xi was born in June 1953 in a rural area of China's Shaanxi Province. In January 1974 he became a member of the Communist Party and a student of Marxist theory at Qing Hua University's institute of sociology where he graduated as a specialist of "ideological political education" and finished his studies with a doctor's degree in law. Nowadays, Xi is considered as a rather moderate politician by Chinese standards.

The full text of an interview on Chinese-U.S. relations granted to the Washington Post is provided on two screenshots I registered from the original website of semi-official China Daily which I found heavily contaminated with malware.

UPDATE on February 14:
U.S. President Obama and Vice-President Biden meeting with Xi JinPing. In the following talks, Obama once more stated the U.S. position towards China's veto on the Syria draft resolution in United Nations' Security Council.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Antarctica - Geological Discovery of the Century ?

Ice-buried Lake Vostok now open to research.
After 20 million years: Access to pre-human life ?

Excerpts from today's publication of Daily Mail (February 9, 2012, published by Associated Newspapers Ltd, London):

After more than two decades of drilling in Antarctica, Russian scientists have confirmed that they reached the surface of a gigantic freshwater lake hidden under miles of ice for some 20 million years. The scientists returned 40 litres of water to the surface - water isolated from earthly life forms since before Man existed. The scientists will later remove the frozen sample for analysis in December when the next Antarctic summer comes. They have now left the site.

The scientists rebuffed claims that their drilling could have contaminated the lake, a body of water which has been in isolation for 20 million years. The Russian researchers have insisted the bore would only slightly touch the lake's surface and that a surge in pressure will send the water rushing up the shaft where it will freeze, immediately sealing out the toxic chemicals used in the process.

'It's like exploring another planet, except this one is ours,' said Columbia University glaciologist Robin Bell.

Valery Lukin, the head of Russia's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI), which is in charge of the mission, said in Wednesday's statement that his team reached the lake's surface on Sunday. Lukin has previously compared the Lake Vostok effort to the moon race that the Soviet Union lost to the United States, telling the Russian media he was proud that Russia will be the first this time. Although far from being the world's deepest lake, the severe weather of Antarctica and the location's remoteness made the project challenging.

'There is no other place on Earth that has been in isolation for more than 20 million years,' said Lev Savatyugin, a researcher with the AARI. 'It's a meeting with the unknown.' Savatyugin said scientists hope to find primeval bacteria that could expand the human knowledge of the origins of life. 'We need to see what we have here before we send missions to ice-crusted moons, like Jupiter's moon Europa,' he said.

Lake Vostok is 160 miles long and 30 miles across at its widest point, similar in area to Lake Ontario. It lies about 2.4 miles beneath the surface and is the largest in a web of nearly 400 known subglacial lakes in Antarctica. The lake is warmed underneath by geothermal energy.

The drilling in the area began in 1989 and dragged on slowly due to funding shortages, equipment breakdowns, environmental concerns and severe cold.

While temperatures on the Vostok Station on the surface above have registered the coldest ever recorded on Earth, reaching minus 89 degrees Celsius (minus 128 degrees Fahrenheit), the water in the lake is warmed by the giant pressure of the ice crust and geothermal energy underneath.

[ Comment by Ulysses: I think it's the giant pressure that keeps water liquid at temperatures below 0 °C. The pressure doesn't keep it "warm". Even though they registered a geothermal energy source at the bottom of Lake Vostok, its overall temperature should not be much higher than that of the neighbouring ice cap. The picture below is showing the phase diagram of water.]

The Russian team reached the lake just before they had to leave at the end of the Antarctic summer season.

Scientists believe that microbial life may exist in the dark depths of the lake despite its high pressure and constant cold - conditions similar to those expected to be found under the ice crust on Mars, Jupiter's moon Europa and Saturn's moon Enceladus.

'In the simplest sense, it can transform the way we think about life,' NASA's chief scientist Waleed Abdalati told the AP by email.

Scientists in other nations hope to follow up this discovery with similar projects. American and British teams are drilling to reach their own subglacial Antarctic lakes, but Bell said those lakes are smaller and younger than Vostok, which is the big scientific prize. Some scientists hope that studies of Lake Vostok and other subglacial lakes will advance knowledge of Earth's own climate and help predict its changes.

"It is an important milestone that has been completed and a major achievement for the Russians because they've been working on this for years," Professor Martin Siegert, a leading scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, which is trying to reach another Antarctic subglacial lake, Lake Ellsworth.

"The Russian team share our mission to understand subglacial lake environments and we look forward to developing collaborations with their scientists and also those from the U.S. and other nations, as we all embark on a quest to comprehend these pristine, extreme environments," he said in an email.

In the future, Russian researchers plan to explore the lake using an underwater robot equipped with video cameras that would collect water samples and sediments from the bottom of the lake, a project still awaiting the approval of the Antarctic Treaty organization.

The prospect of lakes hidden under Antarctic ice was first put forward by Russian scientist and anarchist revolutionary, Prince Pyotr Kropotkin at the end of the 19th century. Russian geographer Andrei Kapitsa pointed at the likely location of the lake and named it following Soviet Antarctic missions in the 1950s and 1960s, but it wasn't until 1994 that its existence was proven by Russian and British scientists.

Earlier this week state-run news agency in Russia claimed that an extraordinary cache of Hitler's archives may be buried in a secret Nazi ice bunker near the spot where yesterday's breakthrough was made. ‘It is thought that towards the end of the Second World War, the Nazis moved to the South Pole and started constructing a base at Lake Vostok,’ claimed RIA Novosti, the Russian state news agency. It cited Admiral Karl Doenitz in 1943 saying ‘Germany's submarine fleet is proud that it created an unassailable fortress for the Fuehrer on the other end of the world’, in Antarctica.

According to German naval archives, months after the Nazis surrendered to the Allies in April 1945, a U-530 submarine arrived at the South Pole from the Port of Kiel. The crew are rumoured to have constructed a still undiscovered ice cave ‘and supposedly stored several boxes of relics from the Third Reich, including Hitler's secret files’. A later claim was that a U-977 submarine delivered remains of Hitler and Eva Braun to Antarctica in the hope they could be cloned from their DNA. The submariners then went to Argentina to surrender, it was claimed.

[ Comment by Ulysses: As to all these stories about the Third Reich and its attempt to explore the south pole region, there seems to be some truth in it. It is true that Germany undertook many efforts to explore Antarctica since 1873 when Dallmann discovered the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Islands on behalf of the newly founded German Society of Polar Research. Regarding the historic development of German polar research during the following decades, it seems to be most probable that an assumed "Antarctic Base 211" was really established in the 1940s. As to the mysterious story of both German submarines, U-530 and U-977, that surrendered to Argentine in late 1945, there are still many open questions related to U-530 which was under the command of Otto Wermuth at that time. In his interrogation by U.S. intelligence officers he kept silent to all questions regarding his original orders and the routes he followed almost two months before reaching Argentine. After having dumped his log and other secret books he had surrendered in Mar del Plata without the slightest treacherous evidence left on board. A polar mission could therefore not be excluded. As to U-977 that left Howaldt's Yard in Hamburg on March 31, 1945, after overhaul and fitting of schnorchel, things are quite different as has been documented in another U.S. intelligence report. It could be assumed that U-977 was destined for providing the escape of high-ranking Nazis to South-America. This could be supported by a story my father told me years ago. During most of World War II he was working at Howaldt's submarine construction facility in Hamburg. It was in early 1945 and when they decided to give up the construction of new submarines that he was mobilized and sent to a military facility in Northern Germany. Having arrived at his destination, there was a new order making him return to Hamburg, as there were still some U-boats to be completed or overhauled. According to my father, these submarines were usually referred to as "escape submarines for the big shots" by the Howaldt community. U-977 must have been one of those vessels. While facing all those hair-raising stories published about Nazi presence in Antarctica in 1945 and even later, it would be wise to remember that the end of the Third Reich was in many aspects less spectacular than human imagination and wishful thinking might suggest. ]

Now back to the Daily Mail article on Lake Vostok:

Microbiologists say that the lake could offer a glimpse of unique life forms. The project has been closely watched by both NASA and the Russian Space Agency. One hope is that it will give a glimpse of conditions on Jupiter's moon Europa where water is also believed to exist under a thick ice cover.

‘The discovery of microorganisms in Lake Vostok may mean that, perhaps, the first meeting with extraterrestrial life could happen on Europa,’ said Dr Vladimir Kotlyakov, Director of the Geography Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Specialists at the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute will now test a sample of water that has been sucked from the lake, and frozen.

Last year, the expedition stopped 10 to 50 metres short of the lake after the weather closed in and the scientists were forced to abandon the expedition.

[Comment by Ulysses: Before reaching Lake Vostok in the actual drilling period, researchers already provided ice samples from the neighbouring ice cap for microbiological research. From these samples some kind of microorganisms could be extracted which nourishes hope to find some kind of life even in Lake Vostok itself. Related images can be found on another blogspot of mine.]

Academics say they have found ‘the only giant super-clean water system on the planet’. They forecast the extraordinary 5,400 cubic kilometres of pristine water will be ‘twice cleaner than double-distilled water’, and any life will have developed in total isolation.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Background - China's Veto on Syria Draft Resolution

The following article I found in today's edition of People's Network, Beijing. Here is my translation of the essential points:


The director of China's Institute for the Research of International Issues, Qu Xing, was guest in the "Powerful Nation Forum", right after the Security Council's veto of a draft resolution on the Syria item, awaiting this to have a bearing on the topic of conversation in an online exchange [of opinion] with friends of the web. Qu Xing made clear that, while the United Nations Security Council voted for the draft resolution on the Syria item, China cast a negative vote not necessarily in order to protect or to oppose anybody.

All that is needed would be the realization of an election by the people. As to China, it would respect an election of that country's people. It's not likely there would be any difficulty. China's international practice after the end of the Cold War as well as China's international practice after last year's unrest in Western Asia and North Africa have already proven that [position] many times.


Though, during so many days full of discussion, the West has already urged Bashir [Assad] to hand over power before a prefixed deadline in a wiping out style using a resolution's direct wording. But then they retained "firmly support" out of the Arab League's frame plan [as far as that] frame plan really includes a definite demand for Bashir's stepping down from power. In fact, that's why the West did not reach a concession in the essential question. If the Security Council passed a resolution, demanding whatever country's [strongman] to step down from power, the Security Council's deadline being surpassed, this would as well mean insufficient compliance with what the United Nations Charter conjointly provided. And this would neither comply with the basic norms of international relationship. Therefore, facing such violation of the basic principles of the United Nations Charter invading the contents of a Security Council's resolution, China can by no means grant its approval.


Second: Actual diplomatic efforts towards Syria are underway. On February 7, the foreign minister of Russia is going to pay a direct visit to Syria and will meet with President Bashir [Assad]. He will give impetus to the political process in which he is concentrating all of his efforts. These political efforts should be granted some [developing] space. If a resolution was being passed during that time, that would actually close the time gate for Russia continuously pushing forward [its] diplomatic efforts.

Third: The crucial point of the draft resolution's fixed content is a one-sided use of pressure between two parties. At the same time there is no balanced claim that each side should stop violent clashes which would be the substance to open a political process. ...

Above: Director Qu Xing at the "Powerful Nation Forum"

Another article from the same day (People's Network on February 6) is giving a summary of the Chinese position in the Syrian question in only a few words:


What kind of action is truly responsible with regard to the Syrian people ?
(International Forum)


It only needs 1 percent of hope for peace for feeling obliged to invest 100 percent of effort. The international community wants to give peace even more chances. Such is responsible action, most appropriate towards the people of Syria.

باراك أوباما بشأن الايران

قال الرئيس الامريكي باراك أوباما بشأن الايران في استجواب
أنـبيـسي: ليس درّب عسكري من اسرائيل او امريكي - تترجّى
امريكي تسوية دبلوماسية

اسرائيل "ليست مزمع" على الهجوم ضد الايران و أوباما يجمّد
الحسابات الايرانية في الولايات المتحدة الامريكية

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Syria - Day of UN Resolution

Latest UPDATE further down !

ناشطون سوريون: قصف مدفعي في اقتحام مدينتي الزبداني و مضايا بريف دمشق خلال الليل
According to Syrian activists [there is] artillery shooting in a [violent] urban attack and which was advancing to the outskirts of Damascus during the night.

Poster held in the above picture:
مظاهرة نعرة لي الخالدية
"A demonstration of chauvinism for eternity."

[Source: Al-Jazeera, Arabic TV, February 4]

According to PR China's "Eastern Midday News" 200 have been killed during the cannonade of Homs.

[Source: People's Network, February 4]

الثورة الشعب تصادف الحقيقة
La révolution du peuple rencontre la réalité.
The people's revolution meeting with reality.

Graphic art by © "Ulysses" / W.W., 2012.
Original size of calligraphy: 30cm x 40cm.
Click to the image for a better resolution !

Today, UN Security Council should decide over the draft of a resolution urging Syrian president Assad to stop killing his people. That draft could be vetoed by Russia and China like another draft that already failed before.

روسيا تقترح تعديلات على مشروع القرار تنص على مطالبة المعارضة السورية بأن تنأى بنفسها عن الجماعات المسلحة
Russia has suggested modifications to the plan of a resolution which should fix the demand of the Syrian opposition that armed troups must keep away from them.

[Source: Al-Jazeera, Arabic TV, February 4]

Latest News of the Day:

As expected, China and Russia vetoed the Syria UN resolution which was based on a draft essentially provided by the Arab League and that had the backing of most of the Security Council.

[Source: Sky News Australia (, o5:57
on Feb. 5 in Australia which is still Feb. 4 in New York.]

Headline of Al-Arabiya TV, online edition:
Russia and China thwarting the Security Council's resolution directed against Assad's regime.

German Chancellor in China

German chancellor Angela Merkel received much attention on her fifth visit to China (February 2-4, 2012). Chinese media reported abundantly about her meeting with president Hu JinTao and prime minister Wen JiaBao, and there are lots of photos being taken during her visit. People's Network even provided a separate website with all kind of information.

This being a sign of high esteem for Germany as a longstanding partner in trade, it should be specially noted.

Nevertheless, actual differences between both countries could not be solved by a simple visit during the Spring Festival when every Chinese is at high spirits. As soon as it comes to sanctions against Iran and Syria and that are being supported or even incited by the Merkel government, the actual Chinese position could not be expected to change so easily because of China's economic and security demands.

As there is an opinion forum included on the Chinese Merkel site, I have marked one entry that seems to be related to a private person who possibly speaks for any other Chinese of his age, even though one might suspect that young man being a member of the Communist Youth League. Here is what he says:

"The actual Merkel visit to China serves two purposes: First, dragging China to support the Euro zone passing the European debt crisis. Second, persuading China to join the ranks of Western imperialism in punishing Iran. The first mentioned item [succeeds] without saying, the latter item is impossible to [succeed]."

Rare view: German flag at Beijing's Tian An Men square, just at the entrance to the Forbidden City and facing an idealized portrait of Mao Tse Tung.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Discovery - "Super-Earth" Possibly Habitable

Scientists at Göttingen University, Germany, and Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, U.S.A., have detected a possibly habitable planet about 22 light years away from Earth. The planet named GJ 667Cc has got 4,5 times of the Earth mass and is performing a full orbit around its sun, a class M dwarf, in 28,15 days.

This kind of "Super Earth" is receiving from its sun only 90% of the sunlight our Earth is receiving from our Sun. As much of the sunlight reaching GJ 667Cc belongs to the infrared spectum, that planet should nonetheless be able to absorb as much energy as our Earth.

There is much hope that liquid water might exist on GJ 667Cc which is a prerequisite for the existence of earthlike life. According to Dr. Guillem Anglada-Escudé, the project leader in Göttingen, it is now obvious that habitable planets could exist in more different environments than estimated before. This would have an impact on future research for further habitable planets in outer space.

[Source: "Welt der Physik" (World of Physics)]

Additional information:
The sun Gliese 667C of which its planet GJ 667 Cc is being considered belongs to a triple-star system in the constellation of Scorpius. While Gliese 667 A and G 667 B are orange dwarf stars of similar mass (75% and 65% of our Sun mass), G 667 C is much smaller (38% of our Sun mass) and as a red dwarf star much colder as well. An artistic approach of planet GJ 667 Cb and that is orbiting the G 667 C star like its "little brother" GJ 667 Cc shows the neighbouring suns G 667 A and B in the distance. Both planets, GJ 667 Cb and GJ 667 Cc are being considered as possible candidates for supporting earthlike life.