France criticized for Russian aircraft carrier contract –

Leftist gone capitalist patsy and arms sales profiteering

What Me Worry?

! Despite increasing economic sanctions on Russia, France is continuing to build two aircraft carriers for Russia.

The first Mistral-class carrier, named the Vladivostok, will be delivered in October as planned, French President Francois Hollande said this week, despite international pressure.

“I have expressed some concerns, and I do not think I am alone in this, about continuing significant … defense deals with Russia at a time when they have violated basic international law and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of their neighbors. So President Hollande understands my position,” U.S. president Barack Obama said in June.

The carrier is under construction at the STX Le Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The European Union is preparing to tighten sanctions against Russia in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. The $1.6 billion contract to build the carriers has therefore drawn widespread criticism.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said it was “unthinkable” that his country would proceed with an agreement under current circumstances. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt have been similarly critical.

“I think we should have had an arms embargo quite some time ago. I do not think that is necessarily the answer. But of course to deliver arms to Russia in this situation is somewhat difficult to defend, to put it mildly,” Bildt said Tuesday at a European Union meeting in Brussels.

The sale of the aircraft carriers is an example of the difficulties Europe faces in attempting to influence Russia by economic sanction.

What is propelling the resolution of the contract is money, said Pierre Tran, Paris correspondent of U.S. magazine Defense News.

“France has severe budget pressure. Domestic budget pressure. So to keep a strong defense industry, France needs to sell weapons abroad, (to) the world market. On the one hand, there is a contractual obligation to Russia, which is important in terms of keeping a place in the arms market, the world arms market. There is also, of course, a political decision on how to maintain relations with friends, allies and partners, allies like Poland, like Britain, like the U.S.” Tran said.

via France criticized for Russian aircraft carrier contract –

The jihadists of the “Caliphate” attack Tilkif, rejected by Kurdish Peshmerga – Fides News Agency

Yesterday evening, Tuesday 22 July, the militia of the self-proclaimed Islamic Caliphate responsible for the expulsion of Christians and Shiites from the city of Mosul launched a mortar attack against the village of Tilkif in an attempt to break into one of the towns in the Nineveh Plain, where families found refuge. “The attack started from a village controlled by jihadists – says Chaldean priest Paul Thabit Mekko to Fides Agency – but was rejected by the Kurdish Peshmerga troops. In the night panic had driven dozens of Christian families to flee to Dohuk, but the Kurdish soldiers who were controlling a checkpoint told them that the situation was under control and could return home”.

The episode highlights the uncertainty that hangs over the whole area: on the one hand, the attack represents the proof that the militia of the Islamic Caliphate are not content with controlling Mosul and would like to extend control over the Nineveh Plain. “But the reaction of the Peshmerga – notes Fr. Thabit Mekko – confirms that the Kurds are determined to protect this area from jihadist militants. Here, now, there are only Kurdish military forces that ensure the safety of the population”.

via The jihadists of the “Caliphate” attack Tilkif, rejected by Kurdish Peshmerga – Fides News Agency.

Israeli forces bomb al-Wafa Hospital in Gaza City | Maan News Agency

{Let me see if I have got this right – if one person – in a crowd of 5,000 engaged in shopping or just living – shoots at a fighter bomber, the fighter bomber is justified in bombing the 5,000 innocent people? Does that sound right to you? Me neither.}

Israeli warplanes on Wednesday bombed a central Gaza City hospital after the army claimed militants opened fire from the premises, while a UN human rights chief warned that abuses by Hamas did not justify possible war crimes by Israel.

The Israeli military said in a statement that they had “targeted specific sites” in the al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital compound “in light of several occasions in which fire was opened” and “despite repeated warnings against such activities.”

via Israeli forces bomb al-Wafa Hospital in Gaza City | Maan News Agency.

Knee jerk politics not reality – Controversial ‘killing law’ leads to Bucharest stray-dog slaughter — New Internationalist

Although a rare and isolated incident, President Traian Basescu declared ‘humans are above dogs’ and the ‘killing law’ was passed. This triggered protests around the world from people concerned with animal welfare and calls for the use of more humane and efficient long-term measures to deal with the strays. An online petition, begun in March to stop the killing and addressed to Prime Minster Victor Ponta, has collected over 150,000 signatures.

via Controversial ‘killing law’ leads to Bucharest stray-dog slaughter — New Internationalist.


If you have something to say sweeter than the sounds of silence and nature, then speak. If not… grin




Driving along the dusty road I could see him In the distance,

A tall figure of a man, a long way from anywhere, who Is he.

Dressed In Jeans, a bit dirty to be expected, boots, and a dark shirt,

Warm outside In the middle of the Summer for where he stood.

What are you doing out here so far from civilization I asked him,

He did not speak, would you like a lift and maybe a drink of water.?

He hesitated and then stared, a very strange sort of man standing there,

There might possibly have been something wrong as he accepted the ride without words.

We traveled along for quite awhile, music playing as quiet rode along with me,

He was such a mysterious being but for some reason I felt trust In him.

We kept driving along the road, many sights to see, I looked…

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LOOK: The horrific devastation caused by super typhoon Rammasun in Southern China: Shanghaiist

None of this in nightly news in US about China or Vitenam –

 Power lines in Zhanjiang City, Guangdong Province were toppled. Electricity was cut off in the city after a night of heavy wind and rain.

via LOOK: The horrific devastation caused by super typhoon Rammasun in Southern China: Shanghaiist.

Israeli artists opposing the war come under attack on social networks – Diplomacy and Defense Israel News | Haaretz

Israeli artists opposing the war come under attack on social networks – Diplomacy and Defense Israel News | Haaretz.

As the guns roar in Gaza, Israeli artists who express sorrow over the deaths on both sides have been pilloried on social networks. “A disgrace to the State of Israel,” is one of the kinder phrases.

Comedienne and actress Orna Banai is just one example. She described herself as a “weirdo left-wing Arab-lover” on a news broadcast — and yes, expressed sorrow over the deaths of civilians on both sides and said she opposed the war. In turn, wags on social networks have turned the guns on her, mixing in a dose of misogyny and homophobia; Banai is a declared lesbian.

The actress discussed her views with a local Tel Aviv newspaper, whose editor provided the following headline: “Orna Banai: ‘I’m ashamed that this is my people.’”

Over the weekend, a Hebrew-language Facebook page surfaced entitled “Orna Banai and anti-Israel artists to Gaza.” The page’s custodians made sure to add a subtitle: “Over there they’ll be happy to rape you and your daughters in front of your husband, and only afterward slaughter him as well.”

During the Jerusalem Film Festival, which ended Sunday, a raft of directors called for a cease-fire in a letter; one of them was Shira Geffen. None other than Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat replied in a Facebook post, referring to the directors as “a disgrace to the State of Israel.”

When Geffen’s film was about to be screened, the director went onstage, read out the names of four Palestinian children who had been killed on a Gaza beach, and asked those who felt as she did to stand for a moment of silence.

The responses were harsh. A Hebrew-language Facebook page entitled “Contra B’tselem” — referring to the rights group — published a post reading: “Does such a woman have a place in the State of Israel?! Does such a woman deserve that Israeli army troops should protect her while she sleeps?! Our troops are fighting and she stands for a moment of silence for the enemy that fires on us without letup?!

“Shira Geffen, you are a disgrace to the country! Why don’t you stand in silence in memory of Staff Sgt. Eitan Barak, a combat soldier who fell defending the country? We are ashamed that there are people like you in the country. And it’s even sadder to me that Staff Sgt. Eitan Barak, of blessed memory, was killed as he protected a woman like you. What does your brother [the singer Aviv Geffen] sing? We’re a screwed-up generation? Well, we’re a screwed-up generation because of people like you!”

Shira Geffen’s own Facebook post about the incident reads: “The fact that expressing empathy for the four dead children draws such hateful and violent responses shows how low our society has sunk. With your permission, I would like to come out of the closet — when a child is killed, it hurts me no matter whether he is an Israeli or a Palestinian, from Ashkelon or from Gaza.”

According to Geffen, “My very ability to feel empathy for both sides does not make me anti-Israel. I can have compassion and mourn with the three mothers who lost their children in the abominable terror attack of kidnapping and murder, just the same as I can feel compassion for a child who was burned alive.”

Trouble in Spain, too

On Thursday, the singer Achinoam Nini, also known as Noa, described an anti-Israel demonstration outside one of her concerts in Spain.

“Before the concert, there was a very loud demonstration against Israel,” including cries of “Noa terrorista.” As Noa described the situation on Facebook, in Israel she is attacked by the right and pays “a very high price for being outspoken about peace and expressing left-wing political views, and in Spain, the left calls me a terrorist.”

According to Noa in her English-language post, before the concert she told the audience how once again “we are paying the price of the failure and cowardice of political and religious leaders, who have betrayed us, Arabs and Jews alike, by not doing everything in their power to avoid violence. No excuses are acceptable.

“I believe in peace, I believe in two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side, supporting each other, growing together. I believe in dialogue, it is the only way.”

On the other side of the political map, rapper Yoav Eliasi, also known as Shadow, has launched a group called Shadow’s Lions, which expresses hatred of the war’s opponents. Eliasi’s people hold right-wing demonstrations directly across from left-wing rallies.

The Lions say they’re for anyone “tired of the left wing’s hypocrisy – anyone tired of sitting at the keyboard who wants to do something beyond putting up angry posts.” Eliasi marks out targets for the group and has his picture taken with rifles.

But he, too, has a tough adversary: the left wingers who make fun of the images he posts. They bash his musical career and create Facebook pages with titles like “Shadow does cute things.” Or they report his posts as offensive and try to get them taken off Facebook. He details these problems on his own page.

In the meantime, Noa is on the defensive. “To remove any shadow of a doubt: I have no sympathy for Hamas or any of the insane jihadis of whatever kind. The relentless, deliberate bombings of civilians are intolerable, and I too am frightened for the welfare of my family and for all of Israel,” she wrote in Hebrew on Facebook.

“I’m worried about the welfare of innocent civilians wherever they may be, even in Gaza! What — are they fair game? But I say again and again that our leaders have a responsibility to make peace in any way possible, and by doing so to protect our lives.”