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AIRPORT SECURITY & BAGGAGE HANDLING

 

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With countries now trying to establish if their radicalized nationals will be returning home (or have already done so) to bring the warped ideology of IS into your community (or bring bombs, murder and mayhem onto your street) – everyone is having to pay far greater attention to airport security.

 

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Added to the threat of terrorism, the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and ongoing battle to contain the disease is proving difficult to say the least for government authorities, airports & airlines worldwide.

 

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Meanwhile, criminal elements still smuggle in drugs, other illegal or restricted items in baggage arriving at and leaving airports, airfields, cruise terminals, ports, railway stations and other transport hubs.

 

WATCH OUT FOR OUR SPECIAL REPORT ON BAGGAGE HANDLING & SECURITY...

 

 

 

 

 

NEW FEATURE SOON TO BE PUBLISHED:

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

NCIS


The Story of the United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS): the federal law enforcement agency charged with conducting investigations of felony-level offenses affecting the Navy and Marine Corps – that is, crimes punishable by confinement for more than one year.  NCIS also performs investigations and operations aimed at identifying and neutralizing foreign intelligence, international terrorists, and cyber threats to the Department of the Navy.  In addition, it provides warning of threats and specialized defensive force protection support to U.S. naval forces around the world.

 

 

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A Kurdish woman fighting Islamic State militants carried out a suicide

bomb attack the other day to slow their advance on a besieged Syrian town.

Deilar Kanj Khamis, known by the nom de guerre Arin Mirkan, blew

herself up at an IS position east of Kobane, killing ten jihadists.

 

 

Defending Women’s Rights & Human Rights – Seeking Independence?

Yes – but Kurdish Women combating the so called Islamic State (I.S) are also

 

‘Fighting for their Right to Exist’

 

 

Nobody ever suggested that Coalition airstrikes on I.S would be the solution to defeating the evil plague of jihadists that are sweeping across Iraq & Syria. Most defense analysts agree that ‘boots on the ground’ has to be part of the overall strategy to succeed in wiping I.S off the face of the earth – rather than just degrading their capabilities in certain areas. The burning question of course is “Whose boots?”

 

Kurdish fighters certainly have the courage & ability to take on the murdering terrorists who crucify, behead and rape their way through cities, towns & villages – even if promises from the West to supply these allies with appropriate weapons and armor to carry out the task has been painfully (and still is) slow to materialize. Many of these fighters are women!

 

It’s good to see US airstrikes on Kobane intensify and that  Kurdish fighters from the  Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) battling Islamic State (IS) say they have recaptured a strategically important hilltop west of Kobane on Syria's border with Turkey.

 

Turkey could and should save Kobane. They have the second largest army in NATO. Turkey has only been passively monitoring the death-soaked danger unfolding on its border. The United Nations has warned of genocide on the scale of Srebenica, asking only for volunteers and their equipment to enter the city, but Turkey has refused. Kurdish leaders have called for a corridor to allow weapons and aid transport, but Turkey keeps saying no. Indeed, the only access Kobane has to the outside world is Turkey, but Turkish leaders in Ankara simply look on. Why?

 

TheGuadian newspaper in the UK recently commented that Ankara does not want Kurdish autonomy: the primary reason for their inaction. Added to that, Turkish politicians are still worried about Bashar al-Assad and his regime in Syria more than they are about IS. Turkey has ulterior motives – and they have led not just to a willful ignorance of massacre, but to a willing breakdown in the political peace process.

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was supposed to be the architect of that process, which promised a solution to a decades-old standoff on Kurdish rights with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). But just a few days ago, Erdogan said the PKK and ISIS were “the same”, and the PKK responded with harsh statements of its own, going so far as to threaten to “mobilize the guerrillas”. This isn’t helpful, obviously, but is that Turkey’s true intention with the Kurds? To prevent Kurdish independence at all costs, just because it is led by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is so closely aligned with the PKK and has had so much success actually governing across the border in Syria?

 

Ankara has asked for the creation of a Turkish controlled buffer zone, which would include Kobane and essentially end the autonomous canton system that the Kurds have been governing themselves. The international community is not interested.

 

Ankara has also suggested creating a no-fly zone to weaken Assad, even though – by forcing the PYD and the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) to join the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), two groups with very little power left on the ground that have never accepted the Kurds as an equal partner – it would essentially weaken the Kurds in Syria, making them depend on Turkey’s way of war. The coalition fighting ISIS does not seem too interested in that either.

 

 

Kurds in Turkey have taken to the streets in mass protest, condemning Erdogan’s gross passivity but acting with increasing caution, as the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan says it’s time for talks. Regardless, Turkey has even used military force against home-based Kurds in recent days. Among the Kurds in both Syria and Turkey, there is a serious concern that the peace process would collapse if Kobane falls, and that Turkish-Kurdish relations will be irreparably damaged for years to come.

 

Of course, whilst Turkish demands to the US led coalition are fired off faster than any ordnance that should be sent towards IS positions, Kurdish men & women are fighting a battle of life or death. Turkey’s total attitude towards the Kurdish people & the City of Kobane is worrying. Turkey is after all a NATO member and one would have presumed that following the reassurance from NATO’s Secretary General that Turkey would be immediately supported in the event of an IS attack on their sovereign territory – you would have thought that Erdogan would have supported his fellow NATO members & allies.

 

Yet, time after time, although the Turkish Government have voted for ‘use of force’ against IS, there is indecision & delay in respect to NATO members being able to use Turkish bases for attacks on IS. The massive Turkish army sit on a hill above Kobane watching events unfold like curious spectators at a major road accident. The Turks, I believe, hoping that IS will solve their Kurdish problems for them.

 

 

 

But that’s not good enough. Turkey is NATO: members should back each other up without question. If Turkey is not willing to do this, perhaps they should leave NATO and the privilege of being part of a global force for peace be handed to the Kurds who are already proving that they are not frightened of assisting the US, UK, Australia, Arab States and others defeat these barbaric IS terrorists. In fact a Kurdish NATO membership might not be a bad idea regardless of the actions (or should I say inactions) of Turkey in future years. The IS problem is not going to go away fast.

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Feature

 

Millions of mines are scattered throughout our fragile blue planet. One British company is attracting worldwide interest from governments, the military, law enforcement & NGO’s with their small but powerful and cost effective solutions…

 

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VOTE VOTE VOTE

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There was a time in the United Kingdom when the Prime Minister of the day (regardless of political party) would occasionally have to make the sole decision on the deployment of armed forces: in response to an act of war, genocide, terrorism or for that matter – act immediately on anything that might be seen as a direct threat to the country.

 

Britain had a name for standing up against overseas tyranny – fascism, evil, abuse of human rights: protecting the innocent regardless of location, nationality, gender, religion or creed. The ‘Brits’ were not slow to respond to injustice; support allies and take appropriate measures.

 

Having made a clear decision – parliament would then (within hours) be informed of actions taken. After all, Prime Ministers are elected by the people and the public presume he or she will always have the nation’s best interests & values at heart. Sometimes those choices are very difficult: often unavoidable and usually time is of the essence.

 

Today, that’s all changed!

 

 

MI6 man appointed head of UK secret service

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A career MI6 officer has been appointed as the new head of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service.

Alex Younger will succeed Sir John Sawers in the post. Mr Younger has for the last two years been overseeing MI6's intelligence operations worldwide.

He will take on the role fictionalized in Ian Fleming's James Bond books and film series through the character M, most recently played by Judi Dench in Skyfall.

Mr Younger said: "I am delighted and honored to become chief of SIS and lead one of the best intelligence agencies in the world."

Mr Younger's appointment comes after a turbulent period for Britain's intelligence services following disclosures made by former American National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

Mr Snowden's revelations triggered an unprecedented hearing of the Intelligence and Security Committee, at which the heads of MI6, the Security Service MI5 and listening post GCHQ appeared together in public for the first time.

Snowden supporters believe the release of top-secret documents exposed an abuse of powers among the security and intelligence services in the UK and US, while his detractors claim his actions aided terrorists.

Mr Younger, who is married with children, has had overseas postings in Europe and the Middle East and was the senior SIS officer in Afghanistan.

The former army officer has filled a range of operational roles in London, including leading the Service's counter terrorism work in the run up to the Olympic Games.

Sir John said: "I'm delighted that my colleague and friend is taking over from me.

"He has played a vital part alongside me in modernizing SIS and ensuring it is in the best possible shape."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebola – coming to an airport near you?

image005.jpgA few weeks ago, Defense Intelligence published an initial report on the Ebola outbreak. There were a few worrying cases then and reaction from some governments, health organizations and NGO’s had been rather slow. The warnings had been given but few were paying too much attention. You can read that report by ‘clicking’ the illustration above.

Today, around 5 cases per hour are being diagnosed, thousands have contracted the disease – around half of those have already died.

There are not enough hospitals, medical centers, isolation units, doctors, nurses or support staff to cope with this devastating virus.

Thankfully, the international community has finally got their act together and military personnel from various countries have been deployed to build new reception centers in the worst affected areas. Volunteer medical staff now being hastily trained. Considerable funds have been promised to combat this ever growing global threat. There’s not much time left if they are going to get Ebola under control.

Yet even in the United States, an airline passenger from Liberia goes to hospital feeling unwell, tells staff he has just come from an Ebola area and is sent home with antibiotics!

Three days later, Ebola is confirmed and authorities scramble to trace over 100 people he might have had contact with. Where next? Who is next? Maybe it’s time to simply ban normal civilian flights from countries with Ebola to ensure total containment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Promise – One Country: Two Systems

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Thousands of young students and local residents have taken to the streets of Hong Kong in protest. Why? Because when the UK handed their old colony back to China, Hong Kong was promised that democracy would continue and that the people would be able to hold free elections (without conditions) to decide the future leaders of their beautiful home.

 

Beijing has changed the rules. Now they want to vet candidates who wish to stand for office: ban those who they do not like. That’s not democracy.

 

Now the people are calling for the current Chief Executive to resign. Maybe they will not get that but make no mistake – the world is watching.

 

As the ‘Occupy’ students protest, some now suggest that ‘anti-democracy’ groups that are starting to turn a peaceful demonstration into a violent one – have been brought in to cause chaos and give authorities the excuse to deploy troops.

 

Whatever your view, China should keep to the original, very clearly laid out, 1997 agreement. If they have forgotten what they signed – I’m sure Chris Patton, the last UK Governor of Hong Kong, can supply them with a replacement copy!

 

Thursday, Oct 3, 2013 08:09 AM PST

The Pentagon is turning Italy into a military base

Italy is becoming a launch pad for America's wars, thanks to your tax dollars

The Pentagon is turning Italy into a military base

 

 

This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.

The Pentagon has spent the last two decades plowing hundreds of millions of tax dollars into military bases in Italy, turning the country into an increasingly important center for U.S. military power. Especially since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the military has been shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany, where the overwhelming majority of U.S. forces in the region have been stationed since the end of World War II. In the process, the Pentagon has turned the Italian peninsula into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.

 

At bases in Naples, Aviano, Sicily, Pisa, and Vicenza, among others, the military has spent more than $2 billion on construction alone since the end of the Cold War — and that figure doesn’t include billions more on classified construction projects and everyday operating and personnel costs. While the number of troops in Germany has fallen from 250,000 when the Soviet Union collapsed to about 50,000 today, the roughly 13,000 U.S. troops (plus 16,000 family members) stationed in Italy match the numbers at the height of the Cold War.  That, in turn, means that the percentage of U.S. forces in Europe based in Italy has tripled since 1991 from around 5% to more than 15%.

 

READ THE FULL REPORT AT:

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/03/the_pentagon_is_turning_italy_into_a_military_base/

 

 

 

No Oil-painting Herself –

She Certainly Accumulated Fine Works of Art…

 

Now the Philippine Government has moved against Imelda Marcos and her plundered treasures.

Imelda Marcos, (born July 2, 1929) is the widow of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. In most of the world, she is remembered for her collection of more than a thousand pairs of shoes. I remember her more for the migraine I suffered each time she started to sing: an annoying habit that she attempted on far too many occasions. I met her once, in 1979, at Clark Air Base at a time when the ‘Yanks’ were on their way home. “I love American military uniforms” she commented. I was wearing a British one.

 

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Seated during the Clark Air Force Base turnover ceremonies are from left to right, the then Foreign Minister of the Philippines, Carlos P. Romulo; Ambassador Richard W. Murphy; Philippine President and Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General David C. Jones.

 

Imelda began her career as a local singer and would-be model in Manila before meeting her husband Ferdinand, who would later be elected President. After the declaration of martial law in 1972, Imelda began holding positions in the national government that allowed her to travel the world and accumulate artwork and real estate. The couple consolidated their power allowing them to transport funds from the Philippine treasury into offshore accounts, such as banks in Switzerland.

 

President Marcos was accused of the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr.. This would lead to the People Power Revolution which forced the Marcoses out of office and into exile in Hawaii. After the death of Ferdinand, Imelda and her family were allowed to go home by Corazon Aquino. Her return to the Philippines allowed her to a certain extent to restore her own mini political dynasty. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 1995 for Leyte and again in 2010 for Ilocos Norte. Not quite sure how she managed that.

 

I’ve always thought of poor old President Marcos as a good soldier who fell into a honey trap of corruption instigated by a greedy wife. You don’t accumulate that many shoes unless you are greedy! Surprisingly, despite facing numerous cases involving alleged corruption, she was not imprisoned and continued to wield some influence. She has therefore been considered ‘squeaky clean?’. Her ability to survive upheavals in her life has led her to be called the "Steel Butterfly".

 

Well, a few days ago, the butterfly had her wings clipped. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) dispatched several teams on to recover valuable old master paintings under the possession of former First Lady Imelda Marcos and her family.

 

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In the San Juan house alone, authorities were able to recover eight large paintings. The search at Marcos’ office at the House of Representatives yielded further reproductions.

 

NBI Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division (AOTCD) chief and head agent Rommel Vallejo said an inventory is still ongoing,

“Of the four known addresses that we visited, it was only in the Marcos house in San Juan where we were able to recover eight paintings. But as of now, they are still doing the inventory,” he said.

 

The Sandiganbayan released on Monday a writ of attachment ordering the seizure of the masterpieces, ranging from Picasso’s Femme Couchee VI to Gaugin’s Still Life.

"…You are hereby ordered to seize, secure and attach the paintings described…and such other paintings listed in (the) judicial affidavit of dated 18 August 2014 of Comm. Ma. Ngina Teresa Chan-Gonzaga," the court said in a writ of attachment.

 

The eight works are:

Madonna and Child by Michelangelo Bounarroti

Femme Couchee VI (Reclining Woman VI) by Pablo Picasso

Portrait of the Marqueza de Sta. Cruz by Francisco de Goya

Still Life with Idol by Paul Gaugin

LaBaignade Au Grand Temps by Pierre Bonnard

Vase of Chrysanthemums by Bernard Buffet

Jardin de Kew pres de la Serre 1892 by Camille Pisarro

L'Aube by Joan Miro

 

It was the NBI-Reaction Arrest and Interdiction Division (RAID) that helped the Sandiganbayan sheriff raid the San Juan residence, where Marcos lawyers were already waiting.

 

The government officials were told that a motion will be filed. They were eventually allowed to seize the paintings.

“The information I got is that the paintings that were recovered from the house were big paintings,” Vallejo said.

Two teams from the AOCTD, meanwhile, separately went to the 34 Penthouse Plaza Condominium, Ayala Avenue, Makati City and at the Penthouse, One McKinley Place, 3rdAvenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Another team went to Batac, Ilocos Norte, but there is no update yet on the operation.

 

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Lots of wealth in Imelda’s apartment but where did the money come from?

 

Whichever way you look at it, First Lady’s wages or on the salary of a Representative of the House – it’s hard to see how this woman could have afforded to purchase these priceless works of art. Even old Marcos with his family wealth and his Presidential cheque each month would have been hard pushed to cover the bills. The only conclusion you can come to is that State authorities are correct in claiming that a selection of paintings were illicitly obtained using public funds during the Marcos era, which lasted from 1965 to his overthrow in 1986. Ferdinand Marcos died in exile three years later.

 

DIIA understands Imelda will be appealing the seizure.

 

The family and associates are estimated to have amassed more than $10bn (£6.1bn) in property, jewellery, cash and other assets during their time in power. Mrs Marcos, who was elected to the Philippine congress in 2010, has consistently denied embezzlement.

 

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US$10 billion could have solved many of the problems the Philippines face.

 

US$10 billion’s one hell of lot of much needed housing that could have been built for people who are in desperate need. Thankfully, the current Philippine President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III has come down heavily on corruption in his country and has been very successful in doing so. Since “Noynoy” came to power, the country’s showing genuine improvement in respect to investment, business success and the raising of living standards of old & young – the average Filipino in the street. One hopes that his example, strategy to improve the lives of all Filipinos becomes the guideline for future politicians in the country. Pity the constitution was changed so that he can only run the country for a few years. This time, the country seems to have found the right guy for the job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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