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Rocket

German missile battery receives orders from... unknown 'hackers' - report

© Reuters / Osman Orsal
Soldiers of the German armed forces Bundeswehr stand next a Patriot system in Kahramanmaras, Turkey
The German Patriot air and missile defense systems, stationed at the Turkish border with Syria, have carried out "unexplained" commands allegedly issued by unknown hackers, according to a German media report since rebutted by the government.

The US-produced missile systems, belonging to the German Bundeswehr armed forces and based on the territory of NATO ally Turkey since 2013, have been compromised, according to a report in the German Behörden Spiegel.

As a result, the systems, consisting of six launchers and two radars, reportedly carried out "unexplained" orders, the publication claimed, providing no further information on the kind of commands.

A spokesman for the Federal Department of Defense however rebutted the report on Tuesday, saying that "there is no base data" for an extremely improbable attack, Die Welt newspaper reported.

According to the magazine, there could be two weak spots in the system, which was first used by the US army over 30 years ago. The first one is the Sensor-Shooter-Interoperability (SSI), which stands for the information exchange between the missile launcher and its control system. Another weakness could be in computer chips, which are responsible for the guidance of the weapon.


Compromising military systems is not something that an amateur hacking group would have the skills to do, or would want to admit doing, believes computer security consultant and former UK-based computer hacker Robert Jonathan Schifreen. He told RT that the "unexplained" commands from the hackers mentioned in the report, while "certainly worrying," could not possibly be anything of much significance.

Wolf

The company a man keeps: Is Varoufakis an EU trojan horse?

Something stinks very bad about Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and the entire Greek mess that has been playing out since the election victory of the nominally pro-Greek Syriza Party in January. I am coming to the reluctant conclusion that far from being the champion of the hapless Greek people, Varoufakis is part of a far larger and very dirty game.

The brilliant psychologist Eric Berne, author of the seminal book Games People Play, would likely call the game of Varoufakis and the Troika, "Rapo," as in the rape of the Greek people and, ultimately of all the EU, Germany included. How do I come to this surprising conclusion?

When the left-right coalition was elected by a Greek population desperate for change from the several years of austerity, pension cuts, health and education cuts demanded by the IMF in order to insure that Greek creditors be repaid their pound of flesh in terms of state debt, I was among many who held out hope that finally a government that stood for the interests of her people was in office in Athens.

What we have witnessed since is what can only be called a clown show, one in which the laugh is on the Greek people and EU citizens as a whole. The ones laughing, as often is so, are the mega banks and Troika - ECB, IMF and EU. Behind the Troika, almost invisible, are the Greek oligarchs who have robbed the state coffers of hundreds of billions over the years, tucking it away in numbered Swiss and Lichtenstein secret bank accounts, avoiding paying a single penny tax to support their nation. And it is looking more and more as though the "leftist" economist, Varoufakis's role is that of a Trojan Horse for the destruction of the entire Eurozone by the bankers and those Greek oligarchs. Next after Greece Italy looks poised to become victim, and that will put the entire Euro in a crisis that is today unimaginable.

Comment: This is a an interesting point of view given that Yanis Varoufakis rather precipitously resigned after the Greek referendum handed the EU a resounding 'NO'. The reason offered was that the EU negotiators did not want him at the table when discussing the fall-out of the vote. Perhaps he did not want to be present to shoulder part of the blame should the EU prevail, entrapping Greece in new chains?


Bomb

Keep them afraid: Explosives stolen from French army base - terrorism not ruled out

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© Reuters/Ranu Abhelakh
Explosives have been stolen from a munitions base in the south of France. Around 200 detonators and explosives were taken from the facility in the town of Miramas. The theft comes despite an increase in security after two major terrorist attacks in 2015.

Explosives, along with 180 detonators and 40 grenades were snatched from the complex, which is around 60 kilometers northeast of Marseille. Investigators are still trying to find out the full extent of the raid and haven't ruled out that more explosives could be missing. The theft was first spotted at the 200-acre base, used as a logistics center for France's foreign operations, on Monday.

Comment: If the aim of the theft was to keep the fear up on Islamic extremism, then job well done.


Treasure Chest

Saudi Arabia to invest record $10 billion in Russia

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© Reuters
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia in partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has agreed to invest $10 billion into Russian projects. It is the largest foreign investment in Russia.

"We have reached final agreements and are announcing the creation of a partnership with the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia, under which PIF will invest $10 billion into projects on Russian territory. These funds are expected to be implemented within 4-5 years," said the head of RDIF Kirill Dmitriev, RIA Novosti reported on Tuesday.

Comment: It appears the new rulers of Saudi Arabia are seeing the winds blow in another direction.


Red Flag

UN's food program pushes for new forms of genetic engineering...all for the good of humanity, of course

The UN's World Food Program, funded by world governments, NGOs and corporations like Yum! Brands and Cargill, finds that there's just too much hunger in the world, so no one should protest a novel form of genetic engineering that involves blipping out genes which in effect can modify plant, animal and human genomes.

That's right - just like in the last five decades WFP has been around to receive billions for aid, there's a crisis of hunger and overpopulation that requires urgent action - no time for testing. This time it is genome sequence alteration in order to...feed the hungry? They know it is dangerous but they want the rest of the globe to accept their experimentation of it on the world's ecology and humanity.

People do not stop and think much about the contradictory nature of a UN relief group's open repulsion toward population and their insistence on helping people (that they don't want) - even though the countries they help tend to further devolve into destabilization, displacement, and impoverishment. But I digress...

Comment: The world is full of humanitarian, do-gooder organizations that would like nothing better than to help us all into an early grave.

The overlooked threats of gene editing


Penis Pump

Netanyahu orders EU leaders to support UN resolution against Israel - they spinelessly comply

© Reuters/Olivia Harris
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and his Israeli overseer Benjamin Netanyahu (R).
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged several European leaders to support a UN report, even though it slammed Israel's actions in Gaza, a report by the London-based Jewish Chronicle says.

The Israeli prime minister's office rang British Prime Minister David Cameron on July 3. Cameron had planned to support Israel's stance on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report, but was asked to change his stance, as Israel believed it was a considerably watered-down version of a previous report that was to be published, the newspaper reported.


Comment: Riiiight. "Asked." If this report was watered-down, that's saying something. In other words, the reality is even worse. And Bibi knows it.


One source told the newspaper: "We thought this was extraordinary, to put it mildly, but decided to do as Israel asked."


Comment: Just like they always do! What studious little lily-livered foot-stools.


The Israeli prime minister apparently phoned German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other "key allies" ahead of the vote, the Jewish Chronicle also said.

Comment: "Tell us, Oh Bibi, which way should we vote?"


Dollar

Greek debt and financial nonsense overload

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© Kelly Hensing
"Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad" goes a quote wrongly attributed to Euripides. It seems to describe the current state of affairs with regard to the unfolding Greek imbroglio. It is a Greek tragedy all right: we have the various Eurocrats—elected, unelected, and soon-to-be-unelected—stumbling about the stage spewing forth fanciful nonsense, and we have the choir of the Greek electorate loudly announcing to the world what fanciful nonsense this is by means of a referendum.

As most of you probably know, Greece is saddled with more debt than it can possibly hope to ever repay. Documents recently released by the International Monetary Fund conceded this point. A lot of this bad debt was incurred in order to pay back German and French banks for previous bad debt. The debt was bad to begin with, because it was made based on very faulty projections of Greece's potential for economic growth. The lenders behaved irresponsibly in offering the loans in the first place, and they deserve to lose their money.

However, Greece's creditors refuse to consider declaring all of this bad debt null and void—not because of anything having to do with Greece, which is small enough to be forgiven much of its bad debt without causing major damage, but because of Spain, Italy and others, which, if similarly forgiven, would blow up the finances of the entire European Union. Thus, it is rather obvious that Greece is being punished to keep other countries in line. Collective punishment of a country—in the form of extracting payments for onerous debt incurred under false pretenses—is bad enough; but collective punishment of one country to have it serve as a warning to others is beyond the pale.

Comment: It is quite obvious that Europe will not be the same as a result of the Greek referendum. The EU is profoundly undemocratic and won't take this lying down. Fortunately for Greece, and other nations who may choose to do the same, an brilliant ally awaits:

Putin, Tsipras meet to discuss outcome of Greek referendum

Let the games continue.


Sheeple

Greece crisis likely awaits other NATO nations

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One notable consequence of the Ukraine conflict and the ongoing confrontational stand-off between the West and Russia is the dramatic surge in military spending among several European countries.

However, this unprecedented militarisation of economies across Europe portends a disastrous Greek-style future of crippling debt for these same countries. Those most at risk from a future hangover of military overspend in the years ahead include the Baltic states, Poland and the Scandinavian countries.

This outcome may indeed explain why Washington and its closest NATO allies have embarked on what appears to be a reckless geopolitical confrontation with Russia. The tensions being stoked from the alleged Russian threat - mainly by Washington - are in turn leading to lucrative weapons sales for the Pentagon and its military-industrial complex.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently assured that the US-led military alliance "would not get dragged into an arms race with Russia". But that's exactly what appears to be underway, at least for the eastern European and Scandinavian members or partners of NATO.

Bulb

True government for the people: Iceland jails corrupt banksters and grows booming economy

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Banks around the world are no longer the quaint little savings-and-loan depositories of yesterday. Today, most of them are owned or co-opted by giant mega-wealthy criminal conglomerates that charge customers for everything from cash deposits to ATM fees.

One Western country finally figured out that allowing these criminal enterprises to continue operating business as usual was hurting growth and destroying its economy, so its government decided to make some serious reforms.

Instead of bailing out the big criminal banking enterprises, Iceland instead chose to try, convict and jail criminal banksters. And as a result, the country has the fastest recovering economy in all of fiscally moribund Europe.

Bad Guys

Democracy in Ukraine: Politician proposes prison sentence for use of word 'Russia'

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© Sputnik/ Alexandr Maksimenko
A Ukrainian politician proposed to ban the use of the words "Russia" and "Rus" in Ukraine to refer to the present territory of the Russian Federation.

Oh pardon, I meant that country in northern Eurasia that takes up over 17,075,400 square km (6,592,800 square miles) currently led by Vladimir Putin.

Oksana Korchinskaya, a member of the Verkhovna Rada from Ukraine's Radical Party, proposed a bill to ban the use of the words "Russia" and "Rus" in Ukraine, because, in her mind, these two words were originally used to refer to the territory of the present day Ukraine [the Kievan Rus].

Therefore, Ukraine must ban these words, since they are "the aggressive reminder to the citizens of Ukraine about a 'temporary' nature of the Ukrainian statehood," Korchinskaya argued. Politicians in Kiev think that the notorious words somehow infringe on the Ukrainian sovereignty.