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Preparing For The Perfect Storm http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:20:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Russian soldiers’ captured by Ukraine clouds Putin-Poroshenko talks http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/26/russian-soldiers-captured-ukraine-clouds-putin-poroshenko-talks/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/26/russian-soldiers-captured-ukraine-clouds-putin-poroshenko-talks/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 14:20:29 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14560

(Reuters) - Ukraine released a video of captured Russian soldiers on Tuesday, sharply escalating a dispute over Moscow’s alleged backing for separatist rebels in the east of the former Soviet republic. The footage was released only...

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(Reuters) - Ukraine released a video of captured Russian soldiers on Tuesday, sharply escalating a dispute over Moscow’s alleged backing for separatist rebels in the east of the former Soviet republic.

The footage was released only hours before the two countries’ presidents were due to meet for the first time since June to discuss the conflict, which has killed more than 2,000 people and provoked Western sanctions against Russia.

In Moscow, a military source told Russian news agencies that a group of soldiers had surrendered to Ukrainian forces after crossing the border by accident.

Ukraine rejected that explanation. “This wasn’t a mistake, but a special mission they were carrying out,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing.

He also said separatists were attacking the southeastern border town of Novoazovsk “at this very minute” and Ukrainian forces had destroyed 12 armoured infantry vehicles in the area.

Twelve Ukrainian service personnel had been killed in fighting in the past 24 hours, he said, including four border guards who died when Russian Mi-24 helicopters attacked a frontier post in Luhansk region on Monday.

Russia has always denied assertions by Ukraine, backed by the United States and the European Union, that it has been sending arms and troops across the border to support the pro-Moscow separatists.

The latest dispute cast a further pall over Tuesday’s talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk, where presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine were meeting for the first time since a tense encounter in France on June 6.

“I hope the result of today’s meeting will be the achievement of an agreement that will bring peace to Ukrainian soil,” Poroshenko told reporters.

He held separate talks with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, the summit host.

Reuters has the full article

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Ebola cases appear in DR Congo; doctor given promising drug dies in Liberia http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/25/ebola-cases-appear-dr-congo-doctor-given-promising-drug-dies-liberia/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/25/ebola-cases-appear-dr-congo-doctor-given-promising-drug-dies-liberia/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:27:53 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14558

(CNN) – A Liberian doctor who contracted the Ebola virus and received a promising experimental treatment has died, the manager of the Elwa Ebola Facility in Monrovia, Liberia, told CNN on Monday. Dr. Abrahim Borbor...

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(CNN) – A Liberian doctor who contracted the Ebola virus and received a promising experimental treatment has died, the manager of the Elwa Ebola Facility in Monrovia, Liberia, told CNN on Monday.

Dr. Abrahim Borbor died Sunday evening after contracting Ebola at JFK Hospital in Monrovia.

Borbor was given ZMapp, the same drug that was given to two Americans who had Ebola.

The Democratic Republic of Congo is also reporting new Ebola cases in a northern town, sparking fears that the deadly virus is expanding far beyond West Africa.

Two people in Gera tested positive for Ebola, a government spokesman said Sunday.

The country’s health minister, Felix Kabange Numbi, confirmed the cases in a televised statement.

“We’re going to provide essential medication in all medical institutions in the area of Gera but also free health treatment for the duration of the epidemic,” Numbi said.

A lab and quarantine station have been set up in the town, which is about 750 miles from the capital of Kinshasa.

The central African nation said its test showed that the strain is different from the one that has killed nearly 1,500 people in the West African nations of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.

“This epidemic doesn’t have any link to that which is now happening in West Africa,” Numbi said.

CNN has the full article

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Ukraine accuses Russia of opening new front before leaders’ meeting http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/25/ukraine-accuses-russia-opening-new-front-leaders-meeting/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/25/ukraine-accuses-russia-opening-new-front-leaders-meeting/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:24:14 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14556

(Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia on Monday of sending soldiers across the border to open a new front in the separatist war that has devastated the east of the country and provoked the gravest...

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(Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia on Monday of sending soldiers across the border to open a new front in the separatist war that has devastated the east of the country and provoked the gravest East-West crisis since the fall of Communism.

The charge, dismissed by Moscow, dealt a blow to already slim hopes of progress at talks on Tuesday towards ending the conflict between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian troops, in which more than 2,000 people have been killed.

The Ukrainian military said a group of Russian forces, in the guise of separatist rebels, had crossed into south-east Ukraine with 10 tanks and two armored infantry vehicles. It said border guards had halted the column outside Novoazovsk, Ukraine’s most south-easterly point on the Azov Sea.

“This morning there was an attempt by the Russian military in the guise of Donbass fighters to open a new area of military confrontation in the southern Donetsk region,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists.

Donbass is the name given to the industrialized and mainly Russian-speaking east of Ukraine, where two regions — Donetsk and Luhansk — have declared independence from Ukraine in an attempt to join Russia.

With the rebels largely encircled in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine has been pressing its advance while its Western allies have waited nervously to see if Moscow will intervene to prevent the separatists being crushed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, asked about the alleged incident, said “I have not heard of this, but there is plenty of disinformation out there about our ‘incursions’.”

NATO said last week that Russian forces had been firing artillery both within Ukraine and across the border, but Moscow has consistently denied taking part in the fighting or supplying weapons to the separatists.

Reuters has the full article

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Obamacare Now Covers Gender Reassignment Surgeries http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/25/obamacare-now-covers-gender-reassignment-surgeries/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/25/obamacare-now-covers-gender-reassignment-surgeries/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:20:30 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14554

Transgender Americans seeking gender reassignment surgeries are finding relief through Obamacare, The Daily Beast reported on Monday. Federal laws banning health insurance discrimination against transgender people, combined with Obamacare’s ban on denying coverage for those with...

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Transgender Americans seeking gender reassignment surgeries are finding relief through Obamacare, The Daily Beast reported on Monday.

Federal laws banning health insurance discrimination against transgender people, combined with Obamacare’s ban on denying coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, have paved a path for transgender patients who wish to make the transition from one gender to another.

“The federal anti-discrimination regulations have yet to be written, but California insurance regulators have said that companies must treat transgender patients the same as other patients,” reports The Daily Beast. “For example, if plans cover hormones for post-menopausal women, they must also cover them for transgender women. Medicare, the program for the elderly and disabled, lifted its ban on covering sex reassignment surgery earlier this year.”

What gets covered varies from Obamacare policy to policy. But Transgender Law Center program administrator Anand Kalra says, “The law and policy are on a transgender person’s side for the first time.”

Nationally, Obamacare is more unpopular than ever. The latest Kaiser Health poll finds that an all-time low of just 37% of Americans now support President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement.

Over the next ten years, Obamacare will cost U.S. taxpayers $2.6 trillion.

This is a copy of the full article provided by the Conservatives at Breitbart

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Ukraine crisis: Russia aid convoy ‘invades Ukraine’ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/22/ukraine-crisis-russia-aid-convoy-invades-ukraine/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/22/ukraine-crisis-russia-aid-convoy-invades-ukraine/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:21:20 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14552

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has accused Russia of a “flagrant violation of international law” after Russian humanitarian aid lorries entered Ukraine without permission. More than 100 Russian lorries had entered on Friday without any...

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Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has accused Russia of a “flagrant violation of international law” after Russian humanitarian aid lorries entered Ukraine without permission.

More than 100 Russian lorries had entered on Friday without any customs clearance or Red Cross escort, he said.

The aid is destined for civilians in the east Ukraine war zone, especially the rebel-held city of Luhansk.

Russia accused Ukraine of unreasonable obstruction and sent the convoy in.

Ukraine’s security chief Valentyn Nalyvaychenko said it was a “direct invasion” but no force would be used against the convoy.

Reports suggest the lorries are being escorted by rebel fighters.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was not part of the convoy “in any way”.

Russia’s foreign ministry has warned Ukraine not to take any action against the convoy, without specifying the consequences.

In a statement, President Poroshenko said “a column of more than 100 vehicles entered Ukrainian territory without a customs inspection, without border control or International Red Cross escort, which is a flagrant violation of international law”.

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Analysis: Daniel Sandford, BBC News

The risk of the Russian aid convoy causing a further deterioration in relations with Ukraine is now very high. Because the International Committee of the Red Cross is not part of the convoy, the government in Kiev may choose not to recognise it as a humanitarian mission.

The lorries are currently being accompanied by pro-Russian gunmen. So the convoy is likely to be stopped at the front line near the besieged city of Luhansk. Or if it tries to work its way around the Ukrainian government forces, there is a risk of it being attacked – accidentally or intentionally.

The Russian foreign ministry has already sent a clear warning that if the convoy is attacked, Moscow may take action.

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Ukraine fears that the aid convoy of at least 260 lorries, which arrived at the border more than a week ago, is part of a broader Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine.

Russia denies accusations that it arms and trains the rebels in Luhansk and the neighbouring region of Donetsk, where four months of fighting have left more than 2,000 people dead and caused more than 330,000 people to flee their homes.

The rebel-held city of Luhansk has been without running water, power and phone communications for 20 days as government forces besiege it.

Condemnation

“We are saying that this is a direct invasion,” said Mr Nalyvaychenko in Kiev. “Under the cynical guise of the Red Cross, these are military vehicles.”

However, he added that Ukraine would not use any force against the convoy as it wished to avoid “provocations”.

Another, unnamed Ukrainian government official told BBC News in Kiev: “All responsibility lies with the Russian side – not with the terrorists, but specifically the Russian side, because this is their decision.”

Ukraine’s foreign ministry called on “international partners” to unite in condemning Russia’s “illegal and aggressive actions”.

Dozens of lorries have entered Ukrainian territory, moving out of the no-man’s land between the Russian and Ukrainian border posts.

Reporters at the scene saw rebel fighters in front of the convoy as it passed over the border in a rebel-held sector near the Russian town of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky.

It is normally a drive of about two hours from the lorries’ camp to the city of Luhansk.

However, it is unclear if the convoy will be able to use the motorway there because of continuing combat between rebels and government forces.

Citing “heavy shelling overnight” in Luhansk, an ICRC spokesperson in Moscow said it had concluded that it had not “received the necessary security guarantees from the fighting parties to allow us to escort the convoy at this time”.

Warning

“Our humanitarian aid convoy is starting to move towards Luhansk,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement (in Russian).

“We are warning against any attempts to sabotage this purely humanitarian mission, which was prepared a long time ago, in an atmosphere of full transparency and in co-operation with the Ukrainian side and the ICRC,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

Delays in Ukrainian clearance for the convoy had “become unbearable”, it said.

“All excuses for blocking the delivery of aid to people in the area where this humanitarian catastrophe is happening have been exhausted,” it added.

“The Russian side has decided to act. Our convoy carrying humanitarian aid is beginning to move towards Luhansk.”

Foreign journalists were allowed to look into the Russian lorries earlier and found they contained humanitarian supplies such as baby food and cereals.

In a statement on its website (in Russian), Luhansk’s official council reported on Friday that the dire situation in the city remained unchanged with no halt in the bombardment.

 

This is a copy of the full article provided by the BBC

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BILL WHITTLE: FERGUSON AND THE REAL RACE WAR http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/21/bill-whittle-ferguson-real-race-war/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/21/bill-whittle-ferguson-real-race-war/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:49:37 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14550

Since the shooting of Michael Brown by a white policeman and the ensuing riots and looting in Ferguson, MO, Americans have been told, yet again, that there is an epidemic of crime against black...

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Since the shooting of Michael Brown by a white policeman and the ensuing riots and looting in Ferguson, MO, Americans have been told, yet again, that there is an epidemic of crime against black people in this country. But is there really a race war, and if so, which side is actually waging it?

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Ukraine says may block Russian aid convoy http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/12/ukraine-says-may-block-russian-aid-convoy/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/12/ukraine-says-may-block-russian-aid-convoy/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:34:17 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14544

(Reuters) – A Russian convoy of trucks carrying tonnes of humanitarian aid left on Tuesday for eastern Ukraine, where government forces are closing in on pro-Russian rebels, but Kiev said it would not allow the...

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(Reuters) – A Russian convoy of trucks carrying tonnes of humanitarian aid left on Tuesday for eastern Ukraine, where government forces are closing in on pro-Russian rebels, but Kiev said it would not allow the vehicles to cross onto its territory.

Kiev and Western governments warned Moscow against any attempt to turn the operation into a military intervention by stealth in a region facing a humanitarian crisis after four months of warfare.

“This cargo will be reloaded onto other transport vehicles (at the border) by the Red Cross,” Ukrainian presidential aide Valery Chaly told journalists.

“We will not allow any escort by the emergencies ministry of Russia or by the military (onto Ukrainian territory). Everything will be under the control of the Ukrainian side,” he said.

Russia said it would transfer the convoy to the aegis of the International Committee of the Red Cross, but made no reference to the demand the goods be reloaded. The European Union said the aid would have to be verified.

“No political or any other objectives must be pursued,” EU humanitarian aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva told a news conference. “The content of humanitarian aid must be exactly that, humanitarian aid, and obviously cannot be taken on face value.”

Reuters has the full article

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China Steps Up Ebola Aid To Africa As Eight Chinese Nationals Quarantined Over Virus http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/12/china-steps-ebola-aid-africa-eight-chinese-nationals-quarantined-virus/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/12/china-steps-ebola-aid-africa-eight-chinese-nationals-quarantined-virus/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:10:41 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14542

The Chinese government is stepping up its international humanitarian efforts in Africa, sending almost $5 million-worth of medical supplies to the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak: Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone....

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The Chinese government is stepping up its international humanitarian efforts in Africa, sending almost $5 million-worth of medical supplies to the three countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak: Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. This as China tests another eight individuals that have shown symptoms of the deadly virus.

Chinese news outlet Xinhua reports that medical supplies arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone from China on Monday, and the aid kit included a number of indispensable hospital supplies including “personal protective gears, gloves and glasses as well as chlorine and other medicines to help fight the disease.” In addition to the medical supplies arriving in Sierra Leone, the Chinese government has promised “it would dispatch three expert teams and medical supplies to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.”

China’s international reputation for humanitarian aid is among the worst of the globe’s superpowers. As Quartz reports, the new shipment of millions of dollars in medical supplies and workers could be the beginnings of an attempt to reshape that reputation. Only 0.4% of China’s foreign aid goes directly to humanitarian causes, rather that infrastructure projects or business efforts that could serve to improve nations’ trade with China as much as it could help the nations themselves. In Africa, particularly, China’s actions have appeared self-rewarding rather than altruistic.

Here, too, the shadow of personal benefit surfaces. China is estimated to have 20,000 citizens living and working in the three countries most directly affected by Ebola, and as such as a first-hand interest in combatting the outbreak before it becomes a full-fledged epidemic. Should any of these nationals return to Chinese soil with the virus, the potential spread of such a disease in the urban communities of China could potentially result in the deaths of thousands, if not millions.

The Conservatives at Breitbart have the full article

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ISIS Buries 500 Yazidis Alive, Orders Others To Convert To Islam Or Die http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/11/isis-buries-500-yazidis-alive-orders-others-convert-islam-die/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/11/isis-buries-500-yazidis-alive-orders-others-convert-islam-die/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:26:52 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14539

Not every Yazidi resident in northern Iraq escaped before the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, captured towns in the region. The terrorist group told the people to convert to Islam or die, killed...

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Not every Yazidi resident in northern Iraq escaped before the Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS, captured towns in the region. The terrorist group told the people to convert to Islam or die, killed 500 of them, buried some alive, and took hundreds of girls as slaves.

“We have striking evidence obtained from Yazidis fleeing Sinjar and some who escaped death, and also crime scene images that show indisputably that the gangs of the Islamic State have executed at least 500 Yazidis after seizing Sinjar,” said human rights minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani. “Some of the victims, including women and children were buried alive in scattered mass graves in and around Sinjar.”

“In some of the images we have obtained there are lines of dead Yazidis who have been shot in the head while the Islamic State fighters cheer and wave their weapons over the corpses,” he said. “This is a vicious atrocity.”

The Conservatives at Breitbart have the full article

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Michael Brown shooting: Vigil for dead teen turns violent http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/11/michael-brown-shooting-vigil-dead-teen-turns-violent/ http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/2014/08/11/michael-brown-shooting-vigil-dead-teen-turns-violent/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 15:15:55 +0000 http://preparingfortheperfectstorm.com/?p=14537

FERGUSON, Mo. - A day of anger over a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen in suburban St. Louis turned to mayhem as people looted businesses, vandalized vehicles and confronted police in riot gear who tried...

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FERGUSON, Mo. - A day of anger over a fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen in suburban St. Louis turned to mayhem as people looted businesses, vandalized vehicles and confronted police in riot gear who tried to block access to parts of the city.

Additionally, Laura Hettiger, a reporter for CBS affiliate KMOV-TV, tweeted that the police chief in Ferguson claims he and the St. Louis County Police chief were shot at overnight in a Walmart parking lot.

Police told CBS affiliate KMOV-TV in St. Louis that close to 300 officers responded to the area and two officers suffered injuries throughout the night. St. Louis County Police said at least 19 different departments responded to Ferguson, arresting at least 32 people. According to police, shots were fired at a police helicopter in the area.

The tensions erupted after a candlelight vigil Sunday night for 18-year-old Michael Brown, who police said was shot multiple times Saturday after a scuffle involving the officer, Brown and another person in Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb of the city.

CBS News has the full article

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