Friday, February 21, 2014

Terrifying Video Demonstrates Bug-Sized Lethal Drones Being Developed By...

Swarm robots cooperate with a flying drone

US Air force STEALTH UAV armed with LASER GUN named General Atomics Aven...

Ukraine protest leader warned 'you'll all be dead'

15.26 Radoslaw Sikorski, the Polish foreign minister has been filmed by
telling a protest leader: "If you don't support this [deal] you'll
have martial law, you'll have the army. You will all be dead."

Ukrainian Politicians Given Austrian Passports, Claim - Austrian Independent

Ukraine's last Prime Minister, the current intermediary Prime Minister and the man likely to be the next Prime Minister have all allegedly been secretly given Austrian passports.

The naming of Serhiy Arbuzov, Ukraine's interim Prime Minister following the resignation of Mykola Azarov, as well as Azarov himself and Andriy Klyuyev, expected to be named as the next Prime Minister, are the latest names to be revealed in a long list of wealthy foreigners looking to find a refuge where they will not face extradition back home.

Although selling passports is frowned on within the EU, it is not technically illegal and Malta was recently in the spotlight for selling passports for 539,000 GBP (600,000 EUR).

In Austria people who invest in property or business are also eligible to receive passports. The investments are typically made at the regional level and then the local government fast tracks the application.

There is also the chance for anyone who comes into Austria with a significant amount of money of getting a residence permit, which can then later be changed to citizenship under the 'Privatierslösung'.

The applicants do not need to have any skills, but they need to have a provable income of more than €3,500 a month. That means that this money needs to be paid into a local bank or through the purchase of property.

And with Austria refusing to extradite its citizens to Russia and it's satellite states like the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, it explains why there has been a flood of applications from the region to gain Austrian citizenship...,_Claim_

-bth: Worth reading in full.  So basically former soviet bloc country politicians and businessmen can buy their way into Austria get citizenship and avoid extradition if they have enough money and pull.

Fears grow that Ukraine’s military could be called into the fray - Financial Times

...The government would normally rely on so-called Berkut special police and, if necessary, interior ministry troops to deal with domestic disturbances. Valentyn Badrak, director of the Kiev-based Centre for Army Conversion and Disarmament Studies, said the Berkut were well-trained and comparatively well-paid by Ukrainian standards, earning at least 6,000 hryvnia ($750) a month.
But experts said that despite efforts to reinforce them in recent weeks, the Berkut probably still numbered fewer than 5,000.
The interior ministry is said to have about 15,000 to 20,000 trained troops. But Chatham House’s Mr Sherr said Ukrainian officials had told him privately that as few as 700 were “fit for purpose” to deal directly with entrenched protesters.
The army could provide extra numbers, weapons and equipment. The government, however, has treated the army as much less of a priority in recent years than law enforcement, Mr Badrak said. Soldiers were also poorly paid, with even brigade commanders earning only about Hr3,500-4,000 per month – less than Berkut police.
“The core of the army does not support Yanukovich and will not execute an order” to use arms against ordinary people, Mr Badrak said. “This will be an illegal order and will mean for the army that it is being pulled into illegal action.”...

-bth: the original article is worth reading in full.  So basically $750/mo. x 20,000 worst case means $15 million per month buys the entire force.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters

Top-secret documents from the National Security Agency and its British counterpart reveal for the first time how the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom targeted WikiLeaks and other activist groups with tactics ranging from covert surveillance to prosecution.
The efforts – detailed in documents provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – included a broad campaign of international pressure aimed not only at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but at what the U.S. government calls “the human network that supports WikiLeaks.” The documents also contain internal discussions about targeting the file-sharing site Pirate Bay and hacktivist collectives such as Anonymous.
One classified document from Government Communications Headquarters, Britain’s top spy agency, shows that GCHQ used its surveillance system to secretly monitor visitors to a WikiLeaks site. By exploiting its ability to tap into the fiber-optic cables that make up the backbone of the Internet, the agency confided to allies in 2012, it was able to collect the IP addresses of visitors in real time, as well as the search terms that visitors used to reach the site from search engines like Google.
Another classified document from the U.S. intelligence community, dated August 2010, recounts how the Obama administration urged foreign allies to file criminal charges against Assange over the group’s publication of the Afghanistan war logs.... [Link to article]

-bth: pretty comprehensive article on the topic.  Note how the criminal charges would focus on Afghanistan war logs and doesn't mention Iraq. Curious.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Taliban behead 23 Pak soldiers, peace talks with govt collapse

Pakistani negotiators on Monday cancelled a scheduled meeting with the Taliban after the insurgents claimed they had killed 23 soldiers kidnapped by them in 2010, dealing a severe blow to the fledgling peace process.
State negotiators withdrew itself from the meeting that was supposed to be held on Monday 17th February, saying circumstances relating to negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban were not heading in the right direction. Irfan Siddiqui, coordinator of the government committee formed to hold peace talks with negotiators representing the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said after the killing of 23 Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers, holding talks with the group was a futile enterprise.....