McCain threatens North Korea with ‘extinction’

US Republican Senator John McCain has warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un against attacking America and its allies, saying such aggression will lead to the Eastern Asian country’s “extinction.”

Washington needs to “make sure that Kim Jong-un knows that if he acts in an aggressive fashion, the price will be extinction,” McCain told CNN on Sunday.

The head of Senate Armed Services Committee said Washington should strengthen its missile defenses in South Korea while putting more pressure on China to stop the North’s development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

He also said that the administration of President Donald Trump should start considering deploying nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula.

“The [South] Korean defense minister just a few days ago called for nuclear weapons to be redeployed,” he said, saying that the call “ought to be seriously considered.”

South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo said that he and his American counterpart James Mattis had already discussed the nuclear deployment in the South, which would be a first in over 25 years.

He also called on Washington to move “strategic assets” like US aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and B-52 bombers to the peninsula.

McCain was also fond of the idea, saying that the US needed to further encircle the North by expanding its military presence in the region.

Economic pressure on China

The Arizona Republican then turned to China and accused Beijing of not doing enough to stop North Korea, a problem that he suggested the US should solve by putting economic pressure on the Chinese government.

“I also think that we’ve got to tell the Chinese, it will hurt the United States if we lose some trade with you, but I’m telling you now, something is going to have to change,” McCain said.

The Trump administration has already shown its displeasure with China, the North’s main trade partner, by imposing sanctions on some Chinese financial institutions.

McCain’s ‘vicious’ cancer

McCain who has recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, told CNN that the disease was “very vicious” but he was “confident” he would get well.

Egypt says police killed 10 suspected militants in Cairo

Members of the Egyptian police special forces stand guard on Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square on January

 

Egyptian police on Sunday raided two adjacent apartments used as hideouts by members of a splinter faction of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, killing 10 of them in a shootout, according to security officials. The exchange of gunfire took place in the densely populated Cairo district of Ard el-Liwa and wounded five policemen, including two officers, said the officials. One of the militants, they said, died when an explosive device he intended to use against the policemen went off prematurely, killing him instantly. The officials said the militants were members of Hasm, a breakaway Brotherhood faction that has targeted police and army officers in Cairo over the past year in a series of brazen attacks. (AP)

Ex-Georgian leader Saakashvili’s train halted near Ukraine border

Above~Former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili uses a mobile phone aboard a train to Lviv after it was cancelled, at a railway station in Przemysl, …

 

The train that Mikhail Saakashvili wants to ride into Ukraine despite the revocation of his citizenship is being held at a station in Poland. Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who later became governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region, is in a campaign to regain the Ukrainian citizenship he was stripped of this summer. He boarded the train in Przemysl that was to travel to the Ukrainian city of Lvov after abandoning a plan to cross the border by car. But an announcement on the train’s public address system said it would be held in the station until “a person without the right to enter Ukrainian territory” left. Passengers aboard the stalled train have been told they can travel on in special buses. (AP)

Six dead, two missing after floods hit Italy’s Tuscany

Six people died and two were missing in the Tuscan city of Livorno after heavy rain hit the city early on Sunday, causing floods, the city’s mayor said. Between midnight and 0200 GMT, more than 250 millimetres (10 inches) of rain hit the city, causing several streams to overflow, the city of Livorno said on its website, citing several casualties. “The emergency is not over,” the administration said on the website. “Livorno has never been so devastated by bad weather,” the mayor of Livorno, Filippo Nogarin, said in a video posted on Twitter, adding the weather forecasts did not suggest a cloudburst so violent in central Italy. Heavy rain has also hit Rome, where Mayor Virginia Raggi asked citizens to stay home. A Serie A match between Italian soccer clubs Lazio and AC Milan, due to start at Rome’s stadium at 1300 GMT, began a hour later because of the bad weather. (Reuters)

French prosecutor links suspect arrested last week near Paris to Islamic State

A French prosecutor said on Sunday that a man arrested last week near Paris after a police raid on a flat found products that could be used to make explosives had a direct connection with Islamic State terrorist organization. Police discovered a stash of explosives on Sept. 6 in Villejuif, south of Paris, and found TATP, a product often used by suicide bombers. Two men were arrested. (Reuters)

At least 90 died in this week’s massive earthquake in Mexico say authorities

Mexican officials now say at least 90 people have died in the historic earthquake that struck the southern part of the country. Oaxaca state governor Alejandro Murat said Sunday that 71 people have died in his state. At least 19 are reported dead in two neighboring states. Some people continued to sleep outside, fearful of more collapses, as strong aftershocks continued to rattle the town of Juchitan, including a magnitude 5.2 jolt early Sunday. Some prompted rescue workers to pause in their labor. Local officials said they had counted nearly 800 aftershocks of all sizes since late Thursday’s big quake, and the US Geological Survey counted nearly 60 with a magnitude of 4.5 or greater. (The Associated Press)

Lithuania proposes ‘military Schengen’ plan for easier movement of troops in Europe

Lithuania’s defense ministry has called on EU states to join its “military Schengen project,” which it says would “facilitate the movement of troops” in the region. The proposal coincides with NATO’s accusations that Russia and Belarus are moving forces between territories of allied states for its military drills.

At the latest EU defense ministers’ meeting in Tallinn, Raimundas Karoblis announced “practical ways” to increase military cooperation between the EU states, Lithuania’s defense ministry reported Friday.

Among the proposals put forward by Vilnius is the development of a so-called “military Schengen project that would facilitate the movement of troops in Europe.” The Benelux countries – Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, as well as Finland and Estonia support the plan that includes “simplifying procedures and investing in infrastructure,” according to the minister.

Lithuania supports enhanced EU defense cooperation, and permanent structured defense cooperation must contribute to the increase in defense spending in the EU and the creation of real defense capabilities in Europe,” Karoblis said, adding that implementing Lithuania’s project “is important both in the EU and NATO.”

Earlier the European Commission proposed the establishment of a European Defense Fund, planning to allocate 500 million euro ($601 million) for defense by 2020.

Last month, Lithuania’s president announced that the US will boost its military presence in the Baltic state close to Russia’s borders, and possibly double the number of its warplanes in Lithuania in September during Russia’s Zapad-2017 drills with Belarus.

The suggestion to increase military spending and the West’s increased overall military presence in Europe come along its criticism of Russia’s scheduled military exercises, especially the recent hysteria of some states over the joint Russia-Belarus drills.

The maneuvers on September 14-20, hosted predominantly by Belarus this year, will involve some 13,000 troops, 70 aircraft and nearly 700 land vehicles. The two states, which are both CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) members, stage major joint military exercises every two years, alternating between each country.

However, this year’s Zapad maneuvers have been the subject of much speculation in Europe, particularly in Poland and the Baltic nations.

Poland, backed by NATO, claims that Russia could not only deploy more than the declared number of troops, but also that the drills could provide cover for a possible permanent relocation of offensive equipment westward.

The Russian defense ministry has repeatedly said the upcoming Zapad-2017 military exercises are purely defensive. Russian officials have blasted as a “myth” any allegations that the drills were threatening to other nations.

The hype [over the exercise] was fanned up artificially and is definitely meant to convince the Western public that the cost of deploying additional forward military presence in Poland and the Baltics and increased NATO military activity is justified,” the ministry said.

The Belarusian leader Aleksandr Lukashenko said “the regional Russian-Belarusian group of forces exists – and its existence is not a secret.”

Stop apologizing for these defensive exercises,” he told his generals.

Dozens of NATO commanders flock to Latvia for “war games”

The Steadfast Pyramid 2017 military exercise kicks off in Latvia on Sunday, with 40 senior commanders from NATO states, as well as Finland and Sweden. They are expected to train how to “plan and conduct operations” amid the bloc’s buildup in the region.

Steadfast Pyramid 2017 and Steadfast Pinnacle 2017, involving more than 40 senior officers from NATO member states, plus Finland and Sweden, will take place at the Riga-based Latvian Defense Academy, the country’s national news agency LETA reported on Sunday.

Steadfast Pyramid, the first part of the exercise, will last until September 15. It is reportedly “to improve the ability of top-level officers and commanders to plan and lead joint operations,” according to LETA.

Steadfast Pinnacle, the next stage of the drill, will last from September 17 until September 22. Steadfast Pyramid and Steadfast Pinnacle were first held in Latvia in 2011.
British General James Everard, the NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, is expected to arrive in Latvia to oversee both stages of the exercise, Latvia’s Defense Ministry said, according to LETA.

Not much is known so far about the war games. A NATO fact sheet says Steadfast Pyramid and Steadfast Pinnacle are focused on “further developing the abilities of commanders and senior staff to plan and conduct operations through the application of operational art in decision making.”

READ MORE: US to boost air & troop presence in Lithuania during Russia-Belarus drills

Latvia, a former Soviet republic, has seen a major NATO buildup over the past months. Recently, NATO deployed four multinational battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland as part of Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP). These combat-ready battlegroups, led by the UK, Canada, Germany, and the US respectively, are meant to demonstrate “the strength of the transatlantic bond.”

A 1,100-strong battlegroup led by Canada is stationed in Latvia, comprising a number of mechanized infantry units as well as a tank company and some support elements, according to NATO.

Poland and the Baltic states are calling for a stronger military presence in their countries, claiming it is necessary to deter “assertive” Russia.

Lithuania, another Baltic state, has suggested developing a “military Schengen project that would facilitate the movement of troops in Europe.”

Earlier this week, Lithuanian Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis said the Benelux countries – Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg – as well as Finland and Estonia, support the plan, which includes “simplifying procedures and investing in infrastructure.”

Moscow has consistently said the ongoing buildup threatens Russian and European security. In mid-July, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said the alliance is pushing forward for “an intensive mastering of the potential theater of military operations, accompanied by the development of the necessary infrastructure.”

READ MORE: Russia will respond to NATO expansion to keep strategic balance – Putin

From July to November, NATO will hold 15 drills complementing each other, “which are held in the same operative field and aimed at providing a vast range of support measures,” Grushko added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said that Moscow will not remain silent facing emerging threats on its western borders. NATO’s saber-rattling leaves Russia no other choice than to “give a suitable response to all of these actions,” he said, noting that Moscow’s countermeasures will be “much cheaper,” if not quite as technologically advanced, Putin told award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone.

Saudi Arabian government ‘funded dry run’ for 9/11, legal documents claim

Two Saudi nationals and government employees tested flight deck security on internal flight.

The Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington DC,it is alleged, may have funded a “dry run” of the 9/11 attacks, according to evidence submitted to an ongoing lawsuit against the Saudi government.

As reported by the New York Post, the embassy might have used two of its employees for the so-called dry run before a dozen hijackers flew two planes into the Twin Towers, killing nearly 3,000 people in 2001.

The complaint, filed on behalf of 1,400 family members of the victims, stated that the Saudi Government paid two nationals, posing as students in the US, to take a flight from Phoenix to Washington and test out flight deck security before 9/11.

Sean Carter, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, said, “We’ve long asserted that there were longstanding and close relationships between al Qaeda and the religious components of the Saudi government.”

The Saudi government has long denied any links to the terrorists and lawyers representing the government have filed motions to dismiss the claims. The plaintiffs must respond to the motion by November.

The case can then go to trial thanks to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act which was voted into law by Congress last September, despite a veto from former President Barack Obama and lobbying from the Saudi government. The law allows survivors and relatives of victims to sue foreign governments in US federal courts.

According to the documents and as reported by the New York Post, the class action lawsuit argued that “a pattern of both financial and operational support” from the Saudi government helped the hijackers in the months before the attacks.

FBI documents, submitted as evidence, claimed that the two Saudi nationals who came to the US, Mohammed al-Qudhaeein and Hamdan al-Shalawi, were in fact members of “the Kingdom’s network of agents” in the country. The documents claimed the men trained in Afghanistan with a number of other al-Qaeda operatives that participated in the attacks.

Qudhaeein was allegedly employed at the Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, and Shalawi was a “longtime employee of the Saudi government” in Washington DC.

In November 1999 they boarded an America West flight to Washington, and tried to access the cockpit several times, asking the flight attendants “technical questions” and making the staff “suspicious”.

Qudhaeein reportedly asked staff where the bathroom was and was pointed in the right direction; instead he tried to enter the cockpit. The pilots made an emergency landing in Ohio and the two men were released after an initial interrogation from the FBI.

Their plane tickets were reportedly paid for by the Saudi Embassy, according to Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband was killed in 9/11.

The two men also reportedly attended a symposium in Washington, organised by the Saudi embassy in association with the Institute for Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, which employed late al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as a lecturer. He later helped the hijackers to get housing and ID when they arrived in early 2000.

The Post reported that the Saudi nationals lived in Arizona and had frequent communication with Saudi officials.

Mr Carter said the allegations in the class action lawsuit were based on almost 5,000 pages of evidence.

A total of 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. Hundreds of thousands of US documents regarding Saudi Arabia remain secret.

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11 Thai men, one by one, married the same woman ……. who then allegedly vanished — with their money

From the Thai media comes the story of a young woman who, over the course of about two years, convinced at least 11 different men to marry her.

Following Thai tradition, each man gave her a generous sum of money — a dowry — at which point she disappeared, the men told police.

From each husband, she collected between $6,000 and $30,000 before vanishing, using various excuses such as she had to return to her family’s home to deal with their fruit business or her horoscope advised her that it just wasn’t a good time to be married.

So prolific and convincing was this woman that she married four times in the month of August alone, police told local media. Initially, police reported that there were 12 complaining husbands, but later reduced the number to 11.

Not until a warning about her was posted on Facebook (as pictured above) did any of the men go to authorities. How the warning got to Facebook has not been revealed. Perhaps it was posted by one of the duped grooms, of whom there may be more, according to reports.

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ขอ.อนุญาต ทุกท่านและขอส่งข่าวเตือนภัยคะ…เนื่องจาก ผู้หญิงคนที่อยู่ในรูปนี้ได้ ก่อเหตุ หลอกลวง ผู้ชาย แต่งงานในภายเดือนเดียวถึง4คนแล้วนำรถยนต์ผู้เสียหายหลบหนี แต่มีประชาชนเห็นว่านำไปกอ่เหตุ ..ลักขโมย…ของที่คลองสาม…และนำเงินที่โกงค่าสินสอด. ที่ได้ไป นำไปชื้อผลไม้บังหน้าที่ จ.ระยอง,.จ.จัน. จ.ชลบุรี .จ.ชุมพร มีผู้เสียหาย ณ..ตอนนี้ประมาณ 30. ราย. ท่านได้พบเจอ หรือรุ้จัก ขอความกรุณาแจ้งเบะแสะหน่อยนะคะ…0980322450. …ขอขอบพระคุณ

Indeed, upon seeing the Facebook post, they descended on police, according to the Bangkok Post and other Thai media, and woefully told the stories of how they had allegedly been duped.

According to the English language paper the Nation, quoting a lawyer for the men, the method was pretty much the same in each case.

She would friend the man on Facebook, meet him, have sex with him, marry him and then take the money and run.

She is being called “the runaway bride.”

B823533470Z.1_20170908084225_000_GQJ1UTIAD.1_Super_Portrait.jpg

Prasarn Tiamyam, 32, described his experience in a report to the police.

He got to know the woman after she friended him on Facebook in February of 2015. She used the name Jariyaporn “Nammon” Buayai. The seductive photo of her as identified in the media was quite something.

After nine months, she told him she was pregnant (it’s not clear by whom) and he agreed to marry her.

They went to a seaside resort in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, the man told police, according to the Nation, where she extracted a dowry of $6,000.

The end came quickly and sadly for Prasarn. As The Nation reported:

During their relationship, Prasarn said that Nammon refused to let him meet her parents. Only four days after their wedding, Nammon told him that she had to deal with their fruit business in Nong Khai province and left.

Soon after, Prasarn could no longer contact her. Instead, he received a call from a woman who claimed to be Nammon’s niece. She told him that Nammon lost the baby and Prasarn should not contact her again.

Pirat Puengsuk, 28, claims to have lost some $30,000, the dowry plus a Toyota pickup truck. He told police he quit his job as a transport driver and married her after a two-month whirlwind Facebook courtship, thinking he would join her and her parents in the fruit business.

“She demanded that I marry her before investing in the business together because it was her family’s tradition. If we weren’t married, we couldn’t do business together,” said Pirat, as quoted in the Nation.

She then vanished in his pickup.

As it turned out, a warrant for fraud was already out on the woman stemming from an apparently unrelated incident. After the men went to police as a group, the Bangkok Post reported, police caught up with her in Thailand’s Nakhon Pathom province, known for its fruit orchards.

There, police on Thursday night arrested Jariyaporn Buayai, 32, and a man police described as her real husband. Lt. Thitirat Nonghanpitak, commissioner of the Central Investigation Bureau, told reporters Friday that he believed there were other victims. He said she netted more than $90,000.

The woman has not been charged and the investigation is ongoing. The woman, according to the Post, said she did not intend to cheat the men, of whom, she claimed, there were only seven rather than 11 or more. She reportedly said the men had voluntarily invested money in the family’s fruit business.

Police want to interrogate her parents, the Bangkok Post reported, to determine whether they might have had a role in it. They based their theory on the fact that her parents showed up for each of the weddings. Thitirat said Friday the parents were in hiding.

The club of deceived gentlemen, who went to police for justice, are also hoping to protect others.

“I’m so hurt by what happened,” said Pirat Puengsuk as quoted in the Nation. “I want her to redeem herself and not do this to other people.”

 

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