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Want to book a room? Roscosmos may soon offer nuclear-powered base on the Moon for rent

Sun, 2019-10-13 10:49

The Russian space agency is reportedly mulls building a sophisticated, nuclear-powered base on the Moon available to anyone who got some extra cash to spend. The multimillion project is set to be unveiled in nine years.

Dubbed Patron Moon, the 70-ton facility will house up to 50 people fearless – and wealthy – enough to live on the Earth’s satellite, according to files of a Roscosmos subsidiary seen by RIA Novosti. The lunar base, split into three retractable living modules, will get electricity from a small nuclear power plant.

The $462-million project seems too futuristic at a glance, but the company claims it knows in detail how to make it come true. At the first stage, Roscosmos will ship all elements of the base to the Moon aboard a super-heavy rocket ‘Yenisei’, named after the great Siberian river.

Once the Patron Moon reaches the surface, it will dig into the ground. The living modules, a universal docking port and “multi-function drills” will be put together and connected to the power plant.

Also on Russia’s future Moon base will use ‘local resources’ & 3D-printing – Roscosmos

To cover research and development costs, Roscosmos will offer the base for rent, but the bad news is its price – each space will cost from $10 to $30 million. The good news is that the Patron Moon will only be rolled out until after 2028, giving potential Moon travelers the whole lot of years to make that money.

Russia, along with other world powers, has an ambitious Moon exploration program. Its current lunar plan is to build a new heavy-lift launch vehicle over the next decade and use it to create a permanent base on the surface. Previously, Roscosmos officials shed some light on the future base, telling the press that it will benefit from “local resources” and make use of “avatar robots.”

Also on Pandora, anyone? Russia plans to set up moon base inhabited by ‘avatar robots’

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Categories: Media

Moscow has done its homework: Russia will be least affected if US exit from INF treaty brings back arms race, Putin says

Sun, 2019-10-13 10:44

A renewed arms race between the US and Russia would be bad for the world but Moscow won’t be dragged into excessive military spending, as it has already developed next gen weapons of “unmatched” capabilities, Vladimir Putin said.

The Russian president discussed Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at a joint interview with RT Arabic, UAE-based Sky News Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabiya broadcasters.

I do understand the US concerns. While other countries are free to enhance their defenses, Russia and the US have tied their own hands with this treaty.

However, Putin pointed out that “it was not worth ruining the deal,” which helped the US and Russia by precluding the fielding in Europe of ground-based missiles with a range of between 500km and 5,500km, and which remained the cornerstone of security on that continent since 1987. “I believe there were other ways out of the situation,” he added.

Also on Russia offers NATO a moratorium on missile deployment, but won’t sacrifice its own security to prove its goodwill

The New START Treaty, which came into effect in 1994 and limits the number of strategic nuclear missile launchers possessed by the two countries, is the final element that could “prevent us from falling back into a full-scale arms race,” Putin warned.

That deal expires in 2021 and, “to make sure it is extended, we need to be working on it right now,” he said.

But if an arms race couldn’t ultimately be avoided, the President assured interviewers that “Russia will be the least affected party because… we already have the next generation of weapons, and these are unprecedented, with unmatched capabilities. We have done our homework. We do not need to rush now and can calmly think of what can be done next.”

An arms race is a bad thing, and it will not be good for the world. However, we will not be dragged into exorbitant budget-spending games.

The reason for Russia obtaining those state-of-the-art weapons, despite being only sixth globally in terms of military spending – behind the US, China, Saudi Arabia, UK, France and Japan, is “focused research on priority areas,” he explained.

Putin himself announced a range of futuristic Russian weapons last year and caused something of a frenzy in Western media. The headline toppers were the Avangard hypersonic glider and the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile, which are said to be able to bypass any existing missile defense system. 

Read the full interview here.

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Categories: Media

‘Dozens’ of soon-to-be-released videos document political bias at ‘the highest levels of CNN’, Project Veritas claims

Sun, 2019-10-13 10:41

Secret recordings of senior staff at CNN reveal a clear political agenda at the network, Project Veritas has declared. The soon-to-be-released tapes have inspired a trending hashtag, #ExposeCNN, on Twitter.

In the coming days, Project Veritas, a conservative watchdog group, plans to release “dozens of recordings made of officials at the highest levels of CNN, revealing a political agenda, bias and misconduct hidden from public view,” said James O’Keefe, the group’s founder.

In a country governed by public opinion, and where public opinion is largely governed by the press, isn’t it critical to understand what governs the press? A CNN whistleblower will show you how the synthetic commodify is made, in their own words. It’s time to #ExposeCNN

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 13, 2019

O’Keefe said the “hidden camera muckraking” was carried out by a “CNN insider” and that the investigation will likely be “the biggest story of the year” for Project Veritas.The whistleblower – who has yet to reveal his identity – told the organization that he “started at CNN with a dream to work in media, but my dream had become a nightmare.”

While O’Keefe didn’t get into specifics, he dropped several clues about what the tapes might reveal.

“Based upon what the people in these tapes say, [the media] is no longer even doing legitimate news gathering,” he wrote. In a separate message posted to Twitter, the Project Veritas head advised CNN anchor Brian Stelter that “it might be time to recall the worst things you’ve said to CNN staff in the hallways.”

No comment @brianstelter?

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 13, 2019

The potentially damning leaks have inspired a viral hashtag, #ExposeCNN. Although it became a trending topic in the US, Project Veritas accused the social media platform of trying to suppress the hashtag.

WOW... 100,000 tweets #ExposeCNN and still not the #1 trend.

Guess we have to hit 1,000,000 huh @jack?

— Project Veritas (@Project_Veritas) October 13, 2019

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Categories: Media

Saudis asked Russia to probe Aramco oilfield attack, Moscow will condemn Iran if it's responsible – Putin

Sun, 2019-10-13 10:24

Russia agreed to look into the September aerial attack on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities and will condemn whoever was behind it, but will not take sides in the feud between Riyadh and Tehran, President Vladimir Putin says.

Russia treasures its cordial ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, and is equally sensitive to each side’s concerns, Putin told reporters from three Arabic-language broadcasters when asked for his take on the recent strike on Riyadh’s oil processing facilities in Abqaiq.

On the one hand, Moscow maintains “close contacts with the leadership of Saudi Arabia, including the Crown Prince [Mohammad bin Salman],” who asked the Russian leader if his country could help establish crucial facts about the incident.

The attack allegedly involved a swarm of explosive-laden drones and missiles. © RT

“I said yes, we are ready to share anything that might be necessary, everything we have for a thorough investigation,” Putin revealed.

When asked directly whether Russia will go as far as condemning Iran if it's found responsible, he said there won't be any exceptions.

Regardless of who stood behind the incident, we condemn any such actions. That is exactly what I said before, and I really meant it.

But assigning blame before finding out the facts is “counterproductive,” the president said, explicitly referring to Riyadh and Washington pointing finger at Tehran.

The attack inflicted heavy damage on the Abqaiq facilities and cut Saudi Arabia's crude oil extraction almost by half. © RT

And while Russia is ready to assist the Saudi fact-finding effort, such contribution – as well as friendly relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – will never come at the expense of the long-standing ties with neighboring Iran, “a big country” that “has existed on its territory for thousands of years [and] has its own interests.”

Russia will never be friends with one country against another. We build bilateral relations that rely on positive trends generated by our contacts; we do not build alliances against anyone.

Likewise, Moscow will not take on the "unrewarding" role of a mediator in the Riyadh-Tehran feud, Putin said, adding that the he believes the two nations are capable of solving their disputes without a middleman.

Read the full interview here.

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Categories: Media

Irish sports team miraculously avoid tragedy in shocking celebration accident (GRAPHIC VIDEOS)

Sun, 2019-10-13 10:13

Joy quickly turned to horror for a gaelic football team celebrating a cup win in the Irish village of Enniskerry as celebrating players were sent crashing off the top of a truck after a railing buckled.

Crowds of supporters were hailing their local heroes, who were parading through the County Wicklow village on the roof of an articulated lorry, when the sickening incident occurred at around 6.30pm on Saturday. Ambulances reportedly rushed to the scene and at least nine people were left with a range of injuries following the shocking accident. 

WARNING: Videos contain graphic content that some viewers may find upsetting.

Footage from the incident shows the players in the throes of celebration before the scene dramatically changes as the railing gives away, sending a large group of people tumbling towards the tarmac.

The injured men were rushed to nearby hospitals where they are being treated for their injuries. Enniskerry Gaelic Athletic Association club issued a statement thanking supporters for their concern and reassuring people that all the injured people are OK.

“There is no critical or life-threatening injuries after tonight’s accident nor was there any deaths. Some players have bad injuries but everyone will be fine,” it said.

Gaelic football is an Irish sport played on a grass pitch between two teams of 15 players. It is one of the most popular games in Ireland with every village and parish having its own local team.

Also on Highly-rated Irish boxer Joe Ward suffers gruesome leg injury in professional debut (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

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Categories: Media

‘Our currency’s stable, why not use it?’ Russia looks to ditch US dollar for exchanges in rubles & euro in energy exports

Sun, 2019-10-13 09:03

Russia is planning to abandon the US dollar in favor of euro and rubles for currency settlements in global energy transactions in order to minimize reliance on the American currency.

We have a very good currency, it’s stable. Why not use it for global transactions?” Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin said in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday. The minister noted that the only question is whether switching from the US dollar would lead to any excessive costs.

Also on Russia dumps half its US dollar holdings, while boosting gold, yuan & euro share of forex reserves

We want [oil and gas sales] in rubles at some point. The question here is not to have any excessive costs from doing it that way, but if the broad… financial infrastructure is created, if the initial costs are very low, then why not?” the minister stated. He added that Russia will be able to sell its energy exports in local currency, given the popularity of the country’s domestic bonds among foreign investors, who own roughly 29 percent of its ruble debt.

Last month, Russia also announced that it will no longer take out loans in US dollars for the remainder of 2019 and the whole of 2020, turning instead to the yuan and euro.

“We will borrow in currencies other than the dollar,” Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said at the time.

Also in September, Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft set the euro instead of the dollar as the default currency for all new exports of crude oil and refined products.
In general, throughout 2018 and 2019, Russia has been steadily decreasing the US currency share of its international reserves, opting instead to increase gold, yuan and euro holdings, recent data from the country’s central bank showed. The dollar share halved from 43.7 percent to 23.6 percent in the 12 months from March 2018, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said in a report released earlier this month.

Also on Russia will only borrow in currencies other than US dollar – finance minister

All these moves come as Russia is trying to reduce its dependence on the greenback through the “de-dollarization” policy, partly in order to offset the impact of US sanctions on the country’s economy following the reunification with Crimea back in 2014 and allegations of interfering in the 2016 US presidential elections. In August this year, Washington also banned its banks from buying sovereign Eurobonds directly from Russia. Russia’s Finance Ministry replied that the country will shift its focus to selling debt to investors from Asia and Europe instead.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Categories: Media

Trudeau forced to wear BULLETPROOF VEST due to ‘security threat’ (PHOTO)

Sun, 2019-10-13 08:30

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was seen sporting a bulletproof vest during a campaign stop in Ontario, reportedly after a credible threat was made against his life. The move is nearly unprecedented in Canadian politics.

Known for his fondness for hand-shaking, Trudeau was notably less accessible to the 2,000 supporters who came to hear him speak at a rally in Mississauga, Ontario on Saturday. Photographs of the Canadian leader show Trudeau wearing body armor under his shirt as security personnel escorted him through the crowd. Tellingly, his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, was scheduled to introduce him before he gave his stump speech – but she failed to appear on stage.

Senior Liberal sources tell CBC, Justin Trudeau was wearing a bullet proof vest on stage for tonight’s rally, after a security threat.
He was delayed by 1.5 hours and much heavier security around him once on stage. Here’s what our cameras picked up. #cdnpoli #elxn43

— Salimah Shivji (@salimah_shivji) October 12, 2019

The precautions were put in place after the campaign was made aware of a credible security threat, according to the CBC. Although the campaign event went smoothly, such security concerns are almost unheard of in Canadian politics. Unlike its neighbor to the south, there is almost no history of political violence in Canada.

Trudeau faces a tight election on October 21, with the Liberals neck-and-neck with the opposition Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer.

In a tweet, Scheer said that it was “very upsetting” to hear that Trudeau had to wear a bulletproof vest. “Threats of violence against political leaders have absolutely no place in our democracy,” he wrote.

Very upsetting to hear that Justin Trudeau had to wear a bulletproof vest tonight at a campaign event. Threats of violence against political leaders have absolutely no place in our democracy. Thank you to the RCMP for taking these threats seriously and keeping us safe.

— Andrew Scheer (@AndrewScheer) October 13, 2019

While many on social media were similarly upset by the news, some members of the Twitterati speculated that the security threat was a ruse to drum up sympathy for the embattled prime minister. Several netizens even blamed Scheer for dividing the country and stoking the threat of political violence.

— basil26 (@basil26) October 13, 2019

You helped with your message of division and hate so I am sorry it doesn’t absolve you!

— D S (@Danielle2671) October 13, 2019

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Categories: Media

Russians want return of DEATH PENALTY after brutal murder of 9yo girl

Sun, 2019-10-13 06:41

The murder of a schoolgirl in the city of Saratov has sent shockwaves throughout Russia and prompted calls from politicians and the public to lift the moratorium on the death penalty to punish child killers and pedophiles.

The body of nine-year-old Lisa Kiseleva was discovered on Thursday, a day after she went missing on her way to school, prompting a widespread search by the whole community.

The police soon arrested a 35-year-old local man, who confessed that he’d killed the girl because he feared she would tell her parents that he was squatting at a garage.

Also on Heartbreak and fury in Russian city: Angry crowd overruns police, tries to lynch suspected murderer of 9yo girl (VIDEOS)

When police transported the suspect to the local station, hundreds began protesting and surrounded a vehicle that they thought contained the alleged killer. The crowd demanded that he be handed over to them, to be lynched on the spot. Officers were force to deploy pepper spray.

Calls for the reinstatement of capital punishment immediately began circulating on social media, and the proposal was soon reiterated by lawmakers.

Evgeny Primakov, an MP for the ruling United Russia party, was first to suggest that “capital punishment must be brought back” as chilling reports emerged from Saratov.

The deputy said that he couldn’t understand why taxpayers’ money, including that of the victim’s parents, should be used to fund the criminal’s stay in prison.

He was backed by a host of other parliamentarians, including LibDem leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who expressed belief that “most people in Russia want the return of death
penalty because they see it as an opportunity for fair vengeance. That’s how
human psychology works.”

The head of the Fair Russia party compared the killing of a child to an act of terrorism, saying that “capital punishment would be a fair response to such a crime.”

A poll on the issue was conducted on the State Duma’s page on Russia’s VK social network, in which over 121,000 people took part. Some 80 percent of respondents
said that they supported the reinstatement of capital punishment for child murderers and pedophiles.

Also on Party leader claims Russians would support capital punishment due to their ‘aggressive nature’

A petition on the website called for a plebiscite on the reinstatement of the death penalty, and attracted more than 4,700 signatures. 

Eventually, the Kremlin had to comment on the question of lifting the moratorium on capital punishment. Presidential press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, clarified that “the issue isn’t being discussed.”

A moratorium on the death penalty was introduced in Russia in 1997 when it joined the Council of Europe. The last death sentence in the country was enforced a year before that.

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Categories: Media

'She is a capitalist through her bones and I'm not': Sanders hits out at Warren's effort to fight sameness

Sun, 2019-10-13 05:47

Being progressive and bashing big companies is a hot trend among hopefuls for the Democratic nomination, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been doing just that. But her rival Bernie Sanders called her “capitalist through her bones.”

Self-styled democratic socialist Sanders made progressive ideas popular in 2016 race. In the current election cycle, they have gone mainstream and Warren has been capitalizing on promises of breaking up big tech, taxing the rich, providing Medicare for all. She is now almost tied with former vice president Joe Biden, while Sanders is coming third in recent polls.

"There are differences between Elizabeth and myself," Sanders said in an interview to ABC News 'This Week,' which will air on Sunday morning. "Elizabeth, I think, as you know, has said that she is a capitalist through her bones. I'm not."

Warren did say "I am a capitalist to my bones" back in 2018 at an event hosted by the New England Council, a regional business organization.

“I am a capitalist to my bones,” Sen. Warren tells New England Council, one of several instances this morning where she’s highlighted her belief in capitalism and markets while talking bankruptcy policy #mapoli

— Katie Lannan (@katielannan) July 16, 2018

Sanders insists that this it is a key difference between them, as he is the only one to take on the “ruling class.”

"I am, I believe, the only candidate who's going to say to the ruling class of this country, the corporate elite: Enough. Enough with your greed and with your corruption," Sanders said. "We need real change in this country."

Also on ‘Billionaires should not exist’: Is Bernie Sanders’ wealth tax too extreme for America?

Sanders had to slow down his campaign after suffering a heart attack last week, but has been doubling down on his attacks on the rich, even saying that billionaires should not exist.

His age and health issues aside, Sanders has been facing the same problem as other Democratic hopefuls – the field is crowded and with almost everyone jumping on progressive bandwagon, at least on the issue of healthcare, the agendas look very much alike.

Also on Four hours of virtue-signaling: Democratic candidates sweet-talk through soft ball questions in ‘equality’ town hall

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Categories: Media

Dozens killed as Typhoon Hagibis wreaks flooding and devastation on Japan (PHOTO, VIDEO)

Sun, 2019-10-13 04:14

At least 55 people were killed and 16 are missing after Typhoon Hagibis slammed Japan, with flooding covering large areas leaving people surrounded by water. Some half-a-million homes are without power.

The typhoon hit Japan’s northeast coast, killing at least 55 people in areas including the Chiba, Gunma, Kanagawa and Fukushima prefectures near Tokyo, according to local media. Some 150 people were injured. 

Many areas throughout the region have been flooded, with waters reaching five meters in depth. Around 260 people are trapped in a nursing home in the city of Kawagoe City, some 50km northwest of Tokyo, with rescuers using boats to save them.

特別養護老人ホームで260人が孤立 埼玉 川越 #nhk_video

— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) October 13, 2019

A railway bridge over the Chikuma River in Nagano Prefecture collapsed on Sunday morning.

長野県上田市を走るローカル線の「上田電鉄」によりますと、13日午前8時ごろ、別所線の千曲川にかかる橋りょうの一部が崩落しているのが確認されたということです。 #nhk_video

— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) October 13, 2019

Train operations have been suspended in many parts of the country due to flooding on the tracks.

© Reuters / Kyodo

Around half-a-million homes remain without power, while rescuers and residents are trying to remove debris after the typhoon raged overnight.

©Reuters/ Kyodo

The storm, which the government said could be the strongest in 60 years, brought record-breaking rainfall, with some areas hit by 939.5mm of rainfall over 24 hours.

"Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall near Japan’s Izu Peninsula"

— Ki (@Kia11on) October 13, 2019

The typhoon is expected to weaken and move off Japan’s mainland on Sunday afternoon. Flood warnings have been lifted for Tokyo, where a rugby match between Japan and Scotland is set to take place on Sunday.

Tokyo the morning after the typhoon: can’t see them not playing Japan-Scotland in these conditions @Cumoski @rugbyworldcup #Hagibis

— Ian O'Riordan (@ianoriordan) October 12, 2019

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Categories: Media

Crocodile tears? Hillary Clinton tweets that ‘sickening horror’ in Syria is ‘one man’s fault’ and gets reminded of her deeds

Sun, 2019-10-13 02:22

Hillary Clinton has retweeted a post by an NBC correspondent about ‘atrocities’ unleashed by Turkey’s incursion in Syria, hinting that it’s all President Donald Trump's fault. Twitter sent her down Memory Lane.

“This sickening horror is one man’s fault,” she tweeted on Saturday night, commenting on a tweet by NBC’s Richard Engel, who said US military officials are concerned that the Turkish offensive “opens the door to BOTH ethnic cleansing of Kurds and return of ISIS/Al-Qaeda.”

This sickening horror is one man’s fault.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 12, 2019

Some commenters were not impressed by the ‘crocodile tears’ and ‘faux outrage,’ reminding the former secretary of state of her own role in destabilizing the Middle East.

“This entire horror in Syria wouldn’t even be happening had it not been for you, Obama, Brennan and McCain arming, funding, training and empowering Al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists in a fanatical push to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government,” one wrote.

Nah. This entire horror in Syria wouldn’t even be happening had it not been for you, Obama, Brennan and McCain arming, funding, training and empowering Al-Qaeda and ISIS terrorists in a fanatical push to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government.

Spare us the crocodile tears.

— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) October 12, 2019

Says the former Secretary of State under Barack Obama, responsible for the gruesome death of Muammar al-Gaddafi in Libya, for the deaths of 4 great men in Benghazi.. hell, we can go all the way back to Waco, which ended in the death of 76 civilians. Save me your faux outrage!

— Rhonda Kazmierski (@KazmierskiR) October 13, 2019

It was during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state that the US led a NATO campaign against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the side of groups seeking to overthrow him. Libya was plunged into chaos, with factions in Tripoli and Benghazi fighting each other, and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) found fertile ground in the country.

Clinton was left open to widespread criticism over her handling of the September 11 attacks on the consulate in Benghazi, which saw the murder of four Americans, including US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. She also advocated for training and equipping moderate Syrian rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad. The arms supplied to 'moderate' militant groups in the country ended up with IS. 

Also on Weapons ending up with terrorists is OK, as long as Obama did it: The world according to CNN

Trump has been bashed by both Democrats and Republicans for what they call a betrayal of Kurdish allies after Turkey started an operation in Northern Syria against the Kurds, who Ankara considers terrorists. Turkey insists that it wants to create “safe zones” for the return of refugees.

Also on Turkish military operation is an ‘invasion’ and violation of Syria’s sovereignty – Arab League principal

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Categories: Media

King Salman approves massive US military deployment for Saudi Arabia’s ‘defense’

Sat, 2019-10-12 22:46

Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince have approved the deployment of around 3,000 US troops and equipment to the kingdom, as regional tensions rise and Washington and Riyadh face off against Tehran.

Saudi state news agency SPA announced the royal approval on Saturday night, reporting that the deployment takes place in line with the “historic relations and well-established partnership” between the two countries.

Also on Pentagon sending 2,000+ more troops to ‘assure and enhance defense’ of Saudi Arabia amid tensions with Iran

It also comes at a time of escalating tensions with Iran. The military bolstering was announced by the US on Friday as reports came in that an Iranian oil tanker had been struck by two projectiles in the Red Sea. Washington and Saudi Arabia have also accused Iran of a string of sabotage attempts on its own on oil tankers, and blamed Tehran for a drone strike on two Saudi oil facilities last month, albeit without providing proof.

Criticized for pulling American troops out of northern Syria yet deploying several times more forces in Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump has defended the deployment by declaring that the Saudi royal family have “agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing.”

The SPA report on Saturday made no mention of a payment.

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Categories: Media

France suspends all arms exports to Turkey over Syria offensive

Sat, 2019-10-12 20:19

France will cease all weapons sales to Turkey that could be used in Ankara’s crackdown on Kurdish militias in Syria, the French Foreign and Defense ministries have said. Berlin had issued a similar statement shortly before Paris'.

“In expectation of the end of this offensive, France has decided to suspend all plans to export to Turkey weapons that could be used in this offensive,” the joint Saturday statement from the ministries read. “This decision is with immediate effect.”

Also on Germany halts arms exports to Turkey following offensive in Syria – Foreign Minister

The suspension of weapons sales comes as EU ministers prepare to meet in Luxembourg next week to plan a response to Turkey’s ‘Operation Peace Spring’ offensive, and after German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass announced a similar halt to arms exports earlier on Saturday.

The Netherlands and Norway have also frozen their arms sales to Turkey in response.

Ankara’s offensive, launched following the withdrawal of US troops from Northern Syria, has been condemned by leaders in the west. Though US President Donald Trump has been accused of “abandoning” Washington’s Kurdish allies in the region, Trump has threatened to punish Turkey with economic sanctions unless its military shows restraint.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to only target “terrorists” in Northern Syria, and to avoid striking civilians. Nevertheless, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian has called on Erdogan to halt the military operation, in a joint statement with his Belgian, Estonian, German, Polish, and British counterparts.

Also on Turkish military operation is an ‘invasion’ and violation of Syria’s sovereignty – Arab League principal

“Renewed armed hostilities in the north-east will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements, which will further increase the number of refugees,” the statement read.

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Categories: Media

Chaos in Ecuador as protesters ransack govt buildings, clash with police as military restricts movement throughout country

Sat, 2019-10-12 19:37

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno has declared a curfew and sent in troops to force protesters off the streets of the capital Quito. He also agreed to assess the cancellation of fuel subsidies that had triggered the unrest.

Moreno has announced that he’s introducing a curfew and the “militarization” of Quito, starting at 8pm GMT on Saturday. “This will facilitate the use of public force in the face of intolerable excess of violence,” he said on Twitter. Ecuador's armed forces also announced late on Saturday that movement around the country would be restricted for 24 hours.

Camiones de las Fuerzas Armadas de Ecuador casi atropellan a un grupo de manifestantes en Quito, en otra jornada de disturbios y enfrentamientos

— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) October 12, 2019

Due to “the complexity of the situation,” Moreno will take another look at Decree 883, which has enraged citizens, Quito Mayor Jorge Yunda Machado announced on Twitter.

The move was one of the austerity measures introduced by the government in order to meet the conditions of a $4.2 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Moreno later said that he would assess the impact of the cuts, but didn't indicate whether he was planning to repeal it.

The president also offered to begin talks with protest leaders to settle the crisis, and they have accepted his invitation.

One of the conditions was that the talks be held in public and be broadcast live. "We're not going to talk behind closed doors. It has to be with the Ecuadorian people," one of the protest leaders said.

©  Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Footage from Quito on Saturday resembled a war zone, with barricades, fires and plumes of tear gas fired by the police at the raging crowds. 

©  Reuters / Ivan Alvarado

Live feed by RT’s video agency Ruptly showed thick smoke in the air and crowds of people rioting, as sounds of explosions rocked the streets.

Chaotic scenes come in from #Ecuador’s #Quito, where protesters took to streets en masse over President Lenín #Moreno’s unpopular austerity policies


— RT (@RT_com) October 12, 2019

The protesters, mainly represented by Ecuador’s indigenous people, set the Comptroller General's Office on fire and ravaged the parliament building, breaking windows and throwing furniture into the street. The demonstrators also blocked all roads leading to Quito International Airport.

©  Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins

The administrative buildings taken over by the protesters were empty, as Moreno had already moved the government to the city of Guayaquil, located 250km southwest of Quito.

©  Reuters / Henry Romero

It was the capital's 10th straight day of unrest, which broke out after the government announced austerity measures. The suspension of fuel subsidies saw the price of gasoline spike from $1.85 to $2.39 per gallon, while diesel prices went up by a staggering 123 percent – from $1.03 to $2.29. 

©  Reuters / Ivan Alvarado

Five people have been killed and over 1,000 wounded in clashes since October 3, according to government data. The police have arrested over 1,100 demonstrators.

©  Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Moreno was previously reluctant to reconsider the harsh measures, and blamed former president, Rafael Correa, and his Venezuelan ally Nicolas Maduro, of masterminding the demonstrations.

Also on 'Absolute chaos' as thousands protest in Ecuador's capital, braving tear gas and clashes with police

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Categories: Media

Deadly Hard Rock Hotel collapse caught in SHOCKING VIDEOS

Sat, 2019-10-12 18:36

Something went terribly wrong during construction of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, after a huge section of the unfinished building collapsed on the adjacent street, causing at least one death, as well as injuries and damage.

A video from a car, which stopped on a crossing nearby, caught the building falling apart, with the debris raising clouds of dust after hitting the pavement and people running for their lives. 

INCREDIBLE VIDEO: Viewer video from Michael Dalle captures the moment the construction site for the Hard Rock Hotel collapsed on Canal Street Saturday morning. No injuries reported. Stay with WWL-TV for more.

— WWL-TV (@WWLTV) October 12, 2019

Another was made by a passenger on a tram, which was nearly caught in the incident. It showed cars being almost buried by the rubble and thick white dust in the air.

NEW VIDEO: Hard Rock Hotel under construction in New Orleans partially collapses; at least 1 dead, 3 missing, and 19 injured

— BNO News (@BNONews) October 12, 2019

One person was killed, while three others are still missing as a result of the collapse, local authorities said. Eighteen more people were taken to hospital and remain in stable condition. All those affected were construction workers, with no victims reported among the pedestrians.

The Hard Rock Hotel was planned as an 18-story building with 350 rooms for guests and a large swimming pool. The project had been dragging on for a whole decade as it was marred by controversies over its height being above the limits and the imprisonment of the construction company’s boss on fraud charges.

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Indian PM Modi’s niece ROBBED by motorcycle-riding thieves in New Delhi

Sat, 2019-10-12 18:05

The niece of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was mugged by a pair of motorcycle-riding thieves in New Delhi on Saturday. The bandits made off with a bundle of cash, two mobile phones and some of the woman’s travel documents.

Damayanti Modi was accosted outside a hotel in the Civil Line area of the Indian capital by two robbers, who escaped with her purse containing around Rs 56,000 ($788.20) in cash, two mobile phones and important documents.

Damayanti Modi said that she had to catch a flight to #Ahmedabad in the evening, but all her documents are now missing.

— India Today (@IndiaToday) October 12, 2019

The highly connected woman told India Today TV that she was due to catch a flight to Ahmedabad in western India on Saturday, but all her proofs of identity were now missing. 

Damayanti is a daughter of Prime Minister Modi's brother and she had recently returned to Delhi from Amritsar. The high-profile mugging is the latest in a spate of similar snatching incidents that have been reported in various parts of Delhi. 

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Guatemalan president-elect’s visit to Venezuelan opposition leader Guaido aborted, officials ‘escort’ him back to plane

Sat, 2019-10-12 17:49

Guatemalan President-elect Alejandro Giammattei was left fuming after officials at Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar International Airport denied him entry and sent him back to his plane ahead of a contentious visit.

Giammattei, who is due to take office in January, intended to visit Caracas on Saturday to show support for opposition leader Juan Guaido.

“No nos dejaron entrar a Venezuela. Nos escoltaron hasta la puerta y nos han subido al avión”: Presidente electo de Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, luego de que el régimen de Maduro le haya prohibido la entrada al país #12Oct

— NTN24 Venezuela (@NTN24ve) October 12, 2019

Instead, Giammattei was shown the door and “escorted” back to his plane. In a video posted to social media from the aircraft, the Guatemalan statesman, who promised during his election campaign this summer to lead with “sufficient testosterone,” pledged his continuing support to Guaido, declaring “We are with you.”

Giammatei is an outspoken opponent of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who he has called a “usurper.” He has stated that his government will conduct diplomacy with Guaido instead, and will play a leading role in the Lima Group, a coalition of American nations calling for fresh elections in Venezuela.

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Though Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela in January and enjoys the backing of Washington and more than 50 governments worldwide, the opposition leader has been unsuccessful in his efforts to dislodge Maduro from power. 

Multiple attempts by Guaido to win the support of the Venezuelan military have failed to threaten Maduro’s control, and American sanctions, though crippling to Venezuela’s already weakened economy, have not succeeded in ousting Maduro from office.

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How much energy would it take to travel through time?

Sat, 2019-10-12 15:56

Time travel has always fascinated mankind, but a Star Trek kind of warp drive has till now been impossible to build. This hasn’t discouraged scientists to continue researching it.

Scientists have long debated the practicality of warp drive—or traveling faster than the speed of light. While some argue that the entire concept defies the laws of physics as we know it, others continue to press on in their effort to prove that warp drive could one day be a reality, sparking an era in which we would finally become a true space-voyaging species.

Warp Drive For Dummies

Warp drive is just plain awesome; after all, the idea of going where no man has gone before holds great appeal, and the opportunities it would afford are literally endless. But while scientists duke it out over the feasibility of this faster-than-light warp drive, those of us with a non-scientific brain are left befuddled as to what that means. What it really means.

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So before we get into the possibilities, challenges, and opportunities of traveling faster than light, we must break it down into useable, everyday concepts for those of us who do not speak Science.

In Star Trek, warp drive is achieved when matter and antimatter collide in a fusion-like fashion, which is mediated by dilithium crystals. Of course, dilithium crystals don’t really exist, but the rest of the ingredients for warp drive really do exist.

The matter we’re talking about here is deuterium, which is a hydrogen gas—in real life. Antimatter exists too. While matter is composed of particles, antimatter is made up of antiparticles. Antimatter has the same mass and spin as its matter counterpart, but it has an opposite electric charge and opposite properties. When the antimatter and matter collide, they are both destroyed, creating a source of energy that would propel a spaceship at speeds greater than light travels.

Why “Givin’ Her All She’s Got, Captain” May Not Be Enough

There are several challenges to the concept of warp drive, but the greatest challenge is overcoming a little thing known as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The theory goes like this, according to Roger Rassool, physicist at the University of Melbourne:

“As objects travel faster and faster, they get heavier and heavier—the heavier they get, the harder it is to achieve acceleration, so you never get to the speed of light.”

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Even if you could go faster than the speed of light, the energy it would take to do that is substantial. The amount of energy it would take is equal to the mass-energy of a total universe. Or does it?

Not all scientists are ready to give up on the idea just yet, despite it violating the Theory of Relativity and requiring more energy than is practical.

Warp Drive 2.0, The Alcubierre Workaround

In the ‘90s, physicist Miguel Alcubierre theorized about how we could get around that pesky Theory of Relativity by theorizing that a spaceship could travel at the speed of light without actually traveling at the speed of light—instead, the spaceship would travel inside a “wave”, created by stretching the fabric of spacetime.

But Alcubierre’s drive still would require a massive amount of energy, not to mention Alcubierre’s drive concept was just theoretical, with some arguing that it, too, was impossible.

But that didn’t stop NASA from carrying on with the experiments. And they did manage to make some progress. Again, theoretically speaking.

Warp Drive 2.1, The New Frontier

But progress in this field is ongoing, and in August, new work on this warp drive concept was presented by Joseph Agnew, undergraduate engineering student at University of Alabama in Huntsville’s Propulsion Research Center, who said at this year’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Propulsion and Energy Forum that he had watched Star Trek (both the old and new) and noticed how Star Trek had either predicted or inspired countless innovations. He has since spent the bulk of his academic career researching the idea of a warp drive.

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"In my experience, the mention of warp drive tends to bring chuckles to the conversation because it is so theoretical and right out of science fiction. In fact, often it is met with dismissive remarks, and used as an example of something totally outlandish, which is understandable,” Agnew said.

In the last decade, progress has continued, leaving lots of “bite-size” problems still to be addressed, Agnew said, as opposed to one massive challenge.

All About the Energy

But if there were one big challenge with warp drive, it would be the energy; the amount of positive and negative energy that would be required to create the warp bubble outlined in the Alcubierre drive would be massive and impractical. Scientists agree that this would have to come from exotic matter, which would theoretically cut down the amount of energy required down to a mass the size of Jupiter.

What would it take?

To put this warp drive reality into practice, there are still many hurdles that remain, including major funding, progress in quantum physics and significant advancements in alternate forms of energy that would be sufficient to propel a starship through the solar system in a reasonable amount of time.

This article was originally published on

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Germany halts arms exports to Turkey following offensive in Syria – Foreign Minister

Sat, 2019-10-12 14:21

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that Berlin will not issue any new arms export permits to Turkey in light of its Northern Syrian offensive. Turkey’s crackdown on Kurdish militias has triggered widespread condemnation.

"Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the Federal Government will not issue any new permits for all armaments that could be used by Turkey in Syria," Mass told Bild am Sonntag.

Mass stopped short of announcing a complete halt on weapons sales to Ankara, instead stating that weapons that could be used against the Kurds in Northern Syria will be affected. Arms exported under existing permits will presumably remain untouched.

Germany sold more than 240 million euros worth of arms to Turkey in 2018, accounting for almost a third of the country’s weapons exports. Ankara, a NATO partner of Germany, is the number one buyer of German arms.

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Following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of troops from Kurdish-held Northern Syria last weekend, Turkey immediately launched an offensive against Kurdish militias in the area, which it considers terrorist groups. Trump has been criticized for “abandoning” the Kurds, who were US allies in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also been criticized by world leaders for his anti-Kurdish operation. Washington has threatened economic sanctions, while EU leaders are meeting next week to discuss similar penalties, and Norway has suspended its own arms sales to Ankara in response.

Erdogan remains defiant, however. With his country’s military having waged a low-intensity campaign against Kurdish forces along its border for four decades, the Turkish leader said on Friday that “we will never stop this fight, no matter what anyone says.” He hastened to add that the Turkish offensive would not target civilians.

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4 dead, 4 injured in shooting at Brooklyn gambling den

Sat, 2019-10-12 13:13

Four people were killed and four injured in a shooting in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. The incident took place at a private club on Utica Avenue, that police believe was being run as an "illegal gambling location."

Gunfire broke out shortly before 7am on Saturday at the club, NYPD Chief Dermot Shea told a press conference. Four men aged between 32 and 49 were shot dead and three people, two men and a woman, were wounded. Aother victim suffered a leg injury while fleeing the scene.

The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals, and police recovered two firearms in the club. According to Shea, there were "a minimum" of 15 people present when the gunfire began. 

DEVELOPING: Four people were killed in an early morning shooting in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Three others were injured.

— Citizen New York (@CitizenAppNYC) October 12, 2019

Homicide detectives have not yet established a motive for the shooting, but have brought multiple individuals in for questioning.

Crown Heights has been plagued by a series of shootings in recent months, with two injured in a midnight attack last Sunday. A father of three, a 27 -year-old man and a 59-year-old clipped by a stray bullet were all among those shot last month, while an 11-year-old child was shot in the neighborhood earlier this summer.

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