Disarming the Pedophiles–Russian lawmakers to consider chemical castration bill for pedophiles

Russian lawmakers to consider chemical castration bill for pedophiles

Medvedev suggested that castration of convicted pedophiles should remain voluntary, while the United Russia party, which holds a majority in parliament, has insisted it should be obligatory.

Medvedev suggested that castration of convicted pedophiles should remain voluntary, while the United Russia party, which holds a majority in parliament, has insisted it should be obligatory.

© RIA Novosti. Sergey Guneev

MOSCOW, July 12 (RIA Novosti)

President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted amendments to the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, introducing chemical castration for criminals guilty of sexual offences against children, a Duma official said on Tuesday.

The castration bill, designed to “increase the effectiveness of the prevention of the strikingly brutal crimes” against children, also introduces life sentence as a possible punishment for pedophiles who are repeat offenders.

The bill also stipulates voluntary medical treatment, including chemical castration, for other rapists.

Medvedev, who first proposed the introduction of chemical castration for pedophiles in May, said punishment for such criminals should be “as harsh as possible.” “A liberal approach here is totally unacceptable,” he said.

Medvedev suggested that castration of convicted pedophiles should remain voluntary, while the United Russia party, which holds a majority in parliament, has insisted it should be obligatory.

Chemical castration of pedophiles is used in several countries such as Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Israel, Norway, Sweden, Poland, as well as in some U.S. states, and consists of a series of regular chemical injections that block the effects of the male hormone testosterone.

In early June, the State Duma passed amendments in the second reading tightening punishment for sexual crimes against children, including child pornography and increasing the term after which a jailed pedophile can apply for early release.

The third reading was reportedly delayed, however, after Medvedev prepared his own amendments.

In April, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee announced that it had prepared a bill introducing chemical castration for pedophiles. More than 9,500 sexual crimes against children were committed in Russia in 2009, including more than 960 rapes, according to the committee.

Medvedev highlighted the importance of measures to protect children in his annual address to the nation in November 2010, saying that protecting children was paramount for the future of Russian society.

Dangerous American Meddling In South China Sea Disputes

The South China Sea’s Georgia Scenario

The U.S. can’t risk overplaying its hand in China’s disputes with its neighbors.

BY LYLE GOLDSTEIN

When Cui Tiankai, China’s vice foreign minister, warned U.S. officials in Honolulu on June 22 that “individual countries [in Southeast Asia] are playing with fire” and that he hoped the fire “doesn’t reach the United States,” it was a major departure from the customary rhetoric of summitry. China’s message: Do not intervene in the Spratly Island dispute of the South China Sea, where five other claimants are jostling with Beijing for the rights to exploit the potentially rich, undersea energy deposits of the area.

In this atmosphere, the China-Vietnam relationship, which has been on a generally positive course since 1990, has suddenly veered into a dangerous crisis. Vietnam has conducted live-fire drills as an apparent warning to Beijing, and U.S. officials have chimed in with “increasing concerns” and have also moved to strengthen the traditionally close ties with the Philippines, one of the claimants in this maritime territorial dispute. At a meeting with Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen in Beijing on July 11, Chinese Army Chief Chen Bingde described U.S. joint exercises with Vietnam and the Philippines as “extremely inappropriate”. With three wars now under way in the Middle East, U.S. leaders would do well to reflect on how “smart power” rather than military brinkmanship can point the way out of the present crisis and toward a more stable and peaceful Asia-Pacific region.

For much of the last decade, the South China Sea had actually been relatively quiet thanks to a 2002 agreement between Beijing and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on a “code of conduct” for the South China Sea. The agreement helped mitigate tensions that had built up after naval skirmishes in 1988 and by further aggressive jockeying in the 1990s. Scholar Joshua Kurlantzick and others had actually described China’s approach in Southeast Asia over the past decade as a “charm offensive,” the centerpiece of which was a China-ASEAN free trade agreement that may have helped cushion the region from the worst of the recent global recession.

However, the deployment of Chinese nuclear submarines and other advanced warships to a new and sprawling base at Hainan Island on the South China Sea had raised eyebrows around the region during the last decade. Major tensions began to flare in the spring of 2009, when a clutch of Chinese ships harassed a U.S. surveillance vessel operating in international waters south of Hainan Island.Such Cold War-type surveillance operations are still routinely conducted by the U.S. armed forces all along China’s coast (but outside the 12-mile territorial limit) — a practice that Chinese military leaders consider to be gravely threatening and that they now identify as a major barrier to U.S.-China military cooperation. Dangerous interactions between U.S. and Chinese aircraft and vessels have become the norm, and one life has already been lost, in the April 2001 surveillance-plane incident, which also took place close to Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, local states, such as Vietnam, have been vigorously pursuing energy exploration in areas that are close to or within China’s vast claim line that encompasses virtually the entire area of the South China Sea. When Hanoi announced in 2009 that it intended to spend significant funds to purchase six submarines from Russia, it became amply evident that the regional arms race, already simmering for some years, was heating up in earnest.

The ship that brought cargo of death to Cyprus

http://idfspokesperson.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/modg.jpg?w=500&h=333

The ship that brought cargo of death to Cyprus

THE MONCHEGORSK, the Cypriot-flagged ship on which the munitions were being carried as cargo was bound for Syria and originating from Iran, was apprehended on January 20 in the Red Sea by US warships. Following an on-board search suspicious military material was reported and the ship was ordered to dock at the port of Limassol.

The United States and Israel maintained that the cargo was in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 which sanctions Iranian arms exports. Israel claimed that the intended destination of the cargo was Palestinian organisations in the Gaza strip, a claim that Iran denied.

The government’s direct involvement seems to have begun on January 27, when attempts were made to contact the ship and instruct it to dock at Limassol.

A team of Cypriot experts proceeded with two inspections of the ship’s cargo on January 29 and February 2. Cyprus then requested from the UN Sanctions Committee to assess whether the findings of the inspections lay within the provisions of the UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions on Iran and sought its recommendations on how to proceed.

Once the breach of UNSC resolutions was confirmed the cargo – 98 containers — was confiscated and unloaded onto the island on February 13.

Cyprus Blast Destroys Vassilikos Power Plant, Power Lost To 50% of the Island

[SEE:  huge explosion at Evangelos Florakis naval base–Cypress]

Vassilikos disaster much worse than expected

By Elias Hazou

THE SHOCKWAVE from the blast at the Mari naval base completely devastated the island’s main power plant at Vassilikos, which is set to lead to prolonged electricity and water cuts as the summer heat sets in.

It was shortly before 6am when the sonic boom from the explosion at the naval base hit the Vasilikos power plant. The shockwave twisted and even ripped metal sheets off the walls of the main building, caused parts of the roof to cave in, leaving the structure disfigured.

The gate tender on duty suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital.

Several employees working the morning shift were treated for light injuries.

The building was pelted by flying shrapnel – mostly pieces of pipe and metal shards – believed to have been ejected from the munitions that exploded in the nearby naval base, just 300m away.

A fire broke out inside the administration building but was quickly put out. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear. Other small outbreaks of fire occurred in the fields surrounding the building but were also extinguished by firefighters.

Luckily, the fuel tanks at the site escaped the flames.

Sources said the force of the shockwave was such that it crushed the roofs of cars that were parked there.

“The tops of the cars are now resting on the seats,” one eyewitness said.

The site has been declared unsafe to all except teams deployed to clear up the debris.

Inside, extensive damage was caused to equipment.

Proper damage assessment will begin today. Sources said that all five power units (one of which is a combined-cycle unit) have been damaged to varying degrees.

And it could take months before the station is back online, costing millions.

“We should probably brace for a tough, hot summer,” the same sources said.

Following emergency meetings between the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) and the Transmission System Operator, the EAC said yesterday it was examining “all possible scenarios” to deal with the sudden electricity supply problem.

“Unfortunately it appears that the disaster is much larger than we initially expected,” said EAC chairman Harris Thrassou.

One quick-fix option the EAC is looking at is purchasing several mobile power generators.

The EAC is appealing to the public to keep electrical consumption at a minimum, and avoid using air-conditioning units in particular.

With more than half of the island’s power now unavailable, the state-run utility said it had no choice but to introduce daily power cuts throughout the island on a rotational basis.

The duration of these measures is unknown, the EAC said.

Stelios Stylianou, the EAC’s general manager said there would be two-hour power cuts daily for everyone.

The maximum output of the two remaining power stations was 690 mw whereas demand for this time of year was in the region of 1,000mw, Stylianou explained. This was why there had to be cuts.

EAC’s plan was to create 13 districts, he said, with each one having a two-hour power cut each day. The EAC could not yet inform subscribers when each district would have its power cut, but hoped to release that information in the next few days.

Vital services – hospitals, airports, police— as well as tourist resorts and manufacturing units would be given priority so as to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.

Yesterday’s power outages caused no major problems for hospitals thanks to their generators Banks and large department stores also turned on their generators but were operating on a shoestring, with minimal lighting. Air conditioning units remained off.

“There’s a realization that we all have to chip in, to make some sacrifices…but this is nothing, compared to what happened to the loss of life today,” said one bank employee.

Hermes Airports announced it would be cutting back on electricity consumption at the island’s two airports. Similar pledges were made by the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA).

In Nicosia, the Fire Department received around 50 calls from people trapped in elevators.

Meanwhile power-hungry desalination plants have necessarily been taken offline – leading in turn to water cuts.

The Nicosia Water Board announced a rationing system for the various areas of the capital. Taps will run for 12 hours (from 6am to 6pm or vice versa) every other day, Monday through Friday. Water supply for Sundays will be allotted according to availability.

OBAMA’S PUSH FOR DEFICIT DEAL PUSHES REPUBLICAN CAPITULATION

“The White House doesn’t need a prompt deal so much as they need Republicans to take the blame for the absence of a deal. And even if you disagree with that judgment, they can’t get a prompt deal: The negotiators have failed to agree on a clean bill, a $2 trillion deal, and a $4 trillion deal. . . . So though we continue to hear assurances that we’ll reach a compromise before August, it seems increasingly likely that we won’t, and it’ll be a market panic or a government shutdown that forces a deal.’’

EZRA KLEIN

© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

American Drones Attack Pro-Government Forces In North and South Waziristan

[These drone attacks hit the camps of the militants who were under the Pak Army’s wing.  This is a partial response to Pakistan’s faux “offensive in Kurram,” which is the Army’s attempt to put-off the moment of truth in Waziristan by pretending in Kurram.  Pakistan plans to use these two leaders as the centerpiece of their tribal based defense in Waziristan (SEE:  The Real War –vs– The Illusions ), which means that they are the primary US targets.  Look for waves of these “decapitation” attempts in the near future and for the American war to make some really ugly turns, beginning with the dumping of Karzai and the backing of former Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh, who wants an all-out war on the Pak Army.]

US drones kill at least 25 militants in northwest Pakistan

https://i0.wp.com/graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/03/26/world/27taliban2_75.jpg Gul Bahadur (according to NY Times)     https://i0.wp.com/www.globaljihad.net/templates/default/media/PEOPLE09-A/hfizbahadur.jpg Mullah Nazir

MIRAMSHAH: A volley of US missile strikes killed at least 25 militants after destroying their compounds in Pakistan’s tribal areas on the Afghan border.

Twin drone attacks hit militant strongholds in North and South Waziristan 12 hours apart, as the United States announced it was suspending more than a third of its annual military aid to Pakistan, bringing relations to a new low.

Early Tuesday, a US drone fired two missiles at a compound in South Waziristan’s Bushnarai area, a senior security official told AFP.

Several missile strikes have recently targeted hideouts in the area, considered a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban commander Mullah Nazir, he said.

Late Monday, at least 12 militants were killed when US drones fired four missiles on a compound and a vehicle in the Gorwaik area of Dattakhel town, in North Waziristan. Reports of up to 16 militants killed could not be confirmed.

“In last night’s drone strike, at least 12 militants were killed and six others were wounded, and in today’s strike the death toll has risen to 13. Two were wounded,” a security official told AFP Tuesday.

Intelligence officials in Miramshah, the capital of North Waziristan, said foreigners were among those killed in the second attack.

Pakistani officials use the term “foreigners” for Al Qaeda-linked Arab, Central Asians and other non-Pakistani fighters.

Washington has called Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwest tribal region the most dangerous place on earth and the global headquarters of al Qaeda.

The United States does not officially confirm Predator drone attacks, but its military and the CIA operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the armed, unmanned aircraft in the region.

But the covert missile programme is deeply unpopular in Pakistan, where anti-American sentiment and relations with the United States have nosedived since US troops killed Osama bin Laden in the town of Abbottabad on May 2.

Although Pakistani politicians united to demand an end to drone strikes after US Navy SEALs entered Pakistan, seemingly without knowledge of the government or military, to kill the Al-Qaeda leader, they have continued.

Influential brother of Afghan Assassinated In His Bed

[If this is not a simple revenge attack, then it is very likely that a lot of money changed hands before this attack, which sounds remarkably similar to this assassination in Pakistan (SEE:  Pro-Pakistan, anti-Baitullah, commander Zainuddin shot dead).  Both men, who happened to be thorns in America’s sides, were shot dead in their sleep by a trusted bodyguard, with a “double-tap” shots to the head and chest.  Zainuddin led a Lashkar against the American favorite, Baitullah Mehsud, while Karzai was the source of President Karzai’s influence in southern Afghanistan.

This is the opening salvo in an American war against Karzai, the obstructor of Imperial plans.] 

Influential brother of Afghan president killed at home

Ahmad Wali Karzai, a brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is seen in Kandahar in this undated photograph. Ahmad Wali Karzai, a brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan, was shot dead on Tuesday, apparently by one of his bodyguards, officials said. REUTERS/Ahmad Nadeem

By Ismail Sameem

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan

(Reuters) – A brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and one of the most powerful men in southern Afghanistan was shot dead at his home on Tuesday, apparently by a senior and highly trusted bodyguard, officials said.

Ahmad Wali Karzai was a controversial figure, but his assassination will leave a dangerous power vacuum in Kandahar, the Taliban’s birthplace and a focus of recent efforts by a “surge” of U.S. troops to turn the tide against the insurgency.

He also played a critical role in shoring up his brother’s influence in the south, and President Karzai may find his reach there is now limited.

“My younger brother was martyred in his house today. This is the life of all Afghan people. I hope these miseries which every Afghan family faces will one day end,” Karzai said at a news conference in Kabul. He gave no more details.

Ahmad Wali Karzai was shot dead by Sardar Mohammad, a senior member of his security detail who once guarded the president, a source at the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, told Reuters.

“Sardar Mohammad was a senior bodyguard to Wali Karzai and highly trusted. He had been with Karzai’s family for the last ten years,” the source said, adding Ahmad Wali Karzai had died almost instantly because he was shot in the head and chest.

Mohammad was shot dead by other bodyguards moments after opening fire, the source said.

The killing cast a pall over the city of Kandahar. Police had set up extra checkpoints, security forces flooded into the city and shops were closed down in the central areas.

“MANY ENEMIES”

The Taliban claimed responsibility for one of the most high-profile assassinations of the last decade after news of his death became public. They have in the past taken responsibility for attacks that security services question their role in.

Years in power and his sometimes ruthless operating methods meant there might be many other people keen to target Karzai who was often known simply by his initials, AWK.

“I’m not sure whether I would assume that this was the Taliban because he had a lot of enemies down there,” said Thomas Ruttig, co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network.

Officials in Kabul and Kandahar declined comment on whether they thought the killing was personal, connected to the insurgency or driven by other grievances.

Ahmad Wali Karzai had survived several other assassination attempts. He said in May 2009 he had been ambushed on the road to Kabul by Taliban insurgents who killed one of his bodyguards.

In November 2008, he escaped unscathed from an attack on government buildings in his home province which killed six, and in 2003 there was an explosion outside his home.

CRITICAL POWER BROKER

A half brother of the president, Ahmad Wali Karzai returned to Afghanistan after the ouster of the Taliban government, leaving behind a career as a restaurateur in Chicago to eventually become probably the most powerful man in Kandahar.

His power came not from his position as head of the provincial council — a largely consultative role which normally carries limited influence — but from his tribal and family connections and the fortune he accumulated.

He had been accused of corruption and ties to Afghanistan’s huge opium trade that helps fund the Taliban-led insurgency. Ahmad Wali Karzai had strongly denied the accusations.

Foreign officials saw him as a polarizing figure who could complicate their efforts to win over the population and supplant the Taliban by bringing improvements to the way the province is governed.

But they also recognized his huge reach and worked closely with him despite misgivings.

“I’m certain that the killing of AWK will have profound political consequences, but it is too early to assess this more concretely now,” said a senior Western diplomat in Kabul, who asked not to be named.

“We need to know more about the underlying motives of the killing and which actors now will move in to fill the lacuna after AWK.”

(Additional reporting by Hamid ShaliziJonathon Burch and Michelle Nichols in Kabul; Writing byEmma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Proof of Identical Drive Shaft Sabotage On Two Ships In Gaza Flotilla

These shafts were bent in exactly the same manner, leaving identical machining marks.  Deep gouges and probably identical bending points mean it was done by the same submarine.  Remember the undersea cable-cuttting spree?  Somebody used some kind of router or dremel to gouge those shafts and a very large industrial tubing bender to make these drive shafts useless.  I guess that it is better than gunfire.

source

Cyprus Navy chief and Base Commander killed by base munitions blast–Defence Min. and Army Chief Resign

[Cyprus Navy commander in chief and primary base commander are killed in the massive blast of confiscated Iranian arms which were in transit to Hezbollah.   Then these army chiefs resign (SEE: Defence min, army chief quit after Cyprus blast ).  Who would want to disable both the Cyprus Army and the Navy?  (SEE:  The Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus Disagreement Over Mediterranean Gas and Oil).  Yesterday, Netanyahu was all set to challenge Lebanon’s rights to parts of the Mediterranean gas and oil basin in a U.N. standoff, hoping to get the backing of the “civilized world” behind the claims, which he fully intended to stake-out, believing that he had the Cypriot government’s backing.  According to the Lebanese news site Al-Manar, the government in Cypress expressed a willingness to negotiate with Tripoli over the position of what is known as “point 23.”  Today the arms dump of confiscated Iranian/Hezbollah arms explodes, taking-out the heads of Army and Navy. 

Who benefits from this?]

  


Cyprus: Navy chief killed by base munitions blast

Investigators search inspect a damaged guardpost destroyed by the explosion at the Evangelos Florakis naval base (11 July 2011)

Debris was blown as far as 3km (2 miles) from the naval base by the blast

The head of Cyprus’ navy, Andreas Ioannides, was among 12 people killed when seized containers of gunpowder exploded its main base.

The commander of the Evangelos Florakis base, Lambros Lambrou, also died.

The defence minister and military chief have resigned over the incident, which officials said occurred after a bush fire ignited the explosives.

A government spokesman has said a recent meeting concluded that safety at the site needed to be improved.

But the recommendations had not yet been implemented, he added.

The comments came after Ioannides’ son said senior officials had repeatedly ignored his warnings about the condition of the containers.

‘Biblical dimensions’

More than 90 containers of gunpowder had been kept in the open at the Evangelos Florakis base since they were confiscated by the Cypriot authorities from a ship intercepted in 2009 sailing from Iran to Syria in violation of United Nations sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Early on Monday, firefighters were called to tackle a small fire in the storage area. At 0550 (0250 GMT), there was a massive explosion.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

BBC News – Cyprus: Navy chief killed by base mu…, posted with vodpod

Greek newspaper photographer Stephanos Kouratzis describes the impact of the blast

The blast killed Mr Ioannides and Mr Lambrou, as well as four other navy personnel and six firefighters, a police and military statement said. Sixty-two people were wounded, two of them seriously.

The shockwave destroyed the walls of two multi-storey buildings on the base, and generator buildings and fuel tanks at the nearby Vassilikos power plant. Debris was blown as far as 3km (2 miles) from the base and hundreds of trees were flattened.

Nearly all the windows in the village of Zygi were blown out, while roof tiles were torn off and windows broken in the village of Mari.

“My tractor jumped about half a metre in the air,” farmer Nicos Aspros told the Reuters news agency. “There isn’t a house in the community which hasn’t been damaged.”

Commerce Minister Antonis Paschalides said the damage to the power station, which produces 60% of the country’s electricity, was a “tragedy of Biblical dimensions”.

The blast caused widespread power cuts, and the electricity authority has warned that the plant will not immediately come back online.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said there was no risk of further explosions, and that foreign experts would be called in to help the police and armed forces, the National Guard, investigate the incident.

The government had declared three days of official mourning, and the state would pay for the funerals of the victims, he added.

Asked about reports that navy commanders had expressed concerns over the safety of the gunpowder storage area, Mr Stefanou said officials had met last week at the defence ministry to discuss the matter.

“Decisions were taken on protecting the material, but unfortunately this was not possible as time ran out,” he added.

Earlier, Ioannides’ son told CyBC television that his father had warned that the gunpowder containers had been had become “warped” because they had remained exposed to the elements since being confiscated.

Mari’s community leader, Nicos Asprou, told reporters that the community had not been told gunpowder was being stored at the base.

President Demetris Christofias meanwhile accepted the resignations of Defence Minister Costas Papacostas and National Guard chief of staff, Petros Tsalikidis. They will remain in post until replacements are named.

“I want to express my sympathy and condolences to the families of the people who died while selflessly performing their duty,” Mr Christofias said. “The material damage can be repaired, but lives do not come back.”