Thursday, January 28, 2016

"A Comprehensive Threat" | Russians let Hizballah into Daraa, breaking their promise to Israel | Meet the next commander in Afghanistan, who has deeper experience there than almost any U.S. general - The Washington Post | Sweden ‘prepared for war with RUSSIA’, chilling leaked documents warn | World | News | Daily Express | Islamic State terrorist who blew up Russian airliner 'identified' and 'last seen in Turkey' - Telegraph | Russia: No Firm Plans to Coordinate Oil Output With OPEC - ABC News | Clinton Seen as Winner in November; A Trump Presidency Inspires Anxiety (POLL) - ABC News | Syria peace talks derailed as opposition stays away | Reuters | Evacuation Squad: Pro-Putin online group claims responsibility for school bomb threats in England and France | Crime | News | The Independent

"A Comprehensive Threat"

The Daily Vertical: A Comprehensive Threat

M.N.: A threat? Most definitely, yes. An "enemy"? "Definitely not" (hopefully), or not yet. Gen. Breedlove put it very well: "Stop hugging the Russian bear." But at the same time we can try to talk to this animal. The question is if the creature(s) are able and willing to understand the human language. And judge them by their deeds, not by their words, which traditionally are habitual lies. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. And to prepare is the absolute "must" and is in progress. Prepare yourselves for the unknown 2016. 

The Dangerous Games: Zika, bio-threats and wordplays

Zika =  "Zaika": a little hare, "a bunny". That's how Russian mothers affectionately call their babies. 
Microcephaly as a part of Zika gives it a whole new, facetious meaning. Interpretation: "You are brainless and we will turn you into a brainless, degenerating, dying civilization..." 
The previous "messages" on this subject and within this realm (of bio-threats): 
Ebola - "Yebo'la" - a profane neologism meaning: "It will fuck you"... 
Mr. Putin prefers to pronounce it , very carefully, as "aebola' ", with the stress on the last syllable, apparently to avoid the undiplomatic associations. 

By the way, it would be premature, unsubstantiated and unproven to pile it on Putin: he might not know about any of these operations (if they are indeed operations), or their details, as to provide him with the benefits of "plausible deniability". However his responsibility for unmistakable turn towards general hostility and confrontation with the West is undeniable.

And finally, your old acquaintance: 
Anthrax. Its other name, more commonly used in Russia is the Siberian Ulcer. 

Are these just random associations and random word plays or the pattern of verbal component, the pattern of messaging, for fun and entertainment of the "agentura" and as a threat to the others (who can read them)? 
Apparently, the bio-warfare and the "bio-threats games" come to the forefront, they can kill and cause the enormous damage "softly" and playfully, as a part of the Invisible and Undeclared War. At the same time the caution is imperative in discerning and attributing these man made threats, if they are indeed man made. 

Brazilian city of Recife sees spike in microcephaly cases - BBC News 

Recife: Zika = "Receive: Zaika"

Zika virus: Up to four million Zika cases predicted - BBC News
WHO: Zika virus ‘spreading explosively,’ ‘level of alarm extremely high’ - The Washington Post
zika - Google Search
zika virus - Google Search
Zika virus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
zika obama - Google Search
Obama calls for rapid Zika research as virus seen spreading | Reuters
Zika virus: President Obama calls for urgent action - BBC News
Spread of Zika virus 'explosive', 4 million cases possible: WHO | Reuters
WHO Seeks World-Wide Response to Zika Outbreak
WHO: Zika Virus Spreading Explosively in Americas
Zika Virus Is Spreading ‘Explosively,’ WHO Chief Says - WSJ
IOC to advise national Olympic bodies on Zika virus - The Washington Post
Rio 2016: Games officials combat Zika threat -
In face of Zika virus, women ponder abortion, childlessness - The Washington Post
Brazil president declares war on the Zika virus - The Washington Post
The Latest: 31 US Residents Diagnosed With Zika in Past Year - ABC News
Вести.Ru: Зика пришла на смену Эболе. Чем угрожает вирус россиянам?

Совещание с членами Правительства • Президент России:

"В.Путин: Вероника Игоревна, там ещё гадость какая‑то из Латинской Америки передвигается, тоже вирус какой‑то. Комары, конечно, через океан не перелетят, но инфицированные люди могут перелетать и перелетают. Вирус уже появился в Европе. По этому поводу два слова, пожалуйста.

В.Скворцова: Это инфекция Зика. Мы держим её на контроле с момента, как она появилась. Сейчас мы работаем над тем, чтобы с момента появления непонятных штаммов, в том числе получивших новые свойства через лабораторное развитие, брать это под контроль и тут же иметь отечественные препараты для профилактики и лечения. У нас есть закрытый перечень подобных инфекционных агентов, мы над этим сейчас работаем.

В.Путин: Я Вас прошу обратить на это внимание, потому что он поражает, насколько я понимаю, беременных женщин, может иметь тяжёлые последствия для детей. Поэтому нужно внимательно к этому отнестись – у вас есть хороший опыт, – работать с транспортными компаниями, авиационными компаниями, понимать, каковы признаки, и оперативно реагировать. И конечно, нужно работать над лекарственными препаратами.

В.Скворцова: Обязательно. В постоянном режиме работаем.

В.Путин: Хорошо. Спасибо." 

M.N.: Note, that due to cold climate, the spread of Zika in Russia is very unlikely. Also note, that Mr. Putin boasted several times of having a new and efficient vaccine against Ebola (which was doubted by specialists). And that Anthrax was a subject of studies in Soviet labs for decades. 
The "Olympic connection": induction of panic and low attendance in Rio as a response to attitudes towards Games in Sochi.

Церемония награждения лауреатов премии Паралимпийского комитета России «Возвращение в жизнь» • Президент России
Телефонный разговор с Президентом Перу Ольянтой Умалой • Президент России
zika information war - Google Search

Infowar and InfoSecurity

Document: NATO looks to combat Russia's 'information weapon' | Brainerd Dispatch
information wars - Google Search
Столтенберг: НАТО беспокоит российская пропаганда - BBC Русская служба

Nato and Russia

Nato brands Russia 'aggressive and unpredictable' as it warns of dangerous 2016 | World | News | Daily Express:
Mr Stoltenberg said: "Over the past three years, Russia has conducted at least 18 large-scale snap exercises, some of which have involved more than 100,000 troops.
"These exercises include simulated nuclear attacks on Nato Allies and on partners, and have been used to mask massive movements of military forces and to menace Russia's neighbours."
In a strongly worded rebuke of Russia's military activity last year, he accused Moscow of "exploiting loopholes" in international treaties by "mis-reporting or failing to report major military exercises and using no-notice (snap) exercises". 
The general secretary also appeared to blame Russia for the downing of a Su-24 fighter jet by Turkey last year.
He said Moscow's "assertive and unpredictable military posture" and its propensity for "ignoring or skirting agreed international rules and procedures" led to the Russian warplane being shot down.
Mr Stoltenberg said: "As part of its overall military build-up, the pace of Russia's military manoeuvres and drills have reached levels unseen since the height of the Cold War."
But he added: "Russia is our largest neighbour. We need to have a relationship with Russia that is based on mutual respect.
"There is no contradiction between increasing the strength of Nato and engaging with Russia."

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg confirms discussion to hold talks with Russia - The Economic Times
NATO debates first Russia talks since 2014 - Yahoo7
TASS: Russian Politics & Diplomacy - Russia ready to resume working with NATO in form of equal dialogue — lawmaker
Fearful of Russia, Europe's defense cuts slow: NATO data | Reuters
Europe Curbing Defense Cuts to Counter ‘More Assertive Russia,’ NATO Says - WSJ
Политолог: альянс неслучайно хочет созвать Совет Россия-НАТО | РИА Новости
US requests NATO surveillance aircraft in fight against Islamic State - Europe - Stripes
Генсек: НАТО поддержит Украину в ее сопротивлении внешнему давлению | РИА Новости
Генсек НАТО вспомнил о взаимном уважении с Россией
Военный эксперт: России не хватит ресурсов на войну против НАТО

Russia and Eurasia

Charles Krauthammer - That Murder in London
Vladimir Putin’s poison tea - The Washington Post
Will the U.S. treat Mr. Putin as it treated Pinochet? - The Washington Post
Anti-Obama Sign On Display Near U.S. Embassy In Moscow
Sweden ‘prepared for war with RUSSIA’, chilling leaked documents warn | World | News | Daily Express
Russia wins battle in Swedish court within Yukos shareholders’ case — RT News
Russia claims ISIS is planning to kidnap tourists in Turkey and execute them | Daily Mail Online
Silicon Valley Still Beats Skolkovo for Russia's Richest Tycoons | News | The Moscow Times
Лавров ответил на обвинения во вмешательстве во внутренние дела Германии :: Политика :: РБК
Лавров ответил на призыв Штайнмайера "не раздувать" тему мигрантов | РИА Новости
Putin′s ex-wife sets Russian rumor mill churning | Europe | DW.COM | 28.01.2016
The Times: Владимир Путин готовится к свадьбе - УралПолит.Ru
Граф Монте-Путин - Известия
Манящая даль зарубежья - Общество, Свободная тема - МК
Владимира Путина пригласили в Ашхабад - Известия
На западе Москвы троллейбус разорвало пополам | РИА Новости
Oil producer Azerbaijan in talks for international aid - The Washington Post
Slip sliding away: cars and buses negotiate ice covered road in Azerbaijan – video | World news | The Guardian
Первый по срочным новостям — LIFE | NEWS
Тимати о фото Пригожина с Ходорковским: Нельзя усидеть на двух стульях - Первый по срочным новостям — LIFE | NEWS

Air Accidents Investigations Leads

Islamic State terrorist who blew up Russian airliner 'identified' and 'last seen in Turkey' - Telegraph
Спецслужбы установили личность исполнителя теракта на борту А321 - Первый по срочным новостям — LIFE | NEWS
СМИ сообщили о причастности к взрыву самолета «Когалымавиа» грузчика аэропорта: Полиция и спецслужбы: Силовые структуры:
СМИ: спецслужбы установили личность пронесшего бомбу на борт A321 - Газета.Ru | Новости
Руководство аэропорта Шарм-эш-Шейха отрицает причастность к ЧП с А321 | РИА Новости
Кремль прокомментировал данные о возможном исполнителе теракта на А321 :: Политика :: РБК
Кремль устранился от комментариев о личности исполнителей теракта на А321: Политика: Россия:
Вести.Ru: Установлены личности участников теракта над Синаем: Кремль рекомендует обратиться к спецслужбам
Предполагаемый убийца пилота Су-24 появился на похоронах в Стамбуле :: Политика :: РБК

Russia and OPEC

Russia: No Firm Plans to Coordinate Oil Output With OPEC - ABC News
Putin ally absent as Russia considers joint action with OPEC | The Fiscal Times

Ukraine and its Navy

Украина заявила о намерении возродить подводный флот | РИА Новости
ВМС Украины намерены обзавестись целым соединением подводных лодок - (с) News Front
ТАСС: Международная панорама - Украина намерена возродить подводный флот
EU Court Strikes Down Sanctions On Yanukovych Allies
EU sanctions on former Ukraine regime unravel
Европейский суд признал ошибкой заморозку активов соратников Януковича :: Политика :: РБК
Window on Eurasia -- New Series: Moscow Patriarchate Losing Parishes to Kyiv Church and Its Dominance of Ukraine’s Religious Life
Nazi Roots of Ukraine’s Conflict | Consortiumnews

Georgia and War Investigation

Window on Eurasia -- New Series: Moscow Laying Groundwork for Another Invasion of Georgia
Вести.Ru: Россия передала Международному суду свидетельства преступлений в Южной Осетии
ВЗГЛЯД / Тбилиси попытается доказать в МУС этночистку грузин в 2008 году


AP Sources: Panel Proposes Ban on Air Shipments of Batteries
Army commission to unveil findings - POLITICO
New docs confirm CIA had rendition flight lurking in Europe to catch Snowden — RT News
France: Court ruling in ‘11 September’ Saudi documentary defamation row | HUMANERIGHTSEUROPE


In first, ISIS-linked hacker extradited to US | TheHill
Alleged ISIS hacker extradited to US | Fox News
CSI: Cyber-Attack Scene Investigation--a Malware Whodunit - Scientific American
Why Rudy Giuliani thinks cybersecurity is the next big crisis - MarketWatch


Clinton Seen as Winner in November; A Trump Presidency Inspires Anxiety (POLL) - ABC News
Campaigning in style: How Jeb Bush blew through his warchest | Reuters
TheUnion |
Police: 6 Dead in Apparent Domestic Murder-Suicide - ABC News
Police: Drug Dispute Likely Started Seattle Homeless Attack - ABC News
Jurors chosen for Richmond Hill explosion trial of Bob Leonard Jr.
30 years since Challenger: New voice at astronauts' memorial - U.S. - Stripes
Remembering the Challenger disaster - Daily Southtown
Flint Water Crisis Affects Public Trust in Science
Schock has big legal debt
A time of angry strongmen - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Caitlyn Jenner Dismissed - ABC News
Puerto Rico health officials declare flu epidemic - The Washington Post
This glorious NYC storm photo has been compared to an impressionist painting - Telegraph

Middle East

Russians let Hizballah into Daraa, breaking their promise to Israel

First Israeli APC gets advanced missile defense | The Times of Israel
Gaza: Hamas militants die in tunnel collapse - BBC News
Seven Hamas militants killed in Gaza tunnel collapse | GlobalPost
Over 12 killed or missing in collapse of Gaza infiltration tunnel
Syrian defense chief in Moscow for talks on military ties - The Washington Post
Syria peace talks derailed as opposition stays away | Reuters
Opposition says Syrian peace talks unlikely to begin Friday - The Washington Post
Syrian Peace Talks Are Already at a Stalemate
Israel reluctant to accuse Islamic State over bar shootings despite hallmarks | Reuters
Mohammad Abu Tir, senior Hamas official, arrested in Jerusalem
Egypt's Top Auditor Faces Backlash Over Corruption Findings
Treasury Sanctions 2 for Laundering Money for Hezbollah - ABC News
Israel, Greece and Cyprus to hold summit in Nicosia
NATO Considering US Request for AWACS to Fight Islamic State - ABC News
NATO to Begin Training Iraqi Forces in Jordan Soon - NATO Chief
DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security
DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security
DEBKAfile, Political Analysis, Espionage, Terrorism, Security
Britain to take in unaccompanied refugee children from conflict areas | Reuters
Why Moscow championed the creation of Israel - Le Monde diplomatique - English edition

Afganistan and Asia

Meet the next commander in Afghanistan, who has deeper experience there than almost any U.S. general - The Washington Post

U.S. general tapped to take over in Afghanistan open to keeping more troops, boosting air war - The Washington Post
Profile: Bacha Khan, Pakistan's 'Frontier Gandhi'
Envoys To Discuss Afghan Peace Process Next Month


Evacuation Squad: Pro-Putin online group claims responsibility for school bomb threats in England and France | Crime | News | The Independent
Police: Woman detained at Disneyland Paris after her partner seized with guns and Quran - The Washington Post
Disneyland Paris: Man arrested carrying two guns - BBC News
Man With Guns, Koran Arrested At Disneyland Paris Theme Park
Volunteer at Berlin refugee office admits he made up story of migrant freezing to death - Telegraph
Canada signals it will reengage with Russia despite Ukraine | Reuters
4 soldiers killed in Mali’s north in explosion, attack - The Washington Post
ЕС решил исключить Грецию из Шенгенской зоны


Au Pair Death in Vienna Being Treated as Murder, Police Say - ABC News


US troops in Libya, again; Bombs incinerate ISIS cash; Seoul eyes THAAD; Kangaroo-based IED plot, foiled; and a bit more. - Defense One
News Roundup and Notes: January 28, 2016 | Just Security
Today's Headlines and Commentary - Lawfare
Today's Headlines and Commentary - Lawfare 

Zika Virus Is Spreading ‘Explosively,’ WHO Chief Says

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The head of the World Health Organization said Thursday she would form an emergency committee that will meet in Geneva Monday to discuss the Zika virus, which she said is spreading “explosively.”
“The level of alarm is extremely high,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in remarks to a regularly scheduled meeting of the public health agency’s executive board. “Questions abound. We need to get some answers quickly.”
As many as 1.5 million Brazilians may have been infected with the mosquito-borne Zika virus and now the U.S. and other countries are also reporting new cases. But what is the Zika virus? And why does it pose a threat to pregnant women? Dipti Kapadia explains. Photo: Getty Images
The announcement by WHO underscores the alarming speed with which a virus that began as an obscure tropical malady afflicting Africa and then several remote Western Pacific islands has transformed into a major international health threat, particularly within the Americas. More than 20 countries in the hemisphere, including Mexico, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Venezuela, as well as the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, have registered cases of active Zika transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No country has been hit harder than Brazil, where health officials estimate as many as 1.5 million people may be infected by Zika. More puzzling and concerning to health officials is that Brazil uniquely has registered thousands of suspected cases in which the Zika virus is believed to be causing babies to be born with microcephaly, or underdeveloped skulls and brains.
More than 4,100 cases of what was initially suspected of being Zika-related microcephaly have been recorded in Brazil, and nearly 70 babies have died. the role of Zika in some of those cases has been discounted but the vast majority of them are still under investigation. In all of 2014, the country recorded 147 microcephaly cases.
Although the link isn't yet proven, medical authorities believe that Zika can be transmitted from pregnant women to fetuses through the placenta. The CDC has warned pregnant women to avoid travel to Zika-infected countries. It has also urged women who are trying to become pregnant to talk with their doctors about the planned trip, and to protect themselves from mosquitoes if they do go.
Pregnant women are likely most at risk during their first trimester, when brain development is occurring, the CDC says, but adds there is evidence the risk continues into the second trimester as well.
The WHO committee will meet Monday to decide what measures are needed to stem the spread of the virus and to prioritize research areas. Among the possible measures could be to declare the spread of Zika to be a “public health emergency of international concern,” a designation intended to denote international public health risk and to corral political and financial support to fight epidemics. The WHO has declared them rarely: for the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009, for polio in May 2014, and for Ebola in August the same year.
The agency was criticized for declaring Ebola to be a public health emergency months after the epidemic began, and only when it was already spreading rapidly in West Africa.
Dr. Chan said she was prompted to call the meeting for Monday because of the potential for further international spread given the wide geographic distribution of the aedes mosquito that transmits Zika, a lack of immunity in people who are exposed, and the absence of vaccines, drugs and diagnostic tests. Also of concern, she said, were the virus’s suspected links to microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system.
“Conditions associated with this year’s El Niño weather pattern are expected to increase mosquito populations greatly in many areas,” she added.
The spread of Zika has raised concerns in the U.S., where 31 cases have been reported in 11 states and the District of Columbia since 2015 in travelers returning from countries where Zika is circulating, according to the latest CDC data. Another 19 laboratory-confirmed cases have occurred in Puerto Rico, and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the CDC said. Most have been mild illnesses, said Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director.
The CDC has warned pregnant women to avoid travel to 23 countries and territories, most in the Americas, where Zika is circulating. It has also urged women who are trying to get pregnant to talk with their doctors before travel, and to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
“The virus is spreading throughout the Americas and we expect more countries to be affected,“ Dr. Schuchat said.
Zika isn’t spreading in the continental U.S., Dr. Schuchat said. “We have not yet seen local transmission of Zika in the continental U.S.,” she said.
While U.S. outbreaks are possible and “even likely,” she said, since the aedes mosquito is common in the U.S. South, they are expected to be limited in scope, since U.S. urban areas aren’t as densely populated as in other countries in the Americas and the U.S. has “stronger mosquito control.”
WHO’s action is the latest and so far most visible signal of the international health community’s growing anxiety, amplifying the concerns of world governments. This week, U.S. President Barack Obama urged cooperation between the U.S. and Brazil in speeding development of a Zika vaccine, which health authorities say is still three to five years from development.
Some Brazilian health authorities welcomed WHO’s announcement, saying Brazil and the rest of the hemisphere would benefit from the heightened global attention to slowing the Zika virus’s advance.
“WHO recognizes that this is an international emergency, and not a problem of one country,” said Carlos Fortaleza, an infectologist at the university of São Paulo state, UNESP. “The response time of international authorities to combat the epidemic should be faster, since with international support there is an exchange of experiences, and also more investment in research.”
Rafael Cortez, a political scientist at São Paulo-based consultant Tendencias Consultoria, said Brazil’s struggle with an economic recession and political turmoil has hindered its ability to stem the Zika outbreak. Brazil also is battling epidemics of two other similar mosquito-borne viruses, dengue and chikungunya.
“This combination of factors leads to a lack of adequate answers to the problem, by the politician system,” Mr. Cortez said.
Zika, a tropical disease like yellow fever and dengue, is spread to people through mosquito bites, not person to person. About one in five people who are infected with Zika virus will develop symptoms, the most common of which are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, or redness in the eyes. Other symptoms are muscle pain and headache. It is usually a mild disease lasting a few days or a week, and rarely requires hospitalization.
The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947, and has caused outbreaks in Africa, Southeast Asia and on several Pacific islands. It is believed to have crossed the Pacific and been introduced into Brazil in 2014.
Zika is spread primarily by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, commonly known as the yellow-fever mosquito. In the U.S., its range extends from South Carolina and Florida along the Gulf Coast to Texas, as well as Hawaii and some parts of Arizona. Zika is also spread, perhaps to a lesser extent, by the Aedes albopictus mosquito, whose range in the summer can reach as far north as New York and New Jersey, as well as parts of Illinois and Indiana... 

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