Chinese Flights Through Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone Have Doubled

Chinese Flights Through Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone Have Doubled

Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com,

According to numbers released by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, Chinese military flights through Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) doubled in April compared to the previous two months, which coincides with increased US military activity in the region.

While there is much hype surrounding these flights, the ADIZ is not Taiwanese air space, and the Chinese planes usually pass through the southwest corner of the ADIZ, far from the island of Taiwan. An ADIZ is an airspace where a country requires foreign aircraft to identify themselves. The ADIZ concept is not covered under any international treaties and has no international regulations.

The US created the first ADIZs in the 1950s and established Taiwan’s ADIZ, as well as ones for Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines. Taiwan now claims an ADIZ that covers parts of mainland China, although the Defense Ministry does not publicize flights from China’s People’s Liberation Army on the Chinese sign of the median line, which separates the Taiwan Strait. China created an ADIZ in 2013 over the East China Sea, which the US has challenged with B-52 bombers.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said there were 117 incidents of Chinese warplanes flying through Taiwan’s ADIZ in April, which more than doubled the totals from February and March. The previous high was in January, which saw 81 ADIZ sorties, which fell to 40 in February and 54 in March.

Because the Chinese planes almost always fly through the southwest of the ADIZ, it’s likely they are going to or returning from drills in the South China Sea, where the US has significantly stepped its military presence in recent years. President Biden has stepped up provocations in the region even more. China said that since Biden came into office, operations had increased by more than 20 percent for US warships and 40 percent for military aircraft in waters claimed by Beijing.

The US is also boosting diplomatic ties with Taiwan as part of its strategy to counter China. In April, the Biden administration announced a new policy to “encourage” contacts between US and Taiwanese officials.

Last Friday, the top US and Taiwanese diplomats in France held a public lunch meeting, drawing sharp condemnation from Beijing.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 22:50

Iran Releases Video Threatening Strike On Israel’s Dimona Nuclear Reactor

Iran Releases Video Threatening Strike On Israel’s Dimona Nuclear Reactor

Iranian state media has again put out a hugely provocative clip depicting an imagined attack on its foreign enemies, which is clearly intended as a threat and “warning”. On Wednesday we detailed that just days earlier a propaganda video set to Iranian patriotic music featured Iran’s military launching a missile on Washington D.C., which resulted in an imagined direct hit on the Capitol Building. The clip briefly showed shocking footage of the Capitol bursting into flames as the lyrics praised the “avengers” who will “liberate Jerusalem” and defeat the Islamic Republic’s enemies.

And now on Thursday state-controlled Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (or IRIB) has issued another similar video, this time depicting an aerial missile strike on Dimona nuclear reactor in southern Israel.

The brief clip simulates the vantage point of a fighter jet or a drone hovering over what clearly appears to be the large Dimona facility, after which a missile is fired down upon it, but then the footage cuts to an hour glass, suggesting time is “running out” for Israel. 

Interestingly, just weeks ago on April 22 (in the overnight hours) what was widely described as an “errant” Syrian missile (as Damascus defenses had been responding to an Israeli raid) had fallen close to the Dimona nuclear reactor facility

“A Syrian missile exploded in southern Israel on Thursday, the Israeli military said, in an incident that triggered warning sirens near the secretive Dimona nuclear reactor and an Israeli strike in Syria,” Reuters had reported at the time. 

The Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center, commonly referred to as the Dimona complex:

The whole incident had been somewhat mysterious, given the length the missile traveled to within the general vicinity of one of Israel’s most secure and sensitive sites, leaving many to speculate that the “errant” surface missile fired from Syria was actually an intentional “message” to the Israelis

Below is the IRGC propaganda clip which had been released this past weekend…

Perhaps seizing on this capability of Iran or its regional allies to potentially hit an Israeli nuclear rector, which would cause untold severe damage to the whole surrounding area in southern Israel, Tehran appears to be putting Israel “on notice” over the latest string of Israeli covert sabotage incidents, most notably the April 11 Natanz attack which damaged Iranian centrifuges. 

This latest clip was issued on the occasion of Quds Day, which is an Iranian Islamic holiday that specifically commemorates the expected “liberation of Jerusalem” and which falls every year on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 22:30

Slap On The Wrist: Honeywell Fined For Sharing F-35, Other Secrets To China

Slap On The Wrist: Honeywell Fined For Sharing F-35, Other Secrets To China

Via South Front,

On May 5th, the US State Department announced that it had reached a $13 million settlement with defense contractor Honeywell.

The settlement is over allegations it exported technical drawings of parts for the F-35 fighters and other weapons platforms to China, Taiwan, Canada and Ireland, according to the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ charging document.

Honeywell voluntarily disclosed to the Department the alleged violations that are resolved under this settlement.  Honeywell also acknowledged the serious nature of the alleged violations, cooperated with the Department’s review, and instituted a number of compliance program improvements during the course of the Department’s review.  For these reasons, the Department has determined that it is not appropriate to administratively debar Honeywell at this time.”

The State Department alleged some of the transmissions harmed national security, which Honeywell acknowledges with the caveat that the technology involved “is commercially available throughout the world. No detailed manufacturing or engineering expertise was shared.”

Overall, the materials pertained to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the B-1B Lancer long-range strategic bomber, the F-22 fighter, the C-130 transport aircraft, the A-7H Corsair aircraft, the A-10 Warthog aircraft, the Apache Longbow helicopter, the M1A1 Abrams tank, the tactical Tomahawk missile; the F/A-18 Hornet fighter, and the F135, F414, T55 and CTS800 turboshaft engines.

Honeywell would only pay its fine, essentially, and keep working for the US government, because it voluntarily admitted to violating national security.

Between 2011 and 2015, Honeywell allegedly used a file-sharing platform to inappropriately transmit engineering prints showing layouts, dimensions and geometries for manufacturing castings and finished parts for multiple aircraft, military electronics and gas turbine engines. Its first disclosure of violations to the government came in 2015.

“The U.S. Government reviewed copies of the 71 drawings and determined that exports to and retransfers in the PRC [People’s Republic of China] of drawings for certain parts and components for the engine platforms for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, B-1B Lancer Long-Range Strategic Bomber, and the F-22 Fighter Aircraft harmed U.S. national security,” the charging document read.

In a statement, Honeywell said it has since taken steps to ensure there are no repeat incidents.

“Under an agreement reached with the State Department to resolve these issues, Honeywell will pay a fine, engage an external compliance officer to oversee the Consent Agreement for a minimum of 18 months, and will conduct an external audit of our compliance program,” Honeywell’s statement on the matter reads in part.

“Since Honeywell voluntarily self-reported these disclosures, we have taken several actions to ensure there are no repeat incidents. These actions included enhancing export security, investing in additional compliance personnel, and increasing compliance training.”

Interesting enough, the US was concerned that the F-35 flying disaster’s secrets would be shared through Turkey’s purchase of an S-400 missile defense system.

Turns out, a US corporation simply sold the secrets to China and others, simply for profit.

But it is all well, since it apologized after the fact, reinforcing the notion that it is much simpler to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.

Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 22:10

South Carolina Follows Montana In Ending All Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Programs

South Carolina Follows Montana In Ending All Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Programs

It appears we were overly cynical when we said just an hour ago that we won’t be holding our breath to find out if any other state will join Montana in ending many unemployment benefits in response to the unprecedented worker shortage.

Just moments after we published that post, perhaps emboldened by the daring example set by his republicans peers in Montana, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster today became the second state to end the people’s addition to government handouts, and directed the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce to terminate South Carolina’s participation in all federal, pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs, effective June 30, 2021.

Governor McMaster directed the agency to take the action in a letter to DEW Executive Director Dan Ellzey.

“South Carolina’s businesses have borne the brunt of the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those businesses that have survived – both large and small, and including those in the hospitality, tourism, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors – now face an unprecedented labor shortage,” governor McMaster wrote.

“This labor shortage is being created in large part by the supplemental unemployment payments that the federal government provides claimants on top of their state unemployment benefits. In many instances, these payments are greater than the worker’s previous pay checks. What was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”

In a memo to Governor McMaster, Executive Director Ellzey outlined existing federal unemployment programs and what will change when the governor’s directive goes into effect on June 30.

Those programs include the following:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (EPUC)
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
  • Emergency Unemployment Relief for Governmental Entities and Nonprofit Organizations
  • Temporary Federal Funding of the First Week of Compensable Regular Unemployment for States with No Waiting Week

In conclusion, McMaster says that following termination of participation in these federal programs, DEW shall return to normal operation of the State’s unemployment insurance program, including enforcing the requirement that claimants demonstrate active efforts to seek employment in order to remain eligible for benefits.

In response, Dan Ellzey wrote that “at the current time, there are 81,684 open positions in the state of South Carolina. The hotel and food service industries have employee shortages that threaten their sustainability. However, no area of the economy has been spared from the pain of a labor shortage.”

The Director of the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce Director continued: “While the federal funds supported our unemployed workers during the peak of COVID-19, we fully agree that reemployment is the best recovery plan for South Carolinians and the economic health of the state. Last week’s initial claims numbers were the lowest since the pandemic began, and employers around the state are eager to hire and anxious to get South Carolina back to business.”

With 2 states down and 48 to go, or 49 – we are not sure if Washington D.C. is now officially part of the USSA – one can only hope that more states will follow in this example, although as with all things, we expect that the final breakdown will be by party lines with people in red states working and while people in blue state are paid to smoke pot and do nothing.

McMaster’s full note below (pdf link):

Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 21:50

CNN Host Says People Who Don’t Take The Vaccine Should Be Socially Ostracized By Friends & Family

CNN Host Says People Who Don’t Take The Vaccine Should Be Socially Ostracized By Friends & Family

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

CNN’s Michael Smerconish says that people who don’t take the vaccine should be socially ostracized and shunned by their friends and family.

During a segment on his show, Smerconish discussed a suggestion made by prosecutor Michael Stern in a USA Today opinion piece about vaccination uptake.

“We’ve gotta shun folks, we’ve gotta shun people into getting vaccinated,” said Smerconish, agreeing that businesses should make getting the vaccine mandatory as a condition of employment.

However, he also asserted that family members and friends should socially ostracize those who choose not to take the vaccine.

Continuing to quote Stern’s article, Smerconish stated, “People should require friends to be vaccinated to attend the barbeques and birthday parties they host – friends don’t let friends spread COVID.”

Smerconish then proudly revealed the results of a poll on his website which found that 73% of respondents thought it was “time to shun.”

“Doesn’t @Smerconish realise we absolutely want to be shunned by people like him and his viewers,” remarked Raheem Kassam.

“That’s literally the dream.”

“This isn’t going to end well,” commented Donald Trump Jr.

Smerconish and his ilk are not encouraging others to shun “anti-vaxxers” because they care that much about incentivizing more people to take the vaccine (take up rates are already very high), they’re shaming them so as to legitimize the brutal discrimination that will be metered out later on down the line to those who don’t take it.

Meanwhile, the ‘sane’ people who insist everyone must take the vaccine are walking around behaving like this…

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Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/06/2021 – 21:30

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