cue the lightning bolts

the only question that matters: is it true?

Iran has signed the NPT. As a signatory to the NPT, Iran may rightfully, legally, use nuclear technology for peaceful energy purposes. Iran has submitted to and passed repeated IAEA inspections. The US intelligence community (NIE) does not consider Iran a nuclear threat. Israel refuses to sign the NPT. Israel has an estimated several hundred undeclared nuclear weapons. Russia and China have warned that an attack on Iran will have global consequences. That's the situation in a nutshell. Where to next, people? Where to?

Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? - Galatians 4:16


partners and enemies

1. report: weapons seized in Thailand possibly destined for Hizbollah

Weapons aboard a cargo plane discovered in Bangkok were most probably destined for Hizbullah, Israel's mass-selling Yediot Aharonot daily quoted Western intelligence sources as saying.
The sources also did not rule out the possibility of the shipment being destined for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

A Thai court on Monday extended by 12 days the detention of four Kazakhs and a man from Belarus who flew into Thailand on the plane carrying more than 35 tons of sanctions-busting weapons from North Korea.

The cache, including missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and components for surface-to-air missiles, was discovered after the pilot from Belarus and the four other crew from Kazakhstan landed to refuel at Bangkok's domestic Don Mueang airport on Friday, officials said.

The men were charged Sunday with possessing weapons for war and appeared at the court Monday morning.

"The court approved our request to detain them for another 12 days and they will be moved to Bangkok Remand Prison while their lawyer seeks bail," said national police spokesman Pongsapat Pongcharoen after the hearing.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said Sunday it was not yet clear why the weapons were being transported.

"We only know they were due to refuel in Sri Lanka (after Bangkok)," Abhisit told reporters.

However, government spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said the plane was going to "a destination in the Middle East" to unload the weapons. After that, according to the crew, it had planned to refuel in the United Arabs Emirates and Azerbaijan before flying to its final destination in the Ukraine.

The plane began its journey in North Korea's capital Pyongyang. Abhisit said the weapons came from a North Korean company and the Russian cargo plane was registered in Georgia.

He said the crew requested permission to land for refueling in Bangkok and then lied to inspectors about their cargo, saying it was oil-drilling equipment.

"We received the tip-off from intelligence reports that said this plane was suspicious. When the plane refueled, we searched it and found the weapons," he said. Thai media said the tip-off came from U.S. intelligence.

source: naharnet

2. Poroshenko denies Ukraine's involvement

Foreign Affairs Minister Petro Poroshenko has said that Ukraine is not involved in the incident with a plane detained in Thailand, he told a press conference.

"This plane is not Ukrainian one. Its crewmembers are not Ukrainian citizens... There are no proofs of Ukraine's involvement in this case," Poroshenko said.

He also said that this plane was detained by competent bodies of Thailand, which revealed a mismatch in the cargo transported and documents accompanying it.

Poroshenko said that this plane was in Ukraine on Nov. 13, but it was empty. On Dec. 8, it flew empty to Bangkok.

The minister also said that Ukrainian bodies are ready to provide required assistance in the investigation.

He said that the information regarding possible involvement of Ukrainian companies in this incident is being checked.

The captain said that the plane set out from Ukraine and loaded the weapon in North Korea.

source: kyiv post

3. ships sinking: Ogan Bey with six Ukranians on board sinks off Turkish coast - no reason given

The Ogan Bey cargo ship sailing under the flag of Panama and carrying coal from Russia to Turkey sank off the port of Eregli (Turkey) in the Black Sea in early hours of Dec. 13, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine said.

Among 16 crew members there were six citizens of Ukraine, two Turks and two Georgians.Five Ukrainians were rescued and are currently in the State Hospital of the town of Eregli. The accident took lives of one Ukrainian and one Georgian. Another two Turks and Georgians are reported missing.The rescued Ukrainian sailors' state of health is satisfactory. Consular department employees of the Ukrainian Embassy in Turkey are helping sailors with documentation and return to Ukraine. The body of the dead Ukrainian sailor is in a morgue of the State Hospital of Eregli for forensic medical examination that will clarify the cause of the death. For his repatriation they have got into contact with the ship owner company and a wife of the dead.

The case is under personal control of Petro Poroshenko, minister of foreign affairs of Ukraine.

As reported, the Salla-2 cargo ship sailing under the flag of the Republic of Togo with Ukrainians as crewmembers sank 80 kilometers off the Haifa Port (Israel) around 10:00 p.m. on Dec. 11.

4. Poll: Belarus, Kazakhstan are Russia's most reliable partners

Moscow, December 14 (Interfax) - Belarus and Kazakhstan are Russia's most reliable partners, a poll conducted by Russian Public Opinion Study Center (VTsIOM) has found.

Polled in November, forty-three percent of respondents said that Belarus was Russia's best partner, while 31% named Kazakhstan and 8% Armenia, the center said.

Azerbaijan and Ukraine polled 4% each, and Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan received 3% each. Tajikistan gained 2%, and Georgia 1%.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is trusted the most amongst Russians (33%). Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev follows with 28%. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has 6%, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow 5% each, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev 4%, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan 3%, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has 3%, and Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and Moldovan Acting President Mihai Ghimpu received 2% each.

Only 1% of those polled said they had confidence in Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

The poll found that Russian see Belarus (41%) and Kazakhstan (29%) as the most stable and successful countries in the CIS. Azerbaijan gained 9%, Armenia 8%, Turkmenistan 6%, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Uzbekistan 5%, Georgia 3%, and Tajikistan 2%.

Twenty-four percent of the respondents said that Belarus was most successfully coping with the economic crisis. The rating is 14% for Kazakhstan. Other CIS countries gained three percent or less.

source: kyiv post

5. Chinese, Turkmen, Kazakh, Uzbek presidents unveil gas pipeline

TURKMENABAD, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and his counterparts from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Monday jointly put into operation a natural gas pipeline linking the four nations.

At the ceremony in a gas plant near the Turkmen-Uzbek border, President Hu said the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline is a model of sincere solidarity and mutually beneficial cooperation of the four countries. He said the gas pipeline is a carrier of goodwill for friendship and mutual benefits of the four countries.

read more @ chinaview

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