Monday, December 9, 2013

WAR DRUMS: Winter Games - China Hold War Games Near Korean Border!

December 09, 2013 - KOREA - China’s military is holding large-scale military maneuvers near the North Korean border amid new signs of political instability in Pyongyang.

Type 07 122mm cannon in PLA exercises near N. Korea in April / Source: Chinese Internet

U.S. military intelligence assets in Asia—including satellites, aircraft and ships—are monitoring the war games by the 39th Army Group that are part of the Shenyang military region.

A defense official said the war games are routine winter training and do not appear related to the ouster of No. 2 North Korean leader Jang Song Thaek, confirmed by the Pyongyang regime Sunday night.

The official pointed to a Chinese military newspaper report on the exercises.

The PLA Daily, the official military newspaper, reported Friday that the exercises began Dec. 4 and involved cold-weather operations of about 3,000 troops.

The maneuvers are taking place in the Changbai Mountains near China’s northeastern border with North Korea.

As part of the Chinese military’s efforts to increase realistic training, the exercises were carried out without site surveys or adaptation training before the winter season.

The exercises are said by the newspaper to simulate “real-war” training, a key theme of Chinese military training over the past several years.

“This training exercise will focus on researching movement, camouflage, billeting, command, and combat operations in the severely cold conditions of winter, and explore ways to build up the overall combat capabilities of units,” 39th Group Army Commander Gen. Pan Liangshi was quoted as saying.

Additionally, the war games will involve training with electromagnetic warfare operations, including jamming and other types of electronic warfare.

Cold weather preparations included the installation of heated fuel lines in wheeled vehicles and jump starter batteries for armored vehicles. Wheeled vehicles were fitted with chains.

Disclosure of the war games comes as North Korea’s communist government confirmed the ouster of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of Kim Jong Un  who is considered the No. 2 leader in North Korea.

North Korean state radio announced that Jang, a Politburo member and vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, had been removed from his positions and stripped of all power.

Jang was shown on state television being arrested at a Party meeting.

The report said Jang was part of an “anti-party and counter-revolutionary” faction that was labeled “extremely dangerous.”

The faction was plotting within the ruling Workers Party of Korea to “challenge the party through factional maneuvers, while attempting to undermine the party’s monolithic leadership.”

According to the report, Jang and others committed “anti-state” and “anti-people” criminal acts and “double-dealing behind the scene [sic].”

Jang had been viewed as seeking closer ties to China and was involved in North Korea’s foreign economic relations.

He was accused of following the “capitalist way of life,” seeking to take personal control of North Korean economic development and of selling off North Korean resources as “giveaway prices.”

“The criminal acts committed by Jang Song Thaek and his followers are mind boggling, and they brought immensely harmful consequences to our party and revolution,” the report said.

China’s military in the past has conducted military war games near North Korea.

Chinese leaders fear a breakdown in order in North Korea will send thousands of refugees into China.

China conducted similar war games in the spring when tensions were high over North Korean threats to attack the south.

The military activities between March and April coincided with reports that North Korea was preparing to conduct new and destabilizing tests of mobile KN-08 missiles.

The spring exercises took place in Jilin province and reports from the region indicated Chinese forces had been ordered to be on a heightened state of alert.

Those movements included PLA heavy armored vehicles, including tanks and armored personnel carriers, which were reported moving near the Yalu River that separates China from North Korea.

There is no indication the latest military maneuvers involve a heightened alert status. - Free Beacon.

ICE AGE NOW: "Man, It's Cold" - Winter Blast Rewrites Oregon History With The Coldest Temperatures In A Quarter-Century!

December 09, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The record cold temperatures throughout Oregon continue to rewrite the history books, or at least add new chapters to them.

The city of Portland has not had a day with temperatures in the single digits since 1989 -- a quarter-century ago. KOIN 6 News meteorologist Sally Showman said Portland stands a good chance of dropping into the single digits early Sunday morning.

The high in the city on Saturday was only 30, the third day in a row with highs in the 30s.

Sunday will also be cold, and the record low for December 8 is 8 degrees, set in 1972.

The city of Portland opened up warming shelters for people to stay warm and keep warm. But the biggest problem is there is not enough space.

JD Dilts is one of the people living on the streets since he lost his job. He's thankful for the help of the Red Cross.

"Man, it's cold," he said. "You take you gloves off your hands hurt."

That city-funded center helps hundreds of people stay warm, but it can only open when the temperature dips below 25.

"It's 26 degrees. When you start getting in the 30s, that's cold," Dilts said.

Will Harris is the associate director of JOIN, a non-profit organization that helps people get back on their feet. He and others have been out helping people stay warm.

WATCH:  Winter Blast Rewrites Oregon History.

"The main job is to keep them alive. We've been out the last six days helping people get the gear they need," he said. "If they don't, we will make sure they do."

Donations are necessary -- blankets, coats, other winter items. Call 211 for more information on a drop center. - KOIN.

ICE AGE NOW: Climate Change Warning - KILLER Winter Storms Will Hit Britain For The Next THIRTY YEARS!

December 09, 2013 - BRITAIN - Killer freezes, floods and heatwaves will devastate Britain during the next 30 years, climate ­experts have warned.

EXTREME: Experts issued an official warning regarding freak weather patterns [NORTH NEWS]

Many people could die as extreme weather becomes common.

There will be more freak winds like the October storm, which killed four people.

Heatwaves will be lethal and the sea level will rise, leaving coastal towns at risk of being swamped by storm surges.

Sir Brian Heap, president of the European Academies Science Advisory Council, said he felt “obliged” to issue the warning after a new study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

LETHAL: Sea storms and colossal waves will batter towns and villages [ALAMY]

DISASTER: After the typhoon struck the Philippines Sir Brian felt it necessary to issue the warning [EPA]

It comes on the back of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which has killed more than 5,000 people.

Sir Brian said: “Given the tragic events this year in the rest of the world and the recent IPCC report, EASAC feels obliged to draw attention to the growing impact of extreme weather in Europe.”

The continent’s leading experts had made a detailed study of likely extreme weather, he said.

Sir Brian warned: “From the major loss of lives in heatwaves to the economic and human costs of floods and storms, the implications are worrying.

“They present the European Union and Member States with significant challenges in preparing Europe for a future with greater frequency of extreme weather.” - Daily Star.

PLANETARY TREMORS: American States Of Texas And Oklahoma Rattled By 3.7 And 4.5 Magnitude Earthquakes!

December 09, 2013 - UNITED STATES - North Texas has had another earthquake in the same general area where more than a dozen minor quakes were recorded in November.

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.7 magnitude earthquake happened at 3:23 a.m. Monday and was centered about 11 miles north-northeast of Mineral Wells. The Parker County Sheriff’s Office did not immediate have any reports of damage or injuries. Other recent minor earthquakes happened in the Reno and Azle (AY’-zil) areas, about 20 miles northeast of Fort Worth. - WFAA.

Oklahoma rattled by 4.5 tremor: A magnitude-4.5 earthquake in central Oklahoma shook residents Saturday, just weeks after the two-year anniversary of the strongest earthquake ever recorded in the Sooner state, and was followed by two smaller temblors later in the day. The shaking is increasingly commonplace in the state, so after the initial surprise, customers at a central Oklahoma restaurant near the epicenter of the first quake returned their attention to an in-state college football rivalry game.

Marty Doepke, general manager of Pops Restaurant in Arcadia, near the epicenter of the first quake, said there was no damage at the restaurant that’s known for its selection of some 600 soft drinks — hundreds of which are displayed in individual bottles along shelves. “It shook a bit, that’s for sure. Everybody just kind of stopped and looked around,” Doepke said. “Everybody almost automatically knew what it was and then went back to watching the Bedlam game” — the Oklahoma State-Oklahoma football game.

The earthquake was centered near Arcadia, about 14 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, and was about 5 miles deep, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. The agency reported that temblor was followed by a magnitude-2.8 earthquake at 1:26 p.m. about 10 miles northeast of Oklahoma City and a magnitude-3.1 tremor at 5:58 p.m. about 6 miles northeast of the city. Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Keli Cain said no injuries or damage were reported from any of the quakes.

Oklahoma is crisscrossed with fault lines that generate frequent small earthquakes, most too weak to be felt. But after decades of limited seismic activity in the region, earthquakes have become more common in the last several years. The strongest earthquake on record in Oklahoma was a magnitude-5.6 earthquake on Nov. 5, 2011. That time, the football stadium in Stillwater, about 70 miles north of Oklahoma City, started shaking just after OSU defeated No. 17 Kansas State and left ESPN sports anchor Kirk Herbstreit wide-eyed during a postgame telecast. - Denver Post.