News Service

  Waving Flag #3 THE NEWS SERVICE AND INTELLIGENCE RESOURCES

SCROLL DOWN FOR THE DAILY PIRACY REPORTS, LINKS TO ALL THE MARITIME NEWS SERVICES AND TRADE JOURNALS, OUR OWN OPINIONATED REPORTS AND A RETAINED HEAD LINE SERVICE.        

PIRACY REPORTS, VARIOUS SOURCES UP DATED DAILY


 Photo by Tyson Weinert, Official U.S. Coast Guard Photo

PIRACY REPORTS: 

   Sponsored by:                

                                    U.S.Merchant Marine Shop Hats, Shirts, Jackets, Watches, Jewelry, Decorations, Etc.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

            

                                                                                                                                     Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.  

                                                          


COUNSEL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: A Backgrounder on the Big Picture Concerning the Global Resurgence of Piracy: http://www.cfr.org/france/combating-maritime-piracy/p18376

PIRACY: A Daily Update on activity :http://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/live-piracy-report        Piracy has to be once again be seriously considered in voyage planning

. The ICC Commercial Crime Service provides maps of pirate activity, advice to masters, instructions on reporting incidents , precautions etc. a great voyage planning tool for any long ocean voyage and an absolute must off of parts of Africa, south East Asia and South America.

  U.S. State Department Piracy Fact Sheet
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/piracy/piracy_4420.html

                                      
U.S. Maritime Administration , Piracy and Physical Security
http://www.marad.dot.gov/news_room_landing_page/maritime_advisories/advisory_summary.htm

U.S. Department of State World Wide Cautions
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_4787.html
    

ICC Commercial Crime Services:
http://www.icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/live-piracy-report


Follow The Boat Free Piracy Reports:
http://followtheboat.com/piracy/


---------------------------------------------------------

READING ROOM: LINKS TO MARITIME NEWS SOURCES:

BYM Marine & Maritime News

Stories of general maritime & marine interest from around the world


http://bymnews.com/news/newsDetails.php?id=49779



gCaptain: Maritime General News Coverage:

THE WATERWAYS JOURNAL: News of America's Inland Waterways and Rivers

WORK BOAT: Journal of the America's Work Boat Industry; Offshore Service Vessels, Tow Boats and Barges, Tugs, Ferries, Excursion Boats, Dive Tenders, etc.

THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE: MARITIME BUSINESS NEWS:
http://www.maritime-executive.com/

MARINE LOG: Shipping, Ship Building, Marine Security, The Offshore Oil Industry:
http://www.marinelog.com/

WORLD MARITIME NEWS  http://worldmaritimenews.com/

PROFESSIONAL MARINER: Professional Licensed Officer Journal
http://www.professionalmariner.com/

Canadian Perspective: Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs
http://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/257-eng.html


MARINE INSIGHT: A Commercial  Marine Safety Blog

IHS 360,  Maritime News and Analysis on line
http://www.ihsmaritime360.com/?cid=pc4716:banner:01

THE MOTHER OF ALL MARITIME LINKS: 95 hyperlinks to maritime on line magazines and periodicals of every kind from sailing and recreational boating to maritime economics and business:

http://www.boat-links.com/linklists/boatlink-26.html

MARINE NEWS CHINA

------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                     Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.  

  -----------------------------------------------------

AUTHORITATIVE AND RELIABLE SOURCES ON U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL COAST GUARDS NEWS, INFORMATION AND OPINIONS


File:USCG Eagle.jpg  Coast Guard participates in Junior Safety at Sea Seminar
CGC EAGLE: USCG PHOTO                                                                   Photo : USCG


Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker (PD)            PHOTO USCG

 Personnel of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (PD) 

U.S.Coast Guard Headlines /News Releases on Twitter:

 We have been publishing  a lot of of news and opinion posts on the U.S. and various international coast guards and small navies conducting coast guard like operations of late. A lot of the information that we have been publishing is not readily available in the general electronic or print news media and often not widely covered in the larger maritime trade journals. However as we have so often noted we are not a news agency, we are a general maritime reference, a starting point for research into any maritime subject. Even our "NEWS SERVICE" is really more of a reading room where our visitors can link into the E-versions of the various maritime trade journals and news reporters. We regard it as part of our mission to call your attention to and link you to reliable and authoritative sites on areas of special interest. Due to space limitations we don't have a "Coast Guard" special interest page. Presently our information on coast guards is spread out between our NAVAL INTERESTS section and because the activities of coast guards around the world heavily impact merchant marine operations we carry some information in our MERCHANT MARINE INTERESTS section. Finally most but not all VESSEL TRAFFIC SERVICES are operated by coast guards so we carry significant coast guard information in that section. 

 Of late, the aggressive use of their new coast guard by China has drawn a lot of attention. We have never before seen a coast guard used as the forefront force in an aggressive territorial acquisition campaign. This "mailed fist in a velvet glove approach" to stealing other people's island territories and with them their exclusive economic zones is unprecedented. Clearly interests in coast guards is rising globally. Until we resolve our space available difficulties, which have to stand in line with a number of other serious technical issues, and create a COAST GUARDS SECTION we are going to have to make our collection of data on Coast Guards redundant in a number of places throughout the site. We will start today with a blog post full of links and descriptions to official and unofficial reliable and authoritative sites. We will then post this same information to our "BIG LINKS LOCKER" and all of the special interest sections where now carry information relevant to coast guards.


SITES DEALING WITH THE U.S. ("AMERICAN") COAST GUARD

OFFICIAL SITES:

THE  OFFICIAL HOME PAGE OF THE U.S. COAST GUARD

THE COAST GUARD COMPASS: Official U.S. Coast Guard Blog: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2013/11/preserving-our-history/

COAST GUARD CAREERS

COAST GUARD ACADEMY


USCG NAVIGATION CENTER
This site is about the global positioning system (GPS) , the Automatic Information System (AIS), Long Range Identification and Tracking, Notice to Mariners and other navigational systems and services operated by the U.S. Coast Guard

THE COAST GUARD AUXILIARY:
This site is about the uniformed civilian volunteer corps of the U.S. Coast Guard that operates civilian boats, aircraft, and radio stations supporting Coast Guard missions, conducts public boating safety courses and courtesy motor boat inspections and augments and supports many Coast Guard missions in unique and varied ways

THE COAST GUARD DIGITAL NEWS ROOM
Journalist following Coast Guard news stories will find this site extremely handy.



AN INDEPENDENT SOURCE OF NEWS ABOUT THE U.S. COAST GUARD, OTHER COAST GUARDS, AND SMALL NAVIES PERFORMING TRADITIONAL COAST GUARD TASKS.


DAN HILL'S COAST GUARD BLOG

This is a reliable and authoritative site operated independently of government sponsorship, we quote below their mission statement:

"This blog will generally not discuss day to day operations that the Coast Guard does so well. Other sources such as Coast Guard Compass are much better positioned to do this than I.
The objective of this blog is to look over the longer term, at budgets, policies, tactics, roles and missions, and their physical expression, the platforms that allow the Coast Guard to do its job. My own interest and experience is primarily with the larger patrol vessels, so they will perhaps receive a disproportionate amount of attention. If so, it is not for lack of respect for the other elements of the Coast Guard, and I hope comments will to some extent make up for my lack of familiarity with these areas.
There will also be some reflection on the history of the service that I hope will be both entertaining and illuminating.
Comments are not only welcome, they are essential to maintaining balance and working toward a better understanding of the needs of the service. Recognizing that readers come from different levels of experience and understanding, please keep comments respectful and on topic and avoid personal attacks.
Additionally this blog is not about partisan politics. There are lots of other blogs that provide a venue for that. Comments which include comments on contemporary politics will be deleted in whole or in part.
I’d like to keep the discussion professional, so personal attacks will also be deleted."


INTERNATIONAL COAST GUARDS:

AUSTRALIAN COAST GUARD:

AUSTRALIAN VOLUNTEER COAST GUARD HOME PAGE:

Australian Coast Guards- A Wikipedia article that explains how the many services provided by comprehensive style services such as the U.S. and canadian Coast guards are provided in Australia by a variety of agencies and volunteer organizations.

BRITISH COAST GUARD

 The British Coast Guard is an executive branch agency concerned with search and rescue and certain elements of maritime safety. The British Board of trade deals with Merchant Marine issues, and the Royal Navy has responsibility of coastal defense. The Customs Service handles many aspects of maritime law enforcement. So the British Coast Guard proper is basically a national maritime search and rescue agency. For a good over view of how Great Britain organizes their coast guard services again there is an excellent Wikipedia article:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Her_Majesty's_Coastguard

British Maritime and Coastguard Agency home page:  http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/



CANADIAN COAST GUARD HOME PAGE
http://www.uscgnews.com/go/site/4007/

CANADIAN COAST GUARD AUXILIARY
http://ccga-gcac.ca/
This is the uniformed volunteer corps of the Canadian Coast Guard that provides Search and Rescue Services from private and non standard boats and air craft .
http://ccga-gcac.ca/

MARINFO: Canadian Coast Guard official postings of navigational information such as seasonal station closures, ice breaking operations, marine weather, nautical charts, etc., an official site operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.
http://www.marinfo.gc.ca/en/general/accueil.asp

THE FLEET OF THE CANADIAN COAST GUARD An official site maintained Fisheries and Oceans Canada describing the fleet of the Canadian Coast Guard complete with vessel particulars and photos.
http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/back-fiche/2013/CCGC-eng.htm


THE CHINESE COAST GUARD

 Until 2013 the Chinese coast guard functions were spread across a variety of agencies. Certain Ships, boats, air craft and certain personnel of all of these different agencies were transferred into the new military / law enforcement/ search and rescue service now known as the Chinese Coast Guard in 2013. Again Wikipedia has an excellent description of this rapidly changing organizations evolution and present status:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Coast_Guard


FRENCH COAST GUARD: Is called the Gendarmes Maritime and consist of about 1,100 military personnel assigned to maritime police duties and operating as part of the French gendarmerie, a unique branch of the French military having law enforcement authority. The Gendarmes Maritime operate about 42 small patrol craft ranging from open outboard "runabouts" to enclosed patrol vessels that appear to rang up to the 65 to 80 foot range. They patrol the territorial and EEZ waters of France and her overseas departments. They perform provost duties for the French navy, have a naval station physical security role and provide some maritime search and rescue services. The many other traditional coast guard functions as performed by the U.S., Indian, Italian, Japanese, Malaysian and other "comprehensive" coast Guard services remain divided up among a variety of French maritime departments and services. Wikipedia has a comprehensive description in English:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maritime_Gendarmerie




GREEK: "HELLENIC COAST GUARD": The Hellenic Coast Guard is a paramilitary maritime police organization and military auxiliary capable of supporting the Hellenic Navy when called on. Its personnel are organized in a naval manner under a naval style rank structure. The service formed in 1919 and operates ships, boats, and a small air service. Wikipedia has an excellent over view at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellenic_Coast_Guard 

The Hellenic Coast Guard Website (may be translated when viewed in Google plus, other systems ability to translate unknown) http://www.hcg.gr/

THE INDIAN COAST GUARD:

 The Indian Coast Guard like the American Coast Guard is both a military branch of the nation's armed forces and a law enforcement organization as well as a search and rescue organization. Interestingly , like the U.S. Coast Guard the Indian Coast Guard is also a maritime intelligence agency. The Indian Coast Guard is one of the larger , more full service coast guard organizations in the world very comparable to the American Coast Guard, Canadian ,and  Italian versions. A good site for building an over view of this large Coast is this Wikipedia article" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Coast_Guard

INDIAN COAST GUARD OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.indiancoastguard.nic.in/


INDIAN COAST GUARD RECRUITMENT SITE: http://www.joinindiancoastguard.gov.in/




THE ITALIAN COAST GUARD

 The Italian Coast Guard is called the Corps of Port Captaincies and is a branch of the Italian Navy but administered under the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport. The Italian Coast Guard is both a military and law enforcement agency with several other civil missions very similar to many of the civil missions of the U.S., Canadian, or Indian Coast Guards, it is a traditional "full service" coast guard. The Official government sites will probably require a translation program but again Wikipedia has an excellent comprehensive introduction in English: .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corps_of_the_Port_Captaincies_%E2%80%93_Coast_Guard .

Italian Coast Guard official web site: http://www.guardiacostiera.it/en/

JAPAN COAST GUARD: 
Japan's Coast Guard was originally called the "Maritime Safety Agency" when it was formed in 1948 and its name was changed to "Coast Guard" in 2000. The organization parallels the U.S. Coast Guard in terms of organization and mission mix. The service is capable of augmenting the Japanese Maritime Defense Force (navy) and operates a mix of ships, boats, stations, and an air service. Its mission mix combines regulatory, law enforcement, marine safety , search and rescue and naval readiness. wikipedia has a good general introduction at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Coast_Guard 

JAPAN COAST GUARD OFFICIAL SITE: http://www.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/e/index_e.htm 


KENYA was just starting to form a coast guard when we published this in January of 2014

http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2014/01/keyna-is-forming-coast-guard.html




THE MALAYSIAN COAST GUARD doesn't use the title Coast Guard but is officially titled "The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Despite the small size of the nation which also operates an impressive small navy the MMEA is impressively sized at over 7,000 uniformed para naval personnel. The service operates ships, boats, rotary wind and fixed aircraft including sea planes. The uniformed members are organized in a system of traditional naval ranks but their duties are more of a maritime police nature plus search and rescue. Wikipedia has an excellent general introduction:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_Maritime_Enforcement_Agency

We also carried a post on this coast guard service:   http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-role-of-small-naval-forces-in.html

NEW ZEALAND

 Like Australia New Zealand also does not have a single organization that provides all coast guard services. But New Zealand does have a single organization that coordinates a variety of locally evolved maritime search and rescue organizations under a single banner known as the Royal New Zealand Coast Guard, inc-  http://www.coastguard.co.nz/index.php?page=history-of-coastguard 

THIS SUMMARY AND LINKS COVERS ONLY THOSE "COAST GUARDS" THAT WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY RESEARCHED FOR POSTS. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER COAST GUARD,S  IN THE WORLD. MANY COASTAL NATIONS DIVIDE THE FUNCTIONS AND HAVE NO DISCERNIBLE "COAST GUARD" OTHERS HAVE MOST COAST GUARD FUNCTIONS ENTRUSTED TO THEIR NAVIES. GENERALLY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT "COAST GUARD APPEAR IN NATIONS THAT HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL CONCERNS ABOUT ENTRUSTING LAW ENFORCEMENT DUTIES TO THEIR MILITARY. WE WILL BE POSTING THIS LIST IN OUR NAVAL INTEREST, MERCHANT MARINE INTERESTS, NEWS AND VESSEL TRAFFIC SECTIONS AND UPDATING PERIODICALLY. 

------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------

THE INTEL CENTER OFFERS AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF THE VARIOUS HOSTAGE SITUATIONS CURRENTLY ACTIVE AROUND THE GLOBE AND A LOT OF OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION AND SERVICES RELATED TO TERRORISM


Screen Capture from The IntelCenter active map at this link:   The IntelCenter 

THAT GOT US THINKING ABOUT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INTELLIGENCE GENERALLY AND WHAT INFORMATION ABOUT SUCH SERVICES WE SHOULD PROVIDE AND WHERE AND HOW TO PRESENT IT WITHIN THE BLOG


Original Editor's Note:
We here at AAB offer daily piracy reports and the pirate business today features hostage taking. Not all of the hostage situations found on the above interactive map are maritime in character but all involve Non Governmental organizations that have taken hostages for political reason and profit. The more typical and short lived bank robber barricaded hostage situations are not on this map. We also wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to a commercial intelligence service. We are so often critical of American news coverage as being "infotainment" and advertiser driven. Not only are there other news sources and organizations out there; there are commercial intelligence sources that aren't influenced by advertising decisions at all. Have a look at this product from the INTELCENTER. 

INTELCENTER BACKGROUND
More than 20 years experience in counter terrorism intelligence work.


Updated text:

Some months ago we published a description of the IntelCenter with particular emphasis on its constantly updated hostage situation map. A recent check of the sight noted a few changes in the map with some incidents removed and new incidents posted. But that is not why we are writing about the Intel Center again. When we first posted on the Intel Center we had been noticing a rising interest among our visitors in maps as a form of information presentation. Our initial response was to expand our NAVIGATION page with a section on cartography.Review of the IntelCenter's work products indicates that they are certainly skilled in cartography and provide map and map like presentations. However they also provide much more in the way of information services on terrorism. 

The IntelCenter is a privately owned company established in 1989. It has been providing counter terrorism intelligence services for more than 20 years to the intelligence, military and law enforcement communities in the US and around the world. The focus of the IntelCenter is on terrorism, defined as violent acts and actors of non state organizations performed for ideological and political motives. 


IntelCenter is far from the only private intelligence service though it is one of the least likely for the ordinary citizen to become aware of since its usual clientele are governments, military organizations, and  police forces. Others like Lloyd's Intelligence Services, a subsidiary of Lloyd's of London serve broader markets like the shipping industry, or in a different vein Jane's Information Services serves shipping, naval services, governments and provides various reports for use by the general public. Public access to professionally developed and politically neutral information isn't just limited to private intelligence services, even the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) develops services and products like area briefings, travel warnings, and regional backgrounders for distribution to the general public. Then there are various trade journals that cover nearly everything of note related to the field they cover and their audience. Some such trades take a managerial/owners viewpoint and others are operated for organized labor. Our point is that the public doesn't have to rely on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, or PBS for news and thus subject themselves to editorial decisions about what is news worthy and slants that conform with the politics of the net work. 

 We have constantly denied being a news service, we simply provide a news room where many of the world's maritime trade journals and news sources can be read, and we do some scanning and post a clipping service of headlines and links to stories we think are important. Occasionally we have been the first English language publisher to post a story, or to explain why a particular story buried on the back pages of some foreign language news paper is actually earth shaking in importance. 

 This is not a sign that we have a staff of full time professional journalists. Quite the opposite, we don't even have one full time staffer devoted to news. We simply don't rely on the mainstream American media for our news because we regard the so called "mainstream media" as being in the infotainment industry. In saying that we are not being critical, we are in the infotainment industry as well. We try to bring you the world's English language maritime information sources in an organized and entertaining way. We bring you this link to an interactive map in that same spirit, look its fun, its informative, see what's available out there once you leave the "mainstream". 

 But one should not mistake "infotainment" for "intelligence" or "real news". Often for the real story you must fish it out your self. As your entertaining maritime librarians we suggest looking in the trades, intelligence services, and local news services closest to the scene of interest. You don't want to make important decisions as a voter, juror, parent, traveler, etc., based on "infotainment". Get yourself some unvarnished facts. Start by learning your way around commercial intelligence services, trade journals, and non networked news services. If you are a professional journalist consider learning more about the publicly available products of the American intelligence community and the commercial intelligence services that are out there. The national and international news services are fine but there is deeper analysis and deeper sources out there as near as a mouse click.

So as an encyclopedic maritime information service where do we put links and descriptions of commercial intelligence services? For the time being we've decided that the best place to put this type of data is our NEWS SERVICE page. As we did with Navigation we are going to expand the title to NEWS and INTELLIGENCE. We also think that is more in keeping with our constant assertion that we are not a news service, though our site may offer information and services of interest to journalist. As we have stated so many times in print our "NEWS SERVICE" was first envisioned as a sort on online news reading room. The contents of that "reading room are expanding, but we are still not a news service. But you will find this post semi permanently located in the new "INTELLIGENCE SERVICES" section of the NEWS SERVICE section (page) of this blog.

-----------------------------------------------------

IMPORTANT BACKGROUND ARTICLES:

For a detailed look at the Spratly Islands Dispute in text, pictures, video and sound bytes:
A GAME OF SHARK AND MINNOWS
http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/

The Spratly Islands Dispute Between China and the Philippines Explained with Maps, Photos and Video.

 
IMAGE: NASA Public Domain

 The Spratly Islands are mostly uninhabited, some are almost within sight of the Philippine China Sea beaches. At least one is inhabited by Philippine nationals and several have long been under the administration of a single Philippine municipality.  Most of the islands are well within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines as constructed and submitted under the current United Nations Law of The Sea Convention. By codified modern international law most of the Spratlys are internationally recognized as Philippine territory. In the linked article by the New York Times News Graphics Service the situation is explained in text with kind of detail that only print media can provide, but in an unusual mix of computer format mixed in with the explanation of the dispute in text there is a story in video, still photography, scrolling text and sound of a visit by the relevant Philippine mayor to a derelict naval hull on which eight Philippine marines live in isolation and utter squalor in a seemingly never ending stand off with Chinese Coast Guard units claiming a collection of barely emergent rocks clearly owned by the Philippines. The text is extensive and clear, the photography vivid. This is the best explanation and detailed background article we have found on the Spratly Islands dispute. We urge you to click on the provided link, check it out and book mark it for future reference as the situation in the China Seas continues to unravel due to Chinese maritime aggression. To move through the presentation scroll down.

http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/

--------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                     Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.  

-U.S.Merchant Marine Shop Hats, Shirts, Jackets, Watches, Jewelry, Decorations, Etc.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

------------------------------------------------

MARITIME NEWS CLIPPING SERVICES

 COLLECTION OF MARITIME PRESS CLIPPING SERVICES


______________________________________

RECENT NEWS STORIES OF PARTICULAR INTEREST:

NEWS FLASHS:
-----------------------------------------

ACCORDING TO CNN:
 " A Sudanese woman who had been sentenced to death because she declined to renounce her Christian faith has been freed, her lawyer said Monday. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, reunited with her husband after getting out of custody, said her lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa El-Nour. An appeals court found that an initial judgment against her was faulty, he said." CNN Story"

Some of our related posts:


----------------------------------------------

The Iraq-ISIS Conflict in Maps, Photos and Video

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Editor's note: While not exactly a maritime story the AAB has taken up the cause of Dr. Yahya ( also referred top in press reports as "Miram Isbranson" and theother persecuted Christians of the SUDAN.
As described in this post the Sudan actually has a constitutional provision assuring freedom of religion. The nation's Islamic judges don't care and have begun to find excuses to hang Christians.

A SECOND CHRISTIAN NECK IS IN THE NOOSE. READ PARAGRAPH 5 of the reprinted letter below. This young man will not receive the attention that Miriam has (so far with no result), has none of the press attention, and will probably be hanged quietly and quickly in violation of not only every principal of human rights but the specific Prohibition of the Constitution of the Sudan cited in this letter. He has no American connection. Every Christian in Sudan is in peril from these barbarians in judges robes. The rest of the government of Sudan seems afraid to enforce their own constitution against these murderous thugs. 

Internal Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan
Khartoum-Sudan

Press Statement

Re: Mariam Yahya Ibrahim and Death Sentence by Court in Sudan


Introduction:
On Thursday 15th. May 2014 in Haj-Yousif Court, Mariam Yahya was sentenced to death and 100 lashes for changing from being Muslim to Christian and for committing adultery because she is married to a Christian man.

 Mariam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag was born from a Christian mother (Ethiopian Orthodox) and a Muslim father. Her father left them when she was age 6, and she was raised by her mother as a Christian. Mariam is married to a Sudanes / American Christian husband. Mariam was sentenced to death for converting to Christianity simply because her father was a Muslim. The fact is that Mariam has been a Christian since as she was brought up by her mother who has been a Christian. According to the report, Mariam, the husband and their son were all arrested because they had changed their religion, but then, the husband was released, Mariam is sentenced to death and 100 lashes for her adultery because she accepted to marry a Christian man. Their marriage is revoked. Now, Mariam and her son are in prison pending until she gives birth then she will be executed.

1. According to the above, Mariam has never been a Muslim since her birth. The fact that she was born from a Muslim father, this does not make her a Muslim in any way because she was brought up by her mother as a Christian.

2. The verdict reached by the court on Mariam is a clear and direct persecution on Christians and the Church in the Sudan.

3. The verdict on Mariam Yahya is a Human Right and Religious violation against Christians in the Sudan

4. This sentence is even against Sudan Constitution 2005 Article 38 on Freedom of Creed and Worship. "Every person shall have the right to the freedom of religious creed and worship, and to declare his/her religion or creed and manifest the same, by way of worship, education, practice or performance, subject to requirements of the law and public order, no person shall be coerced to adopt such faith, that he/she does
not voluntarily consent”.

5. There is again another court case going on right now in Kalakla, Khartoum of a young man who has been accused of being converting from Muslim to Christian according the Almeghar News Paper of today 21st  May 2014. This young man may face the same fate 
as Mariam did. 

Episcopal Church of Sudan Internal Province hereby condemns this court decision and requests the Ministry of Justice to review the case of MariamYahya and release her immediately. She is free to believe in religion of her choice. Episcopal Church of Sudan also requests the authorities in Kalakla free the young man. The last judgment on the faith should be left to God alone. The spirit of dialogue, coexistence and love that the President of the Republic called upon should be upheld.



The Most Revd. Ezekiel Kondo
Archbishop-elect and
Bishop of Khartoum
21st  May 2014

Email: ecs_bishop_khartoum@kastanet.org

----------------------------------------------

Treasure hunters recover $1.3 million in gold from 1857 shipwreck

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Civilian diver dies in South Korea ferry searches

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A civilian diver involved in searches for dozens of missing people from the South Korean ferry disaster died Tuesday, as other divers helped by better weather and easing ocean currents were picking up efforts to retrieve more bodies from the sunken ship. READ MORE
-----------------------------------------


--------------------------------------

292 Missing, 4 Dead In South Korea Ferry Disaster

 Photo S. Korean Coast Guard


- Apr. 16, 2014 6:53 AM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured."


Additional details, photos and a video are available on AOL

Update from REUTERS with video:

Through coverage of the rescue attempt and continuing issues from the UK's TELEGRAPH
-----------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------

World Court Rules Japan's Whaling Not For Scientific Ends, Revokes Permits


File:Humpback stellwagen edit.jpg
Photo by:  Whit Welles Wwelles14, licensed under  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported

 "(Reuters) - Japan's whaling program in seas near Antarctica is not for scientific purposes, judges at the U.N.'s highest court ruled on Monday, agreeing with Australia that Tokyo should revoke permits to catch and kill whales for research purposes." Story from Reuters

EDITORIAL NOTE: This World court ruling didn't come about as a result of Green Peace ramming Whalers and other wise running about the World's seas endangering sailors lives and the environment through the reckless and negligent operation of vessels. The sovereign nation of Australia brought suite against Japan and sustained their case in open court using solid factual and legal research and argumentative skills. Green Peace spent years running about the ocean playing bumper boats. We congratulate the nation of Australia for standing up and funding the effort, and particularly the astute lawyers and law clerks who researched, prepared, and presented the case. To the youth of the world who want to make it greener we say; stay away from organizations like Green Peace and Sea Shepard so that you don't wind up getting involved in activities that kill people and send ships laden with fuel, lubricants, and other harmful substances to the bottom of sea. If you want to be effective in the preservation of the planet go to law school, take a paralegal program and seek out environmental defense work. The best friend and true guardian angel of that whale depicted above was a group of lawyers and their assistants. 
-----------------------------------------

Ukraine Mobilizes For War, Calls Up Reserves

File:Sarych (Crimea).jpg
AddPhoto of SARYCH  southern most point of Ukraine  on the Crimean Peninsula and used by the Russians as a naval base with Russian troops illegally occupying several maritime structure such as light houses. The territory around the Sarych headland has long been closed to non Russians by Russian troops and above the barbed wire the Russian flag has flown over the headland since Ukraine's independence from the former Soviet Union. As more Russian troops enter they already hold without contest important beach heads and bases of operation. Expect no opposed landing. Few headlines outside of the Ukraine. They will move out from these bases that they illegally never left and relatively quietly take what they want of the rest of the Peninsula.  (Photo Credit: Sergiy Klymenko Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sarych_(Crimea).jpg caption


Reuters News Service Has the full story : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/02/ukraine-russia-putin_n_4884064.html 

By Natalia Zinets and Alissa de Carbonnel

"KIEV/BALACLAVA, Ukraine, March 2 (Reuters) - Ukraine mobilized for war on Sunday and Washington threatened to isolate Russia economically, after President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbor, creating Moscow's biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War.

"This is not a threat: this is actually the declaration of war to my country," Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, head of a pro-Western government that took power when Russian ally Viktor Yanukovich fled last week, said in English." Click here to go to the full story with live updates:  Reuters as Carried in the WORLD POST
EDITOR'S NOTE: Unfortunately we have been predicting this event as we reported the early invasive moves by Russia since February 25, 2014 (Note linked AAB post "(3)" below. At times like this we again feel the need to remind visitors that we are not a news service per say. Our "NEWS SERVICE" page is more of a reading room linking our visitors to the world's maritime news media. We do occasionally seem to "scoop" the news services in our blog posts. This is simply a result of our analysts having some exclusive contacts and little in the way of editorial constraints on publishing. So...I'm going to take advantage of that long leash and make another prediction now. The division of the Ukraine is now in progress and Russia will carve out the Russian speaking parts as it sees fit. They probably won't eclipse the complete Ukrainian state, leaving the western leaning portions to do as they please. The United States and the West will howl in protest but not actually do anything that the Russians will find consequential. The Bear will take what it wants in the Ukraine and then turn its attention back to its Arctic land grab, and the spreading of its naval and strategic bombing forces all over the planet, especially into the Americas. If you caught our post on the upcoming Coast Guard budget it is clear that the United States is still unprepared to counter any Bear moves in the High Arctic. If you caught our post on the arrival of a Russian spy ship in Cuba a few days ago you'll also note that it drew little ink or air time in the American media and no reaction from Washington. 

 Those of you who have been with us for a while know that I have had my disagreement with our star analyst the Great Namazu:
  Namazu, former Japanese Giant Catfish Demigod, turned Maritime Analyst, also star of stage, screen, and music album cover model, subject of artists for centuries.

But over this last year I have come to appreciate his wisdom when he urges the English speaking "bipeds" to unite in the face of the common enemies the Dragon and the Bear who are both out again to "bury you". I join his supreme catfishness in urging "English speaking bipeds unite! If you do not hang together you will surely all hang separately. " 


OUR PREVIOUS BLOGS PREDICTING INVASION:
(1)   http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2014/03/we-saw-this-coming.html 

(2 )     http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2014/02/news-flash-russians-are-coming-now-by.html

(3)     http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2014/02/news-flash-russia-acting-to-secure-its.html 
-----------------------------------------

2,000 RUSSIAN SOLDIERS LAND IN 'ARMED INVASION' OF CRIMEA

File:AN124RampDown.JPG
An 124-100  Russian Transport with ramp down; note the forward-tilted fuselage and retracted front landing gear, facilitating cargo loading caption Photo by Mike Young (PD)
Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops have landed at a military air base near the regional capital of the restive Crimean peninsula, a top Ukrainian official said Friday, accusing Moscow of an "armed invasion". Click Here to read more:  INVASION FORCE


----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Accord Is Signed in Ukraine Amid Hopes That Bloodshed Will Stop

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/22/world/europe/ukraine.html?_r=0


Flag of the Ukraine (Photo Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.UP9)

 From the NEW YORK TIMES
KIEV, Ukraine — Opposition leaders signed an agreement with President Viktor F. Yanukovych on Friday to try to defuse a deadly political crisis that has left scores of protesters and security officers dead and hundreds injured in Kiev, the capital." NEW YORK TIMES

In one indication of a possible easing of tensions, the Ukrainian Finance Ministry formally canceled plans to issue the latest installment of below-market-rate eurobonds for purchase by the Russian government, the form of financial aid that the Kremlin had been providing. The protesters want Ukraine to have closer ties with the European Union and the government’s rejection late last year of an accord to expand relations with Europe triggered the protest movement." NEW YORK TIMES

TO READ THE FULL NEW YORK TIMES STORY CLICK HERE:NEW YORK TIMES


EDITORIAL COMMENT: We have had little to say about the recent unrest in the Ukraine so far, that is about to change.
 Photo: U.S.Navy

A Ukrainian navy KA-27 Helix helicopter from Saki Naval Air Base in Ukraine, lands on the USS TAYLOR


 We have not covered the unrest in the Ukraine so far simply because we are not a general news organization and the developments in the capitol have not been directly maritime in character but there are very serious naval implications. 

 We did cover the movement of two U.S. naval vessels into the Black Sea for Olympic Security. When one of the ships ran aground recently we didn't cover it simply because our understanding was that damage was negligible and there was the press of other maritime stories. As we have noted so many times in the past . Our "NEWS SERVICE" is really a reading room where our visitors may link into the world's maritime media. Our occasional coverage of certain stories, including those times when we have been the first to report an event, result either from confidential sources unique to our organization, or our judgement that a particular maritime story is insufficiently exposed to the public or inaccurately reported. The unrest in the Ukraine has serious naval implications that we are uniquely qualified to explain, the protest riots we are not even remotely able to provide insight into per se. We had to await developments and general media coverage before we could speak out. We now have sufficient data. 

 To us it is very clear that the people of the Ukraine have spoken most emphatically on a single issue. They wish to be aligned economically with Europe and not Russia. They also apparently want to be part of an European based collective security arrangement and not under the protection racket of the Bear.  As a nation they experienced the Soviet jackboot and as neighbors they know modern day Russia to be a crony capitalist state and a thug government. Despite their tremendous debt problem, and the seemingly "free" nature of the proposed Russian bail out they choose a European style regulated free market over crony capitalism, and real democracy over a democratic facade covering a den of thugs. 

 The popular movement has its problems, not all within it agree on the goals of any "revolution". We can only hope that calmer heads prevail, that the unrest stops, and the government reforms, vice falls in its entirety. It is time for the President to accept the "No confidence vote of the people" and prepare to leave. But it is also time for the movement, including those who claim that the movement leadership doesn't  speak for them to allow some constitutional and orderly process to take place. 

  There needs to be a head of state and a head of government in place during any transition. An immediate presidential resignation may in fact not be the best thing for the nation if an orderly transition has not yet been arranged.  Clearly the post Soviet era Ukraine constitution needs some tweaking such as reduction in presidential powers, and perhaps a no confidence vote procedure that could eliminate the necessity for the people to take to the streets to change a future government. Constitutional debates are best undertaken in an atmosphere of calm and security, with free and open debate. Our own American history teaches that. During the heat of the American Revolution the best we could do were the Articles of Confederation. It was only in the post revolutionary peace that our forefathers were able to craft a constitution that has now served us over 200 years. Let's all pray that the people of the Ukraine may now enter into a sort of post revolutionary calm and that constitutional reform may begin in such an atmosphere.

 However, with the people's will firmly and emphatically expressed certain economic and naval realities will come to the fore, all the more reason why an effective interim government is needed. The Ukraine has year round open water ports on the Black Sea, this is why the territory is coveted by Russia. The Bear has ice problems on its Atlantic and Pacific Coasts as well as having the issue of narrow approaches through potentially unfriendly territory in the event of hostilities on both coasts. The Black Sea offers ice free naval access, though the Russian fleet would still have to pass through very narrow straits held by NATO member nations  to exit to the Atlantic . Russia is busy pushing the sovereignty envelope in the High Arctic and will be generating friction with Northern European nations, Greenland, Ice Land, Canada and the United States. 
The bear is again about to become very covetous of every element of naval mobility and ocean access it can muster. The Bear is also subject to periodic bouts of paranoia. The eye of the Bear is going to be on the Ukraine throughout any move towards the "West". The Bear's concern is naval and maritime in character.

 The Ukraine needs enough of a naval force to discourage in its own right any Russian adventurism in their home waters or attempts to seize their ports. For a nation with major debt problems this is an expensive and difficult thing to support. But the Ukraine must maintain a sufficient naval force so as not to be reliant on any Western naval defensive "umbrella" except in the worst case scenario . While the Ukraine Navy should engage in collective security arrangements, and strive for inter-operative capabilities, the fleet should come out into the Mediterranean or occasionally Atlantic waters to exercise with potential allies and avoid becoming a Western naval base or the cause of any marked increase of Western Naval traffic in the Black Sea. Living next to the Bear and having something that it wants is not easy. Provoking the Bear is not smart. Maintaining a navy sufficiently powerful to make increased Western power projection into the Black Sea seem uneconomic and discourage Russian adventurism is not cheap.

 If the European Union is worth its salt it must handle the approach of the Ukraine with great skill. First the EU vice NATO should be the main point of contact. The EU standing naval force is probably a less provocative point of contact for navy to navy contact than NATO. The EU must act with alacrity to help the Ukraine with its debt. The EU must recognize the Ukraine's need for a relatively powerful navy and be prepared to channel assistance for that express purpose that does not increase the nation's debt. More over such assistance needs a non threatening face, we would propose Italy as the most routine point of navy to navy contact and the channel for most Western naval aid. Italy's navy already punches above its weight class but is not regarded as an aggressive force or a threat. The Hellenic Navy isn't as powerful as Italy's navy and Greece is heavily burdened by debt as well and unlikely to be punching above its weight class any time soon, but could be a valuable conduit for Western naval aid to the Ukraine and frankly could use some Western help in arriving at a position where her navy can punch above weight before the national economy can really support such a navy.

  Our point is simply that the Ukraine is an important strategic naval presence coveted by Russia. Russian naval adventurism has to be discouraged while the thugs in charge of Russia are allowed to save face with the Russian people by keeping the Western mailed fist inside a velvet glove of non threatening looking nations and insuring Russian access to the sea for all peaceful purposes. It must be clear to Russia that her best assured access to the sea is to be a law abiding nation and there is nothing humiliating about that. Given the fact of thug government it must be also discernible but not overtly obvious to the general Russian public that any future attempt at conquering the world, as was the announced intention of the Soviet Union, has to sprint out from a very disadvantaged  starting block. Prosperity and peace for Russia depend on not threatening her neighbors. The Ukraine protests have demonstrated that the former Soviet satellite nations refuse to go back under a jackboot. The memory of the recent jackboot  is so vivid that the general populous refuses even the most generous hand out from Russia. The Ukrainian people are giving the world some excellent advice..... Never take candy from a bear.        

           

-------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                     Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.  

   U.S.Merchant Marine Shop Hats, Shirts, Jackets, Watches, Jewelry, Decorations, Etc.

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

                                                      

-----------------------------------------

Mexican Convicted of Murder for Ramming U.S. Coast Guard officer


A USCG RIGID HULL INFLATABLE  (RIB) BEING HOISTED ABOARD A CUTTER. THIS WAS TH E TYPE OF SMALL BOAT THAT THE PURSUING CUTTER LAUNCHED TO CAPTURE THE EVADING SMUGGLER WHEN THE PURSUED TURNED ON AND DELIBERATELY COLLIDED WITH THE COAST GUARD RIB KILLING SENIOR CHIEF HORNE



 EDITORS NOTE: We carried with great regret the story of the on duty death of Senior Chief Terrell Horne, USCG in 2012. Senior Chief Horne was killed by a propeller blade blow to the head after being thrown from the rigid inflatable boat he was attempting to board a suspected drug smuggling vessel from. The target boat attempted to evade boarding by ramming at speed the Coast Guard vessel. The force of the resulting collision threw Senior Chief Horne and a Coast Guard Petty Officer overboard where both were struck by propeller blades killing the Senior Chief and cutting the Petty Officer across the knee. Reuters News Service has the complete details at : http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/06/usa-coastguard-death-idUSL2N0LB01Q20140206  

 There were two men aboard the smuggling craft the operator was convicted of murder and the second man as an accessory after the fact. Sentencing will be later this month, the operator faces life in prison and his accomplice up to 60 years in prison. The tragic event happened off the coast of Southern California.




-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/02/05/sacyr-panama-idUKL5N0LA13E20140205

PANAMA CANAL EXPANSION CONTRACT DISPUTE

Image: CIA WORLD FACT BOOK


                                                                             
                                                           Image:Wikipedia Commons (PD) by  Biberbaer   

 According to a story carried by Retuer's recently the contract for the anticipated expansion of the Panama canal has gone off track. The U.S. has a big stake in this expansion which would allow larger LNG carriers to reach the Gulf South for LNG export cargos for Asian markets. Additionally a number of  U.S. East Coast and Gulf Ports have already expended millions of dollars on improvements that would allow them to handle larger container ships. Unfortunately , the Panama Canal is no longer owned or operated by the United States nor does it appear that the U.S. is a major component in the expansion project or contract.

"The Panama Canal expansion project (also called the Third Set of Locks Project) is intended to double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2015 by creating a new lane of traffic and allowing more and larger ships to transit.
The project will:
  • Build two new locks, one each on the Atlantic and Pacific sides. Each will have three chambers with water-saving basins.
  • Excavate new channels to the new locks.
  • Widen and deepen existing channels.
  • Raise the maximum operating level of Gatun Lake.[1]"
  • READ MORE:  "ASK.COM"......"

The Expansion project contract is an agreement between the Panama Canal Authority (PCA), an administration of the Panamanian government and various companies mostly of Spanish and Italian origin. the PCA recently failed to meet a $50,000,000 interim invoice causing wages to go unpaid and construction has stopped. In all it appears that the project will run $1.6 billion in additional costs. The Canal was built by the United States in 1914 , and underwent over $1 billion in improvements before handing it over to Panama in 1999. Panama almost immediately selected a Chinese operating company as daily operations contractor. 
U.S. Gulf Coast and East Coast ports will be the primary beneficiary of the expansion project in terms of increased exports and imports. China and Panama will make the direct revenue in terms of increased toll revenue from larger tolls for larger ships and general traffic. But China may not want to foot the bill for the expansion. Nicaragua has signed an exclusive contract with China to build a competitive canal.   
So as usual China is in the driver's seat. The Dragon benefits from the Panama Canal expansion but probably won't pay for it, increasing its revenues from control of the Atlantic and Pacific connection while their own canal is under construction.  If the Dragon plays its cards right it can operate the Panama canal as an auxiliary and stand by resource once its own canal is built, semi starving it for revenues in favor of the greater revenues of its own canal. If Nicaragua thinks it will ever own, or even control the canal that will cut through its territory it doesn't know the Dragon. This entire situation by the way was the direct result of decisions made by President Jimmie Carter to relinquish to Panama the canal we built and paid for virtually without conditions. 

 To read an article with the full details of the present contract disagreement click here: Reuters  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Libya plans to end seizures of oil ports within days- PM Story by Ruters



"Jan 19 (Reuters) - Libya plans to remove protesters who have seized eastern ports vital for lucrative oil exports within the next few days, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said on Sunday.

But he did not say whether force would be used, telling Libya's al-Ahrar news channel that he did not want the country to plunge into civil war." Complete story at: Ruters
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Encroaching Chinese cargo ship intercepted off Kinmen
"Kinmen, Jan. 18 (CNA) A cargo ship from China was apprehended off the outlying island of Kinmen Friday for encroaching on Taiwan's territorial waters and it faces a fine of more than NT$1 million (US$33,096), Coast Guard Administration officials in Kinmen said Saturday. To prevent Chinese ships from poaching and fishing in Taiwan's waters, the Coast Guard Administration's Kinmen maritime patrol corps and the Coastal Patrol Directorate General vowed on Jan. 6 to step up a crackdown on trespassing Chinese fishing boats and sand dredgers." Full story :Story by Tiwan News
Editors Note: This will be interesting to watch since China claims Taiwan as an territory of China.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

US Warship Makes Singapore Strait Rescue


"The Malaysian-flagged motor vesselPantagruel made a 'man overboard' distress call and the Spruancepicked the man up with its rigid-hull-inflatable boat soon afterwards. He was assessed by the crew as being in stable condition and was then transferred to a Singapore Police Coast Guard vessel." Full Story at: Story by Maritime Link.com
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navy Ship Capsizes Near AshkelonStory by:ARUTZ SHEVA ISREAL NATIONAL NEWS.Com


"  Monday morning 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from the coast, while patrolling the Mediterranean waters near Ashkelon.
In response, a missile boat was sent to the site, and rescue crews brought some of the sailors to the shore. None of them were hurt.". 


---------------------------------------------------

2 dead, 2 rescued, 1 missing in Navy helicopter crash off frigid Virginia


By Greg Botelho and Tom Watkins, CNN
updated 8:03 PM EST, Wed January 8, 2014

(CNN) -- Two sailors have died after the Navy helicopter they were in crashed Wednesday off the southern Virginia coast, the Navy said.
The Coast Guard, Virginia Beach Fire Department and Navy continued Wednesday night to search for another sailor who'd been aboard the fallen aircraft. Two sailors who had been rescued were in stable condition at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, the Navy said in a statement.
FULL STORY AND VIDEO CLIP AT:  http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/08/us/navy-craft-down/

---------------------------------------------------


THE FIRST GLOBAL MARITIME STORY OF 2014 Dragons, Bears, and Aussies on Ice. This was our first post links to our follow up stories to the final rescue of the stranded passengers start at the bottom of this post:

 

Icebound Ship Awaits Antarctic Rescue

Guardian reporter aboard Akademic Shokalskiy says crew are killing time by taking measurements and counting birds
Story from the GUARDIAN:
Ship prow trapped ice
XUE LONG (SNOW DRAGON) to the rescue. Photo by Laurence Topham for THE GUARDIAN:



GUARDIAN story by Haroon Siddique currently on board the AKADEMIC SHOKALSKIY


The AKADEMIC SHOKALSKIY is a Russian  expedition ship full of scientist and paying passengers who assist the scientist in their data collection. Its stuck in Antartic ice awaiting the arrival of the "Snow Dragon" which is actually the translation of XUE LONG the name of the Chinese ship proceeding to scene to assist at the request of the Australian Maritime Assistance organization. To red the full story click here: GUARDIAN:

FOLLOW ON POSTS:

RESCUED PASSENGERS EN-ROUTE TO TASMANIA -----------------------------------------------------------------

END 2013 Retained Posts

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                     Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.  

                                                        


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 26, 2012

UPDATE -Russia Drops Charges Against Greenpeace Activists


Photo: Public Domain


REUTERS has the story:Dec 25 (Reuters) - Russia formally dropped criminal charges against Greenpeace activists arrested in a protest over Arctic oil drilling on Wednesday, under a Kremlin amnesty extended to all 30 who had been facing up to seven years jail if convicted.
The environmental group said 29 of the 30, who are still in Russia after being freed on bail, have now been amnestied and will be free to leave for their home countries as soon as they secure exit visas. One more activist's case will be reviewed on Thursday, it said." For the full story by Reuters click here: RUSSIA FREES GREENIES:

   --------------------------------------------------------

WILL THE PROVOCATIONS NEVER END?

 On December 8, 2013 after establishing a highly controversial and ill advised air defense zone over sovereign Japanese territory, China again began sailing her government vessels through not only Japanese exclusive economic zone waters ( where there is a right of innocent passage, though these movements are anything but innocent) but  through Japanese territorial waters. 

Agence France-Presse
"Tokyo, 8 December
Three Chinese ships entered disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea today, the Japanese coastguard said, the first such incident since Beijing announced an air defence zone in the area last month.
The vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters at about 9 a.m. off one of the Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus, the Japan Coast Guard said. They left the area shortly after noon".....





---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

U.S. Directly Challenges China's Air Defense Zone

File:B-1B B-2 and B-52.jpg
Official U.S. Air Force Photo of B 52s  and Stealth Fighter Escort. 


Pair of American B-52 Bombers Fly Over Disputed Island ChainComplete story by THE WALL STREET JOURNALBy Julian E. Barnes Nov. 26, 2013

"WASHINGTON—A pair of American B-52 bombers flew over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, U.S. officials said Tuesday, in a direct challenge to China and its establishment of an expanded air-defense zone.
The planes flew out of Guam and entered the new Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone at about 7 p.m. Washington time Monday, according to a U.S. official."
For the complete story click on the link below to the Wall Street Journal:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

11/22/2013  NIGERIAN PIRATES KIDNAP LOUISIANA BASED CREW OF AN AMERICAN FLAG VESSEL.  A continuing story that broke in late October and continued through ransom demands, and the eventual release of the Captain and Engineer taken hostage. The link below takes you our last posting on the event and contains links to our previous postings which in turn contain links to media coverage of the events.  http://americanadmiraltybooks.blogspot.com/2013/11/update-on-louisiana-crew-kidnapped-off.html



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


10/27/2012

JAPAN TO DEPLOY ANTI SHIP MISSILES TO OKINAWA AS PART OF A MILITARY DRILL. IF THE MISSILES WERE THERE PERMANENTLY ALL OF THE DISPUTED THE WATERS SURROUNDING THE DISPUTED ISLANDS WITH CHINA WOULD BE IN REACH OF THESE SHORE BASED ANTI SHIP MISSILES. For the complete story: http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/16098  


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

10/11/2013

North Korea threatens to sink U.S. aircraft carrier

North Korea on Friday threatened to “bury in the sea” a US aircraft carrier, as it slammed a three-nation naval drill involving US, South Korean and Japanese warships.

Story by Agence France-Presse :  http://progressivevoices.com/north-korea-threatens-to-sink-u-s-aircraft-carrier/






10/11/2013





10/10/2013

Costa Concordia Salvage: Royal Boskalis NV Wins $30M Contract To Move Shipwreck

AMSTERDAM -- AMSTERDAM (AP) — A Dutch salvaging company says it has won a $30 million contract to move the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship next summer to a yet-to-be-determined site for dismantling.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/10/costa-concordia-salvage_n_4076847.html

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

9/26/2013:

THIS IN FROM THE VANCOUVER GLOBE AND MAIL

File:Sabrina I cropped.jpg
Public Domain Photo of a Bulk Carrier. The NORDIC ORION wasn't the first commercial ship to make the passage in history but was the first commercial bulk carrier, a ship similar to the generic photo above.

Ship crosses Northwest Passage, sails into history

9/26/2013

Human Remains Found Near Costa Concordia Shipwreck  Huff POST HAS THE STORY WITH VIDEO AT : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/26/human-remains-costa-concordia_n_3995521.html



9/22/2013 Story from the Huff Post link below

U.S. Navy Helicopter Crashes In Red Sea

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — The U.S. Navy says a helicopter has crashed in the Red Sea and a search is underway for five crew members aboard.
A statement from the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet says the MH-60S Knighthawk went down Sunday in the central Red Sea while operating with the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence.
The Navy says an investigation is underway, but there was no hostile activity involved.
Search teams included aircraft and small boats.
9/17/2013

Russia to restore Soviet-era naval base in Arctic: Putin

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia is to reestablish its military presence in the resource-rich Arctic by re-opening a Soviet-era base to patrol the increasingly navigable Northern Sea Route, President Vladimir Putin said Monday.

Putin said 10 naval ships had arrived at the New Siberian Islands in the Arctic Ocean, as Russia asserts its rights over an area where vast energy resources are becoming more accessible as the sea ice retreats.

"Our forces left in 1993, but this is a very important point in the Northern Arctic," Putin said during a video-conference with defence ministry officials.

He said Russia wanted to "ensure the security and effectiveness of work on the Northern Sea Route, so Russia can effectively control this part of its territory."

Russia hopes to exploit the shipping lane, which runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, as a channel for shipments of oil and gas to markets in Asia.

In 2007, Russian submarines placed the country's flag on the seabed more than two miles under the North Pole, staking claim to hydrocarbons estimated to be worth billions of dollars.

FULL STORY:http://sammyboy.com/showthread.php?163352-Russia-to-restore-Soviet-era-naval-base-in-Arctic-Putin&p=1649957


9/10/2013

NEWS FLASH!


THE SENATE DEBATES A CONDITIONAL 

AUTHORIZATION  FOR THE USE OF ARMED 

FORCE IN SYRIA

Nimitz Carrier Task Force, Official U.S. Navy Photo

 The HUFF POST reports that the U.S. Senate is debating an alternative use of force resolution that would authorize the President to use military force to eliminate Syria's chemical weapon capability, only if the Russian plan to institute international control over the Syrian chemical stock pile fails. The Huff Post condensed summary of the proposal is below with a hyperlink to the full story.


"The proposal would grant the AUMF [Authorization for Use of Military Force] only in the absence of certification by the President that a UN Security Council resolution had passed that includes specific conditions, and that those conditions were being met along a specified timeline. Basically, the AUMF would be conditional and triggered only if the Russian plan fails. There will be a specific deadline for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution and a separate deadline for inspectors to verify the Syrians have turned over their chemical weapons. If the President cannot certify that those conditions have been met within the specific timeline, then the AUMF goes into effect. The conditions will be something along the lines of passage of a UN Security Council resolution that puts into place an inspections process, unfettered access to every WMD site, guarantees for secure freedom of movement for all international inspectors, immediate steps by Assad to begin transferring WMD to international custody, and clear consequences and triggers for action if obligations are not met by a specific time."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/10/syria-resolution_n_3899899.html

9/10/2013

NEWS FLASH: 0930 CST 10 Sept. 2013

WHILE ALL EYES ARE ON SYRIA THE DRAGON CONTINUES ITS RELENTLESS CAMPAIGN TO TAKE ITS NEIGHBORS ISLAND TERRITORIES AND ADJACENT EEZs    




THE BANGKOK POST BREAKS THE NEWS: Lead in and link below

China flotilla in Japan disputed island waters




Eight Chinese ships were in waters around islands at the centre of a bitter dispute with Japan on Tuesday, as Tokyo said it had not ruled out stationing officials there.

A Chinese coast guard ship near the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in a photo taken and released by the Japan Coast Guard on September 5, 2013.
The moves came the day before the first anniversary of Tokyo's nationalisation of part of the chain.The Chinese coast guard flotilla is the biggest seen in waters around the Tokyo-administered Senkakus since eight government ships were tracked there in April, a spokesman for the Japanese coastguard said.
Official media in China, citing the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), said it was the 59th "patrol" of the area since September 2012, when Tokyo took the islands into public ownership.
Beijing claims the archipelago as its own and calls the islands the Diaoyus.

Reuters Exclusive: USS Nimitz carrier group rerouted for possible help with Syria


USS NIMITZ CARRIER TASK FORCE



(Reuters) - The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and other ships in its strike group are heading west toward the Red Sea to help support a limited U.S. strike on Syria, if needed, defense officials said on Sunday.

The Nimitz carrier strike group, which includes four destroyers and a cruiser, has no specific orders to move to the eastern Mediterranean at this point, but is moving west in the Arabian Sea so it can do so if asked.

"It's about leveraging the assets to have them in place should the capabilities of the carrier strike group and the presence be needed," said the official.

TO READ THE FULL STORY:http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/02/us-syria-crisis-carrier-idUSBRE9800IT20130902 


8/29/2013

Nigeria Navy Kills 6 Pirates, Injures 1


Photo by Tyson Weinert, Official U.S. Coast Guard Photo



By CARLEY PETESCH / Associated Press / August 28, 2013
"LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s navy killed six pirates and injured one other in its latest attack to try to stop the outlaws from expanding their territory in the Gulf of Guinea, a navy official said Wednesday.
The pirates engaged the navy in a gun battle late Sunday off the coast of Calabar in Nigerian and Cameroonian waters, said Delta state navy spokesman Lt. Delightsome Yohana. Nigeria’s navy fired back, killing the six pirates, he said. The other attacker is getting treatment for injuries while in custody, he said.
The operation is the latest in a string of victories for the Nigerian navy that has amped up its presence offshore and bolstered it with support from its air forces. In the last two weeks the navy has killed 18 pirates in battles and arrested five, Yohana said.
‘‘We've been building our efforts for a long time. We are putting all our time, effort and resources to ensure the pirates are captured,’’ Yohana said."
TO READ THE FULL STORY: htmlboston.com
EDITOR'S NOTE: Killing pirates in noticeable numbers worked great for Captain Woods Rogers ,British Governor of the Bahamas. He did eventually clean out the Bahamas. It definitely has to be more effective than the catch and release methods practiced by the U.S. and European navies off of Somalia. We would bet that in 24 months we won't be hearing about piracy off Nigeria. And in this case the diminishment in piracy won't be caused by running the pirates off to greener pastures. This is removal of the plague from the planet, this works.

CANADIAN NAVY ACCIDENT

Editor's Note: This story was reported late Saturday by the Canadian Broadcast Company. A lead in and a link are ptovided below:

2 Canadian warships collide en route to Hawaii

HMCS Algonquin and HMCS Protecteur were conducting towing exercises


Posted: Aug 31, 2013 8:50 AM ET 


Last Updated: Aug 31, 2013 11:30 PM ET

HMCS Protecteur HMCS PROTECTEUR, Photo Wikipedia Commons

HMCS Algonquin (DDG 283)2.jpg HMCS ALGONQUIN, Photo Wikipedia Commons

"Two Canadian warships are arriving back in port in Esquimalt, B.C. today after colliding during training exercises while en route to Hawaii.
Trainees on the ships were in the midst of towing exercises, which require close-quarters manoeuvring, when the collision occurred at around 11 a.m. PT Friday morning.
No one was hurt, but the HMCS Algonquin sustained significant damage to her port side hangar while HMCS Protecteur sustained damage of a lesser degree to her bow.
Navy Lt. Paul Pendergast, spokesman for Maritime Forces Pacific, called the collision "an unfortunate accident" and a "rare event."
To Read the complete Story Click on this link: 


MORE ON THE SUEZ SITUATION






















CAIRO — Egyptian security forces said they arrested Saturday a top wanted militant in the Sinai Peninsula, while authorities reported a failed attempt to disrupt traffic on the strategic Suez Canal but gave scant detail.
Canal authority chairman Mohab Mamish said a “terrorist element” had tried to disrupt navigation in the waterway by targeting a Panama-flagged ship. In comments carried by official news agency MENA, he said the attempt was “completely unsuccessful” and the container carrier unharmed. He did not say how the ship was targeted.

THE OTHER PROBLEM IN THE MEDITERRANEAN, THE SUEZ CANAL



American Aircraft Carrier Transiting The Suez Canal, Image from Wikipedia Commons

REUTERS REPORTS A TERRORIST ATTACK ON A SHIP IN THE SUEZ CANAL

Editor's Note: We've reported several times about the threats to the Suez Canal caused by the general unrest in Egypt where there is a violent movement to over throw the nation's first freely elected president. So far the canal; has been kept in operation and traffic has passed more or less normally. Recently Reuters reported on a rare terrorist attack on a transiting merchant ship. A lead in and link to the full story is below. Syria is not the only hot spot on the Mediterranean. This should make the U.S. wonder about letting the Sixth Fleet slip into a mostly notional element. Italy has more than 50 seriously capable war ships in the region including a carrier. Italy doesn't leave its own coast exposed either backing up this serious regional navy with a large well equipped distinct Coast Guard. Frankly the rest of  Mediterranean Europe is under spending on naval defense. But if the U.S. is going to continue its leadership of the West, the sixth fleet must be beefed up. The trick is how to do that in an era of tight budgets and not send a signal to Mediterranean Europe that they are getting a bigger American umbrella and can cut naval defense even more. Navies don't win legislators reelection social program do. But social programs don't do a nation any good if it loses its soverignity. 
(Reuters) - A "terrorist" staged an unsuccessful attack on a container ship passing through the Suez Canal on Saturday, in an attempt to disrupt the flow of ships through the waterway, the head of the Suez Canal Authority Mohab Memish said.
The Suez Canal is a key global shipping line which is secured by the armed forces.
"One of the terrorist elements has carried out a failed attempt to affect the movement of ships in the Suez Canal by targeting one of the passing ships, Cosco Asia," Memish said in a statement about the Panama-flagged ship.
"The attempt failed completely and there was no damage to the ship or the containers it carried. The situation was dealt with strictly by the armed forces," he said, adding that the traffic of ships is moving normally.
The statement did not specify what kind of attack it was but shipping sources told Reuters they heard the sound of two explosions as the ship passed through the waterway.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                                                                                       Amazon - Shop. Connect. Enjoy. All from Earth's Biggest Selection.  

                                                        

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

U.S.Merchant Marine Shop Hats, Shirts, Jackets, Watches, Jewelry, Decorations, Etc.
Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

8/28/2013

GREEN PEACE DOES A ONE EIGHTY AS RUSSIA TURNS THE GUNS ON THEM

A handout photo released by Greenpeace shows the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise entering the Northern Sea Route (NSR) off Russia's coastline to protest against Arctic oil drilling on August 24, 2013.
A handout photo released by Greenpeace shows the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise entering the Northern Sea Route (NSR) off Russia's coastline to protest against Arctic oil drilling on August 24, 2013.



"A Greenpeace icebreaker that entered Russia’s Arctic without permission to protest offshore energy exploration is leaving after being threatened with gunfire by that country’s coast guard.
“It was repeated several times in open conversation that they were threatening that if we didn’t leave the Northern Sea Route that they would fire on our ship,” Christy Ferguson, a Canadian crew member on the Arctic Sunrise steaming back to Norwegian waters, said Monday.
Russian officials weren't immediately available for comment."

Editorial Comment: 
 We're glad that Green Peace for once decided that discretion was the better part of valor because Ivan isn't known for an official sense of humor. The fact is that we think the old Bear exhibited incredible patience considering that Green Peace flagrantly violated Russia's regulations and illegally,after being warned, entered waters under Russian jurisdiction of one sort or another and then proceeded to conduct operations that interfered with an ocean project's safety and security.  Back when we dealt with the Bear on a regular basis in the 1960s and 70s the Green Peace ship would have been seized and crew arrested. After days of harassing the the Russian on scene Coast Guard security team the ARCTIC SUN over heard open discussions about blowing them out of the water on the radio and at one point a Russian cutter actually trained their guns on them. Green Peace finally got the message and left. Having dealt with Green Peace ourselves on several occasions all of our empathy is focused on the long suffering Russian Coast Guard. Green Peace you are a failing NGO no matter what your treasury balance says. Too many stunts, too much reckless endangerment, no respect for law, have cost you credibility. Shape up or ship out!

8/27/2013

NEWS FLASH: This Just In:

Turkey Says 35 Nations Mull Joining US against Syria - See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/153161/Turkey+Says+35+Nations+Mull+Joining+US+against+Syria#sthash.2Cr6Xmeo.dpuf


Bulgaria: Turkey Says 35 Nations Mull Joining US against Syria
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle (R) and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu hold a press conference in Berlin, Germany, 22 August 2013. EPA/BGNES - See more at: http://www.novinite.com/articles/153161/Turkey+Says+35+Nations+Mull+Joining+US+against+Syria#sthash.2Cr6Xmeo.dpuf

A total of thirty five nations, including Turkey, are considering joining the United States in taking action against SyriaTurkey’s foreign minister has announced.
More than 35 nations are considering joining the United States in taking action against Syria, and Turkey is among them, Ahmet Davutoglu told the Turkish Milliyet daily newspaper.“We always prioritize acting together with the international community, with United Nations decisions. If such a decision doesn’t emerge from the UN Security Council, other alternatives . . . would come onto the agenda,” Davutoglu said.


8/27/2013

ASSAD IN IRAN, THE LOONY BIN IS NOW FULL

We recently received word of this report ,from a Lebanese newspaper, we have have not verified but present a lead in and link for your consideration.

Report: Assad is in Iran

Lebanese newspaper says Bashar al-Assad and his family arrived in Tehran for talks on possible U.S. Strike.
AAFont Size
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/28/2013, 8:55 AM

Assad on state television channel Al-Ikhbariya
Assad on state television channel Al-Ikhbariya
AFP photo
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and members of his family are in Tehran, after they arrived at Homeini Airport in the presidential plane Tuesday night, sources in Iran's foreign ministry told the website of Lebanese newsaper a-NaharThe news did not receiveconfirmation from other official sources.

TO READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE:   http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171367#.Uh5vkhvVAxZ




8/27/2013

ACCORDING TO A REPORT TODAY BY REUTERS THE GOVERNMENT OF LIBYA INTENDS TO DESTROY TANKERS OF ANY FLAG TRADING WITH THE PORTS IT'S EMBARGOED IN A LABOR DISPUTE OVER UNPAID WAGES FOR PORT WORKERS. THIS IS PROBABLY THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY THAT A NATION HAS ATTEMPTED TO APPLY DEADLY FORCE AGAINST THIRD PARTIES IN A LABOR DISPUTE. 

    
DAVID VS GOLIATH AT THE SEA BUOY  Official U.S.Navy Photos 

Just yesterday we praised the restraint and ingenuity displayed by the Libyan Navy patrol boat JANZOUR in enforcing the closed port without blood shed despite a determined effort by the tanker A WHALE to enter the port. Apparently the Libyan Government doesn't appreciate the adherence of its naval forces to international law while attempting to obey an unpopular and highly ill advised order from their civilian government. An order to close a port is lawful. Doing so in order to force a settlement in a labor dispute is high handed, vicious, and sure to make long term and bitter enemies, but probably not against international law. But the policy clarification by the Libyan government as reported below is a serious violation of international law. The very idea of "destroying ships" of other nations under the circumstances amounts to wanton destruction of property and will probably lead to murder. Shooting to disable propulsion is about the limit of force authorized to enforce a non war time port closure, and then only when signals to turn away and warning shots have been ignored. We hope that on scene naval commanders will continue to ignore the "destroy order" and remind them that they are personally responsible for adherence to international law. They can enforce the port closure without guilt, but can not destroy shipping , and most especially can not pursue turned away vessels and destroy them as "punishment" for disobeying an edict of a national government in a labor dispute. What's next Libya are you just going to machine gun the strikers? We tried that in America once, it was called the PEABODY COAL STRIKE. It didn't work, the industry still unionized. Below is a lead in and a link to Reuters coverage:

(REUTERS) - Libya warned on Monday it will attack and destroy any tanker
illegally exporting oil after forces last week fired at a Liberian-flagged
tanker close to the country's largest crude oil export terminal.

The tanker, which sought to load crude oil that armed protesters blocking
the country's main export ports were attempting to sell illegally, managed
to flee, Abdul Razak al-Shbahi, the spokesperson for the minister of
defence, told Reuters.

Es Sider is the largest of several ports including neighboring Ras Lanuf
located in the country's east that have been mostly shut since end of July
when protests by security guards and oil workers over pay and other
political demands led to the closure of many oilfields.

For the full article click on this link: http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/08/26/libya-oil-tanker-idINDEE97P0DM20130826


8/26/2013

NEWS UPDATE:

Russian Guards Board Greenpeace Icebreaker



The ARCTIC SUNRISE, GREEN PEACE PHOTO


 The Associated Press reported today that Russian Coast Guardsmen boarded the Green Peace ship ARCTIC SUNRISE on Sunday. We have to admit to being pleasantly surprised that reportedly the Coast Guardsmen were unarmed and the boarding team did not meet with any resistance. We did not expect that first contact between the Green Peace organization and Russian authorities would be quite as civil as it apparently was. However we have to admit that we have some familiarity with the Russian Coast Guard. Border police organizations since they operate in such close proximity with our own Coast Guard in the area of North Western Alaska. Our overall impression of these organizations is one of professionalism. Reportedly despite Green Peace's entry into the area in defiance of Russian edits to the contrary and denial of a transit permit, apparently the only action taken by the Coast Guard boarding officers was a request that the vessel leave the area. Interestingly the ship is under the Dutch flag and the Netherlands, perhaps the only seafaring state left with no charges to level at Green Peace, protested formally the exclusion from the area. Reportedly the Green Peace protest was limited to launching inflatable boats with protest signs towards the oil and mineral industry ships. The Russian Coast Guard then formally established a 4 mile marine safety and security zone around the oil and mineral industry vessels, a type of measure well recognized under international law. So far the ARCTIC SUNRISE has not violated the zone, though it denies the Green Peace vessel a clear view of the oil industry vessels.

Let us hope that Green Peace doesn't decide to go play bumper boats with the Russian security craft as they have so often have with others. We are frankly quite pleasantly surprised with the mild Russian reaction to this flagrant violation of Russian and international law.

 We were also surprised that GREEN PEACE was able to get a legitimate flag state to register under like the Netherlands. Until today's report we thought that the ARCTIC SUNRISE would have been under a flag of convenience such as Liberia or Panama, or more likely Cypress. Liberia and Panama are usually pretty quick to fully cooperate with the shipping authorities of nations with complaints about ships in their registry. We seriously doubt that Liberia or Panama or any other flag of convenience state would have protested on GREEN PEACE's behalf as the Netherlands did. This Green Peace operation shows evidence of more forethought than the usual GREEN PEACE operations we've seen in the past, and some diplomatic leg work done in advance. The Russian reaction indicates real maritime, coast guard professionalism and serious restraint. The ball is really in Green Peace's court now. They have made their presence felt illegally and gotten away with it, they have brought their view of Arctic drilling to the world ( frankly a reticence we share) and they have shown the oil companies that the world is watching. Frankly GREEN PEACE, now would be a really good time to leave.

---------------------------------------------------------

NEWS FLASH!

GREEN  PEACE DEFIES RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES, ENTERS RUSSIAN ARCTIC WATERS



Photo by Green Peace G/P ARCTIC SUNRISE


In direct defiance of Russian orders Green Peace announced that its vessel the ARCTIC SUNRISE had entered the Northern Sea Route off of Russia's coast line on Saturday. The various sources that made us aware of this development were vague about the distance off the Russian coast line that the ARCTIC SUNRISE was maintaining but since the targeted area for drilling operation is just off of a Russian Arctic wildlife refuge the odds that the ARCTIC SUNRISE has violated Russian territorial waters are likely. The odds that the ARCTIC SUNRISE is operating within Russia's Exclusive Economic Zone are just about inescapable. Green Peace has announced their intention of staging a protest against oil drilling operations in the area by ROSNEF and Exxon Mobile. The nature of the protest is not disclosed, but given the nature of Green Peace's known protest tactics Russia has legitimate concern for marine safety and the absolute legal right to take control of the ARCTIC SUNRISE. 

 This will be a new experience for a Green Peace Crew, the Russians will not handle them like the Americans or Canadians would. We doubt that the little ship will ever sail for Green Peace again and we expect the crew, especially the Master, Chief Officer, and Chief Engineer to be rather elderly when and if they ever emerge from the Russian jail where they are most likely bound for. 

 If violent resistance, even  unarmed, simply throwing objects that could cause injury at Russian boarding officers is shown, deadly force will be applied. The Bear doesn't fool around under such circumstances.


EDITOR'S NOTE:  
The Russian Arctic National Park is an important refuge for narwhals, polar bears, and whales.. The Russian government has made an exception to laws banning drilling in the area and allowed ROSNEFT and Exxon Mobile to conduct exploratory drilling in a portion of the park area. We share Green Peace's concern that none of the world's major drilling companies have shown any real technological or organizational readiness for High Arctic operations, But we also share the concern of many coastal state governments around the world with the reckless reputation of Green Peace and its at sea tactics. We disagree with the assertion of one Federal judge that such tactics amount to "piracy", but we definitely see them as dangerous , illegal, and ill advised. Green Peace "ops normal" in Russia will be treated like a crime and the crew treated as dangerous criminals. There is no sympathetic public in Russia that might exercise political clout to broker lenient treatment. Any outside political actions will probably only worsen conditions for the crew. The question is, after this incident, will Green Peace alter its strategy and tactics or get more militant and lapse into a maritime terrorist organization. France once took military action against them sinking one of their vessels in the Pacific . So if Russia gets more forceful they have a Western example to point to. Green Peace has lost the support of most of the world's Merchant Seamen, is a worrisome nuisance to most coast guards, is slowly ceasing to be a media darling.  Their high handed and blatant disregard for Russian law and order isn't winning them any friends in the world, a world in which Russia is not particularly popular, but its Green Peace that comes across as an arrogant teen aged delinquent. No one will be coming to their rescue or paying any attention to their wailing when the ARCTIC SUNRISE and crew are in the strong paws of the Bear.

8/27/2013

YOU MAN A 20 METER PATROL BOAT, YOU FACE A 340 METER SUPER TANKER HELL BENT ON GOING WHERE YOU INSTRUCTED IT NOT TO.....NOW WHAT.


       File:Supertanker AbQaiq.jpg
          A U.S. Navy 20 meter patrol boat                                   Typical modern tanker, official U..S. Navy Photographs 

When some of us were attached to a U.S. Navy special boat unit back in the late 1980s the weapons van had a poster in it of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi with a target superimposed over it.
 Muammar al-Gaddafi at the AU summit.jpg We are well aware of his down fall and of the revolution in Libya, but it is still difficult for us to think in terms of anything praise worthy about that nation, though intellectually we know it is a very different place today. We needed something at gut level that we could relate to about Libya that could jolt us out of the old habitual negative mental state.

 Well it happened, and we've had to stand and cheer the captain and crew of a tiny Libyan navy patrol boat that executed flawlessly an operation that many of us as Coast Guard and Navy small vessel veterans are familiar with and always disliked. Nothing puts pressure on a small government vessel commander be it navy, coast guard, or customs  forces of any nation like having to enforce a no entry zone against a determined large merchant vessel. Most shipping usually responds to your radio and visual signals and doesn't challenge even a small armed government vessel. But merchant ships are sometimes on the naval business of their flag state, or true owners, and the master is not worried about keeping his license for flagrantly disobeying the lawful orders of another nation's maritime authority, since he is protected by his naval orders from negative career action back home.

 These incoming ships are many times the size of your little patrol boat and have enough steel and water tight compartments to easily keep going in the face of your small arms, unless you open fire on their navigation bridge, an option that is almost always closed to you by the rules of engagement. Indeed just firing a warning shot, usually authorized by your rules of engagement generally means some intense and potentially career damaging post incident scrutiny. It takes both physical and moral courage, skill, and imagination for captain and crew to really turn a determined tanker. If you bluff you better be believable. If you shoot you better be right.

 Word is spreading on the Internet of a dramatic confrontation between a 20-meter (approx.65.7ft.) Libyan navy patrol boat and a 340 meter (approx. 1115 ft.) tanker attempting to enter the interdicted port of Sidra to take on an unauthorized shipment of crude oil. We have learned from reliable sources that the Patrol Boat JANZOUR was confronted by the uncooperative tanker. Despite warnings by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zidan that suspect vessels entering Libyan waters of Sidra could be shot at without warning, the Captain and crew of the JANZOUR didn't immediately exercise the deadly force option. In the end they did fire small caliber warning shots and exhibited a shoulder mounted anti tank weapon that might have had serious ship stopping capability. They came close aboard so that their actions were visible to the naked eye from the navigation bridge and aggressively dogged the big ship, the Liberian flagged A WHALE forcing it to turn away from the interdicted ship without any blood shed.

 To this performance we can only say well and professionally done, three cheers for  the JANZOUR! The maritime world right now is plagued with unrest and armed tension. In the case of the oil port of Sidra the Libyan Navy is handed the unwelcome job of enforcing the government's position in what appears to be a labor dispute. We know what it means to have to enforce unpopular orders. We asked the question not long ago in these pages; "the world's coast guards keeping the peace or preparing the battle ground?". The performance of the JANZOUR demonstrated professionalism in a traditional coast guard role. This gives some hope that the Libyan Navy which once attacked a U.S. Coast Guard LORAN station on an island off of Italy, and attempted to enforce a "Zone of Death" declared by a dictator across international waters might be evolving into a force capable of keeping the maritime peace in Libyan waters in a manner that the world will see as honorable and reliable. The crew of the JANZOUR enforced a probably ill considered and unpopular policy demonstrating civilian control of the military, but did not take the easy way out and immediately resort to the deadly force apparently authorized by the civilian government. They demonstrated some of the skill, and moral courage required of serious professional coast guard type forces by whatever name they are known in these troubled time.

 We don't know what the present Libyan regime thinks of their performance. The professional maritime/ naval world thinks it was spot on for the circumstances. We hope the Libyan regime recognizes that the JANZOUR just bought them some credibility and recognizes the Captain and crew in a positive way. We wonder if the regime even thought about the consequences of firing into a foreign registered merchant ship? Apparently the Captain of the JANZOUR who was on scene and tasked both with the no nonsense enforcement of his nation's soverignity, and adherence to international law, a law his civilian over lords apparently don't quite fully understand, knew how to make professional and ethical choices. He managed to both turn the giant tanker, and not shed any blood. Right now the JANZOUR shines. Will the powers that be in the new Libya let that naval light shine through and spread? Will they have the confidence to say to their naval officers..."enforce" (this or that edict) to the maximum extent possible in conformance with international law . and not punish them when they sacrifice edict enforcement to international legal requirements in a specific instance?

----------------------------------------------------------

RETAINED HEADLINES: Short descriptions and working hyperlinks to selected maritime headline stories from June 2012 through March 30, 2013: 

CLICK HERE: http://reserveamericanadmiralty.blogspot.com/p/retained-headlines-from-our-news-service.html

----------------------------------------------------------

Accord Is Signed in Ukraine Amid Hopes That Bloodshed Will Stop

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/22/world/europe/ukraine.html?_r=0


Flag of the Ukraine (Photo Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.UP9)

 From the NEW YORK TIMES
KIEV, Ukraine — Opposition leaders signed an agreement with President Viktor F. Yanukovych on Friday to try to defuse a deadly political crisis that has left scores of protesters and security officers dead and hundreds injured in Kiev, the capital." NEW YORK TIMES

In one indication of a possible easing of tensions, the Ukrainian Finance Ministry formally canceled plans to issue the latest installment of below-market-rate eurobonds for purchase by the Russian government, the form of financial aid that the Kremlin had been providing. The protesters want Ukraine to have closer ties with the European Union and the government’s rejection late last year of an accord to expand relations with Europe triggered the protest movement." NEW YORK TIMES

TO READ THE FULL NEW YORK TIMES STORY CLICK HERE:NEW YORK TIMES


EDITORIAL COMMENT: We have had little to say about the recent unrest in the Ukraine so far, that is about to change.
 Photo: U.S.Navy

A Ukrainian navy KA-27 Helix helicopter from Saki Naval Air Base in Ukraine, lands on the USS TAYLOR


 We have not covered the unrest in the Ukraine so far simply because we are not a general news organization and the developments in the capitol have not been directly maritime in character but there are very serious naval implications. 

 We did cover the movement of two U.S. naval vessels into the Black Sea for Olympic Security. When one of the ships ran aground recently we didn't cover it simply because our understanding was that damage was negligible and there was the press of other maritime stories. As we have noted so many times in the past . Our "NEWS SERVICE" is really a reading room where our visitors may link into the world's maritime media. Our occasional coverage of certain stories, including those times when we have been the first to report an event, result either from confidential sources unique to our organization, or our judgement that a particular maritime story is insufficiently exposed to the public or inaccurately reported. The unrest in the Ukraine has serious naval implications that we are uniquely qualified to explain, the protest riots we are not even remotely able to provide insight into per se. We had to await developments and general media coverage before we could speak out. We now have sufficient data. 

 To us it is very clear that the people of the Ukraine have spoken most emphatically on a single issue. They wish to be aligned economically with Europe and not Russia. They also apparently want to be part of an European based collective security arrangement and not under the protection racket of the Bear.  As a nation they experienced the Soviet jackboot and as neighbors they know modern day Russia to be a crony capitalist state and a thug government. Despite their tremendous debt problem, and the seemingly "free" nature of the proposed Russian bail out they choose a European style regulated free market over crony capitalism, and real democracy over a democratic facade covering a den of thugs. 

 The popular movement has its problems, not all within it agree on the goals of any "revolution". We can only hope that calmer heads prevail, that the unrest stops, and the government reforms, vice falls in its entirety. It is time for the President to accept the "No confidence vote of the people" and prepare to leave. But it is also time for the movement, including those who claim that the movement leadership doesn't  speak for them to allow some constitutional and orderly process to take place. 

  There needs to be a head of state and a head of government in place during any transition. An immediate presidential resignation may in fact not be the best thing for the nation if an orderly transition has not yet been arranged.  Clearly the post Soviet era Ukraine constitution needs some tweaking such as reduction in presidential powers, and perhaps a no confidence vote procedure that could eliminate the necessity for the people to take to the streets to change a future government. Constitutional debates are best undertaken in an atmosphere of calm and security, with free and open debate. Our own American history teaches that. During the heat of the American Revolution the best we could do were the Articles of Confederation. It was only in the post revolutionary peace that our forefathers were able to craft a constitution that has now served us over 200 years. Let's all pray that the people of the Ukraine may now enter into a sort of post revolutionary calm and that constitutional reform may begin in such an atmosphere.

 However, with the people's will firmly and emphatically expressed certain economic and naval realities will come to the fore, all the more reason why an effective interim government is needed. The Ukraine has year round open water ports on the Black Sea, this is why the territory is coveted by Russia. The Bear has ice problems on its Atlantic and Pacific Coasts as well as having the issue of narrow approaches through potentially unfriendly territory in the event of hostilities on both coasts. The Black Sea offers ice free naval access, though the Russian fleet would still have to pass through very narrow straits held by NATO member nations  to exit to the Atlantic . Russia is busy pushing the sovereignty envelope in the High Arctic and will be generating friction with Northern European nations, Greenland, Ice Land, Canada and the United States. 
The bear is again about to become very covetous of every element of naval mobility and ocean access it can muster. The Bear is also subject to periodic bouts of paranoia. The eye of the Bear is going to be on the Ukraine throughout any move towards the "West". The Bear's concern is naval and maritime in character.

 The Ukraine needs enough of a naval force to discourage in its own right any Russian adventurism in their home waters or attempts to seize their ports. For a nation with major debt problems this is an expensive and difficult thing to support. But the Ukraine must maintain a sufficient naval force so as not to be reliant on any Western naval defensive "umbrella" except in the worst case scenario . While the Ukraine Navy should engage in collective security arrangements, and strive for inter-operative capabilities, the fleet should come out into the Mediterranean or occasionally Atlantic waters to exercise with potential allies and avoid becoming a Western naval base or the cause of any marked increase of Western Naval traffic in the Black Sea. Living next to the Bear and having something that it wants is not easy. Provoking the Bear is not smart. Maintaining a navy sufficiently powerful to make increased Western power projection into the Black Sea seem uneconomic and discourage Russian adventurism is not cheap.

 If the European Union is worth its salt it must handle the approach of the Ukraine with great skill. First the EU vice NATO should be the main point of contact. The EU standing naval force is probably a less provocative point of contact for navy to navy contact than NATO. The EU must act with alacrity to help the Ukraine with its debt. The EU must recognize the Ukraine's need for a relatively powerful navy and be prepared to channel assistance for that express purpose that does not increase the nation's debt. More over such assistance needs a non threatening face, we would propose Italy as the most routine point of navy to navy contact and the channel for most Western naval aid. Italy's navy already punches above its weight class but is not regarded as an aggressive force or a threat. The Hellenic Navy isn't as powerful as Italy's navy and Greece is heavily burdened by debt as well and unlikely to be punching above its weight class any time soon, but could be a valuable conduit for Western naval aid to the Ukraine and frankly could use some Western help in arriving at a position where her navy can punch above weight before the national economy can really support such a navy.

  Our point is simply that the Ukraine is an important strategic naval presence coveted by Russia. Russian naval adventurism has to be discouraged while the thugs in charge of Russia are allowed to save face with the Russian people by keeping the Western mailed fist inside a velvet glove of non threatening looking nations and insuring Russian access to the sea for all peaceful purposes. It must be clear to Russia that her best assured access to the sea is to be a law abiding nation and there is nothing humiliating about that. Given the fact of thug government it must be also discernible but not overtly obvious to the general Russian public that any future attempt at conquering the world, as was the announced intention of the Soviet Union, has to sprint out from a very disadvantaged  starting block. Prosperity and peace for Russia depend on not threatening her neighbors. The Ukraine protests have demonstrated that the former Soviet satellite nations refuse to go back under a jackboot. The memory of the recent jackboot  is so vivid that the general populous refuses even the most generous hand out from Russia. The Ukrainian people are giving the world some excellent advice..... Never take candy from a bear.          

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Shop Amazon Fire TV - Say it. Watch it

 U.S.Merchant Marine Shop Hats, Shirts, Jackets, Watches, Jewelry, Decorations, Etc.
Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details


.                

No comments:

Post a Comment