Meet Peter Willcox, The Greenpeace Captain Currently Under Arrest In Russia
This dramatic shift in the power balance at the UN seems to have been completely overlooked by many of those covering the meeting, who are more interested in wittering on about the proposed Security Council resolution on disarming Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile (it won’t work)or Iran’s utterly transparent charm offensive (they are desperate to get the sanctions lifted) towards some of the world’s more gullible world leaders. But the key to this disturbing realignment in the global power structureis clearly visiblein the draft of the Security Council resolution on Syria, which entirely reflects Russia’s interests at the expense of those of the Western powers. America, Britain and France, the three Western members of the five permanent members of the Council, wanted the option to take punitive action against the Assad regime if, as most observers expect, Damascus does not fully comply with the U.N.’s requirements. (Nor has anyone considered how U.N. inspectors can be expected to examine and neutralise stockpiles of chemical weapons in the midst of a civil war.) But Russia is determined to prevent any form of military intervention in Syria, and to that end insisted that the resolution be watered down to the effect that, if Assad fails to comply, then the issue will be referred back to the U.N. where, as we know from history, it will be subsumed by the organisation’s bureaucratic complacency. In short, Russia has won the diplomatic battle, and the Western powers, after all their threats to bomb Assad into submission,have been made to look weak and impotent. Apply this paradigm to Iran and it is not hard to see why Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has decided to embark on a charm offensive with the West. Just like Syria, the Russians have no intention of allowing the Western powers and that includes Israel to take military action against Iran over its decade-long refusal to cooperate with the U.N. over its controversial nuclear programme, which most intelligence experts believe is designed to build atom bombs, rather than power stations. And with President Barack Obama desperate to avoid a confrontation with Iran, Syria or any of the regions other rogue states, the key to resolving the Iranian crisis lies in Moscow, not Washington or New York.
AFP PHOTO / SONNY TUMBELAKA In this Oct. 15, 2010 file photo, the Greenpeace ship ‘Arctic Sunrise’ is seen in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) A member of the environmental group Greenpeace holds a banner that reads “We have no appetite for Genetically Modified Organisms or for your stories” as they stage a protest ouside Agriculture Ministry in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, May 9, 2013. They were protesting the government’s policy on GMOs. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici) A greenpeace activist dressed as a polar bear stands on a wooden block of ice on the Moskva River protesting against plans of oil companies’s drilling in the Arctic, with the Kremlin wall in the background, in Moscow , Russia, Monday, April 1, 2013. The placard at left reads: “Save Arctic.” (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel) An Ultra Orthodox Jewish youth looks at Greenpeace activists as they place a large banner on a rail bridge at the entrance to Jerusalem, Thursday, March 21, 2013. Greenpeace activists protested Thursday against arctic drilling during US President Barack Obama’s visit to the region. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) Greenpeace activists demonstrate at a Shell petrol station in Wolfgang, near Davos Switzerland, where the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, takes place Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Keystone/Laurent Gillieron) Greenpeace members and small-scale fishermen during a small demonstration against quota, outside the EU Council building in Brussels, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. The European Union’s executive Commission is calling for a new approach to protect dwindling fishery stocks and eliminate a system of setting catch quotas in which scientific advice is widely disregarded.
Russia’s jailed Pussy Riot member hospitalised, husband says
Tolokonnikova, 23, announced on Monday that she was starting a hunger strike to protest against “slave labour” at Corrective Colony No. 14, where she is serving her sentence, and that she had received a death threat from a senior prison official. She said inmates were forced to work up to 17 hours a day, deprived of sleep and subjected to collective punishment and violence from senior inmates enforcing order in a system reminiscent of the Soviet-era Gulag forced labour camps. Prison authorities dismissed her accusations that the jail is run in violation of Russian law and human rights standards. ABUSE CLAIM Earlier on Friday, Verzilov gave out a statement from Tolokonnikova in which she said prison guards had taken drinking water away from her isolation cell and one had roughly grabbed her and held her in place by her shoulders. The Mordovia branch of the prison service said the drinking water had been replaced by warm boiled water in accordance with doctor’s orders and that Tolokonnikova had refused to let medics check her body for bruises. Tolokonnikova and two other band members were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for a February 2012 protest in which they burst into Christ the Saviour Cathedral and prayed to the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin. Kremlin critics say their trial was part of a crackdown on dissent since Putin started a third term at the Kremlin in May 2012. Pussy Riot and other Kremlin critics accuse Putin of fostering too close ties with the resurgent Russian Orthodox Church and discriminating against sexual minorities as part of the wider crackdown. Tolokonnikova is due for release in March. Another jailed Putin critic, former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, praised her on Friday for speaking out about prison conditions and said she should not lose sight of her imminent freedom.
30, 2013 at 2:16 PM MOSCOW, Sept. 30 (UPI) — The Russian military is on pace to keep up with its U.S. military counterparts in the field of hypersonic aircraft, a defense official said Monday. The U.S. Air Force in May said its X-51A Waverider test vehicle accelerated to a speed of Mach 5.1, or about 3,800 miles per hour, during a fight over the Pacific Ocean. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin , who’s in charge of the defense industry, said the Kremlin was working to keep up with the United States in terms of military technology, Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports. “Both we and the Americans conduct researches about hypersonic technologies, or speed that is more than six times above the speed of sound. This is not a secret, but everything else is,” he was quoted as telling Rossiya TV. “I can tell you that we are running neck and neck with the Americans as far as these technologies are concerned.” Russia and the United States committed to phasing out some aspects of their nuclear arsenals under the terms of an arms reduction treaty agreed to in the 1970s. Both sides are at odds, however, over missile defense advances in Eastern Europe. Russian officials said last year hypersonic aircraft could enter military service during the 2020s.