Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Video from a hawk in flight...

You think the video from a drone can take your breath away. Look at this.

What's going on in the World Today 160427



" Conversation: The United States' Role in the World is republished with permission of Stratfor." 
Kenya: Government To Resume Border Wall Construction April 25, 2016 Kenya will resume construction of a 700-kilometer (435-mile) security wall along its border with Somalia, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said April 24, Xinhua reported. The fence is designed to stop al Shabaab fighters in Somalia from crossing into Kenya, where the group has committed a number of gruesome attacks, including an April 2015 attack at a university, which killed nearly 150 students. The government's announcement to restart building comes after construction on the wall stalled because of a lack of funds. 
Australia: France Lands $43 Billion Submarine Deal April 26, 2016 France's state-owned DCNS group won a $43 billion contract to build a fleet of 12 submarines for Australia, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced April 26, Reuters reported. France beat out Japan and Germany for the deal, which Turnbull said would involve Australian workers and Australian steel. Japan was viewed as an early frontrunner to secure the deal, but inexperience with global defense deals and a reluctance to agree to build the submarines in Australia caused it to lose out to the French bid. Losing the deal is a blow to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's effort to ramp up defense exports while normalizing the country's military. 
Why France Won the Biggest Arms Deal in Australian History 
Even in the lucrative world of the arms trade, it isn't every day that a sale worth more than $38.54 billion is made. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Tuesday the winner of Australia's Future Submarine contract. DCNS, a French industrial group that specializes in naval equipment, bested rival Japanese and German companies, forcing them to learn the bitter lessons of a lost contest…. 
Koreas: North Ready For Next Nuclear Test, Park Says April 26, 2016 
North Korea has completed preparations for its fifth nuclear test and could conduct it at any time, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said April 26, Yonhap reported. Meanwhile, North Korea has no plans to suspend nuclear tests even if the United States stops its annual military exercises with South Korea, an aide to North Korea's foreign minister told Kyodo. Over the weekend, the foreign minister said Pyongyang would halt nuclear testing in exchange for an end to the joint drills. Last week, North Korea fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile in its latest show of defiance against international sanctions. “As North Korea works on a deliverable warhead, it will be important to watch its parallel efforts to build a long-range delivery vehicle for re-entry and guidance capabilities.” 
In Europe, a Crisis in Every Direction 
During the early stages of the EU crisis, most threats to the survival of the Continental bloc came from its periphery. Back then the prevailing fear was that financial disaster in a southern member state — a default in Greece or Portugal, for example — could precipitate the eurozone's collapse, hurting northern nations such as Germany and the Netherlands in the process. Though the possibility still exists, a sort of inverse threat has emerged. Today, the steady rise of anti-establishment and Euroskeptic sentiments in Northern Europe, as exemplified in Austria and Germany, threatens the Continent's south…. 
Italy: NATO To Shift Focus To Libya Migration Route, Minister Says April 25, 2016 Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said she expects NATO to agree at its July 2016 summit in Poland to deploy forces to counter illegal migration from Libya to Europe, La Stampa reported April 25. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has reportedly confirmed to Pinotti that an Italian proposal to shift the focus of NATO operations from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Libyan coast has been approved. While the majority of the focus regarding illegal migration to the European Union has been on Greece, Italy's migration problem should not be ignored. 
China's Long March Into Central Asia 
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, an unexplored frontier opened up for China to its west. Central Asia offered Beijing new sources of raw materials and new markets, as well as a major transit zone for exports, to feed China's growing and globally integrating economy. But China did not have the military means to buttress its economic position, nor did it want to unnerve Russia, a power wary of rising Chinese influence, especially in its former Soviet periphery. With these concerns in mind, Beijing carefully shaped a military and economic strategy for Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan. Though weak upon independence, the countries retained strong security ties to Russia. Consequently, China opted to promote economic involvement in the region complemented by a subtle, unimposing military engagement, mainly as a courtesy to Russia in exchange for stable Chinese-Russian strategic cooperation. 
Russia: Missile Defense System Delivered To Iran Ahead Of Schedule April 26, 2016 Russia is delivering its S-300 missile defense system to Iran ahead of schedule, according to Alexander Fomin, the head of Russia's federal arms exports service, Reuters reported. The two countries are also holding talks on the delivery of other equipment. The S-300 missile defense system can engage multiple aircraft and ballistic missiles around 150 kilometers (90 miles) away. Russia delivered the first part of the system to Iran the week of April 11. Moscow had canceled a contract to deliver S-300s to Iran in 2010 under pressure from the West. President Vladimir Putin, however, lifted the ban in April 2015 after an interim agreement that paved the way for a full nuclear deal with Iran ending international sanctions. 
Iran: Zarif, Kerry Meeting In New York April 22, 2016 
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet in New York with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on April 22, according to Kerry’s spokesman, AFP reported. Discussions will focus on the sanctions relief process and implementation of the nuclear deal reached last year, the spokesman said. It is the pair’s first meeting since January. They are expected to meet again after a meeting at the United Nations on April 26. Tehran alleges that Washington has not lived up to its side of the nuclear deal, because Western banks and firms have been slow to restore business ties. With sanctions removed, Iran's political factions over the next few years will fight over the direction of the economy and to what extent to open it to foreign investment. 
Iran's Supreme Leader says U.S. lifted sanctions only on paper 
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009. REUTERS/Caren Firouz Iran's Supreme Leader accused the United States on Wednesday of scaring businesses away from Tehran and undermining a deal to lift international sanctions. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told hundreds of workers that a global deal, signed between Iran and world powers, had lifted financial sanctions, but U.S. obstruction was stopping Iran getting the full economic fruits of the agreement. "On paper the United States allows foreign banks to deal with Iran, but in practice they create Iranophobia so no one does business with Iran," he said in quotes from the speech posted on his website…. 
Iraq: Kurdish, Shiite Fighters Agree To Truce in North April 25, 2016 
Kurdish peshmerga and Shiite Turkmen paramilitary forces in northern Iraq agreed to a truce, halting a dayslong period of violence that threatened to further destabilize the country, Rudaw reported April 25. More than a dozen fighters from the two groups died in the clashes, as well as an unknown number of civilians. The clashes risk further fragmenting Iraq, which is struggling to contain the Islamic State while managing sectarian and ethnic rivalries, including between the Shiite-led government in Baghdad and Kurdish officials in Iraqi Kurdistan. 
Iraq: Army Resumes Makhmour Offensive, Recaptures Village April 27, 2016 
The Iraqi army resumed its Makhmour offensive April 27, recapturing the village of Mahana from the Islamic State, Rudaw reported. The offensive is the first stage in the larger operation to retake the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State militants. Despite the U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, the Makhmour offensive has been slow. Various groups are cooperating against the Islamic State, including the Kurdish peshmerga, Shiite militias, Sunni tribal militias and Iraqi government forces. The struggle for influence and control among these groups will emerge even more fully as they overcome their common enemy. 
A Pause in Iraq's Sectarian Infighting 
Tuz Khurmatu, a diverse town of fewer than 100,000 people, has long been a hot spot for ethnic and sectarian clashes in Iraq. But violence between the Kurdish peshmerga and Iraq's Shiite militias surged after the town's latest cease-fire unraveled on Sunday. On Wednesday, the two factions reached a tentative agreement in Tuz Khurmatu after the United Nations, United States and United Kingdom urged them to defuse tensions and focus on the fight against their common enemy, the Islamic State. So far, violence between the Kurdish and Shiite militias has been largely confined to the town, but the clashes reveal a much broader issue for Iraq, both in its battle against the Islamic State and in its internal, political battle in Baghdad… 
Number of foreign fighters entering Iraq and Syria drops by 90 percent, Pentagon says 
The flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria has dropped from roughly 2,000 a month down to 200 within the past year, according to the Pentagon, which says the waning numbers are further proof of the Islamic State’s declining stature. The declining number of fighters is a direct result of strikes that have targeted the terror group’s infrastructure, Air Force Maj. Gen. Peter E. Gersten, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State, said Tuesday….
BriefPolice made arrests in Cairo, Alexandria and other parts of the country on Thursday night
Dozens of activists were arrested on Thursday in Cairo, Alexandria, the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt ahead of planned protests on 25 April. The police raided several Cairo cafes and arrested dozens of people late on Thursday night and in the early hours of Friday morning, according to a statement by the Freedom for the Brave campaign. Lawyer Amr Imam told Ahram Online that at least 100 people were estimated to have been arrested around the country on Thursday night... 
A Vision of Reform in Saudi Arabia 
Summary Saudi Arabia has lifted its veil of secrecy ever so slightly. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave his first-ever live interview to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television on April 25, less than an hour after the Cabinet in Riyadh approved the kingdom's National Transformation Plan. The five-year plan, which will kick off officially in the next couple of months, outlines Saudi Arabia's strategy to expand and develop its economy while de-emphasizing oil revenue. Within the framework of the larger Vision 2030, the plan focuses on broadening privatization efforts, lifting power and water subsidies across socio-economic classes, decreasing unemployment, bolstering domestic industrial military production, and spinning off some of Saudi Arabian Oil Co.'s assets into what the kingdom hopes will become the world's largest sovereign wealth fund.,, 
In Libya, the Race to Defeat the Islamic State Begins 
April 26:In Libya, the Race to Defeat the Islamic State Begins The race for Sirte is on. Libya's rival militias — and the two governments that command them — are competing to win back the city from the Islamic State, which has held it since mid-2015. The victor will secure greater bargaining power in the ongoing high-stakes negotiations to assemble a U.N.-brokered unity government, the Government of National Accord. The negotiations over the new government have attempted to square the disparate interests of federalists, Islamists and secular nationalists, among others, to establish the defeat of their common enemy, the Islamic State, as the priority. This shared goal has enabled the various groups to overlook their severe ideological and tribal divisions — at least for now…. 
April 25, Help Net Security – (International) Compromised credentials still to blame for many data breaches. A Cloud Security Alliance survey found that a lack of scalable identity access management systems, a lack of ongoing automated rotation of cryptographic keys, passwords, and certificates, as well as failure to use multifactor authentication were the major causes of data breaches. The findings also indicated that 22 percent of companies who suffered a data breach, attributed the breach to compromised credentials. Source: 

 April 25, Help Net Security – (International) Critical flaws in HP Data Protector open servers to remote attacks. Hewlett Packard released security updates for its HP Data Protector software patching six critical vulnerabilities for all versions prior to 7.03_108, 8.15, and 9.06 which could allow a remote code execution flaw or unauthorized disclosure of information via unauthenticated users or through an embedded Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) private key, which could increase the chance of man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. 
 As the sun rose over the banks of the Seine and the medieval, half-timbered houses of Rouen, France, on July 13, 2012, Hisham Almiraat opened his inbox to find “Denunciation” in the subject line of an email. “Please do not mention my name or anything,” wrote the sender, Imane. “I do not want any trouble.” The editor and co-founder of Mamfakinch, a pro-democracy website created in Morocco during the Arab Spring, Almiraat was one of his country’s most outspoken dissidents and someone accustomed to cryptic emails: Moroccan activists faced jail time for their views and risked their jobs, or even their lives, for speaking out against their government. From Normandy’s capital city, where Almiraat was in medical school, the bespectacled 36-year-old spent his time — in between classes and hospital shifts — mentoring, coaching, and editing more than 40 citizen journalists. The group covered the roiling unrest back in Almiraat’s homeland, where he would soon return after completing his studies. (Almiraat contributed to Foreign Policy in 2011.) Almiraat and his colleagues also trained Mamfakinch’s writers to use encryption software, most notably the Onion Router, so that their online activities remained anonymous and shielded. Tor, as it’s widely known, masks a user’s identity and physical location. “People were relying on us to protect their…reputations, their careers, and probably also their freedoms,” Almiraat says. “All of that could be put in jeopardy if that were made public.” It was precisely this forethought that had earned Mamfakinch the Breaking Borders Award, sponsored by Google and the citizen-media group Global Voices, for its efforts “to defend and promote freedom of speech rights on the Internet.” But on that July morning, just 11 days after receiving the award, Almiraat read the message from Imane and knew “something wasn’t right.” A website link directed him to a document labeled “Scandal,” which, once downloaded, was blank. His associates received the same note. Suspicious, Almiraat promptly forwarded the email to an activist he knew, who then sent it to Morgan Marquis-Boire, a dreadlocked, tattooed 32-year-old digital activist who’d grown up hacking in New Zealand under the nickname “Mayhem.” A top security researcher at Google, Marquis-Boire had made waves recently as a volunteer detective for Citizen Lab, a technology research and human rights group at the University of Toronto; he and several colleagues had found evidence that suggested Bahrain was using surveillance software — a product intended for government spying on suspected criminals — against supporters of political reform. After a month-long analysis of the Scandal file, Marquis-Boire contacted Almiraat with disturbing news: Anyone who had opened the document had been infected with highly sophisticated spyware, which had been sent from an Internet protocol address in Morocco’s capital of Rabat. Further research confirmed that the Supreme Council of National Defense, which ran Morocco’s security agencies, was behind the attack. Almiraat and his colleagues had essentially handed government spies the keys to their devices, rendering Tor, or any other encryption software, useless. Morocco’s spooks could read the Mamfakinch team’s emails, steal their passwords, log their keystrokes, turn on their webcams and microphones — and spies likely had been doing exactly those things and more since the intrusion in July….
Except where noted courtesy STRATFOR.COM

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Archie has had enough!

One of the greatest TV shows of all time, back when Hollywood was actually a place for storytelling. Edith is going over how she and Archie met. Archie is not much for going down memory lane. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

North Korean Nuclear Ambitions Ride on Missile Development: March 23, 2016

The image of a 2012 rocket launch is shown at a Pyongyang railway station on Feb. 3, 2016, as North Korea announced plans to launch a satellite. The launch four days later marked the latest push by the North to demonstrate its missile capabilities. (JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
To dissuade U.S. military action, North Korea will keep trying to develop a demonstrable nuclear missile that can reach the United States.
As North Korea works on a deliverable warhead, it will be important to watch its parallel efforts to build a long-range delivery vehicle for re-entry and guidance capabilities.
In their current forms, North Korea's tests of missile nose cones and guidance systems will not be enough to provide proof of nuclear deterrence.
Amid the latest series of North Korean missile tests, South Korea's Ministry of Unification has reported that Pyongyang is ready to carry out its fifth nuclear weapons test detonation and may simply be waiting for a politically advantageous time to do so. Over the past few months, North Korea has apparently accelerated its efforts to develop a deployable nuclear weapon and a long-range missile delivery system. In addition to its fourth underground nuclear test and another attempted satellite launch atop a Taepodong/Unha rocket, which can also serve as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the North has recently published sets of photos of what it claims are a miniaturized nuclear warhead and a ground test of a rocket nose cone to demonstrate its re-entry capability. The images coincide with an uptick in rhetoric regarding the development of a viable nuclear deterrent. Though Pyongyang appears to be moving forward with its goal of creating a functional system, it still has several steps left to complete before it reaches its objective.
If the North wants to bolster the credibility of its claims of possessing a long-range nuclear deterrent, it will need to do at least two more things: conduct active re-entry tests to verify the viability of a nose cone and conduct a test of a guidance system for re-entry. In some ways, North Korea's path remains complex and difficult. After all, it is rocket science. In another sense, though, Pyongyang is not seeking to match current U.S., Russian or Chinese technologies. Instead, it would be sufficient to demonstrate technologies from the 1950s and 1960s — technologies that have been amply documented, studied and tested.
The United States developed its first ICBM during the span of two years of Atlas rocket tests. That said, it was able to draw on the considerable resources of a large nation. Pyongyang, meanwhile, is constrained technologically, financially and politically. And while North Korea may carry out fewer tests than the big powers, it cannot skip certain critical steps. North Korea's timetable has clearly been much slower than that of the United States. Pyongyang's first Scud-B launch took place in the early 1980s; its first test of the intermediate-range Nodong followed in 1990. The first test of the longer-range Taepodong took place in 1998, with six launches so far, several of which were clearly unsuccessful. In regards to rocket technology, the North may be fairly confident it now has a viable launch system, at least to provide the range of an ICBM, and it is shifting its attention to developing a resilient nose cone and accurate guidance system.

It is perhaps no coincidence that Pyongyang has shown off in rapid succession a model miniaturized nuclear warhead and a ground test of a nose cone. The initial ground test shown by the North was intended to highlight advancements in metallurgy and demonstrate the nose cone's ability to survive a simulated re-entry. But ground tests will be insufficient. The North's test rig may not quite re-create re-entry temperatures, pressure and vibrations. The North must conduct one or more flight tests with a nose cone that undergoes re-entry and is recovered. Sensors and dummy warheads inside will help determine whether the nose cone could protect a sensitive nuclear device. A test of a system with a real nuclear device is not necessary and in fact is extremely rare even among current nuclear powers for obvious reasons. The United States tested a complete submarine-launched nuclear missile in 1962, detonating over Christmas Island, and China tested a complete medium-range nuclear device in 1966, detonating over Lop Nor.
The North will also test a guidance system, likely alongside the nose cone survivability tests. This also requires live tests, with re-entry and preferably recovery of the re-entry vehicle. Given the general flight path of North Korean missiles and the size of North Korea, such recovery would probably be at sea, requiring additional naval developments by Pyongyang before a test could feasibly take place. While nuclear devices do not necessarily need an extremely fine guidance system (U.S. ICBMs with larger warheads with a five-mile margin of accuracy were considered acceptable), even a five-mile circle is fairly tiny at the end of a more than 4,000-mile (6,437-kilometer) flight.

Should the North carry out a successful demonstration of guided re-entry, it would match the United States at the stage of its earliest nuclear-armed ICBMs and mark a major step for Pyongyang. However, the world is a different place than it was in the 1950s, and technology is different, too. Pyongyang's current Taepodong/Unha systems require days of fueling before launching on one of the country's two suitable launch pads, which are kept under constant surveillance. The United States and China, and even South Korea and Japan, have the capability to detect and destroy a rocket on the pad, reducing the value of the nuclear deterrent. However, successful testing of the KN-08 mobile missile system or further tests of its submarine-launched missile may serve as the final step for the North to showcase a viable deterrent capability.
As we watch the North's progress, important tests to look for will include re-entry and recovery after launch. The success of those tests marks the difference between having a nuclear device and having a long-range nuclear weapon. Such tests will not go unnoticed, and the risk of conducting them is in their failure or the recovery of the re-entry vehicle by another nation. Pyongyang might develop a deployable short- or intermediate-ranged nuclear-armed missile without a re-entry test, but that would fail to achieve its intended goal of creating a demonstrable nuclear device capable of reaching the United States, which would provide what Pyongyang perceives as the insurance it needs to dissuade U.S. military action.

"North Korean Nuclear Ambitions Ride on Missile Development is republished with permission of Stratfor."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

It is done!

I’ve been off on my blogging, among other things, the last few years, especially the last year. I’ve been working to finish my Master’s of Arts in Intelligence Studies, with concentration in Homeland Security. It has been an experience I would not trade, even with it being in the center of multiple major parts of my life (marriage, getting promoted, assigned as a Field Training Supervisor, which takes a lot of my time. But Friday I posted my thesis and it’s been accepted, I then posted a version for publication, and now I’m just waiting for my final grade. I will actually be aware the diploma in August, but I’m done.

One thing I do love is alumni of American Military University have full access to their library, which I will love to use. One of the eye opening experience of the program was the library. Access to countless pear reviewed journals, articles, books, that I would have to pay to access, but now I have a link to them.

I remember the first time I saw a real library. Not knocking the ladies at the public library down the street, but I was a high school junior working on my first research paper and I drove to the University of New Orleans for the first time and walked into their library. And I was astonished. Two stories of books, journals, papers, microfilm. I’m not exaggerating that for the first few minutes I took in the lobby aghast at how big this place was. And they added on two stories the following year. Life got better.

And I am looking forward to writing more serious and lengthy stuff in the future, after a break. I need it, trust me. I’m able to work extra jobs again (I need that!) and this weekend I was started a Stephen King novel. Reading for pleasure. something I haven’t done much of the last three years. And I have some catching up with the Blue Knights, and I’m going to dust off the blog and start posting regularly. I’ve missed that greatly.

I’ve also got to catch up with the family and friends. I’ve missed countless events because I was working on a paper or something. But I know it was worth it. One, the department gives me more money for a master’s. Two, it’s another point for promotion when I take the lieutenant’s exam. And I would like to eventually spend some time in the department intelligence office. I vowed to not go there while I was in the reserves. I would hate to do the same thing on the weekend as you do during the week. But it’s been over 5 years since I called it a night with the army, so the intel racket may again be in my future. One thing I do want to start posting again is my 2-3 times a week summary, “What’s Going on in the World Today.”

Well, I’m about to fall asleep (got home at 0200 after the extra job and I had to get up early for my ride this morning) so I’m drifting off. Night all. Hopefully we’ll be conversing on the net. Have a great week.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Well deserved punishment!

Mixed 24 year old Glenfiddich with anything!? Hopefully he was castrated and disemboweled before coming here! Some sins cannot be forgiven! :<)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Another happy doggie story!

From Miami, an idiot takes the cops on a ride and ends up facing the Jaws of Justice!

WATCH police in Miami end a high-speed chase with the help of K-9 officers.

Posted by Fox News on Friday, April 1, 2016

Nice work Miami PD.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Officer Down

Investigator Steven Martin Sandberg
Aitkin County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota
End of Watch: Sunday, October 18, 2015
Age: 60
Tour: 24 years
Badge # 203

Investigator Steve Sandberg was shot and killed while guarding a prisoner at St. Cloud Hospital, in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

The prisoner was in custody in connection with a domestic assault in Aitkin County. At approximately 5:15 am the subject attacked and disarmed Investigator Sandberg in the hospital room. The man then fatally shot Investigator Sandberg with his own service weapon.

Another deputy was able to subdue the subject with a Taser. The man died a short time later from an unknown cause.

Investigator Sandberg had served with Aitkin County Sheriff's Office for 24 years.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh.