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Everything posted by Feanor

  1. Iran shoots down US drone aircraft, raising tensions further in Strait of Hormuz Tehran, Iran (CNN)Iran shot down a United States military drone on Thursday, further escalating the already volatile situation playing out between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East. Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an "intruding American spy drone" after it entered into the country's territory Thursday. A US official confirmed to CNN a drone had been shot down, but said the incident occurred in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most vital shipping routes. The location of the drone has become a key point of contention since the incident. Iran maintains that the US aircraft was downed in Iranian territory, with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeting a timeline of the incident later on Thursday. "At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak," he wrote. The United States countered with its own coordinates, suggesting that the drone had been flying in international airspace when it was shot down, at a point about nine nautical miles southwest of that cited by Iran. US Central Command, which oversees military operations in the Middle East, added further detail in a statement Thursday, describing the downed drone as a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude, Long, Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). The head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, said the shooting down of the drone had sent a warning to the US. "The only way for our enemies to be safe is to respect our sovereignty, national security, and the national interests of the great Iranian nation," Salami said, according Tasnim. In comments likely to inflame tensions, Salami said that Iran does "not want war with any country, but we are completely, and totally, ready and prepared for war." In a statement issued on Thursday, the Revolutionary Guard said the drone was launched from a US base south of the Persian Gulf shortly after midnight on Thursday. It said it flew from the Strait of Hormuz towards Chabahar, a city in southeast Iran. "While returning to the western Hormuz Strait's region the drone violated Iran's airspace and engaged in information gathering and spying," the statement said. "At 4.05 a.m. local time while the violating airplane was over Iranian territory, [it] was shot down," it added. According to Iran's semi-official Tasnim News Agency, the drone was shot down by Khordad-3 medium range air defense missile. Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Abbas Mousavi said the country condemned the "aggressive and provocative action." "We warn against any violation of Iran's airspace by foreign flying objects and declare that violators are responsible for the consequences of their actions," he was quoted by Tasnim as saying. Reuters quoted Cap. Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US Central Command, as saying "no US aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace" Thursday. Relations between the two adversaries have taken a dangerous turn this week, beginning with the Trump administration's decision Monday to deploy 1,000 additional troops and more military resources to the Middle East. The forces are being sent in response to what Washington called "hostile behavior by Iranian forces that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region." US officials blame Iran for conducting attacks against oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, and the US President himself last week accused Iran of being behind the provocation, telling Fox News: "It was them that did it." Tehran has categorically denied the accusations, and President Hassan Rouhani said the country does not seek war but "is determined to show its hopefulness and vitality and defeat the enemy's plot." The White House was holding a meeting Thursday to discuss a response to the escalation, a person familiar with the plans told CNN. President Donald Trump was not expected to attend. A U.S. official tells Barbara Starr that outgoing Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and incoming Acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper are both expected to attend at this point. Iran has previously been accused of targeting US drones. In the hours before the attack on the two tankers earlier this month, the Iranians spotted a US drone flying overhead and launched a surface-to-air missile at the unmanned aircraft, a US official told CNN. In 2014, the Iran's armed forces revealed what it claimed was a copy of a stealth American drone "commandeered" by Tehran in 2011. Relations between Iran and the United States have deteriorated since May 2018, when Washington chose to leave the 2015 nuclear deal the Iranian regime negotiated with world powers and reimpose crippling sanctions on Iran's economy. Trump and many conservatives in the US had long criticized the deal, which allowed Iran to stockpile limited amounts of enriched uranium and heavy water produced in that process, exporting any excess. Doing so has become extremely difficult after the US revoked waivers that allowed Iran to export those excess stockpiles, effectively forcing Iran to halt enrichment or ignore the limits, which it is now doing. After a year of waiting, Rouhani announced last month that it would reduce its "commitments to the deal," but not fully withdraw from it. Iran then announced this week that it would resume nuclear enrichment activities, accelerating uranium enrichment to 3.7% -- above the 3.67% mandated by the nuclear deal. Enrichment at this level is enough to continue powering parts of the country's energy needs, but not enough to construct a nuclear bomb. Thursday's drone incident came after Saudi Arabia said that a projectile launched by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen landed near a desalination plant in Al-Shuqaiq overnight. Trump has been briefed on the reports, according to the White House. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday that Riyadh has made it "very clear that Iran's aggressive behavior must stop." "We have it made it very clear that nobody wants war. We don't want war. The US doesn't want war," Jubeir said. UPDATE: A US official previously identified to CNN the model of the drone as a MQ-4C Triton, but US Central Command later said it was an RQ-4A Global Hawk. https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/20/middleeast/iran-drone-claim-hnk-intl/index.html Personal comment - I really have to wonder about this. Between the tanker attacks earlier, and now the drone downing, this all smells bad. Either Iran is getting really really aggressive and needs a good spanking, or this another Gulf of Tonkin, which I certainly wouldn't put past the kinds of people that Trump has on his team.
  2. I tried to search for "fuck giphy" under the giphy app but all I got was a bunch of sex scenes... Also it seems to get stuck sometimes and just shows a blank, like when I searched for genocide.
  3. Honestly I wasn't enamored with the meat either. It wasn't bad but it wasn't great, it was ok. And the place was supposed to be good, it came recommended from a friend who is big on asian food. So I just haven't bothered again. I know a sushi place with reasonable prices and great food, and I go there. For barbecue there's plenty around.
  4. Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know about social media?
  5. Look at how much shady behavior already surrounds banking practices with current, government-backed currency. Now imagine that the government has no control over it because it's an online currency controlled by a small number of mega-corps. It's not good news, in my opinion.
  6. Social media is actually pretty well censored these days. You can forget your freedom of speech. These platforms exist for the benefit of certain people.
  7. I mostly avoid asian food. Sushi is pretty much the one exception to that. I don't like teriyaki, and the one time I went to a Korean barbecue place they served me a symbolic-sized portion of meat, and a bunch of weird side dishes, none of which I wanted to eat.
  8. I don't like social media in general, so I guess I'm with Diderot here; entrails, kings, priests, etc.
  9. I eat sushi because I like the taste, not because it's healthy.
  10. Yeah, I don't get it. It's not like rice is the reason you eat sushi, and there's so much of it in these...
  11. Move to Russia where the laws are strict but the cops take cash.
  12. Insys: Incompetence and Complete Disregard for Patients on Trial The racketeering trial of five former Insys Therapeutics executives accused of bribing doctors across the country to increase their prescriptions of Subsys took place earlier this year. As a refresher, Insys founder John Kapoor and four former high-ranking executives are on trial for allegedly funneling millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes to prescribers to get them to prescribe the Insys drug, Subsys. Subsys was initially approved to treat cancer-related pain and had at least four other fentanyl-based products as competition. Testimony Holly Brown As was expected, testimony that came out during the trial was shocking, including testimony that Insys hired an ex-stripper as a sales manager and that employee even gave a doctor a lap dance. A former Insys Therapeutics sales representative, Holly Brown, testified before jurors that she was present when her boss, former exotic dancer Sunrise Lee, Dr. Paul Madison a lap dance in a Chicago nightclub in mid-2012 following a dinner at Insys founder John Kapoor’s Chicago restaurant. According to Brown, when she had discussed with Lee her qualifications for holding the sales manager position, the only response she received from Lee was that she had worked in massage therapy and “at some point she said she had a degree in biochemistry.” Gavin Awerbuch Dr. Gavin Awerbuch, a Michigan doctor who has been convicted of illegally distributing Subsys, testified to the attractiveness of the company’s sales reps and the “easy money’’ that helped to persuade him to write unnecessary prescriptions for the dangerous drug. He told jurors that he made over $130,000 over the course of just 18 months by showing up to “educational sessions.” According to Awerbuch, Insys officials would set up speaking engagements but often couldn’t get any doctors to attend. In those cases, Awerbuch would have his neighbors and friends show up, while on other occasions, it was just him and a sales rep at the dinner table. He testified that “It was just easy money for me. I got paid $1,600 to show up, have a nice meal and go home.” Michael Babich, former Insys chief executive, has cut a deal with prosecutors and, following his guilty plea to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and to mail fraud, served as a witness in this current case. In his testimony, he said that he felt the company “owned” several doctors who had received thousands of dollars from Insys to prescribe Subsys, and he didn’t want them to prescribe other competing fentanyl products. Babich also reviewed dozens of emails that had been entered into evidence and testified that high-ranking executives at Insys painstakingly identified doctors around the country who had a history of prescribing opioids, then wooed those physicians and funneled what he called bribes to them through a sham speakers program. He further testifiedthat he, Kapoor, and Alec Burlakoff, among others had a conference call almost every weekday morning at 8:30 am to review how many prescriptions the doctors were writing and at what dosages, to determine whether the company was getting a good “return on its investment.” Babich also testified against Kapoor more specifically, highlighting Kapoor’s anger about the launch of the drug because he felt patients were not being prescribed high enough dosages and would eventually stop taking the drug. According to Babich, Kapoor “called it the worst (expletive) launch in history.” The Rap Video At this point, most in the industry have likely seen the in-house rap video that was created featuring A$AP Rocky beats and an executive dressed as a prescription bottle of Subsys. The executive featured in the video, Alec Burlakoff, was the vice president of marketing at Insys. Some of the lyrics in the rap included, “You think you’re bad well I’m the baddest / I was created in a lab with the land of the cactus.” The chorus praised “titration,” which is a process to quickly increase the dosage of Subsys, “I love titration. Yeah it’s a not a problem. I got new patients and I got a lot of ‘em.” The music video, five minutes long and shown at an Insys sales conference in 2015, was titled “Great by Choice” and focused on the benefits of pushing physicians and other prescribers to prescribe the pain medication. Conclusion If nothing else, the trial and corresponding testimony highlights the fact that Insys had no consideration as to the dangers that their drug represented, and this case shows that unfortunately, there are some people who take advantage of the system and have blatant disregard for the people they are supposed to be helping. The rap video especially shows the level of incompetence of Insys executives, as they did not seem to understand how dangerous fentanyl is and how titration can often lead to death. The trial and testimony shows just how out of touch – and out of control – the executives at Insys were. https://www.policymed.com/2019/03/insys-incompetence-and-complete-disregard-for-patients-on-trial.html Personal Comment: It's no secret that this sort of thing has been going on for a long time. I think they got caught because they just got too greedy and sloppy about it.
  13. Dear diplo, Check out this translation of a classic work on the first Chechen War. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you want to see the blood and dirt of '95, this is an excellent work. The translation is not ideal but it's very readable. http://artofwar.ru/m/mironow_w_n/text_0180.shtml
  14. It's out. I was able to watch it in Russian here: http://pumafilm.club/film/balkanskij-rubezh-2019/
  15. In the 1980's the US funded Islamic resistance fighters in Afghanistan in cooperation with Palistani intelligence services, and essentially collaborated in the emergence of the Taliban, training many of those who would later form al-Qaeda. By the time the Global War on Terror rolled around, it became tacitly acknowledged that this was a mistake, and the US was now fighting a monster of its own creation. However it's starting to become more and more obvious that the Russo-Iranian narrative of the war in Syria is more accurate than the US one. A book was recently published, "The Secret War in Syria" by Maxim Chaix, a French journalist, which demonstrates convincingly that the US, along with Britain, France, and a number of other allies and "allies" have done nearly the exact same thing in Syria. Check out the interview with the author, and let me know what you guys think. Is this really a case of the same strategic error made twice? Are we potentially looking at competing interests within the western world, where some of them see the price as worth paying or even desirable? Or is this situation not the same at all, and are the similarities mostly on the surface? Fair warning, massive wall off text, with links to references and sources retained. I got it here: https://maximechaix.info/?p=3821
  16. Feanor

    Ask Diplo

    I mean... it would still be a compliment.
  17. Attack of the sky penises. The Navy’s probe into sky penis https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/05/14/the-navys-probe-into-sky-penis/ An Air Force sky penis to rival the Navy’s own? https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/04/27/an-air-force-sky-penis-to-rival-the-navys-own/ Another Military Pilot Drew a Sky Penis, and This Time It Was a Marine https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/10/24/another-military-pilot-drew-sky-penis-and-time-it-was-marine.html
  18. Not the communism, not the pedophilia, but this? Commenting on Bors and a cane, this is what makes you question it?
  19. It's a new film, joint collaboration between a Russian and America film studio, about the events surrounding the capture of the Slatina airport by Russian paratroopers ahead of the NATO forces entering Kosovo.
  20. Feanor

    Ask Diplo

    Was one of the cartridges a simulation of masturbating to one of his acquantainces?
  21. Feanor

    Ask Diplo

    I don't think robots go to school.
  22. Feanor

    Ask Diplo

    Come on Bors. Nobody thinks you masturbate to girls.
  23. Feanor

    Ask Diplo

    In before we find out @Baledwyr has been jerking off to @Derdan this whole time.
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