Tuesday 29th of November 2022

and god invents fire...

jones ranting


CONTROVERSIAL broadcaster Alan Jones says he believes students were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, and Australia should rethink its intake of foreign students after yesterday's carnage.

''I wouldn't be surprised if this was a conspiracy among students, left wing radical students in Boston,'' Jones, from Sydney's 2GB radio, told the Seven Network's Sunrise program.


Jones said Boston was a well known university town with institutions such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)





the Scheiße news international media circus...

news.com.au 17 april 2013


I may appear insensitive to the Boston people... This is not my intention... Here I am simply pointing out the idiosyncrasy of an idiosyncratic press giving you a mix of "news" on its website front page.... A website obsessed with food stories... For those who don't know, Black Caviar is a nag that won all her races and after being sired and be fowl-bearing will end up in beef lasagne in Europe... as well Black caviar may end (2 to 5 odds) as a taxidermist stuffed object in a display case in some Aussie museum somewhere — ten to one it's Longreach... Meanwhile the sister news-site in the US, the New York Post had a beauty:





As you can see here, nothing is too exaggerated (12 dead — their guess was as good as mine)

though the hurt was massive... But the most outrageous piece was that straight away a finger

was pointed. It is possible that the NY Post has someone at the police or the FBI on its payroll:


They know who did it. So does Alan Jones in Australia:


jones is an idiot



CONTROVERSIAL broadcaster Alan Jones says he believes students were responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings, and Australia should rethink its intake of foreign students after yesterday's carnage.

''I wouldn't be surprised if this was a conspiracy among students, left wing radical students in Boston,'' Jones, from Sydney's 2GB radio, told the Seven Network's Sunrise program.


Jones said Boston was a well known university town with institutions such as Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)





For those who don't know, Alan Jones is the Rush Limbaugh of Australia with a more conservative twist, bordering on the charitable fascist...




This is a re-organised represented comment first posted as : a day about kitchens and pressure cookers... We cannot be too careful, some readers may miss the new comments, the latest of which are in the left hand column on the site... Often, they relate to older posts. Old posts on this site deserve a look....


checking checking checking...

FBI warns media to check facts before announcing Boston updates



ammonium nitrate...

Here, in 2009 (and way before that somewhere else on this site), I warned about the danger of ammonium nitrate after a couple of containers full of the stuff got lost off the coast of Newcastle, Australia, by a ship in a big shit-storm...


One of danger with ammonium nitrate is that it is hungry for water and as soon as it absobs water, it becomes unstable and can explode from one wing-flap of a butterfly...

But its result as a fertiliser to grow super-sized vegies and lettuces outweigh the dangers of its fabrication... One is feeding 7 billion people you know... Of course, farmers use it in such small quantities that it cannot reach explosive levels in the furrows, even if it rains, otherwise the world would be full of exploding carrot fields... An alternative is urea, but it has a bad image... My grand dad used to piss on his vegie patch...


One cannot be complacent when making or dealing with ammonium nitrate. It is dangerous...

In order to make bombs out of it, terrorists mixes it with diesel fuel that provides a spreaded ignition factor and a "stop' to the ammonium nitrate absorption of ambient humidity, making it more stable. Add a fuse with timer or controlling device to make it go off and that's an easy bomb made from your gardening section at Supahardware... or your local potted flower shop...



was it ammonium nitrate?...

An Australian has been killed in a massive explosion in Beirut where at least 60 people have died and more than 3000 are injured.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s embassy in the Lebanese capital had been “significantly impacted” but staff escaped without major injuries.

“It’s my deep regret to inform you that one Australian has been killed in this horrific blast,” he told the Nine Network on Wednesday.

Mr Morrison said there were normally about 20,000 Australians in the Lebanese capital.

But he’s unsure how many have returned to Australia because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our hearts really go out to our Lebanese Australian community,” the Prime Minister said.

“I know there will be many prayers in the churches and the mosques in Australia but given the COVID restrictions, I would just urge the appropriate response.”

The blast damaged homes up to 10 kilometres away and left a trail of destruction throughout the city, with hospitals overwhelmed as emergency crews scrambled to help the thousands of people wounded. 

Prime Minister Hassan Diab has declared a national day of mourning and the Lebanese Red Cross said “hundreds of casualties” were expected.

By 8.00am Wednesday (Australian time) Lebanese media was reporting at least 60 people had been confirmed dead. That number was expected to climb.

Videos posted to social media show a huge mushroom cloud forming above the city’s port district.

Witnesses have described how the boom was so loud it was literally deafening, the explosion leaving them with temporary hearing loss.

Nour Wahid, an aid organisation employee who lives 10 minutes from the site of the blast, said hospitals are so overwhelmed his young relatives could not be treated straight away.

“At first, the building started to shake – I thought it was an earthquake,” said Mr Wahid, who works with Save the Children.

“Five of my nieces and nephews were out on the balcony playing when the blast went off.

“They started to scream and run as the windows collapsed around them; they were all wounded. Hospitals told us they couldn’t take them in because they were prioritising serious injuries.”

The blast which could be felt in Cyprus, 250 kilometres away from the site of the explosion, raised suspicions it might have resulted from a rocket strike or detonation of explosives.

But the government clarified that it was believed to have started in a warehouse holding chemicals.

Lebanon’s prime minister suggested the warehouse had been the subject of warnings going back to 2014.

The Guardian reports the PM indicated he would “reveal facts” about the warehouse soon, but had said did not want to pre-empt an investigation.

Eyewitness Bachar Ghattas told CNN it was “like an apocalypse”.

“You can see injured people all over the streets in Beirut, glass all over the place, cars are damaged,” Mr Ghattas said.

“It is very, very frightening what is happening right now and people are freaking out. The emergency services are overwhelmed.

“Beirut port is totally destroyed.”


Read more:




Read comment above (posted 11 years ago)...


Strangely, Gus was investigating explosives in detail, including the chemistry of RDX (hexogen, etc)... in preparation for more "piercing" articles on "WAR..."

In the article in progress, RDX was used mixed with TNT, in the (in)famous Panzerfaust weapon, so easy to use (and so effective) that old senile men in pyjamas were sent as the last resort to fight the Tanks of the Russian Army in Berlin. 


But one cannot beat Ammonium Nitrate, especially if some "Thermite" is added to it also... :


On 21 September 2001, an explosion occurred at the AZF (French initialism for AZote Fertilisant, i.e. nitrogen fertiliser) fertiliser factory in Toulouse, France, belonging to the Grande Paroisse branch of the Total group.

Three hundred tonnes of ammonium nitrate was stored (the maximum capacity was 2,000 tonnes) in hangar #221. The entire factory was destroyed, making a crater with a depth of about 7 metres (23 ft) and a diameter of 40 metres (130 ft).[1] Steel girders were found 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) away from the explosion. The blast measured 3.4 on the Richter scale,[2] with an estimated power equivalent to 20-40 tons of TNT.[1] The explosion was heard 80 km (50 miles) away . Due to the acoustics of the hills and the large sound, the explosion was reported as occurring in multiple places. Police at first believed that at least five bombs had simultaneously gone off. There is still controversy over the exact number of explosions.

The factory was close to the city: one of the most inhabited areas, Le Mirail, is just 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) away. Several schools, one university campus, one hospital and a psychiatric hospital had to be evacuated.


Read more:




Ammonium nitrate decomposes in temperatures above 210 °C (410 °F). Pure AN is stable and will stop decomposing once the heat source is removed, but when catalysts are present, the reaction can become self-sustaining (known as self-sustaining decomposition, or SSD). This is a well-known hazard with some types of NPK fertilizers and is responsible for the loss of several cargo ships.




Read also:


Another explosion rocked Iran this weekend, this time on Qeshm Island in southern Iran. Local residents believe an ammunition dump blew up, officials said it was an earthquake. The blast is the latest in a long series. Last week a power station at Isfahan blew up causing a blackout. Previous explosions hit Tondgooyan petrochemical plant, Shahid Medhaj Zargan power plant and a gas storage tank complex near Mashad, not to mention the Natanz nuclear facility — all in the month of July. Are these just accidents, or attacks – and if they are attacks, how are they being carried out and by who?



2,750 tonnes of it...

…which would seem to suggest a greater impact than a simple industrial accident.

Some have speculated it was a terrorist attack, but no one has claimed responsibility and there is no confirmed political target. 

Others have suggested Israel, but they have not admitted it and – again – there doesn’t seem to be a political or strategic target in place.


Read more:




Read above comment (was it ammonium nitrate?...)... It was definitely ammonium nitrate. 2,750 tonnes of it... Off Guardian needs a bit of wrap over the knuckles here for being politically alarmist, like the boffins who decided to store the stuff on the shore of a major harbour should be in prison, though they might have been sadly blown up by the caper... AMMONIUM NITRATE (fertiliser) is used to make things like carrots grow and to make explosives. It is much cheaper than dynamite or TNT, yet one needs a licence to use (in the mining industry)... This ammonium nitrate was apparently confiscated from a ship and stored there "happy as Larry".


There has been too many accidents with storage of the stuff not to find a way to a) get rid of it or b) store it in the desert somewhere. 


pictures from beirut...

This from Sputnik:




This from NYT:



Other pictures are about injured people. Condolences to the families of all the dead and may the injured recover... 


Note: the recordings first show a fire which attracted attention of onlookers who started to record on their phones, then a major blast with a sonic shock wave...





gus was on the money...

The massive blast that shook Beirut was likely caused by a fatal mishandling of hazardous materials, mirroring an explosion that leveled a fertilizer plant in France some two decades ago, a chemist and detonations expert told RT.

Tuesday’s explosion tore through a port chemical depot and sent a towering fireball and mushroom cloud into the sky over Beirut, leaving more than 70 people dead and some 4,000 injured. Though US President Donald Trump has mused that the incident was an “attack” caused by “some kind of bomb,” Frolov – who heads the combustion and explosion department at the Semenov Institute of Chemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow – said he’s confident the blast was a catastrophic accident.


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Read from top.

ammonium nitrate in newcastle, australia...

The deadly Beirut blast that killed more than 100 people has driven fresh calls for a large ammonium nitrate stockpile and plant in Newcastle, storing up to four times the amount reportedly detonated in the blast, to be relocated away from residents.


Key points:
  • Between 6,000 and 12,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate is stored at Orica's Kooragang plant in Newcastle
  • The plant is within 800m of North Stockton residents and 3km of the Newcastle CBD
  • Orica says safe storage of the chemical is strictly regulated and audited


Lebanon's Interior Minister said 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate was in the Beirut blast.

Newcastle's stockpile of between 6,000 to 12,000 tonnes is stored at Orica's Kooragang Island plant in the Port of Newcastle, according to the company.

"That factory is only three kilometres from Newcastle's CBD and only 800 metres from North Stockton residents," said chemical engineer and community campaigner Keith Craig.

"It's a totally inappropriate place to have such a dangerous material produced and stored, and it's something we've been complaining about for many, many years.


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Read from top especially 

ammonium nitrate...


the ship that brought doom to beirut...

The cargo that blew up Beirut: Sailor REVEALS troubled history of doomed ship that brought TONS of explosive fertilizer to Lebanon

The explosion that devastated Beirut has been linked to a mishandled ammonium nitrate cargo confiscated from a foreign ship. Now a former crew member tells RT the vessel, owned by a dodgy businessman, was a disaster in the making.
Some 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate – a highly explosive fertilizer – went up in a terrifying blast in Beirut on Tuesday, Lebanese officials have said.
The mushroom-shaped explosion left a wasteland where the city port stood, turning the surrounding buildings into ruins and killing more than 100 people. Thousands of others have been injured in a kilometers-wide radius. Personnel from the port authorities have been arrested while a probe has been launched into the mishandling of the dangerous material. But how did this ludicrously large cache end up in the Beirut port in the first place?
The ammonium nitrate cargo has been confiscated from the arrested vessel MV Rhosus, Lebanon’s Supreme Defense Council has confirmed. The ship is said to have entered Beirut port in September 2013 due to technical difficulties and was eventually banned from continuing its voyage. A deeper look into its history shows, however, that the vessel was a floating disaster, and trouble was brewing on it for quite some time.

According to the MarineTraffic tracking portal, Rhosus was built in 1986 and has been through quite a number of owners. Its recent history began in 2012 when it was bought by Teto Shipping – a company registered in the Marshall Islands and owned by a Cyprus-based, Russian-born businessman, Igor Grechushkin – just about a year before it was seized by the Lebanese port authorities. The company itself was formed that same year and Rhosus appears to have been its only vessel. It is now becoming clear, however, that the ship could hardly have been called a worthy vessel, even then.

‘A bitter sailing experience’



The ship sailed under the Moldovan flag, and its crew was made up mostly of Ukrainians and Russians. The chilling messages they left on Russian-language forums dating back to 2012 paint a picture of nightmarish work conditions from the moment they took on the job. Facilities in a dismal state, extremely low salaries and back pay issues are constantly mentioned in the posts, which mostly served as warnings for fellow sailors considering contracts with the company.
“Those, who worked [on the Rhosus] should be awarded ‘Hero’ titles,” one sailor wrote, in a message screenshotted by Telegram news channel Baza. “The ship has no refrigerating chamber” to store foodstuffs and even the master’s cabin had no sanitary conveniences, the message reads.
RT has contacted a former employee of Teto Shipping, who served onboard the ill-fated ship – and his account appears to perfectly support the crewmen’s allegations.
Semyon Nikolenko, who was hired as an electrical engineer for the MV Rhosus crew some time in 2012, says both the vessel and the company management were “not good.”

“It was my first contract, my first [sailing] experience – and a bitter one,” the sailor, now living in Crimea, told RT. The ship’s owner was “all talk,” Nikolenko recalled, describing Igor Grechushkin as a “sly” man who did not deliver on his promises.
Even more alarmingly, the ship had lots of technical issues, including malfunctioning radars and trouble with its main engine. Nikolenko’s story suggests Grechushkin could not have cared less about the problems, as he only financed repairs when the ship’s deficiencies were registered by port authorities.


There were frequent inspections in the European ports, constant reprimands, arrests.

Nikolenko admitted that Teto Shipping often sought to resolve any issues with port authorities through bribes rather than through rectifying deficiencies. Shortly before arriving in Beirut, the ship had been under ‘arrest’ for two weeks in Seville, Spain, where the port authorities forced the company to install a backup generator since only one of the vessel’s power units was operational, the sailor recalled.

The man, who served more than seven months on the ship, quit the job just before Rhosus’ ill-fated trip that ended in the Port of Beirut.
Dead-end trip

In 2013, Rhosus picked up 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in the Georgian port of Batumi and was expected to deliver it to Mozambique but never reached its destination due to the technical issues. Following an inspection by the Port State Control – an arm of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – it was forbidden from leaving Port of Beirut.
By that time, the crew had already been reduced to a minimum, due to the “dangerous” nature of the cargo on board, Nikolenko says. A 2015 legal summary made by Lebanese law firm Baroudi & Associates suggests the vessel was then virtually abandoned both by the ship owner, who promptly declared his company bankrupt, and the cargo owners.

The captain of the ship and four other crew members were detained in Beirut and had to spend 11 months there before they were allowed to return home. Captain Boris Prokoshev filed a complaint against the ship owner in 2014, in which he said that the sailors had been left without salaries and food.
According to the captain, the vessel was arrested by the Lebanese over its failure to pay the port fee. Yet, he believes, it was an ill-advised move. “It was no use arresting this ship. They should have got rid of it as soon as possible,” Prokoshev told sibreal.org, adding that Beirut could also have safely disposed of the dangerous cargo. “If no one lays claim on the cargo then it belongs to no one,” Prokoshev said.

According to Baroudi & Associates, the ship’s dangerous cargo was moved to a port storage facility, where, apparently, it remained all these years. As for the fate of the troubled ship, which was last registered by the Marinetraffic tracker in the Beirut port close to the epicenter of the explosion, it might have sunk long before the port was devasted by the blast.
“It had a small hole in the hull. We had to pump out the water from time to time. Without the crew, there was no one to do that,” the captain said.
Mind-boggling violations

While for the MV Rhosus the jig was up then and there, the same cannot be said of its cargo, which remained a concern for Lebanese authorities for years to come. Security officials were aware of the danger posed by the ammonium nitrate cache and demanded that port officials remove it months before the disaster, local media reports have claimed. But the purported images of the storage site shared on social media appear to show that the authorities on the ground had a woefully inadequate understanding of how to properly store the explosion-prone chemicals. The photos seemingly show large bags stuffed with tons of fertilizer hastily lumped into a flimsy-looking warehouse – practically the same material that caused widespread destruction in Toulouse in 2001 and in Texas City in 1947.

In a grotesque twist, someone reportedly decided to store fireworks next to the combustible cache. The unofficial story goes that it took a welding job on the warehouse's door to set them alight, which in turn triggered the massive explosion of ammonium nitrate, with varying estimates putting it as equivalent to one or several kilotons of TNT.

That may not be the whole story, however, and while the Lebanese government has ambitiously promised to reveal the results of its probe within “five days,” the disaster may have already pushed the crisis-stricken nation over the edge. Amid an outpouring of international support and heartwarming scenes of neighborly help, crowds took to the streets to protest the government, venting their discontent toward the overall state of the country, rocked by months of intense demonstrations. The blast has left between 200,000 and 300,000 people homeless in Beirut, multibillion dollar losses are being named, and the embattled nation now faces a deeper crisis than before.

Read more:


captain prokoshev tells his story...

Beirut explosion: Captain Boris Prokoshev on why Rhosus was in Beirut

Lebanon's government has blamed the huge blast that devastated parts of Beirut on the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the city's port.

The government has not named the source of the ammonium nitrate, but the same amount of the chemical arrived in Beirut in November 2013 on a Moldovan-flagged cargo ship, the MV Rhosus.

Moscow correspondent, Sarah Rainsford, spoke to the ship's captain Boris Prokoshev.


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Read above comments.

carelessness or sabotage?

In all investigation possible at this stage, despite the claim by Tierry Meyssan that the explosion in Beirut was due to “an Israeli new weapon”, there is no proof. Meyssan references a speech by Netanyahu to the United nations in 2018, in which he mentioned a Hizbollah weapons warehouse at this particular site, but the picture shows clearly that Netanyahu pointed out to Hadi Harbor, near Beirut Airport, not the Port of Beirut where the explosion occurred in early August. 

"The first Israeli Prime Minister has ordered the destruction of a Hizbollah weapons warehouse in Beirut with a new weapon. The weapon, which is not well known, caused considerable damage in the city, killing more than 100 people, injuring 5,000 and destroying many buildings. This time it will be difficult for Benjamin Netanyahu to deny it.

This does not mean that Hizbollah that, according to some sources, “controls” the Port of Beirut did not have its hands on the store of ammonium nitrate (AN) to make explosives. At this stage, it seems that there was a fire near the AN storage. Should someone use water to extinguish this fire, and some of the water leaked to the AN storage, an explosion was inevitable as the AN becomes highly unstable and explosive when wet. Was this sabotage, ignorance of the danger next door or carelessness?

At this stage it has to be believed that the explosion was due to a long set of unfortunate bad decisions, including taking the load from the ship, Rhosus. Meyssan, having a lot of contacts in the region, may know more than us, mind you...


Speech by Netanyahu:

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

When I spoke here three years ago Israel stood alone among the nations. Of the nearly 200 countries that sit in this hall, only Israel openly opposed the nuclear deal with Iran. We oppose it because it threatens our future, even our very survival. We opposed it because the deal paved Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal. And by lifting the sanctions, it fueled Iran’s campaign of carnage and conquest throughout the Middle East. We oppose it because the deal was based on a fundamental lie that Iran is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Now, Israel exposed that lie earlier this year. Last February, Israel conducted a daring raid on Iran’s secret atomic archive. We obtained over 100,000 documents and videos that had been stashed in vaults in an innocent-looking building in the heart of Tehran. In May, I presented a short summary of what we obtained to the international media. I provided hard evidence of Iran’s plans to build nuclear weapons and its plans to deceive the international community. Israel shared this information and more damning evidence that we found with members of the P5+1 and with the international atomic energy agency. Months have passed, the IAA has still not taken any actions. It has not posed a single question to Iran. It has not demanded to inspect a single new site discovered in that secret archive.

So given this inaction, I decided to reveal today something else that we have shared with the IAA and with a few intelligence agencies. What I’m about to say has not been shared publicly before. Today I’m disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran. A secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and material for Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.

In May we exposed the site of Iran’s secret atomic archive. It’s right here in the Shuabad Distrcit of Tehran. Today I’m revealing the site of a second facility: Iran’s secret atomic warehouse. It’s right here, in the Turkuzahbad Distrcit of Tehran. Just three miles away. Let me show you exactly what the secret atomic warehouse looks like. Here it is. You see, like the atomic archive it’s another innocent-looking compound. Now for those of you at home using Google Earth, this no longer secret atomic warehouse. You have the coordinates, you can try to get there. And for those of you who try to get there: It’s 100 meters from the rug-cleaning operation. By the way, i hear they do a fantastic job of cleaning rugs there. But by now they may be radioactive rags. This is the second secret site. Now countries with satellite capabilities may notice some increased activity on the alley in the days and weeks ahead.

The people they see scurrying back and forth are Iranian officials desperately trying to finish the job of cleaning up that site. Because you see— since we raided the atomic archive they’ve been busy cleaning up the atomic warehouse. Just last month they removed 15 kilograms of radioactive material. You know what they did with it? Those 15 kilograms of radioactive material, they had to get it out of this site so they took it out and they spread it around Tehran in an effort to hide the evidence. The endangered residents of Tehran may want to know that they can a geiger counter on Amazon for only 29.99$. As of today, that’s just four million Iranian reals.

But we’ll get to that later, I’ll talk about the Iranian economy in a minute. They took this radioactive material and spread it around Tehran. Now the Iranian officials cleaning out that site still have a lot of work to do because they’ve had at least 15 ship containers, they’re gigantic, 15 ship containers full of nuclear-related equipment and material stored there. Now since each of those containers can hold 20 tons of material this means that this site contained as much as 300 tons of nuclear-related equipment and material.

Right here. So, distinguished delegates, you have to ask yourself a question. Why did Iran keep a secret atomic archive and a secret atomic warehouse? Because after all, when South Africa and Libya, when they gave up their nuclear programs the first thing they did was to destroy both the archives and the material and equipment. And the answer to the question is simple: The reason Iran didn’t destroy its atomic archive and its atomic warehouse is because it hasn’t abandoned its goal to develop nuclear weapons. In fact, it planned to use both of these sites in a few years when the time would be right to break out to the atom bomb. But ladies and gentlemen, rest assured, that won’t happen. It won’t happen because what Iran hides Israel will find.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a message to the head of the IAA, Mr. Yukiya Amano. I believe he’s a good man. I believe he wants to do the right thing. Well Mr. Amano, do the right thing. Go inspect this atomic warehouse. Immediately. Before the Iranians finish clearing it out. Distinguished delegates, do you remember when we were promised that inspections could take place anytime, anywhere? Remember that? Anytime, anywhere. Well, how about inspections right here, right now? And Mr. Amano— while you’re at it, inspect the other sites we told you about. Once and for all, tell the world the truth about Iran.

Now I also have a message today for the tyrants of Tehran. Israel knows what you’re doing and Israel where you’re doing it. Israel will never let a regime that calls for our destruction to develop nuclear weapons. Not now, not in ten years, not ever.

And Israel will do whatever it must do to defend itself against Iran’s aggression. We will continue to act against you in Syria. We will act against you in Lebanon. We will act against you in Iraq. We will act against you whenever, and wherever. We must act to defend our state and to defend our people. Distinguished delegates, three years ago, a few weeks after the nuclear deal was completed i asked this question from this very podium: Does anyone seriously believe that flooding Iran’s radical theocracy with weapons and cash will curb its appetite for aggression?

But many of the deal’s supporters believed just that. They believed that Iran’s regime will become more moderate, more peaceful. They believed that Iran would use the billions of dollars it received in sanctions relief to improve the lives of its people. To solve the water problem. To solve the trucking problem. To solve the electricty problem. Hosppitals, schools. That’s what they believed. Perhaps some of you also believed in that. Well, that didn’t happen. Instead, Iran used the money to fuel its vast war machine. Just this past year Iran has attacked Kurds in Iraq, slaughtered Sunnis in Syria, armed Hezbollah in Lebanon, financed Hamas in Gaza, fired missiles into Saudi Arabia and threatened freedom of navigation in the straits of Hurmuz and the Strait of Bab al-Mad.

Some peace. Some moderation. Now if you think, if you think that Iran’s aggression has been confined to the Middle East think again. Last month two Iranian agents were arrested for plotting terror attacks right here, in the United States. And several weeks ago, Iranian agents were arrested for plotting terror attacks in the heart of Europe. Yet while the US is confronting Iran with new sanctions Europe and others are appeasing Iran by trying to help it bypass those new sanctions.

Now I’ve just used a word. A tough word. A very strong word. Appeasement. And I use it reluctanctly. But unfortunately that’s exactly what we’re seeing again. In Europe. Think about this. The same week Iran was caught red-handed trying to murder European citizens, European leaders were rolling out the red carpet for President Rohani, promising to give Iran even more money. I’m a historian’s son, I have to ask: I ask it not merely as a historian’s son, as a jew, as a citizen of the world, as someone who has lived through the 20th century- have these European leaders learned nothing from history? Will they ever wake up? Well we in Israel— we don’t need a wakeup call because Iran threatens us every day. Because despite the best of hopes and there were many hopes around the nuclear deal this deal did not push war further away. It brought war ever closer to our borders. In Syria, Iran has tried to establish permanent military bases against us and has already launched missiles and drones into our territory. In Gaza Iran is arming terror groups to launch rocket attacks into our cities and terror attacks against our civilians. In Lebanon, Iran is directing Hezbollah to build secret sites to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles. Missiles that can target deep inside Israel within an accuracy of ten meters. Hezbollah, listen to this, Hezbollah is deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields. They’ve placed three of these missile conversion sites along Beirut’s international airport. Here’s a picture that’s worth a thousand missiles. Here’s Beirut’s international airport. Here’s the first missile site. It’s in the Uzai neighborhood, on the water;s edge, a few blocks away from the runway. Here’s the second site. It’s underneath a soccer stadium, two blocks away. And here’s the third site. It’s adjacent to the airport itself, right next to it. So I have a message for Hezbollah today: Israel knows, Israel also knows what you’re doing. Israel knows where you’re doing it. And Israel will not let you get away with it.

Ladies and gentlemen, the nuclear deal supporters were wrong about what would happen when sanctions would be removed. They were wrong, dead wrong about what would happen when sanctions would be restored. They argued that US sanctions alone will have little economic impact on Iran. That’s what they said. Really? Well let’s see what happened to Iran’s economy now that President Trump has forced companies to choose between doing business with Iran and doing business with the US, whose GDP is fifty times the size of Iran’s GDP. A year ago Iran’s economy was booming. Now it’s collapsing. Iran’s currency is plummenting. Inflation and unemployment are soaring. British airlines, German banks, French oil companies, Japanese oil importers and many others are scrambling to get out. If that’s little economic impact, imagine what will happen with the next batch of US sanctions imposed in November.

The deal’s supporters were also wrong when they argued that restoring sanctions would rally the Iranian people around the regime. Well, they’re definitely rallying but not around the regime— they’re rallying against the regime. They’re not chanting ‘Death to America.’ They’re chanting ‘Death to the Dictator.’ They’re not chanting ‘Export the Islamic Revolution,’ they’re chanting ‘Leave Syria,’ ‘Leave Lebanon,’ ‘Leave Gaza,’ ‘Take Care of Us, in Iran.’

I listened to these protests. I talked to the Iranian people. I share these videos. And I get so many responses. From Iranians. At first I thought these are Iranian exiles in the safety of London or Paris or Los Angeles. No. Iranians from Iran, embracing Israel, criticizing the regime--- that’s an understatement--- with their names. And I ask my intelligence people: What’s going on? And shortly after the protests broke out, not because of what I said but it was an indicator of something extraordinary that was taking place there because in these protests the Iranian people are showing unbelievable courage. From the urban centers to the outlying villages, and it’s embracing now the whole of Iran. From the striking Bazaar merchants to the young women uncovering their hair: the people of Iran are bravely standing up to a regime that has brutally repressed them for four decades and that has squandered their money, still squanders their money, in bloody wars across the Middle East.

So here’s what I say to Europe’s leaders and to others: Instead of cuddling Iran’s dictators, join the U.S. and Israel and most of the Arab world in supporting new sanctions against a regime that endangers all of us in all of the world.

Israel is deeply grateful to President Trump for his bold decision to withdraw from the disasterous nuclear deal with Iran. Many, many of our Arab neighbors are also grateful. And everyone who cares about the peace and security of the world should also be grateful. But ladies and gentlemen, I have an important confession to make: This may surprise you but I have to admit that the Iran deal has had one positive consequence, an unintended one but a positive consequence— by empowering Iran, it brought Israel and many Arab states closer together than ever before in an intimacy and friendship that I have not seen in my lifetime and would have been unimagineable a few years ago.

And you know, when you form friendships around a threat, around a challenge, you quickly see opportunities. Not only for security but how to bring a better life for our people, which Israel can help and wants to help do. Israel deeply values these new friendships and I hope the day will soon arrive when Israel will be able to expand peace, a formal peace, beyond Egypt and Jordan to other Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. I look forward to working with President Trump and his peace team to achieve that goal. I also want to use this opportunity, we’re here at the UN, a place I know because I served here as ambassador many years ago for many years, so I know something about the UN. So I want to use this opportunity to express Israel’s appreciation to President Trump and Ambassador Haley for the unwavering support they’ve provided Israel at the UN. They have unequivocally backed Israel’s right to defend itself.

They rightly pulled out of a history-denying UNESCO and a morally bankrupt UN Human Rights Council. They have more resolutions about Israel than the rest of the world combined, I think. And tenfold compared to, I don’t know, Iran, Syria, you name it. Not even tenfold, because you can’t multiply zero by any number.

They stopped funding, President Trump and Ambassador Haley, they stopped funding an unreformed UNRWA, an organization that instead of solving the Palestinian refugee problem, perpetuates it.

Day after day, the Trump administration has stood up to what has long been a specialty here at the UN—slandering Israel. Even though the shameful resolution comparing Zionism to racism was repealed 25 years ago, I’m sorry to say that its foul stench still clings to these halls.

Israel airlifted Ethiopian Jews to freedom and a new life in Israel, in the Jewish state. Yet here at the UN, here at the UN, Israel is absurdly accused of racism.

Israel’s Arab citizens vote in our elections, serve in our parliament, preside over our courts, and have exactly the same individual rights as all other Israeli citizens. Yet here at the UN, Israel is shamefully accused of apartheid.

Today, there are at least five times as many Palestinians as there were in 1948, the year of Israel’s founding. Yet here at the UN, Israel is outrageously accused of ethnic cleansing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you know what this is?

It’s the same old antisemitism with a brand new face. That’s all it is.

Once, it was the Jewish people that were slandered and held to a different standard.

Today, it’s the Jewish state that is slandered and held to a different standard.

Here’s an example: Take the outlandish attacks that have been leveled against Israel after our Knesset, our parliament, recently adopted a law declaring Israel the nation state of the Jewish people.

Mind you, Israel is a free country. You can oppose a law, and people did. You can call for different wording in this or that clause, or you can call to add or subtract a clause. You can do that.

But when Israel is called racist, Israel is called racist for making Hebrew its official language and the Star of David its national flag, when Israel is labeled an apartheid state for declaring itself the nation state of the Jewish people, this is downright preposterous. And you know why?

Because represented in this hall today are more than 100 countries that have only one official language, even though many other languages are commonly spoken within those countries. There are more than 50 countries here that have crosses or crescents on their flags, even though they have many non-Muslims and non-Christians, many of them, living in their midst. And there are dozens of countries that define themselves as nation states of a particular people, even though there are many ethnic and national minorities within their borders.

None of those countries are denigrated or libeled for celebrating their unique national identity. Only Israel is denigrated. Only Israel is libeled.

What is unique about the Jewish people is not that we have a nation state. What is unique is that many still oppose us having a nation state.

Moments ago, President Abbas outrageously said that Israel’s Nation State Law proves that Israel is a racist, apartheid state.

President Abbas, you should know better. You wrote a dissertation denying the Holocaust. Your Palestinian Authority imposes death sentences on Palestinians for selling land to Jews. Did you hear that? If a Jew buys an apartment, a piece of land anywhere in the Palestinian territories, the Palestinian who sold him that land is executed. That’s what the law says.

President Abbas, you proudly pay Palestinian terrorists who murder Jews. In fact, the more they slay, the more you pay. That’s in their law too. And you condemn Israel’s morality? You call Israel racist?

This is not the way to peace. This is not the way to achieve the peace we all want and need and to which Israel remain committed. This body should not be applauding the head of a regime that pays terrorists. The UN should condemn such a despicable policy.

And the UN, the UN which brokered a ceasefire in 2014, should demand that Hamas release our fallen soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who was kidnapped when Hamas violated that very ceasefire.

Hamas should also release the two Israeli citizens it holds captive, Abera Mengistu and Hisham al Sayed.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Every time I stand here, I feel as I do today. I am privileged to stand here as the Prime Minister of the Jewish and democratic state of Israel.

Some believe that Israel cannot be both Jewish and democratic. This is false. Israel is both, and Israel will always remain both.

Ever since Abraham and Sarah made their journey to the promised land nearly 4,000 years ago, the Land of Israel has been our homeland. It’s the place where Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Leah and Rachel carried on their eternal covenant with God.”

Thank you.

Benjamin Netanyahu

The mention of Abraham and "eternal covenant with God" at the end is a bit glib and to some extend challenges the validity of Netanyahu's arguments... GL.

a project is underway to overthrow the Lebanese state...

The conciliatory tone of the aftermath of the tragedy has given way to warnings. In his second speech since the explosion at the port of Beirut, and days after the fall of the government, the Hezbollah leader warned his critics: the powerful Shiite party will have to be reckoned with in the future political equation in Lebanon. Just as much as to its opponents, who point to the responsibility of the militia party and its allies in the disaster, it is to their Western sponsors, who invite themselves into the political negotiations, that the message is addressed. "A project is underway to overthrow the Lebanese state," warned Hassan Nasrallah on Friday (August 14th), accusing "political parties of pushing Lebanon to the brink of civil war in the name of foreign interests".

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also After the resignation of the government, Lebanon plunged into political uncertainty

The main political and military force in the country, Hezbollah has, since August 4, crystallized the fury of part of the Lebanese against the political class. The explosion, which killed at least 177 people, is seen as the culmination of state breakdown under the influence of corruption and mismanagement of the ruling parties. The Party of God is deemed to be jointly responsible for the economic and political crisis that began in the fall of 2019. Its political opponents blame it for the isolation of Lebanon. Dropped by wealthy Gulf sponsors, the country suffers from US sanctions imposed on the Shiite party for its alignment with Iran and its engagement in Syria alongside Bashar Al-Assad and in Yemen with the Houthis.

The August 4 explosion sparked an outbreak of hatred against Hezbollah on social media and in media close to opposition parties. On August 7, Hassan Nasrallah’s portrait was, for the first time, subjected to a mock hanging by protesters in Beirut. Suspicion and rumors attribute the incident to an Israeli attack on a Hezbollah weapons depot. And, even if the accidental thesis emerges, the responsibility of the Party of God remains in question.



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Read above. Translation by Jules Letambour.

where did the much larger quantity of the explosive chemical go?


Questions Swirl around the Cargo that Destroyed Beirut

The explosion in Lebanon leads back to an abandoned ship in Beirut that had arrived in the city carrying 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate. Reporting by DER SPIEGEL and OCCRP has determined that the ship’s owner has connections to Hezbollah’s bank.

In September 2013, eight Ukrainians and a Russian departed Georgia on a beat-up freighter, apparently heading for Mozambique. Their ship was already in bad shape before it even left the Black Sea port of Batumi. Called the Rhosus, the vessel was leaking, its alarm system was faulty and so was its rescue equipment.

But the cargo on board was extremely volatile: 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in a highly concentrated variant, the kind used to make explosives, with a nitrogen enrichment level of almost 35 percent. Seven years later, on August 4, 2020, it would devastate parts of Lebanon's capital city Beirut, killing around 200 people and injuring thousands.

Since then, the world has taken an interest in the Rhosus and its history, with investigators trying to piece together the details of its final voyage. How did the Rhosus end up in Beirut? And who had really ordered the explosive chemicals?

Thus far, the story has been that the ship belonged to a Russian man named Igor Grechushkin. The cargo was reportedly destined for a company called Fábrica de Explosivos de Moçambique, or FEM for short, a Mozambican explosives manufacturer.

But joint reporting conducted by DER SPIEGEL and the journalism network called the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has now raised doubts about that narrative. The reporting has found that it was not Russian national Grechushkin who owned the Rhosus, but rather the Cypriot businessman Charalambos Manoli, who maintained a relationship with the bank used by Hezbollah in Lebanon. And a considerable amount of the ammonium nitrate stored in the port of Beirut appears to have gone missing before the explosion in August.

Did the crew of the Rhosus ever even intend to sail the ship to Mozambique? Is it possible that its explosive cargo was actually destined for Hezbollah, the Islamist party and militia that operates in Lebanon as a state within a state and is involved in wars from Syria to Iraq?

Efforts to Conceal Ownership

In any case, Manoli made every effort to conceal the ownership of the Rhosus. One of his companies arranged to have the Rhosus registered in Moldova. Another company, Maritime Lloyd in Georgia, certified the seaworthiness of the ailing freighter. Ultimately, Russian national Grechushkin only chartered the ship through his company Teto Shipping, which is registered in the Marshall Islands.

When questioned by OCCRP, Manoli initially claimed that the vessel had been sold to Grechushkin, only to then concede that the Russian had only made an attempt to buy the ship. He then refused to provide any further information.

Grechushkin did, in fact, give the orders to the crew on the Rhosus. He also gave the order that the Rhosus was to make an unscheduled stop in Beirut on its way from Georgia to Mozambique. The official reason sounds dubious: Grechushkin claimed that he didn’t have enough money to pay for the Rhosus’ passage through the Suez Canal. Which is why it needed to pick up additional cargo in Beirut to be delivered to Jordan. The freight consisted of "12 large trucks, 15 small ones, one 40-foot container and two 20-foot containers," states a report by the Lebanese Transportation Ministry.

The fleet of vehicles was to be stowed on the deck of the Rhosus. But the problems began during the loading of the very first vehicle, which rammed a door as they tried to maneuver it onto the deck. The loading procedure was aborted as a consequence.

Ultimately, the Rhosus never left Beirut. At least two companies that Manoli owed money to had the freighter seized, including one that rented generators, from which Manoli had previously rented a generator for the ship. The Beirut Port Authority also found that the Rhosus was not seaworthy.

The Lebanese authorities apparently didn’t know that Manoli was the true owner of the Rhosus. In any case, his name doesn’t appear in any of the correspondence, which was voluminous.

In contrast to Grechushkin, the Russian who chartered the vessel, Manoli did have business relations in Lebanon. Court records show that Manoli took out a loan back in 2011 for $4 million from the Tanzanian FBME Bank to finance the purchase of another ship, the Sakhalin.

FBME isn’t just any bank. American investigators have accused the institution of acting as a money launderer for Hezbollah. Another of the bank’s customers was a suspected Syrian front company that had been involved in the country’s chemical weapons program. It was to this bank that Manoli owed money.

Seized Holdings

Only one month after he received the loan, Manoli’s company Seaforce Marine Limited, based in Belize in Central America, defaulted on the first installment. Manoli had offered the Rhosus as collateral, but FBME suspected that the shipowner wanted to sell the vessel and seized Manoli’s real estate holdings in Cyprus.

Internal FBME documents show that Manoli still owed the bank 962,000 euros in outstanding debt in October 2014. Manoli denies any connection between his debts and the fact that the freighter was stopped in Beirut. However, one investigator notes that FBME is notorious for pressuring defaulting borrowers into doing favors for dubious customers like Hezbollah.

The official buyer of the ammonium nitrate, FEM in Mozambique, was also a subject of investigations. Spanish authorities conducted an investigation into the company Moura Silva e Filhos, which holds 95-percent ownership of FEM, in connection with the Islamist terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004. Even though they didn’t ultimately obtain a conviction for aiding terrorists, investigators determined that 785 kilograms of explosives were not listed in the company’s books.

Moura Silva e Filhos clearly isn’t squeamish when it comes to choosing his business partners. American arms smuggling expert Kathi Lynn Austin says the company maintains close contacts with the ruling clique in Mozambique, among others.

However, FEM never claimed the 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that was stranded in Beirut on the Rhosus, even though the chemicals were at no point officially confiscated by the Lebanese authorities.

In 2015, the broker for the ammonium nitrate had a lawyer request that the Lebanese authorities inspect the quality and quantity of the cargo. Oddly, though, the court records do not show any attempt by the broker to recover the cargo, which had an original value of $700,000.

Manoli likewise didn’t make any efforts to reclaim his ship, which eventually sank outside the port in February 2018. Purported Rhosusowner Grechushkin could not be reached for comment.


Ultimately, the ammonium nitrate was an abandoned freight: No one admitted to having paid for it and no one tried to recover it.

In the end, the highly explosive chemicals were stored for six years in Hall 12 at the Port of Beirut. The authorities, particularly customs officials, warned repeatedly that the ammonium nitrate needed to be removed from the port. But the petitions were sent to the wrong court so persistently that it is difficult for lawyers involved to believe in mere incompetence. Is it possible that the intent was for the ammonium nitrate to remain in Hall 12?

Another inspection of the cargo in spring 2020, this time by the Lebanese state security, raised doubts as to whether all 2,750 tons of the ammonium nitrate were still there. One of the warehouse’s gates was missing and there was a large hole in the south wall, they warned. "If a theft were to occur, the perpetrators could use these goods as explosives." But the state security officials apparently didn’t count or measure the exact amount of ammonium nitrate that was still left in the warehouse at the time.

Their warning that the warehouse needed to be secured didn’t reach Lebanon’s prosecutor general until June. In mid-July, state security also sent the report to the president and the prime minister. But no action was taken.

It’s still unclear today how much ammonium nitrate was detonated in the August 4 explosion. European intelligence officials involved in the investigation assume it was between 700 and 1,000 tons.

But where did the rest, the much larger quantity of the explosive chemicals, go? That’s one of the many questions investigators will now need to answer.



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broken glass...

Beirut's historic landmarks had already survived 15 years of civil war, and many of them had their iconic stained glass restored by one artist. 

Maya Husseini saw two decades of her work disappear in the aftermath of the massive blast at the port of Beirut which ravaged entire neighbourhoods of the city. 

Now she is determined to restore it all over again.


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russian pictures...

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov provided his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib, visiting Moscow, with satellite images of the port of Beirut, captured immediately after the massive warehouse explosion that devastated the area on 4 August 2020

These images should make it possible to apprehend what really happened (1, 2 or 3 explosions? Ignited by fertilizers stored in the port or by explosives fired by planes?). The Lebanese investigation has yet to pinpoint the cause of the tragedy. So far, it has mainly honed in on the activities and reactions of senior officials in charge of the premises. It is regularly bogged down by “immunity” claims and attempts to remove the investigating judge. Furthermore, Hezbollah, which was accused a few years ago of assassinating Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, is unwilling to let the investigation go forward to prevent flimsy hypotheses from mushrooming.

Lebanese President General Michel Aoun initially turned to France to obtain these photos, but was ignored. An adviser to President Emmanuel Macron vowed to a Lebanese weekly that the French satellites were down that day.


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What about the Americans pictures? Most likely, these are "classified". The point here that these pictures would show the origin of the explosion and possible sabotage? The pictures would also expose the technology used to spy on countries...


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