News headlines – 7 October, 2021

News headlines – 7 October, 2021

UPDATED: Attack Submarine USS Connecticut Suffers Underwater Collision in South China Sea

USS Connecticut (SSN-22) arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan for a scheduled port visit on July 31, 2021. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with additional details on the injuries to the crew of USS Connecticut and the location of the collision.

Almost a dozen sailors have been injured after a U.S. nuclear attack submarine hit an unknown underwater object in the South China Sea, USNI News has learned.

The Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) suffered an underwater collision while operating in international waters on Oct. 2 and is returning to port in U.S. 7th Fleet, a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman confirmed to USNI News on Thursday.

“The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority. There are no life-threatening injuries,” Capt. Bill Clinton told USNI News.
“The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”

A defense official told USNI News about 11 sailors were hurt in the incident with moderate to minor injuries. The attack boat is now headed to Guam and is expected to pull in within the next day, the official said. The underwater strike occurred in the South China Sea and the attack boat has been making its way to Guam on the surface since Saturday, a defense official confirmed to USNI News.

The Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Wash., based submarine deployed on May 27 for the Pacific, the Navy announced at the time. The service has released photographs of the submarine operating in the Western Pacific with port calls in Japan in late July and August. U.S. 7th Fleet commander Adm. Karl Thomas visited the submarine in August, according to the service.

Connecticut is one of three Sea Wolf-class boats, a late Cold War attack submarine designed to hunt the most complex Soviet submarines in deep blue water. Along with USS Sea Wolf (SSN-21) and USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23), Connecticut is among the Navy’s most capable and sensitive attack boats.

The last known instance where a submerged U.S. submarine struck another underwater object was in 2005. Then, USS San Franciso (SSN -711) struck an underwater mountain at full speed near Guam. One sailor died in the incident.

The following is the complete Oct. 7 statement from Pacific Fleet.

The Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN 22) struck an object while submerged on the afternoon of Oct. 2, while operating in international waters in the Indo-Pacific region. The safety of the crew remains the Navy’s top priority. There are no life-threatening injuries.

The submarine remains in a safe and stable condition. USS Connecticut’s nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational. The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed. The U.S. Navy has not requested assistance. The incident will be investigated.”

Last Night U.S. Banks Attacked, Today, UK Banks! Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland online banking DOWN – with accounts showing £0 

At about 7:30 PM eastern US time last night, Chase, Capital One, Wells Fargo, Citibank, US Bank and the SNAP-EBT system all suffered severe trouble until about 11:00 PM.   This morning (Thursday) banks in the UK are suffering similar troubles, with accounts showing ZERO Balances!

DownDetector.com which tracks electronic system outages, reported the troubles  shortly after they began as shown below:

This morning,  Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers struggled to access their accounts this morning following technical issues across all three banks in the United Kingdom.

Complaints on social media show people were unable to use both mobile banking and apps.

Some people said they temporarily couldn’t see their balance online with accounts showing they had zero money.

Customers had been contacting the banks, all three of which are owned by Lloyds Banking Group, on Twitter.

One person said: “What is going on? Mobile banking has been down for at least two hours now. I have bills to pay and money to transfer.”

Another said: “Lloyds it looks like mobile banking is down. Unable to see any October transactions and balance showing NA across all accounts.”

A third tweeted: “Is anyone else having difficulties with Halifax app? It’s saying not all my information is available and showing my balance at nil.”

Another said: “Is the Halifax app not working?”

It seems obvious to anyone paying close attention that the outage which struck FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, WHATSAPP, and other social media outlets early this week, taking those giants offline for upwards of five hours, is now being repeated in similar attacks against banks.

On its face, it seems clear that someone with vast electronic attack capabilities, is testing their ability to wipe out all types of Internet services, perhaps in preparation for a massive attack to cripple as much as possible.

Readers are URGED in the STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS to make certain they have cash money in their homes and on their persons, for the moment when this nefarious perpetrator actually makes their intended strike.  Anyone without cash money will be totally jammed-up, because the nature of the attacks is such that Credit/Debit cards would not function during whatever massive attack is coming.  ATM’s won’t work either because they won’t be able to use the net to verify account balances.

BULLETIN: WALL STREET JOURNAL REVEALS U.S. TROOPS ON TAIWAN, TRAINING LOCAL FORCES

Today’s Wall Street Journal revealed that the United States has — and has had for about a year – U.S. Troops on the island of Taiwan, training local armed forces.

The newspaper reports:

A U.S. special-operations unit and a contingent of Marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan to train military forces there, U.S. officials said, part of efforts to shore up the island’s defenses as concern regarding potential Chinese aggression mounts.

About two dozen members of U.S. special-operations and support troops are conducting training for small units of Taiwan’s ground forces, the officials said. The U.S. Marines are working with local maritime forces on small-boat training. The American forces have been operating in Taiwan for at least a year, the officials said.

China has repeatedly stated it would launch an “immediate war” if it found out there were any U.S. forces on Taiwan.  They have been brutally blunt in that regard, for years.

Now that one of America’s leading newspapers has confirmed the presence of U.S. troops on Taiwan, China is backed into a corner.  It has little choice to save its own face, but to launch an attack immediately.

U.S. Troops Have Been Deployed in Taiwan for at Least a Year

Small presence of Americans secretly training local forces marks concern over China’s yearslong military buildup and recent moves

US Marine Special Ops Forces Have Been In Taiwan For Over A Year, Report Confirms

A bombshell Wall Street Journal report has revealed (and confirmed) that an elite contingent of special operations Marines has been deployed to Taiwan for at least the past year – a revelation sure to outrage Beijing amid ongoing charges that the US has effectively abandoned the status quo One China policy. 

Citing US officials with knowledge of the program, the report details that “About two dozen members of U.S. special-operations and support troops are conducting training for small units of Taiwan’s ground forces,” and that “The U.S. Marines are working with local maritime forces on small-boat training.” It’s the first such openly confirmed US training deployment in support of local forces since 1979. Taiwan media previously reported it, but this is the first time US officials are providing confirmation.

Illustrative: US Marine Corps image

The sources confirmed, “The American forces have been operating in Taiwan for at least a year” – news which comes after multiple large waves of Chinese PLA flights have left the self-ruled island’s defense forces on high alert, and have sent tensions soaring.

There’ve long been rumors of the Marine presence, and local media reports, but it was deemed highly secretive likely so as to avoid Beijing’s wrath and escalatory military measures, as WSJ notes:

Asian media reports last year suggesting a possible U.S. Marine deployment in Taiwan were never confirmed by U.S. officials. The presence of U.S. special operations forces hasn’t been previously reported.

In 2020 Taiwan local media had noted the Pentagon expressly denied the presence of US Marine Raiders (a recently re-established Marine special ops group). One report said at the time:

Pentagon spokesman John Supple has told Taiwan News that “The reports about U.S. Marines in Taiwan are inaccurate” but did not elaborate on which details were incorrectly reported.

Taiwan officials have previously used terms like “fortress” and “porcupine strategy” to describe the level of readiness the island is hoping to achieve in order to stave off any future Chinese military threat. Taipei has also recently approved a nearly $9 billion boost in arms and defense modernization spending amid near daily PLA aerial incursions of its defense identification zone.

Taiwan’s defense minister on Wednesday issued a dire warning (though not something entirely new in terms of alarmist statements) which appears geared toward gaining more direct support from Western allies

“With regards to staging an attack on Taiwan, they currently have the ability. But [China] has to pay the price,” Chiu Kuo-cheng, the defense minister, told Taiwanese journalists on Wednesday.

But he said that by 2025, that price will be lower — and China will be able to mount a “full-scale” invasion.

China’s Foreign Ministry has meanwhile issued repeat “red line” warnings concerning the contested island. Very likely Chinese intelligence was already fully aware of the now confirmed small US Marine presence on the island, also amid continued major arms deals inked between Taiwan and the US.

Biden has signaled he intends to see through to completion the multiple Trump-era weapons deals, something which Chinese officials have condemned as brazen violations of ‘One China’. 

Last month Taiwan’s defense ministry said in a statement that “In the face of severe threats from the enemy, the nation’s military is actively engaged in military building and preparation work, and it is urgent to obtain mature and rapid mass production weapons and equipment in a short period of time.” 

Apparently this military readiness build-up is now receiving almost unprecedented direct support from US military trainers on the ground – something which could easily expand at any moment – but which will no doubt provoke increased military exercises in contested airspace and waters surrounding Taiwan. Chinese state media recently went so far as to call for direct PLA flyovers above the island.

WHO-Linked Genetics Expert Explains How Covid-19 Could Have Been Engineered In Lab

Two weeks ago we reported on several disturbing grant proposals submitted to the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 2018 by US nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance to release genetically enhanced airborne bat coronaviruses into the wild in collaboration with Chinese scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

One of the proposals, leaked to pandemic origins analysis group DRASTIC, reveals that EcoHealth, headed by WIV collaborator Peter Daszak, planned to combine genetic data of closely related Covid strains to grow completely new viruses.

We will compile sequence/RNAseq data from a panel of closely related strains and compare full length genomes, scanning for unique SNPs representing sequencing errors,” reads the application. “Consensus candidate genomes will be synthesised commercially using established techniques and genome-length RNA and electroporation to recover recombinant viruses.”

Now, a genetics expert who works with the World Health Organization (WHO) has explained in detail to The Telegraph exactly how Covid-19 could have been created via genetic engineering in a lab.

The proposal was submitted by the British zoologist Peter Daszak on behalf of a consortium which included Daszak EcoHealth Alliance, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the University of North Carolina and Duke NUS in Singapore.

The plans are in addition to other proposals made in the Darpa documents, including inserting a section into existing viruses to make them more infectious to humans and inoculating wild bats with aerosolised engineered spike proteins from viruses.  

Experts said if the ultimate aim of the proposal was to create a pan-coronavirus vaccine, constructing an “ideal” average virus would have been a good starting point. –The Telegraph

“This means that they would take various sequences from similar coronaviruses and create a new sequence that is essentially the average of them. It would be a new virus sequence, not a 100 per cent match to anything,” said the geneticist, who remains to wish anonymous for fear of reprisals.

They would then synthesize the viral genome from the computer sequence, thus creating a virus genome that did not exist in nature but looks natural as it is the average of natural viruses,” the source continued, adding “Then they put that RNA in a cell and recover the virus from it. This creates a virus that has never existed in nature, with a new ‘backbone’ that didn’t exist in nature but is very, very similar as it’s the average of natural backbones.”

Europe’s Gas Prices Surge To Avert Risk Of Winter Shortage

By John Kemp, Reuters energy analyst and reporter

Europe’s gas and electricity prices are setting record highs on a daily basis and rising at an accelerating rate as the market tries to destroy enough demand to protect depleted inventories ahead of the winter.  Gas storage sites in the European Union and United Kingdom are currently just under 76% full, compared with a ten-year seasonal average of almost 90%, according to data compiled by Gas Infrastructure Europe.

 

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