Thursday 31 January 2019

Briefin by Maria Zakharova

LIVE: Russian Foreign Ministry news briefing

The latest from Venezuela

This is the latest, albeif from an unfriendly source. I believe the last paragraph may be disinformation.

U.S. Military Aircraft C-17's Have Begun Landing in Colombia; Frequently

31 January, 2019

Word from South America is that there is now a sudden and dramatic "spike" of U.S. Military Aircraft landing in Colombia.

For anyone wondering this was what landed in Bogotá, Colombia a few hours ago. The C-17 Globemaster III is a large military strategic & tactical airlifter. Can carry up to 134 soldiers or alternately can transport heavy equipment such as tank/armored vehicles.

No word on troops or any other info, just a series of military aircraft landings. An amount of planes found to be unusual.

Here are some examples:

A C17, in the radar tracking map above, is a large, cargo aircraft capable of carrying troops and equipment.

And another:

This is undeniably related to the ongoing situation in Venezuela.


Unconfirmed reports: Relatives of Maduro, Major General Cabrera Romero and leader of the TSJ (Supreme Court of Justice) have left Venezuela (possibly on a plane)

Methane emissions in Europe

Massive methane emissions in Europe

Today the media threw the spotlight on methane emissions from China, something we have been noting for some months.

Here you can see the massive amounts of methane coming out of Europe and Eurasia as a whole.

Prepare to be shocked!

In case you missed it, here are emissions from China, India and Siberia

Ozone & Earthquake Report- 01/30/2019

North America colder than the North Pole or Mars

Insanely dangerous temperatures of -75 F -60 deg C and its going to get worse! Colder than the Arctic -82-deg F in Canada colder than Mars

Chillmap today

30 January, 2019

Insanely dangerous temperatures as the polar vortex tightens its grip on the midwestern US, with AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures plummet to -75 F -60 deg C

The coldest weather in years will put millions of people and animals throughout the midwestern United States at risk for hypothermia and frostbite to occur in minutes during the final days of January. The deep freeze has commenced across the Upper Midwest with an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of 75 degrees below zero Fahrenheit reported at Grand Forks, North Dakota, on Tuesday morning. 

The worst is yet to come for other parts of the Midwest as the polar vortex gets displaced from the Arctic Circle and dives into the region. In addition to the risks of frostbite and hypothermia, residents will be faced with high heating costs and the potential for frozen and bursting water pipes, dead car batteries and school closures.

The cold can be life-threatening for any person or animal without a proper way to stay warm. According to the Weather Channell, Twitter Ads info and privacy 

Incredibly, wind chills in the minus 60s and 70s, even a minus-82-degree wind chill, that's almost -64 deg C, were observed Monday in northern Manitoba and southern Nunavut, Canada, according to the National Weather Service.

This bitter cold will be accompanied by strong winds at times through Thursday, yielding life-threatening wind chills in the Midwest that could lead to frostbite on exposed skin in a matter of minutes.

A large swath of the Midwest will have wind chills in the 30s, 40s and 50s below zero by Wednesday. A few spots in Minnesota and eastern North Dakota may see wind chills in the 60s below zero.

Grand Forks Airport in North Dakota reported a wind chill of 61 degrees below zero on Tuesday.

According to CBS, Thousands of Minnesotans endured the coldest night in a generation without power.

Xcel Energy says equipment failures on power poles is leading to outages all over the metro Tuesday evening, which started at about 5:40 p.m.
At the peak of the outage, about 8,000 residents were affected in the Twin Cities metro area.

As of 11 p.m., less than 600 customers people were still without power.

This is funny!

Trump that wall

Mr MAGA's advice about walls

Top-notch explanation of America's coup in Venezuela

If you think you don’t have time for this may I humbly suggest you make time – this is an excellent and insightful explanation from someone who Is not a fan of socialist Venezuela, so he is free of that particular bias.

Venezuela Crisis Explained - Latest News & Stunning Revelations!

Blackstone Intelligence

Why is Donald Trump trying to overthrow Maduro? Who is Juan Guaido? Is this a coup? All of your questions will be answered in this video

ALL Americans need to watch this and digest it


CONFIRMED: China's methane emissions are through the roof

We have been fed propaganda on how much China is doing to reduce its emissions. Of course it was always a lie as any quick checking of the data will show.

There is a history of local communist governors lying to the central authorities. This is on an epic scale.

Margo and I have been covering methane emissions on a regualr basis for the last 6 months and although we have been concentrating on the Arctic it has been extremely difficult to overlook both China and India.

Question: when are they going to mention India's emissions?

China’s methane emissions rise despite tougher laws, satellite data shows

29 January, 2019

Methane emissions from coal mining in China have risen despite stricter government regulations that aimed to curb the greenhouse gas, satellite data shows.
The data, which is published in Nature Communications, finds China’s methane emissions rose by 1.1m tonnes a year between 2010 and 2015. This could account for up to a quarter of the rise in methane emissions seen globally over that period, the study finds.
China is the world’s largest emitter of methane – a greenhouse gas that is 34 timesmore potent than CO2 over a 100-year period.
The findings show how satellites can be used to pinpoint greenhouse gas emissions “from misbehaving industries that nobody may have suspected”, the lead author tells Carbon Brief.

Methane matters

Methane is the second largest contributor to human-caused global warming after CO2.
Globally, the largest driver of human-caused methane emissions is agriculture – particularly livestock and rice production. The second main driver is fossil fuel production, which allows underground methane to “escape” into the atmosphere during the drilling, extraction and transportation process.
(Methane is also released by several “natural processes” in wetlandsthawing permafrost and freshwater lakes.)
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of coal. When coal is mined, methane can escape from the “coal seam” – the name given to a layer of coal in the earth that is thick enough to be exploited, says study lead author Prof Scot Miller, a researcher of greenhouse gases and air pollution from John Hopkins University in Baltimore. He tells Carbon Brief:
Coal forms underground over long geological time scales and methane is often produced in the coal seams during this process. The methane remains trapped in the coal seam, but it can be released into the atmosphere if the coal seam is mined.”
Geological outcrop with overground coal seam, Witten, Germany. Credit: imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo. EX3DYE
Geological outcrop with overground coal seam, Witten, Germany. Credit: imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo.
However, there are ways to reduce the methane emissions from the mining process, he adds:
One option is to burn or ‘flare’ the methane. This process converts methane to CO2, a greenhouse gas that is much less potent per molecule. Another option is to capture this gas and use it to generate electricity or heat homes.”
(Methane flaring has faced criticism for being “wasteful”. In the US, Obama-era environmental regulations sought to minimise the practice – though the new rules were later rolled back by the Trump administration.)
China’s government has laid out “ambitious plans” to pursue these options, Miller says. In its 12th five-year plan, which set out policies for 2011-15, the Chinese government aimed to recover and utilise 5.6m tonnes of methane from coal mining. By 2020, it aims to recover 13.2m tonnes of methane.
But the satellite data collected by the research team suggests that these regulations have been “unsuccessful” in curbing methane emissions from mining, Miller says:
We found that China’s methane emissions have been increasing ‘business as usual’ – and these increases are likely driven by increasing emissions from coal mines. In other words, China’s methane regulations have not had a detectable impact on the country’s methane emissions.”

Satellite sentinels

To study methane emissions from China and other parts of East Asia, the research team used data from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT). The satellite was launched in 2009 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. (In 2016, Carbon Brief published an interactive showing how satellites, including GOSAT, are used to monitor climate change.)
The satellite detects levels of methane in the atmosphere using infrared sensors. This information is then analysed by statistical models to link it to changes in methane observed at the Earth’s surface, Miller says.
The results show that China’s methane emissions rose at a rate of 1.1m tonnes a year between 2010 and 2015. This is indicated on the chart below, which shows the results from this study (green) alongside other previous estimates.
Line graph showing Methane emissions from China, according to this study (green; anthropogenic emissions in dashed green), Bergamaschi et al. (2013) (dark blue), Thompson et al. (2015) (light blue), Peng et al. (2016) (triangles), the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) (black), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and official statistics reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (stars). Note: the y-axis does not begin at zero. Source: Miller et al. (2019)
Methane emissions from China, according to this study (green; anthropogenic emissions in dashed green), Bergamaschi et al.(2013) (dark blue), Thompson et al. (2015) (light blue), Peng et al. (2016) (triangles), the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) (black), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and official statistics reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (stars). Note: the y-axis does not begin at zero. Source: Miller et al. (2019)
Since 2007, global methane emissions have been increasing at an annual rate of between 5m and 8m tonnes a year, the study says. This means the increase seen in China could represent between 11% and 24% of the global rise in methane emissions.
The researchers compared their results to previous studies looking at China’s methane emissions from 2000-10 (shown on the chart above). This comparison shows that “China’s emissions have been increasing at the same rate as during earlier years, in spite of the government’s coal mining regulations”, Miller says.
One estimate – from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR; black line on chart) – found China’s methane emissions to be even higher from 2010 to 2012.
This estimate uses a “bottom-up” approach – which involves recording methane emissions from the ground, says Prof Greet Janssens-Maenhout, a project leader of EDGAR at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. She tells Carbon Brief:
I think this is a nice [study] and, in fact, the bottom-up estimates and top-down estimates [from this study] don’t differ that much. There is much more agreement now than there was in the past.”
Also notable is that the estimates for China’s methane emissions in 2012 from both this “bottom-up” approach and the new study are higher than the figure reported by China to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
(China is a “non-Annex I” country and so not required to report its greenhouse gas emissions to the UNFCCC on an annual basis.)

Detecting cow fields

The modelling technique also allowed researchers to decide whether methane detected by the satellite had originated from a coal mine, a rice paddy, a cow field or a natural source, such as a wetland, Miller says.
The chart below shows a breakdown of methane emissions in China by sector. The sectors considered include coal (orange), rice (purple), agriculture (turquoise), waste (red), oil and gas (green) and natural sources (grey).
Line graph showing Methane emissions (in millions of tonnes) in China between 2011 and 2015 from coal (orange), rice (purple), agriculture (turquoise), waste (red), oil and gas (green) and natural sources (grey). Source: Miller et al. (2019)
Methane emissions (in millions of tonnes) in China between 2011 and 2015 from coal (orange), rice (purple), agriculture (turquoise), waste (red), oil and gas (green) and natural sources (grey). Source: Miller et al. (2019)
The results suggest that coal mining was the main driver of the rise in methane emissions in China from 2011-15, Miller says:
We saw the largest increases in methane emissions from regions with a lot of coal production and from regions where the coal seams are known to have large amounts of trapped gas.
Methane is also emitted by agriculture – by cows, manure management and rice paddies. But between 2010 and 2015, coal mining in China increased enormously while rice production and the number of cows did not. These two lines of evidence indicate that coal mining has probably been driving recent increases in methane emissions from China.”

Missed targets

The findings suggest that China’s “ambitious benchmarks, regulations and incentives” for slashing methane emissions from coal mining had little effect from 2010-15, the authors say.
This could be down to “insufficient infrastructure”, “inadequate technology” and “inadequate or poorly-designed policies”, the authors write in their research paper.
For example, “most coal mines are located in remote mountainous areas, areas that are poorly connected to cities or natural gas infrastructure” – which is needed to recover methane from coal mines, the authors say.
In addition, some policies to promote methane utilisation may have “backfired”, the authors note: “Government policy requires that all mines utilise drained gas with greater than 30% methane content…[There is] anecdotal evidence that mine operators may be diluting drained gas to circumvent the requirement.”
The new findings highlight how using satellites can give an unbiased picture of how greenhouse gas emissions are changing from country to country, Miller says:
Countries like the US and China estimate their emissions by tallying the number of coal mines, the number of cows, or the number of natural gas wells. However, these inventories can overlook sources or underestimate emissions from misbehaving actors.
By contrast, greenhouse gas measurements in the atmosphere can detect emissions across an entire landscape, including emissions that government inventories overlook and emissions from misbehaving industries that nobody may have suspected.”
The evidence presented in the study is “alarming”, says Dr Michelle Cain, a science and policy research associate at the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the research. She tells Carbon Brief:
This is useful [for] piecing together the full story of what is driving global atmospheric methane upwards. Increasing levels of methane in the atmosphere mean additional warming, so this is an important question to answer if we want to work out whether we are on track to limit warming to 1.5 or 2C.”
Now compare this with emissions coming out of Europe and Eurasia

Venezuela headlines - 01/31/2019

Maduro claims Trump ordered Colombian government and mafia to kill him

30 January, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has claimed that Donald Trump ordered the Colombian government and mafia to assassinate him, but insisted that he’s well protected from the threat of assassination.

Without a doubt, Donald Trump gave the order to kill me, told the Colombian government, the Colombian mafia, to kill me. If something happens to me, Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will be responsible,” Maduro told RIA Novosti.

Maduro, however, expressed confidence in his country’s security services.

I am always protected by the Venezuelan people, we have a good intelligence service,” he said.

Maduro also claimed that White House National Security Adviser John Bolton has prevented Trump from communicating with the Venezuelan government. The Venezuelan president told RIA Novosti that he has repeatedly tried – but failed – to reach out to the US leader.

"For all these years, I have been trying on a personal level [to establish dialogue] … But Bolton prevented Donald Trump from initiating a dialogue with Nicolas Maduro. I have the information that he has prohibited this," Maduro said.

Venezuela Begins Deployment of 500,000 Troops; Colombia Sending Troops to its Border too

Hal Turner,
31 January, 2019

Venezuela has begun the deployment of its 500,000 man army throughout the country, with emphasis on its border with Colombia.

In response, Colombia is now deploying troops to its border with Venezuela . . .

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino declares his forces are prepared for an invasion: “We are seeing the same formula they applied to Libya... They will try to penetrate across the border... So we are waiting for them here.”

Venezuelan soldiers on TV are telling the United States "You want war, we will give you war."

In an interview with Russian Television station Ria Novasti, Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro claims President Donald Trump has given an order to kill him.

- First, my destiny is in the hands of the Lord, I am a Christian, I believe in the defense of the Lord ... The people of Venezuela protect me all the time, we have a good intelligence service. But without a doubt, Donald Trump gave the order to kill me, told the Colombian government, the Colombian mafia, to kill me. If something happens to me once, Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will be responsible. Meanwhile, they protect me, we have a good system of protection, and, moreover, we have more substantial protection - this is protection from God, who will give me a long life.

In the meantime, Video from Colombia shows that country is now deploying its army to the border with Venezuela:

Embedded video

|n army moves troops to , a border town near .

When countries start deploying troops on this scale, the outlook for future conflict is severe. 


Defectors from Venezuela's army who are now loyal to self-declared president Juan Guaidó have called on the Trump administration to arm them in what they refer to as their quest for "freedom," and are strongly opposed to the United States conducting a broad military intervention.

Two former soldiers, Carlos Guillen Martinez and Josue Hidalgo Azuaje, who live outside the country, say they are in contact with hundreds of willing defectors who want US military assistance in their revolt against the Maduro regime. 

"As Venezuelan soldiers, we are making a request to the US to support us, in logistical terms, with communication, with weapons, so we can realize Venezuelan freedom," Guillen Martinez told CNN. 

Hidalgo Azuaje said: "We're not saying that we need only US support, but also Brazil, Colombia, Peru, all brother countries, that are against this dictatorship."

The appeal came as US national security advisor John Bolton on Sunday warned the Maduro government that violence against Venezuela's political opposition—or against its leader and self-declared president Juan Guaidó—would be met with stern reprisals.

Bolton also appealed to the Venezuelan military to assist in the smooth transition of power from Maduro to Guaidó, whom the US has recognized as the legitimate head of state.

American officials have repeatedly warned that no options are off the table, in terms of US intervention. -CNN

The most loyal supporter of the British Deep State and the Empire, the Guardian, words things as if there was not a more ridiculous "claim"

The mystery of Venezuela's gold

Maduro "Open to Talks" After 20 Tonnes Of Gold Disappears From Venezuela Vaults

Dahboo 777

On Monday, a Russian newspaper reported that the empty plane had departed from Moscow to Caracas with enough space for some 400 passengers. According to photos taken by Reuters, it was parked by a private corner of the Caracas airport. It marked the first time the plane had flown on that route. Reports said the plane carried two crew teams and that there was "no obvious reason for it to fly there."

Update: A spokesman for the Kremlin has denied rumors that the private Boeing 777 registered to Russia's Nordwind airline which landed in Caracas this week was there to spirit away a chunk of the country's gold reserves - or escort the country's embattled leader, Nicolas Maduro, into exile, according to the Telegraph.

Refusal to hand over Venezuelan gold means end of Britain as a financial center – Prof. Wolff

The freezing of Venezuelan gold by the Bank of England is a signal to all countries out of step with US interests to withdraw their money, according to economist and co-founder of Democracy at Work, Professor Richard Wolff.

He told RT America that Britain and its central bank have shown themselves to be “under the thumb of the United States.”

That is a signal to every country that has or may have difficulties with the US, [that they had] better get their money out of England and out of London because it’s not the safe place as it once was,” he said.

The economist added that it is for the Venezuelans who put the money into the care of the British bank to determine what is done with it, and not for the Bank of England.

You can be sure that every government in the world is going to rethink putting any money in London, as they used to do, when they are watching this political manipulation with the money that they entrusted to the British. It is very dangerous for the world but for Britain particularly,” said Wolff.

He explained: “What the British are showing is that they can’t continue apparently to be the neutral place where you can safely put your money.”

Venezuela Has 20 Tons of Gold Ready to Ship. Address Unknown

Bank of England pleaded with not to give Nicolas Maduro $1.3 billion in gold 

A British minister on Monday suggested that the Bank of England should decline to release £1 billion of gold to Venezuela's dictator after the opposition leader wrote to Theresa May. 

Juan Guaido, who last week declared himself the country’s legitimate ruler and was recognised as such by the US, has written to Mark Carney, the Bank’s governor, to ask him not to hand over the gold to Nicolas Maduro. He also sent the letter to Theresa May, the Prime Minister.

"I am writing to ask you to stop this illegitimate transaction," the 35-year-old opposition leader wrote.

"If the money is transferred it will be used by the illegitimate and kleptocratic regime of Nicolas Maduro to repress and brutalise the Venezuelan people."

Sir Alan Duncan, minister of the Americas, on Monday said it was a decision for the Bank to make, and suggested they should decline to release the gold.

Russia claims no knowledge of plane sent to Venezuela 'to extract 20 tonnes of gold' from national bank

Russian authorities have moved to quash suspicions that 20 tonnes of gold are about to be moved from the Venezuela’s national bank to Moscow.

Is a mystery plane heading to Russia loaded with Venezuelan gold?


The Kremlin has called reports of 20 tons of Venezuelan gold heading to Russia fake news. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised the public against listening to rumors.

On Wednesday, a member of the Venezuelan opposition and former banker at the country’s central bank, Jose Guerra, claimed he has information of the planned shipment of tons of gold bars, amounting to 20 percent of the bank’s holdings. The lawmaker said that a Russian jet, which arrived from Moscow, was ready to transport the cargo

MP @JoseAGuerra "We get information from officials of the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV): a plane arrived from Moscow, in which they intend to extract at least 20 tons of gold, and we demand from the BCV details of what is happening"  via @AsambleaVE

The statement was then reported by Bloomberg, and then by other Western media. The rumors were fueled by other reports, claiming that a mystery Boeing 777, which can carry some 400 passengers and belonging to Russia's Nordwind Airlines, was spotted at the local airport after flying direct from Moscow.

The Kremlin rejected the reports, calling them fake news.

There is no such information,” said Peskov. “It is necessary to be very cautious about different hoaxes,” he added.

Finance Minister Simon Zerpa declined to comment on the nation’s gold and also said there was no Russian plane at Simon Bolivar International Airport.

“I’m going to start bringing Russian and Turkish airplanes every week so everybody gets scared.” 

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman also stressed that Russia is ready to help resolve the political turmoil in Venezuela “without interfering in the country’s internal affairs” as Moscow is against any third countries’ meddling in Venezuela’s politics.

The South American nation plunged deeper into political crisis after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president following calls for regime change from Washington. The US and some other Western nations were quick to recognize Guaido as the country’s new leader, while Russia, Turkey, Iran, and China pledged their support for President Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in for his second term earlier this year.