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NightWatch 20140829

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For the night of 29 August 2014

Israel: The ceasefire is holding thus far. The 71st Israeli died from wounds from rocket fire prior to the ceasefire.

Hamas' leader, Khaled Meshaal, said Thursday his group will not halt its resistance to Israel until all its demands are met. Meshaal said the latest conflict was "a milestone towards reaching our objective." Speaking from Doha, Meshaal said, "You cannot contain the resistance, because the resistance is in our thoughts and in our souls ... our resistance will continue until all our demands are met and we are getting closer to victory and al-Quds (Jerusalem)."

Comment: Meshaal has a gift for bad timing because Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is under pressure for stopping before the Hamas regime surrendered. His statement affirms that Netanyahu probably should have continued the campaign until Hamas surrendered. Israel can still resume attacks and might need to do so because the Hamas leadership has not gotten the message that Gazans are alive despite Hamas' ineptitude in defending them.

There will be more fighting soon.

Russia- Ukraine: On Thursday, Russian President Putin addressed a brief congratulatory statement to the militia of Novorossiya (New Russia). He urged them to release several thousand Ukrainian soldiers that they had surrounded.

Comment: Yesterday's statement was the second time President Putin used the term New Russia since the start of the Ukrainian crisis. The last time was in April. His use of that term signals the end of drift in Russian policy and signifies that Russia has decided to liberate New Russia.

Russia has escalated its involvement. The NightWatch hypothesis is that Putin has tired of balancing economic and political interests and has decided to seize the land, using proxies and "volunteers."

The timing is worth mentioning. Putin chose the weekend before the NATO Summit in Wales and the US President's trip to embarrass NATO.

The map on the left shows the location of Novoazovs'k where the Russians have made their recent incursions. News services and blogs reported that a motorized column led by a six tanks is heading for Mariupol from Novoazovs'k.

The map on the right shows the area that the Republic of Rossiya adherents claim, by oblast. The eastern Ukrainian separatists do not control all of that territory at this time, but the map shows what their ultimate intentions might be.

The western portions of the map deserve attention. Novorossiya includes Transnistria in Moldova and the port and oblast of Odessa. Pro-Russian elements intend to afford Russia access to the best ports in the Black Sea.

Ukraine: Pro-Russia separatists, relaxed and well-equipped, held firm control on Friday of the coastal town of Novoazovs'k. News reporters saw at least six tanks flying the flag of Novorossiya.

The so-called Novorossiya militia promised to release the thousands of Ukrainian soldiers they had surrounded all week.

Poland- Russia: Earlier today Poland refused to grant overflight permission to a passenger jet carrying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Shoigu's plane was forced to turn back to Bratislava, Slovakia, where he completed an official visit. The Poles said they banned the flight because the crew changed its status from civilian to military, which requires 72 hours' notice.

The Russians protested. The issue was resolved without further confrontation.

Comment: The Poles were harassing the Russians because of Ukraine. The visit of a Russian Defense Minister to Slovakia was an effort to weaken Slovakia's commitment to NATO. Russia is trying to poach on NATO by picking off weak countries.

Ebola: A man infected with Ebola traveled to Senegal, bringing to the country the first confirmed case of the disease that has hit four other West African nations and killed more than 1,500 people, the Ministry of Health said Friday. The infected person, a university student from Guinea, sought treatment at a hospital in Senegal's capital, Dakar, on Tuesday but gave no indication he might have Ebola, Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told reporters.

Comment: The World Health Organization predicts the West African Ebola epidemic could infect 20,000 people and spread to ten more countries. With a 50% mortality rate, the outbreak has now killed a reported 1,552 of 3,069 in West Africa, with 13 of 42 dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Modern travel ensures that the human living system will spread the viral living system.

End of NightWatch for 29 August.

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