UK police earn millions supporting oppressive Gulf regimes

British police earned £3.3 million ($4.5 million) training security officiers in countries with repressive regimes including Gulf states criticised for their lack of freedoms, the Guardian newspaper has reported.

The Home Office’s College of Policing provided “international leadership” training to police forces in 23 countries since it was setup in 2012.

According to the paper, 89 per cent of the college’s funding comes from countries who practice the death penalty, which the UK opposes.

“Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry is the college’s biggest leadership training client and has paid it more than £1.2m for 815 days’ training over the past six years,” the paper reported. According to campaign group Reprieve the Kingdom has executed 641 people since 2012.

The UK body has also trained officers in the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait which have all been known to violently quash dissent and freedom of speech and expression.

Maya Foa, director of Reprieve, said:

The College of Policing appears to have made a substantial profit from a massive crackdown on dissent in the Gulf since the Arab Spring.

Ministers say this training will improve Gulf policing but, in reality, things have got worse as UK-trained bodies in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have increased their use of torture and the death penalty for juveniles and protesters.

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UAE: Saudi Arabia was going to launch military attack on Qatar

Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar, leaked emails dated May 2017 appear to show.

The emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams in May 2017 claim that Saudi came cross to “conquering” Qatar and this would “solve everyone’s problems”, according to the Emirati official.

Al-Otaiba added that deceased Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz “came pretty close to doing something in Qatar” a few months before his death in January 2015.

Abrams was surprised by the revelation, the emails show, declaring: “I did not know that. It is dramatic.”

“How hard could it be?” he asked, adding:

Foreigners won’t interfere … Promise the Indians a raise, promise the police a raise and who is going to fight to the death?

Al-Otaiba replied: “That was the conclusion. It would be an easy lift.”

Khalil Al-Anani: The shifts in the Gulf crisis

Alleged leaked emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams from May 2017, suggesting Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar.

Alleged leaked emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams from May 2017, suggesting Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar.

Abrams went on to say that former US President Barack Obama would not have supported an attack on Qatar “but the new guy…” in reference to current American Preisdent Donald Trump.

In the emails, Abrams suggested Jordan control Qatar. “The Hashemites need to control Qatar … that would solve their financial problems and Qatar’s support of extremism.” as he put it.

It is noteworthy that Abrams served as deputy assistant to US President George W. Bush and as his deputy national security adviser.

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.

The four countries also imposed an embargo on Qatar and issued a long list of demands, including the closure of Doha-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera, under the threat of further sanctions.

Qatar has refused to submit, denying charges that it supports terrorism and describing the bloc’s efforts to isolate it as a violation of international law and an infringement of its national sovereignty.

A spokesperson at the UAE embassy in the US told Middle East Eye that she was “not in a position to confirm or deny” the emails were genuine.

Read: Has Trump become a leader of Arab nationalism?

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Rohingya refugees forced to scramble for aid in Bangladesh

Author: 
AFP
Sat, 2017-09-16 06:12
ID: 
1505549820796162900

KUTUPALONG, Bangladesh: Every day Sunabhan joins thousands of other Rohingya refugees by the roadside near her settlement in southern Bangladesh waiting for aid trucks to arrive and readying herself for the desperate scramble for food.
Like most of the nearly 400,000 refugees who have flooded into Bangladesh in the past three weeks to escape violence in Myanmar, she relies entirely on hand-outs from local volunteers operating with no official oversight and little coordination.
Today Sunabhan, a widowed mother of four, managed to fight her way through the scrum of hungry refugees near the camp in Kutupalong and grab a bag of rice flakes.
But often the 44-year-old, who arrived in Bangladesh with her family 10 days ago after fleeing the violence that killed her husband, goes away empty handed.
“There are more people than food so it is very chaotic,” said Sunabhan, who like many Rohingya goes by only one name.
“The strong ones run to the trucks and they get the food first, it is more difficult for women and children.”
The United Nations said this week there was an urgent need for a coordinated response to the massive influx of desperate people, most of whom have still had no assistance from aid agencies or the state.
Ordinary Bangladeshis have stepped into the breach, filling trucks and driving to the new settlements that have sprung up.
But their distribution methods make it impossible to ensure that aid reaches those who need it most.
Each time a truck pulls up, the refugees scramble to grab the food parcels, water bottles and clothing the volunteers throw into the desperate crowd.
At times fights break out; at others, children who have clambered up the sides of vehicles, hands outstretched for food, are swept onto the street when the trucks suddenly speed off.
Food is the most prized catch, but even those giving out clothing attract a crowd. Children pick up garments that land on the muddy ground, dust them down and bundle them into empty rice bags.
One Rohingya man wearing the traditional lungi tied around his waist picks up a new-looking pair of jeans embellished with red sequins and places them on his head for protection against the sun.
Mohamad Anisul Islam, a 23-year-old Bangladeshi art student, is one of those standing atop the trucks throwing out aid.
He insists his government is doing all it can for the refugees, but says he wants to help with the desperate situation.
“Their condition is miserable. They have no food, no home, none of their basic human rights are being met,” he said.
“We already have a big population in Bangladesh and we want them to go home, but while they are here we want to help.”
Vivian Tan, spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, said the government was now trying to set up drop-off points for aid distribution due to concerns over the current ad-hoc arrangements.
“It reflects the generosity of the Bangladeshi public but did raise concerns about the safety of the refugees rushing for aid being tossed off trucks,” she told AFP.
“The sheer scale of this growing influx and the fact that they are scattered in different locations — camps, makeshift sites and local villages — make it hard to know where they all are and to reach them all equitably.”
Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the army would be deployed to distribute aid, while Lt. Col. Rashidul Hasan told AFP on Friday the orders had reached the crisis zone.
“We’ve got the directive that the army would receive relief materials sent by foreign nations at the airport and take it to Cox’s Bazar,” he said.
For years Bangladesh restricted the UN refugee agency from operating outside the two camps that are home to the small minority of refugees with government registration papers.
It refused to register new entries, reluctant to give them an incentive to stay on.
Overwhelmed by a tide of arrivals that shows no sign of stopping, it has softened its stance and begun the process of registering newcomers — even as it presses Myanmar to end the violence and take them back.
Myanmar, a mainly Buddhist country that views the Rohingya as illegal immigrants, shows no sign of doing so.
Although it remains unclear what benefits registration will bring for the refugees, thousands are turning out in droves to be fingerprinted, photographed and documented.
“I haven’t had any proper aid yet,” 70-year-old refugee Faisal Karim told AFP as he squatted in the long queue for registration by the army at the Kutupalong camp.
“I think that when we are registered we will get proper relief, like the refugees who have been here a long time.”

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Ignore the spin, the siege of Gaza endangers everyone, Israelis included, so end it now

Save the Children reckons that the Israelis have delivered a major project in record time, with the Gaza Strip described in the NGO’s latest report as “unliveable.” The United Nations made its own prediction in 2012, giving the territory until 2020 before it would be at that inhospitable stage.

As autumn wears on and some three years ahead of the UN deadline, the Israeli government has turned basic essentials such as food, water, hospital access, education and shelter into luxury items in an enclave that the state and its supporters still claim somewhat disingenuously to have “withdrawn” from in 2005.

Of course, Save the Children and the UN aren’t to be trusted; it you pay heed to the pro-Israel lobby you will know this. The lobby has a convenient conspiracy theory that the UN is engaged in “anti-Semitism” rather than reasonable criticism of the Israeli state and its policies. Much of this lobby nonsense comes from mysterious pro-Israel organisations like “UN Watch”, which routinely derides UN predictions and announcements the moment that they are made public.

Another such group is “NGO Monitor”; it has already dismissed the Save the Children report as a “renewed anti-Israel campaign.” Which, of course, it is, and rightly so. This group condemns the respected NGO for daring to publicise the suffering of children, and suggests that Save the Children “should return to a policy of providing aid without adopting the Palestinian political narrative.”

Telling NGOs what they can and cannot do and say is in vogue in Israel, much as it is in autocratic Turkey or Hungary, but the illogical positions of NGO Monitor are still worth exposing. Consider this: “[Save the Children] also called on Israel to blindly ‘lift the Gaza blockade’ without acknowledging the rationale behind it.” NGO Monitor claims that the siege is in place, “to prevent weapon smuggling into Hamas-controlled Gaza.”

We should test this thesis that it is all the fault of Hamas, and the Israeli-led blockade of Gaza is simply the state acting in self-defence.

Oslo: 24 years of Palestinian losses

Fifteen year old Ali suffers from cerebral palsy, and is an example of the kind of problems engulfing a Palestinian youngster which NGO Monitor cannot have missed because his story was included in the press release which accompanied the charity’s report. Ali’s mother Yara told Save the Children:

“My son is dying in front of my eyes. He can’t sleep most nights, and suffers from continuous pain. We don’t have enough power to get his electric wheelchair and mattress fully charged. If his wheelchair doesn’t get charged, he suffers psychologically, as he sees people around him move and walk but he can’t. He feels depressed and often fights with other children. When the wheelchair runs out of battery, Ali becomes totally paralysed. He also needs constant showers as he is wearing diapers, but there is no water. We don’t get water unless there is electricity. If I don’t change his diapers and wash him regularly he will suffer from skin rashes and other problems. We have not had any tap water for two days. I feel suffocated.”

The problem here then, as with so many of the problems outlined in the report, is primarily one of electricity, or the lack thereof. This is why Ali is growing up soaked by his urine and faeces, is unnecessarily paralysed and is suffering psychologically as he grapples with one of the world’s most cruel medical conditions.

In April, Gaza’s sole power plant was forced to shut down after completely exhausting its fuel reserves; the company which runs the plant was unable to obtain fuel due to a shortage of funds. How this makes Israel any safer is unclear, but its government claims that the blockade is all about security. Having 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza in darkness surely doesn’t make Israelis more secure, does it?

Likewise the contamination of Gaza’s water supply. The Palestinian Water Authority and the UN have now warned that the territory’s fresh water aquifer, shared by Israel and Egypt, may be “completely contaminated” by the end of this year. Israel says it won’t let in more aid or spare parts to repair the water treatment plants that it destroyed in its 2008/9 military offensive. Why? Because of Hamas. That, though, doesn’t explain why Israel has repeatedly refused to allow UN Environment Programme inspectors to assess the water situation and try to improve it.

Read: Poverty rate hits 80% in Gaza

As yet another curious pro-Israel lobby organisation – the American-Israeli Co-operative Enterprise (AICE) – puts it, “There is indeed a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, but it is not to be blamed on Israel.” Thus does the lobby acknowledge the pain that is being caused, and yet it denies that its favoured state, Israel, has anything to do with it, despite controlling everything that goes into or comes out of the Gaza Strip. “Israel has consistently sent aid in many forms through the border,” claims AICE, “and the blockade will be lifted once the violent Hamas government is ousted and the people of the Gaza Strip are ready to live in peace with Israel as their neighbour.”

There is no suggestion by the lobby that Israel, which is the relative newcomer in the neighbourhood, might decide to live in peace with the Palestinians. It is, after all, Israel which has repeatedly broken ceasefires, before telling the world that Hamas started firing rockets. It is also a fact that Hamas can be remarkably quiet when given the choice. Every few years, however, the Israelis re-invade Gaza unnecessarily, launching massive military offensives with accompanying death and destruction, and then withdraw, killing, maiming or traumatising a million children in the process.

The reality is that the siege of Gaza is a manifestation of Israeli military weakness. There is no chance that Israel will re-take Gaza from Hamas by force; the resistance movement not only enjoys general popular support amongst Palestinians but, more importantly, is also expert in the kind of guerrilla warfare that the founders of Israel used to such devastating effect themselves not so many years ago. Conventional armies of the kind that Israel deploys never, ever, win against Middle Eastern militias, particularly those with a religious mindset faced with a Western-backed enemy.

WHO: Israel hinders 40% of Gaza patients’ access to health care abroad

The siege tactic is the only option that the Israeli government can resort to. Ten years on, it appears to be working. As making somewhere “unliveable” is essentially a form of ethnic cleansing by what claims to be a democracy, a coterie of propaganda organisations and lots of media-spin groups are required to defend Israel and gloss over that very distasteful fact.

Perhaps these spin doctors should be asking their government why it can’t defend its citizens, who all pay for the Israel Defence Forces. The answer – or their own conclusion – might then be, because the increasingly right-wing governments of Israel which control the military are stubborn and stupid. They alone are endangering the people of Israel every day through their thankless and pointless siege. So ignore the spin, the siege needs to end now, not in 2020; that will be too late for all concerned.

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Weekly Fundamentals – Crude Oil Prices Rebounded Further on Better Fundamental Outlook

Crude oil prices rallied last week as the market has been more optimistic over the demand/supply balance. Besides the potential extension of the OPEC/non-OPEC output cut deal for another three months, each of the latest monthly reports released by the three major oil agencies appeared to have something to cheer for. The front-month WTI crude oil contract soared +5.08%, while the Brent contract gained +3.42%, last week.

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UN chief to urge world leaders to prevent sexual abuse

Author: 
AP
Sat, 2017-09-16 03:00
ID: 
1505536038955724100

UNITED NATIONS: Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has invited world leaders to a special event Monday on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse — an issue that has left a black mark on the UN’s far-flung peacekeeping operations and persists despite UN vows to combat the scourge.
Guterres told reporters this week that the United Nations has drafted a compact which he hopes the organization’s 193 member states will sign. According to the UN it emphasizes “the shared principles” of the UN and member states for conducting peace operations including commitments to prevent sexual exploitation.
The UN chief said he is also creating a “Circle of Leadership” comprising heads of state and government who make commitments to end impunity for alleged perpetrators and to strengthen measures to prevent sexual exploitations and abuse in international deployments. The leaders joining the circle will be announced on Monday, and a UN official said there are about 50.
In March, Guterres announced new measures to tackle the increase in sexual abuse and exploitation by UN peacekeepers and staff, including a new focus on victims and bans on alcohol and fraternization for troops. He cautioned then that “no magic wand exists to end the problem” but said, “I believe that we can dramatically improve how the United Nations addresses this scourge.”
The Associated Press launched an investigative series in March on the UN’s peacekeeping crisis, uncovering roughly 2,000 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation during a 12-year period. One of the grimmest cases detailed how a group of Sri Lankan peacekeepers ran a child sex ring in Haiti between 2004 and 2007. Despite a UN investigation, no Sri Lankan peacekeeper was ever prosecuted.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley cited the AP’s investigation in the UN Security Council meeting in April, warning that the United States could withdraw funding for missions where such abuses were rife and for countries that failed to hold perpetrators to account.
Earlier this week, a watchdog group said it obtained leaked case files showing “egregious mishandling” of sexual misconduct allegations by the UN against peacekeepers in Central African Republic, where the UN peacekeeping mission had the highest number of misconduct allegations in the world last year.
The 14 cases cited by the Code Blue campaign were investigated last year to determine whether the allegations could be substantiated. But the group said in eight cases, the alleged victims were not interviewed, and 10 cases did not appear on the UN website where data is supposed to be released about sexual misconduct cases.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday: “We are looking into the allegations made by Code Blue.”
Jane Holl Lute, the special coordinator on improving the UN response to sexual exploitation and abuse, said the secretary-general believes it will be impossible to focus the UN on its mandate of preventing conflict and combatting poverty if it is still tied up with allegations of sexual abuses and is failing to respond effectively.
According to Lute, Guterres said: “I’m going to pursue this agenda because it is a black mark not only on our history but on ourselves and it’s a real impediment to the effectiveness of this organization’s operations.”
She told reporters this week that the secretary-general has a four-part program — to put victims “at the center,” to end impunity for alleged perpetrators, to engage with civil society, and to increase education and transparency, which is being driven partly by the realization “that this is an ever-present danger for women everywhere.”
“In fact, there’s no place women are safe,” Lute said. “There is no country, there is no military that is immune from these behaviors. This is not a problem exclusive to uniformed personnel, nor is it exclusive to peacekeeping. … And civilians, frankly, are more guilty of this than are uniformed military personnel, by percentage.”
At Monday’s meeting, Lute said the agenda is focused on the response to sexual abuse and exploitation by the UN and the international community. She said the first UN rights advocate for victims appointed by Guterres, Australian lawyer and human rights advocate Jane Connors, will be introduced. She said contributors to a fund for victims will be recognized.
Lute said the number of reported cases of sexual abuse by UN peacekeepers might increase this year, because more people understand “this is an environment that they can trust to come forward and report.”
Asked how much the UN’s credibility has been damaged by the sex abuse scandals in UN peacekeeping, Lute said, “from my point of view, you’ll never hear a story about UN and UN peacekeeping without someone referring to this black mark on our record.”
“Even though we may really turn the tide, which is what we’re trying to do … we will never be able to erase the history books,” she said.

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A Glimmer Of Hope? Russia, US Officials Revive Dialogue On Arms Control

Authored by Andrei Akulov via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The New Start Treaty was in focus of the talks held in Helsinki between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov and US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon on September 11-12. The parties agreed that the treaty should be implemented without exception. It was revealed that expert consultations on the future of the agreement had begun. A meeting of the US-Russian bilateral commission on implementing the New START would take place in the near future so that the two sides could continue their discussion of the technical aspects of implementation.

In force since 2011, New START foresees the reduction of both countries' nuclear arsenals to 1,550 warheads and 700 operationally deployed launch systems by 2018. The treaty also obliges Moscow and Washington to exchange information about their nuclear weapon stockpiles. It is one of the few nuclear agreements still being honored amid the current strained relations between Washington and Moscow. The treaty is set to expire in 2021 and stipulates that the parties may agree to extend it for a period of no more than five years.

With no negotiations in sight on a new strategic arms reduction agreement, it would be prudent to extend the treaty till 2026. True, it would be even more beneficial to have a new treaty, if possible, but there are obstacles on the way. At this level of reductions, other nuclear powers should join. This prospect is hardly feasible at present, and yet step-by-step progress toward constructive consultations on nuclear arms reductions and transparency measures is possible. The US program of creating a global missile defense is also a hindrance. There is also a problem of mistrust against the background of the relationship at its lowest ebb.

An agreement to extend the landmark treaty is the way to stabilize the ties and prevent a competition. It would revive the hopes for saving the arms control regime, which is being eroded, to put the world back to the brink of nuclear war where it had been before the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed in 1963. The mutual limits and the robust verification and compliance regime, including satellites, on-site inspections, required notifications, and data exchanges enhance stability and reduce incentives for engaging in an arms race. With no verification procedures in place, the leaderships of both countries would lose a critical source of intelligence, hampering policymakers’ ability to make informed decisions. By extending New START, the parties could add stability at the time of increasing tensions.

In February, President Trump decried the New START Treaty. He said it was one-sided and «Just another bad deal that the country made, whether it's START, whether it's the Iran deal … We're going to start making good deals», he said in an interview with Reuters. He also responded negatively to Russian President Putin’s suggestion to extend that treaty in a January phone call.

The military leaders appear to have a different view. Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command, told Congress in March that he is a “big supporter” of the treaty. According to him, “bilateral, verifiable arms control agreements are essential to our ability to provide an effective deterrent.” Secretaries of Defense and State, support New START. The Federation of American Scientists supports the treaty. European allies also back the idea of keeping New START in force. According to Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, “The right path is the one marked by the New START Treaty and its implementation. This is the kind of cooperation between Russia and the United States that we Europeans like to see.”

The United States is currently pursuing a near-complete overhaul of all elements of its strategic nuclear potential. Over the next 30 years, it plans to have a new ICBM, a new strategic submarine, a new bomber, and a new nuclear cruise missile. However, none of the plans are inhibited by New START. Russia is going through modernization of its nuclear triad. It’s absolutely important to keep the limitations and verification procedures in place to ensure adequate planning.

Extending New START could help create a positive atmosphere for improving the US-Russia relationship.

It would help head off unconstrained nuclear arms race and global security. Failing to pursue an extension would be a major missed opportunity.

Nobody expects spectacular breakthroughs, but it’s good news the issue of strategic stability was at last addressed during a high level Russia-US meeting. It was abnormal that the nuclear arms reductions were not part of the bilateral agenda for such a long period of time. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the fact that the dialogue is revived at the time when the entire arms control and non-proliferation regime is unraveling. Looks like at last a glimmer of light appeared at the end of the tunnel.

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Fearful Californians Prepare For A Nuclear Attack: “A Lot Of People Will Be Killed”

With each passing day and each new ICBM launch from a seemingly unhinged North Korean dictator, the fears of an attack on the U.S. mainland, though faint, increasingly weigh on the hearts and minds of Americans, particularly those in California.  As The Guardian points out today, those fears have even prompted a group of California public health officials and emergency responders to gather for a strategy session with Hal Kempfer, a retired marine lieutenant colonel, to discuss which areas are the most likely targets and how citizens should respond to an attack.

Hal Kempfer, a noted international security expert, is getting a roomful of California public health officials and emergency responders to think about the unthinkable – a nuclear bomb exploding at the port of Long Beach, about four miles away.

 

“A lot of people will be killed,” he said, “but a large percentage of the population will survive. They will be at risk and they will need help.”

 

“If you want to mess up southern California, if you want to mess up the west coast, if you want to mess up our country – where do you attack?” Kempfer asks. “If I’m sitting in North Korea and looking at possible targets, I’m going to be looking at Long Beach very closely.”

 

He talks about the port and downtown Long Beach being “toast” – no exaggeration, since the blast wave is likely to vaporize everything in its immediate path. But the city health department, the Long Beach airport and fire department might not be; they are all somewhat protected by a hilly area that is likely to halt the initial blast wave. And so the city can, tentatively, think about setting up a center of emergency operations.

 

Of course, the radioactive fallout created as the explosion gathers up tremendous quantities of dust and ocean water and spits them into the atmosphere would represent a secondary grave risk, especially in the first hours after an attack.

 

Not to mention the electromagnetic pulse that is likely to knock out electronic systems including phones and computers, the pile-ups expected on the freeways as drivers are blinded by the flash of the explosion, the rush for food, water and gasoline as millions of Angelenos attempt to drive out of the region, and the terror triggered by even the idea of a second, follow-up attack.

Meanwhile, lest you think this was all just a creative way for some public employees to skip work for a day, Ventura County, located just northwest of Los Angeles, has even taken the unusual step of prepping a 250-page plan on how to respond to the humanitarian crisis that would result from a nuclear attack in Los Angeles. 

In fact, their efforts even include this truly bizarre public service announcement that instructs folks to shelter in place and cover windows with plastic.

Of course, as we pointed out back in August, while a global nuclear confrontation is generally viewed as a bad thing, for Ron Hubbard, President of Atlas Survival Shelters in Los Angeles, it has resulted in an economic windfall as a staggering number of Californians have suddenly turned into doomsday preppers.

“It’s crazy, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ron Hubbard, president of Atlas Survival Shelters, told Fox11. “It’s all over the country. I sold shelters today in North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, California.”

 

The company, based in Montebello in eastern Los Angeles, sells shelters priced from $10,000 to $100,000. Hubbard told the station that the shelters are designed to be buried 20 feet below ground and can sustain survivors for up to one year, depending on the size and model.

 

He told the station he had sold more than 30 units in recent days, including to customers in Japan.

 

All that said, Kempfer points out that there is a silver lining here because any attack from North Korea likely wouldn’t result in “your traditional nuclear apocalypse scenario” because Kim Jong-Un probably only has weapons capable of destroying about 1 square mile at a time.

Rather, it’s likely to be a Hiroshima-sized bomb – large enough to obliterate everything within a square-mile radius and kill tens of thousands of people, either immediately or through the lingering effects of radiation. But still leaving millions of survivors across the region who would need help.

 

“We’re talking about smaller North Korean things,” Kempfer emphasized, though the word “smaller” sounds very far from reassuring. “This is not your traditional nuclear apocalypse scenario.”

So, Californians at least have that going for them, which is nice.

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