Thursday, October 30, 2014

FEMA conducts pandemic training in NY, NJ

Mother of Man Killed By Illegal: Pres 'Ignoring Us Completely'

New Russian Boldness Revives a Cold War Tradition: Testing the Other Side -

WASHINGTON — When the White House discovered in recent weeks that its unclassified computer systems had been breached, intelligence officials examined the digital evidence and focused on a prime suspect: Russia, which they believe is using its highly sophisticated cyber capabilities to test American defenses. But its tracks were well covered, and officials say they may never know for sure.

They have no doubt, however, about what happened this week on the edges of NATO territory in Europe. More than two dozen Russian aircraft, including four Tu-95 strategic bombers, flew through the Baltic and Black Seas, along the coast of Norway and all the way to Portugal, staying over international waters but prompting NATO forces to send up intercepting aircraft.

Taken together, they represent the old and the updated techniques of Cold War signal-sending. In the Soviet era, both sides probed each other's defenses, hoping to learn something from the reaction those tests of will created. In 2014, cyber is the new weapon, one that can be used with less restraint, and because its creators believe they cannot be traced and can create a bit of havoc without prompting a response.

In this case, the response was that the White House shut down use of some of its networks for lengthy periods — more an inconvenience than anything else, but a sign of the fragility of the system to sophisticated attacks.

But in both, divining the motive of the probes and the advantage, if any, they created is far from easy.

The Russian aircraft exercises were part of a broader escalation: NATO has conducted more than 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft this year, its officials report, far more than last year, before Russia annexed Crimea and began its operations in Ukraine.

"This is message-sending by Putin, and it's dangerous," one senior defense official said Wednesday, noting that in many cases, the Russian aircraft had turned off their transponders and did not reply to radio calls to identify themselves. In response, Germany, Portugal, Turkey and Denmark sent aircraft aloft, along with two non-NATO nations, Finland and Sweden. They were particularly struck by the use of the Tu-95 bombers, which Russia usually keeps clear of Europe.

But what's new is the sophistication of Russia's cyberespionage campaigns, which differ somewhat from China's. The Chinese attacks — like those led by Unit 61398 of the People's Liberation Army, whose members were indicted earlier this year by the Justice Department — are aimed chiefly at intellectual property theft. The Russians do a bit of that, too, but the attacks also suggest more disruptive motives.

Much more here

CIA Insider Warns: "25-Year Great Depression is About to Strike America"

You will want to remember this date  April 30, 2015. According to one of the top minds in the U.S. Intelligence Community, that is when the United States will enter the darkest economic period in our nation's history.
A 25-year Great Depression.
And alarmingly, he and his colleagues believe the evidence they've uncovered proves this outcome is impossible to avoid. In an exclusive interview with Money Morning, Jim Rickards, the CIA's Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor, has stepped forward to warn the American people that time is running out to prepare for this $100 trillion meltdown. "Everybody knows we have a dangerous level of debt. Everybody knows the Fed has recklessly printed trillions of dollars. These are secrets to no one," he said. 
"But all signs are now flashing bright red that our chickens are about to come home to roost."
During the discussion, Rickards shared a series of dangerous signals he fears reveals an economy that has reached a super critical state. One of the signals the CIA is most concerned with is the Misery Index.
  Decades back this unique warning sign was created for determining how close our country was to a social collapse. It simply adds the true inflation rate with the true unemployment rate. However, the Federal Reserve has repeatedly changed the way the Misery Index has been calculated over the years. Which Rickards believes is now being used to cover up the true scope of the problem. "Today you rarely hear the government talk about the Misery Index with the public," Rickards said.
"The reason is they may not want you to know the truth. And the truth is, the Misery Index has reached more dangerous levels than we saw prior to the Great Depression.
This is a signal of a complex system that's about to collapse." Frightening: Single chart reveals which banks could collapse (and how soon). If your life savings is in a major bank, please look at this now. During the shocking interview Rickards revealed the 5
dangerous "flashpoints" the Intelligence Community is closely monitoring that they believe will unleash this catastrophe. And he also described how it would all unfold. "I expect the first phase will appear as a nearly instantaneous 70% stock market crash. From the outside, nobody will see it coming." Rickards explained. "Once it becomes clear that it's not a flash crash - it's a systemic meltdown in the economy itself, that's when the gravity of the situation will sink in. And there will be no digging out from it. "$100
trillion is a conservative estimate for the damage. A lot can happen over 25-years as our country struggles to recover from this."
Along with his CIA responsibilities, Jim Rickards has spent more than 3 decades on Wall Street as a leading international investment banker, hedge fund manager, and as the architect behind the technology nicknamed "the brains" of the NASDAQ. This unique
skillset has placed him at the center of some of the most important events in recent history. For instance, Rickards helped negotiate an end to the Iranian Hostage Crisis in the early 1980s. Then, in the late 1990s, despite being one of its most outspoken critics, the Federal Reserve called on him to step in to prevent a $1.25 trillion Wall Street meltdown during the Long Term Capital Management crisis. And after 9-11, the CIA tasked him with tracking down potential terrorist insider trading that took place prior to the attacks. This led to him helping lead a sensitive operation called Project Prophecy.
The mission was to use the financial markets to predict pending national security threats from terrorists, rival nations, and from internal weaknesses lurking inside our economy.
The system he built through Project Prophecy proved its accuracy on August 7, 2006, when it detected the warning signs of an impending terrorist attack. Three days later, in London, a plot to blow up 10 U.S. passenger jets was thwarted. And 24 Pakistani
extremists were arrested. However, Rickards now warns that the next attack is going to come from within. And he is not alone in his fears. Recently, a sensitive report containing the consensus view of all 16 branches of the U.S. Intelligence Committee surfaced.
It revealed that these agencies have already begun to jointly estimate the impact of "The fall of the dollar as the global reserve currency."
And our reign as the leading superpower being annihilated in a way "equivalent to the end of the British Empire in the post-World War II period." The nightmarish endgame presented in this report involved "a worldwide economic breakdown and an extended period of global anarchy." And Jim Rickards believes we can no longer stop this, we can only prepare for it. "Look at it this way. Americans are standing at the bottom of a very tall mountain - Mt. Everest, Mt. Kilimanjaro...they look up and see an avalanche
barreling down.  Determining the one snowflake that started this chaos shouldn't be our focus.
Recognizing the severity of the situation and moving to safety should be," Rickards explained.
The question we should all be asking ourselves now is "what if he's right?"

Mission Watch Live "Cooling the Global Warming Panic: A United Nations report on climate faces a chilly reception from nature."

"Cooling the Global Warming Panic: A United Nations report on climate faces a chilly reception from nature."


"Cooling the Global Warming Panic: A United Nations report on climate faces a chilly reception from nature."
Drew Johnson

Drew is a columnist, editorial writer and government waste expert at The Washington Times. Mr. Johnson founded and served as president of Tennessee's free-market think tank, he is the former opinion page editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press and serves a Senior Fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.
Today we spoke with him about an article he wrote for the Washington Times exposing the untruth of climate change !

"Remember we do not 100% agree with everything our guests, say, do, or believe.
It is up to you to pray and sort it out!"
Another do not Miss End-Time Radio program as
"We are Warning the World as it HAPPENS!"
Please visit
also please visit


Confirmed: Non-citizen voters boosting Democrats

A new study puts numbers behind the claim that the votes of non-U.S. citizens in the 2008 presidential election handed the White House to Barack Obama.

The study authored by Jesse T. Richman, Gulshan A. Chattha and David C. Earnest, who are affiliated with Old Dominion and George Mason Universities, found the number of non-citizen voters "could range from just over 38,000 at the very minimum to nearly 2.8 million at the maximum."

Of the non-citizens who voted in 2008, the study found "81.8 percent reported voting for Barack Obama compared to 17.5 percent for John McCain."

The tendency of non-citizens to vote for Democrats was confirmed two years later.

"Similarly in 2010, 53.8 percent of non-citizens reported voting for the Democratic House candidate while 30.7 percent indicated that they voted for the Republican," the study said.

The results affirmed the contention of many, including the Washington watchdog, Judicial Watch, that a "large number of non-citizens cast ballots in U.S. elections, and it's possible that the illegal votes were responsible for President Obama's 2008 victory."

Using data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Studies, the large-scale academic survey found "in fact, enough ineligible voters cast ballots in 2008 to conceivably account for Democratic victories in a few close elections," Judicial Watch said in a report on the study.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the study confirms Judicial Watch's "working theory that foreign nationals illegally vote in federal elections in large numbers and have allowed Democrats, including this president, to steal elections."

"This is why the left does not want voter ID, loves same-day registration, by mail voting, etc., and craves amnesty and open borders," Fitton said. "It is not about the Hispanic vote – it is about the illegal alien vote (and the legal alien vote), it is about stealing elections. Makes all the talk about targeting, messaging, issues, candidates and policy seem quaint."

Judicial Watch noted the study supports its work on vote accountability, which includes the Election Integrity Project, described as a "widespread legal campaign to clean up voter registration rolls and support election integrity measures across the country."

Judicial Watch said its efforts have proved voter rolls in Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Florida, California and Colorado contained ineligible voters.

The study also found non-citizen votes "could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities."

The political science professors pointed out that Sen. Al Franken, the comedian who was elected to the Senate from Minnesota, won by only 312 votes.

"Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama's 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina's adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin," the authors said.

Judicial Watch noted most non-citizens do not register, let alone vote, but the study showed "enough do that their participation can change the outcome of close races."


Prophecy Hour End Time Radio By Messiah's Branch - The End-Times and the Last Circuit Riding Preacher

The End-Times and the Last Circuit Riding Preacher


The End-Times and the Last Circuit Riding Preacher
Cowboy Pastor Dan Boyd

He Said to me "Churches are being boarded up out east" "There is no such thing as a silent Christian because silence is denying Jesus Christ. How many times a day have you spoken the name Jesus Christ"

This man rides his horse preaching the Word of Jesus Christ (Yeshua)
A story to share with everyone!
His Email is

"Remember we do not 100% agree with everything our guests,
say, do, or believe. It is up to you to pray and sort it out!"
Another do not Miss End-Time Radio program as
"We are Warning the World as it HAPPENS!"
Please visit
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The Last Circuit Riding Preacher

Sessions: 'The World Has Turned Upside Down' | The Weekly Standard

Senator Jeff Sessions will soon release this statement in response to a report in the Wall Street Journal that details President Obama's plans to unilaterally implement amnesty.

"The Wall Street Journal confirmed today that the President is planning to issue a massive unilateral executive amnesty after the election.

"In its report, the WSJ certifies that this executive amnesty would provide work permits for illegal immigrants—taking jobs directly from struggling Americans.

"Based on the USCIS contract bid and statements from USCIS employees, we know this executive immigration order is likely to be broader in scope than anyone has imagined.

"Earlier this week, President Obama's former head of Homeland Security revealed that she overrode resistance from administration lawyers and law enforcement agents in implementing the President's earlier unlawful amnesty and work authorization program for illegal immigrants 30 and under. This was an open admission by one of the most senior people in government of violating one's oath of office in order to accomplish a nakedly political aim.

"The President is assuming for himself the sole and absolute power to decide who can enter, work, live, and claim benefits in the United States. He has exempted virtually every group in the world from America's immigration laws: people who enter before a certain age, people related to people who enter before a certain age, adults traveling with minors, minors traveling with adults, illegal immigrants who are not convicted of serious crimes, illegal workers who are convicted of serious crimes but not enough serious crimes, almost anyone who shows up the border and demands asylum, the millions who overstay their visas, and, as was recently exposed, illegal immigrants with serious criminal histories. The list continues to grow.

"A nation creates borders and laws to protect its own citizens. What about their needs?

Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice - tech - 29 October 2014 - New Scientist#.VFLLme90ypo#.VFLLme90ypo

As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head

TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That's no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot physically speak communicate with the outside world.

"If you're reading text in a newspaper or a book, you hear a voice in your own head," says Brian Pasley at the University of California, Berkeley. "We're trying to decode the brain activity related to that voice to create a medical prosthesis that can allow someone who is paralysed or locked in to speak."

When you hear someone speak, sound waves activate sensory neurons in your inner ear. These neurons pass information to areas of the brain where different aspects of the sound are extracted and interpreted as words.

In a previous study, Pasley and his colleagues recorded brain activity in people who already had electrodes implanted in their brain to treat epilepsy, while they listened to speech. The team found that certain neurons in the brain's temporal lobe were only active in response to certain aspects of sound, such as a specific frequency. One set of neurons might only react to sound waves that had a frequency of 1000 hertz, for example, while another set only cares about those at 2000 hertz. Armed with this knowledge, the team built an algorithm that could decode the words heard based on neural activity aloneMovie Camera (PLoS Biology,

The team hypothesised that hearing speech and thinking to oneself might spark some of the same neural signatures in the brain. They supposed that an algorithm trained to identify speech heard out loud might also be able to identify words that are thought.


To test the idea, they recorded brain activity in another seven people undergoing epilepsy surgery, while they looked at a screen that displayed text from either the Gettysburg Address, John F. Kennedy's inaugural address or the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty.

Each participant was asked to read the text aloud, read it silently in their head and then do nothing. While they read the text out loud, the team worked out which neurons were reacting to what aspects of speech and generated a personalised decoder to interpret this information. The decoder was used to create a spectrogram – a visual representation of the different frequencies of sound waves heard over time. As each frequency correlates to specific sounds in each word spoken, the spectrogram can be used to recreate what had been said. They then applied the decoder to the brain activity that occurred while the participants read the passages silently to themselves (see diagram).

Despite the neural activity from imagined or actual speech differing slightly, the decoder was able to reconstruct which words several of the volunteers were thinking, using neural activity alone (Frontiers in Neuroengineering,

The algorithm isn't perfect, says Stephanie Martin, who worked on the study with Pasley. "We got significant results but it's not good enough yet to build a device."

In practice, if the decoder is to be used by people who are unable to speak it would have to be trained on what they hear rather than their own speech. "We don't think it would be an issue to train the decoder on heard speech because they share overlapping brain areas," says Martin.

The team is now fine-tuning their algorithms, by looking at the neural activity associated with speaking rate and different pronunciations of the same word, for example. "The bar is very high," says Pasley. "Its preliminary data, and we're still working on making it better."

The team have also turned their hand to predicting what songs a person is listening to by playing lots of Pink Floyd to volunteers, and then working out which neurons respond to what aspects of the music. "Sound is sound," says Pasley. "It all helps us understand different aspects of how the brain processes it."

"Ultimately, if we understand covert speech well enough, we'll be able to create a medical prosthesis that could help someone who is paralysed, or locked in and can't speak," he says.

Several other researchers are also investigating ways to read the human mind. Some can tell what pictures a person is looking at, others have worked out what neural activity represents certain concepts in the brain, and one team has even produced crude reproductions of movie clips that someone is watching just by analysing their brain activity. So is it possible to put it all together to create one multisensory mind-reading device?

In theory, yes, says Martin, but it would be extraordinarily complicated. She says you would need a huge amount of data for each thing you are trying to predict. "It would be really interesting to look into. It would allow us to predict what people are doing or thinking," she says. "But we need individual decoders that work really well before combining different senses."

This article appeared in print under the headline "Hearing our inner voice"

? The Terrifying Future of The United States - YouTube

? We are Preparing for Massive Civil War, Says DHS Informant - YouTube

What 'gay marriage' did to Massachusetts -- Update! - YouTube

New Fox News Documentary: Meet 'The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden' | Fox News Insider

'Smoking Gun': Maryland Residents File Lawsuit Over Non-Citizen Voting | Fox News Insider

CDC admits droplets from a sneeze could spread Ebola | New York Post

2 Types of Christians: Which Are You? Daily Update



2 Types of Christians: Which Are You?

Doug Ponder

Charles Spurgeon's voice was said to boom when he preached, enabling thousands at a time to hear him without the aid of modern amplification. It seems fitting that such a voice was known for uttering weighty words. Imagine the mood at the Metropolitan Tabernacle as these words traveled past column after column, row after row, filling the ears and piercing the hearts of all who were present:
"Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor. You either try to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus and a totally silent tongue about him. That man who says, 'I believe in Jesus,' but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him… is an impostor."
Of course, Spurgeon was not talking about foreign missionaries. By "missionary" he was referring to the call placed upon every Christian, the commission given by Jesus himself to make disciples of those who do not follow him (Matt. 28:18-20).
We Always Talk about What We Love
Although speaking of Jesus is a command he has given us, there is a sense in which no command is really needed at all. That's because sharing good news is something that we naturally do whenever we experience something that we love. A good movie, a fine restaurant, a thrilling sports game, the news of a new fiancé—no one has to tell us to spread the word with these. We want to tell others about such things because we want them to share in our joy. We always talk about what we love.
Now, if that is true for small things like ice cream and movies and songs on the radio, how much more true should it be when it comes to matters of greater importance?
Imagine hearing for the first time that Germany and Japan had surrendered. The war that took the lives of so many, and disrupted the lives of so many more, was finally over. Victory! We had won. I doubt that anyone who heard that news kept it to themselves. It was likely the talk of every town, the conversation at every barber shop and grocery store and family dinner table. The war was over; peace had come.
But the message of Jesus is even greater than that, for his victory is bringing a peace without end. He has conquered sin, reconciled us to God, and reversed the power of death, turning our greatest enemy into a ferry that carries us home. That's truly good news.
Christians Can't Help Speaking about Jesus
It's such great news, in fact, that the apostles couldn't stop telling everyone. So even when Peter and John were captured, flogged, and commanded not to speak about Jesus, they famously replied, "We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). Or as Eugene Peterson has paraphrased well, "We can't keep quiet about what we've seen and heard!"
After meeting Jesus, the woman at the well scurried off so quickly that she left her water jar behind to run and tell everyone about him (John 4:28-29).
Others couldn't keep quiet even when Jesus told them not to say anything. Like the leper who so was so overjoyed that he "talked freely" about Jesus and "spread the news" so effectively that people were flocking to Jesus from every quarter (Mark 1:43-45).
Still others gave their lives talking about Jesus. Stephen kept preaching even as he was stoned to death (Acts 7:54-60). And church history tells us that all of the apostles but one died as martyrs, proclaiming the good news about Jesus to the very end.
Like the woman who found her lost coin and called her friends and family together to celebrate (Luke 15:8-9), everyone who knows Jesus can't help speaking about him. We always talk about what we love.
Rightly did Spurgeon say, therefore, that every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor. For everyone who thinks highly of Jesus will find that their joy and their love for him can't help running over at their mouths, like a river that overruns its banks and floods the lands with the water of life.
 If Jesus is precious to you, you will not be able to keep that good news to yourself. You would tell your children, remind your spouse, and share it with friends or anyone else who would listen.
From the Overflow of the Heart, the Mouth Speaks
"But I don't know how to talk about Jesus," people sometimes say. "I wouldn't know what to say." "I'm not able to explain the gospel as well as my pastor can."
Those thoughts were common in Spurgeon's day too. But gifted speaker though he was, Spurgeon knew that the "secret" to effective evangelism was not found in the sharpness of our minds or the skill of our tongues, but in the joy in our eyes and the love in our hearts.
He said, "Without the charms of eloquence you will be more than eloquent; your heart will speak, and your eyes will flash as you talk of His sweet love. . . If you know Christ, you are as one that has found honey; you will call others to taste of it; you are like the lepers who found the food which the Syrians had cast away: you will go to Samaria and tell the hungry crowd that you have found Jesus, and will be anxious that they should find him too. . . In every place you will proclaim the fact that Jesus is most precious to your soul."
We always talk about what we love. If we are not talking often of Jesus, what must that say of our love for him? Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.
Doug Ponder is one of the founding pastors of Remnant Church in Richmond, VA, where he serves in many of the church's teaching ministries. He has contributed to several published works and is the author of Rethink Marriage & Family. His interests include the intersection of theology, ethics, and the Christian life. Follow him on Twitter @dougponder.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Turkish president gathers power to fulfill Islamic 'caliphate' vision

WASHINGTON – Newly elected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grand design to recreate the Ottoman caliphate with the help of the Sunni jihadist army ISIS could be derailed if he can't get parliament to transfer to him the powers he had when he was prime minister, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

Elected president last August, Erdogan has been in the spotlight as Turkey has refused to join the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition of Arab and European countries. He also has denied the U.S. the use of a base to launch attacks on the jihadist group.

In addition, Erdogan has been at odds with the Obama administration over U.S. policy toward Syria. Erdogan wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ousted. The Turkish president also has a long simmering fight with the Kurds, who are fighting ISIS, and regards ISIS as less of a threat to Turkey than the Kurds and Assad.

As prime minister, Erdogan has been in the forefront of keeping Turkey in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and seeking membership – so far unsuccessfully – in the European Union.

He was successful, however, in kneecapping the all-powerful General Staff that has been the secular voice in Turkey, orienting the government toward a more Islamic slant.

He has virtually broken diplomatic relations with Israel, backing the Sunni Palestinian group Hamas in the recent war. He also has pressed for a "zero problem" foreign policy that has been a cover for reasserting Turkish influence from the Middle East to Central Asia, the areas that once encompassed the Ottoman Empire.

Doubt about Turkish commitment

Michael Rubin of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute suggests there is "doubt" about Turkish commitment under Erdogan to counter ISIS.

He said there is evidence of a relationship between ISIS and Erdogan's Justice and Development political party.

"There is a Turkish website called 'Takva Haber' which Turks say serves as the mouthpiece for ISIS," Rubin said. "It has been crucial in pushing out ISIS propaganda, and it has also helped ISIS recruit Turks to the degree that Turkey will be facing blowback from the radicals it has spawned, long after Erdogan is dead or in prison."


Video Hagel: 'I Think We Are Seeing a New World Order'

Wednesday at the Aspen Institute's "Washington Ideas Forum," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said we are living through, "historic, defining times," that will result in a, "new world order."

When questioned about the ongoing global chaos by the national correspondent for The Atlantic, James Fallows Hagel said, "I think we are living through one of these historic, defining times. I think we are seeing a new world order."

"What we're seeing in the Middle East with ISIL is going to require a steady, long-term effort. It's going to require coalitions of common interests, which we are forming," he added.

Putin spokesman tells press to 'shut trap' on cancer rumours - Yahoo News

Moscow (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin's spokesman on Wednesday ridiculed US media reports that the Russian strongman may be suffering from cancer, saying he was fine and that journalists should "shut their trap".

Dmitry Peskov blasted those behind speculation that the 62-year-old Putin -- who has long cultivated an action-man image -- was in ill health.

"They shouldn't bank on it. They should shut their trap. Everything's okay," he told journalists at Putin's country residence outside Moscow.

The New York Post on Friday cited "sources" as saying Putin was suffering from pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of the disease.

It suggested the information came from an unnamed elderly German doctor who had been treating Putin until recently.

It also reported that "news outlets from Belarus to Poland" had been saying for months that Putin -- who has dominated Russia's political scene for almost 15 years -- had cancer of the spine.

Rumours of Putin's ill health have persisted over the past few years, with some observers saying he appeared to be in pain at times during public appearances.

His face also sometimes looks swollen, prompting rumours he could be on steroid medication, or trying anti-ageing treatments.

In 2012, Putin cut down on foreign travel for a while and postponed a high-profile visit to Japan, with sources in Tokyo blaming health problems.

Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said at the time that a "minor sports injury" was to blame.

For Putin, his image as a healthy, active man ready to ride bare-chested or track tigers is crucial in a country where he is already old enough to claim a state pension.

As he faces political isolation from the West and economic woes as the ruble plunges, Putin's sky-high approval rating has dipped for the first time since April.

The Levada independent polling agency found that 83 percent of those questioned in September would vote for Putin as president, down from 87 percent in August;_ylt=AwrBJR5cF1FUdgIAnenQtDMD