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Turkish prosecutor claims CIA, FBI trained coup plotters

RT | July 29, 2016

A Turkish prosecutor has claimed that the CIA and FBI provided training for the followers of powerful US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the coup attempt earlier this month.

The indictment, prepared by the Edirne Public Prosecutor’s office and accepted by the local Second Heavy Penal Court, seeks the harshest possible punishment for 43 suspects that have allegedly been linked to the failed coup attempt on July 15, including the coup’s supposed mastermind, Fethullah Gulen, the arch-nemesis of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The prosecutor said on Thursday that members of what it describes as “the Fethullah Terrorist Organization” were trained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). … continue

US & Saudi Arabia ‘Involved in Turkey’s Downing of Russian Su-24’ in Syria

Sputnik | July 29, 2016

German former CDU politician and Vice-President of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Willy Wimmer told Sputnik Deutschland that he fears NATO involvement in the downing of Russia’s Su-24 bomber over Syria last November.

NATO was involved in last year’s downing of Russia’s Su-24 bomber in Syrian airspace, Willy Wimmer, former Vice-President of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), told Sputnik Deutschland on Friday.On November 24 2015 Turkish jets downed a Russian Su-24 bomber carrying out anti-terror operations in Syria. The plane’s two co-pilots parachuted from the plane but one of them, Lieutenant Colonel Oleg Peshkov, was shot and killed by suspected Turkmen militants operating in Syria.

The incident caused a major diplomatic dispute between Turkey and Russia; the former said the bomber was shot for infringing Turkish airspace, but Russia maintains the Su-24 did not enter Turkish airspace, and was carrying out an anti-Daesh mission in Syria when it was downed.

The downing had been interpreted as a unilateral decision by Turkey, but Willy Wimmer contends that in fact, NATO and Saudi forces were involved in the incident.

“According to my information, Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft from the US and Saudi Arabia were involved,” Wimmer said.

“Aircraft like that Russian Su-24 bomber are not that easy to just shoot out of the sky. You need to take aim, and you can only do that with AWACS aircraft.” … continue

BBC, other MSM guilty of ‘clear & consistent bias’ against Corbyn, study finds

RT | July 29, 2016

British news channels are blatantly biased against Jeremy Corbyn, giving far more airtime to commentators who openly criticize the Labour Party leader than those who support him, a second study of the phenomenon shows.

New research by the Media Reform Coalition and Birkbeck University of London shows there has been a “clear and consistent bias” both online and on television against Corbyn since the coup against his leadership was launched after the EU referendum.

Similar conclusions were drawn earlier in July by a similar London School of Economics (LSE) study.

Birkbeck academics studied news reports published in the wake of the June 23 vote, when a series of shadow cabinet members resigned en masse in the hope of forcing Corbyn to stand down.

Outlets, including the BBC, were found to have given Corbyn opponents double the airtime afforded to Corbynistas. … continue

Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks

477131531-former-united-states-secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeBy Gareth Porter | Consortium News | July 29, 2016

As Hillary Clinton begins her final charge for the White House, her advisers are already recommending air strikes and other new military measures against the Assad regime in Syria.

The clear signals of Clinton’s readiness to go to war appears to be aimed at influencing the course of the war in Syria as well as U.S. policy over the remaining six months of the Obama administration. (She also may be hoping to corral the votes of Republican neoconservatives concerned about Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.)

Last month, the think tank run by Michele Flournoy, the former Defense Department official considered to be most likely to be Clinton’s choice to be Secretary of Defense, explicitly called for “limited military strikes” against the Assad regime. … continue

President al-Assad: US administration’s policies go against interests of US people

SANA – July 26, 2016

Damascus – President Bashar al-Assad said the policy of the US administration in the region goes against the interests and values of the American people, adding that they are getting increasingly violent at the expense of logic and common sense.

During his meeting on Thursday with the US Peace Council delegation currently visiting Syria led by Henry Lowendorf, President al-Assad said the US policies are at a collision course with the interests of the US citizens and the peoples of the world, indicating that the role of the United States as a superpower should otherwise be positive and based on fostering knowledge, science and technology instead of chaos and destruction.

President al-Assad gave a concise review of the events in Syria since the start up until now, indicating that the crisis which later morphed into a war on the Syrian people was prompted by Syria’s rejection to have a regional role that runs counter to the interests of its people. … continue

John McCain’s Opponent in the Republican Primary in Arizona

By Richard Edmondson | Fig Trees and Vineyards | July 29, 2016

John McCain’s senate seat is up for grabs this year. Republican voters will go to the polls in Arizona on Aug. 30 to choose the party’s nominee, who will square off against Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election in November. One of McCain’s opponents in the Republican primary is Kelli Ward, whom you see in the video above. That our government has been providing support for terrorists in Syria is a “heresy” you don’t hear many mainstream politicians dare to utter, whether Democrat or Republican. Most go around peddling the speciousness about “moderate rebels.” Though it’s hard to tell much about someone from a 3-minute video, it sounds like Ms. Ward might be a bit of a breath of fresh air. Likely a vast improvement over John McCain, at any rate.

Pokémon Go, the CIA, “Totalitarianism” and the Future of Surveillance

By Steven MacMillan – New Eastern Outlook – 29.07.2016

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… The company behind Pokémon Go is a San Francisco software developer called Niantic, Inc, which was formed in 2010 as an internal startup at Google. The founder and current CEO of Niantic is John Hanke, a man who has connections both to the State Department and the CIA.

Before moving to San Francisco to study at the University of California, Hanke previously worked for the US State Department in Myanmar. Hanke also founded Keyhole, Inc in 2001, a company which specialized in geospatial data visualization applications. Google acquired the company in 2004, with many of the applications developed by Keyhole being instrumental in Google Maps and Earth. In 2003, the CIA’s venture-capitalist firm, In-Q-Tel, invested in Keyhole, with the CIA’s own website proudly detailing this investment:

“The CIA-assisted technology probably most familiar to you is one many of us use on a regular basis:  Google Earth. In February 2003, the CIA-funded venture-capitalist firm In-Q-Tel made a strategic investment in Keyhole, Inc., a pioneer of interactive 3-D earth visualization and creator of the groundbreaking rich-mapping EarthViewer 3D system. CIA worked closely with other Intelligence Community organizations to tailor Keyhole’s systems to meet their needs. The finished product transformed the way intelligence officers interacted with geographic information and earth imagery.”

One of the other intelligence organizations the CIA worked alongside was the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which is partly under the control of the US Department of Defense (DoD).

So we have a somewhat enigmatic former State Department employee with connections to the CIA and the DoD, being the CEO of a company that created what seems to be a silly, harmless game. What’s going on? … Read full article

U.S. Awards $1.7 Billion Contract to Buy Radios for Afghan Army

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | July 29, 2016

I always found myself giggling during the Democratic debates when Hillary would ask Bernie how he was going to pay for things like healthcare or college tuition, and then Bernie stammering to find an answer.

They both knew the secret but neither would say it — there’s plenty of money, we just don’t want to spend it on Americans.

We think of that as freeloading, unearned stuff. Go get a job, moocher. But then move the same question overseas and everything changes. There is always plenty of money, and the people getting free stuff from that money aren’t moochers. They’re allies.

So how much healthcare would $1.7 billion buy? Because that’s how much money the United States just laid out to buy radios for the near-useless Afghan Army. And while I don’t know how much healthcare the money would buy, I do know it will purchase a helluva lot of radios. Is everyone in Afghanistan getting one? Maybe we’re buying them for the Taliban, too.

Anyway, the $1,700,000,000 radios for Afghanistan contract was just recently awarded to the Harris Corporation. And here’s a funny thing: only one company — Harris — actually put in a bid for the contract. … continue

Fresh Saudi airstrikes kill five Yemeni civilians in Hajjah Province

Press TV – July 29, 2016

At least five Yemeni civilians, including three women, have lost their lives in new Saudi airstrikes after the Saudi side said the peace talks in Kuwait came to an end without a deal.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV reported on Friday that the fatalities came after Saudi fighter jets struck a residential area in Yemen’s Hajjah Province.

The fresh aerial raids come after the UN-mediated negotiations between Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and Saudi-backed loyalists to the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, ended inconclusively in Kuwait.

“The negotiations have completely ended,” said Abdullah al-Olaimi, deputy director of Hadi’s office and a member of the former government team to the UN-brokered talks being held in Kuwait. … continue

US, France: Gradual Expansion of Military Presence in the Middle East

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 29.07.2016

The US military plans to increase the presence in Yemen. «As we continue on the mission, I think there will be some additional troops that we will ask to bring in», US Army General Joseph Votel, who heads the US Central Command, said in an interview in Baghdad on July 14, without disclosing the number.

According to him, a variety of locations could be suitable for American forces. He did not disclose potential sites.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab states, supported by the US and the UK, has been involved in the Yemeni conflict since March 2015. So far, it has not gained much ground. The Yemeni capital Sana’a is still in the hands of the Houthis group… continue

US soldier killed in Yemen: Houthis

Press TV – July 29, 2016

Citing evidence on the ground, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement says a US trooper has been killed in the war-battered country.

The movement’s news outlet, ansarullah.com, said on Friday that Yemen’s ‘War Media’ had published pictures proving American presence in the Arab country.

The pictures show an American passport and a birth certificate (seen below) belonging to Tyler Nathaniel Caldwell from Florida.

It is not clear under what circumstances the US soldier died in Yemen. … continue

Palestinian children subject to solitary confinement, administrative detention

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – July 29, 2016

childAn escalating number of Palestinian children are being held in solitary confinement or detained without charge or trial under administrative detention. 16 Palestinian children have been detained without charge or trial under administrative detention since October 2015, reported Defense for Children International on 28 July.

DCI highlighted the case of Abdel-Rahman Kamil, 15, of Qabatiya in Jenin, arrested in February of this year. He was interrogated in the Salem military camp near Jenin without being allowed to consult a lawyer, and asked about alleged intentions to stab a soldier, throwing stones at invading Israeli occupation forces, or knowing young men from his town who participated in Palestinian resistance activities. Despite denying all of this, he was ordered to a six month administrative detention order without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence. Despite a court reducing the order to four months, his administrative detention was then again renewed for an additional four months in June. He was one of seven children whose administrative detention orders were renewed in the month of June.

DCI also reported that “from January through June, Israeli authorities held at least 13 Palestinian children in solitary confinement for two or more days, compared to a total of 15 cases during 2015.” One 16-year-old boy from Yabad near Jenin spent 22 days in isolation. DCI noted that “the use of isolation for Palestinian child detainees is solely for interrogation purposes to obtain a confession and/or gather intelligence or information on other individuals.” … continue

US, Israel forces stage secret military drill

Press TV – July 29, 2016

Israel and the United States have reportedly staged a joint secret war game in southern Israel amid growing military cooperation between the two sides.

Israeli media said on Thursday that the drill dubbed ‘Noble Shirley’ was held in Negev Desert to improve cooperation between American and Israeli forces.

The drill, which was said to have been conducted during day and nighttime hours over the past week, involved the US Marine Corps as well as special units from the Israeli air, naval and ground forces.

During the exercise, the troops and commandos took part in drills simulating helicopter landings behind enemy lines, and urban warfare above and below ground. They also practiced close-range combat and military takeover techniques.

Israel’s so-called ‘David’s Sling’ missile system, which targets medium to long-range missiles, was also used in the maneuver.

Moreover, forces also simulated both night-time and day-time combat situations at the Ze’elim training facility, which was built to look exactly like a Palestinian city. … continue

Armed Israeli settlers raid Nablus-area village

386667CMa’an – July 29, 2016

NABLUS – Armed Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli forces, raided the village of al-Badhan in the northeastern part of the occupied West Bank district of Nablus Friday morning, locals told Ma’an.

Witnesses said that more than 15 Israeli settler vehicles raided the village where some 3,000 Palestinians reside as Israeli forces were reportedly deployed on the main road leading to the al-Tawahin area.

Locals told Ma’an that armed Israeli settlers have raided the area every Friday in order to carry out religious rituals in the area. […]

Locals added that since the village of al-Badhan is considered a tourist attraction for Israelis, and connects Nablus with the West Bank districts of Tubas, Jericho, and Jenin, locals have feared the area could become a target for Israeli land confiscations to expand surrounding Israeli settlements. … Full article

9 Footballers Banned from Traveling to Occupied West Bank

IMEMC News & Agencies – July 28, 2016

Jamal Al-Khodari, Head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, has condemned an Israeli decision to prevent nine footballers from Gaza to cross into the West Bank to participate in a football competition.

“The Israeli occupation insisted to continue its siege against the Gaza Strip and its people. It targeted all life streams from Gazans including sport,” said Al-Khodari, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency.

The players were expected to participate in the final game in Palestine Championship against the Hebron team.

Al-Khodari called on the FIFA to protect the Palestinian sport from the continuous violations by Israelis, and to allow them to maintain their rights in having a normal life, as other peoples around the world.

The Israeli occupation targeted a number of playgrounds and sport facilities in the Gaza Strip, during the 2014 offensive.

Toronto Police Officer Gets 6 Years for Fatal Shooting of Teen

teleSUR | July 28, 2016

In a surprising decision, an Ontario court sentenced Toronto police Constable James Forcillo to six years in prison for the attempted murder of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.

Forcillo fired a total of nine shots at Yatim in 2013 while the teenager was aboard a streetcar while high on ecstasy.

While convicted for attempted murder, Forcillo was found not guilty of second-degree murder.

On Thursday, Justice Edward Then ruled that the second round of shots fired by the officer, after the teen was paralyzed and dying on the ground, were “unnecessary, unreasonable, and excessive.”

The fatal shooting was captured on video and drew people to the streets in protest, just as outrage in the United States rose over the cases of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and other instances of police brutality.

In a city where cops are rarely charged with murder, only seven, or have faced murder or manslaughter charges, Forcillo the first to be convicted in the last 25 years.

Nabil Yatim, Sammy Yatim’s father, believes that if police officers in the province of Ontario received more training on “how to use words instead of weapons,” his son would be alive today, the Toronto Star reported. … Full article

Neo-con West and global destruction

By Mark Taliano | American Herald tribune | July 28, 2016

New_Middle_East_5abe9The neo-con “West” and its allies want to destroy the Middle East so that they can control the Middle East.

Under the auspices of their imperial “New Middle East” project, the criminals (U.S–led NATO, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Israel, are targeting everything that they falsely profess to cherish.

All of the “values” that the politicians falsely parade as important, even sacrosanct, are instrumentalized as false fronts that belie the dark undercurrents dragging humanity towards a barren “New World Order” of globalized degeneracy and despair.

Nation-state self-determination, sovereignty, territorial integrity – all vital components of world peace, prosperity, and democracy are meaningless to the elites, except for their propaganda value.

A meta-national project of top down control, enforced by anonymous elites, controls how we think, feel, and live.

This dystopian present has rendered political choices moot. Choices are non-choices, puppet shows sold by empty words and conflicting narratives — all bereft of substance.

The real agenda is unspeakable. The real agenda must be unspeakable, because it is poison, a dark distillate of degenerate barbarism, mostly hidden from view.

This real agenda, masked beneath the Big Lies, and the stories told by scripted “politicians”, bares its sanguine teeth, and imposes its dark will with barely a whimper. There are no “mistakes”.  It’s all by design. … continue

Fooling Most Of The People Most Of The Time Is What American Politics Are About, Even When It Comes To The Threat Of Nuclear War

By John Chuckman | Aletho News | July 28, 2016

I read a column recently, and it was imbued with hopeful thinking about America’s political establishment dealing with its constituents concerning the now increasing threat of nuclear catastrophe.

The author said the piece was intended as “Drano” to clear the political pipes, but I am afraid that much as I sometimes enjoy the same author’s pieces, this one for me had to be characterized as illusion. It may have a lot to do with the author not being a native of the United States, and I do think my background in that country and having studied its history removes any possibility of illusion ever seriously taking hold.

When did America’s establishment ever discuss, in elections or at other times, issues of war and peace for the people’s understanding and consent? … continue

A jolly bit of tender

Crimes Of Britain | July 28, 2016

Churchill has been chosen by the Bank of England’s to be the face on their new £5 note set to be in circulation from September 2016.

cocvlisxyaef1itThe Governor of the Bank of England stated “Our banknotes acknowledge the life and work of great Britons. Sir Winston Churchill was a truly great British leader, orator and writer. Above that, he remains a hero of the entire free world.  His energy, courage, eloquence, wit and public service are an inspiration to us all. I am proud to announce that he will appear on our next banknote”.

Churchill is fawned over in Britain. He was voted ‘Greatest Briton’ of all time in a poll run by the BBC in 2002. He is praised across the political spectrum, held up as the man who stopped Brits speaking German. When the truth is Churchill was never an opponent of fascism. He was a white supremacist who talked of the need of non-Anglo Saxons to “recognise the superiority of race”. In 1927 he praised Mussolini, “What a man! I have lost my heart!… Fascism has rendered a service to the entire world”. … continue

Homeland Terror

By Linh Dinh – July 27, 2016

Justifying the War on Terror, George Bush huffed, “We’re fighting them there, so we don’t have to fight them here.” Broke, gullible or crazed Americans must be sent overseas to combat Al Qaeda, Bin Laden, the Taliban and ISIS. Otherwise, endless terror would devastate the homeland.

Periodically, terror plots must be orchestrated by the FBI to keep domestic fear from flagging, however. Flags at half mast stiffen limp fighting spirit.

Though Washington makes a show of denying it, the War on Terror is understood by the media-drugged as a war against Muslims, Israel’s eternal enemy.

As this open-ended assault on Muslims generated millions of Muslim refugees, Benjamin Netanyahu declared in March of 2016, “A strong Israel prevents the passage of masses of refugees to Europe. The world would be different if we were not here.”

Bibi got the second part right. Israel is the prime reason why there are so many Muslim refugees, and this world would be much more peaceful if your terror state disappeared. As long as Israel exists, there will be Muslims massacred or fleeing in terror from their wrecked homes.

Neoconservatism birthed the War on Terror. Founded by Jews, this movement’s main aim is to conserve Israel, even if they have to wreck the entire Middle East, disfigure Europe and ruin the United States. … continue

Experts unite to say that it is an ‘abuse’ to invoke ‘self-defence’ in response to terrorism

MEMO | July 28, 2016

A collective open letter has been signed by many professors of international law and legal researchers. Entitled “A plea against the abusive invocation of self-defence as a response to terrorism” it has been circulating on the internet for a few weeks.

Among the signatories, of which there are more than 230 professors and almost 50 assistants/researchers (see the list available here as at 25 July; it is updated regularly by the Centre de Droit International de l´Université Libre de Bruxelles), there are distinguished members of the international law community as well younger practitioners. The objective of this collective initiative is to challenge the invocation of the legal argument of self-defence by several states in the context of the so called “war” against ISIS.

As is well known, the UN Charter has been extremely clear on the unique exception to the prohibition of the use of force since its adoption in 1945 — self-defence — and military operations authorised by Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter. However, since 9/11, interpretations made by the United States and its allies have been made to give legal support for unilateral military operations in the territory of a state without the previous consent of its authorities. In a recent note published on the website of the European Journal of International Law (EJIL), we read that: “Particularly since 9/11, several States have supported a broad reading of the right to use force in self-defence, as allowing them to intervene militarily against terrorists whenever and wherever they may be. A consequence of that conception is that any State could be targeted irrespective of whether that State has ‘sent’ the irregular (in this case terrorist) group to carry out a military action or has been ‘substantially involved’ in such an action.” … continue

Civilian targets hit in fresh Saudi airstrikes in Yemen

Press TV – July 28, 2016

Saudi warplanes have carried out a series of fresh airstrikes against residential neighborhoods across Yemen, but there is no immediate report on possible casualties and extent of damage.

They fired several missiles at various areas in Razih district of the northwestern Sa’adah province on Thursday morning, the al-Ahed news website reported.

Saudi warplanes also launched several attacks against al-Dhaher district in the same province and two airstrikes against Kuhlan district of the northwestern Hajjah province.

The attacks came a day after five Saudi troops were killed when Yemeni army forces backed by fighters from Popular Committees mounted two separate attacks in retaliation against airstrikes. … Full article

The U.S. Tentacles Reach For Syrian Political Parties

By Afraa Dagher – Activist Post – July 27, 2016

On June 23, 2016, The Daily Star reported that the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party announced that it would hold a vote next month in order to choose a new leader after a party tribunal rejected the re-election of incumbent Asaad Hardan.

There is now a new movement inside the Syrian Socialist National Party (SSNP) which calls itself the Movement of July 8 which has worked to overthrow Hardan.

The opposition to the re-election of Assad Hardan has criticized him for his policy towards the leadership in Syria. In other words, he has been criticized for his support of Syria in its war for sovereignty and unity, an idea that is supposed to be a basic principle of the SSNP itself. … continue

Leaked EU report reveals indirect approval of colonial Israel

By Ramona Wadi | MEMO |July 27, 2016

746469887… The report is ambiguous in the extreme. “Some Palestinian perpetrators of individual attacks,” it explains, “have apparently been shot and killed in situations where they no longer pose a threat.” Despite Netanyahu himself publicly endorsing such extrajudicial killings, the EU has preferred to subjugate the facts to hypotheses through the use of terminology like “apparently”, “appeared” and “possibly amounting in certain cases to unlawful killings.” By not condemning such unlawful killing explicitly, the discourse suggests the EU’s tacit approval of Israeli state and settler violence. This is illustrated further in the report’s standard equivalence clause that “both sides” have indulged in “inflammatory rhetoric”, thus negating the fact that Palestinian resistance is a legitimate response to illegal Israeli colonial violence.

EU Foreign Relations chief Federica Mogherini has opposed the proposal that “known violent settlers and those calling for acts of violence” should be placed under EU visa bans. According to Mogherini: “There’s currently no question of sanctioning anybody. The question is rather how to motivate people to… restart peace talks.” Such leniency works in concordance with Israeli policy towards settler terrorists who are mostly shielded by the colonial state, enabling them to act with impunity. … Read full article

New Israeli tenders to build over 300 housing units in Jerusalem settlements

Palestinian Information Center – July 27, 2016

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – The Israel land authority on Wednesday released tenders for the construction of 323 housing units in Occupied Jerusalem.

According to the new Israeli plan, 130 housing units will be built in Har Homa settlement on Mount Abu Gneim east of Jerusalem, 89 others in Gilo settlement south of Jerusalem, 68 in Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Ya’akov settlements north of Jerusalem.

Israel’s public radio said that the release of these tenders are part of a government plan to provide affordable housing units for Jewish families.

The radio noted that these tenders had been published about two years ago, but the marketing plan failed at the time.

Similar projects for the building of hundreds of housing units in Jerusalem were announced by the Israeli government in recent weeks.

“They destroyed the houses, they destroyed our dreams”

International Solidarity Movement | July 28, 2016

Qalandia village, Occupied Palestine – Late Monday evening, Israeli forces entered the village of Qalandia with 15 bulldozers and around 150 soldiers. In the village the Israeli military destroyed 11 new built houses, attacking the residents of the village with stun grenades, tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and sponge bullets. 7 persons had to seek medical care for their injuries after the assaults from the military.

In 7 of the demolished houses, families had already moved in according to Yosef Awdalla, mayor of Qalandia. The demolition notices, claiming the houses had no permits, were left outside the houses on the ground only 24 hours before the army entered the village.

One of the homeowners, Fadi Awadallah describes how his friend was walking around the house the day before the demolitions, and found a piece of paper written in Hebrew on the ground. One hour after they had figured out what the document said and talked to their lawyer, the army was already entering the village to demolish their home. Fadi, who had applied and paid for an Israeli issued licence to build in area C, did not expect the demolition order since the Israeli authorities had accepted the money and the application. When he tried to explain this to the soldiers they answered him that “they were not there to talk, they were there to demolish the houses.”

The soldiers then pointed their guns to his head and told him that if he didn’t move away from the house they would shoot him.

“They didn’t deal with us as humans, they pushed us back with violence and force” says Fadi whose family had planned to move into their dream house the following week. … continue

Israeli police detain 52 Palestinians in Jerusalem in self-styled ‘700 campaign’

Ma’an – July 27, 2016

JERUSALEM – Israeli forces detained 52 Palestinians — including 11 minors — overnight Tuesday after raiding communities just south of occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City, amid a massive detention campaign targeting Palestinian youth in the area, a day after some 30 Palestinians families in East Jerusalem were left homeless by Israeli authorities-enforced home demolitions.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that Israeli police detained 52 Palestinians in the Silwan and Ras al-Amoud neighborhoods overnight. The campaign, she said, was called “the 700” because 700 Israeli police officers were involved in the crackdown.

She added that hundreds of Israeli police and border guard officers were joined by representatives of Israel’s national insurance institute and Jerusalem municipality officers. Locals reported at least one military helicopter circling over occupied East Jerusalem during the raids as backup. … Full article

Imprisoned Palestinian circus trainer joins hunger strike as prisoners come under attack by Israeli forces

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – July 27, 2016

abu-sakhaNew prisoners joined dozens of fellow Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails on collective hunger strike in solidarity with Bilal Kayed on Tuesday, 26 July, including Mohammed Abu Sakha, the Palestinian circus performer and trainer held without charge or trial under administrative detention whose case has drawn international support and solidarity from the artistic and circus community. […]

In addition, the Prisoners’ Affairs Committee announced that 50 more Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails would be joining the over 50 already on hunger strike, for a total of over 100 striking prisoners. Kayed, 34, has been on hunger strike since 15 June to demand his freedom from administrative detention without charge or trial. He was ordered to administrative detention upon the completion of his 14.5-year sentence in Israeli prison on 13 June 2016; his case is seen as threatening a precedent of indefinite imprisonment of Palestinian prisoners following the expiration of their sentences. He is currently shackled hand and foot to his hospital bed in Barzilai hospital, guarded at all times by three prison guards and under intense surveillance; he is unable to walk, has episodes of losing sight, experiences severe pain, and suffers dizziness and deep fatigue. He has consumed only water for the past 43 days.

The new hunger strikers announced their participation as the prison authority escalated raids, attacks, and transfers against prisoners protesting in solidarity with Kayed and fellow administrative detainees on hunger strike for freedom. … Full article

Syria grants amnesty to terrorists who lay down arms: Assad

Press TV – July 27, 2016

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the government will pardon militants who turn in their weapons, stressing that the policy has been exercised by Damascus since the beginning of the crisis in the Middle Eastern country.

“If they (terrorists) want to return to normal life and lay down arms, they will get amnesty… We have been doing this for… years I think. Let alone the country’s win in the war,” Assad told the Greek ITV channel on Wednesday as cited by the official SANA news agency.

Asked whether he intends to issue a general amnesty if the government wins the ongoing foreign-sponsored war on Syria, Assad said, “It is not about my victory…The most important thing is the victory of the Syrian people because it is a war waged against the Syrian people.”

Amnesty “is virtually in effect” and Damascus has offered it “as an option for terrorists” since the start of terrorist acts in Syria, the Syrian president added. … Full article

Trump Says Would Look Into Lifting Anti-Russia Sanctions

Sputnik — July 27, 2016

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would look into recognizing Crimea as the territory of the Russian Federation as well as into lifting sanctions against Moscow.

Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump gestures during the Republican Presidential Debate, hosted by CNN, at The Venetian Las Vegas on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Asked whether he would recognize Crimea as Russia’s territory and if he would consider lifting anti-Russian sanctions, Trump said, “We’ll be looking at that. Yeah, we’ll be looking.” … Full article

Putin to receive Erdogan in hometown

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | July 27, 2016

The developments in Turkey are taking a dramatic turn. All Indications are that the Turkish government is in possession of definite information that the attempted military coup was orchestrated by the United States. (Anadolu )

The Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag made an open allegation in a television interview,

  • The US knows that Fethullah Gülen (the cleric who lives in Pennsylvania) carried out this coup. Mr. Obama knows this just as well as he knows his own name. I am convinced that American intelligence knows it too.

Bozdag is known to be one of the closest and trusted political associates of President Recep Erdogan. The well-informed Turkish political commentator Semih Idiz wrote that “This belief (Bozdag’s allegation) goes all the way to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  It implies that Washington knew what was coming and did nothing to warn Ankara. The pro-government Islamist media has even claimed that the U.S. tried to kill Erdoğan with this coup attempt.” … continue

US Delivers 72 Surveillance Drones to Ukraine Wednesday

Sputnik — 27.07.2016

The United States has delivered 72 hand launched surveillance drones to Ukraine as part of a larger effort to help the nation enhance its defense capabilities, the US embassy in Kiev said in a press release on Wednesday.

“24 RQ-11B Raven Unmanned Aircraft Systems (comprised of 72 aircraft and associated equipment) arrived at Boryspil International Airport July 27,” the release said.

The drone systems delivered to Ukraine are used to transmit live video images and location data to ground control stations, the release explained.

“This capability can provide day or night aerial intelligence and enables operators to navigate, recognize terrain, and record information for analysis,” the embassy said.

Besides, several dozen Ukrainian soldiers have previously completed training needed to operate the system in the US state of Alabama, the release noted.

The Raven Unmanned Aircraft systems and training is part of a $600-million security assistance package the United States has provided to Ukraine since a civil conflict erupted in the country in 2014.

US Ready to Provide Additional Training Programs to Ukraine – Official

Sputnik — 26.07.2016

The United States is prepared to provide supplementary training to Ukrainian forces in addition to the existing extensive training programs, US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James stated at a Defense One forum on Tuesday.

James noted that Ukrainian officials are “very full of hope” that the United States will continue supporting them. Since 2014, the United States has provided $600 million in non-lethal security assistance to Ukraine, though many lawmakers have pressed the White House to provide lethal arms to Kiev.

“We had discussions about additional types of training that we might be able to provide to them, and of course we have extensive training programs in the air force,” James said of recent talks with the Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister.

In mid-July, James visited eight countries in eastern Europe, including a stop in Ukraine to discuss ongoing US assistance. During her trip, James also met with her counterparts in Bulgaria, as well as Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, where the United States is part of the Baltic air policing mission. … Full article

‘Unprecedented’: European govts sold $1.3bn in arms to Middle East, some ended up with ISIS – report

RT | July 27, 2016

Governments of Central and Eastern European countries have been selling an “unprecedented” amount of weapons and ammunition to the Middle East in recent years, fueling armed conflicts in the troubled region, a new report claims.

According to the findings by a team of reporters from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a group of European countries led by Croatia and the Czech Republic have been channeling their arms to the region since 2012.

Since then, they have gained over US$1 billion from such sales, despite some of the weapons ending up in the hands of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists, according to the report, which was published earlier on Wednesday.

The report, titled ‘Making a Killing: The 1.2 Billion Euros Arms Pipeline to Middle East,’ is the result of a year-long investigation.

It reveals “for the first time” that dozens of airplanes have been taking off from airfields in Eastern Europe, carrying deadly cargo “to Middle Eastern states and Turkey which, in turn, funneled arms into brutal civil wars in Syria and Yemen.”

Governments of the selling countries have been well aware of where their exports are ending up, the report claims.

“Arms export licenses, which are supposed to guarantee the final destination of the goods, have been granted despite ample evidence that weapons are being diverted to Syrian and other armed groups accused of widespread human rights abuses and atrocities,” the report states, adding that experts who reviewed the evidence collected during the investigation agreed the trade was “almost certainly illegal.” … Full article

UK licensed £3.3bn in arms to Saudi in first 12 months of Yemen bombing – NGO

RT | July 27, 2016

Britain licensed billions in arms sales to its theocratic ally Saudi Arabia in the first year of the war in Yemen despite concerns over civilian deaths, according to Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT).

Drawing on newly released figures from the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) department, CAAT argues that despite repeated warnings between April 2015 and March 2016, the government has done nothing to stop the trade.

The organization calculates that exports to the Saudi regime include £2.2 billion ($2.9 billion) of ‘ML10’ licences for military aircraft, £1.1 billion of ‘ML4’ licences for munitions such as missiles and bombs and a further £430,000 of ‘ML6’ licences for armored vehicles including tanks.

CAAT maintains that up to 6,000 people have died in Yemen with up to 80 percent of the population now in need of aid. … Full article

4,400 dialysis patients face looming death in Yemen: Doctors Without Borders

Press TV – July 26, 2016

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has warned that Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen has brought the country’s dialysis treatment centers to a breaking point.

On Tuesday, the international medical organization warned that some 4,400 people are in danger of renal failure due to lack of supplies in medical centers.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to bring Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi — who had resigned as Yemen’s president — back to power.

Since the beginning of the Saudi onslaught doctors have been struggling to procure medical provisions, especially those required for dialysis sessions. But, the Saudi war and import bans have heavily restricted the country’s health system.

“People with renal failure are at a critical moment as there is a lack of essential medical supplies in the country,” said William Turner, the MSF head of mission in Yemen. … Full article

NATO’s War on Russia: Someone Is Playing Us

By Christopher Black – New Eastern Outlook – 27.07.2016

… things get even more curious as the FBI states it is investigating whether emails “leaked” by Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks organisation, were provided to him by Russia after Russia hacked into the email system of the Democratic National Convention. The Russians deny this absurd charge but so far I have not seen Julian Assange deny that they are his source and we must wonder what his true motivations are if the effect of his “leak” is to have Russia accused of hacking into US government and political party email systems thereby supporting the NATO propaganda against Russia.

It also begs the question as to why Assange would get involved in American party politics at all by publishing emails that would supposedly damage the Clinton campaign for the benefit of the Trump campaign. Is he working for Trump? Is he working for Clinton trying to make it look like Trump works for Russia, or, as is more likely, is he working for those who want to bring down both Trump and Russia? Andrew Rosenthal for the Times, quipped, “it’s eerie, at best, that Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks chose this moment to release the stolen emails…”

But it is not so “eerie” if the exercise is meant to smear Russia and a candidate for President who is willing to at least talk with the Russians. Perhaps his supporters can ask him and report back what his answer is because his actions raise serious questions as to his motivations, his intentions, and his connections. Someone is playing us. It’s about time we found out who. – Read full article

Did Russian Intelligence Hack the DNC Servers?

By Peter Van Buren | We Meant Well | July 26, 2016

Short answer: nobody knows, but the media is treating it as a fact based primarily on a single technical source employed by the Democratic National Committee. I read the source’s publically available explanation. Here’s what I found. … continue

Owen Jones: vote for Hillary because when she’s POTUS we can ask her nice to be progressive

By Catte | OffGuardian | July 26, 2016

Owen Jones – one time darling of the liberal Left, is now, officially, endorsing Hillary Clinton.

True, they changed the headline shortly after publication. It originally read “The Sanders movement is bigger than Bernie. Now it must work with Hillary” But someone snuck in with the scissors and paste and now the headline reads “The Sanders movement is bigger than Bernie. Now it must defeat Trump”.

But even if this might make Jones and his supporters feel a tad less queasy, it changes nothing. No matter how many sophisms and evasions are employed to try and make it seem he’s still standing by his principles even while he’s openly flouting all of them, Jones, who last year was defending Corbyn, is now endorsing Hillary “I will obliterate Iran” Clinton.

But you see Owen wants us to understand that Clinton isn’t Trump. And being not-Trump is always better than being Trump. … continue

Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray church massacre and the Israeli State

By Gearóid Ó Colmáin | July 26, 2016

“Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him?” – St. Stephen.

The terrorist attack today on a church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray where a Catholic priest was murdered and several hostages taken and killed, is part of the ‘Islamic State’s (Da’esh) attempt to spread their war on ‘Western civilisation’ from the metropolis to the provincial town. This now generalises the heightened fear experienced by the French public in the wake of the Nice attack. … continue

Will the 9/11 Defendants Ever Get a Fair Trial?

By Sarah Mehta | ACLU | July 26, 2016

I spent last week in Guantánamo Bay, where I was supposed to be observing four days of pre-trial hearings in the military commission prosecution of the 9/11 defendants. But as is so often the case, on three of those days, the hearings were closed. On the single day of open hearings, the proceeding focused on the government’s destruction of key evidence in the case. This past weekend, defense lawyers confirmed that the evidence concerns a secret CIA black site abroad where the defendants and others were severely tortured.

Almost 15 years have passed since the attacks of 9/11, and yet the Guantánamo military commissions are still muddling through pre-trial motions, with virtually the same confusion and lack of transparency that has characterized these proceedings for years. The dichotomy between the importance of the proceedings and their virtual absence from public discourse is astonishing. … continue

Over 55k Americans injured, killed by US police in just 1 yr – study

RT | July 27, 2016

More than 55,000 Americans were either killed or injured by US police in just one year, a new study has revealed. Most of the deaths were from fatal firearm wounds or excessive use of taser devices.

The study, titled ‘Perils of police action: a cautionary tale from US data sets,’ covers the year 2012 and offers greater context to the issue of police brutality, which has only grown bigger in the four years since the research.

Published in the peer-reviewed British medical journal Injury Prevention, the study found that a total of 55,400 people were victims of police officers’ “abuse of power” or “loss of control out of anger or fear” in 2012.

Among them, 1,063 people were either shot or tasered to death by law enforcement, out of an estimated 12.3 million arrests or stop-and-search incidents. … Full article

Palestinian accused of Hebron shooting killed after Israeli forces bombard house

Ma’an – July 27, 2016

388753CHEBRON – Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man and injured five others in the village of Surif north of Hebron overnight Tuesday, after Israeli soldiers bombarded and destroyed a house he was fortified in, with the Israeli army saying the man was responsible for a deadly drive-by shooting on July 1.

Spokesperson for the Israeli army Avichay Adraee said in a statement in Arabic that Israeli troops exchanged fire with Muhammad Faqih after surrounding the house.

The Israeli soldiers, he said, fired several anti-tank missiles at the house after the “terrorist” started to return fire. A bulldozer from the Israeli army’s engineering corps then demolished the house before Faqih was killed.

It remained unclear by what means Israeli forces ultimately killed Faqih.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an they saw the body of Faqih in the bucket of an Israeli army bulldozer that pulled him out of the rubble. … Full article

More than 1,110 Palestinian homes demolished by Israel in West Bank since 2006

MEMO | July 27, 2016

The number of Palestinian homes in the West Bank demolished by Israel during just the first half of 2016 is greater than the number of homes demolished almost every year over the last decade.

The data, published by Israeli NGO B’Tselem ahead of a Knesset conference on demolitions in so-called ‘Area C’ of the West Bank, shows that from January to end of June, Israeli occupation authorities demolished 168 homes, leaving 740 Palestinians homeless – 384 of them children.

By comparison, the equivalent figure for all of 2015 was 125 homes demolished, and 496 displaced.

From the beginning of 2006 to June 30, 2016, Israel has demolished more than 1,110 homes of Palestinians in the West Bank, not including Occupied East Jerusalem, displacing at least 5,199 residents, including 2,602 children. (For full statistics see here). … Full article

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