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Windows 10 Devices Continue to ‘Collect Everything You Do, Say and Write’

Sputnik – 21.02.2017

European Union data protection authorities have expressed fresh concerns about the privacy of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system, despite tweaks being made to the OS after questions were raised about its treatment of personal data last year.

In a letter, the Article 29 Working Group said it still has “significant concerns” about how Microsoft collects and processes users’ personal data, and whether it obtains fully informed consent from users to do so. … continue

Media bias is real, and everywhere

By Yves Engler · February 22, 2017

Can you trust any media outlet to tell the truth about foreign affairs? Or are they all part of some propaganda system? Perhaps the best we can do to understand what’s really happening in the world is read/listen/watch a variety of sources, but assume they are all biased in one way or another?

These questions came to mind after a recent Montréal event about Syria.

In a La Presse article, international affairs reporter Agnès Gruda essentially dismissed a presentation by a freelance journalist who has covered the war in Syria by writing: “for who does Eva Bartlett really work? During her conference, she confirmed that she wrote commentaries for Russia Today — a Russian propaganda organ.”

Gruda isn’t the only reporter to highlight Bartlett’s ties to RT when discussing her Syria work. A Hamilton Spectator story about her talks in that city noted, “Bartlett maintains a blog for the state-funded media outlet Russia Today” while Pulse reported that she contributed to the “Kremlin broadcaster Russia Today.” (Bartlett has published five articles about Syria for RT.)

Of course, the question of where journalists publish or who employs them and the interests of the owners/funders of said media does deserve attention. It is not unreasonable to be skeptical of a Russian media outlet’s reporting on Syria. While I’m not current with RT, it’s hard to imagine that a station set up by the Russian government wouldn’t be biased in favor of Moscow’s position in a conflict it is a major player in.

But, does Gruda describe herself as an employee of the billionaire Desmarais family that is heavily involved in Canadian and other countries’ politics? How does Gruda describe journalists who’ve written for Al Jazeera, which is owned by a Qatari monarchy that has backed armed opposition to Assad? Or how about the BBC, CBC and other media outlets owned by governments? … continue

NYT’s Fake News about Fake News

Consortium News | February 22, 2017

The West’s anti-Russian propaganda links Moscow to the blight of “fake news” but the evidence doesn’t connect the two. So, The New York Times makes the case with its own “fake news,” reports Robert Parry. – Read article

BBC Announces New Anti-Scottish Channel

By Craig Murray | February 22, 2017

The BBC is to launch a major new unionist propaganda channel in time for the next Independence referendum. There will be 80 new unionists employed as journalists. Close relatives of senior Labour party figures are particularly welcome to apply, and in a new broadening of BBC Scotland employment policy, a larger percentage of Ruth Davidson fans will also be recruited. The news of the new job opportunities is especially welcome to the large number of Labour Party hacks who will be unemployed following the Scottish council elections in May. – Video

Yanukovych Calls for Donbass Status Referendum if Kiev Fails Minsk Deal

Sputnik – February 22, 2017

1047630299Ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Polish President Andrzej Duda, as well as the heads of European bodies.

Ex-President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych calls for a referendum on the status of the southeast Ukrainian region known as Donbass if Kiev does not comply with a set of ceasefire agreements.

“In the event of current Ukrainian authorities failing to observe the Minsk agreements, it is needed to initiate a referendum on the status of Donbass,” Yanukovych wrote in a letter to world leaders obtained by Sputnik.

He offered to include the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the reconciliation format comprising Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine.

Yanukovych also calls on world leaders to “initiate the creation of a special commission of the Council of Europe to monitor the investigation of crimes committed on the Maidan.” … continue

Israel blocks EU lawmakers’ entry into besieged Gaza Strip

Press TV – February 22, 2017

The Tel Aviv regime has prevented five European parliamentarians from entering the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian enclave remains under an inhumane Israeli siege.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Neoklis Sylikiotis, a Cypriot Member of the European Parliament (MEP), denounced the Israeli obstruction of the lawmakers’ access to the Palestinian coastal sliver.

“The refusal of access to Gaza by the Israeli authorities to the European Parliament on arbitrary grounds is unacceptable,” the statement read.

However, Israel claimed that the MEPs were not among those allowed to enter the Gaza Strip.

Similar European delegations have been barred from Gaza since 2011 though a team led by the head of the European Parliament’s budget committee was allowed to visit once, the statement added.

“What is there to hide from us?” it further asked, condemning Israel’s “systematic” entry bans to Gaza. … continue

Israeli minister backtracks on claims of vehicular attack during Umm al-Hiran raid

Ma’an – February 22, 2017

BETHLEHEM – More than a month after Israeli police shot and killed Yaqoub Abu al-Qian in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran during a demolition raid, Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan seemingly backtracked on his initial claim that Abu al-Qian was carrying out a vehicular attack motivated by Islamic extremism when he was shot.

Following the incident, multiple eyewitnesses, video footage, and testimonies from Abu al-Qian’s family members contradicted the minister’s claim, saying that Israeli police opened fire on the local high school math teacher when he posed no threat, which caused him to lose control of the vehicle and ram into Israeli policeman Erez Levi, who was also killed.

On Wednesday, Israeli media sites reported that remarks made by Erdan at a police gathering in Beersheba implied that Israeli authorities were no longer classifying the incident as a terror attack. … continue

Israeli forces bulldoze Palestinian lands, uproot trees in Bethlehem

1967090911Palestine Information Center – February 22, 2017

BETHLEHEM -The Israeli occupation bulldozers on Wednesday morning leveled Palestinian cultivated lands and uprooted olive trees and almonds in Bethlehem’s southern town of al-Khader.

Coordinator for the popular anti-settlement committee in al-Khader, Ahmed Salah, said the Israeli occupation army has been leveling Palestinian lands in an attempt to establish an access road leading to the Hatamar illegal outpost, built on Palestinian lands in the area.

The targeted land tracts reportedly belong to the Palestinian citizen Issa Salah and cover an area of three dunums, mostly planted with olive trees and almonds dating back to over 30 years.

Israel orders Palestinians in Nablus-area village to evacuate homes for military drills

Ma’an – February 22, 2017

BETHLEHEM – Israeli forces ordered Palestinians in the village of Khirbet Tana in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus to evacuate their homes on Wednesday to make room for Israeli army drills in the area.

Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Aref Hanini, the mayor of the nearby village of Beit Furik, as saying that Israeli forces evacuated at least 30 Palestinian families from their homes from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wafa reported that all of Khirbet Tana is located in Area C — the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military and civil control. Khirbet Tana also lies in an Israeli-declared military training zone, known as a “firing zone,” which rights groups say Israel intends to fully annex.

Communities that find themselves inside declared “firing zones” face a high risk of losing their livelihoods, homes, and schools. … continue

Two States Or One State?

The stark reality is that both solutions are impossible unless imposed from outside, and just where do we see any prospect for that?

By John Chuckman | Aletho News | February 22, 2017

12ee1b01-b65c-41cb-b51b-60f0531eb3e1Israel has created a terrible problem which it is incapable of solving. That is why it has always been the case that the United States must pretty much dictate a solution, but it is unable to do so, paralyzed as it is by the heavy influence of Israel and America’s own apologists and lobbyists.

Trump’s suggestion of a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is welcomed by some because Israel’s settler policy is said to have made two states impossible, as it was most certainly intended to do. However, a little reflection on hard facts makes it clear that a one-state solution is just as impossible.

A single-state solution would be acceptable to all reasonable minds, but you only have to follow the news to know that Israel contains a good many unreasonable minds. Its early advocates and founders were, quite simply, fanatics, and its policies and attitudes were shaped by that fanaticism. … continue

Pro-Palestine activism must be ‘managed’ under counter-extremism strategy, universities told

RT | February 22, 2017

British universities have been advised to “manage” Palestinian activism on campus in order to comply with the UK government’s ‘Prevent’ counter-extremism strategy.

“Vocal support for Palestine,” “Opposition to Israeli settlements in Gaza,” and “Criticism of wars in the Middle East” are included in a list of “contentious topics” on the Safe Campus Communities website.

The website includes a training section set up by Universities UK and the government’s now defunct Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to help staff fulfill their Prevent obligations.

Since 2015, Prevent has required public sector workers to “have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.”

The website says the material is intended to promote free speech by encouraging universities to ensure “topics that may be seen as controversial” may be “debated in a safe environment.” … continue

MSNBC anchor declares it the media’s job to ‘control exactly what people think’

RT | February 22, 2017

58adb670c361888e428b463cMSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski boldly declared that it’s the media’s job to “control exactly what people think” during an on-air discussion about President Donald Trump.

Brzezinski made the flippant remark while responding to a comment from her co-host Joe Scarborough during a panel discussion on ‘Morning Joe’ about Trump’s efforts to “undermine the media.”

The TV host who is the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter and counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, voiced her concerns that the president was “trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts.” … Full article

Philip Giraldi: Trump Security Adviser Wants to Deter Russia

Sputnik – 22.02.2017

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser is on the record as wanting to deter Russia in Europe but is also capable of moderation and original thought, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi told Sputnik. … continue

Nikki Haley Calls Apartheid Israel ‘the one true democracy in the Middle East’

By Richard Edmondson | Fig Trees and Vineyards | February 21, 2017

Out of all of Trump’s appointees, Nikkie Haley is probably one of the worst. Formerly a governor of South Carolina, Haley is the current US ambassador to the United Nations. That’s her in the video above giving a presentation at the UN last Thursday.

I’m not sure how much Haley knows about international law. According to Wikipedia, she graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. How she ended up as UN ambassador, after criticizing Trump in the general election, is unclear.*

At any rate, Haley seems fully unaware that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. Nor does she seem to comprehend why other UN-member states might press for resolutions seeking to call Israel to account, both for its settlements as well as its 50-year occupation of the West Bank–land universally recognized as necessary for a Palestinian state. So perhaps she is simply uninformed and does not understand the nature of Israel’s occupation or its devastating impact upon the lives of those forced to live under it. Or at least that’s one possibility.

The other possibility, of course, is that Haley does understand these things… and that she simply believes Israel is exceptional and should not have to follow the same laws and international standards that apply to other states. … continue

Ambassador Nikki Haley is Completely Clueless

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | February 21, 2017

Just when we thought the great national embarrassment of a UN Ambassador Samantha Power was over, we are suddenly faced with a new US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who almost makes Ms. Power look like a giant in world affairs and diplomacy.

Addressing the UN Security Council Open Debate on Conflicts in Europe today, Ambassador Haley managed to get nearly every single point spectacularly wrong while mixing in the most banal of platitudes to further deaden the delivery. … continue

President’s Quest for Détente with Russia Continues Despite Fierce Opposition

By John V. Walsh | Dissident Voice | February 21, 2017

… The idea of “getting along” with other nations, even as we compete with them economically, is of course the way to peace and the very antithesis of the path the neocons and liberalcons from the Clintons to Bush to Obama have set us on these past thirty plus years of killing and destruction. And yet the “peace movement” expresses nothing but hatred for Trump and pushes for his impeachment. Some “peace” movement, that. … Read full article

The West’s Moral Hypocrisy on Yemen

By Jonathan Marshall | Consortium News | February 21, 2017

Only a few months ago, interventionists were demanding a militant response by Washington to what George Soros branded “a humanitarian catastrophe of historic proportions” — the killing of “hundreds of people” by Russian and Syrian government bombing of rebel-held neighborhoods in the city of Aleppo.

Leon Wieseltier, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former New Republic editor, was denouncing the Obama administration as “a bystander to the greatest atrocity of our time,” asserting that its failure to “act against evil in Aleppo” was like tolerating “the evil in Auschwitz.”

How strange, then, that so many of the same “humanitarian” voices have been so quiet of late about the continued killing of many more innocent people in Yemen, where tens of thousands of civilians have died and 12 million people face famine. More than a thousand children die each week from preventable diseases related to malnutrition and systematic attacks on the country’s food infrastructure by a Saudi-led military coalition, which aims to impose a regime friendly to Riyadh over the whole country. … continue

US Air Force to Buy Shoulder-Fired Missiles Assembled in Israel

Sputnik – 22.02.2017

The US Air Force has ordered 21 MANPADS anti-aircraft defense kits from costing $15.5 million to be manufactured in Israel, the Department of Defense said in a press release.

“ELTA North America [in] Annapolis Junction, Maryland, has been awarded a $15.5 million… [US Air Force] contract for counter-unmanned aerial systems,” the announcement stated on Tuesday. “Production of the kits will be performed in Israel.”

ELTA will provide the procurement, delivery, and training of the21 Man Portable Aerial Defense System (MANPADS) kits, the Defense Department said. … Full article

Zionist Entity Poisoning Palestinians in West Bank: Fact-Finding Mission

Al-Manar | February 22, 2017

An international fact-finding mission concludes that the trade manufacture and use of toxic pesticides in Israeli illegal settlements result in human rights violations and contribute to the food insecurity in the Occupied West Bank.

Pesticide run-off from agricultural operations and hazardous wastes from the manufacture of agrochemicals inside the illegal settlements poison Palestinian farms, livestock, and water sources, the investigators learned, according to Environment News Service website.

Dumping hazardous wastes in Palestinian territory has been documented, including in areas with a high concentration of schools. … continue

Israel to Bulldoze Palestinian Homes to Build ‘Settlers Only’ Road

Sputnik – 22.02.2017

As Israel begins work on its “American road” project in East Jerusalem’s Jabal al-Mukaber area, hundred of Palestinians are on edge, as their homes lie directly in its path.

Part of the larger al-Touq Highway, the road is ostensibly being constructed to connect Israeli settlements north, south, and east of East Jerusalem, and cuts through sections of Jerusalem, joining the Maale Adumim and Har Homa settlements on the West Bank.

The al-Touq Highway, proposed ten years ago by Israel’s municipality planning and construction committee, will, once completed, be 230-feet wide and over 7-miles long.

Roughly 300 acres, encompassing 12 Palestinian neighborhoods in Jabal al-Mukaber, will be confiscated to build the road, which has alarmed residents of Salaa, where construction has already begun. … continue

Five Palestinian fishers seized by Israeli occupation forces

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – February 21, 2017

Five Palestinian fishermen were attacked and seized by Israeli occupation forces off the coast of Gaza on the morning of Tuesday, 21 February. As they sailed off the coast of northern Gaza near Beit Lahiya, Israeli occupation naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen and seized five.

Omran Saber Bakr, Mahmoud Saber Bakr, Abdullah Saber Bakr, Thabet Abdel-Razaq Bakr and Omar Mohammed Bakr were seized by occupation forces and taken to the port of Ashdod.

This is the latest in a series of attacks and arrests of Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, an element of the Israeli siege of Gaza that has strangled Palestinian economy, in particular the fishing industry. In 2016, 125 fishermen were arrested by Israeli forces and dozens of boats confiscated. While the vast majority of fishers were shortly released, they were frequently subject to physical injury and the confiscation, damage to or loss of their valuable fishing boats, at a time when fishers in Palestine have been economically devastated due to the Israeli occupation forces’ restriction of their fishing area.

Film about Israeli imprisonment of Palestinians wins top award in Berlin

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC | February 21, 2017

ghost_huntingA film depicting the torture, humiliation and violence experienced by Palestinians imprisoned by Israel won the first ever “Silver Bear” award at the Berlinale international film festival.

The film, “Istiyad Ashbah” (Ghost Hunting), was produced by Palestinian filmmaker Raed Andoni.

It was one of 18 finalists competing for the top honor at the Berlinale film festival this year. The ‘Golden Bear’ award was won by Hungarian filmmaker Ildiko Enyedi for the film “Testrol es lelekrol” (On Body and Soul).

Andoni’s film “Ghost Hunting” involves a powerful re-enactment of interrogation rooms and prison facilities in the infamous ‘Russian Compound’ prison run by Israel.

According to journalist Rene Windangel, who spoke with Andoni about the creation of the film, the director began by confronting his own ghosts, having been imprisoned during the first intifada in the late 1980s. He then “turned to newspaper ads as he set out to find a group of former inmates able to work as set designers and craftsmen in recreating a prison on the film set. He also sought out ex-detainees willing to play the roles of prison wardens and prisoners. And so this group of people, who had themselves experienced imprisonment, began to meticulously build their own prison.”

German commentator Rene Windangel wrote in the paper ‘Qantara’, in a review of the film, “By giving the actors and crew room to express themselves, Andoni’s film manages to avoid cliches. In no way is the film limited to the observation of suffering or the re-enactment of victimisation. Raed Andoni’s film functions as both trauma therapy and as an opportunity to discuss the political problem of prisoners. First and foremost, though, the film works as an impressive piece of cinematography dealing with the basic questions of the human condition.”

Currently there are around 7000 Palestinian men and women imprisoned by Israel. Over 750,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned since 1967 and the start of the Israeli occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most were sentenced by military courts, while others were held without any charges in so-called “administrative detention”. There are practically no Palestinian families that have been spared the experience of prison.

4 dead Russian Diplomats in 3 months

By Adam Garrie | The Duran | February 20, 2017

Vitaly Churkin was one of the wisest voices in international diplomacy. His voice will no longer echo in the halls of the United Nations. Articulate, polite yet commanding, wise yet affable, he oversaw some of Russia’s and the world’s most important events in a position he occupied since 2006.

Churkin had to face a great deal of hostile criticism from both the Bush and Obama administrations during his time at the UN, but he always did so with grace. He never failed to explain the Russian position with the utmost clarity.

Standing next to some of his colleagues, he often looked like a titan in a room full of school children.

His death, a day before his 65th birthday, is a tragedy first and foremost for his family, friends and colleagues. It is also a deeply sad day for the cause of justice, international law and all of the principles of the UN Charter which Churkin admirably upheld in the face of great obstacles.

His death however raises many uncomfortable questions… continue

All aboard reckless bandwagon blaming Russian subversion

By Finian Cunningham | RT | February 21, 2017

Russia is being blamed for interfering in elections across the globe, from the US, Britain, Germany to Estonia and others. Now the tiny Balkan state of Montenegro has jumped on the bandwagon, with an even more reckless version of the ‘Russia-did-it’ trope.

This week Montenegro’s state prosecutor concluded Russian state agents were not only trying to subvert elections, but the alleged plot also involved the attempted assassination of the former prime minister, to prevent it becoming a member of NATO.

With suspiciously good timing, the far-fetched story was given dubious credibility by Britain’s Telegraph newspaper. The day before the Montenegrin prosecutor made the announcement, the Telegraph published an article in which anonymous “Whitehall sources” issued the same claims of a Russian-sponsored coup attempt in Montenegro during the country’s parliamentary elections last October.

The fact the Telegraph is a well-worn conduit for British military intelligence disinformation is relevant. … continue

BBC Glories in Death

By Craig Murray | February 21, 2017

The BBC appear enraptured by the apparent death of Ronald Fiddler in Mosul fighting for Islamic State forces. Fiddler was a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay, so this “vindicates” the War on Terror. The BBC are leading every news bulletin and giving us full spectrum security services propaganda. We have MI6 mouthpiece Frank Gardner, the discredited neo-con chancers of the Quilliam Foundation and the far right professional supporter of military attacks on the Middle East, Afzal Ashraf, all giving us their views every half hour on the BBC.

It has never been disputed that Ronald Fiddler was tortured in Guantanamo, which is partly why he was paid substantial compensation by the British government. It does not seem to have occurred to the BBC as worth any consideration that the fact Fiddler emerged from Guantanamo and apparently became a supporter of violent Islam, does not in any sense prove that he was a violent islamist before being tortured in Guantanamo. Yet that Guantanamo was the cause of his extreme alienation is on the surface highly probable. … continue

Bahraini MPs pass bill allowing military trial of civilians

Press TV – February 21, 2017

The lower house of the Bahraini parliament has approved a contentious amendment to the kingdom’s constitution under which civilians could be tried in military courts, in a latest move to further suppress political dissent in the island country.

The Council of Representatives (Majlis an-Nuwab) voted 31-1 for the measure on Tuesday, with three lawmakers not taking part in the vote.

However, the bill has yet to be endorsed by the 40-member Consultative Council (Majlis al-Shura), the upper house of the parliament, whose members are appointed directly by Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifah.

“The Bahraini king is effectively creating a police state with this de facto martial law,” Sayed Alwadaei, the director of advocacy at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD), a London-based NGO, said in a statement released following Tuesday’s vote.

The bill removes limitations in the Bahraini constitution on who military courts can try. … Full article

Clinton to Trump: Speak out against anti-Semitic attacks now

By Jennifer Calfas – The Hill – 02/21/17

Hillary Clinton is urging President Trump to speak out against the surge of anti-Semitic threats and attacks around the country.

“JCC threats, cemetery desecration & online attacks are troubling & they need to be stopped. Everyone must speak out, starting w/ @POTUS,” Clinton tweeted early Tuesday.

Vandals over the weekend destroyed about 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Meanwhile, Jewish Community Centers, including centers in Chicago, Houston and Tampa, received an influx of bomb threats later determined to be hoaxes.

The White House released a statement on the bomb threats Monday, saying “hatred and hate-motivated violence of any kind have no place in a country founded on the promise of individual freedom.”

The comment, like the White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, has been criticized by some for not specifically mentioning the Jewish community.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, denounced the threats against the Jewish Community Centers in a tweet Monday evening.

“America is a nation built on the principle of religious tolerance,” Trump tweeted Monday. “We must protect our houses of worship & religious centers. #JCC.”

US Confirms It Used Depleted Uranium in Syria

By Peter KORZUN | Strategic Culture Foundation | 21.02.2017

or-38660The US and its allies have many times attacked Russia for alleged «indiscriminate bombing» in support of the Syrian government, including cluster bombs. The accusations have been denied and never proven. Now the US military has confirmed it misinformed the public about its use of munitions in Syria which cause harm to civilians.

The US military has admitted using depleted uranium (DU) anti-tank rounds on two occasions in 2015 during devastating air strikes against convoys of Islamic State (IS) tanker trucks. Investigative reporter Samuel Oakford first brought up the use of DU ammunition by the coalition in October 2016. There have been questions raised ever since. […]

There is no international treaty or rule that explicitly bans the munitions’ use. Internationally, DU exists in a legal gray area. In 2012, 155 states have supported a resolution calling for a precautionary approach to depleted uranium weapons during voting at the UN General Assembly. Just four countries – the US, UK, France and Israel – voted against and 27 abstained. … Read full article

‘West must be held accountable for Libya, apologize & leave it alone’ – Gaddafi’s cousin

RT | February 21, 2017

The Libyan people are still suffering because Western powers continue to fuel the ongoing conflict there, the cousin of slain leader Muammar Gaddafi has said on the sixth anniversary of the Arab Spring, adding that the West should apologize and leave Libya alone.

“It is clear to everyone what is now happening in Libya: total destruction, people fleeing their homes, mass hunger. Our country has descended into total darkness, and our people are enduring suffering,” Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, the cousin of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, told RT in an exclusive interview.

“On this anniversary of the Arab Spring, we must demand an apology to all Libyans – those whose homes were destroyed, those who were humiliated. On their behalf, I demand that the UN Security Council and the leading world powers apologize for what happened in 2011.” … continue

Russia NOT involved in ‘Montenegro coup’

By Alexander Mercouris | The Duran | February 21, 2017

As the hysteria over the wholly fictional links between the Trump administration and Russia continues unabated, claims have been circulating about a supposed Russian plot to overthrow the government of Montenegro so as to prevent that country from joining NATO.

To say that the ‘evidence’ for this is thin would be an understatement. … continue

Russian Lawmaker Calls US National Security Adviser McMaster ‘100% Threat’

Sputnik – 21.02.2017

MOSCOW – The appointment of US Army Lt. Gen. Herbert Raymond McMaster as the US president’s national security adviser poses a 100-percent danger to Russia, first deputy chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Franz Klintsevich told Sputnik on Tuesday.

McMaster’s appointment was announced on Monday by US President Donald Trump.

“McMaster is… a 100-percent threat to Russia from the US, and it’s not getting weaker or smaller. Defense and intelligence wing of Washington will carry out a Russophobic policy,” Klintsevich said.

The former administration’s trend in US way of treating Russia remains unchanged, Klintsevich said.

Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia was patiently waiting for Washington to form its position toward Moscow.

McMaster is known to be supportive of necessity of ready army forces to “prevent the aggressor from doing what Russia has in Ukraine,” according to his report entitled “Continuity and Change. The Army Operating Concept and Clear Thinking About Future War,” published in 2015.

The appointment of McMaster comes after Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn resigned over information that he inadvertently briefed Vice President Michael Pence and other White House officials with incomplete information about his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump’s inauguration.

Why Do “Progressives” Like War?

Fleeing to Canada is no longer an option

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • February 21, 2017

Liberals are supposed to be antiwar, right? I went to college in the 1960s, when students nationwide were rising up in opposition to the Vietnam War. I was a Young Republican back then and supported the war through sheer ignorance and dislike of the sanctimoniousness of the protesters, some of whom were surely making their way to Canada to live in exile on daddy’s money while I was on a bus going to Fort Leonard Wood for basic combat training. I can’t even claim that I had some grudging respect for the antiwar crowd because I didn’t, but I did believe that at least some of them who were not being motivated by being personally afraid of getting hurt were actually sincere in their opposition to the awful things that were happening in Southeast Asia.

As I look around now, however, I see something quite different. The lefties I knew in college are now part of the Establishment and generally speaking are retired limousine liberals. And they now call themselves progressives, of course, because it sounds more educated and sends a better message, implying as it does that troglodytic conservatives are anti-progress. But they also have done a flip on the issue of war and peace. In its most recent incarnation some of this might be attributed to a desperate desire to relate to the Hillary Clinton campaign with its bellicosity towards Russia, Syria and Iran, but I suspect that the inclination to identify enemies goes much deeper than that, back as far as the Bill Clinton Administration with its sanctions on Iraq and the Balkan adventure, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and the creation of a terror-narco state in the heart of Europe. And more recently we have seen the Obama meddling in Libya, Yemen and Syria in so called humanitarian interventions which have turned out to be largely fraudulent. Yes, under the Obama Dems it was “responsibility to protect time” (r2p) and all the world trembled as the drones were let loose. … continue

America First

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | February 20, 2017

dyr-e1487635513786Nothing in Trump’s campaign resonated with the American heartland quite like “America First”. But Trump wasn’t the first. Remember Charles Lindbergh? He put “America First” and paid the price.

Deir Yassin Remembered (DYR) also wasn’t first but neither were we last. The first DYR “America First” billboard went up in Detroit in November 2015. It didn’t last long but such is Jewish power.

It re-appeared on February 6 this year near Ann Arbor, Michigan but, just one week later, DYR received a call from Adams Outdoor Advertising General Manager Mike Cannon saying that the board had to come down. Such is Jewish power.

These tactics, known as ‘Dynamic Silencing”, are well-worn and well-described by Benjamin Ginsberg in his book The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State, p. 124:

Working together, officials of the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, and the ADL would approach the publishers of major newspapers and owners of radio stations in cities where Smith [substitute any “anti-Semite”] had scheduled appearances to ask that Smith be given no coverage whosoever. If newspapers and radio stations failed to cooperate on a voluntary basis, Jewish organizations were usually able to secure their compliance by threatening boycotts by Jewish advertisers.

So where now? Try another site? Turn it into a lapel pin? Put it on a truck and drive it cross-country?

Please send any ideas to us here.

Quebec elites out of touch with rest of province on Israel

By Caroline Biotteau | rabble.ca | February 20, 2017

The most recent poll regarding Canadian’s attitudes towards Israel has just been released and the results are telling. Quite strikingly, far more Canadians have a negative view of the government of Israel than a positive one. Even more remarkable, Quebec respondents have a far harsher view of the government of Israel than their fellow Canadians.

Some have argued that Quebecers have always been more critical of the Israeli government, and more sympathetic to the Palestinians. This assumption was up in the air, however, when a survey by Crop-La Presse issued in 2014 during the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas found that the majority (64 per cent) of Quebecers chose not to pick sides in the messy flare up.

With this most recent poll sponsored by my organization, it is clear that regardless of what happened in 2014, Quebecers remain wary of the Israeli government. Of those who expressed an opinion, 57 per cent of Quebecers had a negative opinion of the Israeli government, as compared to 46 per cent overall in Canada. Only 16 per cent of Quebecers had a positive opinion, as compared to 28 per cent overall in Canada. … continue

Israeli forces temporarily hold Fatah official at checkpoint, detain her son

Ma’an – February 20, 2017

417941cJERUSALEM – Israeli forces detained a Fatah Revolutionary Council member and her son on Sunday afternoon, eventually releasing the politician hours later.

Salwa Hdeib told Ma’an that she and her 23-year-old son Ahed Ahmad Qanam got into an argument with Israeli soldiers over the closure of the Hizma checkpoint in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon.

Hdeib added that they were then detained at the checkpoint from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. before being transferred to an Israeli police station in the illegal Atarot Industrial Area settlement, where they were interrogated.

The Fatah official was finally released after three hours of interrogation, while Qanam, her son, saw his detention extended. … Full article

Israeli forces destroy UNICEF-funded water pipeline in Jordan Valley

Ma’an – February 20, 2017

NABLUS – Israeli forces demolished a water pipeline in the Jordan Valley region of the occupied West Bank on Monday, after the same pipeline was destroyed earlier this month, according to local sources.

Muataz Bisharat, a local official who monitors Israeli activities in the Jordan Valley, told Ma’an that Israeli bulldozers destroyed the eight-and-a-half kilometers pipeline running between the Bedouin communities of al-Hadidiya and al-Ras al-Ahmar in the northern Jordan Valley, east of the Tubas district.

He said that 47 Palestinian families depended on the pipeline as their water source.

According to Bisharat, the pipeline was funded by international humanitarian organization UNICEF, at a construction cost of 12,500 euros (approximately $13,270). He said that it was the second time this month that Israeli forces had destroyed the pipeline. … Full article

No substantive change in US rhetoric on Iran: Shamkhani

Press TV – February 20, 2017

A senior Iranian official says the rhetoric of the US administration of President Donald Trump on the Islamic Republic is substantively no different from that of the former officials in Washington.

“There has been no substantive shift in the rhetoric of the new US officials [in comparison with] the previous [ones] and various figures and parties in the country have always maintained an aggressive approach toward independent countries,” Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani told reporters on Monday.

He added that the fact-based admissions by President Trump about the chaotic situation in the West and the United States are a new issue which had never been publicly acknowledged by other US leaders.

Such confessions show that Washington can no more cover up the tumultuous and confused situation in the US, the top Iranian official emphasized.

“Although it is still early to make a definitive judgment about the new US administration, the current trend shows that there will be no change in the chaotic situation of the country in the new era either,” the SNSC secretary pointed out. … continue

Challenging Klobuchar on Ukraine War

Consortium News | February 19, 2017

As Democrats compete to become the new War Party – pushing for a dangerous confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia – some constituents are objecting, as Mike Madden did in a letter to Sen. Amy Klobuchar. … continue

US Raises Issue of INF Violation: Anti-Russian Campaign in Full Swing

By Alex GORKA | Strategic Culture Foundation | 20.02.2017

According to the New York Times, «a Trump administration official» has accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty). The statement was supported by the Defense Department. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain chimed in, saying «Russia’s deployment of nuclear-tipped ground-launched cruise missiles in violation of the INF treaty is a significant military threat to US forces in Europe and our NATO allies». According to him, Russian President Vladimir Putin was «testing» Trump.

The statement was immediately used by hawks as a pretext for instigating tensions. For instance, Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, said he sees little reason for the US to continue adhering to the INF treaty in light of alleged Russia’s «violations». He has recommended building up US nuclear forces in Europe, which currently include about 200 bombs that can be delivered by aircraft. The US withdrew land-based nuclear-armed missiles from Europe as part of the INF deal.

The Treaty eliminated all ground-based nuclear and conventional missiles, as well as their launchers, with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). Signed in December 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the INF deal is accredited with significantly reducing the threat of nuclear confrontation and accelerating the end of the Cold War. … continue

Saudi arms imports triple amid Yemen campaign, US & Europe top suppliers to Mid East – report

RT | February 20, 2017

Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military intervention in Yemen, is the world’s second-largest arms importer, according to a new report. Riyadh’s arms imports increased 212 percent compared with 2007–11, with the US remaining the world’s top weapons exporter.

Between 2007–2011 and 2012–2016 arms imports by states in the Middle East rose by 86 percent, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday.

India was the world’s largest importer of major arms in 2012–2016, accounting for 13 percent of the global total, the study said.

“Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the USA and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities,” Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Program, said. … continue

Trump’s ISIS Plan: Another US Invasion?

By Ron Paul | February 20, 2017

Just over a week into the Trump Administration, the President issued an Executive Order giving Defense Secretary James Mattis 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. According to the Order, the plan should make recommendations on military actions, diplomatic actions, partners, strategies, and how to pay for the operation.

As we approach the president’s deadline it looks like the military is going to present Trump with a plan to do a whole lot more of what we’ve been doing and somehow expect different results. Proving the old saying that when all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail, we are hearing increasing reports that the military will recommend sending thousands of US troops into Syria and Iraq.

This would be a significant escalation in both countries, as currently there are about 5,000 US troops still fighting our 13-year war in Iraq, and some 500 special forces soldiers operating in Syria.

The current Syria ceasefire, brokered without US involvement at the end of 2016, is producing positive results and the opposing groups are talking with each other under Russian and Iranian sponsorship. Does anyone think sending thousands of US troops into a situation that is already being resolved without us is a good idea? … continue

‘Western Media Exerting Financial Pressure on RT’s Advertisers’

Sputnik – 20.02.2017

Western media are putting direct financial pressure on the RT broadcaster by calling up its advertisers and urging them not to sponsor “the Kremlin propaganda,” RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said.

“There is a wonderful UK outlet that has called up all our advertisers in the United Kingdom and simply put them to shame, rebuked them, saying shame on you, you are sponsoring the Kremlin propaganda by advertising through a such-and-such broadcaster. Some of the advertisers left, naturally, having been scared away, because nobody wants bad publicity… This is direct financial pressure,” Simonyan said in an interview that will be aired on Russian NTV channel on Monday night, without specifying which UK media she was referring to.

She added that the The Wall Street Journal newspaper contacted US cable operators providing access to RT “trying to convey the same message: shame on you, you are spreading the Kremlin propaganda, you should immediately terminate the contacts.” … continue

‘Legless Abdulbasit’ – More Fake News from Syria’s ‘Moderate Rebel’ Media Machine

By Barbara McKenzie | 21st Century Wire | February 20, 2017

Two days ago, on 16 February, Anne Barnard of the New York Times shared on twitter the heart-rending story of the boy in Syria who lost his legs to a ‘govt/Russian bombing raid’.

The picture looks a bit … odd, so I asked for more information …

There was actually a video, credited to Revolution Syria, a pro-insurgency media outfit who also provided the videos for the equally fraudulent claim that the Russians bombed a school in Haas, October 2016. It is clear from the video that there were at least two cameramen conveniently to hand.

And then we get the full picture: these stills are a lot clearer than the video.

Just one look at the more graphic picture is enough to show that the whole story is fake.

  • Such injuries mean severed arteries and blood everywhere, not just at the wound site.
  • The boy would be in deep shock or unconscious. He would not be trying to sit up.
  • No-one – father, first responder or anyone else – would hold the boy like that, with one hand, while still grasping his walkie-talkie in the other.
  • It’s Omran Daqneesh, the boy on the orange chair, all over again: there are at least two cameramen, no-one is worrying about staunching the wound, or about the other dead or injured – what matters is the photoshoot.
  • In fact, the scene seems to have been shot more than once […]

The story is clearly fake from start to finish, from the fake sources (‘activists’), to the fake medical science, to the fake behaviour. Despite the obvious questions and dubious sources, there has been no attempt to verify the story on the part of the mainstream media. On the contrary, this obvious scam has so far been promoted by CNN, Anne Barnard of the New York Times, the Washington Post’s Louisa Loveluck, the BBC’s Riam Dalati, the Daily Mail, and the Sun. CNN and the Daily Mail have done follow-ups after Bana’s visit. … Read full article