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Five Things Donald Trump Must Do

Semitic Controversies | November 11, 2016

With Donald Trump’s historic victory in the US Presidential Election this week it is appropriate to pause and take a moment to reflect about what the incoming President of the United States needs to do in order to Make American Great Again.

1) Trump has proposed restrictions on lobbyists acting for foreign governments and more specifically for former elected officials seeking or being offered employment by organizations such as these after leaving office.

He needs to implement and expand this restriction in order to curb the well-documented activities of the partisans of Israel as the principle abusers of the lobby system. To do this he needs to focus on the flow of capital between domestic jewish organizations (such as AIPAC, NORPAC, the Zionist Organization of America and the Anti-Defamation League), international Jewish organizations (such as Birthright Israel and the World Jewish Congress) and the Israeli government itself. In addition to requiring the Israel Lobby’s plethora of legal entities register as representatives of a foreign government (i.e. Israel) in compliance with current legislation.

This will help prevent the widespread abuse of the lobby and donor system by Israel’s partisans in the United States and abroad. In addition to making it difficult for Israel’s political agents to continue ring fence 3.8 billion of US taxpayer’s money to balance its own domestic budget deficit. (1)

2) Trump has stated that he intends to take China to task for its repeated violations of US intellectual property laws. This is laudable indeed, but Trump needs to expand this mandate to include other major violators of US intellectual property laws such as Israel. (2)

3) Trump has repeatedly affirmed that he intends to take a hatchet to all Free Trade Agreements that do not provide a net benefit to America. He has targeted NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) and TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) in particular, but he also needs to address ILFTA (the United States-Israel Free Trade Agreement) which has been running a deficit since it began in 1985. The latest figures available on the US trade deficit with Israel caused by ILFTA stand at $8 billion in goods and $466 million in services. (3)

4) Trump has repeatedly expressed his desire to convene a special prosecutor to look into the charges that Hillary Clinton used an unsecured private email server to deal with official government business while she was Secretary of State in addition to her activities, along with her husband Bill, in regards to the Clinton Foundation.

He must do this, because if he does not then the neo-Conservatives – the avowed enemies of a foreign policy that puts America first in addition to being the strident partisans of Israel – will rally around Hillary and attempt to subvert Trump’s populist revolution for their own ends.

Further Trump must not limit the glaring light of judicial scrutiny to Hillary Clinton alone, but expand that focus across the whole pro-Hillary framework of think tanks, non-profits and media companies. Whose corruption and anti-American treason has been so decisively documented by the emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and published by Wikileaks.

5) Trump must distance himself from Israel and treat it as any other country with whom the United States has diplomatic relations. Unless he does so and stops treating Israel as a special case in terms of United States foreign policy. Then he will face difficult headwinds in his diplomatic relations within the Middle East and allow the Israel Lobby to rebuild its powerful grip on American foreign policy in the future.

None of these policy prescriptions are difficult to implement and indeed they come with a significant prize. Whether that be in diplomatic and moral capital, economic advantage and/or domestic security.

Without implementing these policies however Trump runs the very real risk that his populist revolution will be co-opted and infiltrated by the very establishment that he was elected into the highest political office to purge once and for all.

In short Donald Trump has to address the problem of Israeli power and influence in the United States in order to Make America Great Again.

It is that simple.

References

(1) http://www.ifamericansknew.org/stat/usaid.html
(2) Cf. Grant Smith, 2009, ‘Spy Trade: How Israel’s Lobby Undermines America’s Economy’, 1st Edition, Institute for Research: Middle East Policy: Washington D.C.
(3) https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/israel-fta

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Children who drink whole milk are leaner and have higher vitamin D levels, new research suggests

ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL | November 16, 2016

TORONTO – Children who drink whole milk are leaner and have higher vitamin D levels than those who drink low-fat or skim milk, new research suggests.

Children who drank whole (3.25 per cent fat content) milk had a Body Mass Index score that was 0.72 units lower than those who drank 1 or 2 per cent milk in the study published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

That’s comparable to the difference between having a healthy weight and being overweight, said lead author Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The study did not assess why consuming higher fat content milk was associated with lower BMI scores. But Dr. Maguire hypothesized that children who drank whole milk felt fuller than those who drank the same amount of low-fat or skim milk. If children don’t feel full from drinking milk, they are more likely to eat other foods that are less healthy or higher in calories, said Dr. Maguire. Therefore children who drink lower fat milk may actually consume more calories overall than those who drink whole milk.

The study also found that children who drank one cup of whole milk each day had comparable vitamin D levels to those who drank nearly 3 cups of one per cent milk. This could be because vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning it dissolves in fat rather than water. Milk with higher fat content therefore contains more vitamin D. There may also be an inverse relationship in children between body fat and vitamin D stores, according to the study; as children’s body fat increases, their vitamin D stores decrease.

“Children who drink lower fat milk don’t have less body fat, and they also don’t benefit from the higher vitamin D levels in whole milk,” said Dr. Maguire. “It’s a double negative with low fat milk.”

The study’s findings differ from Health Canada, National Institutes of Health and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommending two servings of low fat (one per cent or two per cent) milk for children over the age of two to reduce the risk of childhood obesity.

Dr. Maguire said the findings indicated a need to closely examine existing nutritional guidelines around milk fat consumption to make sure they are having the desired effect. Childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years while consumption of whole milk has halved over the same period.

“What kind of milk our children should be consuming is something we need to seek the right answer for,” said Dr. Maguire.

For this study, researchers studied 2,745 children ages two to six years attending well-child visits. They surveyed parents, measured height and weight to calculate BMI and took blood samples to assess vitamin D levels. All were enrolled in the Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!), collaboration between children’s doctors and researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital and The Hospital for Sick Children. The program follows children from birth with the aim of preventing common problems in the early years and understanding their impact on health and disease later in life.

Of those studied, 49 per cent drank whole milk, 35 per cent drank two per cent milk, 12 per cent drank one per cent milk and four per cent drank skim milk. Less than one per cent of children drank some combination of the four types of milk.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 6 Comments

Houthis say ready to stop fighting, join unity government

Press TV – November 16, 2016

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has expressed its readiness to end fighting and join a national unity government in the conflict-ridden country suffering from a deadly Saudi aggression.

“Ansarullah’s position has been and still is with stopping the war and the establishment of a national unity government that incorporates all political components,” Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, member of Ansarullah’s Political Council, told Reuters on Wednesday.

He made the announcement in response to a question on recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that Saudi Arabia and the Houthis had agreed to observe a cessation of hostilities from November 17.

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Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, member of the Political Council of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement

Speaking after talks in Oman on Tuesday, Kerry said that he had presented Houthi delegates with a document outlining a ceasefire and peace deal.

The Houthis had agreed to observe the truce, provided the other side implemented it, he said, adding, “And thus far the Emiratis and the Saudis… they have both agreed to try to move forward with this.”

Yemen’s warring sides had further reached a consensus to work out a “national unity government in a safe and secure Sana’a… as a goal towards the end of the year,” the top Us diplomat pointed out.

Elsewhere in his comments, Bukhaiti confirmed that the Riyadh regime had agreed to end its offensive against Yemen.

“The new thing is in the position of Saudi (Arabia), which has agreed in principle to stop the war as one of the parties to the conflict,” he said.

On Tuesday, however, Yemen’s former foreign minister, Abdel Malek al-Mekhlafi, complained that Kerry’s announcement had not been coordinated with the country’s resigned government.

Saudi Arabia has come under international opprobrium for the sheer size of the casualties from the war it is leading since March 2015 to crush the Houthis and reinstate the former Yemeni administration.

The war has killed at least 11,400 civilians, according to a recent tally by a Yemeni monitoring group. There have also been countless reports about the deliberate and indiscriminate targeting of civilian infrastructure by the Saudi forces and mercenaries.

The Houthi Ansarullah movement took state matters into their own hands in the wake of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s resignation and escape, which threw Yemen into a state of uncertainty and threatened a total security breakdown in the country.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Obama’s Hollow Legacy

The emptiness of defeat

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By Margaret Kimberley | Black Agenda Report | November 16, 2016

Obama’s legacy is in tatters, and that is good news. Donald Trump’s victory was not just a win over Hillary Clinton, but against Democratic Party policies that silenced the rank and file. For years Democrats became convinced that the only means of keeping Republicans at bay was to go along with their party leadership without complaint. If they wanted to expand trade deals that stole workers’ jobs, so be it. The people who marched against the invasion of Iraq folded their tents when Democrats became the party of endless war. When Obama promoted austerity and “grand bargains” with Republicans not a word was uttered. Even Black Lives Matter refused to point out that the Obama Justice Department left killer cops unpunished.

Barack Obama is nothing if not consistent. While Democrats take to the streets in protest against president elect Trump, Obama declares that the man he once called unfit is not an ideologue, but a “pragmatist.” No one should be surprised about the conciliatory tone. Obama never had a problem with Republicans. They may have obstructed him, but he was always happy to assist them because he wasn’t really opposed to their policies.

The most obvious example of Obama’s lack of substance was his relationship with black Americans. His disdain and contempt for the people who loved him the most was clear to anyone who paid attention. Jokes about “cousin Pookie” and parents serving fried chicken for breakfast should have been seen as the racist screeds they clearly were. But the desire to see a black face in a prominent place endures to our detriment.

Obama won by making himself palatable to white people while also taking advantage of undeserved black pride. Hillary Clinton would be the president elect if the new voters who emerged in 2008 had remained committed to the Democratic Party. But their loyalty was to the imagery of Barack Obama as president. Their joy was confined to seeing him meet the queen of England alongside his first lady or disembarking from Air Force One with his signature swagger. The sight of Barack and Michelle hosting a state dinner was enough to make black hearts swoon. Policy initiatives need not intrude upon the love fest.

The end result of this unrequited and superficial love was six million fewer votes cast for Hillary Clinton in 2016 than for Obama in 2012. The apocryphal cousin Pookie stayed home and no one should be surprised. There is no secret to keeping voters engaged. They are engaged if their needs are met. Deliver for voters and they deliver in the voting booth.

Even the unpopular and shady Hillary Clinton could have won Michigan if the people of Flint had received the federal help they needed so badly. Not only did the Obama environmental protection agency allow the beleaguered city to be given contaminated water, but he showed up for a photo opportunity and did nothing else as residents suffered. He drank a glass of water, posed for the cameras and returned to Washington. The people of Flint are still living under conditions Americans think of as being “Third World.”

The response to Trump’s victory should mean more than protesting policies the Democrats now have little ability to fight. This moment presents an opportunity for much needed introspection and mea culpas. Millions of people did more than just accept Democratic Party policy. They supported actions they would have rejected if carried out by a Republican or a white Democrat. They supported Muammar Gaddafi when Republicans were president but averted their eyes to his murder when committed by a Democrat. They even voted for the person who bragged about the killing. Democratic voters must ask themselves why they said nothing when their party promoted trade deals that were against their interests. Ultimately that acquiescence led to defeat at Trump’s hands.

The Obama team’s propaganda skills were legendary but the day of reckoning revealed the emptiness of what they produced. The corporate media acted like scribes under White House direction and declared that Russia was an enemy state and its president a 21st century Hitler. Now it is Donald Trump, the self-promoting reality television star, who declares his willingness to talk to his Russian counterpart. It is the sort of behavior that Democrats once valued.

Democratic presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton began the tradition of getting Democrats to support what they didn’t like. Obama perfected the art, which ultimately led to the debacle. He will certainly not be the last to tempt the party faithful but in 2016 Democrats sold their souls and ended up with nothing. Defeat creates the most hollow feelings of all.


Margaret Kimberley can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Moscow Hopes New US Administration to Stop Extraterritorial Arrests of Russians

Sputnik – 16.11.2016

MOSCOW – Russia hopes that the new US administration will show political will and will end the practice of extraterritorial arrests of Russian nationals, Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law Konstantin Dolgov said Wednesday.

“We shall continue seeking the return of our nationals to their motherland. We intend to make these efforts, of course, in our work with the new US administration. We hope that it will show political will and put an end to the aforementioned illegal practice,” the statement read.

Dolgov added that Russia would continue working with the outgoing US administration to ensure the rights of the Russian nationals that have been detained abroad.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

McCain warns Trump over ‘resetting’ ties with Russia

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Press TV – November 16, 2016

Senior US Senator John McCain has advised President-elect Donald Trump against putting “faith” in Moscow’s desire to improve relations with Washington, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of “tyranny” and “murder.”

Speaking after the first phone conversation between Trump and Putin, McCain said Tuesday that the Russian head of state was not to be trusted.

“With the US presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States,” the Republican senator of Arizona said in a statement.

“We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.”

The head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said “resetting” ties with Moscow would be too costly for Washington.

McCain’s comments were aimed at preventing Trump from following one of his most important campaign pledges, which included cooperation with Russia to solve mutual differences between the two sides.

At least that was what the Republican president-elect discussed with Putin during their phone call on Monday, according to Moscow.

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According to a statement released by the Kremlin, America’s 45th president discussed with his Russian counterpart the importance of “normalizing” ties between Moscow and Washington.

Both Putin and Trump had acknowledged “the extremely unsatisfactory state of Russian-US relations at present” and “declared the need for active joint work to normalize them.”

During the conversation, the Russian president also voiced his preparedness to “create a dialogue of partnership with the new administration on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-intervention in each other’s domestic affairs.”

McCain did not look favorably to the contents of the discussion, warning in his statement that outgoing President Barack Obama’s plans to reduce tensions with Russia did not work either.

“The Obama Administration’s last attempt at resetting relations with Russia culminated in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and military intervention in the Middle East,” the 2008 Republican presidential nominee alleged.

Long before Trump’s election on November 8, Putin had made it clear that his government was willing to work with the next US president regardless of the vote’s outcome.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , | 4 Comments

Hundreds protest against militants in E. Aleppo, rallies brutally dispersed – Russian MoD

RT | November 16, 2016

Resistance against the terrorists and rebels controlling eastern Aleppo has been growing among the civilian population trapped in the city, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. Eleven protests have been staged in militant-controlled areas since the beginning of the week.

In the past 24 hours alone, some 1,500 civilians in four Aleppo districts have risen up against the militants, ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov reported on Wednesday, citing intelligence data.

The demonstrations were violently suppressed by the jihadists, his statement said, adding that dozens of people were killed and hundreds injured in eastern Aleppo on Tuesday, when militants opened fire at those protesting the occupation.

Civilians in eastern Aleppo accuse rebel leaders of corruption, storm aid center

By Chris Tomson – Al-Masdar News – 15/11/2016

On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of Syrian civilians turned to the streets in the rebel-held Bustan al-Qaser district of besieged eastern Aleppo.

The demonstrators chanted for the removal of corrupt rebel commanders and proceeded to plunder the Yarmouk Aid Centre of its goods and distributed it among the local populace.

Although initially reluctant, local rebel factions attempted to dislodge the protests by firing into the air.

Two weeks ago, the Bustan al-Qaser neighbourhood was struck by infighting as Islamist groups overran several checkpoints held by the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) Fastaqim Union, effectively disbanding the latter group.

Upwards of 200,000 civilians remain besieged in eastern Aleppo while some 9,000 militants have been accused of using local residents as human shields, refusing to allow their evacuation into government-held western Aleppo.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

HRW conducted a biased investigation for the school “bombing” in Idlib

By Mehmet Ersoy | OffGuardian | November 16, 2016

On November 6, Human Rights Watch published a report in which the Syrian government and its allies were accused of carrying out an airstrike on a school in Idlib province in late October, 2016.

According to the report, on October 26, the school was hit by two Su-24 jets used by the Syrian and Russian AFs. Citing some witnesses, the organization claims the jets dropped from 7 to 9 parachute bombs on the school and nearby road. It says no military facilities were in school or by it and all the casualties were among civilians.

It should be noted that, basing on HRW’s report, the Western media went off blaming Assad and his allies for murdering civilians. The artificial information hysteria even forced UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon make a hasty loud statement on military crimes in Idlib.

In its turn, the next day only the Russian side could provide sound evidence of the fact that the Syrian aviation and its allies had nothing to do with the attack on the school in Hassa.

Inside Syria Media Center would like to look into the matter. In its report, HRW quotes some phone interviews with the witnesses. We attempted to contact the organization’s press desk but the human rights activists refused to provide details on the persons involved in the report.

A conversation between Inside Syria and Human Rights Watch

A conversation between Inside Syria and Human Rights Watch

In the conversation, HRW claimed the video in their report could be used as the real evidence. However, it’s quite arguable.

Doubtful video footage

The footage of an anti-governmental channel Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office published in the HRW report shows an airstrike but it’s hard to distinguish the exact place of the accident. The analysis of this video makes it clear that the international human rights organization takes into consideration only one side of the Syrian conflict i.e. the armed opposition’s militants. At the same time, it almost ignored the arguments of the other side of the conflict and marked them as untenable.

A damaged classroom is pictured after shelling in the rebel held town of Hass, south of Idlib province, Syria October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

A damaged classroom is pictured after shelling in the rebel held town of Hass, south of Idlib province, Syria October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

 Photos of the school in Idlib allegedly destroyed by an airstrikePhotos of the school in Idlib allegedly destroyed by an airstrike

Photos of the school in Idlib allegedly destroyed by an airstrikePhotos of the school in Idlib allegedly destroyed by an airstrike

In addition, the photos published in the media clearly show that just one wall is damaged and all the tables stand still. Moreover, not a single picture has any sign of people killed.

Besides, in its report, the organization provided no evidence of the presence of children both in the school and in Hassa village. It’s not a secret that since Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (former Jabhat al-Nusra) came to Idlib province, local schools stopped functioning.

Thus, HRW’s report mostly includes ungrounded evidence of bogus “airstrikes’ witnesses” and doubtful photos & video footage. Human Rights watch seems to have taken a biased approach towards the investigation instead of performing its direct duty – to protect the rights of civilians in Syria. HRW is obviously carrying out an information campaign on behalf of the Syrian opposition as the infamous White Helmets do.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Evicted Chagos islanders denied right to return to British owned US-leased military colony

RT | November 16, 2016

The Chagos islanders evicted from their own Indian Ocean homeland to make way for a military colony have been disappointed again, as the Foreign Office has confirmed that they will not be allowed to return home.

Hundreds of Chagossians have been waiting for the latest decision for the two years since the last High Court hearing, while the overall campaign to reclaim their home has been ongoing for four decades.

In a statement on Wednesday, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Baroness Anelay appeared to quash any hope of a return for the islanders, while admitting that the treatment of the Chagossians during their removal “was wrong” and claiming the Foreign Office felt “deep regret” about it.

Among the methods British and US authorities used to drive the Chagossians off their island was killing their pets en masse with exhaust fumes and threatening to shoot, bomb or starve the natives themselves.

Still, Anelay said the decision against resettlement had been taken on “grounds of feasibility, defence and security interests, and cost to the British taxpayer.”

She did pledge “to support improvements to the livelihoods of Chagossians in the communities where they now live, however.

“I can today announce that we have agreed to fund a package of approximately £40 million [$50 million] over the next ten years to achieve this goal,” she said.

Among the key objections cited in Baroness Anelay’s statement was the difficulty of resettling the Chagossian population on low-lying islands, though the decision appears to fly in the face of the presence of thousands of UK and US service personnel on the island of Diego Garcia, who apparently live there with no problem.

Low down in the statement, the issue of US relations made an appearance.

“The Government has also considered the interaction of any potential community with the US Naval Support Facility – a vital part of our defence relationship,” it was argued.

The islanders, who are British citizens, were removed from their homes during the 1960s and 1970s. One of the islands called Diego Garcia, which was later leased to the US military by the British government, has become a key strategic base in the region.

Diego Garcia has repeatedly made headlines over allegations that the US’ extraordinary rendition – state-sanctioned kidnap and torture – flights were routed through the airbase.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

German court rejects calls for disclosure of NSA spy targets

‘Bad day for democracy’

RT | November 16, 2016

Germany’s highest court has rejected the opposition parties’ bid to make the government reveal to a parliamentary commission investigating the activities of the US NSA spy agency in Germany, the spy targets they had jointly worked on.

The head of the Left Party in the NSA parliamentary commission, Martina Renner, said the ruling was a “bad day for democracy,” which signaled that the “secret services can continue doing what they want, undisturbed by parliamentary control,” Zeit reported.

The ruling is a response to a complaint filed by two opposition parties, The Greens and the Left Party, in September 2015 following reports that the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) intelligence agency had collaborated with the NSA, helping it eavesdrop on European firms and prominent politicians.

The Constitutional Court’s October ruling, that was made public only this Tuesday, said the US was against sharing the sensitive spy target list, and doing so without US permission would hamper German intelligence agencies’ ability to cooperate with counterparts in the future, Reuters reported.

Anna Biselli of the digital research organization Netzpolitik called the Constitutional Court’s ruling “a blow for any clarification on the activities of the BND and the NSA and for the entire parliamentary monitoring of secret services.”

“The government has been successful with its universal argument that the state’s welfare is in danger if the list is revealed. Unfortunately, this argument is widely used to avoid giving out information. This makes the parliament’s job of monitoring the BND effectively very difficult, although that is exactly one of its responsibilities,” she told Deutsche Welle.

Biselli said that one of the commission’s key tasks was to look into the selectors list, which included search parameters from the NSA that the German spy agency to track millions of surveillance targets worldwide.

“The commission wanted to look into the list of selectors because it wanted to know which targets the BND illegally spied on for the NSA,” Biselli said. In the course of its investigation, it was found that the BND monitored sensitive targets, including European governments, institutions and corporations.

“There were several million, probably 13 to 14 million selectors [used to spy on targets], controlled together with the NSA over the course of 10 years,” Greens politician Konstantin von Notz, who is on the parliamentary committee investigating NSA activities, said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk on Wednesday.

“There are probably hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, of European and German victims. There will be companies, journalists, probably politicians monitored for years, and this is unpleasant at the very least, and it will all remain under the seal of secrecy,” he added.

The NSA spied on German chancellors and their offices for over a decade, a WikiLeaks report revealed last year. Leaked NSA intercepts indicated that the US tapped the phones of the political offices of the last three German chancellors – Angela Merkel, Gerhard Schröder (in office 1998–2002) and Helmut Kohl (chancellor from 1982 to 1998) – and targeted at least 125 phone numbers of top German officials.

Another scandalous revelation made in April last year suggested that the German BND foreign intelligence agency helped the NSA spy on European firms and officials.

Read more:

BND helped NSA spy on EU politicians & companies ‘against German interests’

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Corruption | , , , , | 1 Comment

Russia withdraws signature from ICC

The BRICS Post | November 16, 2016

The Russian foreign Ministry on Wednesday said it was withdrawing its signature from the founding document that established the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Saying that it was acting on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin, the ministry accused the court of failing to “live up to the hopes associated with it” and that it “did not become truly independent”.

The foreign ministry said that Russia cooperated with the ICC in the hopes that it would “become an important factor in consolidating the rule of law and stability in international relations,” but that this failed to happen.

Russia had in 2000 signed the Rome Statute which created the ICC, but never ratified the treaty, which entered into force in 2002.

Russia said it was dissatisfied with the way the ICC approached the conflict with Georgia in 2008 and accused the court of being one-sided and negligent about aggression committed by other parties, including the killing of Russian peacekeepers which was left to local courts under Georgian jurisdiction to investigate.

But Russia may also be voicing displeasure with an ICC report earlier this week which did not recognize the referendum voted by Crimea to join Russia and instead classified it as a military conflict.

Russia’s move comes a week after several African nations including South Africa withdrew from the ICC having accused it of being subjective and unfairly targeting their continent.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has rejected as unwarranted and inappropriate findings of the ICC chief prosecutor that US troops may have committed war crimes in their treatment of prisoners during the occupation of Afghanistan.

“Members of US armed forces appear to have subjected at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity on the territory of Afghanistan between 1 May 2003 and 31 December 2014,” the report said.

November 16, 2016 Posted by | Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , | 1 Comment