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Push war in people's faces!
(That's what this brave lady does)

Poet and Efran Kaye's tribute
to everyone killed in wars.

Bless the large numbers of Ethiopians,
the many good people in Indonesia, and
the folks of Russia, Greece and Egypt,
who are now playing it.

After the above incident, the USS Donald Cook
chose to immediately - and at full speed - move
 towards a port in Romania... where 27 shocked
 crew members asked for their own dismissal.

Vital Obama Decision on Syria Bombing “Hoaxed”

The United States has been performing air strikes
 inside Syria for many months now with a singular
lack of success.  Thus, the announcement that
 something has changed, that the US will now be
 defending the fighters they recently trained in
 Turkey, numbering only 60, is certainly bizarre.

  However, what is more bizarre is the phony story
 published in the Wall Street Journal on “condition
of anonymity.”  That is a hoax, pure and simple,
set by the newspaper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch
 with his endless striving for propaganda and use
of hoax stories, that are meant to break the will
 of any nation refusing to submit to Netanyahu.

There are no anonymous sources in the Pentagon. 
An anonymous source is a leak, a whistleblower,
and subject to arrest.  If information is released
 without authorization yet claims to be “official,”
 it is invariably nothing but sourceless editorial
“spin” as so often used by the WSJ, Huffington
 Post, and Washington Post, to name a few.

Such articles have, when involving Syria, included
 'no fly zones' ... and an imaginary 20,000 US force
be stationed, supposedly since 2012, in Jordan.

 Today is no different.  What is sad, is that news
 services like Russia Today are invariably taken
 in, because of the name, “Wall Street Journal,”
 not understanding it has been bought by the
 Murdoch organization, & turned into a tabloid.

What is the real story?

Al Nusra, the al Qaeda franchise so close to the
heart of Murdoch’s good friend, Senator John
 McCain, announced it was going to go after
 any fighters that became involved in what
they call “the American experiment.”

 President Obama’s announcement is a response
 to that move on the part of al Nusra.  You see, if
 fighters who sign up for the US’s failed training
 program in Turkey are immediately slaughtered
 or forced to flee the region, as happened with
the first tiny batch that graduated, the US will
 suffer a humiliation.

This has already happened, even though the
 Wall Street Journal never published it, nor
was it covered in the western press, yet it
happened, all the same.

What was also announced in the real story is
 quite the opposite of the version published in
 the Wall Street Journal and then republished
 in Russia Today, a publication far more likely
 to be read in the Middle East, where real
damage can be done.

The US has acknowledged that it may give
direct air support to “some groups possibly
 aligned with the Damascus regime.”  Now
 this is a real statement and represents the
political change that makes a presidential
 announcement necessary.

There is something stranger still afoot here
 where raw speculation is justified under a
guise of “analysis.”  The US has admitted
that it has bombed al Nusra forces, which
announced earlier that they had attacked
 the US trained force.  However, something
 is being left out.

The US trained force never left Turkey.

This article (in full) is available at:



 Irrefutable Documents Prove Support of
US Intelligence Agencies for Terrorism

A US judicial organization last month revealed
 classified documents of the US State & Defense
 Departments, proving the Obama administration
 & its intelligence agencies have been involved
 in supporting the terrorist groups in Syria since
 the start of the Syria crisis --- four years ago.

Watch the exclusive video here:



Confirmed: US Created ISIS Terror Group
Says New Declassified Pentagon Report.

From the first, the US has used 'Jihadists'
to gain a political goal: to depose Syria’s
president Assad, who for years has stood
 in the way of a Qatari natural gas pipeline
-- which could depose Russia as Europe’s
 dominant source of energy.

Russia saw right through this, and, in
 September 2014, its Foreign Minister
 Sergey Lavrov warned about the US,
reported Live

"if the West bombs Islamic State

 militants in Syria without consulting
 Damascus, the anti-ISIS alliance may
 use the occasion to launch airstrikes
against President Assad’s forces."

 Clearly seeing how Obama’s strategy
 on ISIS in Syria, was really all about
the Qatar pipeline through,
pushed back, saying that,
if the US
used ISIS as a pretext to
Syrian government's forces:

“such a development would lead to
a huge escalation of conflict in the
 Middle East and North Africa.”

But understanding and suspicions aren't
evidence or proof... which Russia lacked.

That has changed, thanks to a declassified
secret US government document, obtained
 by public interest law firm, Judicial Watch,
 which shows that the US government allied
 deliberately with al-Qaeda & other terrorists
 to topple Syria's (elected) President Assad.

Investigative reporter Nafeez Ahmed, says
 in 'Medium': the “leaked document reveals
 that -- in coordination with the Gulf states
Turkey - the West intentionally sponsored
violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad,
despite anticipating that doing so,
lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic

 State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the declassified document,
 the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of
 ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence
 of its strategy, but described this out-
come as a strategic opportunity to
 “isolate the Syrian regime.”

So far media reporting has focused on
 evidence that Obama's administration
 knew of arms supplies from a Libyan
 terrorist stronghold to rebels in Syria.

No media outlets are reporting the
 disturbing details exposing how the
West knowingly helped a sectarian,
al-Qaeda-driven rebellion in Syria.

Charles Shoebridge, former UK Army
 and Metropolitan Police counter-
terrorism intelligence officer:

“..the documents... contain far less
publicized revelations that raise
 vitally important questions of the
 West’s governments and media, in
 their support of Syria’s rebellion.”

The newly declassified DIA document
 from 2012 confirms that the major part
 of anti-Assad rebel forces by this time,
were Islamist insurgents affiliated to
groups that would soon lead to ISIS'
 emergence. Despite this, the groups
 continued to get support from the US
 military and the US's regional allies.

“The Salafists, the Muslim Brotherhood,
 and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major
 forces driving the insurgency in Syria,”
 the document noted, adding “the West,
Gulf countries, and Turkey support the
 opposition,” while Russia, China and
 Iran, “support the [Assad] regime.”

The DIA document stated that al-Qaeda
 in Iraq, precursor to the Islamic State
 in Iraq --- which became the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria (thus ISIS) ---
“supported the Syrian opposition from
 the beginning, both ideologically and
 through the media.”

In a part titled ‘The Future Assumptions
 of the Crisis,’ the DIA report predicts how,
 while Assad’s regime will survive, keeping
 control over Syrian territory, the crisis will
 continue to escalate “into a proxy war.”

The document recommends creating “safe
 havens under international sheltering, as
 in Libya, where Benghazi was chosen as
a command centre for the temporary

In Libya, anti-Gaddafi rebels, most of whom
 were al-Qaeda affiliated militias, were then
protected by NATO's ‘safe havens’
 (aka ‘no fly zones’).

In a striking prediction, the Pentagon document
 explicitly forecasts the probable declaration of
 “an Islamic State, through its union with other
terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.”

“Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey
 are supporting these efforts” by “opposition
 forces” fighting to “control the eastern areas
 (Hasaka and Der Zor), adjacent to Western
 Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar)”:

“… there is the possibility of establishing a
declared or undeclared Salafist Principality
 in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and
this is exactly what the supporting powers
 to the opposition want, in order to isolate
the Syrian regime, which is considered the
 strategic depth of the Shia expansion...
(Iraq and Iran).”

The secret Pentagon document thus provides
 extraordinary confirmation that a US coalition
 now bombing ISIS, just 3 years ago welcomed
 a terrorist “Salafist Principality” in the region,
 as a way to undermine Assad and block Iran.
Crucially, Iraq is labeled as an integral part
of this “Shia expansion,” which the US is
facing down.

The establishment of such a “Salafist
 Principality” in eastern Syria, the DIA
 document asserts, is “exactly” what
 the “supporting powers to the
opposition want.”

 Earlier on, the document repeatedly
describes those “supporting powers”
 as “the West, Gulf countries & Turkey.”

The document reveals how Pentagon
 analysts were acutely aware of the
 'risks', yet ploughed ahead anyway.

The establishment of a “Salafist Principality”
 in eastern Syria, they said, would create “the
 ideal atmosphere for AQI to return to its old
 pockets in Mosul and Ramadi.”

 Last summer, ISIS conquered Mosul in Iraq,
 and this month has taken control of Ramadi.

Such a quasi-state entity will provide, the
new document reveals:

“… a renewed momentum under the
 presumption of unifying the jihad among
 Sunni Iraq and Syria, and the rest of the
Sunnis in the Arab world against what it
 considers to be one enemy. ISI could also
 declare an Islamic State through its union
 with other terrorist organizations in Iraq
 and Syria, which will create grave danger
 in regards to unifying Iraq and the
 protection of its territory.”

The 2012 DIA document is an Intelligence
 Information Report (IIR) --- not a “finally
 evaluated intelligence” assessment ---
but it was 'vetted', before distribution.

 The report was circulated throughout the
 US intelligence community, including to
 the State Department, Central Command,
 the Department of Homeland Security,
the CIA, FBI, among other agencies.

The UK government has gone into 'denial',
when confronted with this evidence, as a
UK Foreign Office spokesperson says:

“AQ & ISIL are proscribed terrorist organisations.
 The UK opposes all forms of terrorism. AQ, ISIL,
& their affiliates pose a direct threat to the UK’s
national security.

 “We are part of a military and political coalition to
 defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and are working with
 international partners to counter the threat from AQ
 and other terrorist groups in that region. In Syria we
 have always supported those moderate opposition
 groups who oppose the tyranny of Assad and the
 brutality of the extremists.”

Security analyst Shoebridge, who has tracked
 Western support for Islamist terrorists in Syria
since the beginning of the war, points out that
 the secret Pentagon report has exposed fatal
 contradictions at the heart of US and Western
official pronunciations:

“Throughout the early years of the Syria crisis,
the US/UK governments, and almost universally
 the West’s mainstream media, promoted Syria’s
 rebels as moderate, liberal, secular, democratic,
 and therefore deserving of the West’s support.

 “Given that these documents wholly undermine
 this assessment, it’s significant that the West’s
 media has now, despite their immense
significance, almost entirely ignored them.”

Brad Hoff, a former US Marine:

“US intelligence predicted the rise of Islamic
 State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS), but
 instead of clearly delineating the group as an
enemy, the report envisions the terror group
 as a US strategic asset.”

Hoff, managing editor of Levant Report,
an online publication run by Texas-based
educators who have direct experience
 of the Middle East, notes how the DIA
document “matter-of-factly” states that
 the rise of such an extremist Salafist
 political entity in the region offers a
“tool for regime change in Syria.”

The DIA intelligence report shows, he says,
 that the rise of ISIS only became possible
 in the context of the Syrian insurgency.

“there is no mention of US troop withdrawal
from Iraq, as a catalyst for Islamic State’s
 rise, which is the contention of innumerable
politicians and pundits.” The report, he
demonstrates that:

“The establishment of a ‘Salafist Principality’
 in Eastern Syria, is ‘exactly’ what external
 powers supporting the opposition want
 (identified as ‘the West, Gulf Countries,
 and Turkey’) in order to weaken the
Assad government.”

The rise of a Salafist quasi-state entity
 that might expand into Iraq & fracture
 Iraq, was seen by US intelligence as
likely but strategically useful -- in the
 West’s commitment to “isolating Syria.”

The US official line still, is that the US
government did not retain sufficient
oversight on funding to the anti-Assad
 rebel groups, which was supposed to
be monitored & vetted to ensure that
 only ‘moderate’ groups were helped.

But the newly declassified Pentagon report
 proves unambiguously that years before ISIS
 launched its concerted offensive against Iraq,
 the US intelligence community was fully aware
 that Islamist militants constituted the core of
 Syria’s sectarian insurgency.

Despite this, the Pentagon still supported
 an Islamist insurgency, even as it foresaw
 the probability that it would establish an
 extremist Salafi stronghold in Syria & Iraq.

As Shoebridge told Dr Nafeez Ahmed, from
whose brilliant article this news is taken:

“The documents show that not only did the
 US government, at the latest, by August
 2012, know the true extremist nature &
 likely outcome of Syria’s rebellion”: ie,
 the emergence of ISIS — “but that this
 was considered an advantage for US
foreign policy.

 “This also suggests a decision to spend
years in an effort to deliberately mislead
the West’s public, via a compliant media,
 into believing that Syria’s rebellion was
 overwhelmingly ‘moderate.’”

The 2012 DIA document shows that, while
 sponsoring purportedly former al-Qaeda
 insurgents in Iraq, to counter al-Qaeda,
Western governments were at the same
time, arming al-Qaeda insurgents in Syria.

The new Pentagon report reveals that,
 contrary to Western government claims,
the primary cause of ISIS' threat, comes
 from their deeply misguided policies of
secretly sponsoring Islamist terrorism,
for dubious geopolitical purposes.


The Color Revolution in Macedonia Is Underway

by Wayne MADSEN
The diabolical plan to destabilize Macedonia by
Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, the
 US ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily, and
 Macedonian 'social democrat' opposition leaders
Zoran Zaev and Branko Crvenkovski – who could
 be called the 'Arseniy Yatsenyuk' and 'Petro
 Poroshenko' of Macedonia - has entered a critical
 phase with members of the supposedly disbanded
 Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) increasing their
 terrorist border incursions on Macedonian
from Kosovo.

The plan by the US State Department & Macedonian
 stooges like Zaev and Crvenkovski, is to create a
 situation where the democratically-elected
 government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and
 President Georgy Ivanov, is ousted in an uprising
 crafted by well-paid operatives for George Soros.

The coup plotters, including those who've become
 known throughout Macedonia as 'Sorosites,' hope
to replace the independent-minded government of
Macedonia with one that will cancel the Turkish
 Stream pipeline project that's designed to carry
 natural gas into central Europe from Russia via
Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary;
 negotiate with Greece, the European Union and
 NATO to end the nation’s use of the name
 'Macedonia,' thus ensuring the fast-track entry
of Macedonia into the EU and NATO; and satiate
 the desires of Albanian nationalists in Albania
and Kosovo for Albanian-majority regions of
 Macedonia to be whittled away from the
 country and appended to a 'Greater Albania.'

It's the rise of Albanian nationalist irredentism
along the fragile Kosovo-Albanian border that
poses the greatest threat to Macedonia’s political
 and territorial integrity. The first signs of trouble
 along the border, was an attack in April, on a
 Macedonian police border post at Gošince by 40
 armed men wearing the insignia of the allegedly
 outlawed KLA.

 That action came at the same time that Kosovo's
 Foreign Minister, Hashim Thaci, the former leader
 of the KLA, defied threats by Serbian authorities to
 arrest him for terrorist charges brought in 2007 and
 visit Belgrade to attend a conference organized by
 'Sorosites.' The arrest of Kosovo's foreign minister
 would have set the stage for a NATO/EU
 confrontation with Serbia, another critical partner
in, not only the Turkish Stream pipeline, but the
 Chinese-funded Balkan railway part of the Silk
Road project, that will link the Greek port of
Piraeus to Budapest, through Macedonia and

On May 9, armed gunmen who'd earlier crossed
 over from Kosovo and into Macedonia, were
 confronted in the northern border town of
Kumanovo by Macedonian police in a counter-
terrorism operation. A firefight broke out between
 the suspected KLA terrorists and the police. Six
Macedonian police and an unknown number of the
 Albanian terrorists were killed in the ensuing battle.

The attack by the restored KLA on the Gošince
 Macedonian border post, where Macedonian police
 officers were held hostage before the Albanian
 raiders returned to Kosovo, and the most recent
 foray by the KLA into Kumanovo, could not have
been possible without the knowledge of Kosovo's
military protector, NATO, which operates its largest
military base, in Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo.

In 2001, when KLA forces, allied with Macedonian
 Albanian nationalists of the National Liberation Army
 (NLA) of Macedonia, fought Macedonian government
 forces, fighters of the US private military company,
Military Professional
Resources, Inc. (MPRI), were
involved with both
sides. MPRI was assisting the
NLA while also
advising the Macedonian army.

 It is believed that MPRI had passed Macedonian
 national security information to the NLA prior to
the attack by the KLA/NLA. The Ochrid
Agreements saw Macedonia grant generous

 autonomy rights to its Albanian population in an
 effort to keep the violence that wracked Kosovo
and Bosnia from spilling over into generally
peaceful Macedonia. The Ochrid Agreements are
 now in jeopardy as the destabilization forces of
Nuland and Soros increase their pressure on the
 government in Skopje.

As if on cue from his 'Sorosite' masters, Albanian
 nationalist leader Koco Danaj, said from Tirana,
that the Kumanovo incident was the fault of
Gruevski, who Danaj likened to Adolf Hitler. Danaj
 is the leader of an Albanian nationalist group called
 'Platform for Natural Albania,' which has adherents
 in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia
who want to create a 'Greater Albania.'

 Danaj indicated that he has allies in Pristina,
Skopje, & Ulcinj, the latter the major Albanian
 centre in Montenegro, who stand ready to
bring about a Greater Albania.

In an attempt to intimidate Gruevski, Danaj said
 'Gruevski will end in blood.' Danaj was warning
 Gruevksi against any attempt to stamp out
 foreign Albanian terrorist activities in Macedonia.
In fact, the KLA members caught by the police
 in Kumanovo were, states Gruevski, planning
 a series of terrorist attacks on government
 installations in Skopje and other Macedonian
 population centers.

At the same time Danaj was making threats
against Macedonia from Albania, a NATO member
 state, Bosniak Muslims staged a reenactment of
 a wartime Nazi Waffen SS Handzar division parade
 in Novi Pazar, the capital of the Muslim-dominated
 Sandzhak province of Serbia. The Bosniaks chose
May 9, Victory in Europe Day, to stage their Nazi
 reenactment parade. The move is similar to the
neo-Nazi Waffen SS division parades conducted
 in Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania and meant to
 outrage ethnic Russians in those countries.

 The Bosniak Waffen SS troops were identifiable
 by their green uniforms and red fezzes and were
 among Hitler’s fiercest of fighters & the Bosniaks
 marching in Novi Pazar wore the very same
uniforms on VE Day.

The Bosniak Muslims of Sandzhak and their
like-minded colleagues in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
 Montenegro, and Macedonia largely favor the
 establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the
Balkans that would include the Bosniak
 Muslims and Albanians.

Zaev, Crvenkovski, and the 'Sorosites' are using
 the outbreak of violence in the Albanian majority
 regions of Macedonia in an attempt to dislodge
 from the current government the Albanian
political party, Democratic Union for Integration
 (DUI), as a junior coalition partner of governing
 VMRO DPMNE party of Prime Minister Gruevski.

The problems in the Albanian regions of Macedonia
 follow violent anti-government demonstrations in
 Skopje that were egged on by the 'Sorosites.' Zaev
 and Crvenkovski are using unfounded charges that
 Gruevski’s government eavesdropped on the phone
 calls of 20,000 Macedonians, as a rallying theme
 against the government.

Largely ignored by the foreign press is the fact that
 only the US National Security Agency and its British
 and German partners have the capability to conduct
 such massive surveillance. The question remains:
 who provided the Macedonian opposition with the
 taped conversations of Gruevski and other
 government leaders with the opposition leaders?
The sophistication of the intercepts rules out the
 Macedonian Intelligence Service.

The opposition to Gruevski's government has been
 joined by two of the major Soros-funded media
 operations in Macedonia, the television networks
 "Telma" and "24 Vesti." They helped stoke recent
 violent protests directed at the government on
Macedonia Square in central Skopje, demonstrations
 that saw 36 of the 40 total injured in the melees in
front of the government headquarters in Skopje
 identified as police officers.

One Social Democratic leader and ally of Zaev and
 Crvenkovski, Radmila Shekerinska, was witnessed
 at a café near the protest venue issuing instructions
 to protesters to forcibly enter government buildings.

 Crvenkovksi and Zaev have openly called for a
 popular uprising against the Macedonian
 government. The Soros-influenced Radio Free
 Europe, has consistently understated the
number of police officers injured by 'Sorosite'
 rioters and it has failed to report on the
external agitation behind the rioting.

The good news is that Macedonians from all walks
 of life and ethnic backgrounds, Slavic and Albanian
 and Muslims and Orthodox alike, are aware of the
 'Sorosite' influences behind the outbreak of violence
 in their country and they are willing to stand up
 against it. For Soros and his agitators within the
 Macedonian opposition and the US embassy in
Skopje, Macedonia, unlike Ukraine, will not be
easily walked on.



Saudi war on Yemen has failed: Hezbollah chief

Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general
of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement,
 says the Al Saud regime has failed to achieve
 its goals against the Yemeni nation.

“Tell me about a single objective that has
 been achieved. Has Saudi Arabia restored
 the so-called legitimacy in Yemen? Has it
managed to prevent the expansion of the
Yemeni army and popular committees?
 Has it confiscated the arms of Ansarullah?
 Has it been able to return Mansur Hadi to
 his country?” Nasrallah asked in his TV

The Hezbollah chief rejected as lies, the
Riyadh regime’s claims of victory in the
war on Yemen, asking, “Do Arab citizens
accept such deception & misinformation?
As an Arab citizen I want information about
 the objectives that were allegedly realized.”

He said the Saudi kingdom is seeking to
 gain dominance over Yemen by launching
 a bloody war on its neighbour, and asked:

 “Have they managed to achieve their real
 objective: restoring their hegemony over

He lauded the Yemeni people’s resistance
against Saudi aggression, saying Riyadh
could not weaken the Yemenis.

“We are before a clear and obvious Saudi
 failure and a clear Yemeni victory. This is
 the result of the firmness & steadfastness
 of the Yemenis,” the Hezbollah chief said.

The Saudis claim the airstrikes only target
military positions. However, reports show
civilians & infrastructure in civilian areas
are being attacked. Recent reports also
 show Saudis used cluster munitions in
the northern province of Sa’ada.

Riyadh declared an end to the “Decisive
Storm” operation against Yemen & then
announced the beginning of a new phase
 “Operation Restoring Hope.”

“The launch of Operation Renewal of Hope
 was an attempt to cover up for the failure
 of the 1st round of the war against Yemen,”
he stressed.

He criticized Saudi Arabia and its backers
in the aggression against Yemen for their
hypocrisy in the war and their blocking of
 humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.

“They claimed they want to fight terrorism,
 but they are offering arms to al-Qaeda &
bombing popular committees, to prevent
them from reaching the regions where al-
Qaida is operating. They have prevented
 any humanitarian aid from reaching
Yemen,” he stressed.

Nasrallah praised the victories of Yemen's
people, and called on the international
 community to step up its efforts to help
 the Yemenis.

“The world has a responsibility to confront
this aggression's repercussions, at the
humanitarian level,” the Hezbollah chief
 said, condemning Saudi Arabia’s arial
bombing of Yemen and the destruction
 of its infrastructure.

He said, “Exerting pressure by killing
 children and women is a futile policy.”



Hezbollah's chief also referred to Iraq,
saying the US is seeking to split Iraq
under the pretext of fighting the ISIL
Takfiri group.

“After the IS seized control of Mosul
 and started threatening the other
provinces and the region, a US-led
international coalition was formed
to fight it. Back then, we said that
the US is not serious in fighting IS
 & that it would utilize the threat of
IS in the region, to realize its own
scheme for the region.

We said that the US has a scheme to
fragment the regions on a sectarian
& ethnic basis: Arabs, Kurds, Sunnis
and Shiites,” Nasrallah added.

Nowadays, the Americans have revealed
 their true intentions through their attempt
to bestow legitimacy on the fragmentation
of Iraq, and this is what the US Congress
 is trying to do, he noted.

The draft of a US annual defense bill, which
 was released on April 27 by the House Armed
 Services Committee, urges the US government
 to recognize separate Kurdish & Sunni states,
 and provide them with at least 25% of the 715
million dollars in aid money, allegedly planned
to be given to the Iraqi government, to help it
fight the ISIL terrorist group.

The draft bill also says the figure could even
 be 60% of the money, about USD 429 million.

The bill mandates that “the Kurdish Peshmerga,
 the Sunni tribal security forces with a national
 security mission, and the Iraqi Sunni National
Guard be deemed a country,” adding that this
 “would allow these security forces to directly
 receive assistance from the US.”

This was a prophecy which has now come true,
with a Senate vote in favour of carving up Iraq


Widespread Use of Torture by
 Ukrainian Army & Security Services


you can read the article here:



Washington Choreographing All-Out War with Russia?


The reckless American leaders are putting in place
 incendiary elements that heighten the risk of an all-
out war with Russia.

For several weeks now the Ukrainian self-defence
 militia, in the breakaway eastern Donbas region,
has been warning that the US-backed Kiev regime
 is readying to break a fragile ceasefire and resume
 its offensive. The refusal, as mandated by the truce,
 to fully withdraw all heavy artillery and the ongoing
 practice of live-fire drills near the conflict zone, are
the evidences cited.

With the arrival of 300 US paratroopers in
Ukraine, collaborating with Kiev’s
National Guard brigades, who are the worst
offenders over the past year’s fights in east
 Ukraine – that development is an alarming
 harbinger of imminent conflict.

The Minsk ceasefire, brokered by Russia,
& France, has, up to this time,
held for over
two months. Given the Kiev
regime’s past breach of
previous cease-
fires, the duration of the truce signed

 on February 12th, has surprised many.

But now it seems the
levee is about to burst,
ushering more violence into the

Of utmost concern is that the US military forces have
 reportedly moved into the Donetsk region, near the
 conflict zone.

(This has been "officially" denied by the US.)

The arrival of the US troops was already described
by Moscow as a breach of the Minsk ceasefire. Bad
 enough, was that the Americans were supposed to
 conduct their military exercises in the west of the
 country, near Lviv city. Inexplicably, according to
the Russian Ministry of Defence, US troops
of the
173rd Airborne Brigade have taken
up "training"
positions in Donetsk --- only 20-30
kilometres from
the conflict zone. The positions
include the towns
of Artemivsk, Severodonetsk and

Moreover, the military training given by the
 Americans to their charges includes the use of
made arms, not the usual Soviet-style arms
  the Ukrainian Armed Forces traditionally use.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson,
Lukashevich, notes that the
mode of training,
shows that Washington
is preparing to fulfil its
promise to supply
lethal weapons to the Kiev

The disturbing upshot of the ceasefire breaking in
 eastern Ukraine is that this time around the United
 States will be an overt participant in any renewed
 war. Not only the US, but two other closely aligned
 members of the NATO alliance – Canada and Britain.
 Nearly 600 troops from these three countries are in
 place acting as "military advisors" and providing
 weapons training to Kiev’s forces.

If the shaky Minsk ceasefire collapses, as many fear
 it might, then the situation has American, Canadian
 and British military boots on the ground, and on the
 side of the Kiev regime. There is no equivocation
 about it. These NATO members will then be overtly
 at war in Ukraine fighting for a Neo-Nazi regime that
 has been responsible for 6,000 deaths over the past
 year in its wanton offensive on the Russian-speaking
 people of Donetsk and Luhansk.

That new situation will have dispelled the erstwhile
 pretence of the US and its allies, of "only" providing
indirect support to Kiev. For these West
ern powers
will be at war – officially.

In addition to the sinister military build-up on
ground, the US has begun a revamped
 choreographing of disinformation and war

In recent days, the US ambassador to Kiev, Geoffrey
 Pyatt, took to social media with more shrill claims of
a Russian military presence in eastern Ukraine. Pyatt
 averred that it was "the highest concentration of
 Russian air defence forces in eastern Ukraine since
 [last] August." He posted a photograph of a Buk
 Missile system, which actually turns out to have
been taken
from a commercial military exhibition
held in Russia ---
two years ago.

Pyatt, along with State Department official Victoria
 Nuland, it may be recalled, was the architect of the
 coup in Kiev last February when the American CIA
 backed the violent overthrow of the elected
 government of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, the US State
 Department used the exact same formulation of
 words to claim Russia was installing advanced air
 defence systems in eastern Ukraine. There is "no
 doubt that Russia is involved," said spokeswoman
 Marie Harf --- without, as usual, providing any
 evidence. When asked about exact numbers of
 alleged Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, Harf's
 cosmetic demeanour appeared to crumble with
 uncertainty. "It is really hard to get precise
 information about Russian troop numbers
 specifically, but we know there is a substantial
 Russian presence," she told reporters.

Ironically, Washington cited these alleged infractions
 to accuse Russia of "violating the Minsk ceasefire",
 that could be construed as an act of war "requiring"
 Kiev forces to "respond". The irony is cloyingly rich
 given that it is the US that has sent paratroopers
eastern Ukraine to train Neo-Nazi brigades
on how to
kill more ethnic Russians.

Apart from an outright falsification of the alleged
 presence of Russian forces in Ukraine, the potential
 is rife for so-called false-flag terror attacks carried
 out by the Kiev regime and its American handlers.
 Such an atrocity, amplified by the dutiful Western
 news media, could, in turn, be cited as a
to relaunch hostilities.

Earlier this year, for example, on January 13th,
Volnovakha town, a bus carrying civilians
blown up, reportedly with a roadside mine,
killing twelve
people onboard. The US-backed
Petro Poroshenko, immediately
blamed "Russian

It's been a familiar routine over the
past year,
whose choreography suggests
planning. In the Volnovakha bus
only later did it emerge, that the explosive
device belonged to the Kiev forces who hold
area, and it may indeed have been set off
 deliberately, to impugn the pro-Russian rebels.

Volnovakha is one of the towns in eastern Ukraine
 where US troops are now reportedly carrying out
 military exercises with the disreputable National
 Guard, whose crimes against civilians in eastern
 Ukraine is amply documented, even by Western
 human rights groups.

The combined factors in this equation do not bode
 well. US and NATO troops on the ground in eastern
 Ukraine working with Neo-Nazi paramilitaries, plus
 renewed audacious media attempts to criminalise
 Russia. That array of factors equals a return to all-
out war, this time with NATO openly participating.

The provocation to Russia has to be seen in a wider
even more troubling context, of American-led NATO
 build-up of troops, warplanes, warships & missiles
 across Eastern Europe – and all pointed at Russia.

This begs the inevitable conclusion of Washington
 choreographing events for all-out war with Russia.

Given the decrepit, crumbling state of America’s
 global empire and its bankrupt capitalist economy,
 the pernicious motive for such a war begins to look

Unless, of course, the American people and the rest
 of the world can somehow unite – to abolish the out-
of-control regime in Washington.


Something must have happened
 for Hollande to be so incoherent.

The US has maintained constant pressure on France
since her refusal to join the first anti-Iraq coalition in
 2003, when Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin
made his remarkable address before the Security
 Council: France’s last independent policy statement.

 France has been punished for this foolhardy act
 of disobedience: the Bush Law - “Those who are
 not with us are against us” - was laid on France
 in full. Sanctions after sanctions, most of them
unpublicized, some unannounced, until they
in, and joined the war in Afghanistan.

The last sanction, and the most crippling, was
  the US
embargo on military equipment, which
forced France
to join the Afghanistan war, as
revealed at
the above-mentioned hearings:

- Senator: “Do you mean to say, General, that
went to Afghanistan because of some
spare parts??!!

- Gen. Bentégeat (former Deputy Chief of General
 Staff): Those spare parts were essential for the
 propulsion system of our helicopter carrier. The
embargo on military hardware was decreed by
Donald Rumsfeld after our opposition to the
 intervention in Iraq; it was only lifted when
joined the war in Afghanistan.”

The French were so ill-prepared for this war, they
 soon ran out of everything, even toilet paper, that
 they had to steal from the US barracks. The worst
 part of it all, is that when the US decided to with-
draw the main force from Afghanstan, they didn't
 even inform the French.. “The Americans just use
 us as “kit expéditionnaire”, Gen Desportes cries.

Thus fares la Grande Armée, under the heel
of the American hegemon...

Hollande may be under renewed pressure from
the US, which apparently never ends its threat
 to deprive France (and the UK too) of their seat
 on the UN Security Council - as Gen. Bentégeat
testifies, during the same senate hearings:

“The pressure in this regard is constant, both
 on France, and the UK. France's Permanent
 Representative [to the UN] always tells me
 France & the UK are constantly challenged
 to demonstrate that they're not out of place
 on the Security Council.”


Top Polish Military Advisor "Completely
Withdraws" His Support for Kiev

General Skrzypczak, former head of Poland's Armed
 Forces, no longer supports military assistance and
 political support for Kiev because of the Kiev-coup
 Parliament's decision to honour OUN-UPA, who are
 World War Two Ukrainian ultra nationalists, who
slaughtered tens of thousands of Poles.

This article originally appeared at The New Cold War

A top military adviser and former head of Poland’s
 armed forces tells Gazeta Prawna news in Poland
 that he has “completely withdrawn” his previous
 views favoring providing more military assistance
 and political support to the government of Ukraine.

General Waldemar Skrzypczak spoke to the paper
 briefly on April 16th. On April 17th, Gazeta Prawna
is publishing a feature interview with him.

His change of view is prompted by a law, passed
 by Ukraine's Parliament on April 9th, glorifying
 World War Two collaborators with Nazi Germany.

 It followed an address to the Verkhovna Rada
April the 9th, by the then Polish President,
Komorowski, in which he voiced
strong support
for Ukraine, including its
military ambition to
put down the pro-
autonomy movement in the
east of Ukraine.

Skrzypczak tells Gazeta Prawna:

 “A few hours later, Ukraine's parliament passed a
 law glorifying the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).
At this point, I realized Ukraine does not consider
 the Polish people. I’m talking of what happened
 in Volhynia, the slaughter of 100,000 Poles by
 the UPA [in 1943 and 1944]…

“The UPA murdered my uncle, nailing him with
forks to the barn door. From what I know, he
 died 3 days later. Their savagery was beyond
 human imagination. Nazi Germany did not
come up with what those Ukrainians were

“I wonder what future the president of Ukraine,
Mr Poroshenko, is building for Ukraine. On a
foundation of bloodthirsty nationalism? This
 is terrible.

“It has long been said that Ukrainians should
get rid of nationalism, because if they don't,
collaboration with Poland will be very hard,
 in fact, impossible.”

General Skrzypczak is no pacifist, or friend of
Russia. Born in 1956, he was the commander
 of Polish Land Forces from 2006 to 2009.

Since September 2011, he's an adviser at the
 Polish Ministry of National Defence. In June
 2012, he became deputy minister of defence,
 responsible for armament and modernisation.
 In an August 2012 interview, he outlined his
 plans for a continuing & vast modernization
 and expansion of Poland’s military.


American Exceptional Hypocracy
by Michelle Semet.

 This article appeared in full at
 Letters from Globistan

According to the official narrative, Americans
 are the reluctant enforcers of human rights as
 Putin recklessly pushes for nuclear war. In this
 latest revision, France & Germany reprise their
 roles as spineless and unprincipled allies who
 won't defend Ukrainian democracy, because
 of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

To make the case that Russia is lurching towards
 diplomatic belligerence, much hay has been made
 regarding the revision of Russia’s military doctrine:

“Although the revised Russian military doctrine
 in December 2014, is not new in its allowance
 of tactical nuclear weapons in the case of a
 conventional attack that “threatens the very
 existence” of the Russian state, given the
 strengthening of Russia’s narrative on its
own perceived encirclement by NATO,

such threats are potentially open to
dangerous interpretation.”   
Sarah Lain,

 IB Times.

Feckless allegations and paranoid speculations
 re Putin’s motives are published as unassailable
 fact in prestigious media outlets, casting Russia
as the mustachio-twirling nuclear villain of our
fevered imaginations:

“Others want nuclear weapons not to freeze the
 status quo, but to change it. Russia has started
 to wield nuclear threats as an offensive weapon
in its strategy of intimidation.

 Its military exercises routinely stage dummy
nuclear attacks on such capitals as Warsaw
 and Stockholm. Mr Putin’s speeches contain
 veiled nuclear threats. Dmitry Kiselev, one of
 the Kremlin’s mouthpieces, has declared with
 relish that Russian nuclear forces could turn
 America into “radioactive ash”.
       The Economist.

“No one wants to acknowledge the truth: We
 won’t sell even defensive weapons to Ukraine
 because Russia is a nuclear power, & because
 Russia keeps reminding us of that fact. Last
month, Russia's government declared it had
put nuclear-capable missiles near Kaliningrad
 city, in striking range of Warsaw, Stockholm,
 and possibly Berlin. To underline the point, they
 also put a few more missiles in Crimea.

 During the last NATO summit, Russia suddenly
 decided to get out its nuclear weapons and
 “practice” loading them. During its 2009 military
 exercises, Russia also “practiced” a nuclear
strike on Warsaw. Of course these are bluffs &
 threats, designed to make everyone nervous.
 But because there is a sliver of a chance that
 Putin is crazy enough to kill millions of people,
they work.”               
   Anne Applebaum, Slate.

Pot Calling Kettle As America’s
Standard Operating Procedure

Buried under all the Russia & Putin hysteria
 lies the raging institutional hypocrisy that
 masquerades as American exceptionalism.
 Though it’s undeniable (and completely
 understandable) that Russia would be
willing to use nuclear weapons in the
defense of her borders and sovereignty,
 it's the US that has “officially” reserved
 the prerogative of a nuclear first strike.
 As former Assistant Treasury Secretary
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts explains:

“I pointed out years ago that the Bush regime
 had changed US war doctrine such that the
role of nuclear weapons was no longer
retaliatory to be used in the event of nuclear
 a attack on the US.  It was elevated to a
first strike position.  It is now our war

doctrine that we can initiate a nuclear war
on somebody we don’t like, or who we think
might not agree with us, or who we think
might be prepared to go to war against us. 
This doctrine applies to countries that do
 not have nuclear weapons.”

Unfortunately for the vast majority who rely
on mainstream media for their information,
 this reality is relentlessly obfuscated with
 provocative rhetoric and a disingenuous

“It’s a curious reversal of roles: In the 1980s,
 the Soviet leadership was terrified that a
cowboy in the White House - someone who
was so nutty he made jokes about signing
 “legislation that will outlaw Russia forever”
 - might just flip a switch and send a missile.

 Nowadays, it’s we who fear the madmen in
foreign capitals, while our own large nuclear
arsenal goes unmentioned - unacknowledged
 by a Western political class that is frankly
 embarrassed that it still exists.”   
 Anne Applebaum, Slate

Given the real motives & documented objectives
 of American foreign policy, it is exceedingly clear
 that Russia’s true crime, is her all-too-real ability
 to defend herself on the world stage. How can
 American leaders accuse Russia of shameless
 nuclear intimidation when they openly advocate
 for the exclusive right of preemptive nuclear war
–even against nations without nuclear weapons?


says Robert Parry

Robert Parry, the American investigative journalist
who broke many Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s
 for the Associated Press and Newsweek, speaks
out now about Robert Kagan & Victoria Nuland &
 their hold on Obama, whose foreign policy seems
 to be outsourced to these ideologue-opportunists,
whose companies depend on wars..

According to Parry, the couple’s latest project is
to sink Minsk-2 and lay the ground for further US
 military-industrial-complex profiteering at the EU's
 expense and of the US itself, and peace in Europe.

How to sink Minsk-2

In another overheard conversation — in Munich,
 Germany — Nuland mocked the peace agreement
 as “Merkel’s Moscow thing,” German newspaper
 Bild says, citing unnamed sources, likely from the
 German government which may have bugged the
 conference room in the luxurious Bayerischer Hof
 hotel and then leaked the details.

Picking up on Nuland’s contempt for Merkel,
another US official called the Minsk-2 deal
the Europeans’ “Moscow bullshit.”

Nuland suggested that Merkel and Hollande
cared only about the practical impact of the
 Ukraine war on Europe: “They’re afraid of
damage to their economy, counter-sanctions
 from Russia.”

According to the Bild story, Nuland also
 laid out a strategy for countering Merkel’s
diplomacy by using strident language to
frame the Ukraine crisis.

“We can fight against the Europeans, we
 can fight with rhetoric against them,”
Nuland reportedly said.

NATO Commander Air Force General Philip
 Breedlove was quoted as saying that sending
 more weapons to the Ukrainian government
 would “raise the battlefield cost for Putin.”

 Nuland interjected to US politicians present
 that “I’d strongly urge you to use the phrase
 ‘defensive systems’ that we would deliver to
oppose Putin’s ‘offensive systems.’”

Nuland sounded determined to sink the Merkel-
Hollande peace initiative, even though it was
 arranged by two major US allies, and blessed
President Obama.

And, now, the deal seems indeed to have been
blown apart by Nuland’s hand-picked PM,
Yatsenyuk, who inserted a poison pill into the
 legislation to implement the Minsk-2
political settlement.

The Ukrainian parliament in Kiev added a
clause that, in effect, requires the rebels
 to first surrender, and let the Ukrainian
 government organize elections, before
federalized structure is determined.

 Minsk-2 had called for dialogue with the
 representatives of the rebellious eastern
 territories en route to elections and the
establishment of broad autonomy for
the region.

Instead, reflecting Nuland’s hard-line position,
 Kiev refused to talks with the rebel leaders,
 & insisted on establishing control over these
territories before the process can move

If the legislation stands, the result will almost
surely be a resumption of war between military
 forces backed by nuclear-armed Russia and the
 United States, a very dangerous development
 for the world.


If Downtown New York City Was Hit
 by ONE Modern Nuclear Weapon

Or downtown Moscow for that matter. Today's
nukes are deadlier than ever. Russia & the US
 have 700 800-kiloton deployed warheads each.

This article originally appeared at OpEdNews

What would happen if just one 800-kiloton nuclear
warhead was detonated above midtown Manhattan?

The Russians are reputed to have 10 such weapons
 trained on the city. And we threaten their cities in a
like manner. This chilling account was delivered at
a recent Caldicott Foundation 'For A Nuclear Free
 Future' conference held at the New York Academy
 of Medicine.

It is the work of 3 distinguished authorities on
 the subject.

By Steven Starr, Lynn Eden and Theodore A. Postol

(Lynn Eden is a member of the Security Board
 of "Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists" and a
 Senior Research Scholar & Associate Director
 for Research, at Stanford University's Centre
 for International Security and Cooperation.)

(Physicist Theodore Postol is Professor of
Science, Technology, and National Security
Policy at MIT. His expertise is in ballistics.)

(Steven Starr is Director of the University
 of Missouri's Clinical Laboratory Science

Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles are
 believed to carry a total of approximately 1,000
 strategic nuclear warheads that can hit the US
less than 30 minutes after being launched.

 Of this total, about 700 warheads are rated at
 800 kilotons; that is, each has the explosive
 power of 800,000 tons of TNT. What follows
 is a description of the consequences of the
 detonation of a single such warhead over
midtown Manhattan, in the heart of NYC.

The initial fireball. The warhead would probably
 be detonated slightly more than a mile above the
 city, to maximize the damage created by its blast
wave. Within a few tenths of millionths of a second
 after detonation, the centre of the warhead would
 reach a temperature of roughly 200 million degrees
 Fahrenheit (about 100 million degrees Celsius), or
about 4 to 5 times the temperature at the centre
 of the sun.

A ball of superheated air would form, initiallly
 expanding outward, at millions of miles per
hour.  It would act like a fast-moving piston
on the surrounding air, compressing it at the
edge of the fireball & creating a shockwave
of vast size and power.

After 1 second, the fireball would be roughly
a mile in diameter. It would have cooled from
 its initial temperature of many millions of
degrees to about 16,000 degrees Fahrenheit
-- roughly 4,000 degrees hotter than the
surface of the sun.

On a clear day with average weather conditions,
 the enormous heat and light from the fireball
would almost instantly ignite fires over a total
 area of about 100 square miles.

Hurricane of fire. Within seconds after detonation,
fires set within a few miles of the fireball would
 burn violently. These fires would force gigantic
 masses of heated air to rise, drawing cooler air
from surrounding areas toward the centre of the
 fire zone, from all directions.

As massive winds drove flames into areas
where fires hadn't yet fully developed, fires
 set by the detonation would begin to merge.
Within tens of minutes of the detonation, fires
from near and far would join & have formed a
single, gigantic fire. The energy released by
 this mass fire would be 15 to 50 times greater
 than the energy produced by the nuclear

The mass fire, or firestorm, would quickly increase
 in intensity, heating enormous volumes of air that
would rise at speeds approaching 300 miles per hour.
This chimney effect would pull cool air from outside
 the fire zone towards the centre of the fire at speeds
 of hundreds of miles per hour. These superheated
ground winds of more than hurricane force, would
 further intensify the fire. At the edge of the fire zone,
the winds would be powerful enough to uproot trees
three feet in diameter and suck people from outside
 the fire into it.

The inrushing winds would drive the flames from
 burning buildings horizontally along the ground,
 filling city streets with flames and firebrands,
 breaking in doors and windows, and causing
 the fire to jump, sometimes hundreds of feet,
swallowing anything not already violently

These above-hurricane-force ground winds
would have average air temperatures well
above the boiling point of water. The
targeted would be transformed into a
 huge hurricane of fire, producing a lethal
 environment throughout the entire fire zone.

Ground zero: Midtown Manhattan. The fireball
 would vaporize the structures directly below it
and produce an immense blast wave and high-
speed winds, crushing even heavily built concrete
 structures within a couple miles of ground zero.
The blast would tear apart high-rise buildings and
expose their contents to the solar temperatures;
 it would spread fires by exposing ignitable
surfaces, releasing flammable materials, and
 dispersing burning materials.

At the Empire State Building, Grand Central Station,
 the Chrysler Building, and St. Patrick's Cathedral,
about a half to three quarters of a mile from ground
 zero, light from the fireball would melt asphalt in the
 streets, burn paint off walls, and melt metal surfaces
 within a half second of the detonation. Roughly one
 second later, the blast wave and 750-mile-per-hour
 winds would arrive, flattening buildings and tossing
 burning cars into the air like leaves in a windstorm.
 Throughout Midtown, the interiors of vehicles and
 buildings in line of sight of the fireball would
explode into flames.

Slightly more than a mile from ground zero are
the neighborhoods of Chelsea, Midtown East,
and Lenox Hill, as well as the United Nations;
at this distance, for a split second the fireball
would shine 10,000 times brighter than a
desert sun at noon. All combustible materials
illuminated by the fireball would spew fire and
black smoke.

Grass, vegetation, and leaves on trees would
explode into flames; the surface of the ground
 would explode into superheated dust. Any
flammable material inside buildings (paper,
curtains, upholstery) directly exposed to the
 fireball would burst into flame. The surfaces
of the bronze statues in front of the UN would
melt; marble surfaces exposed to the fireball
would crack, pop, and possibly evaporate.

At this distance from the fireball, it would take
 about four seconds for the blast wave to arrive.
As it passed over, the blast wave would engulf
all structures & crush them; it would generate
 ferocious winds of 400 to 500 miles per hour
that would persist for a few seconds.

The high winds would tear structural elements
 from buildings and cause them to disintegrate
 explosively into smaller pieces. Some of these
 pieces would become destructive projectiles,
causing further damage. The superheated,
dust-laden winds would be strong enough to
overturn trucks and buses.

Two miles from ground zero, the Metropolitan
 Museum of Art, with all its magnificent historical
 treasures, would be obliterated. Two and a half
miles from ground zero, in Lower Manhattan, the
 East Village, and Stuyvesant Town, the fireball
would appear 2,700 times brighter than a desert
 sun at noon. There, thermal radiation would melt
and warp aluminum surfaces, ignite the tires of
 autos, and turn exposed skin to charcoal, before
 blast waves arrived & ripped apart the buildings.

Three to nine miles from ground zero. Midtown is
 bordered by the relatively wide Hudson and East
 rivers, and fires would start simultaneously in
 large areas on both sides of these waterways
(that is, in Queens and Brooklyn as well as
Jersey City and West New York). Although the
 direction of the fiery winds in regions near the
 river would be modified by the water, the overall
 wind pattern from these huge neighboring fire
zones would be similar to that of a single mass
 fire, with its centre at Midtown, Manhattan.

Three miles from ground zero, in Union City, New
 Jersey, and Astoria, Queens, the fireball would be
 as bright as 1,900 suns and deliver more than five
 times the thermal energy deposited at the peri-
meter of the mass fire at Hiroshima. In Greenpoint,
Brooklyn & in the Civic Centre of Lower Manhattan,
clothes worn by people in the direct line of sight of
 the fireball would burst into flames or melt, and
uncovered skin would be charred, causing third-
degree and fourth-degree burns.

It would take 12 to 14 seconds for the blast wave
 to travel three miles after the fireball's initial flash
of light. At this distance, the blast wave would last
for about three seconds and be accompanied by
winds of 200 to 300 miles per hour. Residential
structures would be destroyed; high-rises would
 be at least heavily damaged.

Fires would rage everywhere within five miles of
 ground zero. At a distance of 5.35 miles from the
 detonation, the light flash from the fireball would
 deliver twice the thermal energy experienced at
 the edge of the mass fire at Hiroshima. In Jersey
 City and Cliffside Park & in Woodside in Queens,
 on Governors Island and in Harlem, the light and
heat to surfaces would approximate that created
 by 600 desert suns at noon.

Wind speed at this distance would be 70 to 100
miles per hour. Buildings of heavy construction
 would suffer little structural damage, but all
exterior windows would be shattered, and non-
supporting interior walls and doors would be
severely damaged or blown down. Black smoke
 would effuse from wood houses as the paint
 burned off surfaces and furnishings ignited.

6 to 7 miles from ground zero, from Moonachie,
New Jersey, to Crown Heights, Brooklyn, from
Yankee Stadium to Corona, Queens and Crown
Heights, Brooklyn, the fireball would appear
 300 times brighter than the desert sun at noon.
 Anyone in the direct light of the fireball would
suffer 3rd degree burns to their exposed skin.
The firestorm could engulf neighborhoods as
far as seven miles away from ground zero,
since these outlying areas would receive the
 same amount of heat as did the areas at the
 edge of the mass fire at Hiroshima.

Nine miles from ground zero, in Hackensack,
Bayonne, and Englewood, New Jersey, as well
as in Richmond Hill, Queens, and Flatlands,
 Brooklyn, the fireball would be about 100 times
 brighter than the sun, bright enough to cause first-
 and second-degree burns to those in line of sight.
About 36 seconds after the fireball, the shockwave
 would arrive and knock out all the windows, along
 with many interior building walls and some doors.

No survivors. Within tens of minutes, everything
 within approximately 5-7 miles of Mid Manhattan
 would be engulfed by a gigantic firestorm. The
fire zone would cover a total area of 90 to 152
 square miles (230 to 389 square kilometers).
The firestorm would rage for three to six hours.
Air temperatures in the fire zone would likely
average 400 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit (200
 to 260 Celsius).

After the fire burned out, the street pavement
would be so hot, that even tracked vehicles
 could not pass over it for days. Buried and
unburned material from collapsed buildings
throughout the fire zone, could burst into
flames when exposed to air -- months after
 the firestorm had ended.

Those who tried to escape through the streets
 would have been incinerated by the hurricane-
force winds filled with firebrands and flames.
 Even those able to find shelter in the lower-
level sub-basements of massive buildings
 would likely suffocate from fire-generated
 gases or be cooked alive as their shelters
 heated to oven-like conditions.

The fire would extinguish all life and destroy
 almost everything else. Tens of miles down-
wind of the area of immediate destruction,
 radioactive fallout would begin to arrive
within a few hours of the detonation.

But that, is another story.


Sixty-Six Years Ago on April 4th,
NATO Began its War Program

by Danielle Ryan

On April 4th, 1949, NATO consolidated itself
 into an alliance, whose only purpose, is to
 arm the world against Russia.

About three and a half months later, on July 26,
 Senator Bob Taft, the son of President W H Taft,
made a speech explaining why he voted against
its establishment.

It’s clear now, that he could foresee what those
 blinded by triumphalism & ideology couldn’t see.
 He was no apologist for communism or the USSR,
but he knew that a military pact against Russia
was a provocative act --- and one more likely to
lead to aggression and insecurity, than peace
and stability.

This is “not a peace program, it is a war program,”
 he said.

“…the treaty is a part of a much larger program by
 which we arm all these nations against Russia. A
 joint military program has already been made. It thus
 becomes an offensive and defensive military alliance
 against Russia. I believe our foreign policy should be
 aimed primarily at security and peace, and I believe
 such an alliance is more likely to produce war, than

“A third world war would be the greatest tragedy
 the world has ever suffered. Even if we won the war,
 we -- this time -- would probably suffer tremendous
 destruction, our economic system would be crippled,
 and we would lose our liberties and free system just
as the 2nd World War destroyed the free systems of
Europe. It might easily destroy civilization on this

Taft could see the Russian perspective clearly
-- without necessarily agreeing with it -- and he
 understood that it ought not be disregarded
 out of hand -- the de rigueur starting point in
 Washington today.

“If we undertake to arm all the nations around Russia
-- from Norway on the north, to Turkey on the south --
 and Russia sees itself ringed about gradually by so-
called defensive arms from Norway and Denmark to
Turkey and Greece, it may form a different opinion.
It may decide that the arming of western Europe,
regardless of its present purpose, looks to an
attack on Russia. Its view may be unreasonable,
and I think it is. But from the Russian standpoint
it may not seem unreasonable.”

“How would we feel if Russia undertook to arm
a country on our border; Mexico, for instance?”

Taft went on to argue that there would be only “one
 real hope” for peace in the world. It would be an
 “association of nations building itself to abide by a
 law governing nations and administered by a court
of legal justice”. Such a judicial finding “must not
be subject to veto by any nation”, he said.

3 years earlier, the United Nations had been
 founded. Taft regarded the young UN as an
 organisation looking in the right direction,
but one that was deeply flawed.

As his predictions on NATO turned out to be true
and justified, so too did his criticism of the United
 Nations. The UN veto power, held by five nations,
 has added to its ineffectiveness as a supposedly
 diplomatic and democratic organisation.

There may be some debate to be had about the
 legitimacy of a veto power --- but add to those
 criticisms Washington’s complete disregard for the
 UN Security Council, and you have an organisation
 which is essentially useless --- because one of its
members operates outside its bounds, at all times.

While the UN these days rarely serves anyone well,
NATO serves the interests of only 1 of its members.

Finally, on NATO, Taft said:

“… as set up, it is a step backward — a military
 alliance of the old type where we have to come to
 each others’ assistance, no matter who's to blame
and with ourselves, the judges of the law.“

66 years later and NATO still exists, as many
 have argued, for no good reason; to counteract
threats which are either imagined or which only
exist because NATO itself exists. Or worse, to
lend legitimacy to the geopolitical whims of its
 only beneficiary.

This article originally appeared at Journalitico


Robert Parry: Ukraine's poison pill for Minsk-2

The Ukrainian government is doing everything
 possible to disrupt the Minsk-2 arrangements.

 Ukraine may thus expand the geography of the
 civil war in the Donbass, while the United States
and Russia may approach the line behind which
 nuclear war may start, Robert Parry, a journalist
known for his  investigative reports, believes.

According to him, recent legislative decisions
by the Verkhovna Rada, have now poisoned
 the Minsk-2 agreements.

With its "legislative" work, Kiev's parliament
 has ruined the peace initiatives by European
  politicians trying to stop the bloodshed in
eastern Ukraine.

 There's another round of the bloody conflict
in store for Donbass, he says, and Ukraine's
MPs will do nothing except accuse Russia
and President Putin, for the blood shed.

The civil war was expected to finally end,
if Kiev agreed to grant 'special status' to
the two breakaway regions of Ukraine.

 However, after the "fruitful" work by the
 US-backed parliament, the value of this
 "special status" has been reduced to nil,
Pravda.Ru says.

Kiev says the People's Republics of Donetsk
and Luhansk will have to hold new elections
-- under Kiev's control -- if they want "special
status" for themselves. The elections would
have to be conducted after full capitulation
by the militia forces, as elections would not
take account of any frontline between the
  two sides.

Vadim Karasyov, director of the independent
Institute of Global Strategies --- in Kiev:

 "Ukraine won't go along with any legalization
 of those so-called people's republics. We need
 them to be dismantled," the Christian Science
 Monitor reports.

The leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk republics
have protested the decision by Ukraine's Rada.
 They note that it is contrary to both the letter
 and spirit of the Minsk agreements:
"We agreed to "special status" for the territories
 of our republics and a renewed, united Ukraine,
 although all our people want full independence.

 "We took this step to stop the bloodshed and the
 fratricidal war. Now we can clearly see that the
 Ukrainian authorities need the peace talks only
to further prepare for a new phase of the war."

It remains to add that Kiev's MPs are unlikely
 to have taken such "poisonous" solutions --
without the support of American "hawks,"
such as Victoria Nuland.
Those hawks put pressure on Poroshenko,
 Merkel and Hollande, taking the world to
 the brink of a possible nuclear war,
Robert Parry writes.


Russian Intelligence Saved
                 Yanukovych's Life, says Putin               
 Russian President Vladimir Putin says
he ordered the Russian intelligence

services to save ousted Ukrainian
president Viktor Yanukovych, as his
was an objective of the coup.

Putin says that, from the beginning,
the coup plan and the elimination of
Yanukovych in an attack, was clear.

"There were reasons to believe they would
 simply eliminate him", says the President,
 to explain an order he gave security forces
during the coup of February 22nd, in 2014.

The information received, indicated that
the coup leaders were prepared to not
just capture Yanukovich, but physically
 eliminate him, as this was simply more
 'convenient' for the coup, says Putin.

According to President Putin, subsequent
events detected by the Kremlin's security
services, only confirmed this.

Andrei Kondrashov's documentary, which
contains Putin's words, on Rossiya 1, has
created quite a stir in Russia and abroad.

Referring to the documentary 'Crimea.
to the Motherland', the spokes-
person for the
Commissioner for
Foreign and Security Policy
of the EU,
Maja Kocijancic, criticizes Russia.

'We are aware of the shooting of this
film, but
what matters is that we have
condemned -- and
will condemn -- the
accession of Crimea and
she says.


US Private Military Companies
Used for Arms
Supplies to Ukraine

CyberBerkut, Ukrainian hackers set up to fight neo-
fascism, nationalism and power abuse in Ukraine,
 has gained access to files on the mobile device of
 the Green Group PMC (private military company)
 official who recently visited Kiev as a member of
 a US military delegation. It made the materials
public on February 27th using its website

Green Group is a US private military company
 founded in 2007 with headquarters in Edmond,
 Oklahoma. It has a European branch in Tbilisi.

The company is licensed with the US Department
 of State and the State Department. CyberBerkut
 posted the documents to open access along with
 the Green Group advertisement. Two letters from
 Gregg Holmes, CEO of the PMC, to the Ukrainian
 Armed Forces' Chief of Staff, Muzhenko, became
 public domain. One of them, written in Ukrainian
 and dated February 15, 2015 (the Minsk deal was
 signed on February 12) is worth citing.

"As you know, the United States is in contact with
 NATO partners on lethal arms supplies to Ukraine.
 There has been no mutual understanding reached
 so far. As I am informed by my friends in the State
 Department and the Pentagon, the United States
 is going to increase pressure on European allies."

 "During recent consultations with the Ministry of
 Foreign Affairs of France the US State Department
 team insisted on expediting the procedures for
 delivering anti-tank systems and heavy weapons
 to Ukraine's military. The United States believes
 lethal arms will stop the advance of separatists
 in Ukraine and prevent them from approaching
 the administrative border of the Luhansk and
 Donetsk regions.

"According to US government estimates, the use
 of up-to-date weapons by Ukraine's military will
inevitably inflict heavy losses upon Russian
 volunteers fighting in the terrorists ranks. It
be impossible to hide the heavy casualties."

 "In its turn, this information will cause tension
 in Russia and spur the emergence of anti-war
 movements to organize mass protests against
 the current Russian government."

"No matter the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
 always supports the White house initiatives, the
 Government of France is hardly happy with our
 proposals. President Francois Hollande is not
ready to drastically change his Ukraine policy
but the US State Department came up with a
bright idea. The weapons will be delivered to

“volunteers” fighting for Ukraine or operatives
 of Western private military companies, with
great experience of using the weapons and
 equipment. Green Group is ready at any time
 to provide Ukraine's military with volunteers
 -- in sufficient numbers."

"The US government believes France could
 at least make a financial contribution, with
money transferred from the French Foreign
Ministry to State Department accounts, to
the real purpose it is allocated for."

"It's known that the Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission
 is responsible for arms supplies. A document of the
 US European Command (Eucom) contains a proposal
 to deliver lethal arms to Ukraine allocating $75 mn
for the purpose."

"The package includes Javelin
anti-armor missiles,
different kinds of light weapons,
equipment and individual protection
kits. $2
million is to be spent on the Maidan network."

Another Eucom document mentions ammunition,
including grenades. $45 million is to be allocated
 for the training of Ukraine’s military, first of all,
the special forces.

The arms will be transferred within the frame-
work of the Joint Multinational Training Group
– a program in accordance with the Ukraine
/U.S. Joint Commission.

Perhaps the purpose of the Green Group’s mission
 was to get acquainted with the Ukraine’s military
 requirements and observe the situation on spot.

 The documents show that the US assessments
are a bit different from what Ukraine asked for.
 The US offers to make it a much bigger deal. For
 instance, Green Group proposes to increase the
 number of robotic systems, and includes 9,000
 optical devices. Communication systems top
 the list, while Ukrainians give priority to drones.

According to the documents, Kiev started talks
 on weapons supplies, no later than mid-2014.

 The Ukraine-U.S. Joint Commission (its next
 session is slated for May or June 2015)...
serves as a cover.

 The US does not trust Ukrainians with making
 assessments of their needs. This mission will
be undertaken by private contractors. They
will also take part in combat actions and
work as consultants and trainers.

Green Group is not the only private military
company hired by the Pentagon and State
 Department to provide arms to Ukraine.

According to media, at least 3-4000 people
 employed by defense contractors, operate
in Ukraine. The decision is not taken at a
 political level but this doesn't prevent the
 organizers of military supplies from doing
their job.


'USA: Through Rough Ways to the Wars'
by Francis Boyle;
recommended reading:



US president’s decision to prolong anti-Russian
 sanctions far-fetched - analysts

US President Barack Obama’s decision to prolong
the operation of anti-Russian sanctions on Ukraine
 for one year, by no means reflects the situation in
 Ukraine --- and their sole effect will be a further
worsening of bilateral relations, experts say.

Obama on Wednesday extended the operation
 of sanctions against Russia, imposed on March
 6th, 16th and 20th, 2014, to affect a number of
 Russian companies and individuals, former
 members of the ousted president, Viktor
 Yanukovich’s government, and leaders of
 Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics.

 The sanctions of December 19, 2014, taken
against the Crimean economy, will stay, too.

Obama claims that the situation in Ukraine
remains extraordinary and constitutes "an
unusual and extraordinary threat to the
national security and foreign policy of the
 United States."

President of the International Centre for
Geopolitical Analysis, Leonid Ivashov:

 "When he says that he has made a decision
 to prolong the anti-Russian sanctions on the
 excuse there is a threat to US foreign policy
Obama is right, in that the restoration of
peace to the east of Ukraine would run
counter to Washington’s strategic plans
for tearing Ukraine away from Russia.

" When they were steering the events in Kiev
 towards a change of power, US Department
 of State emissaries certainly pursued an aim
very different from the situation achieved,
where Normandy Quartet leaders would push
 Washington aside to achieve implementation
 of the peace accords concluded in Minsk on
February 12th."

"Obama’s decision to prolong anti-Russian
sanctions fully reflects the United States’
wish to keep the war in Ukraine going,
because this war is against Russia.

"Washington has no intention of letting the
 European Union leaders settle the situation
 in the east of Ukraine. Otherwise Obama’s
already unimpressive rating would sink to
 new lows," Ivashov believes.

"In reality the process of ceasefire & pull-
back of heavy armaments in the east of
Ukraine is continuing. Unlike the Ukrainian
armed forces, the Donetsk and Luhansk
militias have followed the Minsk accords
to the letter, for which, Moscow can take
some credit.

"It should be obvious to US and EU leaders
that the self-proclaimed republics are by
no means interested in an escalation of
violence: the economy is in ruins, there
are no jobs, and no funds are available
to pay wages and salaries.

 But the West avoids putting proper pressure
on Kiev, to make it comply with the Minsk
accords, while the US puts the blame for
this, on Russia, and extends
which is utterly dissonant with
the real
state of affairs," Ivashov says.

A deputy director of the Institute of US and
Canada Studies, Viktor Kremenyuk, remarks
that unlike the German and French leaders,
 the US president is in no mood to take a
milder line towards Moscow.

"Regrettably, the Obama-Putin mechanism
 does not work.

"It is deplorable that the US president  turned
 a deaf ear to a message about the possibility
 of easing the food embargo. President Vladimir
 Putin’s spokesperson said that Russia might
 resume importing farm produce from Europe
 and the United States, on the condition that
Western companies began investing in the
 construction of processing facilities.

 Regrettably, that constructive message
resulted in a prolongation of sanctions
 against Russia," Kremenyuk says.

"I believe the US president may reconsider
 his stance re the anti-Russian sanctions,
 if German Chancellor Angela Merkel and
Francois Hollande, as well as the heads of
the OSCE mission in Ukraine, provide certain
guarantees that hostilities in the east of the
country will not resume. None of them has
been able to assume such a responsibility
...so far," Kremenyuk ends.


Nuclear War and Clashing Ukraine Narratives
By Robert Parry

America and Russia have two nearly opposite
 narratives on Ukraine, which is more an indictment
of the US news media, which feigns objectivity, but
 disseminates what amounts to propaganda. These
 divergent narratives are driving the world towards
 a possible nuclear crisis, writes Robert Parry.

The US government and mainstream media are
 swaggering to a possible nuclear confrontation
 with Russia over Ukraine, without any of the
seriousness that has informed this sort of
decision-making throughout the nuclear age.
 Instead, Official Washington seems possessed
 by a self-righteous goofiness that could be
the prelude to the end of life on this planet.

Nearly across the US political spectrum, there is
 a pugnacious “group think” which has changed
 what should have been a manageable political
dispute in Ukraine into some morality play where
US politicians and pundits blather on about how
 the nearly year-old coup regime in Kiev “shares
 our values” and how America must be prepared
 to defend this regime militarily.

Though I’m told that President Barack Obama
 personally recognizes how foolhardy this attitude
 is, he has made no significant move to head off
 the craziness and, indeed, has tolerated
provocative actions by his underlings, such as
 neocon Assistant Secretary of State Victoria
 Nuland’s scheming with coup plotters to over-
throw Ukraine’s elected President, Viktor
Yanukovych, last February.

Obama also has withheld from the American people
 intelligence information that undercuts some of the
 more extreme claims that his administration has
 made. For instance, I’m told that he has detailed
 intelligence reports on both the mysterious sniper
 attack that preceded the putsch nearly a year ago
 and the shoot-down of the Malaysia Airlines Flights
17 that deepened the crisis last summer. But he
 won’t release the findings.

More broadly over the last year, Obama’s behavior –
 ranging from his initial neglect of the Ukraine issue,
 as Nuland’s coup plotting unfolded, to his own
 participation in the tough talk, such as boasting
 during his State of the Union address that he had
 helped put the Russian economy “in tatters” –
 ranks as one of the most irresponsible
 performances by a US president.

Given the potential stakes of nuclear war, none
of the post-World War II presidents behaved as
 recklessly as Obama has, which now includes
 allowing administration officials to talk loosely
 about sending military support to an unstable
regime in Kiev that includes neo-Nazis who
have undertaken death-squad operations
against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

US Gen. Philip Breedlove,
NATO'S Commander,
declared last November that – on supplying
military support to Kiev's government –
“nothing at this time is off the table.”

 Breedlove is now pushing actively to send
lethal US military equipment to fend off an
offensive by ethnic Russians in the east.

I’m told the Russians fear that US officials
are contemplating placing Cruise missiles in
Ukraine, or otherwise introducing advanced
weaponry that Moscow regards as a direct
threat to its national security. Whether or not
 the Russians are being alarmist, these fears
 are affecting their own decision-making.

None of the nuclear-age presidents – not Harry
 Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy,
 Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford,
 Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush,
 Bill Clinton or even George W. Bush - would have
 engaged in such provocative actions on Russia’s
 borders, though some surely behaved aggressively
 in overthrowing governments and starting wars
 farther away.

Even Ronald Reagan, an aggressive Cold Warrior,
 kept his challenges to the Soviet Union in areas
 that were far less sensitive to its national security
 than Ukraine. He may have supported slaughtering
 leftists in Central America and Africa, or armed
 Islamic fundamentalists fighting a Soviet-backed
 government in Afghanistan, but he recognized the
 insanity of a military showdown with Moscow in
Eastern Europe.

After the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, US
 presidents became more assertive, pushing
 NATO into the former Warsaw Pact nations
 and, under President Clinton, bombing a
Russian ally in Serbia, but that came at a
 time when Russia was essentially flat on
 its back, geopolitically.

Perhaps the triumphalism of that period is
still alive, especially among neocons who
 reject President Vladimir Putin’s reassertion
 of Russia’s national pride. These Washington
 hardliners still feel they can treat Moscow
 with disdain, ignoring the fact that Russia
 maintains a formidable nuclear arsenal and
 isn't willing to return to the supine position
 of the 1990s.

In 2008, President George W. Bush – arguably
one of the most reckless presidents of the era
– backed away from a confrontation with Russia
when Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili,
 a neocon favorite, drew the Russians into a
border conflict over South Ossetia. Despite
 some war talk from the likes of Vice President
 Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain,
President Bush showed relative restraint.

Imbalanced Narrative

But Obama has failed to rein in his administration’s
 war hawks and has done nothing to correct the
 biased narrative his State Department has fed
 to an equally irresponsible mainstream US news
 media. Since the Ukraine crisis began in fall of
 2013, the New York Times and other major US
 news outlets have provided only one side of the
 story, openly supporting the interests of pro-
European western Ukrainians, over the ethnic
Russian eastern Ukrainians.

The bias is so strong that the mainstream media
 has largely ignored the remarkable story of the
Kiev regime willfully dispatching Nazi storm
 troopers to kill ethnic Russians in the east,
 something that hasn’t happened in Europe
 since World War II.

For Western news organizations that are quick
 to note the slightest uptick in neo-Nazism in
Europe, there has been a willful blindness to
 Kiev’s premeditated use of what amount
to Nazi death squads undertaking house-to
-house killings in eastern Ukraine.
[See Consortiumnews.com’s
“Seeing No Neo-Nazi
Militias in Ukraine.”]

Russia's government has repeatedly protested
these death-squad operations and other crimes
 committed by the Kiev regime, but the US
 mainstream media is so in the tank for western
 Ukrainians that it has suppressed this aspect
of the crisis, typically burying references to
the neo-Nazi militias at the end of stories... or
dismissing accounts as “Russian propaganda.”

With this ugly reality hidden from the US public,
 Obama’s State Department has been able to
present a white-hat-vs.-black-hat narrative
to the crisis. So, while the Russians saw a
constitutionally elected government on their
 border overthrown by a US-backed coup last
February – and then human rights atrocities
 inflicted on ethnic Russians in east Ukraine
 – the American people heard only about
wonderful pro-American “reformers” in Kiev
and the evil pro-Russian “minions” trying to
 destroy “democracy” at Putin’s bidding.

This distorted American narrative represents
 one of the most unprofessional & dangerous
 performances in the history of modern US
 journalism, rivaling the false conventional
 wisdom about Iraq’s WMD --- except in this
case the media propaganda is aimed at a
country in Russia that really does have
 weapons of mass destruction.

The Russians also have noted the arrival of
 financially self-interested Americans, including
 Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden
 and Ukraine’s new Finance Minister Natalie
 Jaresko, reminding the Russians of American
 financial experts who descended on Moscow
with their “shock therapy” in the 1990s, with
 “reforms” that enriched a few well-connected
 oligarchs, but impoverished millions of
average Russians.

Ukraine’s Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.

Jaresko, a former US diplomat who took Ukraine
 citizenship in December 2014 to become Finance
 Minister, had been in charge of a US-taxpayer-
financed $150 million Ukrainian investment fund
 involving substantial insider dealings, including
 paying a management firm that Jaresko created
 more than $1 million a year in fees, even as the
$150 million apparently dwindled to less than
$100 million.

Jaresko also has been involved in a two-year-long
 legal battle with her ex-husband to gag him from
 releasing information about apparent irregularities
 in the handling of the US money. Jaresko went
 into Chancery Court in Delaware to enforce a
 non-disclosure clause against her ex-husband,
 Ihor Figlus, and got a court order to silence him.

This week, when I contacted George Pazuniak,
Figlus’s lawyer about Jaresko’s aggressive
enforcement of the non-disclosure agreement,
 he told me that “at this point, it’s very difficult
 for me to say very much without having a
detrimental effect on my client.”

With Jaresko now hailed as a Ukrainian
 “reformer” who – in the words of New York
Times’ columnist Thomas L. Friedman –
 “shares our values,” one has to wonder why
 she has fought so hard to shut up her ex-
husband regarding possible revelations about
the improper handling of US taxpayer money.
 [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Ukraine’s
Made-in-USA Finance Minister.”]

More Interested Parties

The Russians also looked askance at the
 appointment of Estonian Jaanika Merilo as
the latest foreigner to be brought inside the
 Ukrainian government as a “reformer.”
 Merilo, a Jaresko associate, is being put in
charge of attracting foreign investments but
 her photo spreads look more like someone
 interested in some rather kinky partying.
(Photos show her dressed in skimpy tights
with a knife held provocatively)

The Russians are aware, too, of prominent
Americans encircling the potential plunder
 of Ukraine. For instance, Hunter Biden was
named to the board of directors of Burisma
 Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm.
Burisma is also a shadowy Cyprus-based
company linked to Privat Bank.

Privat Bank is controlled by thuggish billionaire
 oligarch Ihor Kolomoysky, who was appointed
 by Kiev's regime to be Dnipropetrovsk governor
  Oblast, in a south-central province of Ukraine.

Kolomoysky has helped finance the paramilitary
 forces killing ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

And Burisma has been lining up well-connected
 lobbyists, some with ties to Secretary of State
John Kerry, including Kerry’s former Senate
chief of staff David Leiter, according to lobby
disclosures. As Time magazine reported,
“Leiter’s involvement in the firm, rounds out
a power-packed team of politically-connected
Americans that includes a second new board
member, Devon Archer, a Democratic bundler
and a former adviser to John Kerry’s 2004
presidential campaign. Both Archer and
Hunter Biden have worked as business
 partners with Kerry’s son-in-law, Christopher
 Heinz, founding partner of Rosemont Capital,
 a private-equity company.”
[See Consortiumnews.com’s
“The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis.”]

So, Russians have a decidedly different view
 of Ukraine's “reforms” than much of the US
 media does. But I’m told that Russians would
 be willing to tolerate these well-connected
 Americans enriching themselves in Ukraine,
 and even Ukraine expanding its economic
 relations with the European Union.

But Russians have drawn a red line at the
 prospect of an expansion of NATO forces
 into Ukraine, and the continued killing of
ethnic Russians at the hands of neo-Nazi
 death squads. Putin is demanding that
those paramilitary forces be disarmed.

Besides unleashing these right-wing militias
on the ethnic Russians, the Kiev government
 has moved to punish the people living in the
 eastern sectors by cutting off access to banks
 & other financial services. It also has become
 harder & more dangerous for ethnic Russians
 to cross into territory controlled by the Kiev
 authorities. Many are turned back and those
who do get through, face the risk of being
taken and killed by the neo-Nazi militias.

These conditions have left the people in the
Donetsk and Luhansk areas - the so-called
Donbass region bordering Russia - dependent
 on relief supplies from Russia. Meanwhile, the
Kiev regime - pumped up by the prospects of
 weapons from Washington, as well as more
 money - has toughened its tone, with vows
 to crush the eastern rebellion once & for all.

Russia’s Hardening Line

The worsening situation in the east and the fear
 of US military weapons arriving in the west have
 prompted a shift in Moscow’s view of Ukraine's
 crisis, including a readiness to resupply ethnic
 Russian forces in eastern Ukraine and even
provide military advisers.

These developments alarm European leaders who
 find themselves caught in the middle of a possible
 conflict between the United States and Russia.
 German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French
 President Francois Hollande rushed to Kiev and
then Moscow this week, to discuss possible
to defuse the crisis.

The hardening Russian position now seeks, in effect,
 a division of Ukraine into 2 autonomous zones, the
 east and the west with a central government that
 maintains the currency and handles other national
 concerns. But I’m told that Moscow might still
 accept the earlier idea of a federated Ukraine with
 greater self-governance by the different regions.

Putin also does not object to Ukraine building
closer economic ties to Europe and he offered
 a new referendum in Crimea, on whether the
 voters still want to secede from Ukraine and
 join Russia, said a source familiar with the
Kremlin’s thinking. But Putin’s red lines also
include no NATO expansion into Ukraine and
protection for ethnic Russians by disarming
the neo-Nazi militias, the source said.

If such an arrangement or something similar isn’t
 acceptable, and if the killing of ethnic Russians
 continues, the Kremlin would support a large-
scale military offensive from the east that would
 involve “taking Kiev,” according to the source.

A Russian escalation of that magnitude, would
 likely invite a vigorous US response, with leading
 American politicians and pundits sure to ratchet
 up demands for a military counterstrike against
Russia. If Obama were to acquiesce to such
 bellicosity – to avoid being called “weak” – the
 world could be pushed to the brink of nuclear war.

Who’s to Blame?

Though the State Department and the mainstream
 US media continue to put all the blame on Russia,
the fact that the Ukraine crisis has reached such
 a dangerous crossroads reveals how reckless the
 behavior of Official Washington has been over the
 past year.

Nuland and other US officials took an internal
Ukrainian disagreement over how quickly it
should expand ties to Europe – while seeking
 to retain its historic relations with Russia –
and turned that fairly pedestrian political
 dispute into a possible flashpoint for a
 nuclear war.

At no time, as this crisis has evolved over the
 past year, did anyone of significance in Official
 Washington, whether in government or media,
stop and contemplate whether this issue was
worth risking the end of life on the planet.
Instead, all the American people have been
 given is a steady diet of anti-Yanukovych
 and anti-Putin propaganda.

Though constitutionally elected, Yanukovych
 was depicted as a corrupt tyrant who had a
pricy sauna in his official mansion. Though
 Putin had just staged the Winter Olympics
 in Sochi, signaling his desire for Russia to
 integrate more with the West, he was
portrayed as either a new-age imperial
czar or the second coming of Hitler - if
not worse - because he occasionally
would ride on a horse while not wearing
a shirt.

Further, US news media refused to conduct
 a serious investigation into evidence that
Nuland and other US officials had helped
destabilize Yanukovych’s government,
 with the goal of achieving another neo-
con “regime change.”

Nuland, who personally urged on anti-Yanukovych
 protests in Kiev, discussed with US Ambassador
 to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, in early February 2014
 who should lead the new government – “Yats is
 the guy,” she said, referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk
 – and how to “glue this thing.”

After weeks of mounting tensions & worsening
 violence, the coup occurred on Feb. 22, 2014,
when well-organized neo-Nazi and other right-
wing militias from western Ukraine, overran
 presidential buildings forcing officials to flee
for their lives. With Yanukovych ousted,
Yatsenyuk soon became Prime Minister.
 [See Consortiumnews.com’s
“When Is a Putsch a Putsch.”]

Many ethnic Russians in southern and eastern
 Ukraine, who'd strongly supported Yanukovych,
 refused to accept the US-backed order in Kiev.

 Crimean officials and voters moved to secede
 from Ukraine and rejoin Russia, a move that
Putin accepted because of Crimea’s historic
ties to Russia and his fear that Russia's naval
 base at Sevastopol might be handed to NATO.

The resistance spread to eastern Ukraine,
 where other ethnic Russians took up arms
against the coup regime in Kiev, which then
responded with what it calls an “anti-terrorist
 operation” against the east. To bolster the
weak Ukrainian army, Internal Affairs Minister
 Arsen Avakov dispatched neo-Nazi and other
 “volunteer” militias to spearhead the attacks.

After the deaths of more than 5,000 people, a
 shaky cease-fire was announced in September,
 but - amid complaints about neo-Nazi death
squads operating in government-controlled
areas and with life deteriorating in the rebel-
controlled towns and cities - ethnic Russians
 launched an offensive in January, using
 Russian-supplied weapons to expand their
control of territory.

In reaction, US pundits, including columnists
 and editors of the New York Times and the
 Washington Post, called for dispatching US
aid to the Kiev forces, including proposals for
 lethal weaponry to deter Putin’s “aggression.”
 Members of Congress and members of the
Obama administration have joined the chorus.

On Feb. 2, the New York Times reported “With
 Russian-backed separatists pressing their
attacks in Ukraine, NATO’s military commander,
Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, now supports providing
 defensive weapons and equipment to Kiev’s
 beleaguered forces, & an array of administration
 and military officials appear to be edging toward
that position, American officials said… President
 Obama has made no decisions on providing such
 lethal assistance.”

That same day, the lead Times editorial was entitled
 “Mr. Putin Resumes His War” and continued with the
 theme about “Russian aggression” and the need “to
 increase the cost” if Russia demands “a permanent
 rebel-held enclave.”

On Feb. 3, the Washington Post ran an editorial
 entitled “Help for Ukraine. Defensive weapons
could deter Russia in a way sanctions won’t.”
 The editorial concluded that Putin “will stop
only if the cost to his regime is sharply raised
 – and quickly.”

A new war fever gripped Washington and no one
 wanted to be viewed as “soft” or be denounced
 as a “Putin apologist.” Amid this combination of
 propaganda, confusion and tough-guy-ism – and
 lacking the tempering wisdom about war and
nuclear weapons that restrained earlier US
 presidents – a momentum lurched toward a
nuclear showdown over Ukraine that could
 put all life on earth in jeopardy.

By Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com



Barack Obama wants to continue the program
 that George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and G.W. Bush,
 worked on before him, to surround Russia with
NATO missiles. The takeover of Ukraine, and the
 enlistment of the Arabic oil sheikhs in assisting
 further to turn the screws against Russia, are
key components in doing that: crushing Russia’s
 resistance to American domination.

Whereas, for FDR, the alliance with Sunni Islam
 was purely anti-communist, against the Soviet
Union, the US Presidents after 1980, were and
are, anti-Russian, and it's nothing whatsoever
 to do with ideology. The US aristocracy intend
 to dominate the aristocracy in every other
 nation, and Russia is the only militarily
powerful nation that is opposed to being
controlled by this global Empire.

Consequently, President Obama, who's an agent
 for America’s aristocracy, wants to cripple if not
 destroy, Russia. And this is why, in his National
 Security Strategy 2015, 17 of the 18 times he
used the term ‘aggression’... he applied it

 Russia’s President Putin would have to be an
 idiot not to recognize that today’s United States
 (its aristocracy, not the American public, who
 are quite different) is extremely hostile.

Russia could be the bulwark that, along with the
 rest of Europe and America, could restrain Islamic
 extremism; but, since America’s aristocracy is
 primarily concerned with crushing Russia, Islamic
 terrorism will probably only continue to grow.

Furthermore, events such as 9/11 are necessary
 for the Arabic aristocrats, in order for them to
 keep their clerics with them and thereby
 control their own nation’s public.

So: the US ends up being allied with Islamic
 terrorists, while accusing Russia of backing
 ‘terrorists’ in the former Ukraine, whose only
 crime is, they don’t want to be slaughtered.

On 12 February 2015, was issued a “Statement
 by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on
 Ukraine,” which opened: “Ms. Christine Lagarde,
Managing Director of the International Monetary
Fund (IMF), statement today in Brussels, Belgium:

‘I am pleased to announce that the IMF team
working in Kiev has reached a staff-level
agreement with the Ukrainian government
 on a new economic reform program that
would be supported by an Extended Fund
 Facility of SDR 12.35 billion (about $17.5
 billion, €15.5 billion) from the IMF, as well
 as by additional resources from the
 international community.”

Violating even the IMF’s own prohibitions --
against pouring loans into a nation that’s at
war -- the IMF was here making clear that
were 100% behind Obama’s Ukrainian
war against Russia.

 This is where the money will come from to
 finance Ukraine’s acquisition of more weapons
 to exterminate or else drive out the residents in
 the area of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the
 democratically elected Ukrainian President that
 Obama overthrew.

It’s ongoing mass-murder on the installment
 plan, with the IMF providing most of the funds.

Because the loaned money is going to pay for
 the ethnic-cleansing campaign, it’s not going
 to the needs of the Ukrainian people. This is
extreme austerity, and it started immediately,
a day after the day, 26 February 2014, when
Arseniy Yatsenyuk became appointed to run
the country, as he had been selected to do
by Victoria Nuland of Obama’s State Dept.,
 22 days prior.

As Kommersant reported, on 6 March 2014:
“the strategy of the government was
approved in Parliament on 27 February and
 on 3 March the Ministry of Finance sent an
action plan for approval to the Ministry of
Economic Development. The document is
striking in its scale. … ‘Under the Knife’ go
social costs. Already in March, the payment
 of pensions will be reduced to only 50% of
 the designated pension amounts.” But an
 uproar held that up. However, now, it’s
being done.

On December 11th: “Cabinet wants to reduce
 schooling to 9 years [from 12 years], to reduce
 the cost of the budget the Finance Ministry
proposes to amend the legislation governing
 the humanitarian sphere, the sphere of public
administration, pensions, social security, the
work of the prosecution and the army.”

On December 19th: “Education Minister Sergey
 Kvit noted that the department, which he heads,
will never agree to such a proposal.”

On December 24th we read:
“Education Minister Sergei quits.”

Pensions are now set to be halved, even in
the greatly depreciated Ukrainian currency;
 & public schooling is to be reduced to only
 nine years. All of that IMF (and US and EU)
 money goes instead to pay to mass-murder
 the residents in Ukraine’s former Donbass
 region, an area in which the residents voted
 90% for Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama
 overthrew, and where all of the residents
 are officially ’terrorists.’ The phrase for this
used to be a “free-fire zone.” Obama wants
 the residents exterminated, and the IMF
 and EU are going along with that.

The circuitous way in which Ukraine will be
buying its weapons, is designed to avoid
 triggering a declaration of war by Vladimir
 Putin, or else to make it non-obvious to the
 public why he would be justified in doing so.

(Selected in part from What’s Behind Ukraine’s
Weapons Deal with the United Arab
Emirates (UAE)?,
by Eric Zuesse.) 

Full article here:



Investigative historian Eric Zuesse,
is the
author, most recently, of:
'They’re Not Even Close:
The Democratic
vs. Republican Economic Records,



Kiev coup gets checkmated


Ukraine's Army is continuing the dishonor
of abandoning their dead on the

Our Ukrainian sources tell us
this is one of
the ways they keep their
KIA numbers down
and avoid
paying out benefits to the families.

 This is disgraceful conduct by their general
 staff, & one for which they should all be shot.

Western media have sadly played the role of
cheerleader during this whole conflict. And I
could say even worse… that they have been
 aiders & abettors to war crimes. When Kiev
 refused to turn over its air traffic control data
on the MH-17 shoot down, I remember the old
days when the press would have fried Kiev’s
livers in print, but the press says nothing and
 are dancing cowards one and all.

As NATO made claim after claim of a pending
 Russian invasion, none of which happened, I
 remember a time when print media cartoonists
 would have made NAT0 a laughing stock.

General Breedlove would have been given a
 Pinocchio nose, and Kiev’s military PR spokes-
person would have played “Baghdad Bob” of
Persian Gulf War I, who gave Saddam’s daily
 press briefings on how Coalition Forces were
being destroyed by Iraq’s Republican Guard.

 EU and NATO countries are shipping arms and
lethal supplies into the military effort. But
they are
also steadily advancing NATO bases
closer to the
Russian border -- a serious
security concern for
Moscow. And, as
additional cover for this obvious
the world public is treated like we'
re all idiots,
who will believe the constant
mantra of
“It’s all the Russians’ fault.”

The Financial Times has validated my long stream of
 articles on the financial black hole Ukraine has been
pushed into by the vultures in the West. Industrial
production is down over 20% from last year, which
 already had been struggling. And their economy
 shrank 15% in the last quarter, with an outlook
 of getting worse.

Sure, there has to be a rebuilding boom in the SE,
 the area that has taken all of the war carnage --
the rest of the country not even having a broken
 window -- a strange civil war there. But unlike
the US that can just print money, or have the
Federal Reserve create billion-dollar bank
 deposits out of thin air, Ukraine’s currency
 is down the tubes. Their gold has been
 shipped off to some undisclosed place,
and their cost of living increases under
 the IMF austerity plan, will impoverish
them for the next generation.

They will never be able to repay the loans
-- so their national assets will be sold off.
Ukrainian assets will be bought for fire
sale prices, and it will become the “go
 to” place for White slave labour with
good skills and education.

Welcome to the New World Order. German Intel
 tells us the civil war’s body pile is already 50,000
 people high, all in one year’s work. By contrast,
 America took the whole Vietnam War to kill that
 many of our own troops. And we hear calls for
 another Coalition war on Libya “to fix things” in
that country. The Western war on terror is the
 Frankenstein I always said it would be… and
 it’s not finished yet.

The Ukraine internet abounds with talk of a second
 Maidan revolution in the works. The Right Sector
 thugs have gained a lot of combat experience, plus
 some added extras, like nailing kids to fences and
 dragging mothers down the road behind APCs.

The West will wear eternal shame for what it has
done to Ukraine. Sure, it was a corrupt country

when this started, but it is worse now. So that
shows the West has really attacked & pillaged
 the country with a time-delay economic bomb
--- which will go off when all of these loans
 eventually boomerang back onto Europeans
 in the form of more austerity --- some day.

Nikita Khrushchev, who's a hard guy to quote,
 does have one that perfectly fits the Ukraine
 situation. “Support by the United States rulers
 is rather in the nature of the support that the
 rope gives to a hanged man.”


Most US people polled believe that 9/11 was
an "inside job",
but what would they feel if they
found out that it was
designed by Zionists, who
deliberately killed thousands
of innocent US
citizens to drive the US into wars on Muslims?

They'd be angry, right?

Fernando Imposimato, President of the Italian Supreme
Court, calls for a criminal investigation of 9/11, comparing
the attack to false flag incidents carried out by the CIA
in Italy: Operation Gladio.


"The 9/11 attacks were a global state terror operation
that was permitted by the US
administration, which
had foreknowledge of the operation, yet
intentionally unresponsive in order to make war
Afghanistan and Iraq," Imposimato declares
in a letter published by
the Journal of 9/11 Studies.

 Ferdinando Imposimato is the Honorary President
of the Supreme Court of Italy and a former Senator
who served on the Anti-Mafia Commission in three
administrations. He is the author or co-author of 7
books on international terrorism, state corruption,
and related matters, and a Grand Officer of the
Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.

As a former state prosecutor, Imposimato has
extensive experience in investigating high-
profile crimes, including the kidnapping and
assassination of Italian Prime Minster Aldo
Moro & the attempted assassination of Pope
John Paul II. He also worked on the Anti-
Mafia commission as a Senator, giving him a
wealth of knowledge on the inner workings
of organized crime syndicates.


Imposimato points to several facts contradicting
the official 9/11 story, including the free-fall
collapse of WTC Building 7, the report that the
CIA met with Osama Bin Laden in a Dubai hospital
in July 2001, and the overwhelming evidence of
insider trading before 9/11 that didn't lead to any
criminal charges, reports digitaljournal.com

The following is an excerpt from Imposimato’s letter
published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies on Sunday:


The reports of the National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST), November 20, 2005, set
forth the following conclusions:

The airplanes that struck each of the Twin Towers
caused a breach as well as an explosion evidenced
by a giant fireball. The remaining jet fuel flowed onto
the lower floors, sustaining the fires. The heat from
the fires deformed the building structures and both
towers collapsed completely from top to bottom.

Very little that was of any size remained after these
events except steel as well as aluminum fragments
and the pulverized dust from the concrete floors.


The World Trade Center 7 also collapsed–in a way that
was inconsistent with the common experience of
engineers. All three buildings collapsed completely,
but Building 7 was not hit by a plane. WTC7’s collapse
violated common experience and was unprecedented.


The NIST report does not analyze the actual nature of the
collapses.  According to experts at the Toronto Hearings
(Sept. 8-11, 2011), the collapses had features that indicate
controlled explosions. I agree with architect Richard Gage
  & engineer Jon Cole both highly experienced professionals
[from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth – now
numbering 1,700 strong], who have arrived at their
conclusions through reliable tests, scientific proof,
and the visual testimony of people above suspicion,
including firefighters and victims.

The authoritative theologian David Ray Griffin has
described very precisely why the hypothesis of
controlled demolition should be considered.
Various witnesses heard bursts of explosions.


According to NIST the collapse of Building 7 was
due to fires provoked by the collapse of the twin
towers. Chemist and independent researcher Kevin
Ryan, however, has demonstrated that NIST gave
contradictory versions of the collapse of Building 7.

In a preliminary report NIST declared that WTC7
was destroyed because of fires provoked by diesel
fuel stored in the building, while in a second report
this fuel was no longer considered the cause of the
building’s collapse. Additional comments on the NIST
version of events have been made by David Chandler,
another expert witness at the Journal of 9/11 Studies
Letters, September 2012 Toronto Hearings.

Despite NIST’s claim of 3 distinct phases of collapse,
 Chandler pointed out that many available videos show
that for about two and a half seconds the acceleration
of the building cannot be distinguished from freefall.
NIST has been obliged to agree with this empirical fact
as pointed out by Chandler; now understood by everyone.


The only possibility for achieving justice is to submit the
best evidence concerning the involvement of specific
individuals in 9/11 to the Prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court and ask him to investigate according to
the articles 12, 13, 15 and 17, letters a and b, of the
Statute of the ICC, recalling the preamble of the Statute:


“Recognizing that such grave crimes threaten the
peace, security and the well being of the world,”


“Affirming that the most serious crimes of concern to
the international community as a whole must not go
unpunished and that their effective prosecution must
be ensured by taking measures at the national level
and by enhancing international cooperation, ”


“Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators
of these
crimes and thus to contribute to the prosecution
of such crimes,
recalling that it is the duty of every state
to exercise its jurisdiction over
those responsible for
international crimes.
"  reports infowars.com.

More and more people from all walks of life and all
professions seem
to be questioning the “official”
narrative of what happened on 9/11.
Those who
are questioning the events of 9/11 may be moving
the radar of the corporate media from being
labeled “conspiracy
theorists” to legitimate
investigators with legitimate questions and
concerns, reports examiner.com


Theorists believe that the World Trade Center
buildings were
demolished by bombs, phone
calls from the planes were made up,
and the
former President George W. Bush secretly
profited from
the attacks, reports


The World Trade Center collapse appeared similar to a
demolition. Many speculate that the towers
were in fact blown down
with explosives placed in
selected locations. Some witnesses heard
inside the building as they attempted to escape. Many

architects & scientists maintain that plane fuel couldn't
enough heat to melt the steel frame of the
buildings that collapsed,

little girl frightens USA


Article by Finian Cunningham.

100 years ago, the assassination of Archduke
Franz Ferdinand and his wife in the
city of Sarajevo, was the fatal spark that

 ignited a geopolitical powder keg in Europe.

Within a month, all the major powers of Europe
 would be embroiled in the First World War, which
 also dragged in Russia and the US. The war would
 last for nearly five years and resulted in at least
 20 million deaths.

That catastrophe has perplexing resonances
today. One incident set off a conflagration
 back then, because it came amid simmering
rivalries among imperial powers. Another
resonance is how historians recount that, in
 the run-up to the First World War few believed
 that a war in "modern, civilized" Europe was
likely, because of the belief that diplomacy
 would prevail.

Today, we see a similar reckless goading by
 imperial powers across Europe. The US and
 its European NATO allies are embarked on a
25-year expansion towards Russia's heartland.

 The dynamic of encroachment has only sped up,
not lessened. This expansion is provocative,
 aggressive and duplicitous, because it not only
 presents a military threat to Russia, it also flies
 in the face of past commitments by the US-led
 NATO alliance not to do so, such as in the 1997
 Founding Act, signed with Moscow.

Russia has every right to feel threatened by ever-
encroaching ballistic missile systems on its borders
 that could be used in a pre-emptive nuclear strike
 by the US and its allies. That concern is heightened
 ever since Washington invoked a "first strike
 doctrine" under President George W Bush,
which Obama still retains.

Yet, provocatively, Washington dismisses Russian
 President Vladimir Putin's concerns about NATO
 expansion, as if they are the deliriums of a Soviet

The complacency of the present time towards
 the dangers of war, has disturbing echoes of
the past - on the eve of World War I. A major
factor in the present complacency is that the
 Western mainstream media are failing, woefully,
 to properly report on the gravity of the situation
 in Ukraine, and just how provocative that
 parlous situation is to Russia's vital interests.

This week saw the signing of a trade pact between
 the European Union and Petro Poroshenko, the
 declared president of Ukraine. The Western media
 have hailed it in glowing terms as "a landmark event"
 and a positive outcome of democracy in the former
 Soviet Republic. That blithe assessment invites
 dangerous ignorance and complacency.

The truth is that the signing of the EU trade pact is
 the outcome of an illegal regime-change operation in
 Ukraine fomented by Washington and its NATO allies.

 That regime change involved CIA-backed mass
 murder of civilians (the February 20 sniper shootings
 in Kiev's Maidan Square) and the overthrow of an
 elected government.

Since the illegal coup against President Viktor
Yanukovych, the Western-backed Kiev regime has
 been waging war on ethnic Russian populations
 in the east and south of the country, who refuse
 to recognize the regime as legitimate.

 Poroshenko, the billionaire oligarch who is now
 signing over the sovereign affairs of Ukraine to
 the US, NATO and the EU, was elected president
 in a farcical vote last month, where only 45% of
the electorate turned out and large sections of
the east and south did not even cast a ballot
amid a murderous "anti-terror" crackdown by
 Kiev troops and paramilitaries.

The campaign of terror by the Kiev forces against
 pro-Russian civilians was launched at the end of
 April, days after CIA chief John Brennan made a
 secret visit to the Kiev regime. Brennan briefed
the Kiev leadership, including the so-called Prime
 Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who only last week
used Nazi language to vow that his military forces
 would "cleanse sub-humans" from the country -
 referring to the ethnic Russian populations and
the self-defence militias they have set up in the
 Donetz and Lugansk regions.

The impostor-President Poroshenko may have
 declared a ceasefire over the past week, but
 the hostilities against civilian centres continue
 unabated. Crimes against humanity include the
 bombing of homes, churches, schools & hospitals,
 the use of White Phosphorus incendiary bombs
 and exploding bullets, as well as the shelling of
 electricity and water supplies.

Western media have largely ignored these violations
 by the "new democratic Ukrainian government", or at
 best have reported them as "unverified" or merely as
 "breaches of the ceasefire by both sides".

Western governments and media have gone into
 denial mode, refusing to acknowledge what even
the United Nations this week confirms as a massive
 displacement of over 150,000 people from eastern
 Ukraine.  Why are such numbers fleeing, if the
 violence is not also massive?

Another example of the Western cover-up over state
 terrorism in Ukraine, is the recent killing of three
journalists. Earlier this month, Russian journalist Igor
 Kornelyuk and his colleague Anton Voloshin were
 killed near Lugansk when they were hit with a mortar
 shell. Survivors of the attack said it was deliberate
 targeting by Kiev troops. Previously, Italian journalist
 Andrea Rochelli was slain near Slavyansk in another
 incident that bore the hallmarks of shoot-to-kill.

In the past week, by contrast, there was an
 outpouring of condemnation from Washington and
 other Western governments, as well as widespread
 media coverage, of the jailing of three Al Jazeera
 journalists in Egypt. Those sentences were no
 doubt a gross miscarriage of justice. But what
 about the taking of journalists' lives in Ukraine?
 Where is the Western condemnations and 
media coverage?

Western-backed regime change and genocidal
 repression in Ukraine, is a collision course of
 extreme provocation towards Russia and its
 vital interests. Yet it is presented to the
 Western public as if it is a "good news" story
 about democratic European enlargement,
 which, perversely, is being spoiled by Russian

This is a powder-keg situation in Europe, led
 by US geopolitics and its European henchmen,
 and which is wrapped up in an explosive shell
 of ignorance, by a lying Western media.

The repetition of history is not inevitable.
But the chances are increased when people
are kept in the dark about the underlying
causes of war and conflict.

China Russia reach deal

Petko Ganchev, wrote this article for Pravda.Ru.

Today it is absolutely clear that there is
a multipurpose strategic operation being
 conducted on the territory of the former
 Soviet Union. Ukraine plays a key role in
 the operation. Why Ukraine?

It's an open secret - the West has always
wanted to master the vast territories of
Russia and Eurasia, the axial space of the
Earth, with its enormous natural resources.

 To achieve this goal, there was the outer belt
 (Turkey, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan) built
 around Russia-Eurasia after World War Two.
 The inner belt (Georgia, Moldova, Lithuania,
 Latvia, Estonia) was built after the
 collapse of the USSR.

Successively, after the Cold War, almost all
East European countries - Soviet satellites -
were admitted to NATO under the condition
of their membership in the European Union.

 But the West didn't get closer to Russia's
western borders. There were 2 Russia-
friendly countries left - historically,
culturally and economically - Belarus
 and Ukraine.

Belarus is closely tied to Russia ethnically,
culturally and economically. Ukraine, with
its failed state organization was a weak link.

The reason for that is that the regions from
which Ukraine was created after World War
 II (1945), were formed by areas with very
different religious and value systems.

In his famous book "The Clash of Civilizations
and the Remaking of World Order" by Samuel P.
 Huntington, the author described Ukraine as
one of civilizational "splits," where one can
expect clashes, i.e. wars.

That's why Ukraine was chosen by the US
 as the key to implement a multi-purpose
 strategic operation.

 In the Middle East, the US has always used
 monarchies from the Middle Ages as allies -
 Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In Ukraine, the most
loyal ally of the United States was Poland.
The country was used to train "Right Sector"
 fighters and other figures from anti-Russian
 ultranationalist structures.

What are the main objectives and directions of
 this geo-strategic operation, the implementation
 of which began immediately after the US was
 forced to freeze its activities on Syria and Iran?

First and foremost, the goal is to strike a blow on
 Russia as the most active US geopolitical rival in
 the new millennium. When Ukraine leaves Russia's
 orbit, the US will implement several geostrategic

- to move air defense systems and other NATO
 systems closer to Russian borders: neutralizing
 its defense, including its nuclear capability;

- to undermine the Russian economy by cutting
 relations with the economy of Ukraine (Poroshenko
 has already ordered, following instructions from the
 US, to cease cooperation with the Russian defense

- to burden the budget of the Russian Federation with
 bigger spending to maintain refugees from Ukraine
 and substitute imports from Ukraine;

- to close Russia's gas and oil pipelines to the EU
 to thus block the inflow of foreign currency into
the Russian economy;

- to prevent creation of the Customs Union
 and the Eurasian Economic Union;

- to destabilize the political system in Russia,
 accusing its leadership of what is happening
 in Ukraine;

- to stop or minimize economic cooperation
 between Russia and the EU;

- to sow distrust between Russia and other BRICS
 countries - Brazil, India, China, South Africa.

Secondly, the U.S. plans to strike a blow on the
European Union, which, along with China, acts
 as a major competitor in the economic sphere.
The EU needs to be reminded of its secondary role.

The United States seeks to confirm the assessment
 of Russophobe Brzezinski in his book "The Grand
 Chessboard" (1997), according to which the EU
was a "U.S. protectorate."

 For the U.S. it is vitally important to strengthen the
 economic dependence of the EU in light of their
 signing the "Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement"
 to turn the EU towards the consumption of US
shale gas. In this regard, the EU is the most
developed market.

To achieve this, Ukrainian company Naftogaz (the
 largest company in Ukraine) became  the property
 of a new consortium, whose leadership includes
the son of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and
former Polish President Kwasniewski.

At the same time, Chevron is preparing shale gas
 production in south-eastern Ukraine - in the areas
 of the towns of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.

Chervon, directly or indirectly, through the European
 Commission, put pressure on Bulgaria, forcing the
 country to abandon the South Stream project.

 At the same time, the U.S. continues to put pressure
 on France, to make the country freeze the sale of
two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia. France's
 largest bank PNB faces a fine of $10 billion for
 violating the financial embargo that the U.S. put
on Cuba, Sudan and Nicaragua.

 At the same time, the United States, with its
national debt of 17 trillion dollars and GDP of
14 trillion, prepares to grant NATO's Eastern
 European members $1 billion for new weapons.

Fortunately, on the "grand chessboard" of world
 civilization, the U.S. does not play against virtual
 opponents. The geo-strategy of the United States
 does not unfold like the Desert Storm Operation in
2 003. Today, the US is playing against experienced

 Russia is rising after the disgrace of the Yeltsin era,
 and the EU becomes increasingly aware of the fact
 that the only chance to survive is hidden in the
 slogan "More Europe for Europeans!"

The last elections to the European Parliament have
 confirmed the trend. Hitherto, with so many large-
scale geopolitical operations after World War II
 (Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.),
 the US has not been able to boast considerable

Through all those wars, as George Friedman says
 in his book "The Next 100 Years," America has
 stimulated the growth of the national economy.

America was gradually and steadily evolving from
 a manufacturing economy to the economy of a
 military-industrial complex. In history, such a
 condition has always heralded the end of any

working toward very cold war


The US government is a “criminal enterprise”
 with a foreign policy that places the well-
being of Israel ahead of America’s, a political
commentator in San Antonio, Texas says.

“This is a criminal enterprise that has the support
 of both of the major political parties in the United
 States,” Mark Dankof, a broadcaster and former
US Senate candidate, says.

This criminal enterprise “principally involves
 conducting a foreign policy firstly for Israel,
 secondly for the international central banks
and thirdly for the oil and natural gas
 consortiums,” Dankof says.

There is no difference between the policies
 of the Obama and Bush administrations, he
 notes. Both “are supporting the criminal
 policies of Benjamin Netanyahu,” he adds.

Dankof dismisses as a deception the recent
 remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry
 that the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq was a
 serious mistake:

“This is an attempt to absolve John Kerry and
 Barack Obama of the responsibility for all the
 criminal policies that they have carried out.”

In an interview with Chinese news agency Geo
 News, Kerry acknowledged that many problems
 in the Middle East, have their roots in that war.

George W. Bush, ordered the invasion of Iraq
under a pretext --- that former Iraqi dictator,
 Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of
 mass destruction.

 In October 2004, a CIA report revealed
 that Saddam Hussein did not possess any
weapons of mass destruction at the time
 of the invasion.

In a survey out on Wednesday 2nd June,
Quinnipiac University Polling Institute,

33% of registered voters name Obama
as the worst president since 1945.

 28% choose his predecessor, George
Bush, as the worst.

By Jim Jones

For many, myself included I suppose, the tragic
 events unfolding in Ukraine have been riveting
over the last couple of months. No need here to
 go into the sordid history of Coloured Revolutions
 and the CIA/NATO role in them; most reading this
 medium as opposed to CNN/SKY/VOA, are informed
 people and are aware of the manoeuvrings of the
 West and the associated puppet states in trying
embroil Russia in a war it doesn't want and in
extending NATO frontiers to the heart of Russia.

Missile strikes from Ukraine, for example, would be
 in Moscow in 10 minutes, leaving no reaction time
 and fits neatly within the new US policy of a "first
 Strike" nuclear capability. [As opposed to the
retaliatory strike doctrine of the last 40 years].

We all know what happened in 1961, when
 Khrushchev put Soviet Missiles into Cuba after
the US put missiles into Turkey. The US wasn't
very impressed at all. What is not well known
that Kennedy asked Khrushchev to "cut him
slack" and withdraw the missiles without
to the US' withdrawal of its missiles
from Turkey!

 The US had upped the rhetoric so much, that it
 couldn't be seen to lose face in the public arena
 - condescendingly, Khrushchev accommodated.

Hold that thought of "face saving" as we explore
 the current Ukraine Crisis.

The US/NATO pushed the EU to pressure the Ukraine
 to join the EU and swing to the West. They almost
succeeded 4 years ago with their Orange Revolution.

 But Russia had learnt a thing or two about the
 Coloured Revolutions and mounted a successful
 and embarrassing reversal of the revolution and
 installed their own man in Ukraine who was leading
 Ukraine back along the Russian brotherhood line.

Four years later, after over $5 billion in NGO funding
a huge amount of State Department scheming
CIA covert action, the US finally got a chance
 to redress the "egg on face incident" that the
Russians had made for them.

The US played a "background role" in this - preferring
 to have the EU seen as the driving force behind the
 Maidan. However, leaked phone calls, like that made
 to Cabinet Minister Ashton, which clearly identified
the role of paid mercenaries in killing both Police &
 protesters, and later, Viktoria Nuland [US State Dept]
hand-picking who will be in the Ukraine
and saying the EU can go get fucked -
did nothing to
endear the US to the EU -- it came
hard on the heels
of revelations of extensive phone
tapping of EU
leaders' phones etc. by the US.

Then we have the unsavoury influence of the Right
 Sektor in Ukraine being pushed, funded and trained
 by NATO and the US's Kerry, Nuland, John McCain,
 Mark Twain and all, were seen in public endorsing
 the very Right Sektor extremists that the German
 government was in the process of declaring as

Europe could see itself being plunged back 70 years
 with the rise of neo Nazi's, not just in Germany - but
 across Europe. [Remember Anders Behring Breivik
 and his mass killings in Norway: an ultra nationalist].

Europe also asked the question, what is the US going
 to lose over this? If Russia turns off the gas, Europe
 freezes: the economy of Europe goes down the toilet!

Already Germany is losing billions of Euros in trade
 with Russia, France has several military deals with
 Russia, the supply of Mistral Class ships for one,
 and Putin has promised follow-ons from that. Italy
 is supplying armour vehicles, many EU nations
trade with Russia - so, US, what sanctions are
to hurt you, the EU asks?

Germany has a growing discord there over the
year occupation of Germany by US forces -
see demonstrations - Yankees go home!
is realising that the US cares, not for
them, but
only for US and US businesses.

Against this background, we are witnessing the
 separation of the US/EU and a drawing closer of
 EU/Russia on common grounds & shared interests.

I was appalled: driven to tears by the criminal
of the Kyiv Junta's ex facto war crimes/
against humanity. The shelling and
bombing of
civilians [non-combatants the
Junta declares
are Terrorists]. The targeting
and destructionof
schools, kindergartens and
hospitals - with the
murder of 25 wounded in
the hospital - shot by
Junta troops!

Destruction of the means of
support of life
  - with water supplies destroyed,
installations and sanitary plants
by shelling. The shooting of women
children leaving the region for shelter in

 Crimea, by bus. The execution style killing
civilians in a town by Junta forces, who
the people up and shot them in the
back of
their heads. The use of chemical
against civilians - chlorine gas
[where is
Obama's Red Line on this?]. The
targeting of
TV reporters in the area trying
to objectively
record events. I'm sure that
I have missed some

 I cried out from the depths of despair for justice
surely Russia would intervene; surely Russia
would protect it's people like it has said it would?

And all along, that is exactly what the US has been
 saying too - telling the Ukrainian Junta to commit
 further acts and atrocities against the people who
 simply want true democracy in the East.

To help them in this, they even get them to
demonise and degrade the people there.
 Junta leaders have called the Russians in
 the East, "sub-human" - those of you as old
 as I am, will have heard that phrase before.

They are called parasites and vermin by the
 new Choco King Junta leader Poroshenko.
 Such a debasing of the population makes it
 more acceptable to murder them and commit
 atrocities against a subhuman species - not
 much higher than animals really, are they?

The provocation of Russia in this regard has been
 carefully stage managed by the US, intent as always
 to let it appear as the EU 's doing, while all the time
 ensuring that their people are the ones pulling the
 strings in Kiev - the CIA/FBI and State Department
are up
to their proverbial balls in Kiev's business.

 Don't see the EU featuring though. The US has
 pushed the warmonger Russian story all through
 Europe - putting the fear of the bogyman into all
ex Soviet states, and determined to show them
all how much they need NATO's protection.
 [In truth, the world needs to be protected from
 the US].

However, Russia has consistently demonstrated
 restraint and maturity in handling the world crisis.

 Since the failed US--led revolution in Georgia,
Russia has been seen to be taking the moral
 high ground from the US and their consistent
 lies [WMD et.al].

The lies over Georgia were exposed and eventually
 the EU came out & confirmed that Georgia started
 the war. Reluctantly, the Western media has had
admit to "errors" in reporting - all of which have
 favoured the Russian position. Remember the
 incredible piece of statesmanship from Russia
 in pulling the war rug out from under the US's
over Syrian Chemical weapons?!

Russia has quietly been cementing relationships
 in Europe - building "partnerships' with European
 countries, and is doing so in accordance with
 international law and through responsible,
mature actions.

All of this has been driving a wedge between the
 US and the EU. This hasn't gone unnoticed - the
 US cannot accept that they are not in the driving
 seat of a single seater any more. Goading and
 provoking Russia into attacking the Ukraine is
how they will demonstrate that the Russia of
 today is what they told everyone that the
USSR of old, was.

Putin has been smarter than they realised.

 Reuters reported on July 1st:

Ukrainian forces struck at pro-Russian separatist
 bases in the eastern regions with air and artillery
strikes on Tuesday, after President Poroshenko
 announced he would not renew a ceasefire, but
 go on the offensive to rid Ukraine of "parasites".

His decision quickly drew fire from Russian President
 Vladimir Putin who said Poroshenko had disregarded
 the advice of himself & German and French leaders.
 Putin said Poroshenko would now have to bear full
 responsibility for veering off the road to peace.

Poroshenko, who accuses Russia of fanning the
 conflict and allowing fighters and equipment to
 cross the border to support the rebels, then
his back on another renewal of a 10-
unilateral ceasefire after the phone talks
 involving Putin, German Chancellor Angela
 Merkel, and President Francois Hollande.

The important thing here is that Putin obtained
 consensus from France and Germany in a four-
way dialogue. This consensus was broken by
 Poroshenko, under pressure from US handlers.

 The facts are obvious. What it also shows, is
once again the US has marginalised the
EU and
shown scant regard for the EU position.

This now opens the door for Russia to reiterate its
 threat; "Putin said Moscow will continue to defend
 the interests of ethnic Russians abroad - up to 3
 million of whom live in the east of Ukraine, which
 has been in separatist ferment since April."

By obtaining consensus to a path of peace, and
 seeing it broken, Moscow now has the mandate
 to use force... IF it wants to.

The question is, does Russia want or need to?
That famous General of Guerrilla warfare, Vo

 Nguyen Giap [Incidentally, his book Peoples War,
 People's Army is worth reading] said, "we do not
 want to defeat the enemy, we simply want him to
leave our country!". In this regard, the Ukrainian
Junta cannot win the war in Novorussiya.

Firstly, they have completely lost the battle for
the hearts and minds of the people --- through
brutal atrocities they have committed.

 Their transparent attempt at a Kosovo type ethnic
 cleansing, has been seen for what it is and has
 made people more determined to "hold their
ground". Their brutality has now created a
 generational animosity, which will not be
 resolved in our life-time.

Secondly, militarily they can't succeed - every day,
Novorussiya is gaining in strength and skills. The
 skill level of Novorussiya's troops is much higher
 than those of the basic conscripted Junta forces
 and they're much more motivated than the Junta
 forces - they are fighting for their existence and
 homeland. Conventional military doctrine states
that we require a 10 to 1 advantage to press a
 successful attack against a defending enemy.

 1,000 to 1 is not enough to succeed in a Guerrilla
 war scenario. Look at the hiding the Yanks got in
 Vietnam and they poured hundreds of thousands
of troops into there, used the might of total air
superiority and naval bombardment etc, and still
 got their arses kicked. Ask them how many they
 and NATO had in Afghanistan fighting "towel
 heads"? [and still lost].

The Ukrainian Army has about 30,000 troops
 committed against 10,000 in the Novorussiya
 Army, and many Junta forces are actually
 surrendering without a fight, handing over
gear, getting on a bus and going home
with mum
who came to collect their sons.

Also, the Junta
is bankrupt. They can't even
feed their army;
people are deserting and
walking home,
because of no food or pay.

To save face: that wonderful US terminology
again; I see it is proposed that Novorussiya
become a Russian protectorate! The US is
 looking to stem the Junta's haemorrhaging.

All Russia needs to do, is open a humanitarian
 corridor into Novorussiya and maintain/police it
 and supply Novorussiya with what war materiel
 they ask for. And it can do all that with the tacit
 approval of Europe - the US having gone a bridge
 too far in Ukraine. Russia can allow the Junta to
 bleed to death here and like Georgia before; the
 US will be powerless to stop it.

The US has had it's last Tango in Europe.

Jim Jones

civilians being murdered by Kiev coup forces

Washington's War Crimes Spread from
 Africa and the Middle East to Ukraine

By Paul Craig Roberts

A person might think that revulsion in "the world
 community" against Washington's wanton slaughter
 of civilians in eight countries would have led to War
Crimes Tribunal warrants issued for the arrest of
presidents Clinton, Bush, Obama & many officials
 in their regimes.  But the vocal part of "the world
 community"-- the West -- has become inured to
 Washington's crimes against humanity and
doesn't bother to protest.  Indeed, many of
these governments are complicit in the US's
 crimes, and there could just as well be arrest
 warrants for members of European governments.

The exception, is Russia. The Ministry of Foreign
 Affairs of the Russian Federation has published a
 White Book on violations of human rights and the
 rule of law in Ukraine.  Propagandized Americans
 think that all the violations in Ukraine are made
by Russians.  The White Book carefully and
 accurately documents reported violations that
 occurred in Ukraine for four months from
 December 2013 through March 2014.

The White Book is available here:


  You will not hear much or anything about it from
presstitute US media, & it's unlikely to receive
 much coverage in Europe. The facts are so greatly
 at odds with the West's position, that the White
 Book is a huge embarrassment to the West.

The slaughter of Ukrainians on Washington's orders
 by Washington's stooge government in Kiev, has
 worsened considerably in the past three months,
 producing more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees
 fleeing into Russia for protection from strikes
 against civilian housing, from the air, artillery,
 and tanks. 

Every effort by Russia's government to involve
 Washington, the European Union, and Kiev in
 negotiations to find a peaceful settlement,
has failed.

Washington is not interested in a settlement.
 Disturbed by its NATO vassals' dependence
 on Russian energy and the growing economic
 relationships between Russia and Europe,
 Washington is at work through its Kiev proxy
 murdering citizens in eastern and southern
parts of present-day Ukraine that once were
 part of Russia.

 Washington has declared these civilians to be
 "terrorists" and is trying to force Russia to
 intervene militarily in order to protect them.

  Russia's protective intervention would then
 be denounced by Washington as "invasion
 and annexation."  Washington would use
this propaganda, which would blare from the
 Western media, to pressure Europe to support
Washington's sanctions against Russia. The
 sanctions would then effectively destroy the
existing economic relationships between
 Russia and Europe.

Washington hasn't had success in imposing
 sanctions, because, although Washington's
 European vassals, such as Merkel, are willing,
 business interests in Germany, France, and
 Italy stand opposed.

 Washington is hoping that by forcing Russia
 to act, Washington can sufficiently demonize
Russia and silence the European business
 interests  with propaganda.

To counter Washington's ploy, Putin had Russia's
 Duma rescind his authority to send Russian forces
 into Ukraine.  Unlike US' presidents Clinton, Bush,
 and Obama, Putin does not claim the authority to
use military forces without permission from the

Washington's response to Putin's stand down is
 to increase the slaughter of civilians, all the while
 denying that any such slaughter is occurring.

  Washington is determined not to acknowledge
 the existence of the slaughter for which it is
 responsible, although everyone knows that
 Kiev would not dare to take on Russia
 without Washington's backing.

Putin's bet is that European business interests
 will prevail over Washington's European lap dogs.

 This is a hopeful and optimistic bet, but Washington
 is already at work to threaten and undermine the
 resistance of European business interests. Using
 concocted charges, Washington has stolen $9
from France's biggest bank --- for doing
business with
countries disapproved of by

 This was Washington's warning to European
 business to comply with Washington's sanctions.
Washington even told France that the fine
would be rescinded or reduced if France broke
 its contract with Russia to supply 2 helicopter
 carriers.  Other such moves against European
 businesses are in the works. The purpose is
to intimidate European businesses from
 opposing sanctions against Russia.

Washington's arrogance that Washington
can decide with whom a French bank can
do business is astonishing.  It is even more
astonishing that France and the bank would
 accept such arrogance and infringements
France's sovereignty.

 France's acceptance of Washington's hegemony
 shows that one risk in Putin's bet is that the bet
 assumes that European business interests can
 prevail over Washington's strategic interests. 

Another risk in Putin's bet is that by standing down
 and tolerating Washington's slaughter of civilians,
 Putin is becoming complicit in Washington's crimes
 against humanity. The longer the slaughter goes on,
 the more complicit Russia's government becomes.

 Moreover, the passage of time allows Kiev to
 increase its forces and NATO to supply these
 forces with more deadly weapons. A Russian
 intervention, which previously would have met
 with easy success, becomes more costly and
more drawn out as Kiev's forces increase.

Paul Craig Roberts

Donetsk residents call on Russia

Guilt by insinuation: How
American propaganda works

By Paul Craig Roberts

Why hasn't Washington joined Russian President
 Putin in calling for an objective, non-politicized
 international investigation by experts of the
 case of the Malaysian jetliner? 

The Russian government continues to release facts,
 including satellite photos showing the presence of
 Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from
 which the airliner could have been brought down by
 the missile system, and documentation that a
 Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the
 Malaysian airliner prior to its downing.

The head of the Operations Directorate of Russian
 military headquarters said at a Moscow press
 conference on July 21st, that the presence of the
 Ukrainian military jet is confirmed by the Rostov
 monitoring centre.

The Russian Defense Ministry pointed out that, at
the moment of destruction of MH-17 an American
 satellite was flying over the area. The Russian
 government urges Washington to make available
 the photos and data captured by the satellite.

President Putin has repeatedly stressed that
the investigation of MH-17, requires "a fully
 representative group of experts to be
working at the site under the guidance of
 the International Civil Aviation Organization

  Putin's call for an independent expert examination
 by ICAO does not sound like a person with anything
 to hide.

Turning to Washington Putin stated: "In the
 meantime, no one (not even the "exceptional
 nation") has the right to use this tragedy to
 achieve their narrowly selfish political goals." 

Putin reminded Washington: "We repeatedly
 called upon all conflicting sides to stop the
 bloodshed immediately and to sit down at
 the negotiating table. I can say with
 confidence that if military operations
 were not resumed [by Kiev] on June 28
 in eastern Ukraine, this tragedy would
not have happened."

What is the American response?

Lies and insinuations.

On July 20, the US Secretary of State, John
Kerry confirmed that pro-Russian separatists
were involved in the downing of the Malaysian
airliner and said that it was "pretty clear" that
 Russia was involved. Here are Kerry's words:

 "It's pretty clear that this is a system that
was transferred from Russia into the hands
 of separatists. We know with confidence,
with confidence, that the Ukrainians did not
 have such a system anywhere near the
vicinity at that point and time, so it obviously
 points a very clear finger at the separatists."

Kerry's statement is just another of the endless
 lies told by US secretaries of state in the 21st
 century.  Who can forget Colin Powell's package
of lies delivered to the UN about Saddam
Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction"
or Kerry's lie repeated endlessly that Assad
"used chemical weapons against his own
people" or the endless lies about "Iranian

Remember that Kerry on a number of occasions
 stated that the US had proof that Assad crossed
 the "red line" by using chemical weapons.

 However, Kerry was never able to back up
 his statements with evidence.  The US had
 no evidence to give the UK prime minister,
whose efforts to have Parliament approve
Britain's participation with Washington in a
 military attack on Syria were voted down.
 Parliament told the prime minister, "no
evidence, no war."

Again here is Kerry declaring "confidence"
 in statements that are directly contradicted
 by the Russian satellite photos and endless
 eye witnesses on the ground. 

Why doesn't Washington release its photos
 from its satellite?

The answer is for the same reason that the USA
 will not release all the videos it confiscated and
 that it claims prove that a hijacked 9/11 airliner
hit the Pentagon.  The videos do not support
 Washington's claim, and the US satellite
photos do not support Kerry's claim.

The UN weapons inspectors on the ground in
Iraq, reported that Iraq had no weapons of
mass destruction.  However, the fact did not
 support Washington's propaganda and was
 ignored. Washington started a highly
destructive war, based on nothing but
Washington's intentional lie.

The International Atomic Energy Commission's
 inspectors on the ground in Iran and all 16 US
 intelligence agencies reported that Iran had
no nuclear weapons program. However, the
was inconsistent with Washington's
and was ignored by both the US
and the presstitute media.

We are witnessing the same thing right
now with the assertions, in the absence
 of evidence, that Russia is responsible
 for the downing of the Malaysian airliner.

Not every member of the US government
is as reckless as Kerry and John McCain.
In place of direct lies, many US officials
 use insinuations.

US Senator Diane Feinstein is the perfect
 example.  Interviewed on the presstitute
 TV station CNN, Feinstein said: "The issue
 is where is Putin?  I would say, 'Putin, you
 have to man up. You should talk to the
 world. You should say, if this is a mistake,
 which I hope it was, say it.'"

Putin has been talking to the world non-
calling for an expert non-politicized
and Feinstein is asking Putin
why he is hiding
behind silence.  We know
you did it, Feinstein
insinuates, so just tell
us whether you meant
to, or whether it
was an accident.

The way the entire Western news cycle was
 orchestrated with blame instantly placed on
Russia, long in advance of real information

 suggests that the downing of the airliner
a Washington operation.  It is, of course,
 possible that the well-trained presstitute media
 needed no orchestration from Washington, in
 order to lay the blame on Russia.  On the other
 hand, some of the news performances seem too
 scripted not to have been prepared in advance. 

We also have the advanced preparation of the
 youtube video that purports to show a Russian
 general and Ukrainian separatists discussing
 having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner.

 As I pointed out earlier, the video is twice damned.
  It was ready in advance, and, by implicating the
 Russian military, it overlooked that the Russian
 military can tell the difference between a civilian
 airliner and a military airplane. The existence of
 the video itself, implies that there was a plot to
 down the airliner and blame Russia.

I've seen reports that the Russian anti-aircraft
 missile system, as a safety device, is capable
 of contacting aircraft transponders in order to
 verify the type of aircraft.  If the reports are
correct and if the transponders from MH-17
 are found, they might record the contact.

I have seen reports that Ukrainian air control
 changed the route of MH-17 and directed it to
 fly over the conflict area.  The transponders
 should also indicate whether this is correct.

  If so, there clearly is at least circumstantial
 evidence, that this was anintentional act on
 the part of Kiev, an act which would have
 required Washington's blessing.

There are other reports that there's a divergence
 between the Ukrainian military and the unofficial
 militias, formed by the right-wing Ukrainian
 extremists who apparently were the first to attack
 the separatists.  It is possible that Washington
 used extremists to plot the airliner's destruction
 in order to blame Russia and use the accusations
 to pressure the EU to go along with Washington's
 unilateral sanctions against Russia. We do know
that Washington is desperate to break up the
 growing economic and political ties between
 Russia and Europe. 

If it was a plot to down an airliner, any safety device
 on the missile system could have been turned off,
so as to give no warning, or leave any telltale sign.
  That could be the reason a Ukrainian fighter was
 sent to inspect the airliner.  Possibly the real
 target was Putin's airliner -- and incompetence in
 implementing the plot, resulted in the destruction
of a civilian airliner.

As there are a number of possible explanations,
let's keep open minds and resist Washington's
 propaganda --- until facts and evidence are in.

 At the very least, Washington is guilty of using
 the incident to blame Russia in advance of the
 evidence. All Washington has shown us so far
 is accusations and insinuations.  If that is all
 Washington continues to show us, we will
know where the blame resides.

In the meantime, remember the story of the boy
 who cried "wolf!"  He lied so many times that
 when the wolf did come, no one believed him.
 Will this be Washington's ultimate fate?

Instead of declaring war on Iraq, Afghanistan,
 Libya, Somalia, and Syria, why did Washington
 hide behind lies?  If Washington wants war with
 Iran, Russia, and China, why not simply declare

The reason that the US Constitution requires war
 to begin with a declaration of war by Congress, is
 to prevent the executive branch orchestrating
any wars, in order to further 'hidden agendas'.

 By abdicating its constitutional responsibility, the
 US Congress is complicit in the executive branch's
 war crimes.  By approving Israel's premeditated
 murder of Palestinians, the US government is
 complicit in Israel's war crimes.

Ask yourself this question: Would the world be
 a safer place, with less death, destruction and
 displaced peoples, and more truth and justice,
 if the United States and Israel did not exist? 

Paul Craig Roberts


Does Russia have a future?
By Paul Craig Roberts

The Russian government has finally realized that
 it has no Western “partners,” and is complaining
 bitterly about the propagandistic lies and
 disinformation issued without any evidence
 whatsoever against the Russian government
 by Washington, its European vassals, and
press-titute media.

Perhaps the Russian government thought
that only Iraq, Libya, Syria, China, and Edward
 Snowden would be subjected to Washington’s
lies and demonization.

It was obvious enough that Russia would be next.

The Russian government and Europe need to look
 beyond Washington’s propaganda, because the
 reality is much worse.

NATO commander General Breedlove and Senate
 bill 2277 clearly indicate that Washington is
 organizing itself and Europe for war on Russia.

Europe is reluctant to agree with Washington to
 put Ukraine in NATO. Europeans understand that
 if Washington or its stooges in Kiev cause a war
with Russia, Europe will be the first casualty.

Washington finds its vassals’ noncompliance
 tiresome. Remember Assistant Secretary of
State Victoria Nuland’s “fuck the EU.” And
 that is just what Washington is about to do.

The US Senate’s Russian Aggression Prevention
 Act, about which I reported in my previous column,
does even more mischief than I reported. If the bill
 passes, which it likely will, Washington becomes
empowered to bypass NATO and to grant the status
 of “allied nation” to Ukraine independently of NATO
 membership. By so doing, Washington can send
 troops to Ukraine and thereby commit NATO to a
war with Russia.

Notice how quickly Washington escalated the
 orchestrated Ukrainian “crisis”  -  without any
 evidence - into “Russian aggression.” Overnight
 we have the NATO commander and US senators
 taking actions against “Russian aggression”, of
which no one has seen any evidence.

With Iraq, Libya, and Syria, Washington learned
 that Washington could act on the basis of bald-
faced lies. No one, not Great Britain, not France,
not Germany, not Italy, not the Netherlands, not
 Canada, not Australia, not Mexico, not New
Zealand, not Israel, nor Japan, nor S. Korea,
nor Taiwan, nor (substitute your selection)
stepped forward to hold the US accountable
 for its blatant lies and war crimes.

The UN even accepted the package of blatant
and obviously transparent lies that Colin Powell
 delivered to the UN. Everything Powell said had
 already been refuted by the UN’s own weapons
 inspectors. Yet the UN pussies gave a go-ahead
 for that devastating war.

The only conclusion is that all the whores were
paid off. Whores can always count on Washington
 paying them off. For money, the whores are selling
 out civilization to Washington’s war, which likely
will be nuclear and terminate life on earth. The
 whores’ money will incinerate with them.

It's hardly surprising that Washington now targets
 Russia. The world has given Washington carte
 blanche to do as it pleases. We have now had three
 administrations of US war criminals welcomed and
 honored wherever the war criminals go. The other
governments in the world continue to desire
 invitations to the White House as indications of
their worth. To be received by war criminals has
 become the highest honor.

Even the president of China comes to Washington
 to receive acceptance by the Evil Empire.

The world did not notice Washington’s war crimes
 against Serbia and didn’t puke when Washington
 then put the Serbian president, who had tried to
 prevent his country from being torn apart by
 Washington, on trial as a war criminal.

The world has made no effort to hold Washington
 responsible for its destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan,
 Libya, and now Syria and Gaza. The world has not
 demanded that Washington stop murdering people
 in Pakistan and Yemen, countries with which
 Washington is not at war. The world looks the other
 way as Washington creates the US Africa Command.
The world looks the other way as Washington sends
 deadly weapons to Israel, with which to murder
 women and children in the Gaza Ghetto. Washington
 passes Senate and House Resolutions cheering on
 the Israeli murder of Palestinians.

Washington is accustomed to its free pass,
granted by the world, to murder and to lie,
and now is using it against Russia.

President Putin’s bet, that by responding to
Washington’s aggression in Ukraine, in an

 unprovocative and reasonable manner, this
demonstrate to Europe, that Russia
was not the
source of the problem --- has
not paid off.

European countries are captive nations. They
are incapable of thinking & acting for themselves.
 They bend to Washington’s will. Essentially, Europe
 is a nonentity that follows Washington’s orders.

If the Russian government hopes to prevent war
with Washington, which is likely to be the final
war for life on earth, the Russian government
needs to act now and end the problem in Ukraine
 by accepting the separatist provinces’ request
be reunited with Russia. Once S.2277 passes,
 Russia cannot retrieve the situation without
 confronting militarily the US, because Ukraine
will have been declared an American ally.

Putin’s bet was reasonable and responsible,
 but Europe has failed him. If Putin does not
use Russian power to bring an end to the
problem with which the US has presented
him in Ukraine, while he still can, the US’s
 next step will be to unleash its hundreds of
NGOs inside Russia to denounce Putin as a
traitor for abandoning Russian populations
 in the former Russian provinces that Soviet
 leaders thoughtlessly attached to Ukraine.

The problem with being a leader is that you
inherit festering problems left by previous
 leaders. Putin has the problems bequeathed
by Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a disaster for Russia.
 Yeltsin was Washington’s puppet. It is not
certain that Russia will survive Yeltsin’s

If Washington has its way, Russia will survive
 only as an American puppet state.

In a previous column I described the article in
 Foreign Affairs, journal of the Washington foreign
 policy community, that makes a case that the US
 has such strategic advantage over Russia at this
 time that a “window of opportunity” exists for the
US to erase Russia as a restraint on US hegemony
--- with a preemptive nuclear attack.

It's almost certain that Obama is being told how
 President John F. Kennedy had this window of
 opportunity and did not use it, and that Obama
must not let the opportunity pass a second time.

As Steven Starr explained in a guest column,
there are no winners of nuclear war. Even if the
 US escapes retaliatory strikes, everyone will
die, regardless.

The view in Washington of the neoconservatives
who control the Obama regime, is that a nuclear
war is winnable. No expert opinion supports
 their assumption, but the neocons, not the
experts, are in power.

The American people are out to lunch. They have
 no comprehension of their likely fate. Americans
 are an uninformed people distracted by their
 mounting personal and financial problems.
 If Europeans are aware, they have decided to
live for the moment, on Washington’s money.

What life is faced with is a drive for hegemony
on the part of Washington --- and ignorant
unconcern on the part of the rest of the world.

Americans worked into a lather about Washington’s
 unfunded liabilities, and the viability of their future
 Social Security pension, won’t be alive to collect it.


World doomed by Western insouciance
By Paul Craig Roberts

European governments and the Western media
 have put the world at risk by enabling the US’s
 propaganda and aggression against Russia.

Washington has succeeded in using transparent
 lies to demonize Russia as a dangerous aggressive
 country led by a new Hitler or a new Stalin, just as
 Washington sought to vilify Assad in Syria, Chavez
in Venezuela, and, of course, Iran.

The real demons – Clinton, Bush, Obama – are “the
 exceptional and indispensable people” above the
 reach of demonization. Their horrific real crimes
go unnoticed, while fictitious crimes are attributed
 to other people and countries.

The reason that Washington demonizes a leader and
 a country is to permit the creation of circumstances
 that Washington can use to act with force against
 a leader and a country.

Washington’s incessant lies alleging “Russian
 aggression” have created Russian aggression out
 of thin air. John Kerry and the State Department’s
 Marie Harf issue new lies daily, but never any
 supporting evidence. With the stage set, the US
 Senate, the NATO commander and the Chairman
 of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff are busy at work
 energizing the wheels of war.

Senate bill 2277 provides for beefing up forces on
 Russia’s borders and for elevating Ukraine’s status
 to “ally of the US” so that US troops can assist the
 war against “terrorists” in Ukraine.  

NATO commander Breedlove is preparing his plans
 for stockpiling war material on Russia’s borders so
 that US/NATO troops can more quickly strike Russia.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General
Martin Dempsey, is at work preparing American
 opinion for the upcoming war.

On July 24, Dempsey told Aspen Security Forum,
 a high level group where US opinion is formed,
Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is comparable
Stalin’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and that
Russian threat was not limited to Ukraine
Eastern Europe, but was global.

The intellects in the Aspen Forum did not break
 out laughing, when Dempsey told them that
Russia’s (alleged but unproven) involvement in
 Ukraine was the first time since 1939 that a
country made a conscious decision to use its
military force inside another sovereign nation
 to achieve its objectives.

 No one asked Dempsey what Washington has
been doing during the last three presidential
 regimes: Clinton in Serbia, Bush and Obama in
 Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and
Obama in Libya and Syria.

Here are Dempsey’s words: “You’ve got a Russian
 government that has made a conscious decision to
 use its military force inside another sovereign nation
 to achieve its objectives. It’s the first time since
 1939 or so that that’s been the case. They clearly
 are on a path to assert themselves differently not
 just in Eastern Europe, but Europe in the main,
and towards the United States.”

Washington’s view that the world is its oyster is
ingrained that neither Dempsey nor his upper
 echelon audience at the Aspen Forum noticed the
 absurdity of his statement. Washington and the
 brainwashed US population take if for granted that
 the “exceptional, indispensable nation” isn't limited
 in its actions by the sovereignty of other countries.

Washington takes for granted that US law prevails
 in other countries over the countries’ own laws –
just ask France or Switzerland, that Washington
 can tell foreign financial institutions and
 corporations with whom they can do business
and with whom they cannot – just ask every
country and company prevented from doing
business with Iran, that Washington can invade
 any country whose leader Washington can
demonize & overthrow – just ask Iraq, Honduras,
 Libya, Serbia, and so forth, and that Washington
 can conduct military operations against peoples
 in foreign countries, such as Pakistan and Yemen,
 with which Washington is not at war.

All of this is possible, because Washington has
 claimed the title from Israel of being “God’s Chosen
 People.” Of course, Israel’s loss of the title has not
 stopped Israel from acting in the same way.

Washington has put in motion the wheels of war.
Once the wheels of war begin to turn, momentum
 carries them forward. The foolish, indeed utterly
 stupid, governments and media in Europe seem
 unaware of Washington’s orchestration of their
 future or lack thereof, or they are indifferent to it.

 They are dooming themselves and all of humanity
 by their insouciance.

Readers who cannot tolerate problems without
 solutions always request solutions. OK, here is
 the solution:

The only possibility of avoiding war is that Putin
take his case to the UN. If Washington can send
 Colin Powell to the UN unarmed with any truth to
 make Washington’s case for war against Iraq,
Putin should be able to take his case to the UN
 against Washington’s war against Russia.

The case that the emperor has no clothes is
 an easy one to make.

Unlike Washington, Putin is willing to share the
 evidence that Russia has about who is doing
what in Ukraine. It is a simple matter to establish
 that Washington organized a coup that overthrew
 an elected government, supports violence against
 those who object to the coup, and has turned a
deaf ear to Russia’s repeated pleas for Kiev and
 the separatists to negotiate their differences.

Putin should make it clear to the world that
 Washington continues with provocative military
 steps against Russia, with force buildups on
Russia’s borders and calls for more buildups,
with S.2277 which reads like a US preparation
 for war, with provocative actions & accusations
by top US generals and government officials
 against Russia, and with efforts to isolate Russia
 and to inflict economic and political injury
 on Russia.

Putin should make it clear to the world that there
 is a limit to provocations that Russia can accept
and that Russia believes that Russia is
in danger
of a preemptive nuclear attack by

 Putin can describe Washington’s withdrawal from
 the ABM treaty, the construction of ABM bases on
 Russia’s borders, and the announced change in
 Washington’s war doctrine that elevates US nuclear
 forces from a retaliatory role to a preemptive first
 strike role. These actions are clearly directed at
 Russia (and China–wake up China! You are next!).

Putin must state clearly that the likely consequence
 of the world continuing to enable Washington’s lies
 & aggression will be not merely another disastrous
 war, but the termination of life.

The governments of the world, especially
 Washington’s vassals in Europe, Canada,
Australia, and Japan, need to be told that it
their responsibility to stop their enabling
Washington’s aggression or to accept
responsibility for World War III.

At least we could all have the enjoyment of
watching the arrogant Samantha Powers and
 the craven British lapdog rise and walk out of
 the UN proceedings. There is no doubt what-
soever that Washington is unable to answer
 the charges.

Here again is the Wolfowitz Doctrine that controls
US foreign policy and that condemns Planet Earth
 to death:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence
of a new rival, either on the territory of the former
 Soviet Union or elsewhere, that posses a threat on
 the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union.

 “This is a dominant consideration underlying the
new regional defense strategy and requires that
 we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from
 dominating a region whose resources would,
 under consolidated control, be sufficient to
 generate global power.”

A hostile power is defined as any country that
 is not a Washington vassal.

The Wolfowitz Doctrine commits the United States,
 its peoples, Washington’s gullible EU allies and
 those peoples, to war with Russia and China.

The destruction of the world is what the idiot EU
 governments and the presstitute Western media
 are fostering by their enablement of Washington’s
 lies and aggression.



Two thirds of Russians say in the latest
poll that they are against sending troops
to Ukraine, despite the latest US' moves.


 The European Union is expanding anti-Russian
 sanctions against its own interests under tough
 pressure from the US in favour of the American
 military-industrial complex, say experts.

“This week, the EU is to expand and toughen
anti-Russian measures. This is obviously an
 operation staged by Washington that is using
 the Malaysian airliner downed in Ukraine with
 most of its passengers being Europeans, as
an excuse to defeat Russia,” says the director
 of the strategic analysis & developments dept,
 at the sanctioned Vnesheconombank, Vladimir

“The unprecedented propaganda campaign
 on Russia has turned the Old World's public
against Russia, to such an extent that its
politicians are afraid of looking indecisive
and losing voters' support, to blindly take
 their cue from the US”

“The EU has no chance to withstand US pressure
 over anti-Russian measures,” the expert explains:
 “Washington overtly interferes with Russian-EU gas
 supply talks & blackmails France over its contract
 on helicopter carrier Mistral supplies to Russia.

“The US is flagrantly pursuing its own policy in
and is appointing its own people to
key posts in the EU.”

“EU countries have a deficit of strong leaders
 now, and European governments are weak.
the EU's bureaucratic machine is
proving to be incompetent
on issues of global
politics and economics and
totally dependent
on the US will,” Andrianov says.

 “The fact that even German Chancellor Angela
 Merkel suddenly switched tactics after several
 months of a moderate approach shows the EU
 leaders’ dependence on the US.

 “Washington keeps files on all prominent politicians.
 It certainly has blackmail evidence against Merkel.
 It’s no coincidence that her cellphone was bugged
by US special services. For this reason, the German
 chancellor yielded to pressure from Washington.”

“All US foreign policy starting from Vietnam, has
been tailored to its military's needs. Amid global
 competition, the US - as the world’s gendarme -
 cannot bear the thought that Russia remains the
only major geopolitical opponent which it can't
control,” the expert says.

Washington aims to arm the Ukrainian army with
 modern weapons and equipment, and pull Russia
 into a confrontation with Ukraine,  Mr Andrianov

“For this purpose, the US Congress plans to
 recognise Ukraine as a major non-NATO ally
 and provide it with direct military aid.

 “The S.2277 - Russian Aggression Prevention Act
 of 2014 - has passed two readings in the US.
These moves are clearly designed to serve the
 interests of the US military-industrial complex
 in order to kindle the fire in Europe and line US
 pockets on weapon supplies to the crisis zone,”
Andrianov says.

“The scenario of pulling Russia into armed conflict
 with Ukraine is so dangerous that it's unacceptable,”
the dean of the Higher School of Economics Faculty
 for World Economy and International Affairs, Sergey
 Karaganov says.

 “But the EU sanctions already announced, and
those on the table, mean that the large-scale
US's anti-Russian campaign, caused by the
Boeing's downing in Ukraine, is bearing fruit.”

“US pressure for the EU to adopt anti-Russian
 sanctions aims at splitting Europe, weakening
 Germany and inflicting as much grave damage
 as possible on Russia, to deprive the country
of its power in the world,” the expert says.

“Europe is blindly obeying the US by imposing
 anti-Russian sanctions, because EU welfare
directly relies on the US in financial terms,
Deputy Director of Russia's Academy of
Institute for the USA and Canadian
Studies, Major
General Pavel Zolotarev says.

“In terms of its security policy, the EU is peace-
ful under the US umbrella. Washington bears the
 lion’s share of NATO spending, enabling the EU
 countries to reduce defense spending to 2% of
their gross domestic product.”

“EU countries lay out 6-7 times more for education
 and healthcare than defense,” the analyst adds.

 “Russia cannot afford such a budget distribution,
 while EU countries can, thanks to the US. Hence
 their obedience to Washington.”

The graphic video above shows
fascism in the centre of Europe.

Our media says the US-backed
coup in Ukraine, is a people's 
revolution: we say it's fascism.



Ukraine Bailout Funds Discovered in
Oligarch's Cyprus Kitty (Igor Kolomoisky)

We're talking 1.8 billion dollars here!

This article originally appeared at Sputnik

Investigative reporters have discovered that IMF
 bailout funds meant for Ukraine have mysteriously
 appeared in a Cyprus bank account, controlled by
a notorious Ukrainian oligarch, Ihor Kolomoyskyi.

A huge chunk of the $17 billion in bailout money
 the IMF granted to Ukraine in April 2014 has been
 discovered in a bank account in Cyprus controlled
 by exiled Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the
 German 'paper, Deutsche Wirtshafts Nachrichten
 [DWN], reports on Thursday.

In April, last year, $3.2 billion was immediately
 disbursed to Ukraine, and over the following 5
 months, another $4.5 billion was disbursed to
 the Ukrainian Central Bank, to stabilize the
country's financial system.

“The money should have been used to stabilize
 the country's ailing banks: however $1.8 billion
 disappeared down murky channels,” says DWN.

Ihor Kolomoyskyi, the former governor of
Dnipropetrovsk, is one of Ukraine's richest
 businessmen, with a business empire that
includes holdings in the energy,
media, chemical & metalwork industries.

At the centre of Kolomoyskyi's wealth is PrivatBank,
Ukraine's largest financial institution, which claimed
 the bulk – 40% – of the bailout money that had been
 earmarked for stabilizing the banking system.

“Theoretically, the IMF should retain direct control
 over the distribution of funds. In fact, it seems that
 the banks chose their own auditors.”

DWN notes that the IMF reported in January 2015
that the equity ratio of Ukraine's banking system
dropped to 13.8%, from 15.9%, in late June 2014.

By February 2015 even PrivatBank had to be
saved from bankruptcy --- and was given a
62 million Euro, two-year loan, from the
 Central Bank.

“So where have the IMF's billions gone?”

The racket worked by Kolomoyskyi's PrivatBank
 was uncovered by the Ukrainian anti-corruption
 initiative 'Nashi Groshi,' meaning 'our money', in

According to Nashi Groshi's investigations,
 PrivatBank has connections to 42 Ukrainian
 companies, which are owned by another 54
offshore companies based in the Caribbean,
 USA and Cyprus. These companies took out
 loans from PrivatBank, totaling $1.8 billion.

These Ukrainian companies ordered investment
 products from six foreign suppliers based in the
 UK, the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean, and
then transferred money to a PrivatBank branch
 in Cyprus --- ostensibly to pay for the products.

The products were then used as collateral for
 the loans taken out from PrivatBank – however,
 overseas suppliers never delivered the goods,
 & the 42 companies took legal action in court
in Dnipropetrovsk, demanding reimbursement
 for payments made for the goods --- and the
 termination of the loans from Privatbank.

The court's ruling for all 42 companies was that
 the foreign suppliers should return the money,
 but the credit agreement with Privatbank...
remains in place.

“Basically, this was a transaction of $1.8 billion
 abroad --- with the help of fake contracts --- the
 siphoning off of assets and violation of existing
 laws,” explains journalist, Lesya Ivanovna, of
Nashi Groshi.

In March, Kolomoyskyi was dismissed from his
 position as governor of Dnipropetrovsk, after a
power struggle with Ukrainian President Petro
 Poroshenko;- the fraud was carried out, while
he was governor of the region in East Central

“The whole story with the court case was only
 necessary to make it look like the bank itself
 was not involved in a fraud scheme. Officially
 it now looks as if the bank has the products..
 but, in reality, they were never delivered,”
says Ivanovna.

Such business practices have "earned"
Kolomoyskyi a fortune, which
now estimates is at $1.27 billion, and
were known to investigators beyond
Ukraine's borders; he was once ban-
ned from the US, over suspicions of
connections with international
organized crime.

Despite these suspicions, it appears that
 Kolomoyskyi is unlikely to face justice, as
 he is currently living in exile in the US. He
 fled Ukraine, earlier this year. Ukraine has
 been granted a further $3.6 billion in debt
 relief from creditors.

 Russia, despite its membership in development
 lending institutions, has refused to givee funds
to Ukraine over concerns emanating from this,
and other instances, of widespread graft.


Death Toll From Kiev Grenade
 Attack on Police Rises to Three

Two more National Guardsmen have died
from injuries suffered in the explosion &
50 more remain in hospital.

The National Guard is a paramilitary police
force, subordinate to the Interior Ministry,
 which was established after Maidan, and
recruited from participants in the Maidan.

Xinhua - The death toll from clashes that erupted
 near the parliament building in central Kiev, is
now at least 3, after two officers die in hospital
 of wounds sustained in the violence, the Kiev
 authorities say.

The presidential aide Olga Bogomolets, writes on
Facebook, that a 21-year-old National Guard died
 from massive blood loss, and a 20-year-old officer
 passed away after the treatment for his shrapnel
wounds to the brain, failed.

About 140, mainly law enforcement officers,
 remain hospitalized, the Interior Ministry says.

According to a statement on the ministry website,
 two police officers, severely injured in a grenade
 explosion outside the parliament building, are in
 hospital in intensive care, in a critical condition.


Japanese war criminal confession
 reveals bacterial warfare massacre

Xinhua - A Japanese war criminal's confession
--- just released --- details the killing of Chinese
 civilians in Japan's War of Aggression on China.
The State Archives Administration (SAA) publishes
 the hand-written confession by Kingo Okano, who
 was born in 1912 and joined the invasion army in
 1937. He was captured in August 1945.
According to the document, Okano said he killed
two captured anti-Japanese soldiers in N. China's
Hebei Province, in 1937. He also captured a man
and woman and:-- "forced them to have sexual
intercourse in front of us and beat them," the
confession says.
He confessed that in May 1938, he "beat and
tortured" a captured man for two weeks and
 "beheaded him with a katana" in Chengde,
where he also broke into a Chinese house,
 "threatened the wife with my own power,
sexually assaulted her in the inner room,
and infected her with gonorrhea."
Okano said that in May 1939, he was ordered
to transport 250 POWs of the 8th Route Army
and "hand them over to the headquarters of
the Fourth Army," who "enslaved them and
later killed them all, with some used in a
bacterial experiment."
Okana confessed that in October 1940 in N. East
 China's Jilin Province, he worked with the puppet
police to help 200 military doctors in conducting
 so-called "epidemic prevention." He "had 5,000
 people in town injected, broke into houses to
force disinfection, and dissected 50 people, to
conduct experiments to prepare for bacterial
warfare," the confession states.
Okana also confessed he provided intelligence
in August 1945, the result of which, was that a
 squadron "fired at about 2,000 rioting Chinese
 with machine guns and shot dead 150 of them."
This is the 22nd of 31 written confessions by
 Japanese war criminals -- to be published on
SAA's website to mark the 70th anniversary
 of the end of WWII.

The West, to its undying shame, is refusing
to recognise China's WWll commemoration.


Vietnam, 70 years on
           the Path of Peace and Cooperation               
 Prensa Latina - Vietnam continues to develop
 its peaceful foreign policy of multilateralism,
and cooperation, President Truong Tan Sang
reaffirms here, at the ceremony for the 70th
anniversary of Vietnam's proclamation of
independence, which takes place today.

The president stresses that, to do so, his
country will be guided by a principle: that
Vietnam is a friend, a reliable partner and
 a responsible member of the international

He also calls to improve constantly the
efficiency of foreign policy, to raise its
 position on the regional & world stage,
 and contribute in this way, to maintain
peace, stability and development.

Sang talks of the work done in the last
 seven decades --- and highlights how
the achievements in that period, are
 recognized by the entire world.

He mentions, among the advances of
the past 30 years, how, now, Vietnam
is a middle income nation with strong
 socio-economic stability, with its full
independence and sovereignty, and
 its reunification and territorial
 integrity, guaranteed.

Vietnamese President urges a continual
 strengthening of patriotism and unity, to
 maximize opportunities and overcome
difficulties, and promote development.

Sang repeatedly evokes the struggle and
 thinking of President Ho Chi Minh, Father
 of Vietnam, whom Vietnam honors today,
 with a ceremony at his mausoleum, and
other activities, in recent weeks.

The speech precedes a parade in which
 members of the armed forces, veterans,
workers and representatives of ethnic
 minorities - among others - will all


New IS Terrorists' Attack with
           Chemical Weapons in Syria Reported               
 Islamic State (IS) terrorist groups used banned
 chemical weapons in an attack on Marea city,
located in Allepo city, confirms SANA, the
 state-run news agency of Syria.

SANA quotes sources giving detailed information
 about the use of tens of projectiles - loaded with
 toxic subtances -- during attacks staged against
 the city, 408 kilometers north of Damascus.

According to eyewitnesses, IS armed extremists
are using mustard gas and chlorine gas, which
 causes asphyxia symptoms in the population,
 after heavy artillery shelling.

On August 22nd, the Islamic State launched
 projectiles loaded with chemical subtances
 against the same locality, in northern Syria.

NBC television network & The Wall Street Journal
 published a report last August 15, showing how IS
 terrorist groups used chemical weapons, chiefly
 mustard and chlorine gas, during recent attacks
 on Hasaka city, 709 kilometers east of Damascus.

The report came after it was announced that 60
 Syrian-Kurdish militiamen were attacked with
 banned subtances.


US Drone Kills Five Alleged
    Extremists in Pakistan     
A US drone killed five alleged extremists in North
 Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, reports Geo
News tv channel, today.

Security sources tell Geo News, the incursion
 was staged last night, when a drone launched
 two missiles against a house in Lawara Banga
area, Shawal valley, where alleged radicals
were settled, and adds that three Uzbeks
are among the dead.

Last August 6th, another US unmanned
 strike aircraft killed 7 militiamen in North
Waziristan -- one of the departments that
 form the Federal Administration Tribal
Areas (FATA).

Five alleged members of Red Haqqani, a
group allied to Afghan Talibans and one
 of the most active and feared in the
neighboring nation, were killed in that

Following it, the Pakistani Government
condemned the incident --- saying that
 the acts violate Afghan's sovereignty
 and international rights.

The incursions certainly have a negative
 effect and cause distrust to populations
 in the tribal areas, says a communique,
 signed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry's
 spokesperson, Qazi Khalilullah.

However, local media considers that
 Islamabad "tactically" backs these
operations, but condemns them in

Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001,
 the US has launched systematic bombings
 of alleged Taliban positions, in Pakistan's
 border with Afghanistan, causing tension
 between the two countries.


Multiple injuries in Kiev as grenade explodes
 during protest against constitutional law

 Dozens are feared to have been injured during
 clashes in front of the parliament in Kiev, the
 Ukrainian National Guard says. Crowds of
protesters came to oppose amendments to
the constitution that would provide for
decentralization of the country.

The protest started on Constitution Square,
in Kiev, in front of the Verkhovna Rada,
where some 3,000 radicals gathered.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov
 writes on Facebook --  “one person was
 killed, 125 were injured, 12 people are
 being operated on and one soldier is in
a deep coma. Doctors have refused to
give any forecasts on the condition of
 another five people.”

Police officers, National Guard troops,
 the interior ministry’s special forces
 servicemen, & members of other law
enforcement agencies were those
affected, he stresses.

Ukraine’s Deputy Interior Minister Vasily
Paskal, journalists of Ukraine TV channel
 5 and channel 1+1, as well as a French
correspondent, are also among the
 injured, the minister adds.

In an earlier press-conference, the minister
said their wounds were caused  “by several
explosive devices, thrown by the people
 wearing Svoboda (Freedom) Party T-shirts
-- who provoked clashes with the National
Guard in front of the Rada.”

“30 people have already been detained.
But there’ll be more arrests. The grenade
 thrower has been captured and several
grenades, including a maximum damage
 F1 grenade, have been seized from him,”
 Avakov says, as cited by TASS.

The minister says he “directly blames” the
 leader of Svoboda party, Oleg Tyagnibok,
 for the incident, stating what happened
 near the parliament was “a crime, not a
 political stance.”

“There’s one killed National Guard troop – a
 gunshot wound to the heart… we thought it
 was shrapnel but it turns out someone used
 the confusion to shoot,” he wrote earlier, on
his Facebook page.

Ukraine's Health Ministry says on its website
 that firearms were widely used in the clashes
 at the Verkhovna Rada building and 21 people
 received gunshot wounds.

There are conflicting reports on the number
 of casualties near the Ukrainian parliament.
Initial reports said that at least five officers
 were killed in the clashes.

The Ukrainian National Guard has claimed
that “about 50” people sustained injuries.

The European Union is concerned over 
events in Kiev, and urges both sides to
show restraint and start dialogue, says
the European Commission press-service.

Tweets from journalists at the scene say
 supporters of the ultra-right Right Sector
 brutally attacked police officers.

The demonstrators attacked police with
 long sticks & threw at least one smoke
 bomb grenade, Russia’s RIA Novosti &
 TASS news agencies report.

The Ukrainian UNIAN news agency also
 reports that smoke bombs were being
thrown, along with stones.

Both protesters and police officers used
tear gas against each other, UNIAN says.

The agency adds that the protesters were
shouting “Shame!” and “Impeachment!” in
 front of the parliament building, that was
 then being blockaded from the outside.

Earlier in the day, the parliament passed
Constitutional amendments on decentral-
ization on a first reading. The amendments
proposed by President Petro Poroshenko,
 were supported by 265 of the parliament’s
 450 lawmakers.

The lawmakers did not discuss giving special
 status to Donbass, the historical area in east
 Ukraine which includes Donetsk and Lugansk
regions. Since April 2014, this area has been
 fought over, by pro-Kiev and anti-government

Despite special status for the war-torn areas
being a separate bill, protesters who came out
 in the capital on Monday, were angered by the
 prospect of Eastern Ukraine getting autonomy
 from the central government. Photos posted on
 social media showed people holding banners,
saying: “No to special status of Donbass,” and
 “Occupants in Donbass, go away.”

The protesters on Constitution Square in Kiev
now are from the rightwing Radical, Self-Help,
 Svoboda and Republican Platform parties.

TASS news agency estimates their number
 to be around 1,000.

Two Ukrainian ultra-radical MPs now face
 investigations, for kidnapping and torture.

Lyashko, and his fellow party member Igor
Mosiychuk, have recently been accused of
organizing a criminal group, kidnappings &
torture. On Saturday, Ukraine’s prosecutor
 general opened a case against the two far-
 right-wing politicians.

Dozens of Svoboda Party activists have been
 picketing a police station -- where those held
after the clashes near the parliament, are
 being kept.

They demand the release of fellow Svoboda
 members and deny their involvement in the
 violence at the Verkhovna Rada.

Senior Svoboda member Mikhail Miroshnichenko
 tells Tass:--  Svoboda “condemns terror attacks
-- and is always peaceful in its actions.”

Svoboda also releases a statement, in which it
 demands that parliament urgently discuss the
 issue of removing the Interior Minister, Arsen
Avakov, from his position.

"It was police who were first to use force
 against protesters, provoking numerous
 skirmishes. The law enforcers failed to
implement appropriate measures to
neutralize the provocateurs,” their
 statement says.

Svoboda also claims that the grenade
 thrown from the crowd at police, was
 “a pre-planned provocation aimed
against Ukrainian patriots.”

The radical Right Sector movement has
issued a general rallying call to all of its
supporters in Kiev, stating on Facebook
 how “the blood of Ukrainian patriots was
 spilled near the Verkhovna Rada.”

They later used cars to block access
to three city blocks surrounding the
parliament building, with the police
making no effort to stop them.

The violence in Kiev, has prompted
Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko
 to make a televised address to the
 nation -- in which, he promised that
 the perpetrators would be punished,
and defended the decentralization
amendments to the Constitution.

“Today, I had a meeting with security
 officials, at which, clear assignments
 to investigate the events were given.
 And all the perpetrators, organizers,
-- all political forces -- face severe
 punishment,” Poroshenko said.

According to the president, “the threat
 of a break-up of the international pro-
Ukrainian coalition” would have risen,
if the Verkhovna Rada had not voted
yes to decentralization amendments
 to the constitution, on Monday.

It could also lead to a lifting of the
sanctions, that “are very painfully
 hitting the aggressor,” he stated,
-- apparently referring to Russia --
which Kiev blames, for 'sending
troops' to war-torn east Ukraine.

“Amendments to the constitution don’t
mean the loss of territory,” Poroshenko
 said, explaining that, on the contrary,
they’re giving a chance to bring back
 Donetsk and Lugansk regions under
 Ukrainian rule, “via political and
 diplomatic means.”

“We will achieve victory, combining
 strengthening our national defense
 with political & diplomatic efforts,”
he promises.

The president says the new amendments
 are ''far from'' those which the rebelling
 regions desired from any constitutional

“What they wanted was no federalization,
 but a confederation, which would’ve seen
dozens of Ukrainian regions having closer
 links with Russia than Ukraine. Therefore,
there were dreams about these militants
being able to influence key foreign policy
decisions, having a right to veto the entry
 of Ukraine into NATO & the EU," he says.

“But what they have got instead, is a
lean line about the features of local
self-governance,” Poroskenko says.

The amendments saw all the provisions
 for “a theoretical possibility of special
status for individual cities” taken from
 the constitution --- in order to eliminate
 “the slightest legal clues for a parade
 of sovereignty," he adds.

As for Donetsk and Lugansk, local
 self-governance there is provided for
by a separate law, that “has already
 been approved by the parliament on
 two occasions,” Poroshenko says.

“Most of the articles of this law are now
 suspended, and will only start working
 after an election in accordance with
 Ukrainian law and OSCE standards is
 held on those territories --- and only
after restoration of our full control
of the entire border with Russia,”
 he says.


UK announces £500mn injection into costly
 controversial Trident base in Scotland

The UK announces an investment of £500 million
 into Scotland’s Faslane naval base --- the site of
 its controversial Trident nuclear submarines.

In a statement ahead of his Scotland visit, UK
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne
pledges £500 million ($770million) for “ship
 lifts, sea walls, jetties and other major
projects,” over the next 10 years.

Work is to begin in 2017, and about 8,200
will be working on the project by 2022, up
 from 6,700 already booked, according to
 the statement.

The announcement “demonstrates the UK
government's commitment to investing in
  infrastructure and capability, to ensure
that Faslane remains the centre of UK
submarine operations, for the next
generation," Osborne says.

However not everyone is happy with Trident,
viewing it as both luxurious and unnecessary.

Many in Britain wish to scrap it, especially in
 these difficult times of austerity cuts. Among
 those are Scottish nationalists, (SNP), who
 are currently the ruling party in Scotland.

“It seems the Treasury apparently has a
 limitless pot, to keep an unwanted and
obscene arsenal of nuclear weapons
 afloat,” Brendan O’Hara, the SNP’s
Westminster defense spokesperson
says, according to UK media.

O’Hara argues that a “conventional
base” would do just fine.

Meanwhile, protests back home in London,
 are ongoing over the government’s attitude
 to spending. The health, infrastructure and
environment sectors, are among those that
 are suffering --- so that the military budget
can be ramped up.

 In late June, around 250,000 people attended
 one gathering, & many slammed government
 increased military spending, as others were
critical over the UK’s housing crisis, poverty-
level wages, and slashed social safety nets.

In early August, the NHS was told to slash
spending & only fill emergency vacancies,
 as austerity measures continued their hold.

 Financial justice activists are calling on
 the UK government, to address the UK’s
Private Finance Investment (PFI) debt
crisis, & acknowledge that excessive
debts generated through the schemes
 are impacting ordinary taxpayers ---
while wealthy investors profit.

Part of a worldwide program of privatization
 and financialization, PFI schemes use private
 capital for public infrastructure development.

UK taxpayers are estimated to owe approx.
 £222 billion ($337 billion) --- to banks and
 private firms --- under 720 PFI contracts.

Many who do not wish to see UK hospitals
 fail...  say Trident is perfectly replaceable.


Al-Baath Celebrates the 50th Anniversary
of Cuba-Syria Relations

The celebration, in al-Assad National Library,
 Damascus, was organized by the Association
 of Friendship Syria-Cuba (AASC), and brought
 together major figures of the political, social
and party life of this Levantine nation, who
 recognize the deep bonds of friendship and
brotherhood that unite the two peoples.

For the AASC, its President, Abdul Nasser
al-Shafia, stressed a continuing solidarity
 between Havana & Damascus, founded on
 revolutionary & anti-imperialist principles:

'Cuba taught the world that the price of
resistance is much less than the price
 of surrender and giving up principles,"
 said al-Shafia, a member of the top
leadership of al-Baath party.

For his part, the Charge d'Affaires of Cuba
 in Damascus, Armando Perez, stated that,
 despite being two geographically distant
countries, they share a common history,
based on mutual respect and high levels
 of agreement in the international arena.

Perez said Cuba and Syria have lived
together at important moments in
 history, are still fighting for a world
peace, and that its peoples are
brothers ---
to eternity.

The diplomat called for an end to terrorist
aggression against Syria's people -- which
has been continuous since 2011 -- and an
end to
foreign interference in the internal
of the Arab nation.

Also present were the culture minister, Essam
 Khalil; other cabinet members, President of the
 Federation of Syrian Journalists, Elias Murad,
and the president of the Federation of Arab
Writers, Hussein Jemma.

Also participating were Hunein Nemer, the
secretary general of the Syrian Communist
 Party, members of the National Progressive
 Front (main political group of Syrian parties),
 Syria's foreign ministry officials and leaders
 of al-Baath party.


Unrest in Lebanon refugee camp
 US-Israeli plot: Fatah

An official from the Palestinian Fatah movement
 has described the recent spate of clashes at the
 largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon as
 a plot hatched by the US and the Israeli regime.

"There is an Israeli-American plan, through both
 internal and external groups, to destabilize the
 camp," Munir Makdah, a Fatah official in Ain
al-Hilweh camp, said on Monday.

The Fatah official further noted that gunmen
from the Jund al-Sham extremist group now
 control 4 of Ain al-Hilweh camp's 11 districts.

Makdah said the fighting has forced a large
number of Palestinian families to take refuge
in the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon,
40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Beirut, and
he estimates the damage to structures and
buildings at Ain al-Hilweh, to be over one
 million dollars.

He adds, "What is happening mirrors the
state of things in the country. They aim
 to destroy the camp & force Palestinian
 refugees to leave Lebanon; as happened
to the Palestinians in Syria."

Makdah is making a reference to Yarmouk
 camp near the capital, Damascus. Once a
 thriving place, hosting tens of thousands of
Palestinian refugees -- as well as Syrians --
Yarmouk has turned into a ghost town, as a
 result of violent attacks by anti-government
militants over the past four years, in Syria.

At least two people lost their lives on August
 27, when Fatah supporters and Jund al-Sham
 militants engaged in a fierce gun battle at Ain
al-Hilweh refugee camp.

On August 25, at least three people were killed
 and 36 others injured in clashes between Jund
 al-Sham militants and Fatah advocates, in the
 northern sector of Ain al-Hilweh.

Two days earlier, 2 Fatah members were killed
 as Jund al-Sham sought to assassinate Ashraf
al-Armoushi, Fatah’s security chief, inside the
camp. Armoushi escaped the attack, unhurt.

Local medical sources reported a total of
 at least 15 people, both civilians and non-
civilians, as wounded, some critically.

Ain al-Hilweh had a population of about
70,000 residents before the figure rose
 by nearly twofold as a result of influxes
 of refugees, fleeing foreign-sponsored
conflict in Syria.

Under a tacit deal stuck after the 1975-1990
 civil war, the Lebanese army does not enter
 the country’s 12 official Palestinian refugee
camps, where the factions handle security.


Israelis demolish 15 Palestinian
 homes in West Bank's Ramallah

Israeli forces have once again demolished over
10 Palestinian homes near the city of Ramallah
 in the occupied West Bank.

According to local reports and witnesses, Israeli
 forces early on Monday destroyed 15 Palestinian
homes in the Jab’a village, using two bulldozers.

Locals say other residential buildings nearby
were also damaged.

According to reports, Israel's military unlawfully
 demolished some 40 structures in the Bedouin
 Palestinian West Bank communities, between
 August 17 and 18, leaving nearly 130 people,
including 80 children, homeless.

The continued rise in Israel’s destruction of
Palestinian homes and buildings comes as
 the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits an
 occupying entity from destroying private
property, or forcibly transferring people.

Since the beginning of 2011, Tel Aviv’s
destruction of Palestinian homes has
 left over 4,600 Palestinians homeless.

Tel Aviv’s policy of demolitions comes
hand in hand with the regime’s tight
 restrictions on Palestinians building
any houses themselves. 

Hundreds of thousands of Israelis currently
 reside in more than 120 illegal settlements
constructed since Tel Aviv’s occupation of
 the Palestinian territories, in 1967. These
settlements are considered illegal by most
of the international community.


Clashes near Ukraine parliament
 injure 100 police officers

At least 100 police officers have been injured in
 clashes in front of the Ukrainian parliament, in
Kiev, as ultranationalists gather there to protest
 against constitutional amendments, which grant
more autonomy to the eastern regions.

On Monday, hundreds of supporters of Ukraine’s
 ultra right-wing nationalist parties staged a rally
in front of the country’s parliament, Verkhovna
Rada, calling on it to overturn the amendments.

Reports say that Oleh Lyashko, the leader of
 Ukraine’s far-right Radical Party and 10 other
 MPs from the same faction, took part.

"Let’s stop the anti-constitutional revolt together,"
 said Igor Mosiychuk, an MP from the Radical Party,
 urging all nationalist legislators to join the protest.

The rally turned violent after demonstrators attacked
 security forces with smoke bombs, stones and long
 sticks. The police used tear gas to disperse them.

"Up to 100 law enforcers have been injured during
 clashes near the parliament building," Ukraine tv
quotes Kiev police boss, Alexander Tereshchuk,
 as saying.

According to Russian news agency, TASS, a huge
 explosion also occurred outside the Verkhovna
Rada building.

Several police officers are in a very serious
after the grenade blast, Anton
Gerashchenko, an
advisor to Ukraine’s
interior minister, says.

"A ball grenade has been just thrown at the
 servicemen protecting the Verkhovna Rada.
Several servicemen of the National Guard
sustained serious injuries. Their life is in
danger," Gerashchenko writes on his
Facebook page.

Some five or seven protesters have also
been seriously injured, & several others
 have moderately severe wounds, local
 media reports say. Tass reports that
one ultra-nationalist is dead, having
been shot through the heart.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's Interior Ministry
states that at least one protester has
been arrested, over violent clashes
with the
police forces.

Despite the violent protests, the Ukrainian
parliament passed the amendments, with
265 MPs voting in favor of them and 87
 voting against.

The constitutional reforms, proposed by
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko,
and backed by Western powers, would
grant more autonomy to the country’s
 restive east, which is currently under
the control of anti-US coup forces.


Donetsk says Ukraine’s constitutional
 changes will not resolve crisis

TASS - The constitutional changes adopted by
 Ukraine’s parliament in a first reading Monday,
 have nothing to do with the Minsk agreements
 and will not help to settle the crisis in Donbas,
 DPR’s negotiator, Denis Pushilin, says.

Kiev claims that the so-called decentralization
 bill, proposed by President Petro Poroshenko,
 is intended to give the eastern region special
 status, as demanded by the Minsk agreements
 made on February 12 in the Belarusian capital.

"We do not recognize what is going on now
the Rada --- as we know for sure that the
amendments proposed by Poroshenko, are
just an imitation of the Minsk agreements
 implementation," Pushilin says.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk
republics have repeatedly said, that local
 elections cannot be unilateral, & must be
agreed with the Donbas representatives,
he reminds listeners.

The vote on Donbas should be transparent
and fair, & carried out under control of the
 Office for Democratic Institutions and
Rights (ODIHR), Pushilin says.

Donbas is to hand over its constitutional
amendments on Tuesday at the meeting
 of the working subgroup on political
Pushilin says.

"We hope that this time,
the position of
Donbas will be heard,
but the chances
are slim,"
he adds.


US to Create Elite Police Unit in Ukraine

Sputnik - Canadian and American military
 instructors in Ukraine will create a new
 Special Force - an elite police unit for
 'rapid response'.

The first stage of selection and training
 of the elite police is due to begin soon.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says troop
selection for the new unit will be tough,
 but preference may be given to former
Special Forces veterans and Kiev-led
 military soldiers.

The new unit is set to gather about 5,000 men.
The minister adds that the basic salary of the
 elite police will be 10-15 thousand hryvnia --
 depending on their specialization in the unit.

The new Special Forces are designed to
 replace all existing Interior Ministry units
 in the future, combining them into one
similar unit -- like the American SWAT.


NATO, Ukraine Kick Off Black Sea Naval Drill
Sputnik - Ukraine-NATO joint military exercises
 Sea Breeze 2015, have begun in south Ukraine,
 Russian media report, on Monday.

"The aim of the exercises is to practice a
 multinational security operation in a crisis
region," the press service of the Ukrainian
 Defense Ministry says in a statement.

The land, naval and air drills, to run until
September 12, are also designed to improve
 interoperability between the Ukrainian Naval
 Forces and the Naval Forces of NATO member
 and partner countries, the statement says.

The exercises, held under NATO's Partnership
 for Peace program, in Ukraine’s Odessa and
 Nikolayev regions, involves around 2,500
military personnel --- also from Bulgaria,
 Germany, Greece, Italy, the UK, Romania,
 Sweden, Turkey and Moldavia, including
about 1,000 troops from Ukraine.

US participation in Sea Breeze-2015 includes
 approximately 400 sailors, the Arleigh Burke-
class guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook,
 and a P-3C Orion maritime patrol plane.

14 ships, 8 planes and helicopters and about
 90 vehicles, are to participate in the drills.

Vice Admiral James Foggo, commander of the
 US 6th Fleet, describes the exercise as “an
 important chance to work with our partners
 and conduct meaningful training in the land,
air, and maritime domains.”

“I am confident that this exercise will also
 lead to valuable personal exchanges bet-
ween our sailors, soldiers, airmen and
 Marines, leading to stronger bonds and
unity in this region,” he says.

The Sea Breeze exercises have been
conducted in Ukraine --- since 1997.


Total of 79 military drills held by Russia's
armed forces in August -- defense minister

TASS - The Russian army held 79 military exercises
 in August and is now preparing for the Centre-2015
 strategic command and staff exercises, Defense
Minister, Sergey Shoigu, says, on Monday.

"In the past month alone, we held 79 exercises,"
 the defense minister says, at a conference call
 in the ministry.

"A comprehensive exercise for all-round support
of the grouping of forces in the Central
strategic direction...  became the most multi-
dimensional maneuver. It involved about 6,000
servicemen, and almost 800 pieces of combat
hardware," the defense minister says.

Russia’s Western and Central Military Districts
completed their preparations on August 24-29
for the Centre 2015 maneuvers, planned for
September, the defense minister says.

The other large-scale military drills conducted
 this year, included the Selenga-2015 Russian-
Mongolian maneuvers, & the Interaction 2015
 military exercises, held for the rapid reaction
forces of the member states of the Collective
 Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the
 defense minister says.

The Selenga-2015 drills in the Trans-Baikal
Territory in East Siberia involved about 850
 servicemen and over 140 armaments and
pieces of combat hardware, including
 tanks and aviation.

The CSTO maneuvers in the Pskov Region
 in northwest Russia involved about 2,000
 troops, over 200 armaments, & pieces of
 combat hardware, and about 40 aircraft
 and helicopters.

All six member states of the Collective
Security Treaty Organization comprising
Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
 Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, sent their
 contingents to take part in the drills.


SNP says belated Chilcot inquiry ‘ludicrous’

The Scottish National Party (SNP), calls on
the UK government to set a deadline for the
 much-delayed report of the Iraq war inquiry.

The SNP says it is unacceptable that the
inquiry has not reported after six years,
at a cost of nearly 16 million dollars.

The ruling Scottish party, which on its web-
site describes the delays as ludicrous, calls
 for a definitive answer to what it calls the
 failures of the Iraq war.

It says the current Conservative government
 is also responsible for the Labour-initiated war
- as Conservatives overwhelmingly backed the
 invasion of Iraq.

The so-called Chilcot inquiry, named after John
Chilcot who chairs the Iraq war investigation,
began in 2009, and has repeatedly delayed its
report, under the pretext that it still needs to
 interview all individuals implicated in the US-
led invasion of the country.

The last of the hearings of the inquiry was held
 more than four years ago.

Chilcot has already declined to set out a timetable
 for his Iraq inquiry, despite a threat of legal action
 by the families of UK troops killed in the unpopular
US-led war.

Earlier in August, lawyers representing 29 families
 said they would move to the London High Court, if
 the Chilcot inquiry fails to give a publication dead-
line 'in two weeks'.

"There have been outrageous delays to date, &
 it seems as though those delays will simply be
interminable," Matthew Jury, a lawyer repres-
enting the families, says.

The US-led invasion of Iraq began in 2003 & lasted
 for over 8 years. The war, initiated under the false
 pretense of weapons of mass destruction, took
 the lives of 179 UK personnel, and nearly 4,500
 US soldiers.

The number of Iraqi civilian deaths, has been
 estimated at over 1 million by some sources.


Malaysian protesters urge PM to resign
for second day

Thousands of Malaysians gather in central
 Kuala Lumpur, for a second day & demand
the resignation of PM Najib Razak, over a
corruption scandal.

Crowds of yellow-clad Malaysians converge on
the streets of the capital on Sunday a day after
tens of thousands turned out for a similar rally
there, calling for Najib’s resignation as well as
 reforms in the electoral system, which critics
say is biased.

Many of the protesters slept the night on the
 streets, near Kuala Lumpur's Independence
 Square to take part in today’s demonstration.

“We are hoping to have as many people as yes-
terday to send a message to this government:
they have been lying and stealing and bullying
for far too long and the public won’t take it any-
more,” says Simon Tam, a protesting lawyer.

Police estimate 29,000 people participated
 in Saturday’s march --- but the civil society
movement, Bersih, which organized the
rally, put the number of participants at

Former Malaysian premier, Mahathir Mohamad,
 made a brief appearance at Saturday’s protest
 to support the calls for his successor to quit.

Najib, however, criticized the demonstrations,
 which, he says, tarnish the country’s image:

“Those who wear this yellow attire... they
want to discredit our good name, scribble
 black coal on Malaysia’s face to the out-
side world.”

Similar protest rallies are also reported in
 the cities of Kuching and Kota Kinabalu --
 despite a police ban on such gatherings.

A report published in The Wall Street Journal
in July revealed how Malaysian investigators
 traced almost USD 700 million of deposits,
into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

The revelation came during a probe into
alleged mismanagement at 1Malaysia
 Development Berhad (1MDB), a
government-owned strategic
investment company.


Malaysia's ruling party promises huge
 rally to trump anti-government protests

PressTV - A leader of Malaysia's ruling party says
 on Sunday, a million government supporters will
 stage a rally in October that will trump protests
over the past 2 days demanding the resignation
 of PM Najib Razak over a financial scandal.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi warns
 organizers they could face legal action, a sign that
 Najib's government is losing patience with the anti-
government protests which began in central Kuala
 Lumpur, on Saturday.

"They must face the consequences if they dare
 to break the law," he says, according to a New
 Straits Times online report.

Bernama national news agency says 12 people
 in the southwest city of Malacca were arrested
 for wearing the signature yellow T-shirts of the
 protests, which the government banned before
 the rally.

Jamal Yunos, divisional chief of the ruling United
 Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party, says
 a million "red shirt" government supporters will
 stage a rally in Kuala Lumpur on October 10th,
 as a riposte to the weekend protests.

"This shows the solidarity of Malaysians, that
Najib still has majority support," Yunos tells

Thousands are gathered in festive mood for the
 second day of protests on Sunday. Their spirits
 were lifted the night before, when Malaysia's
longest-serving leader, Mahathir Mohamad,
 made a brief and unexpected appearance
among them.

Organizers expect the number of protesters
to rise, despite a heavy downpour of rain, as
 the demonstration reaches a climax tonight.



Former Greek premier Alexis Tsipras urges
supporters to give him a fresh mandate to
 complete Greece's political transformation
 as polls show his leftist Syriza party's lead
 slipping, ahead of elections next month.

Tsipras abruptly resigned last week, days
 after getting an 86 billion-euro ($97 billion)
 bailout package from Greece's euro zone
 and International Monetary Fund lenders,
aiming to crush a rebellion by far-left law-
makers and tighten his grip on power.

Hopes that lenders may soon resolve their
differences on how to tackle Greece's debt
rose Saturday, when the IMF boss Christine
Lagarde, told a Swiss newspaper, a form of
"restructuring" rather than outright forgive-
ness, should enable the country to cope.

Euro zone creditors, notably Germany,
have ruled out a writedown.

But Tsipras' gamble in calling early elections,
 to be held on Sept. 20, could backfire, opinion
 polls suggest - with most Greeks disapproving
of his decision to seek a fresh mandate, and
how he handled the talks with creditors.

Syriza led opposition conservative New
 Democracy party by 15.2% in May, but
the gap has gradually shrunk since...
& dropped to 1.8 points in an MRB poll
for weekly Agora, published Saturday.

Other polls also show the lead narrowing,
 suggesting momentum may be shifting to
 New Democracy. An Alco poll for Sunday's
 Proto Thema newspaper, shows the gap
between Syriza and New Democracy
 has shrunk to just 1.5 points.

"At the start of the race towards the Sept.
20th vote, the game looks open to all
 outcomes," the paper says.

Another poll by Kapa Research for Sunday's
 To Vima newspaper gave Syriza a wider lead
 - 27.3% against 24.2% for the conservative
 opposition with 57.5% expressing a negative
 view on how the leftist government handled
negotiations with the international lenders.

Tsipras says he wants to complete what he
 started when Syriza won national elections
 in January.

"Against us is the old political system that pushed
 the country into a tragedy, which built the regime
 that led to the bailouts," he told a gathering of the
 party's central committee in Athens. "We want to
 demolish this regime."

He urged supporters to fight back against the old
 "hated" political system he holds responsible for
 Greece needing bailouts, and justified his
 decision to agree to a third rescue.

"We do not regret having fought nor having
chosen at the end, to avoid catastrophe,"
 he said.

"Whoever wants to escape has the right to
 do it, but we are moving forward, we have
 not seen our best battles yet," he said, in
 a reference to a breakaway Syriza faction
 that has formed the anti-bailout Popular
Unity party.

The MRB poll shows Popular Unity backed by
 4.2% - above the 3% threshold needed to be
 in parliament - while Syriza was on 24.6%,
 and New Democracy on 22.8%.

It supports previous findings that Tsipras's
abrupt resignation as PM, last week, has
gone down badly with voters, with 68.6%
disapproving of the move.

All the recent surveys suggest Syriza has next
 to no chance of winning an overall majority, and
 the right-wing Independent Greeks, the allies in
Tsipras' former coalition, are unlikely to make it
 back into parliament.

Tsipras this week, however, ruled out cooperating
 with the main pro-euro opposition parties - New
 Democracy, the Socialist PASOK and the centrist
 To Potami ------ and in an interview with Sunday's
 RealNews newspaper he sticks with that stance.

"There is no way we will let the old, sinful
political regime, to blame for today's ills,
in through the window to govern, when
 the people have shown it the door,"
he insists.

If Syriza is returned as the biggest party
- and Tsipras does not change his view -
it points to a second round of elections.


UN Conference in Japan
             Calls for Nuclear Disarmament               
 Prensa Latina - The United Nations Conference for
 Nuclear Disarmament, which ended on Friday in the
 Japanese city of Hiroshima, urges the international
 community to create a world free of such weapons.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Hiroshima's Mayor
 Kazumi Matsui, expresses his support for a proposal
 made by Algeria for a working group to examine legal
restrictions on the possession of nuclear weapons.

The considerations arising from that study, will be
 presented at the next UN General Assembly, in
 New York.

Government officials and experts from 23 states
 discussed in this 3-day conclave, recent trends
 for nuclear disarmament.

They also discussed, among other issues, the
 inhuman consequences of using weapons of
mass extermination, reports tv network NHK.

This important event was held during this year's
 commemoration of the seventieth anniversary
 of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The atomic bombs dropped by the US government
 on those Japanese cities on August 6 and 9, 1945
 led to 300,000 dead or missing people, according
 to the estimates of humanitarian organizations.

To those figures, is added the fact that about
 200,000 Japanese were affected by radiation,
 causing leukemia & various types of cancer,
 in many cases.


Obama’s Ukrainian Forces Break
Minsk Agreement: Resume Invasion?

The US-backed Ukrainian Armed Forces, on
 Wednesday August 26th, resumed their all-
out war against the Donbass region, stated
 the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Deputy
 Commander, Eduard Basurin, on the 27th.

If this apparent re-invasion of Donbass by US-
backed forces is true, it violates the Minsk II
Agreement that Germany’s Angela Merkel and
 France’s Francois Hollande agreed on Feb 11th.

As reported on August 27th by the Fort Russ
 news site, Mr. Basurin said:

The situation in the DPR has drastically deteriorated.
 …From 5pm [August 26th], punitive forces began to
 massively shell positions of the DPR army and the
 civilian areas of Belaya Kamenka, Novolaspa,
Staroslava, and Staroignatovka.

The fascists have used heavy artillery prohibited by
 the Minsk Agreements against the civilian areas of
Aleksandrovka and Marinka. The Donetsk outskirts
  have been struck.

The shelling has been carried out from the positions
 of the 72nd mechanized brigade under the command
 of the criminal Grishchenko, as well as the 19th
 infantry battalion. The enemy is using ACS howitzers
 of 152 & 122 mm, mortars of 120 & 80 mm, & tanks.

Basurin adds that “According to our estimate, the
 enemy is trying to provoke a response by our troops
 &, with such activity, convince the army command
 of the DPR to prepare for an offensive in this
 direction of the UAF, so that DPR’s strategy of —
as much as possible — not initiating fire, but only
responding to it, will be broken. That would then
provide the US side the opportunity to charge the
 DPR side with violating Minsk II.”

“The criminal fascist regime is purposefully trying
 to disrupt the Minsk Agreement. The bloodthirsty
 Kiev puppets are out to disrupt the establishment
 of peaceful life in the Republic, thereby showing
 the whole world their inability to conduct civilized
 negotiations. The paranoiacs in power are leading
 Ukraine into the abyss!

“The President of Ukraine seeks to resume hostilities
 and lead a new escalation of tensions in Eastern
 Europe, and therefore, we appeal to the people and
 officers of Ukraine: sabotage the criminal orders of
 the UAF command, show acts of defiance, and
 demonstrate an absence of support for the
 aggressive plans of Poroshenko.

A significant number of Ukrainian soldiers have
 already defected to the ‘rebels.’

On May 15th, Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary
 of State whom Obama placed in charge of policy on
 Ukraine (and who had masterminded the coup and
 selected the post-coup government), contradicted
 her nominal superior, Secretary of State John Kerry,
 and said that, despite Kerry’s warning to Ukraine’s
 President Petro Poroshenko not to violate Minsk II,
 Poroshenko would have America’s full backing if
were to follow through on his repeated threats
to re-
invade Donbass, regardless of what had been
to, and signed, at Minsk.

The US Congress has authorized funds for
 retraining Ukraine’s troops & resupplying
 them with weapons.

Perhaps the decision has finally now been made
 in the White House to resume the war at full force.

The next few days could make clear whether that
 is the case, or whether, instead, this is another
of the many relatively minor violations of Minsk. 


Poroshenko Signs Secret Military
Tech Deal With Anonymous Allies
Sputnik - The head of Ukraine has signed a decree
on military-technical cooperation between Ukraine
 and a number of countries, the list of which has not
 been disclosed, but rather attached as a “classified
 document”, according to a press service statement.

The details of the document are also being kept
 secret. However, control over execution of the
above decree has been handed to the Secretary
 of the National Security and Defense Council of
 Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov.

In April Ukraine signed a number of agreements
with NATO, including a fresh memorandum on
 technical cooperation.

"The signing of this international agreement opens
 up opportunities for further collaboration of our
country's & NATO's experts, to improve the legal
 framework for in-depth technical cooperation
 between Ukraine and the Alliance, as well as
 reflect the efforts of NATO and its member
 countries aimed at large-scale support for
reforms of the Ukrainian security sector and
defense, in accordance with decisions made
 during the NATO summit in Wales," the
statement reads.

"A leading role in the implementation of modern
 information technologies in the Ukrainian army
 will be played by the NATO Communications and
 Information Agency," the statement emphasizes.


Dates Set for First Palestinian Congress
 in Two Decades

Palestinian leaders have set September 15-16 as
 the dates for their first congress in nearly 20 years
after Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas
 resigned as head of the top executive body.

The meeting is to be held in Ramallah in the
Israeli-occupied West Bank.

"It has been decided to ask the Palestine National
 Council to convene for a session on the upcoming
 15th and 16th September in Ramallah," senior
Palestinian official, Azzam al-Ahmad, told AFP.

"The council's agenda includes electing a new
 executive committee for the PLO."

Ahmad says the congress will also discuss
the stalemate in the so-called “peace” talks
with the Zionist entity, among other issues.

Abbas's allies say his recent moves are part of
 efforts to inject new blood into the Palestinian

Critics, however, argue that Abbas is maneuvering
 to empower his allies and marginalize opponents
 ahead of the 80-year-old's eventual retirement.

Abbas's Fatah party and the Islamic Resistance
 Movement, Hamas, remain deeply divided.

Abbas resigned last week as head of the PLO's
 Executive Committee -- to force new elections
 for the top body.

His resignation, along with a number of others
 from the 18-member committee, will only take
 effect, with a meeting of the PNC.

Hamas belongs to neither the PLO nor the 740-
member PNC -- the top legislative body of the
 Palestinians -- which has not met since 1996.

Before the resignations were announced last
week, the executive committee voted Erekat
in, as its secretary general.


Russia Angry over NATO
training centre in Georgia

Russia's Foreign Ministry expresses strong
 opposition to the opening of a training centre
 run by NATO in neighboring Georgia --- saying
 the measure is 'provocative'.

Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, the
 ministry’s spokesperson, Maria Zakharova,
says any further enhancement of military
 ties between the Western military alliance
and Tbilisi --- will undermine security in the
entire region.

“The North Atlantic alliance’s placement of
that kind of military facility in Georgia will be
 a serious destabilizing factor for security in
 the region," she stresses.

The remarks come after NATO Sec. General,
 Jens Stoltenberg, inaugurated a training base
 in Georgia, earlier in the day, pledging that the
 former Soviet republic, could 'count on' its
 Western allies.

Stoltenberg added that the centre will
ensure “NATO will be more present and
 more visible in Georgia,” noting that the
 facility will now offer Georgia, a higher
chance to join the US-led military force.

Russian authorities have long opposed
NATO's plan to expand its military in
Europe, stating that the expansion of
 the Western military force into post-
Soviet space, is a red line for Moscow.

NATO officials, on the other hand, assert
 that the training centre and close military
 cooperation between the military alliance
 &Tbilisi, are not aimed at Russia, and are
 'well calibrated' not to stoke tensions in
the region.

Earlier this year, Stoltenberg told reporters
 in Brussels that troops from NATO, Georgia
 --- and other NATO member states --- will be
 training and exercising at the Tbilisi centre.

‘’NATO-Georgia relations are very strong, and
 they are deepening," Stoltenberg says, adding:
 "NATO is committed to help Georgia make its
 defense more modern --- and thereby enable
 Georgia to move closer to NATO membership."


Saudi ground forces enter
 northern Yemen: Military official

Saudi Arabia’s ground troops have entered
Yemen’s northern territory to counter rising
 retaliatory attacks by Yemeni forces on
Saudi soil, a military official says.

Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri, Saudi military
 spokesperson, says Saudi troops pushed into
 the northern Yemeni regions, on Wednesday,
overlooking the southwestern Jizan province.

Assiri says Saudi soldiers have taken some
 areas 'under their control', in the invasion.

Yemeni forces have been pounding the Saudi
 province with artillery and missile attacks in
 retaliation for Riyadh's deadly aggression.

Assiri describes the invasion as a temporary
 military strategy -- that does not aim to take
Yemeni territory.


US-Trained Syrian Mercenaries
 Accuse Turkey of Treason    
Prensa Latina - Spokespersons for Syrian rebel
 groups trained by the United States in Turkey,
known as Division 30, accuse the government
 in Ankara of treason for providing information
to a rival terrorist group, Al-Nusra Front, local
media reported on Thursday.

According to a report published yesterday on
the US website, McClatchy DC, the abduction
of the group of US-trained Syrian mercenaries
 was run by Turkey's intelligence services.

The US website quotes an official who has
 just graduated from Division 30, who asks
 to remain anonymous for security reasons,
who states "only the US and Turkey knew
about the training plans and infiltration
 into Syrian territory by the armed group."

"We have sources who assure us that
 the Turks warned the Al-Nusra Front
 that it would be the target of this
group," the rebel noted.

The report published by McClatchy DC
assures that Turkey told the terrorists
 about the presence of troops recently
trained by the US, to prevent possible
 clashes with extremist groups which
Ankara considers as its allies, like the
Al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham
 (Free from Levant).

Another objective of the government
 led by Erdogan, reports McClatchy DC,
 is to convince Washington to expand
its training program and focus efforts
 on overthrowing Syria's President,
 Bashar al-Assad.


Two NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghan ’Insider Attack’

Men wearing Afghan military uniforms shot dead two
 NATO soldiers in the country's south, on Wednesday,
the coalition says.

So-called "green-on-blue" attacks -- when Afghan
 soldiers or police turn their guns on international
 troops -- have been a major problem for NATO for
 years, when fighting alongside Afghan forces.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for
 Wednesday's attack in the volatile province
 of Helmand.

"Two Resolute Support (NATO) service members
 died early this morning when 2 individuals wearing
 Afghan uniforms opened fire on their vehicle at an
 (Afghan security forces) compound in Helmand
 province," a NATO statement said.

"Resolute Support service members returned fire
 and killed the shooters," it added, not revealing
 the nationalities of the foreign soldiers.


      Iran Proposes Dialogue with Arab Countries    
Prensa Latina - Iran says it trusts using talks
 as a vehicle to resolve crises and differences
 with its Arabian neighbors --- just as Kuwait
protests over oil wealth in Al-Durra.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson,
Marziyeh Afkham, says the recent visits of
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, to
nations in the region, is intended to help
resolve conflicts and disputes.

According to Afkham, Iran is determined
to find a favorable outcome to the current
differences --- recalling that terrorism has
now revealed its ugly face, and requires
cohesion to confront and defeat it.

"We believe that diplomacy & dialogue will
 be useful, to help end regional disputes,"
Zarif said -- and rely on neighboring Arab
states to understand that they must help
 restore peace and security, rather than
 foster divisions and tensions.

"We have always called to promote good
neighborly relations between the govern-
ments of the region, especially those in
the southern Persian Gulf", said the


Egypt Confirms Interest in Comprehensive
 Cooperation with Russia    

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi ratifies
 the Arab country''s interest in strengthening
 cooperation with Russia in all possible areas,
including in fighting international terrorism.

Al-Sisi, at the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin, said
 Cairo perceives with great hopes the progress
 of bilateral relations in all sectors and fields,
and 'not just the economic one.'

Al-Sisi said that the global terrorist scourge
must be fought not only by force, but using
 economic development and social welfare.


Russia Demands Tehran’s Drone Technology,
 Starts Talks on Sukhoi-30 Fighter Jets

Managing-Director of the Iranian Aviation Industries
 Organization (IAIO), Manouchehr Manteqi, stated on
 Wednesday that Russia has asked to import Iranian
 drone technology.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is known as an
 advanced country in the drone field," Manteqi
said and underlined that the Russians plan to
import the technology of building one of Iran's
 drones into their country --- but did not reveal
 any further details.

"We are discussing this issue now," he just said.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Tehran and Moscow started
 talks on the supply of Russian-made Sukhoi 30
 fighter jets to Iran.

The talks were held on the sidelines of the MAKS
 2015 air show in Zhukovsky, a town near Moscow
 during which Russian President Vladimir Putin &
 Iranian Vice-President for Science & Technology
 Sorena Sattari, were present.

Sattari told Fars News Agency. that both parties
 tackled issues related to purchasing Sukhoi-30
 from Russia's Defense Ministry and other groups
 such as trade teams, would pursue the issue.

The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat
 super-maneuverable fighter aircraft made by
 Russia's Sukhoi Aviation Corporation.

It's a multirole fighter for all-weather, air-to-air
 and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.


South Sudan President Signs
Peace Deal on Wednesday

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir finally
signed the peace deal and power-sharing
accord to end a 20-month civil war, a
spokesperson says.

Presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny,
told AFP that the presidents of Kenya, Uganda
 and Sudan, plus Ethiopia's prime minister, "will
 converge on Juba tomorrow morning, for a one
day summit, and the President of the Republic
 of South Sudan will sign the peace agreement."

The spokesperson said the government was
 still unhappy with the accord, drawn up
 by the regional bloc IGAD.

"The government has some reservations...
even if the President will sign," Ateny
had commented, the day before.

South Sudan's rebel leader Riek Machar,
a former vice president, signed the deal
last Monday, in line with the deadline.

Key issues of disagreement include
details in the power-sharing proposal
which could see Machar return as

Ateny also said the government was
 unhappy over calls to demilitarize the
capital Juba, give greater powers to
rebels in the oil-rich Upper Nile region,
and see foreigners in charge of the
Monitoring & Evaluation Commission
-- which will police implementation
 of the peace deal.

South Sudan's civil war erupted in December
2013 -- when Kiir accused his former deputy
 Machar of planning a coup, sparking a cycle
 of retaliatory killings that split the poverty-
stricken, landlocked country on ethnic lines.

With widespread atrocities on both sides,
 the war has been characterized by ethnic
massacres and rape.

At least 7 ceasefires have already been
agreed then shattered in days -- if not
hours -- in the world's newest country,
broke away from Sudan in 2011.

The peace proposal has been put forward
 by the regional eight-nation bloc IGAD, the
 Intergovernmental Authority on Development
 --- as well as the UN, the African Union, China,
 and the "troika" --- the US, UK, and Norway.


      Russia Warns on Attempts by
    Western Nations for Global Hegemony

  Prensa Latina - Russian Foreign Minister,
 Serguei Lavrov, warns now that there are
 western countries that want to keep their
 global hegemony artificially, by sanctions
 and military operations, in an era based
on the struggle of ideas.

Talking about the end of economic and
political domination by western countries,
 Lavrov deplores the fact that such actions
 break all regulations on international rights
 and the United Nations Charter.

"Today, the field of foreign policy interests
 is linked to the struggle of ideas -- which
consists of the election or imposition, of
models of development," says Russia's
 Foreign Minister, at a forum in Vladimir.

The head of the Russian diplomacy says
 that the era of historic dominance of the
 West, comes in clear contradiction with
new centres of political and economic
power that have emerged in the Asia-
Pacific, for example.

Lavrov said afterwards that the artificial
attempts to keep hegemony make whole
 countries turn into areas of terrorist
 threat and chaos.

The Foreign Minister repeats Russia's
 readiness to engage in a constructive
& full dialogue with its US & European
partners, but says that Russia will not
 give up its national or external interests.

On the Ukraine crisis, he says the internal
conflict in that country occurred
among other factors,  the reluctance of
the West to cooperate with Russia, in
 creating a security system in the Euro-
Atlantic space.

"The fate of the world can not be defined
by a nation, or a small group of nations,"
 emphasizes Russia's Foreign Minister.

Lavrov stresses the alliance with China
 -- as part of Russia's search for effective
responses to world challenges & threats.

He adds that the bombing of Yugoslavia,
 the occupation of Iraq, chaos in Libya,
 and the fratricidal war in Ukraine, are
 demonstrating the tragic consequence
of deviating from the truth and using
pretense, at any cost, to invade and
retain global dominance, and impose
 their will at the expense of the
 security of other states.


Two Koreas Kiss and Make Up

The North has "expressed regret" over a recent
 mine blast which injured two Southern soldiers
and the South has agreed to halt loudspeaker
 propaganda broadcasts re-started to retaliate
 for the mine incident.

According to a joint statement announced less
 than an hour into Tuesday, South Korea said it
would stop the loud speaker broadcast at noon
 the following day, and the North would end the
 "semi-state of war", called last week, by North
Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.


Palestinians hold demo in Gaza,
rap UNRWA budget cut

Thousands of Palestinians, affiliated with a UN
 agency, have taken to the streets in the Gaza
Strip -- to protest against a recent budget cut
 announced by the UN body.

On Monday, Palestinians working for the
UN Relief & Works Agency for Palestine
 Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA),
staged a strike outside UNRWA's HQ in
 Gaza, to show anger at the budget cut
and reduced UN educational programs.

According to reports, the strike was the
 largest in a string of protests against the
 UN’s decision, as over 13,000 teachers,
 health workers and other employees,
 took part.

The demonstrators called on UNRWA
 officials to revoke the decision, which
 would overcrowd the UN-sponsored
 classrooms and send the employees
 on compulsory one-year unpaid leave.

The new measures have reportedly
 increased the number of students
 in each class  --- to fifty.

The protesters held banners reading
"UNRWA is the only witness to the
 refugee catastrophe,” and...

"No to touching the right of refugees,
 whether students or employees," and
 “The right to education is recognized
 by all international laws and

The strike left UN-sponsored schools
closed, while the schools run by the
 Palestinian resistance movement of
 Hamas, that controls the Gaza Strip,
 started their school year, on time.

Following the massive rally, UNRWA
Spokesperson, Adnan Abu Hasna,
 said the agency has suspended its
unpaid leave plan.

UNRWA, a UN agency established
 in 1949, is tasked with providing
 assistance and protection to a
population of some five million
 registered Palestine refugees.

The agency, whose budget mainly
 relies on voluntary contributions
 by donors --- is currently facing a
budget deficit of USD 106 million.

Last summer, Israel waged a brutal
 war against the besieged coastal
sliver, killing 2,140 Palestinians,
 including 557 children.

According to a report released by
 the UN, at least 223 schools were
 also targeted in the war.


          Pope Francis Repeats Call for Peace in Ukraine              

 Prensa Latina - Pope Francis on Sunday repeated
 his call for a peace process and a response to the
 humanitarian emergency in southeastern Ukraine,
 where the population is being harassed by Kiev's
military actions.

In his Angelus prayers at St Peter's Square,
 the Holy Father calls again for compliance
with the agreements signed by Ukraine,
Russia, France and Germany, in Minsk,
 on February 12th.

The 13-item deal included a ceasefire, a
withdrawal of troops & heavy artillery
from the front line, the exchange of
prisoners, and discussions on the
status of Donetsk and Lugansk
regions, among other elements.

The Pope states he is following, with
 concern, the deteriorating situation
 in southeastern Ukraine, especially
over the past few weeks, Radio
Vatican reports.

Russia and the self-defense groups in
Donetsk and Lugansk, for their part,
denounce Kiev's ceasefire violations
 and accuse Kiev of preparing a major
offensive against the anti-coup region.


Avalanche of Immigrants Exceeds
                  6,000 in a Few Hours               
 The avalanche of immigrants to Europe in the
 Mediterranean Sea en route to Italy and in the
 Aegean Sea, to Greece, exceeded 6,000 in less
 than 48 hours of rescuing them from high seas.

A mission was executed in the Sicily Channel
 by the Coast Guard, Finance Guard (border),
 and the Italian Navy, in coordination with a
Norwegian ship, Siem Pilot, & an Irish ship,
 Le Niamh (Operation Triton), as well as the
UK ship, Enterprise.

The rescues started on Saturday and ended
early Sunday, after help calls were received
from 23 boats, including 16 pneumatic ones
 and seven barges, according to a report
 from the Italian government.

The Siem Pilot evacuated 1,000 foreigners
& the Navy assisted 900 immigrants, while
 the Coast Guard ship, Fierillo, provided
 assistance to 580 foreigners, and the
 Finance Guard helped 500.

In addition, a boat of Doctors without
Borders arrived in
Calabria port, with
311 people including women, babies
and children.


Al-Qaeda overruns parts of strategic Yemeni
port ‘liberated’ by Saudi-led coalition

Taking advantage of a power vacuum in Yemen
 following months of Saudi airstrikes and battles
between Houthi militias and those loyal to exiled
 President Hadi, Al-Qaeda fighters have reportedly
 managed to capture key parts of the recently
“liberated” strategic seaport city of Aden.


N. Korean 'subs out for operations,
 artillery doubled,' talks with South resume

North Korea has doubled its artillery power and
the majority of its submarines seem to be away
 from their bases, a South Korean military official
 says, as cited by the Yonhap news agency.

 The announcement comes amid ongoing talks
between the two sides over the border crisis.


Syrian Clans Leaders Outraged
 by Jordan King’s Arming Offer

Leaders of Syrian clans affirm their absolute
rejection of any project that aspires to “cut
off their Arab roots”, reiterating unwavering
 adherence to their country, state, and to
the national unity of Syria.

In a statement they issue after statements
 by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, about arming
the Syrian clans, the clan leaders say they
 are outraged by the King’s statement,
SANA reports.

“We received with utmost surprise your
statement, in which you offered to arm
the Syrian tribes,” says the statement,
 addressing the King of Jordan.

The clan leaders lash out at Jordan’s role in
facilitating the entry of terrorists into Syria,
 and providing them with weapons, indicating
 that the US project seeks to fragment all the
 region's countries -- especially Syria and Iraq.

Expressing regret over the role Jordan is
playing in partition schemes against Syria,
 the clan leaders urge the King of Jordan,
to oppose any harm that might be done to
the Syrian people and land, especially as
Syria has always sided with the Arab
 peoples, during tough times.

In a press conference in Damascus after
 delivering the statement, Sheikh Nawaf al-
Milhem, chief of the Anza tribe, affirms that
 the loyalty of the tribes will stay staunch,
 and unwavering.

Asked about the possibility that some tribes-
men might be receiving training in Jordan...
and fighting alongside terrorists in Syria,
al-Milhem stresses that Syrian clans are
committed to their national line” and if
some cases might be found, then they
 are a “few individual cases --- that
represent no one but themselves.”

Commenting on the situation in Sweida
 province, he says that tribes there are
 the ones who're defending the province
 -- despite attempts to cast the situation
there in a sectarian light.


Love is Gone: Germans
 Rapidly Lose Trust in NATO

Sputnik - German Research Centre, Prognosis
 Media, analyzed social network users views on
NATO and found out that the number of Germans
 who negatively assess activities of the alliance,
 has increased by 10% over the last few months.

Dissatisfaction with NATO’s actions has risen
 over the last few months, the survey shows.

Analysts at Prognosis Media decided to examine
the messages of social network users on recent
activities by NATO in general and news about the
start of major military training of NATO airborne
 troops, in particular.

They compared the new data with the numbers
 Pew Research centre obtained earlier this year.
Its results show that 58% of people in Germany
 oppose solving a potential conflict by force.

The study revealed that the actions of NATO,
 including those aimed at increasing tensions
 in relations with Russia, are being criticized
 by 68% of Germans, with 32% in support of
NATO's actions, including its efforts to
 contain Russia.

Prognosis Media analyzed over 74,000
 messages of social network users, in
 200 countries, on NATO’s activities,
 including 4,400 German-language posts.

“NATO would have nothing here in Europe
 to oppose Russia. The US knows it, too.
Europe will be catapulted into a war,
while Uncle Sam would watch it all
with relish on CNN,” wrote one of
 the Facebook users.

“Because the Americans want to use us
as cannon fodder against Russia; what is
 the Bundeswehr searching for in the civil
war in Ukraine, what does NATO want
there?” echoed another.

Thus, the study reveals that Germans
 have started to have a more negative
 takee on NATO, than a few months ago.


Russia's Lider-Class Nuclear Destroyer
 Project Hits Pentagon's Raw Nerve

Sputnik - Amidst the US/NATO's saber-rattling and
 muscle flexing in Europe, US leaders and military
 strategists, are still largely unnerved by Russia's
 consistent military modernization; Russia's new
 Lider-class destroyers, are, seemingly, giving
 the Pentagon the shivers.

The US has kicked off the biggest allied airborne
 military exercises in Europe since the end of the
 Cold War  --- apparently aimed at boosting the
US's confidence in its military superiority.

Still, Russia's new Lider (Leader)-class destroyers
are giving US military experts the shivers, and are
 prompting heated debates on whether Russia can
 revive its military industry or not, after the USSR's
 collapse in the 1990s.

Yet Russia's actions, in modernizing its army,
 speak louder than words. In late June, Russia's
 Navy stated it plans to begin constructing new
Lider-class destroyers in 2019, says the Navy's
 Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Viktor Chirkov.

These new warships will have a displacement
 of approx. 17,500 tons, a length of 200 meters,
a breadth of 20 meters. Equipped with 60
ship cruise missiles, 128 anti-aircraft
missiles, and 16 anti-ship guided
missiles, the
nuclear powered destroyers
reportedly reach
speeds of 30 knots ---
and can stay at sea for
up to 90 days,
without any external support.

Experts note that the vessel will become
the world's 3rd nuclear-powered destroyer
after the American USS Truxtun (DLGN-35)
and USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25). However,
according to designers, Russia's warship
 will outpace its US counterparts.

"Dubbed the Lider class, the warships
feature the nuclear power and armed
 capacity, of the massive, Soviet-era,
Kirov battlecruisers."

 "For reference, the 28,000 ton Kirov class has
 thrice the displacement of and carries roughly
 twice the armaments of, its nominal US Navy
 counterpart, the AEGIS cruiser," US journalist
 Ben Hernandez notes in his article published
 by the National Interest.

"Cutting a distinctive silhouette, the Lider will
 easily outgun the largest ships in the US, or
Chinese arsenals. Their nuclear power plants
 will allow them to sortie worldwide, limited
 only by food and ammunition supplies — the
 finest naval power projection to be found,
 outside of aircraft carriers," he adds.

The Russian Navy is expected to receive
twelve Lider-class destroyers, by 2025.

Predictably, this prospect is annoying
US military strategists, who question
Russia's ability to complete such a
'grandiose' project on time and label
 the warships as "budget breakers."

It's worth mentioning that in March 2015,
 Vasily Kashin, an expert at the Centre for
 Analysis of Strategies and Technologies,
 pointed out that the Russian Navy's Lider
project opens up an opportunity for Sino-
Russian cooperation in creating nuclear-
powered systems and naval armaments.


Operation Miracle: Over
               2,728,000 Free Surgeries               
 Operation Miracle, an initiative created in 2005 by
 the then presidents, Fidel Castro (Cuba) and Hugo
 Chavez (Venezuela), has acheived over 2,728,000
 free eye surgeries, in its first 10 years.

Granma newspaper recalls how the idea came
 about, on August 21, 2005, during a broadcast
of an "Alo Presidente" program -- attended by
 both leaders -- at Bolivar Square, in Sandino
municipality, Pinar del Rio province, where
Venezuela's government built 150 homes
 for Cuban families affected by hurricanes.

Restoring sight to millions of people who,
due to their low incomes, lack access to
 this specialized kind of medical service,
 is the purpose of this program.

Initially, patients were brought to Cuba, to
 be operated on in health centres equipped
with advanced technology, but it was the
so-called "Compromiso de Sandino," that
extended the program to Latin American,
Caribbean & African countries, to freely
 assist millions of people in need.


Panamanians Denounce Plans
    Against Ecuador and Brazil     
Representatives of social movements in Panama
 all strongly support a statement of the Bolivarian
 Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA)
in solidarity with Ecuador and Brazil -- and also
 denounce 'imperial' destabilization plans now
unfolding against them.

"We denounce imperialist plans of destabilization,
 harassment & conspiracy, to disturb progressive
 governments legitimately elected by their
people," says the statement.

Such demonstrations are encouraged & supported
 by foreign sectors & media serving the interests of
 the oligarchies --- like the constant attacks against
 Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil.

"The US is displaying all its power beyond its
borders, with a strategy that is not new - but
is being given more priority," says the text.

"We support that the people and governments
 led by Presidents Rafael Correa (Ecuador) and
 Dilma Rousseff (Brazil), resolve their problems
 & preserve peace, democracy, & the people's
 wellbeing," says the document, which ends by
reaffirming the need to strengthen continental
unity and regional integration, to deal with the
 threats; ''to defend human rights, sovereignty,
and the free development of our peoples.''


  Brazilian President Respects
                Commitment to Social Programs               
 Prensa Latina - President Dilma Rousseff ratifies
her government's investment in social programs
--- despite current economic difficulties.

In a speech inaugurating the first pumping station
 of the Integration Project of Sao Francisco River,
in Cabrobo, in the state of Pernambuco, Rousseff
says that although the executive is implementing
cuts, social areas won't be touched.

"We are going through budget difficulties
and we have to choose the fields to be
 affected, but no social program will be
 cut," she promises.

She says her government works constantly
 to improve the situation of the inhabitants of
 the northeastern region... so they don't have
to leave their land, for lack of opportunities.

She says the pumping station at Cabrobo will
 send water to 45 km-long pipelines leading to
 a reservoir, to mitigate the effects of drought.

Rousseff adds that the whole project on Sao
 Francisco River -- of over 600 km of canals --
will be finished in 2016, & benefit 12 million
 people, in 390 municipalities, of the states
 of Ceara, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do
Norte, and Paraiba.

She recalls that this project was initiated by
 ex president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who
was born in the northeast, and had to leave
 his land and look for work in Sao Paulo.


Yemenis bring down Saudi Apache helicopter

Yemeni forces bring down a Saudi Apache
 helicopter in the kingdom's southwestern
 Jizan region with a surface-to-air missile,
Yemen's al-Masirah television network
 reports -- quoting a military source.

Meanwhile, on Friday, US-Saudi jets
bombed across Yemen continually,
killing civilians in several regions.


Brazilian Social Groups March
               in Defense of Democracy               
 Prensa Latina - Social, popular, and workers
 movements staged marches and rallies on
Friday in Brazil's major cities: to defend the
rule of law, and reject the attempted coups
 promoted by conservative sectors.

"These are demonstrations of support for
 democracy, political stability and against
the fiscal adjustment measures, boosted
 by the government & a rightwing segment
 that seeks to create chaos in the country"
 Carina Vitral, National President of the
National Union of Students (UNE), says.

"We're taking to the streets in 16 cities,
 along with the Brazilian Labour Union,
the largest one in Brazil, the Landless
 Workers Movement, and the Homeless
 Workers Movement", she says.

Vitral says the occasion is also being used
 to demand the resignation of the Deputy's
 Chamber leader, Eduardo Cunha -- seen as
 one of the prime instigators in creating an
 atmosphere of national political instability.

The demonstrations are also a response
 to the August 16 protests and to discuss
the government and country's direction:
and work together, to find a solution, to
 ensure the revival and growth of the
economy with a Brazilian Agenda that
 includes social proposals, she says.

The Unified Federation of Oil Workers (FUP)
 also participated in the protests, to support
 the fight against corruption and to rebut the
 opposition's attempts to remove Petrobras
 (Brazil's main domestic oil company) as a
 major actor in the pre-salt area, located in
 the Atlantic Ocean's deep waters.


N Korea orders troops on war footing
after exchange of fire with S Korea
Reuters - N Korean leader Kim Jong Un
orders troops onto a war footing from
5pm on Friday, after his government
issues an ultimatum to Seoul to halt
anti-N Korea propaganda broadcasts
by Saturday afternoon ---- or face
military action.

South Korean Vice Defence Minister, Baek
Seung-joo says it's likely the North will fire
 at some of the 11 sites where loudspeakers
 are, on the South's side of the Demilitarised
 Zone (DMZ), which separates Korean land.

Tension escalated on Thursday when North
Korea fired shells into South Korea to protest
 against the broadcasts. The South responded
 with its own artillery barrage. Both sides said
 there were no casualties or damage.

The North's shelling came after it demanded
 last weekend that S Korea end broadcasts or
face military action - a relatively rare case of
 it following up on its frequent threats against
 the South.

Its 48-hour ultimatum to halt the broadcasts,
 delivered in a letter to the S Korean Defence
 Ministry via a joint military communications
 channel, was also uncharacteristically
specific. The deadline is around 5pm
(0400 EDT), on Saturday, in Seoul.

Baek told parliament the broadcasts will
 go on, until the North takes responsibility
 and apologizes for landmine explosions
 that wounded 2 S Korean soldiers along
 the DMZ. Pyongyang denies responsibility.

"There is a high possibility that N Korea
will attack the loudspeaker facilities,"
 Baek says.

Kim will put troops on a "fully armed state
 of war" from 5 pm & has declared a "quasi-
state of war" in frontline areas, N Korea's
official KCNA news agency reports.

There are indications the North is preparing to
 fire short-range missiles, the South's Yonhap
 news agency says, citing an unnamed source.

The North often fires rockets in the sea during
 annual US-South Korean military exercises,
which are currently under way.

N Korea's declaration of a 'semi-state of war'
 is its first use of such terminology, since the
North shelled a South Korean island, in 2010.

The precise nature of the latest ultimatum is
a bit unusual, says John Delury, North Korea
expert at Yonsei University in Seoul.

"N Korea is a constant font of generalized
threats, but putting a time stamp on it is a
 little bit different... it puts both Seoul and
Pyongyang's necks on the chopping board.
Someone has to blink here," he says.

South Korea's currency and shares fell
as heightened tensions add volatility
to markets already hit by concerns
 about the global economy.


Saudi Arabia funding US TV commercials
against Iran nuclear agreement: Report

Saudi Arabia is spending millions of dollars
 to fund tv commercials --- against the Iran
nuclear agreement, a new report reveals. 

A newly established group, called the
“American Security Initiative”, is flooding
 tv stations across the US with $6 million
 of advertisements asking Americans to
call their senators to oppose the Vienna
 nuclear accord, The Intercept, an online
 news magazine, reports on Friday.

The Intercept report says the “American
 Security Initiative” is owned by former
 Republican Senator Norm Coleman, who
 is a registered lobbyist for Riyadh.

Coleman’s firm, Hogan Lovells, works for
Saudi Arabia. He describes his work as...
“providing legal services to the Royal
Embassy of Saudi Arabia” on issues
like: “legal and policy developments
 involving Iran and limiting Iranian
nuclear capability.”

The Republican-controlled Congress is
reviewing the Iran nuclear accord and
is likely to vote on it, in September.

Republicans opposing the agreement
 with Iran need a two-thirds vote in both
 chambers of Congress to override any
 possible presidential veto, and to reach
 that threshold, Republicans need the
Democrats, to support them.

Israel's lobbying groups in the US, like
AIPAC, are already engaged in a mass
 effort to sink the deal in Congress.

Last month, AIPAC launched a group,
“Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran,”
to convince members of Congress to
reject the conclusion of nuclear talks
reached between Iran and the P5+1,
in Vienna, on July 14.

The group has raised at least $25 million
 which is being spent on tv commercials
 to spread negative propaganda against
the agreement.

According to reports, AIPAC, and other
pro-Israel groups, such as the Zionist
Organization of America & Emergency
 Committee for Israel... plus some rich
 Jewish businessmen, eg Casino mogul
Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam,
have committed about $100 million to
 sabotage the Iran nuclear accord.


Alexis Tsipras announces
 his cabinet's resignation

Greece's entire cabinet of ministers
- led by Alexis Tsipras - is resigning,
the PM says, in a televised address
 to the nation on Thursday night...

"Right after this address, I'm going
 to submit a request on my personal
 resignation, and the resignation of
the entire cabinet, to the president
of the country."


Ukraine parliament to decide on
 decentralization in a session on
Aug 27th or 31st — Poroshenko

"Decentralization of power & delegation
 of authority to local governments, will
 be the key issue at the extraordinary
 session," Poroshenko says

TASS - Ukraine’s parliament will convene
 an extraordinary session by the end of this
 month -- to discuss the decentralisation of
power issue, Ukrainian President, Petro
 Poroshenko, tells journalists on Thursday.

"Decentralization of power and delegation
 of authority to local governments, will be
'key issue' at the extraordinary session,"
 Poroshenko says, adding that discussions
 will also focus on lifting parliamentary &
 judicial immunity, & judicial amendments
 to the country’s constitution.

The president expresses confidence that
 the Verkhovna Rada will support these
 proposed constitutional changes.

The exact date for the session will be
 decided by lawmakers, Poroshenko says,
noting that this could be August 27 or 31.

In draft amendments introduced on July
 1st, a provision that the status of certain
 areas in Donbas is defined by a special
 law, was included in the transitional
articles of the bill on amendments.

Poroshenko revised and submitted a bill
 to parliament on July 15th, to confirm in
its main text special status for Donbass
 region. The updated draft was published
 on the Ukrainian parliament’s website.

The updated version puts this provision
 in transitional articles of the constitution.

Constitutional reform is an important part
 of the February 12 comprehensive action
 plan to fulfil the Minsk accords, worked
 out by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine,
Germany and France, in the search for
peace in the eastern Donbass region.

A key element of the reform is a
decentralization of government:
 with respect to the peculiarities
 of certain areas of Donetsk and
Luhansk regions, agreed by their
representatives; plus, adopting
 permanent legislation on special
status for certain Donbas areas.


Militia says Kiev forces' troops
 in Donbas are built up to 90,000

The troops are concentrated in four sectors -
Mariupol, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, and Luhansk

On Thursday, August 20th the pro-Kiev armed units
 in eastern Ukraine totaled 90,000 men and officers,
 450 tanks, 203 salvo artillery units & five Tochka-U
 missile complexes, Eduard Basurin, a top official at
 the Defense Ministry of the self-proclaimed Donetsk
 People's Republic, tells Donetsk News Agency.

The troops are concentrated in four sectors -
Mariupol, Donetsk, Debaltsevo, and Luhansk.

"A total of 5 separate mechanized brigades,
 2 separate tank brigades, and an air mobile
 brigade, an artillery brigade, and a salvo
system brigade, have been deployed to
advance to Mariupol," Basurin says.

"All in all, this grouping has 22,500 men
and officers, over 130 tanks, over 560
 armored cars, 55 salvo artillery units,
about 200 artillery guns and mortars,
and about 720 antitank weapons."

According to data available to the Defense
 Ministry, pro-Kiev forces have concentrated
13 brigades one tank brigade, one air mobile,
one artillery, one salvo system brigade and
2 air mobile brigades, in the Donetsk sector.

 A brigade equipped with Tochka-U tactical
 missiles, has also been deployed there.

As many as 5 separate mechanized brigades,
 one tank brigade, 3 artillery brigades, and one
 salvo system brigade, are currently located in
 the Debaltsevo sector. This grouping has up
 to 19,500 men and officers, about 70 tanks,
45 salvo artillery systems, and about 230
artillery guns and mortars.

A grouping of 4 separate mechanized brigades,
 2 artillery brigades and a salvo artillery system
 brigade is poised to advance towards Lugansk.

 It has a combined 18,000-strong manpower...
about 60 tanks, 530 infantry combat vehicles
 and/or armored personnel carriers, 30 multiple-
launch systems, close to 230 artillery guns &
mortars and more than a thousand 'antimech'
 weapons, Basurin says.

Reconnaissance data available to DPR
defense officials suggests the Ukrainian
 Army commanders, have a considerable
 reserve of forces consisting of two tank,
four air mobile, three artillery brigades,
one airborne, and one salvo artillery
 system brigade.


Ukraine’s Donetsk republic says it has
 information on plan to encircle Donetsk

Kiev plans to deliver two converging blows
 in the direction of the settlement of Uspenka
 to defeat the DPR and advance to the border
 with Russia

TASS - The Defense Ministry of Donetsk People’s
 Republic (DPR), has information that Ukraine's
 armed forces are preparing an offensive in the
 Donetsk Region in east Ukraine, their spokes-
person, Eduard Basurin, states, on Thursday.

"Information has been received about the plan
 of forthcoming actions by the Ukrainian army,
from a source in the Ukrainian General Staff,
 and, no matter how strange this may seem,
there are still true officers there who do not
 want to fight against their own people,"
 Basurin says, at a briefing in the press
 centre of the Donetsk News Agency.

According to Basurin, Ukraine's military
 will launch an offensive in the direction
of Mariupol and Debaltsevo, after first
 "artillery shelling the DPR’s positions."

"Kiev plans to deliver two converging blows
 in the direction of Uspenka settlement, to
defeat the DPR and advance to the border
with Russia --- and subsequently prevent
 civilians from reaching Russian territory,"
 Basurin says.

"Along with this, two groups intend launching
 offensives in Donetsk's direction - north and
 south of Donetsk - towards Ilovaisk: close the
circle around the republic’s capital, and thus
 encircle the city," the spokesperson says.

In Luhansk's direction, Kiev’s forces plan two
separate combat operations against Luhansk
People’s Republic's militia --- to prevent their
 redeployment to provide support to the DPR,
 the spokesperson says.

"Later, active offensive operations will be
launched in Luhansk's direction, with the
 aim of advancing to the borders of Russia,"
 Basurin says.

According to DPR's Defense Ministry,
Kiev hopes this blitzkrieg will help it
to crush the militias, and destroy the
Donbass republics.

"At the same time, it would be nice to
 remind these ‘wise guys’ in Ukraine's
 General Staff, that attempts to carry
out such ‘Napoleonic plans’, were
made before: but they ended in the
 encirclement of the Ukraine troops
 near Izvarino & Ilovaisk --- where a
great number of Ukrainian soldiers
 died," the spokesperson says.


Costa Rica Hosts Cooperation Forum
                between Latin America and Asia               
 Prensa Latina - Costa Rica is hosting the
Forum for E. Asia-Latin America Cooperation
 (FEALAC), an event gathering representatives
 of the 36 nations that make up the organization.

The 7th Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs
 will develop on the third day, after two days of
talks by specialists. According to organizers,
 the opening is to be chaired by the president
 of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís.

Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Manuel González,
 emphasizes that this is the only meeting forum
 between East Asia and Latin America.

The Development Bank for Latin America, the
 World Bank, International Finance Corporation
 and the Central American Bank for Economic
Integration, are some of the institutions that
 will participate in the meeting.

The Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, Manuel
González, recalls that this is the first time
the forum is being organized in a Central
 American country, which is a reason for
 Costa Rica to be proud, he says.

The Cooperation Forum, established in 1999
 by Chile, is made up of 20 countries in Latin
 America, and 16 from Asia.


UN: Scale of human suffering
in Yemen,

The United Nations strongly condemns
 Saudi Arabia for bombing Yemen's port
city of Hudaydah, a lifeline for imports
 of food, medicine, and fuel.

“These attacks are in clear contravention
 of international humanitarian law and are
 unacceptable,” UN Under-Sec-General
 for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency
 Relief Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien, said
 to the Security Council, on Wednesday.

O'Brien said that he's extremely concerned
 that the damage inflicted by Saudi airstrikes
 on this city could have “a severe impact” on
 the whole country, making the humanitarian
 crisis much worse.

“The scale of human suffering is almost
 incomprehensible.  I was shocked by
what I saw,” O'Brien stated, adding
that the attacks are unacceptable,
 as they clearly violate international
 humanitarian law.

He called for a political solution to quell
 the violence and warned that launching
peace talks is "critical" for resolving the
 crisis... “before it's too late. Otherwise,
 there will be nothing left to fight for.”

The Saudi air raids on Hudaydah have
 completely burnt warehouses used
to keep humanitarian aid supplies.

Lorries and cranes have also been
 destroyed in the strikes.

The Executive director of the World
Food Program is also warning of a
growing humanitarian crisis.


Germany and France Will
                Press Poroshenko in Berlin               
 Prensa Latina - The leaders of Germany
 & France, will put pressure on Ukraine's
 president, Petro Poroshenko, during the
meeting to be held in Berlin on Monday,
 in the interest of the Minsk agreements,
reports Russia's news media.

French President Francois Hollande &
 German Chancellor Angela Merkel will
be discussing, with Poroshenko, the
 deteriorating situation in Donbass,
French chief diplomat, Laurent
 Fabiuis, says, according to TASS.

"I expect that Monday's meeting enables
progress on two points: the withdrawal
of armaments, and the ceasefire", says
the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Fabius reiterates to reporters his hope
that the proposals agreed in Minsk, to
cease hostilities & begin negotiations,
 are met "by December".

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
indicates that Kiev's bellicose rhetoric
 causes serious concerns.

Despite the ceasefire regime declared
 within the Minsk understandings, the
Ukraine army, is now increasing the
intensity of artillery shelling against
 the anti-US coup rebel territories.

The Foreign Ministry notes that, as a result
 of these attacks, civilians continue to die
 and suffer wounds of varying severity... as
 housing & social infrastructure is wrecked.

The document states that the districts of
Donetsk, the airport of the city, as well as
Spartak, Gorlovka, Debaltsevo, and other
towns, are suffering the heaviest shelling.

The bellicose rhetoric coming from Ukraine
- stimulated by some of its foreign patrons -
causes great concern, and clearly testifies
to Kiev's intention to prepare public opinion
 for yet another attempt to resolve the crisis
 by force, adds the Russian statement.

If these circumstances arise, those
responsible for negative consequences
 as a result of such provocative actions,
 will be the current Ukraine authorities,
 warns the ministerial web.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
calls on Kiev, to halt the escalation of
tensions, and honour the agreements
 approved in Minsk: to seek a solution
 to the crisis -- in direct dialogue with
 representatives of the DPR and LPR.


Referendum call on 'New Turkey'
 Prensa Latina - Co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples''
Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, calls
now for a referendum on the proposal for Turkey to
adopt a presidential system, suggested by the

President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to Hurriyet newspaper, he criticizes
 the leader's intention to alter the constitution,
 and move from a parliamentary system, to one
 that would enhance his powers.

The leftist leader's statements come, after
Erdogan said last week that the government
 system in Turkey has already changed, and
 that it is now only necessary to adopt the
 legal framework.

Demirtas says this kind of decision can
 only be made, by Turkish citizens.

The system change was a fundamental
element in the election program of the
 Justice and Development (AK) Party.

If they had gained an absolute majority,
the AKP & Erdogan, would have carried
out their project of a "New Turkey" with-
out the need to call for a referendum...


US expands support role in
 Saudi war on Yemen: Report

The United States has more than doubled
the number of its military staff “providing
 intelligence, munitions & midair refueling”
 for Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes on Yemen.

The number of so-called American advisors
working at joint military operations centres
 in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, has risen from
 20 to 45, The Los Angeles Times reports.

In addition, US warships have also helped
enforce the naval blockade in the Gulf of
Aden, and in the southern Arabian Sea.

US officials stress that the sea cordon is
intended to prevent weapons shipments
 to Ansarullah fighters.

However, human rights groups say the
blockade has hindered imports of basic
commodities, including food and fuel,
 to the impoverished nation.

The humanitarian situation is critical in Yemen,
 with many international aid organizations seek-
ing a safe passage into the country, to supply
medical and humanitarian supplies to the
most affected people.

Human rights group Amnesty International said
in a report that the Saudi airstrikes have mostly
 pounded populated areas, with no identifiable
 military targets nearby, leaving a "bloody trail
 of civilian death."

The onslaught has claimed more than 4,300 lives
 and forced more than 1.3 million others from their
 homes since March, according to UN agencies.


Russia calls on Kiev to establish direct talks
 with Donetsk and Luhansk - diplomat

TASS - Kiev should establish a direct dialogue with
 the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk & Luhansk
 for a sustainable de-escalation of tensions. It is also
 necessary to achieve progress in implementing the
 Minsk political agreements, Pyotr Ilyichev, Russian
 Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations told a UN
 Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

The diplomat said active & fruitful dialogue
is needed within the Contact Group, and its
working groups, with an aim to implement
the February 12 package of measures to
implement the Minsk agreements, which
have been muddling through of late,"
Ilyichev said.

"It is obvious that without progress in implementing
 the Minsk political agreements & the establishment
 of Kiev’s direct dialogue with Donetsk and Luhansk,
 it is going to be impossible to move towards a final
settlement --- and achieve stable de-escalation,"
Ilyichev told the UN Security Council meeting.

On the whole, Ilyichev assessed positively,
 efforts of the Organization for Security and
 Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to contribute
 to the Ukraine settlement. He also praised
 the work of the OSCE's SMM to Ukraine,
 that controls the situation on the ground.

On Monday, August 17th, UN Sec-General
 Ban Ki-moon, voiced his concern over the
recent aggravation of tensions in eastern
Ukraine -- and urged all the sides to take
urgent steps to de-escalate the conflict.

 He also said it was 'impossible' to violate
the ceasefire regime and called on all the
conflict's sides to continue dialogue, and
strictly follow the letter and spirit of the
Minsk agreements.

The situation has aggravated recently. Shelling
 has intensified and victims among civilians have
 reappeared again. The self-proclaimed Donetsk
 People’s Republic (DPR) & the Lugansk People’s
Republic (LPR) have said often, that the truce
 observance depends entirely on the Ukraine side.

The recent increase in Ukraine’s military activities
 may be explained by attempts of Ukraine President
 Petro Poroshenko to take revenge, with US support,
 for the past military failures in combat operations
 against the LPR and DPR. However, such actions
 may disrupt the peace agreements -- and lead to
 the resumption of war, in southeastern Ukraine.


Syria army in final drive for
full control over Zabadani

Syrian forces & fighters of the Lebanese
 resistance movement, Hezbollah, have
inched closer to pockets of militants in
 the border town of Zabadani, with some
 reports suggesting they are hours from
declaring the strategic area, as safe. 

The Arabic-language al-Alam said Tuesday
 that their allied forces managed to retake
 two key neighborhoods from the militants
in western parts of Zabadani, a town 50
kilometers (31 miles) northwest of the
 capital, Damascus.

The report said Syrian forces & Hezbollah
 fighters seized full control of al-Zahra, and
Harrah al-Gharbiah, forcing the militants to
either surrender --- or flee to the plains
outside Zabadani.

Scores of militants from the al-Qaeda-backed
 Nusra Front, and the terrorist group calling
itself Ahrar al-Sham, were killed during the
offensive. Other reports said five members
 of Ahrar al-Sham also surrendered to the
Syrian soldiers.

Hezbollah’s official TV al-Manar says, however,
 that allied forces have taken control of almost
 all of Zabadani, saying that they are "hours"
from declaring the town safe. Manar says the
 liberation of al-Zahra and Harrah was the most
 difficult part of the battle for Zabadani, as the
 neighborhoods were impenetrable due, to their
 compact civilian architecture and narrow alleys.

Manar also says only 2.5 square kilometers from
 Zabadani remain under the control of militants.

Lebanon’s al-Ahd news website also quotes
 Walid Sakariya, senior pro-Hezbollah law-
maker in Lebanon's parliament, as saying:
Zabadani is “technically recaptured” and
 that, from the military point of view, Syria &
 Hezbollah forces, are in control of the town.

A highly strategic town in Syria’s Rif Dimashq
 Province, Zabadani has been a major stronghold
 of militant groups. Control over the town would
 entirely cut off supply lines used by the militants
 for transferring ammunition and forces into areas
 near Damascus, while it also secures the highway
 connecting the Syrian capital to Beirut in Lebanon.

Elsewhere in Syria, government forces managed
 to wrest back control of four key villages in Sahl
 al-Ghab region, in the central Hama Province.

Hezbollah forces and other volunteer fighters
also contributed to the offensive, which saw
Naqus, Ziyara, Tal Waset, and Mansura freed
 from occupation by anti-government militants.

Syrian media said on Monday, that the
 government forces were also preparing
for a large offensive in Sahl al-Ghab.

A large plain bordering Latakia, Sahl al-Ghab
 has been a main target of the militant attacks
 in past months, with an alliance of militants
calling itself the Army of Conquest trying to
capture Jureen region, a strategic bastion
of the government forces in the plains.

The Arabic-language daily al-Watan, says
an operation dubbed “The Earthquake” is
 underway, to “dispel the terrorists' dreams
 of controlling this vital and strategic area.”


Some 67,000 Britons Demand
              Arrest of Netanyahu in London               
 Prensa Latina - Nearly 67,000 Britons have
signed a petition -- demanding the arrest of
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war
 crimes when he visits London in September.

If 100,000 signatures are gathered, it will
 be presented to be debated in the House
 of Commons, after a petition committee
 is formed.

Netanyahu is accused of committing war
 crimes, that caused the deaths of some
2,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip when
 they were bombed in the summer of 2014.

The petition appeals to Universal Jurisdiction,
amended by Cameron, to avoid trials against
figures like Anthony Blair of the Labour Party
 -- who is accused of allowing crimes against
humanity to be committed by the UK's army
in Iraq.

The text of the demand presented by jurists
 considers that Netanyahu's crimes were
committed with the complicity of the
 governments of Germany, the US,
France, and the UK itself.

Michel Chossudovsky, of the War Crimes
 Court of Kuala Lumpur, is one signer of
the petition to try Netanyahu, but a UK
spokesperson from the British Embassy
 in Tel Aviv, says that the Israeli head of
Government enjoys immunity, and can
not be arrested.


China to take over strategic
US military base in Djibouti

The tiny African state of Djibouti has reportedly
 ordered the US to vacate its secondary Obock
 military base in the nation, in a bid to turn the
 installation over to the Chinese military and
a contingent of 10,000 Chinese troops.

This is raising major concerns in the US,
which has its largest US military base
in Africa, in Djibouti --- Camp Lemonnier.

"The announcement, made the day after
US Secretary of State John Kerry visited
 Djibouti last May, is deeply worrying for
Pax Americana, for it comes on top of a
 major package of economic investments
 by China, that has Djiboutian President
Guelleh openly talking about the
 importance of his new friends from
 Asia," the US-based magazine,
 CounterPunch, says, in an article.

The report says that the US is about to
 lose one of its military bases in Djibouti
 - home to the US’s largest permanent
 military installation in Africa - that has
 4,000 US troops and US assassination
 drones, which bomb regional Muslim
countries, as part of Washington's
official targeted killing program.  

The Horn of Africa nation is strategically
 located at a critical entrance from the
Indian Ocean to the Red Sea; is a gate-
way to the Suez Canal waterway; and
 provides a port for landlocked Ethiopia.

The report further points out that the US
 Defense Department pays Djibouti nearly
$63 million per year for the use of Camp
 Lemonnier military base, that serves as
 one of the world's largest drone bases.

China, the report adds, has offered Djibouti
 a far more generous offer - the completion
of a $3-billion railroad project -- from the
Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, to Djibouti.

"[Beijing] is also investing $400 million in
modernizing Djibouti's notoriously under-
sized port," CounterPunch adds.

According to the article & recent press
 reports in the West, a Chinese military
 presence in Djibouti, has introduced --
among other possibilities -- a prospect
 of US schemes to organize a ‘regime-
change’ effort in the African nation...
 on the pretext of democratic change.

The UK's Daily Telegraph quotes a “senior
US official” as saying there are fears that,
 if President Guelleh gets too close to China
 he may be tempted to impose restrictions
 on US access to the base, which would
seriously affect the West’s attempts to
 collect intelligence on Islamic State
(Daesh) and al-Qaeda.”

Pointing to a potential US scheme to plan
regime-change operations in Djibouti, the
UK daily adds, “American diplomats are
also resisting attempts by Mr Guelleh to
stand for re-election next year, which,
they argue, is unconstitutional.

 Mr Guelleh has been in power since 1999,
& by law should stand down. If he does so
then Washington hopes a more reasonable
leader will be elected --- one more aligned
to the Pentagon's interests.”


Muftis gather in Egypt in bid to
counter 'extremist fatwas'

Senior Muslim scholars have convened
in Egypt's capital, Cairo, to address the
“extremist fatwas” issued by terrorist
groups, especially the Takfiri Daesh.

Muftis, who are considered to be official
 interpreters of Islamic law in their states,
 - and Islamic clerics from Arab countries -
 gathered in Cairo on Monday, to attend
 the Fatwa International Conference, on
 ways to counter a dramatic rise in the
 number of extremist fatwas issued
by terrorist groups.

“The goal of this conference is to unite
 the message of muftis, in light of the
challenges faced by the region and
the world in the shape of extremist
 fatwas, and groups that speak in
 the name of religion," says Ibrahim
Negm -- adviser to Shawki Ibrahim
 Abdel-Karim Allam, Egypt's grand
 mufti, who delivered a speech at
the opening session.

Negm adds that the establishment
 of a general secretariat for muftis,
and centres to monitor and refute
extremist fatwas --- plus offering
 training to aspiring muftis --- could
 be decided at the 2-day conference.

The adviser says participants
 in this conference, also aim
“creating a new strategy
Muslim communities in
the West,
to confront
extremist thought.”

Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb,
head of the prestigious Cairo-based
Islamic al-Azhar institution, urged
strict measures against extremist

“You do not need to be reminded that
 leniency (in dealing) with fatwas that
 excommunicate” Muslims......... has
resulted in "murder and bloodshed,”
al-Azhar's grand imam told the hall.

The conference in Cairo is being held
 as the Takfiri Daesh group, operating
mainly in Iraq, Syria, Egypt & Libya,
has been committing such crimes
as immolations, rapes, slavery and
executions, against all ethnic and
religious groups -- including Shias,
Sunnis, Kurds, Christians & others.


Europe's German-Speaking States
 to Wade In on Ukraine Crisis
Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
 will work closer together to end the crisis in east
 Ukraine, media reports say, on Monday.

A four-point joint declaration made by the foreign
 ministers of the four countries, underscores “the
 German-speaking nations’ shared desire to work
 closer together within the OSCE framework”
 including in the search for “a negotiated end to
 the crisis in Ukraine.”

The ministers also say, the OSCE will be more
actively promoting economic ties between its
 member-states & participating in discussions
 on a new security architecture for Europe.


Saudi Arabia Constructs Naval Base
on Yemeni Island After Its Occupation

Saudi Arabia is building a major naval base on
 the Yemeni island of Socotra, which it invaded
 and occupied recently, in the military conflict
 between the countries, FNA reports.

"Hundreds of workers from Asian countries have
 been deployed by the Saudi navy, to construct
the kingdom's naval base on the island," FNA
writes, citing the Arabic-language Al-Ittihad
 news’ website.

Socotra Archipelago is about 400 km from Yemen's
 mainland in the Indian Ocean, and has four islands.

Its largest island, also called Socotra, is an official
 UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Russia delivers six Mikoyan MiG-31
 fighter jets to Syria: Report

Russia has delivered six Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter
 jets to Syria in a bid to help the Arab country in
 its battle against Takfiri terrorists, a report says.

Turkey's English-language website BGN News,
 says the supersonic interceptor aircraft were
shipped to Damascus, under a contract inked
between the two sides, in 2007.

The contract obligates Moscow to deliver 2
 more jets to the terrorist wrecked country,
the report adds.

Rosoboronexport, Russia's intermediary agency
 for exports/imports of defense-related products,
 refused to confirm or deny the report.

The Turkish website says the delivery is part of
 Russia’s plan to boost the military capabilities of
 those at the forefront of the fight against Takfiri
 terrorism in the region.

Back in 2014, Moscow also provided Baghdad
 with Mi-28 attack helicopters, to help the Arab
 country’s military against Daesh militants.

ISIL terrorist group, with backing by many
Western and regional states, started its
campaign of terror in Syria, in 2012.

The militants, who currently control areas
across Syria and in northern and western
 Iraq, are carrying out vile acts of violence
 on Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Christians...
terrorising Syrian and Iraqi civilians.


This Means War? US Special Forces
Prepare Ukraine's Army for Warfare
Sputnik - Donbass is on the threshold of a
renewal of full-scale war, as Kiev violates
 every item of the Minsk ceasefire protocol
 on a daily basis, bombing both residential
and public areas in the east of Ukraine,
says Stephen Lendman, US journalist.

Special troops from the US and the UK are
actively preparing Ukrainian forces for the
 escalation of conflict in Donbass region,
 Lendman writes in his column.

Eduard Basurin, spokesperson for Donetsk
People’s Republic, says that Kiev's military
 attacked the territory of DPR, using tanks
and heavy armaments, in violation of the
Minsk agreements, on August 10th.

“They knew we had lived up to our commitment
 to withdraw all heavy weapons, including with
 a caliber of under 100mm, and decided to take
 advantage of the situation to move deep into
 the DPR’s territory,” Basurin says, as quoted
by CounterPunch.

The ceasefire agreement has never been observed
 since its establishment in February and “dozens of
 shellings” occur in Donbass every day, Lendman
 says, citing LPR’s special envoy Vladislav Deinego.

“Obama wants war, not peace – using Kiev
proxies to do his dirty work,” Lendman writes.

According to Deinego, peace was never the aim
for Kiev, as well. Despite a collapse in Ukraine’s
 economy, the state authorities reserved another
 $250 million to expand military might in Donbass.
 And, at the same time, the country badly lacks
 money for “constructive purposes,” he adds.

Meanwhile, UK 'Defence' Secretary, Michael
Fallon, announces that the UK will train twice
 as many soldiers for the Ukraine army, by the
end of 2015. So far, UK trainers have prepared
 over 1,000 Ukrainian troops for active warfare.

With help from the US & UK in preparing its
 military forces...  Kiev may start a full-scale
 aggression any day now, he concludes.


US-trained militant group in Syria, calls
al-Qaeda terrorist members ‘brothers’

A group of militants that receives training from
 the US military to fight the Syrian government,
is now calling al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front
 terrorists, “brothers.”

In a statement on social media, the US-backed
group -- which goes by the name 'Division 30,' --
 states that its rival al-Nusra Front has released
 7 of its members, whom the al-Qaeda-affiliated
group kidnapped in northern Syria, during
fighting in July.

The group says in its statement:

 "Seven Division 30 fighters who were being held
by the brothers in al-Nusra Front have been freed.
We welcome this noble initiative and urge the
 brothers of Al-Nusra and hope that they will
release in the coming hours, the group’s
commander and other fighters."
This Friday statement by “Division 30” comes,
 despite the US military, earlier, refuting reports
 that any members of the group had been killed
or abducted.

The US Defense Department spokesperson,
Commander Elisa Smith: "I can confirm that
there've been no New Syrian Force personnel
 captured or detained."

'New Syrian Force' is the term Washington uses
 to describe Syria-based militants vetted by the
 US, to (purportedly) exclude radical elements.
The force has passed a military training course
offered by US troops.

Reports say at least 54 members of Division 30
 slipped into Syria in mid-July, equipped with 30
 US-made all-terrain vehicles, loaded with arms
 and ammunition.


Resistance axis must block US
influence in region: Iran official

Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Leader of the
 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei,
says that the main duty of the resistance axis in the
 region, is to block the influence of the US --- warning
 of US plots to sow discord among Muslim countries.

The Iranian official says on Sunday, that the duty
of the resistance axis -- including countries such
 as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine -- “is
 not only to fight against foreigners' dominance in
 their countries,” but also to cut the influence of
the US in the region.

Velayati also states that Washington’s plot is to
 instigate conflict among different groups & sects
 in Muslim countries, & he calls for a united front
against this plot.

He further notes that mercenaries are currently
 fighting in Muslim countries, to materialize
goals, adding that people in Iraq, Syria and the
other Muslim countries, will stand against

 those mercenaries.

Velayati says the hegemonic powers’ dream
 of splitting Muslim countries, particularly Iraq
 and Syria, will never come true.

He says the US failed in its military aggression
 against both Afghanistan and Iraq, adding that
 the US and its allies now plan to partition Syria.

“Syria is the golden ring of resistance against
 the Zionists,” the Iranian official says, adding
 that the US and its allies have not succeeded
 in achieving their goals in the Arab country,
 because of the leadership of President Bashar
 al-Assad & the resistance of the Syrian nation.

The conflict in Syria has claimed over
 240,000 lives since March 2011.

The Iranian official also refers to developments
 in Yemen, emphasizing that the US & its allies
 plan to divide that impoverished Arab country,
 as well.

Velayati censures the 'world community' for
keeping silent about the killing of Yemen's
people in mass airstrikes by Saudi Arabia,
which started in March 26 – without a UN
mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi
Ansarullah movement and restore power to
  a fugitive ex-Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh
Mansour Hadi, who is an ally of Riyadh.

The UN says the conflict in Yemen has killed
 4,000+ people - nearly half of them civilians -
 since late March 2015. Local Yemeni sources,
 however, say fatality figures are much higher.


Yemen Turned into 'Holocaust'
 for UAE Tanks, Soldiers

The Yemeni army and Popular Committee
 units have destroyed - over the last 3 days -
 several LeClerc-type tanks used by invading
Emirati forces, by firing Russia-made Kornet
 missiles, an Al-Manar correspondent reports.

Military sources tell Al-Manar reporters that
this "major Emirati holocaust" took place in
 Karsh and Al-Mseimir regions, in the south-
eastern province of Lahj.

Another massacre of UAE tanks occurred in
 Al-Nasr camp in Khor-Maksar region of Aden
city, and on Al-Alam road, located between
 Aden and Abyan provinces in the south, as
well as inside Abyan city.

LeClerc is a French-made main battle tank
 known as AMX-56 LeClerc, and the UAE is
dependent on it, for its attacks on Yemen.

The sources also reveal that the losses of
Emirati forces during the last 72 hours are
over 32 armored vehicles, 14 tanks and 23
military vehicles, in addition to the 38
soldiers and 8 officers killed.

Al-Manar Website states that the UAE
is claiming only half of the casualties.

"Special operations units of the army
& the Committees, work within units
 behind the lines of deployment of the
Emirati invading forces in the cities of
 Aden, Abyan & Lahj," the sources say.

"Major surprises are coming soon,
and will be earth-shattering...  The
enemy will only enjoy a defeat that
will rupture his army," the sources
in the Yemeni military forces vow.


Obama blocks release of
Gitmo inmate facing imminent death

 Obama's administration has called on a federal
 judge not to allow the release of a Guantanamo
 prisoner who has been on hunger strike for
more than eight years.

The lawyers of Yemeni prisoner Tariq Ba Odah
 has described their client’s health as alarming,
saying he is at risk of imminent death.

However, Justice Department lawyers have
blocked the immediate release of Ba Odah
 in a sealed court filing delivered to a court
 in Washington, just ahead of a deadline.

The lawyers of the 36-year-old inmate, who
 weighs just 74 lbs (33.5 kg), argue that the
 decision by the Justice Department shows
 that President Barack Obama is not able to
 control growing splits in his administration
and cannot achieve his goal of shutting
 down the Guantanamo Bay prison, before
 2017, when he leaves office.

Ba Odah has been in jail with no charge
--- suspected of being an affiliate of al-
Qaeda since January 2002.  Although
he's cleared to be transferred back to
Yemen... no prisoners are being sent
 to the country because of 'instability'.

Ba Odah's defense attorney, Omar Farah,
says the sealed filing reflects the Obama
 White House's inability to make coherent
approaches, to transfer Ba Odah and 51
other detainees, now cleared for release.

"It is a transparent attempt to hide the fact
that Obama's administration’s interagency
 process for closing Guantanamo... is an
incoherent mess," says Omar Farah,
Ba Odah's defense attorney.

"And it is plainly intended to conceal the
 inconsistency between the administration’s
stated intention to close Guantanamo and
 the steps taken to transfer cleared men,"
adds Farah, an attorney with the Centre
 for Constitutional Rights.

Ba Odah has been protesting against his i
ndefinite confinement since February 2007
 and has been force-fed liquid nutrients to
 prevent his death.

"All the president has to decide is whether
to exercise his discretion not to contest
the motion and release Mr. Ba Odah, so
 that he does not die," Fara says.

The Obama administration hopes to "short
 circuit" any opposition from Republicans in
Congress, who have blocked Obama from
 closing the prison.

On July 22, White House Press Secretary,
 Josh Earnest, said Washington had slowly
 been sending Guantanamo prisoners back
 to their native countries or to third nations,
 and may have to transfer some to the US
 if the facility is to close.

But the transfer of detainees to the US is
opposed by Republicans in Congress, and
 some US lawmakers have tried to halt all
 transfers out of Guantanamo, saying the
 releases could lead to more attacks.

The US military prison was set up by the
Pentagon after the September 11, 2001,
attacks to hold suspected al-Qaeda and
Taliban detainees. Many of the inmates
 there have gone on hunger strikes to
 protest their conditions at the prison.


Russia pledges to veto anti-Iran
UN sanctions resolutions

As the US Senate looks set to vote
against any deal with Iran and talks
only of war... Russia now pledges to
all future attempts at the UN,
to hit Iran
with fresh sanctions.

"When Resolution 1929, the last series of
sanctions resolutions, was adopted, we
made it clear behind closed doors --- to
our US and EU colleagues --- that Russia
 will not let another sanctions resolution
against Iran be passed," Russian Deputy
 Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, states.

Res. 1929 was approved by the Security
 Council in June 2010 --- banning the supply
 of conventional weapons to Iran. It resulted
 in the suspension of Russia’s contract with
 Iran... on delivery of Russian S-300 missile
defense systems to the Islamic Republic.

Ryabkov also says Moscow expects that the
anti-Iran sanctions will be lifted “as soon as
possible” following the recent conclusion of
nuclear talks between Iran & the P5+1 group.

Iran & the P5+1 -- the US, UK, France, China
 and Russia plus Germany -- reached a deal
dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
Action (JCPOA), in Vienna, on July 14th.

Under the JCPOA, limits are put on Iran’s
nuclear activities in exchange for, among
other things, the removal of all economic
 and financial bans against Tehran.

Ryabkov also notes that a decision to
deliver the S-300 systems to Iran has
 been made... and "technicalities" of
 the process, are under consideration:

"Concerning S-300, a decision permitting
 the delivery of such systems to Iran, has
 been made by the Russian president and
 Federation Council, and technicalities of
 this process are now being considered,"
he says.

On April 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin
signed a presidential decree paving the way
 for the long-overdue delivery of the missile
 defense system to Iran.

Vladimir Kozhin, Putin’s aide on military and
technical cooperation, said on July 30 that
the S-300 systems are to be modernized
 before being delivered to Iran -- given that
 the original contract was struck in 2007.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Ryabkov says
 Moscow is satisfied with the terms of
the JCPOA.

"I am prepared to explain and give reasons
in favor of why we are so confident about
 it," he states.


Kurds say IS attacked them
 with chemical weapons

Kurdish authorities in Iraq say they believe
 their Peshmerga forces have been attacked
 with chemical weapons, possibly chlorine
gas, by Islamic State (IS) militants.

Kurdistan Region's Security Council says
 it is investigating multiple ­attacks by IS
on its Peshmerga positions, such as in
Makhmour, southwest of Erbil, capital of
the autonomous Kurdish region, earlier
in the week.

 It is the third report of suspected chemical
 weapons use on the Iraqi battlefield in 2015.

"Initial reporting indicates chemical agents
 were fired in the form of projectiles, possibly
 mortar rounds," the council states. ­"Several
 Peshmerga officers were treated for dizziness,
 vomiting and general weakness, while some
are receiving treatment for burns."

Chlorine's weapon use is prohibited under
 the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. If
inhaled, chlorine gas turns to hydrochloric
acid, & can kill by inflaming victims' lungs.


Kiev used phosphorous bombs
 in east: Russian investigation

Russia’s main federal investigating authority
states there is evidence demonstrating that
 the Ukraine armed forces have used modern
 analogues of phosphorous bombs, against
civilians, in Ukraine’s eastern provinces.

“We have received irrefutable evidence of the
use by the Kiev forces of weaponry similar to
 phosphorus bombs,” Vladimir Markin, spokes-
person of the Investigative Committee of the
 Russian Federation, tells Rossiya 24 TV.

Markin says the findings are based on the
chemical analysis of soil samples provided
 by witnesses, in Ukraine’s affected areas.

“The refugees bring in fragments of bombs
 and artillery shells, which maim and kill
their loved ones. We've conducted over
a hundred tests, which all attest to [the
 war crimes committed by the Ukrainian
 military],” he adds.

The Ukrainian army has not commented
on this report yet.

The Geneva Conventions forbid any use
 of white phosphorus as an incendiary
 weapon against civilians & in airstrikes
 targeting military forces in civilian areas.

Last month, the committee also launched
54 cases against Ukraine political figures,
military commanders and activists over
war crimes committed in Ukraine’s east
in the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.



The UK media have excelled themselves
today, trumpeting 'Putin's missile' as the
cause of the MH17 aireliner crash...

What the DSB said was that: “several parts,
possibly originating from a Buk surface-air-
missile-system… have been secured during
 a previous recovery-mission in Eastern
Ukraine and are in [the] possession of the
criminal investigation team [responsible
 for] MH17 and the Dutch Safety Board.”

In a clear attempt to head off misinterpretation
 of their statement, the DSB added: “At present
 the conclusion cannot be drawn that there is
a causal connection between the discovered
parts and the crash of flight MH17.”

That's it.

The UK media, eh? They'll let
nothing get in the way of a libel.


Russian Humanitarian Convoy
              Crosses Border Towards Donbass               
 A convoy of over 100 lorries of the Russian
 Ministry of Emergency Situations crosses
 the border into Ukraine on Friday with more
 humanitarian aid for the people of Donbass.

According to ministry sources, the convoy
went smoothly through customs controls at
the border points of 'Donetsk' and 'Matveev
Kurgan', in the southern region of Rostov.

The 35th humanitarian convoy since August
2014, transports food & medicine, basically,
 for Donetsk and Lugansk. The shipment was
made of donations from social organizations
 & unions in many Russian Federation regions.

Once in Ukrainian territory, the convoy was
divided into two columns, and each headed
 separately to the Donetsk territories, says
the civil defense organisation there.

Since access of aid was 'allowed' in mid-
August 2014, within the bombings, and
a deteriorating humanitarian situation,
 the Russian Ministry has transported
the regions of Ukraine's southeast
blockaded by Kiev --- over 42,000
of basic products.


Warnings of Possible Russia-US Space Conflict 

  Washington''s unwillingness to reach compromise
 - to prevent a confrontation in space with Russia -
 increases the likelihood of a conflict in this field,
 says scientist, Vasily Kashin.

The specialist at the Russian Centre for Strategies
 & Technologies views, appear in an article about
 the arms race in outer space, published in the
 American Scientist magazine.

Kashin ponders on the prominent role assigned in
 current war programs to space satellites and the
 United States' GPS system, and Russia's Glonass.

The specialist on military topics warns that it is
 unlikely to get compromise on space technology,
 as there is only one undoubted leader worldwide
 in the military use of the cosmos, the US, 'which
 is not willing to limit its possibilities,' he adds,
as quoted by Novosti.

Faced with this reality, Russia and China, political
 rivals of Washington, are forced to take action in
 response, which in the near future could lead to
 mass production of anti-satellite weapons, the
source says.

The analyst reminds us that current technological
 achievements, facilitate the creation of systems
increasingly smaller and more effective, to 'kill'
 satellites, and that Russia, China, the US, and
other military powers, are focussing their
resources on developing these weapons.

"Space technologies define nowadays much of
 the character of modern warfare, and depriving
the enemy of their use, can destroy guidance
 systems & turn lots of weapons & equipment,
 into useless junk," Kashin writes.

The scholar predicts that China could be the first
 nation that has anti-satellite complexes, yet the
 Pentagon claims for itself absolute freedom in the
 cosmos -- and restrictions on the development of
these weapons, to other countries.

The expert adds that the US has already achieved
 a breakthrough on the emplacement of weapons
 in weightlessness, & fears that Moscow & Beijing
could create weapons to counter that advantage.

Kashin warns the situation may worsen in
 coming decades as, after the 3 going ahead
with space programs......  Iran, India, Israel,
North Korea, and -- further down the road --
Brazil & Pakistan, may have similar plans.

The analyst maintains that the high cost &
 complexity of space technologies, and the
amount of time needed to develop them,
 may lengthen the process, but not stop it.


Deterioration of Ukrainian Conflict
                Threatens Renewed Escalation               

The situation in the contact area, described
as "explosive" by experts, is getting worse in
several areas of Donbass, where the parties
accuse each other of violating the ceasefire
agreed upon on February 12th in Minsk,
under the auspices of Belarus and the
so-called Contact Group.

Skirmishes in, and shelling of, residential areas,
 especially around Donetsk, from the Ukrainian
 positions, aborted the working sessions of the
 economic and political commissions, set for
 this week.

Unlike Kiev, prone to changes in format & actors,
and even a new memorandum or roadmap for the
 Donbass, the Donetsk and Lugansk defend the
 validity of the agreements of Minsk-2 in 2016, as
 the only alternative to armed conflict, after over
a year of confrontation, & thousands of victims.

Commissioner of the Donetsk People's Republic
(DPR) in the Contact Group, Denis Pushilin, says
 the schedule of meetings of participants at the
 format, and the session of the subgroups for
September 8th and 22nd, and October 6th
and 20th, respectively, are still on.

The Donbass representatives will insist on the
 continuation of contacts in the political section,
 assures Vladislav Deinego, plenipotentiary for
the People's Republic of Lugansk (PRL).

They agree on the importance of continuing to
 work in 2016 to implement the document, which
is aimed at a rapprochement between Kiev and
 Donbass, to gain de-escalation of the fratricidal
 conflict, so far, with few tangible results.

The head of the alternative parliament of the DPR,
 Andrei Purguin, says low intensity shelling could,
perhaps, be the only achievement of the peace
 process, started six months ago, by Minsk-2.

The Supreme Rada of Ukraine (unicameral
parliament) gave its approval on July 16th
to a presidential draft of amendments to
the Constitution on decentralizing powers.

President Poroshenko said, on July 29th,
 that their legislative proposal did not mean
 autonomy for the regions, or special status
for some areas of Donbass, contemplated
 in one point of the Minsk agreements.

Poroshenko also insists on the need to
incorporate (alleged)
peace keeping forces
in the Donbass: an idea that took body in a
passed by the parliament, on June 4th,
giving a green light to the presence of foreign
 troops in Ukraine, without the consent of the
other signatories of the Memorandum of Minsk.

Another controversial step, considered a fatal
blow to the peace process, has to do with the
 arrangement, also legislated, for an additional
 financing of about five thousand 300 UAH
 (250 million dollars) for the living expenses of
 Ukraine troops in the Southeast of the country.

In this regard, the chief negotiator for the PRL,
Vladislav Deinego, says this shows that Kiev
has "clearly moved away from a peaceful
resolution of the problems."

Meanwhile, the conflict multiplies family
tragedies, with the deaths now of about
11,000 and 17 000 wounded, & displaced
persons and refugees,estimated at over
two million, and maintains the threat,
always, of a new escalation.


Ukraine Willing to Impose Martial Law
                 For Conflict with Donbass               

Prensa Latina - Ukraine is considering imposing
 martial law, if the conflict in Donbass worsens,
 it's announced today, by a government source.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense
 Council, Alexander Turchinov, says he doesn't
 "exclude the possibility."

Turchinov, one of the architects of the coup in Kiev
 in February 2014, and the offensive against Donbass
 to eliminate the resistance, doesn't rule out "large-
scale mobilization of our military potential," to face,
he says, the intense participation of Russian troops.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry warns this week
 of an increase in war rhetoric by the Ukrainian
authorities, and deplores Kiev's refusal to sign
 a protocol on the withdrawal of tanks and
 heavy artillery from the confrontation line.

The Donbass militias, meanwhile, accuse
 the regular forces of ceasefire violations
 about 103 different times, by discharging
large-caliber shells on residential areas.

At least 1 civilian was killed and 3 people
 were wounded in the last few hours, say
sources in the Donetsk People's Republic.

The Ukrainian newspaper Sevognia says
 President Petro Poroshenko has told the
Foreign Ministry to inform their Western
 partners of the worsening situation.

Kiev is threatening the EU with this interruption
of the Minsk agreements, at a time of reluctance
 on the part of European allies, to provide lethal
weapons to the former Soviet republic, adds
 the source.


Maduro Praises Work of Fidel Castro
                in Defense of Humankind               
 Prensa Latina - Venezuelan President Nicolas
 Maduro -- to honour Fidel Castro's Birth Day --
praised the work of the historical leader of
 Cuba's Revolution, and his defense of the
causes of mankind, the Ministry of
 Communication and Information's web-
site for Venezuela, reports.

 The South American head of state said
 that Cuba's leader is: the 'revolutionary
 commander of Latin America and the

The president took the opportunity to give
Fidel Castro a hug and the applause of the
 Venezuelan people, during his television
program, Contacto con Maduro.

"Fidel has written and continues to write
 great history, for centuries," he said.


   Syria Rejects Saudi Foreign Minister''s Statements 

  Syria's Foreign Ministry strongly condemns the
 statements made recently by the Saudi Foreign
 Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir and accuses the Wahabi
 kingdom of having the lead role in the terrorist
 aggression that has been facing this Arab
 country, since 2011.

A Syrian Foreign ministry communique says
that Riyadh's Government hands are stained
 with the blood of Syria and Yemen's people,
and it has no legitimate right to criticize its
neighboring countries.

It adds that the IS terrorist group and the
 Saudi Arabia government have the same
way of thinking -- and that both carry out
beheadings and scourgings, in the name
of the Islam.

The Syrian Foreign ministry also slams the
Saudi authorities' policy of giving all types
 of aid to the terrorist groups operating in
Syria, and says this constitutes a serious
threat to both regional and world security.

The communique insists that it is
essential to put an end to these

At a press conference last Monday, the
 Saudi Foreign minister, said Iran's aid
to Syria's Government is, a "tragedy".

The Saudi Foreign minister the next day,
 dashed Russia's attempts at dialogue or
 compromise over Syria --- reaffirming his
 country's position --- saying that there is
 'no place for Bashar al-Assad' in Syria's


Escalation in Ukrainian Conflict
                 Threatens Contact Group               
 Allegations of provocations in Donbass by
 Kiev's troops put in doubt a meeting of the
 subgroups for politics and economics, of
the Contact Group on Ukraine's conflict,
 scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday
(today), in Minsk.

The main representative of Donetsk
People's Republic in the discussions,
 Denis Pushilin, reported on Tuesday,
 that recent attacks against OSCE
officials, are "politically motivated."

"Unfortunately, there has been a rise in
 the number of artillery strikes. We think
 that these are also provocative actions
against the Special Monitoring Mission
(SMM) of the OSCE," he says.

Pushilin says there is an investigation
to find the details:  "but the political
motivation is obvious. Currently, the
aim is to block the work of the SMM
 to prevent any reports of bombing."

We have expressed many complaints
 about the work mission of the OSCE,
and when ceasefire violations aren't
registered, the hands of the forces
involved in the punitive operation
 against the Donbass stay untied,
 he says --- recalling that civilians
continue to die on a daily basis,
 in that region.

President of the OSCE, Ivica Dacic,
on Wednesday, deplored that SMM
 officials had suffered another attack
with firearms: however, the spokes-
person for the OSCE, says there are
no dead or wounded to report.

This incident was preceded by arson
 at dawn, on August 9th, of 3 armored
 vehicles owned by the OSCE's SMM,
 which were destroyed in Donetsk ---
 "presumably by saboteurs controlled
 by the Ukrainian security (service),"
 say the DPR authorities.


Nearly 4 Thousand 9/11 First Responders
 Have Been Diagnosed With Cancer.

The number of first responders to the September
 11, 2001, World Trade Centre explosions in New
 York City who are diagnosed as having cancer,
 has reached 3,700.

Those suffering from cancers certified by the federal
 government as 9/11-related, include members of the
 New York Fire Department (1,100), police and other
 Ground Zero responders (2,134), and survivors such
 as downtown workers and residents (467), the New
 York Post has reported.

The FDNY's chief medical officer, Dr. David Prezant,
 says over 2,100 firefighters and EMS personnel have
 retired on disability, with World Trade Centre-related
 illnesses, mostly lung disease & cancer, since 9/11.

"Due to the physical nature of their jobs, these
illnesses have had a tremendous impact --- on
our membership and their families," he states.

That includes 109 FDNY responders who have
 died from Ground Zero-linked illnesses --- 44
 of them from cancer.

Research has found thyroid, colon, prostate
 & blood cancers, are more prevalent among
 FDNY members who served at Ground Zero
 than those who didn't, a spokesperson says.

FDNY Deputy Chief Thomas Riley, 58, was
diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,
a blood cancer. A tumor formed behind
 his right eye.

"That was a shock to the gut," he told the Post.

On 9/11, Riley sped from his Long Island home to
 his Jackson Heights firehouse and led his fellow
 firefighters to Ground Zero. There, they dug for
survivors until 3am, and returned every morning
 that week.

"All day long, you had debris flying in your eyes. You
 were constantly rinsing your eyes," says Riley, who
 spent months searching for remains in the wreckage.

The married father of three will need lifetime check-
ups every six months in case the cancer returns or
 spreads to his other eye.

Riley has lobbied Congress to extend a 9/11
Victim Compensation Fund, which provides
treatment for Ground Zero responders. The
 fund expires in October 2016.

Another 9/11 expert witness dies...

The scientist who analyzed the dust from the 9/11
 attacks, died 'suddenly' last month. Environmental
 scientist Paul J. Lioy, whose work focused on the
 health effects of dust produced by the 9/11 event
 in New York, has died suddenly at the age of 68,
at Newark Liberty International Airport.

The cause of Lioy’s death... has yet to be

Dr. Lioy was one of the first scholars to gather
 samples of 'dust', from the ruins of New York’s
 Twin Towers, soon after he witnessed the 2001
 terrorist attack, the New York Times reports.

 He scraped samples from cars for laboratory
 testing, after noticing the “weird texture and
 color” of the dust.


In Post-Maidan Ukraine, Apartheid Rules

The Maidan revolution may have been applauded
in the West as a step toward "democratic" values,
but the new Ukraine now faces systemic racism.

Last month, reports Sputnik, a 23-year-old refugee
 from Sierra Leone boarded a bus with her 8-month-
old son in Uzhgorod. After living in Ukraine for six
 months, Asi says she had experienced racism on
 almost a daily basis. But upon boarding the bus,
she was confronted by the other passengers.

She "was not like them," they cried. "Tie her
to the fence, together with the kid!" Forced
off by the passengers, Asi was left standing
on the street as the bus driver called police.
The young mother was then handcuffed,
and taken away by the police.

This story, which made headlines in a number
 of Ukrainian newspapers last month, is just
 one example of several in a recent wave of
racism, to hit post-Maidan Ukraine. Many
 black individuals, residents or visitors,
 have described racist treatment, some
 subtle, some extremely blunt.

Serhei Ratushnyak, former mayor of Uzhgorod
 and deputy to the Supreme Parliament, turned
 minorities away from the aqua-park he owned,
 saying: "we let in the residents of Uzhgood,
we let in the white people."

The Observer reports that Ratushnyak justifies
 his act, by blaming a "syphilitic & tuberculosis
 (sic) Gypsyhood of the area & the whole world."

"Last year we had a 14-fold increase in AIDS
cases in town. I demand compensation for
all expenses I had --- buying and building."

The racism also extends to islamophobia. In June
 a mob attacked Jordanian exchange students, in
 Kharkov city. Four were rushed to the emergency
room with head injuries and knife wounds.

Rather than address the Kharkov mob appropriately,
 Valentin Nalivaychenko, then-head of the Ukrainian
 Security Service, blamed the incident on – who else –

"…Local gangs might have been provoked and
been inspired by the foreign special services,"
 Nalivaychenko said on Shuster-Live. "To put it
 bluntly – by the Russians."

While many maintain the hope that Kiev will
 right its wrongs, that’s seemingly becoming
 less and less likely.

"More than a year has passed," Zhan says to
 the Observer, "and not a single change."


US generals, admirals, sign
 letter supporting Iran agreement

General James Cartwright, former vice chair
 of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, is one of the
signatories backing the Iran agreement.

The retired brass say there is “no better option”
 than the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
 (JCPOA) reached between Iran and  the P5+1
 backed by the UN Security Council in July,
The Washington Post reports.

The letter is the latest expression of support to
 the administration of President Barack Obama,
 over its nuclear negotiations with the Islamic
 Republic, amid opposition by the Republican-
weighted Congress  --- in the middle of a row
 between the two dominant US parties.

“And if the deal is rejected by America, the
Iranians could have a nuclear weapon within
 a year. The choice is that stark,” reads the
concerned generals and admirals' letter.

Iran has time and again said that it pursues
 solely civilian purposes with its nuclear
 energy program.

The letter is signed by senior generals and
 flag officers, including four-star Marine Gens.
James Cartwright, former vice chair of the US
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Joseph P. Hoar, the
former head of US Central Command --- plus
Gens. Merrill McPeak and Lloyd W. Newton,
 of the US Air Force.


Russia, Saudi Arabia, agree to
help Syria talks resume

Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to take
practical steps to resume dialogue between
 the Syrian government and the opposition,
while expressing differences on the role of
President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's future.

“We agreed to continue practical steps:
 We agreed on them --- which are aimed
 at preparing the optimal conditions
a renewal of dialogue between the
 [Syrian] government, & all the Syrian
opposition,” Russian Foreign Minister,
Sergei Lavrov, says on Tuesday, at a
press conference after negotiations
with Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel
al-Jubeir, in Moscow.

The renewed effort to revive negotiations
to end Syria's crisis, comes after Western
- backed Geneva I and Geneva II peace
conferences on Syria, were held on June
 2012, and February 2014, respectively.

The two conferences met with failure after
foreign-sponsored opposition figures in the
 talks refused to discuss the militancy and
 widespread terrorism, in the country.

Lavrov says Riyadh and Moscow principally
 agree on ways to root out terrorism in Syria,
stressing, however, that the two countries
are at loggerheads over the future of Assad:

“Our principled approaches to the resolution
of the Syria crisis coincide, but we also have
some differences,” Lavrov says, stressing:
“One of them, is President al-Assad's
For his part, the Saudi foreign minister says
 that Russia & Saudi Arabia share views on
 “essential” issues of the region, including
on Syria --- but notes that Riyadh opposes
Assad's involvement in the future of Syria.

“There are similarities in our viewpoints on
 essential matters and problems yet some
views differ, and we hope to reconcile our
 approaches at consequent meetings and
negotiations,” Jubeir says.

“Our position has not changed... there is no
 place for Assad in the future of Syria,” Jubeir
says, stressing, “We think Bashar al-Assad is
 part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

This comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin,
 meeting with the visiting Syria Foreign Minister,
Walid al-Muallem, on June 29, pledged to push
ahead with his support for Syria's government
 and nation, amid the ongoing battle between
 Damascus and the Takfiri Daesh terrorists.

Putin also stressed in a 'phone conversation
 with US President Barack Obama on June 26,
 that Assad should be involved in any solution
 to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

During Tuesday's press conference, Russia's
 foreign minister points to the ineffectiveness
 of airstrikes by the so-called US-led coalition,
 which are purportedly hitting the Daesh
militants in Iraq and Syria.

“Not only we, but many foreign military experts
 are absolutely convinced that, without such a
unification of all those who confront terrorists
on the ground, the airstrikes carried out by
the US-led coalition, will not yield 'expected'
 results, & ISIL won't be defeated,” he states.

Since September 2014, the US, with some
of its regional allies, has been conducting
airstrikes against what's said to be Daesh
positions in Syria, without authorization
 from Damascus, or a UN mandate.

The airstrikes in Syria are an extension of
the US-led aerial campaign on purported
 Daesh positions in Iraq, which started in
 August, 2014.

Many of the countries joining the so-called
 anti-terror coalition, such as Turkey, Saudi
 Arabia and Qatar, have been supporters of
 the Takfiri elements operating against
 the Syrian government.

Syria has been fighting against massive
foreign-sponsored militancy since early
2011. The conflict has reportedly killed
 an estimated 240,000 people so far,
 including nearly 12,000 children.


Six Argentinian Candidates
            To Vie for Presidential Post in October               
 Prensa Latina - At the end of the count  today after
 the primary elections held on Sunday, six out of 15
 candidates now remain officially in the race for the
 presidential post to replace Cristina Fernandez, in
 the vote to be held on October the 25th.

Daniel Scioli, of the Frente para la Victoria (FpV)
ranks first, followed by Mauricio Macri, from the
 Cambiemos alliance, and Sergio Massa, of the
Una Nueva Argentina coalition (UNA).

The other three candidates are Margarita Stolbitzer,
from the Civic Progressive and Social Fund (FPCS);
 Nicolas del Cano, from the Workers' Left Front (FIT)
 and Adolfo Rodriguez Saa from the Federal
Commitment Alliance (ACF).

In spite of hard rain affecting several regions,
 73.96% of electors cast their vote --- that is,
23,174,582 voters, out of the 32.37 million
electors registered.

Scioli got 38.4 percent of votes; Macri won
 24.3 percent and Massa got 14.2 percent.

Stolbitzer won 3.51 votes; Del Cano 3.31
percent and Rodriguez Saa 2.11 percent.

According to tArgentina's electoral system,
to win a general election in the first round,
the presidential candidate must win by 45%
 or more votes, or 40%, but with a 10% lead
 over the one ranked second.


Those Who Know Say 'Yes'
               to Nuclear Deal with Iran               
 Those who know -- Nobel prizewinners, scientists in
 charge of making nuclear weapons and ex scientific
 advisors of the White House -- say the agreement
reached with Iran, is the maximum deal possible,
while the US Congress is divided.

A group of the 29 most prominent scientists in the
 United States, mainly physicists, who have been
responsible for developing nuclear arsenals, laud
 the international agreement reached on July 14
in Vienna, Austria, describing it as "innovative
and rigorous".

On the weekend, in a note to President Barack
 Obama, the group praises the understanding...
 something that can provide fresh evidence to
the government now, when some Democrats
 oppose the deal, like the New York Senator
Schumer, a prominent member of
the Jewish

According to a comment in The New York Times,
 among those signing the note is Richard Garwin,
a physicist who helped design the first hydrogen
 bomb in the world, and who was an advisor on
weapons & arms control in Washington,
for a
long time.

Another is Siegfried S. Hecker, the Stanford
professor who headed the nuclear weapons
 laboratory in Los Alamos New Mexico, from
 1986 to 1997.

Other influential people who signed the letter
 were Freeman Dyson, from Princeton; Sidney
 Drell, from Stanford, and Rush D. Holt, leader
 of the American Association for the Advance
 of Science, the world's largest general
 scientific society.

Many "heavyweights" from nuclear sciences
 and technology signed the letter in support
of the Iran nuclear deal, which describes it
 as "innovative" and "rigorous" over a dozen
 times, according to The New York Times;
adding that the agreement has more strict
 limitations than any other deal previously
negotiated within the framework of non-

According to the scientists, the understanding
 will advance the cause of peace and security
 in the Middle east, and can serve as a guide-
line for future non-proliferation agreements.

The newspaper adds that the letter comes
amid efforts organized by supporters and
opponents of the agreement, to create a
public debate, before it's voted on in
Congress in September --- the letter says
Congress's vote
should be separate from
all the political
scheming and go with the
sentiment against war.


Israeli settlers set ablaze
Palestinian land in West Bank

Israeli settlers have conducted yet another arson
 attack on Palestinian property, by setting on fire
 100s of acres of open land in the occupied West
 Bank, officials say.

Local sources and senior Palestinian officials
 confirmed on Sunday, that the arson attack
 was carried out near the village of Burin,
 south of Nablus.

There has been no word on possible casualties.

The latest arson attack comes amid boiling anger
 among Palestinians, over the death of 2 members
 of a family in a similar attack by settlers on July 31.

 The 18-month-old toddler of the Dawabsheh family,
 identified as Ali, burned to death --- after extremist
 settlers firebombed the house in the village of
Duma, near Nablus.

His father, Sa’ad, succumbed to his burns on

Thousands of Palestinians poured onto the streets
 in Duma to attend the funeral ceremony for Sa’ad.

Palestinian medical sources say the mother and
 their 4-year-old son, also severely burned in the
 attack, both remain in a critical condition.

In recent years, Israeli settlers have carried
out various attacks on Palestinian property
in the West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Settlers, mostly armed, regularly attack
Palestinian villages and farms, and set
fire to their mosques, olive groves and
 other property.


Ukrainian Military Complains of
US Humvee Vehicles Delivery
Sputnik - HMMWV (Humvee) US military vehicles
have turned into a problem for Ukraine's army,
the media report.

The vehicles are equipped with old, worn-out
tires. This is becoming problematic for the
 military, as it is difficult to replace the tires
 in Ukraine.

“This is the expected outcome of lend-lease.
There are no spare wheels. The rubber's old,
 after just a short drive, the tires cracked,”
says Oleg Movchan of APU. The problem is
 how to get similar tires, he says on his
Facebook page, media report.

In March, Ukrainian media reported that
 the main problem for Humvee vehicles
 in Ukraine, is the lack of spare parts.

The Ukrainian military also noted that
 -- because of the poor quality of diesel
 fuel -- engine filters get clogged, fast.


Hundreds gather in Ferguson to mark
 anniversary of police shooting
Reuters - Several hundred people gathered
 in Ferguson, Missouri, on Sunday, to mark
 the anniversary of the death of a black
unarmed teenager, by a white police
officer, that sparked protests and a
national debate on race and justice.

Some pushed children in strollers as crowds
 of white, black, old & young people gathered
 at the spot in a mostly black St. Louis suburb
 where Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot on
August the 9th, 2014.

After 4-1/2 minutes of silence to represent the
 roughly 4-1/2 hours that Brown's body lay in the
 middle of the street, after he was shot, 2 white
 doves were released. The crowd then started
 their silent march to honor Brown, and others
 who have died at the hands of police. Rallies
 took place in other cities, including New York.

Brown's shooting sparked months of protests,
 including incidents of rioting and arson... but
it gave life to this new movement, under the
"Black Lives Matter" banner, that has pushed
 for better treatment of minorities, by police.

Organizers say their aim is to keep alive the US
 national movement - fueled by the police killing
 of Brown and other unarmed black men in US
cities... like New York, Cincinnati, Baltimore,
 and North Charleston, South Carolina.

Another name was added to that list on Friday
 when unarmed 19-year-old Christian Taylor, a
black college student, was shot dead by a
white police officer in Arlington, Texas.

Arlington police say Taylor was shot as police
 investigated a burglary at a car dealership in
 the Dallas-area city. The FBI has been asked
 to help investigate the shooting.

In Ferguson, a makeshift memorial of teddy
 bears, candles and flowers has been rebuilt
 on the quiet residential road where Brown
 died. A plaque featuring a metallic dove is
 installed on the sidewalk a few feet from
the spot where Brown died and the street
where Brown's blood pooled, has
 been repaved.

Hazel Bland, 51, who lives in the Canfield
 Green apartment complex where Brown
was killed, says she thinks about the
shooting every day.

"It is really sad. You never think this would
 happen, all these police officers killing all
these people. I truly hate that it happened,"
 Bland says, as she watches prayer sheets
being handed out on Sunday.

At the memorial, Brown's father, Michael
Brown Senior, wore a T-shirt with his son's
 image - and a slogan "Chosen for Change."

 Others held "Black Lives Matter" banners
and signs calling for justice, for all those
killed by the police.

"I hurt every day. But I'm trying to make
 it uncomfortable to people that think this
 is OK to do this stuff," Brown explained
 to reporters on Saturday.

A federal review found that the officer,
 Darren Wilson, broke no laws when he
 shot Brown. But it also determined that
Ferguson police department, for years,
violated the black population's rights.

Yvette Harris founded St. Louis-area
'Mothers Against Senseless Killings'
 after her 17-year-old son died in 2001
 in a gang-related shooting. She says
 Brown's death was seen as just one
 in a long line of killings.

"......so many killings going on around
 the country. People are mad, here and
everywhere," says Harris, who's black.
 "It will be a long time, before there is
 a healing."

On Saturday night, over 200 protesters carrying
 bullhorns, drums & signs demonstrated against
 police in Ferguson, with some placing a roasted
 pig-head on a barricade in front of officers.

But the protests this weekend were largely
peaceful with police kept behind barricades
 --- allowing demonstrators to vent.


Nagasaki mayor urges Obama to visit Japanese
 cities subject to US atomic bombings in 1945

TASS - Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue calls on US
 President Barrack Obama and the leaders of other
 nuclear powers, to visit the places of WWII atomic
 bombings in Japan.

"I call on the US President and the leaders of other
 countries, to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to see
 personally, what happened there, 70 years ago,"
 Taue says on Sunday as he reads the Declaration
 of Peace at a remembrance ceremony for victims
 of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, in 1945.

"It is necessary to exert every effort to free the world
 from nuclear weapons," the mayor of Nagasaki says
as he addresses the world's leaders. "We have the
 strength to safeguard peace, without nuclear
 weapons and war," he adds.

Tomihisa Taue also voices concern over a new
 Japanese law, which expands the powers of
Japan’s self-defense forces.

"After the war, Japan embarked on a peaceful path
but today more & more people have an impression
 that the ideology of peace fixed in the Japanese
 constitution, may shake," he states.

A minute of silence was announced in Nagasaki
at 11:02 local time -- exactly at the time when a
US B-29 strategic bomber dropped a "Fat Man"
atomic bomb on the city on August 9, 1945.

 Prior to that, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue,
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and
 representatives of public organizations, had
laid wreaths of white & yellow crown daisies
 at the memorial in the Peace Park, located
in the city centre.

Prior to the commemorations, a Japanese choir
sang a song urging the world community not to
 repeat the tragedies of Hiroshima & Nagasaki
 for the second time.

"I visited Hiroshima on August 6 where I swore
 that we would firmly adhere to 3 non-nuclear
principles: aiming to avert a recurrence of
the horrors of nuclear weapons use.

"We will continue leading the world community
 to a nuclear free world," the Japanese PM said
 in a statement circulated by his office, prior to
the ceremony.

Nagasaki became the second Japanese city
 after Hiroshima to be subject to US atomic
bombing, on August 9th, in 1945.

The death toll continued rising in Nagasaki years on.

The number of victims grows from year to year. The
 list expands constantly as more people die of atomic
 disease. The figures are updated annually on August
9. In 2014, the number of A-bombing victims reached
 165,409 people.

The US Armed Forces dropped atomic bombs
on Hiroshima & Nagasaki at the end of WWII
(1938-1945) for the officially declared aim of
speeding up the capitulation of Japan.

 Those atomic attacks became the only examples
of combat use of nuclear weapons in history. The
 United States is still refusing to admit its moral
responsibility for the atomic bombings of the two
 Japanese cities --- and keeps justifying them by
 the military 'need'.

Earlier this week, Russian State Duma Speaker
 Sergei Naryshkin, criticized the United States
 for its attempts to hush up the tragedies of
 Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"I have no doubt that the barbarity and over-
proportion of what was done, is obvious to
 the US authorities. But, instead of rightly
 comprehending history, they want to bury
 it in oblivion," Naryshkin told a round table
 meeting, devoted to the 70th anniversary
 of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, that took place at the Moscow
State Institute of International Relations

Naryshkin said the interests of peace and
security are not the root cause behind the
 US's behaviour. It s a matter of "national
 prestige", he explained.

"The incumbent US authorities aren't trying
 to conceal the tragedies of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki -- which is impossible -- but the
hypocrisy and cynicism of the US leaders
 who ruled the country at that time,"
 Naryshkin said.

"Their behavior is casting a shadow over
 modern US policy, which has certainly
 inherited the ideology of exclusiveness;
 immunity from mistakes and arrogance
 of power," the speaker of the lower
house of Russia's parliament said.

Naryshkin also suggested establishing
an international tribunal, on US atomic
 bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"The atomic bombings of Japan have never
been considered by any international war
tribunal -- so far. However, crimes against
humanity have no period of limitation,"
 the Duma speaker said.

"One thing is certain, in my view: the method
which the United States chose back in 1945,
did not rest on considerations of humanism
nor was it dictated by any military need,"
 Naryshkin, who heads Russia's Historical
Society, said.

"Japanese militarists committed plenty of
atrocities against civilians in China, Korea
and other Asian countries, during WWII.

The verdicts passed by the Tokyo and
Khabarovsk tribunals gave a civilized
reply to their conduct. But civilians in
 Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were not
 responsible & had nothing to do with
 those crimes," Naryshkin stressed.



NASA says it is signing a $490-million contract
with Russia to fund a program that aims to put
 Americans into space.

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration
 told US lawmakers in a letter on Wednesday, that
the move was a result of the Congress's failure to
 fund a Commercial Crew Program, The Hill reports.

As farmers in the EU demonstrate over their
 rotting produce, because they cannot sell to
 Russia --- US Energy companies continue
drilling for oil, in Russia.

US trade with Russia is up 11% while
 EU trade with Russia is down 40%..

Europe --- thicker than Homer Simpson!


‘Abject failure’: Pentagon-trained
Syrian force under fire after first battle
RT - After US-trained Syrian fighters were apparently
 killed, captured or went missing, in their very first
battle with Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, questions
 have been raised as to whether the Pentagon’s
 costly engagement with the Syrian opposition,
 allegedly to fight ISIS, was worth it.
The first batch of ‘Division 30’ trainees, are also
 known as the New Syrian Force (NSF). It consists
 of some 54 fighters, and has reportedly ceased
to exist as a battle unit --- with at least half of its
personnel killed, captured or missing, CBS reports.

The devastation was caused by Al Nusra Front,
 an Islamic group loyal to Al Qaeda, while the
NSF was created to counter IS fighters, who
have not yet even been fired on, by the NSF.

The first firefight reportedly ended with the NSF
 calling for US air support, which they received,
 as the US warplanes hammered some 30 Al
Nusra militants to dust.

But the extremists returned shortly afterwards
 to take revenge on co-religionists, killing some
of the NSF trainees and capturing several US-
trained Syrian rebels, their commander as well.

The remainder fled the area, some reportedly to
 Turkey -- where they were trained. Others left for
 territory held by the Kurdish militia, Peshmerga.

“Between Monday and Tuesday, Al-Nusra Front
seized at least 5 rebels from Division 30 in the
 village of Qah, near the Turkish border,” AFP
 cites the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
 as saying.

Last week the jihadists also took at least 8
rebels from the same US-backed unit, the
Observatory reported.

Col. Pat Ryder, Central Command spokesperson:

“Certainly this past week has highlighted some
of the challenges associated with fielding New
Syrian forces, but it's important to keep in mind
 that success does not hinge on one fight or on
one event and we're still in the early phases of
implementing this program,” 

“We're continually applying lessons learned
and working as a coalition,” Ryder says, “&
now aim to improve the training program.”

Ryder doesn't go into detail on whether any
of the missing NSF fighters returned to the
battlefield, only saying that “they are not
 under US command and control.”

“The situation on the ground in Syria is
incredibly complex, the situation in terms
 of the various malign elements in Syria,
 makes re-insertion or ex-filtration very
challenging,” says Ryder, as cited by AP.

 “As we observe the situation --- as
we instruct new recruits --- there
are certainly things we're taking
into account.”

Fergus Hodgson, Capitol Bureau Reporter,
with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy:

“They don’t know what they are choosing, they
are picking winners and losers, and it’s foolish
 because there’s no access strategy, there’s no
long-term plan,” Hodgson says, adding that it's
 “crazy” to pick “small time militia groups” to
 overthrow a government, or to push back the
Islamic State.

The US “middle ground” policy in Syria is
achieving nothing, because the US would
 not join the confrontation in the region
more aggressively, so “we’re just playing
 silly games at this point,” Hodgson sighs.


Lavrov: fatal mistake may blast situation
in Syria --- making it uncontrollable

Moscow warns Washington on Sunday, against
 implementing its plans of bombing government
 facilities in Syria, if US-backed opposition units
are attacked.

"I have, frankly, warned my US colleague, that
one fatal mistake can undermine the situation
 to such an extent that later nobody will be able
 to control it," Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei
 Lavrov, says, in an interview with Russia-1 TV.

"I think it is very easy to make a mistake in a
 situation when Americans have no presence
 "on the ground" like in Afghanistan," he says.

According to Lavrov, US partners "are saying
 that they won't attack positions of the Syrian
 military, if the latter don't attack militants
[the US] have trained."

"Frankly speaking, it's very easy to make a mistake.
I want to remind you that there are no Americans
 on Syrian soil, but there were in Afghanistan, and
 used drones and intelligence data. But there were
 plenty of cases when they bombed weddings and
 school buses with children, instead of Taliban or
Al Qaeda," Lavrov says.


Rejecting Iran nuclear agreement will
 lead to military action: Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry criticizes
 Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, for
deciding to vote against the conclusion of
the Iran nuclear talks, suggesting it would
only pave the way for a military option.

Kerry says rejecting the July 14 accord
 "will lead people to press for military
 action, since the United States would
have walked away from the diplomatic

His criticism comes the day after Schumer
 announces that he will not vote in favor
 of the agreement, after studying it.

The Jewish senator says the accord does
 not allow inspections "anywhere, anytime."

Kerry, however, says that he “obviously
 profoundly disagrees with the judgement

"It's a question of eliminating options in a
 realistic way," the top US diplomat adds.
 "I'd respectfully suggest, that rejection
is not a policy for the future; it does not
offer any alternative."

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary
 Josh Earnest, says Schumer’s decision
 "is not particularly surprising to anybody
 here at the White House, even if it was

He adds that 12 Democrats - 7 in the
 House of Representatives & 5 in the
 Senate - are supporting President
 Barack Obama’s deal with Iran.

Congress will vote in September.

According to the accord, Iran will be
recognized by the United Nations as
 a nuclear power, and will continue
 its uranium enrichment program.

Iran sanctions are set to be removed
 in exchange for some limitations on
 the country’s nuclear energy program.

Democratic Senators Tim Kaine, Bill
Nelson, Barbara Boxer, Chris Murphy
 and Patrick Leahy have supported
 the conclusion of the nuclear talks.


Israeli military bombs refugee camp in Gaza Strip

 At least four people have been wounded after
the Israeli military bombed a refugee camp in
the illegally blockaded Gaza Strip, Palestinian
 media say.

The attack took place against Nuseirat refugee
camp on Friday, the Palestinian Ma’an News
 Agency reports. The victims were rushed to
 the hospital in ambulances.

The refugee camp houses 66,000 Palestinians.

Israeli paper Jerusalem Post quotes the Israeli
military as saying that its warplanes launched
 an aerial attack against a base belonging to
the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance
 movement, Hamas.

The Israeli military also say the attack was
 carried out in response to an alleged rocket
 attack from Gaza, earlier in the day.


US Analyst Claims Geopolitics Could
 Lead to Extinction of Human Race
Sputnik - Lyndon LaRouche’s wife Helga Zepp
 LaRouche spoke to Sputnik about how the US
atomic bombing in Nagasaki and Hiroshima
 was completely unnecessary and how the US
 is preparing for another atomic war against
Russia and China, right now.

“There was absolutely no reason for this bombing:
there were already peace negotiations between
 the emperor and the Vatican at that time. The
 bombing was done to instigate horror and awe
by Truman, so that he could continue the era of
 imperialism,” LaRouche says.

“There are many people who have been warning
 that the US and NATO are preparing a new war,
 against Russia and China. There's a very serious
 escalation of the situation, making the month of
 August extremely dangerous -- as history shows
most of the wars started in August, and the US
 military changed tactics in Syria last week and
 the US army has gone into recess.”

She goes on to say the US is busily preparing
 itself for war. Signs indicate that another
nuclear war is getting closer, and this time
 it will annihilate the entire human race.

In order to prevent that from happening,
 LaRouche says the US, Russia & China
need to sit down and talk. Europe must
apply pressure, and say that it will not
 be a part of such a war.

“The leaders of the US, Russia and China
 must sit together and discuss the new
international security architecture. We
must overcome geopolitics if we don’t
 want to become extinct, ourselves.”


              Iran Warns of Worsening Situation in Yemen              

 Prensa Latina - Iran today warns of the
 deterioration of the situation in Yemen &
the consequences of a more complicated
crisis, while calling for political solutions
to the Yemeni and Syrian conflicts.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African
 Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, says today
 that he discussed the issue with UN special
envoy for Yemen, Mauritanian Ismail Ould
Cheikh Ahmed, stressing that Tehran has
 sustained positions on regional topics.

Amir-Abdollahian says he insisted, in his
phone conversation with Cheikh Ahmed,
 that the constant military operations led
by S. Arabia in Yemen, do not contribute
 to finding a peaceful solution to Yemen's
 crisis, and, on the contrary, make the
current situation worse.

The deputy Foreign minister says that
Tehran emphasizes the need to solve
 regional problems through talks and
diplomatic solutions, but unfortunately
 the world community remains silent on
 what is happening in that Arab nation.

The killing of innocent people, including
children and women, violates human
rights principles, and those who carry
out the military attacks in Yemen must
be responsible for the consequences,
stresses the deputy foreign minister.

Amir-Abdollahian adds that Tehran still
appeals for a constructive UN role in
these crises, and thinks that stopping
armed acts & finding an inter-Yemeni
 solution, are the only way to put an
end to the conflict there.


Muscat, Damascus agree on
 joint efforts to end Syria crisis

Muscat & Damascus have agreed to step up
joint efforts to bring an end to the four years
 of conflict gripping Syria, media reports say.

Oman's Foreign Minister, Yusuf bin Alawi bin
 Abdullah, and his Syrian counterpart, Walid
 al-Muallem, met in the Omani capital on
Thursday, to discuss "several regional and
 international topics of common interest,”
 Oman News Agency (ONA) reports.

Syria’s official SANA news agency also
reports that the two top diplomats agree
 "that now is the time to unite the efforts
 to end this (Syrian) crisis.”

"The 2 sides agreed to continue cooperation
& coordination to achieve the shared goals
 of their peoples & governments," SANA says.

Syria's Al-Watan daily also reports...
that talks between top diplomats from
 Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia are likely
 to be held in the Omani capital.

Earlier this week, Muallem made a two-day
 visit to Tehran where he met with Iranian
officials, and Russian President Vladimir
Putin’s visiting special envoy for the
Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov.
Syria has been fighting against massive
 foreign-sponsored militancy since 2011,
which has reportedly left over 240,000
people dead, including 12,000 children,
so far.

This is while some Western governments
 & regional allies, are widely accused of
 contributing to the rise of terror groups
operating against the government of
Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.


Russia is taking the Middle East from the USA
Pravda - A number of recent major international
developments, suggests that Washington has
recognized Moscow as an equal partner. US
officials sat down at the negotiating table
 with their Russian counterparts.

This is evidenced by the statement from
 the chief of the Russian Airborne Troops
 about possible assistance to Syria. What
 are they negotiating?

Western sources say the topic of discussion
 is Assad's surrender in exchange for Ukraine

"Russian paratroopers are ready to help Syria
 in the fight against terrorists, if the Russian
 leadership sets such a task," the Commander
 of Russia's Airborne Troops, Colonel-General
Vladimir Shamanov said on August the 2nd.

One can assume that the above statement was
 either an expression of the position of Russia's
 Defense Minister Shoigu (his stance on Ukraine
 differs from Russia's official position on it), or a
 signal from the Kremlin to the White House not
to bomb the positions of Bashar al-Assad's army.

 US President Barack Obama was reported to
have given such an order a few days earlier.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has
had meetings this week with US Secretary
 of State John Kerry, and Foreign Minister
of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir, in Qatar.

 The official result of the meeting was a failure
 on the
Syria talks... Russia did not surrender
 Bashar al-Assad. On the contrary, Russia has
 proposed to get Assad involved in the fight
against the Islamic State.

 Interestingly, it is Saudi Arabia, but not the US
 that acts as Russia's partner. With Al Baghdadi,
the Saudis have a more popular
competitor --
with the same Wahhabi ideology.
His goal is
to make the kingdom become a part
of the
caliphate and deprive Muslims of their
sites: Mecca and Medina, which is totally

 unacceptable for the royal dynasty.

Soon after the meeting in Doha, Lavrov &
Kerry met at the ASEAN summit in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia (Association of South
east Asian Nations, which includes the
US and Russia as observers).

 The foreign ministers of the association
 discussed "settlement of the situations
in Syria and Ukraine": notably, the talks
took place on an Asian platform.

According to the US State Department, the
 sides considered the situation in Ukraine &
 steps needed to fully implement the Minsk
Accord. It looks like Kerry is willing to
 reconcile with Russia on Syria in return for
 concessions on Ukraine, but does Russia
 need that?

The key player here is Saudi Arabia, which
 was left very much dissatisfied with the
deal on the Iranian nuclear program.

the Saudis are looking for a partner,
Russia. Putin will have a meeting with
 King Salman, in September.

Noteworthy, Saudi Arabia was the first
country, with which, the Soviet Union
established diplomatic relations. The
relations between the Soviet Union &
 Saudi Arabia, were remarkable, until
Saudi sheikhs started helping Afghan

Their relations were then finally ruined
against the backdrop of Syria's crisis.

In the Islamic world, Russia has excellent
relations with all countries. Russia can be
a mediator for any conflicting parties.

Thus, a Hamas delegation (with connections
 in Iran & Qatar), paid a visit to Saudi Arabia
 during the holy month of Ramadan.

 "The visit has achieved its planned objectives,
 so one can call it successful," the head of the
delegation, Musa Abu Marzouk, says.

He says Hamas hopes to establish good
 relations with both the East and the West.

"Based on this principle, we have had a
meeting with Russia's Minister for Foreign
 Affairs, and we are preparing an official
 visit to Moscow," middleeastmonitor.com
 quotes the official as saying.

Russia is taking the Middle East from the
US, the US-based publication The Hill says.

Russia has managed to win such an ally as
 Saudi Arabia - and this fact has dramatically
 changed the balance of forces on the Arabian
 Peninsula. According to the publication, Russia
 is a longtime ally of Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia
 has made friends with Moscow and promised to
 invest up to 10 billion dollars in the Russian
 economy. In return, Russia promised to resolve
 the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia.


The Kremlin has been very active in the Middle East,
 taking the initiative from the United States. Moscow
 is not going to make concessions for Bashar al-
Assad, but can take a tougher stance on Ukraine,
for one simple reason: Russia has interests in
 Ukraine, and the Americans know them very well.
 Russia's Ukraine interests are the economy and
the security of Ukrainian areas bordering
The US will stop destabilizing Ukraine very soon -
 not only because its first priority is its affairs in
Middle East, but because of Russia's break-
in Asia --- a region Zbigniew Brzezinski
once called
'the most important region in the

 It is no accident that Sergei Lavrov was sitting
 at a table with the nameplate "Seroja." He was
 in a good mood, smiling.


Putin Issues Ultimatum, Threatens War
 Over Erdogan’s Support of ISIS

Russian President Vladimir Putin in a meeting with
 the Turkish Ambassador issued a verbal ultimatum
 calling for an immediate end to Turkey’s support for
 ISIS, & violations of Syria’s sovereignty. In so doing,
Putin has drawn a red line on Syria, after weeks of
 escalating NATO moves against that beleaguered

In a startling move, Russian President Vladimir Putin
 castigated Turkish President Recep Erdogan, calling
 him a “dictator” and threatening to sever diplomatic
 ties with Turkey over what Putin claims is Erdogan’s
 continued support of the ISIS terror organization.

It is believed that this was a response to Erdogan’s
 claim, pasted across the western press yesterday,
 that Putin had told him Russia was no longer going
 to support Syria in their war against al Qaeda, ISIS
 and their western backed sister organizations.

Putin summoned Turkish Ambassador to Moscow,
 Umit Yardim, to the Kremlin for what turned out to
be a 2 hour diatribe by Putin with fiery accusations
 returned by the Turkish Ambassador.


It's the 0.000000012 % !

Oxfam made headlines at Davos last year
 with the revelation that the 85 richest
people on the planet own half the
world's wealth.

Oxfam's 85 people controlling half the world’s
 wealth, makes them the 0.000000012 %, and
NOT the '1%' everyone keeps quoting.

 So why do we make it such a nice number...
 yet fail to notice how ridiculous it really is?

The figure is now 80 – a dramatic fall from the
388 people in 2010. The wealth of the richest
 80 doubled, in cash terms, between 2009-14.


Hundreds of migrants feared drowned off Libya - Italy

Hundreds of migrants attempting the perilous journey
 across the Mediterranean are feared to have drowned
 after their boat capsized off Libya, Italy’s coastguard
 said on Wednesday.

The overcrowded boat, which sent out a distress call,
overturned after the first rescue vessel came in sight,
as migrants rushed to one side, AFP reports. Some
 100 survivors were plucked from the water, and the
 coastguard is continuing to search for others.


Corbyn: Blair should be tried for Iraq war

Labour Party leadership front-runner says former
 UK PM, Tony Blair, should stand trial for involving
 the UK in the “illegal” US-led invasion of Iraq.

“It was an illegal war. I am confident about that.
 Indeed Kofi Annan [UN sec general at the time]
 confirmed it was an illegal war and therefore
[Tony Blair] has to explain that. Is he going to
be tried for it? I don’t know. Could he be tried
 for it? Possibly,” Jeremy Corbyn is quoted as
 saying by the UK media, on Wednesday.

Corbyn has also urged Blair to “confess” to
the 'understanding' he reached with ex-US
president George W Bush, in the run up to
 the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The US-led invasion of Iraq began in 2003, &
 lasted for over 8 years. The war, which was
 initiated under a false pretence of weapons
 of mass destruction, took the lives of 179
UK personnel and nearly 4,500 US soldiers.

 The number of Iraqi civilian deaths has been
 estimated at over 1 million by some sources.

‘Blair should confess’

Corbyn also pointed to the long-waiting Chilcot
report, and said it will ultimately force Blair to
explain his discussions with Bush in the run-
up to the war.

“The Chilcot report is going to come out sometime.
 I hope it comes out soon. I think there are some
 decisions Tony Blair has got to confess or tell us
 what actually happened...... what happened in
Crawford Texas, in 2002, in his private meetings
with George Bush.  Why has the Chilcot report
still not come out because – apparently there is
still debate about the release of information on
one side or the other of the Atlantic. At that point
Tony Blair and others who made the decisions are
then going to have to deal with the consequences
of it,” he added.

Time table for Chilcot report

Meanwhile, UK PM David Cameron calls for
 a prompt publication of the Chilcot inquiry

Cameron says the timetable for the publication
of the long-awaited report should be published
“pretty soon” for the sake of “families who want

The UK government has already been under
 increasing fire for the continued delays over
 the report.

Earlier this year, John Chilcot told UK MPs
that he 'underestimated' the time required
 to review the up to 150,000 documents.

Chilcot rejected calls to set a timetable
 for the publication of the report -- as it
 might "arouse false hopes".

Long-awaited report

The probe is 'reviewing' the participation of
the UK's troops in the 2003 US-led invasion
of Iraq, which saw UK troops remain in the
country, for six years.

The inquiry was ordered by former PM,
 Gordon Brown, way back in 2009 and
was expected to publish its findings
within 18 months.

Some critics argued that the report was held
 back over concerns of political repercussions
 in the run-up to May 7 parliamentary elections.

There is rising speculation that the Chilcot
report will eventually be whitewashed --- to
 hide the facts about the UK’s decision to
go to war under Blair, in 2003.


EU to Offer 'Support' to Handle
                  Migration Crisis in Calais               
 Prensa Latina - The European Union (EU) will offer
 technical and economic support to France and the
 UK, to handle the migration crisis in Calais, an EU
 source says today.

Talks will be held today between Commissioner of
 the Interior and Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos,
 with Ministers of the Interior of the states involved
 - France's Bernar Cazeneuve and the UK's Theresa
 May - to which Brussels will give its support.

Without further details, Trade Commissioner,
Cecilia Malmstrom, explains the EU aid will
consist of technical & economic resources
 from EU funds for asylum issues "already
 included" in the EU Budget.

Malstrom, previously Commissioner of the
Interior and Migration, considers it to be
 "fundamental", to guarantee that all the
undocumented refugees have a chance
 of applying for refuge, while admitting
that it is a "complex issue".

Over the last week thousands of migrants
 have tried to cross from Calais to UK
territory, through the euro-tunnel
connecting both shores of the
English Channel.

The mass night attempts to access the
eurotunnel have generated clashes with
 security forces and caused major traffic

To face the crisis, Paris and London have
 adopted measures, such as sending 120
 additional policemen on the French side
 and the UK decision to build a big fence
 to reinforce "security".

What happened in Calais is a culmination
 of the migration crisis in Europe: this year
 almost 200 thousand people arrived at the
 so-called old continent, after perilous boat
travel through the Mediterranean Sea, and
--- with over 2,000 dead in shipwrecks ---
this is now considered to be the worst
refugee crisis, since World War ll.


'Loyalists' retake Yemen’s biggest airbase

Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led
 coalition retook Yemen's biggest airbase from
 Iran-backed rebels on Tuesday in a significant
 new gain after their recapture of Yemen's
second city, Aden, last month.

Their seizure of Al-Anad base in a 24-hour
assault using heavy armor supplied by the
coalition came after hundreds of Gulf Arab
 troops landed in Aden to bolster the loyal-
ist counterattack.

Hailing victory in the battle for Al-Anad, the
Saudi defense ministry vows there will be
no rest in the war against the Shiite Houthi
and their allies, until the authority of exiled
Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is restored over
 the whole country.

The Al-Anad base, 60 kilometers north of Aden,
is strategically located on the main road north
toward both the battleground third city of Taez
 and the Houthis-held capital Sana'a.

The vast 15-square-kilometer complex housed
US troops overseeing a drone war against Al
Qaeda in Yemen, until shortly before Houthis
 overran it, in March.

Its loss is a major blow for the rebels, whose
 leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi claimed Sunday,
 that their ouster from Aden after four months
of ferocious fighting was just a "short-term"
 setback, that would be reversed.

The loyalists swiftly pushed on from Al-Anad
on Tuesday, hitting the Houthi-held Labouza
 army camp 10 kilometers further north,
military sources say.

Pro-government sources say that 70 rebel
 fighters were killed and 10 captured in the
 fighting. The 'loyalists' suffered 24 deaths
 and 23 injuries.

Officers who took part in the assault say
 the rebels put up "stiff resistance"... but
the Saudi-led air strikes helped destroy
 their armor.

An AFP correspondent saw columns
of tanks and artillery, supplied by the
 coalition pounding the base's defences.

They were accompanied by large numbers
 of southern militiamen, who formed a core
 of resistance to the rebels, before the new
deployment of reinforcements, trained and
 equipped in Saudi Arabia.

The formerly independent south has a large
 secessionist movement, whose supporters
have made common cause with the exiled
 government, out of shared hostility to the
 rebels from the Shiite north.

Some of the militiamen flew its flag.

The recapture of Al-Anad is a major boost for
 the defense of Aden and paves the way for a
possible return by the exiled government to
the southern port, which was its last refuge
before it fled into exile in neighboring Saudi
 Arabia, in March.

On Sunday, hundreds of Gulf Arab troops
 from the coalition entered Aden with tanks
 and other armor "to help secure" it, a
military source told AFP.

Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper, says
 1,500 troops, mostly from the UAE, are
 now deployed in the city.

 Aden has been devastated by four months
 of coalition air strikes, and
ground fighting.


Ukraine Forced to Retract Misinformation
                   to OSCE on Russia               
 The Ukrainian government is forced to belie today
 a version regarding the alleged involvement of the
 Russian military in the conflict in the southeast of
 the country, as it appeared in a report from the
 Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE).

Contrary to its practice of accusing Moscow of being
 behind the dispute in Donetsk and Lugansk (Donbass
 coal area), the Ukrainian government considers as
 "false", the information regarding the presence in
 Donetsk of members of a Russian airborne brigade.

An official statement admits that the statement of
the document of the mission of the OSCE in Ukraine
 on the participation of 16th Airborne Brigade (VDV)
 soldiers from the Russian city of Orenburgh, was
 wrong, because there is no such military unit.

However, the right-wing government that came
to power after the coup in February last year,
considers the version cited as a provocative
 attempt from Moscow, to discredit them, or
to discredit the OSCE.

On several occasions, the Kremlin was forced
 to reject accusations from Kiev on an alleged
 involvement of members of its military in the
 conflict in the southeast of Ukraine... where
 Kiev has been waging a punitive operation
 since April 2014, on the anti-coup population.

From Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry
 statement says it was all public insinuation
without any proof.

The report referred to a soldier claiming
 to belong to the airborne assault brigade,
who talked of his status as a mercenary,
along with other fellow soldiers.

The Donbass self-defense forces report
this week on violations by the Army, on
dozens of occasions, of the main truce
agreed in Minsk, on February 12th this
year, which included prisoner exchanges
 and the separation of troops and matériel.

Local Donetsk media remind readers that
 the government of millionaire President
Piotr Poroshenko presents the conflict in
the S. East, as an antiterrorist operation
 against separatist forces, supported on
the ground by Russian troops --- some-
thing that Moscow flatly denies.


New sustainable development goals set for 2030
UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon hails the
 "bold, ambitious, transformative, sustainable
 development agenda for the next 15 years"
 hammered out by all 193 UN members and
civil society to replace the retiring 15-year-
old Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"The agreement is the product of more than
 three years of effort that began with the Rio
+20 Summit Conference in 2012, the work of
my High Level Panel of Eminent Persons, the
UN System; that ultimately became the most
 inclusive, transparent negotiation process
in UN history," he says.

"It was an innovative and epic process," the
 secretary-general says at a press conference.

"The outcome document is called 'Transforming
our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
 Development' and it's a roadmap to end global
 poverty, building a life of dignity for all, and is
 also a clarion call to intensify efforts to heal
 our planet for the benefit of this and future
generations" leaving out no-one," Ban says.

He adds that one of the keys to success
of the goals, is that the result is: a new
document which includes the business

The accord, known as Sustainable
Development Goals ( SDGs), is an
ambitious agenda featuring 17 new
sustainable development goals -- to
replace eight MDGs - that aim to end
poverty, promote prosperity and raise
well-being: and all this, while
the environment.

The SDGs are expected to be adopted by
 world leaders in September, to replace
a set of eight anti-poverty targets
set to be
reached by the end of this year.

The secretary-general singles out for
particular praise, the co- facilitators:
the ambassadors David Donoghue of
 Ireland, & Macharia Kamau of Kenya,
Undersecretary-General Wu Hongbo
of the Department of Economic and
 Social Affairs, and Amin Mohammed,
 his special adviser on post-2015

He also thanks member states, "who
worked to reach consensus on this
sweeping agreement," President Sam
Kutesa of the UN General Assembly,
"& so many others from civil society,
private sector, academia, parliament-
arians and millions of people in every
corner of the world, who shared their
vision of the world we want."

"This is truly a 'We the Peoples' Agenda,"
 he tells reporters, quoting the opening
line of the UN Charter.

Leaders of over 150 nations, including
Pope Francis who recently published his
 encyclical on the environment, are to be
at the Sustainable Development Summit
on Sept. 25-27, at the UN Headquarters
 in New York, to formally adopt the out-
come document setting a sustainable
agenda for our world.

"We are resolved to free the human race
 from the tyranny of poverty and want and
 to heal and secure our planet," reads the
preamble of the 29-page document.

 "We are determined to take the bold and
 transformative steps which are urgently
needed, to shift the world onto a
and resilient path...

"As we embark on this
collective journey,
we pledge that no one
will be left behind."

Co-facilitator Donoghue:

 "Trying to guide the process towards a
written agreement with the multiple
adjustments, compromises needed in
any such negotiations -- that was a
challenge -- but it is one to which all
member states rose, with great
honor and great skill."

"There has been nothing like it," he says.
"The emphasis must be on getting these
 goals and targets actually implemented,
 so that this doesn't remain as a nice
 picture on the wall - but this is actually
 something which will really change
 lives, and show benefits."

His partner in facilitating, Kamau:

"Saturday morning we were able to get
 the breakthrough and get everybody on
the same page" on what the outstanding
 issues were "and focus on how we will
 show order," and he calls it a political,
intellectual and technical process.

"So, to get all those pieces in place was really
the big challenge," Kamau says. "The challenge
 was to see how we were going to balance all
of this in the context of a global agenda that is
 universal, representing all cultures, all peoples
and all dimensions of social order in the world.

 "So it was that, that was really the big
challenge -- putting the puzzle together.
These are goals for the entire world and
 are universal. The MDGs were targeted
developing countries -- in particular,

Estimates of the cost have ranged from
 hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars.

The DESA chief:

"What the member states are determined to
 do, according to the outcome document, is
that they are going to mobilize all financial
resources possible, public and private,
international and domestic and the mixed
 financing resources," Wu says, adding:

"I would say the 17 goals with 169 targets
 are really the best we can have. According
 to the discussions and outcome document,
 these goals and targets are do-able. We're
 confident about that."


Saudi Intelligence Chief
to Visit Damascus Soon

In the context of the Russian initiative to
sustain a Saudi-Syrian 'rapprochement',
the KSA's Intelligence Chief may visit
Damascus by the end of August, say
well-informed sources.

200 plus Saudis have been arrested by
Syria's authorities for terror activities,
and 700 have joined militant groups
which are fighting the Syrian Army.

The sources add that the Russian side has
 managed to convince the Saudi leaders that
 battling ISIL and all the terrorist groups is of
great importance for 'all regional countries'.

Russia considers that preserving the Saudi-
Syrian-Egyptian triangle, will preserve the
political and security situation in the Middle
East and that, if the terrorist groups manage
to destroy this formula, terrorism will invade
 the whole region and reach Europe, report
 the sources.

The sources note that the Saudi-Syrian
convergence is expected to reap fruit -
 yet it needs time for KSA to arrange its
 internal files to prepare for a strategic


Russia expert says Obama Decision
a cover up for US Syria Failure

Obama’s decision to unleash the US Air Force
 to support the "moderate Syrian opposition"
with 'defensive fire' is aimed not so much at
 the terrorist IS, as Syrian President Assad’s
government, polled experts tell TASS.

The president of Russia's Middle East
 Institute, Yevgeny Satanovsky, says
the US 'moderate' forces are being
trained too slowly... of the 60 Syrian
rebels US instructors have trained
at camps in Turkey, 54 have been
enlisted in the yet-to-be formed
'moderate' battalion.

Syrian government troops have captured
the emissary dispatched to Syria to gain
 potential trainees, he states:

 "A large group of the rebels has left the camps
 to continue struggling against Assad's regime.
Many of them have joined Islamic State. Obama
made a statement that the US would provide
 defensive fire to support the Syrian opposition
 for the sole reason he would like to save face
 in the wake of the utter failure of the program
 for training Syrian rebels and the arrest of the
 recruiter," Satanovsky tells TASS.

"The US president had to offer some sort of
explanation to the taxpayers, why a tiny 54
men have been trained, while the allocated
budget money was enough to train 5,400 --
a hundred times more.

"This explains why he came out with the state-
ment that the US Air Force would be attacking
 facilities that might endanger Syria opposition
groups. It should be remembered that US drones
 had been attacking IS positions before. In other
 words, Obama’s statement is nothing but a smoke
 screen, expected to camouflage a political failure."

A member of the science council at Moscow’s
 Carnegie Centre, lecturer at the Moscow state
 institute of international relations MGIMO,
Aleksei Malashenko, believes that Obama’s
 latest decision is a doubtful move, adding
 a great deal to the general commotion
 in the Middle East.

"Instead of adopting constructive decisions to
 counter the threats the expansion of IS entails,
 the US president has expressed a poorly hidden
 intention to send US warplanes to bomb Bashar
 Assad’s supporters.

"Nobody knows if the Syrian National Coalition
 for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces will be
 able to keep the situation in the country under
 control if and when the Assad regime falls. It is
 not ruled out that Syria’s five-year-long civil war
 and struggle for power will get more ferocious,"
 Malashenko tells TASS.

"From the standpoint of struggle against the IS,
 joint efforts by the United States and Turkey to
 create a buffer zone on the border with Syria,
 look doubtful, too. Ankara is confronted, not
only by IS terrorists, but also by Kurdistan
 Workers’ Party militants, as it puts pressure
 on Bashar Assad in Syria. In fact, it has three
 front-lines to keep an eye on. In other words,
 the White House and allies in the Middle East
are in great confusion," Malashenko says.

"I believe that today’s meeting of Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Sec. of
State, John Kerry, & Saudi Arabia’s Foreign
 Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, in Doha, Qatar, will
help identify a coordinated approach to
suppressing the Islamic State, which is
a common adversary for Moscow,
Washington and Riyadh," he says.


Syria ‘should not interfere’ in
militant ops by US-backed groups

The US has warned of "additional steps" if
Damascus continues taking actions against
the US-backed militants in crisis-hit Syria.

At a Monday news briefing, White House
 spokesperson, Josh Earnest, referred to
 US-trained militants, who, he admitted,
 have been suffering losses.

Earnest said that the government of
President Bashar al-Assad "should
not interfere" in operations by US-
backed forces on Syrian soil, which
 he alleged, were part of a "strategy
 to degrade & ultimately destroy ISIL"
 as US President Obama had promised.

Syria has been battered by foreign-backed
 militancy since 2011, which made it a haven
 for Takfiri terrorists to come together as ISIL.

ISIL has been used as a pretext by Washington
and some US allies to carry out airstrikes in the
 country -- apart from providing various forms of
support for so-called 'moderate militants' there.

In response to Earnest’s remarks, Russian Foreign
 Minister, Sergei Lavrov, says Moscow believes "it's
 counterproductive to announce publicly that some
 US-trained armed groups... will be under the
protection of the coalition's air forces."

"And that to protect these groups this air force
will be authorized to strike at any forces which
 may -- may -- be considered a hindrance to the
work of this group," he says in Doha, where he
 met  with US Secretary of State, John Kerry,
 earlier in the day.

Lavrov says he "raised the issue" with Kerry,
 in that meeting.

However, US warplanes may end up bombing
 government troops under the command of a
 legitimate president --- an act of aggression
 against a sovereign country that only the
UN Security Council could authorize.

September will mark 1 year that the US-led
coalition has been bombing positions of IS,
in Iraq and Syria.

 Back in November 2014, there were reports
 that the anti-IS campaign could be nothing
 but a move to allow the US military to oust
President Assad through less direct means.

In 2013, Damascus narrowly escaped a US-
led invasion after Russia brokered a deal
for Syria to give up its chemical weapons.

At the time, UK Prime Minister David Cameron
 lost a bid in the House of Commons to ally UK
 forces with the US military, but now the Royal
 Air Force is bombing the positions of IS, along
 with the Americans.

An airstrike by the anti-IS coalition on Assad's
 troops might be a very dangerous precedent
 and cause a direct military conflict between
 Washington and Damascus, something that
 diplomats have managed to avoid since the
 beginning of the Syrian civil war.


Ukraine’s former prime minister Azarov
announces Ukraine Salvation Committee
Ukraine’s former prime minister Mykola Azarov
 announces, on Monday, the establishment of
the Ukraine Salvation Committee.

"We state that Salvation of Ukraine Committees
have been established, and are working in
Azarov tells a press conference in

ask all citizens, political parties, labour
unions and
social movements, to unite and
restore order in
our home, by using joint
efforts," he adds.

Azarov says he cannot name all the members
 of the newly-established committees, because
"they live and work in Ukraine, and this is very
 dangerous. The time will come when we will
introduce them, first of all to Ukraine's people.

 I can assure you that they are patriots, who
have no ties with the current authorities,
or the former authorities,"
Azarov stresses.

"We know who carried out the coup in Ukraine,
who refused to hold a dialogue with their own
 people. The Salvation Committee thinks it is
 impossible to restore accord, without first
the political leadership.

 "The Salvation Committee is, unfortunately, set
 up outside Ukraine, but I am sure that we will
return. We address the Ukrainian people -- we
 are ready to assume the responsibility for
restoring Ukraine’s development," he notes.

Azarov says the former Ukrainian President,
 Viktor Yanukovych, and people in his circle,
 will not join the Committee for Salvation of

"When the committee was discussing this,
 we decided that those who had close ties
 with Ukraine’s former president, shouldn't
 join the committee," Azarov says, adding:

"Europe is beginning to understand that
 it bet wrongly. They wanted a European
government, but instead they got a pro-
Fascist one --- that is also absolutely
incompetent on economic issues,"
Azarov says.

Azarov points out that, sooner or later,
 not only Ukraine's people, but also the
European and US people as well, will
ask the question: "What can be done
 with this regime?"

Th current Ukrainian authorities are too
heavily reliant on "volunteer battalions"
 that "are ready to shoot at anybody,"
Azarov explains.

"What do the current authorities rely on?
 On the army? Not quite, I know them all
 really well. Now they stand to attention…
But as soon as this regime falters, they
 will destroy this regime themselves.
It relies only on volunteer battalions,"
Azarov says.

He notes that the existence of volunteer
battalions is impermissible in a European
 country, and calls for the soonest possible
disarmament of these battalions. "If you
 want to carry arms - go to the army, to the
police, to the SBU [Security Service],"
Azarov stresses.

The former prime minister also expresses
 confidence, that participants in volunteer
 battalions who commit crimes, should be
"severely punished."


Syria Opposition Coalition Unit Cracks Abroad  
Prensa Latina - Syria's opposition group abroad,
known as Local Coordination Committees (LCC),
has decided to leave the Syrian National Coalition
 (SNC), which it accuses of being manipulated by
Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

In a letter sent yesterday and highlighted by local
 media today, the LCC leadership denounces the
 coalition for being 'a connected block controlled
 by external actors', says HispanTV digital version.

'We are ashamed to see what has happened with
 the coalition' stresses the document.

Leaders of those opposing the LCC express in the
 letter, that the SNC lacks leadership in the Syrian
 people, and is an ' organization unable to get the
 objectives proposed'.

They also blame the leadership of the opposition
 coalition for internal conflicts that occur therein,
 starting with the personal ambitions of some of
 its members who only think about their personal

The SNC, whose official name is the National
 Coalition for the Forces of the Syrian Revolution
 and Opposition (Cnfors), seeks to overthrow the
 government led by President Bashar al-Assad
and has the open support of several Western
powers, with France at the head, & some Gulf
 monarchies and other countries in the region
 such as Turkey.

Its military arm is the Free Syrian Army (SLA),
a military organization equipped and financed
by the French government, which is currently
 separating, after many of its members joined
 the terrorist brigades of the Islamic Group
and the al-Nushra front.

Recently, several members of the ELS laid down
their weapons in the western part of Zabadani,
 and asked to join the ranks of the Syrian army.

The CNS, the main political base in the context
 of the international media campaign --- which
 seeks to destabilize and fragment the Arab
 country --- refused to participate in the recent
 meetings in Moscow between the Damascus
 government and various opposition parties
to achieve a political peaceful solution to
the conflict started in 2011.



Former CIA contractor Steven Kelley says
 the Pentagon is entering a “new stage”
by threatening to use air power in Syria
 if US-backed forces in the country
come under attack.

President Barack Obama has ordered the
US military to use airstrikes against those
 who attack the US-backed forces in Syria.

White House National Security Council spokes-
person, Alistair Baskey, says that the Obama
 administration has made clear it will “take the
 steps necessary to ensure that these forces
 could successfully carry out their mission.”

He added that the support would include
“defensive fire support to protect them.”

“President Obama’s recent authorization of
 using air power to support this, defend this
 new US-backed force fighting in Syria,
 seems to be a new pathetic escalation,”
Kelley tells Press TV on Monday.

“This is a very negative advance in this
entire episode,” he says.

“I think it’s still pathetic and shows that
 the American efforts to topple Assad
seem to be reaching a new stage.”

The analyst also criticizes the US for
 intervening in Syria’s internal affairs.

“The people that they're recruiting have
 no interest in fighting against ISIS (ISIL).
They’re strictly there to fight Assad,”
 Kelley says.


Western Interference in Middle East
 Resulted in EU Migrant Crisis
Sputnik - The current migrant crisis in Europe is
 the result of Western interference in countries'
 internal affairs, Czech President, Milos Zeman,
 says, on Sunday.

In recent months, Europe has faced the biggest
 movement of undocumented immigration in years,
 with thousands risking a sea journey to Europe --
 to flee violence in N Africa and the Middle East.

"The current wave of migration is rooted in the
crazy idea to invade Iraq, which allegedly had
 weapons of mass destruction, but nothing
was found,” Zeman says, in an interview
with the Czech newspaper, Blesk.

In March 2003, a US-led coalition which
 initially included the UK, Australia and
Poland, invaded Iraq, accusing its head,
 Saddam Hussein, of supporting terrorism
 and having weapons of mass destruction.

The international community’s desire to
 “restore order” in Libya & Syria resulted
 in the escalation of conflicts in both
countries, leading to people leaving
 their homes, Zeman states.

“It's not only the US who's to blame for
 this, because some EU member states
coordinated the operations against
 Libya,” Zeman says.

The president says he plans to speak at
 the UN General Assembly later this year,
 where he will suggest that the UN build
 military formations, to destroy terrorist
 training camps.


Canadian PM dissolves parliament,
calls election for October

Canadian PM Stephen Harper has asked Governor
 General, David Johnston, to dissolve the country’s
 parliament, as he calls new elections.

Harper started his re-election campaign at
Conservative rally in Montreal on Sunday.

 The elections will take place on October 19th.

 If Harper wins, he will be the first Canadian PM
 since Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1908, to win 4 terms.


Human Development Figures
            Do Not Leave Room for Satisfaction               
 The United Nations presents its report on
the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),
 which, instead of celebrating progress,
 suggests we all reflect on the sustained
suffering of millions of human beings.

The text challenges humanity in key areas,
such as the struggle against poverty and
 inequality, maternal and child heath, war
--- and environmental sustainability.

According to the UN, over one billion people
 abandoned abject poverty, between 1980 &
 2015 --- but 836 million are still living in that
condition, in a world with enough natural &
  financial resources, to beat the scourge.

Experts asked by news agency Prensa Latina,
 shortly after the report was presented, assert
 that a good start in this direction, would be to
 stop the huge military expenditure and spread
 to all, those new scientific and technological
 achievements, which are, too frequently, an
 exclusive privilege for large companies.

Although 57 million children are out of school,
 almost twice that figure were in the same
 situation, 15 years ago.

Also, regarding children, around 16,000 minors
 under six die daily, most of preventable causes,
 although the MDG reduced mortality there from
 90 to 43 per every 1,000 live births, taking the
 situation in 1990, as a reference point.

The head of data analysis of the United Nations
 Children's Fund (UNICEF), Holly Newby, says our
 children represent the future. Thus, they must
 constitute the central point of any global
development program.

Progress derived from the MDG is tremendous,
 but it's an unfinished task, she tells the media.

To Newby, it cannot be forgotten that six million
 children die every year, especially of avoidable
 causes --- one million of them die the same day
 they are born.

Since 1990, mothers' deaths during childbirth or
due to complications related to childbirth, fell by
 almost half, from 380 cases per every 100,000
 live births, to the current 210, which UNICEF
says, is still too high to leave us satisfied.

The report also shows that, in the last 25 years,
 2 billion human beings gained access to health
services: but in 2015, 2.4 billion people continue
 without proper living conditions, including those
 946 million people, who still defecate outdoors.

Newby also warns about the lack of water that
 affects 40% of the world's population and that
there's a tendency for this problem to increase.

Wu regrets that the planet is still affected by
 inequalities, such as gender inequality and
 the unequal progress in the struggle against
poverty and hunger --- among regions, and
 between the countryside and the cities.

In his opinion, wars and climate change,
 which affect the most vulnerable, and
thwart human development, have a
particularly cruel impact.

Wars pushed the number of displaced people
-- in 2014 -- to 60 million, the highest numbers
 since World War II (1939-1945), he explains.

The diplomat demands greater political will,
faced with the post-2015 agenda, planned
 to guarantee the continuity of the MDG.

The international community is designing a
new framework of sustainable development
 that should be adopted by heads of State
 and Governments, in September, during a
world summit, this year.


Church of England slams govt. over UK migrant crisis

The Church of England says David Cameron’s remarks
 on the plight of migrants struggling to enter the UK
 are devoid of human compassion.

“We’ve become an increasingly harsh world, and
 when we become harsh with each other & forget
our humanity, then we end up in these standoff
 positions,” says Bishop Rev Trevor Willmott:

 “We need to rediscover what it is to be a human,
and that every human being matters.”

On Thursday, Cameron described migrants trying
 to reach the UK as a swarm. He also pledged to
 introduce measures, such as: more sniffer dogs
 at Calais.

Reverend Willmott also calls on Cameron to
tone down his rhetoric and deal with the
problem in a non-hostile way.

“To put them all together in that very unhelpful
 phrase just categorizes people, and I think he
could soften that language – and that doesn’t
 mean not dealing with the issue. It means
 dealing with the issue in a non-hostile way.”

Writer and commentator, Joseph Ochieno,
 says the current migrant crisis is the result
of Western foreign policy around the world.

Meanwhile, the UK and France urge other
 EU nations to help address the root cause
 of the Calais migrant crisis.

According to the state-run BBC, French police
 have used pepper spray overnight --- to force
back a group of migrants who had cut through
 fencing at a Channel Tunnel terminal in Calais.

 It said a crowd of people near fencing shouted:
 "Open the border" before being pepper-sprayed.

Cameron’s recent comments drew international
 and domestic criticism. Apart from the United
 Nations migration official, UK politicians have
slammed the comment as indecent.

The deputy mayor of Calais also described
Cameron’s comments as racist.

Other campaign groups also voiced dismay
 about Cameron’s latest remarks.

Hundreds of migrants have tried to make it
into the undersea tunnel in recent weeks in
 the hope of finding a way onto a train or lorry
 headed for Britain. At least 10 migrants have
 died in attempting the journey, since June.


Ukraine's Rivne Region
 Might Start Uprising Against Kiev

Sputnik - Ukraine’s Rivne Region is on the brink
 of war with the Kiev government, says Yevhen
 Deidei, a Ukraine soldier who fought in Donbass
and who is also a member of parliament in the
Verkhovna Rada, reports TV Channel, Zvezda.

Local authorities are tired of the current
 government's criminal policy & are ready
 to take up arms to defend their rights,
 he says.

Rivne residents contacted Deidei, who arrived
 in the region to check the situation personally.
 He was horrified by what he saw: corruption
of government officials, & the poor economic
 situation of local residents, were widespread.

Under current circumstances, local residents
 have no other choice but to defend their rights
 with arms in hand. Rivne will soon become a
 "second Donbass", the Rada MP concludes.

If things get heated in Rivne, Ukraine won't
 be able to survive fighting on two fronts; the
 government will quickly crumble to pieces.

That's why something has to be done quickly
 to avoid a second military conflict in Ukraine.
The problem has to be "solved now --- and
 drastically," Deidei says.

Meanwhile, violence in Ukraine's southeast
continues, despite the February ceasefire
agreement signed by the representatives of
Kiev, and the people's republics of Donetsk
 and Lugansk, in Minsk.

Both sides accuse each other of violating
the ceasefire agreement.

According to UN estimates, fighting in
 eastern Ukraine, which began in mid-
April 2014, has killed over 6,500 people.


Russia should act more insistently
to see UN Charter observed, says MP
TASS - Russia should take more resolute action
 to see the UN Charter observed, so that the UN
 retains its major role in the world, the chair of
Russia’s committee for international affairs,
 Konstantin Kosachev, writes on his Facebook
 page, on Saturday.

He says Russia could fight "passively, when it
 has to use its right of veto, & actively - through
 putting forward its own initiatives, that are not
 so numerous, so far," the parliamentarian from
 the Federation Council, writes.

Kosachev accuses the US of trying to create
a system, in which, the US and its loyal allies,
 would be outside the UN's jurisdiction. He dubs
 an attempt to force through a draft resolution
 on a tribunal on the Malaysia Airlines MH17
 flight crash, as ‘dancing on the bones’...

He says, if international tribunals are to be
created under the UN Charter’s Chapter VII,
the first cases they should look into, are...

the NATO airstrikes on Belgrade in 1999,
the 'operation' by the US and its allies
against Iraq in 2003, in bypassing the
United Nations, and their disregard
for UN decisions on Libya, in 2011.


China Celebrates 88 Anniversary
              of Peoples Liberation Army Founding               

China celebrates the 88th Anniversary
 of the Chinese People's Liberation Army,
 (PLA), the armed defender of this great
nation, today.

China's Central Military Commission (CMC)
promoted 10 senior military & armed police
 officers to general --- the highest rank for
officers on active service in China.

At the promotion ceremony, President and
CMC Chair, Xi Jinping, presented the officers
 with certificates of command, shook hands
 with them & expressed his congratulations.

Other celebrations include: 80 soldiers who
held a group wedding to celebrate the 88th
 Anniversary of the Army.


         Sao Paulo Forum Defends Latin America          
The Working Group of the Sao Paulo Forum (SPF)
 is defining today an action plan to confront what
 they see as a right-wing attack on the continent.

Changes in Latin America Are Not
 Irreversible, Warns Expert

This forum started 25 years ago, and many
of its members lead governments in Latin
America, today.

The 4th Meeting of SPF Parliamentarians &
 "The arrival of women to political spheres in
 Latin America: situation and challenges in
the 21st century," will also be celebrated
during today's penultimate working event.

Today's agenda is a prelude for the final
stage, in which a plenary session of the
 forum will be held, to approve the action
 plan and reveal the 'Mexico Declaration'.

Several Forum member parties have won
 presidential elections in their countries,
but this has intensified right-wing attacks
 --- with aggressions ranging from ignoring
election results, to preparing judicial
and increasing media & economic
it is reported here.

Such procedures are being executed against
governments of Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador
 and Bolivia, whose representatives at the Sao
Paulo Forum exposed all these attempts
destabilizing their countries.

Prensa Latina suggests that in the action plan
 and the final statement, solidarity positions to
 these processes are defined, as well as other
aims, such as decolonization, (read Falklands)
and efforts to achieve a full integration of the
 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.


IS Terrorists Execute
              Over 3,000 Syrians in a Year               
More than 3000 Syrian citizens have been killed
 by Islamic State, since the terrorist organization
 proclaimed a 'Caliphate' in both Syria and Iraq's
 territories --- over a year ago.

The latest executions were reported in al-Bukamal
 village, in Deir Ezzor province, 575 kilometers east
 of Damascus, on Friday.

According to information released on social
 networks, 3 people were decapitated there
near Syria's border with Iraq, including one
woman accused of practicing witchcraft,
& 2 men, for an alleged religious offense.

NGOs monitoring the conflict, which has been
 hitting Syria since 2011, say that, among the
3,000 executions staged by the IS Jihadists,
1,809 of them are civilians, 76 are children,
 and 93, women.

The disclosed list also includes the execution
 of 930 civilians of the (Sunni) al-Shaitat tribe,
223 Kurds living in Aim al-Arab (Kobane) and
 Barj Botan villages, and 46 Al Mabojah city
residents belonging to diverse ethnic groups.

Many of those massacres were filmed by the
 armed extremists and later, the videos were
shown on Internet social networks.


Israeli regime, settlers face Palestinian
anger over killing of toddler

Various Palestinian factions are voicing outrage at
the recent death of a Palestinian infant in an arson
attack by Israeli settlers, and calling for action to
 stop the recurring settler acts of violence.

Eighteen-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha burned to
 death, as Israeli settlers threw incendiary objects
 at Palestinian houses in the village of Duma, south
 of Nablus, early on Friday. The baby’s parents and
his four-year-old brother, were also injured in the

The assailants came from the nearby settlement
of Ma’akeg Efraim, according to reports.

‘Israeli settlers, now legitimate targets’

The incident is sparking angry reactions from
many Palestinians, including their political &
resistance groups.

Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which
 is based in the Gaza Strip, declares that Israeli
 soldiers and settlers, will now be “legitimate
 targets for resistance.”

Hamas spokesperson, Hussam Badran,
 says popular action is needed to respond:

Israeli crimes, he says, can only be stopped
by “comprehensive resistance in all its forms.”

Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian resistance
 movement, says Israel's regime is responsible
 for the acts of terrorism by settlers.

“Settlers and the Israeli army’s terrorism will
be faced by a Palestinian will that does not
 accept surrender,” the group says.

The Fatah faction, based in the occupied West
 Bank, also calls the attack “cowardly,” & says
 Tel Aviv is to blame for the “disastrous crime”
 as it continuously engages in “incitement”
 against the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) also
 holds the Israeli regime responsible for the incident,
 blaming the acts of violence by Israeli settlers, on
 “decades of impunity” given by the Tel Aviv regime
 to them --- in spite of numerous acts of violence
 against Palestinians.

A people getting attacked on their own land

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs, Israeli settlers have carried
out at least 120 attacks on Palestinians in East al-
Quds (Jerusalem) and the West Bank, since the
 start of 2015.

The acts of violence often go unpunished despite
 the fact that Israeli soldiers are sometimes present
 at the scene of the attacks, strengthening a belief
 that the violence is condoned by the Israeli regime.

Over half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal
 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the
 Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
al-Quds in 1967.

The UN and most countries regard the Israeli
 settlements as illegal because the territories
were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and
are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions,
which forbid construction on occupied lands.


AIPAC trying to torpedo Iran
 nuclear agreement: Analyst

Israel is the primary impediment to world peace,
Brandon Martinez, political commentator, says.

Israel and its supporters in the United States are
 the primary impediments to global stability, and
 are spending billions of dollars to undermine the
 conclusion of the Iran nuclear talks, a political
 commentator in Toronto says.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee
(AIPAC), & the Zionist Organization of America
 (ZOA) are behind the relentless pressure on
the US Congress to vote against the recent
 nuclear accord with Iran, he stresses.

AIPAC & ZOA are the two leading pro-Israel
lobby groups in the US that “are frantically
opposed to the deal, and are completely
committed to torpedoing the deal, what-
ever the cost is,” Martinez says on Friday.

“They’re willing to spend millions, if not billions
 of dollars, to undermine this deal;-  they are
frantic, they are scared, they are very, very
worried, at this moment,” he adds.

“Israel has done everything in its power for
decades, to make sure that the West and the
 Islamic world are at odds with each other,
are at loggerheads, fighting and squabbling
against each other, so that Israel can rule
 the roost and carve out its emporium, while
 everybody else is distracted,” he says.

President Barack Obama has sought to build
political support beyond Washington, for the
 Iran nuclear agreement, urging thousands
of supporters from across the US, to push
 Congress to support the deal.

Obama said Thursday that opponents of the
 deal are spending millions of dollars in order
to sabotage it -- and try to start another war.

Iran and the P5+1 group -- the US, UK, France,
China, Russia & Germany -- reached a conclusion
 on a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
 on July 14 in the Austrian capital of Vienna, after
 days of intense talks on Tehran’s nuclear program.

AIPAC, the biggest Israeli lobby group in the US, is
 deploying hundreds of lobbyists on Capitol Hill, to
try to convince lawmakers to vote against JCPOA.

“This obviously reveals to the world that Israel &
 global Zionism, are the primary impediments to
 world peace & stability -- it’s not Iran.” he states.


Russia to deliver updated S-300
 missile system to Iran

Vladimir Kozhin, President Vladimir Putin’s
 aide on military and technical cooperation,
that Moscow is working to upgrade
the S-300 surface-to-
air missile defense
system it plans to deliver to Iran.

Vladimir Kozhin said on Thursday that Russia's
S-300 air defense system is to be modernized
 before being delivered to Iran, given the fact
the original contract was struck a long
time ago.

Last month, Yan Novikov, chief executive of the
Russian state arms producer, Almaz-Antey, said
all restrictions on S-300 deliveries to Tehran had
'now been removed.'

"All restrictions have been lifted by the political
 authorities. When there is a contract, we will
supply the system, including to Iran," he said.

On April 13, Putin signed a presidential decree
paving the way for the long-overdue delivery
of the missile defense system to Iran.

The decision to deliver the missile system came
 after Iran and the P5+1 group reached a mutual
 understanding on Tehran’s nuclear program, in
 the Swiss city of Lausanne, on April the 2nd.

Moscow banned the delivery of the S-300 system to
 Tehran in 2010 -- on the pretext that the agreement
it signed with Iran in 2007, was covered by a fourth
 round of the UN Security Council sanctions against
 the country over its nuclear program. The resolution
 bars hi-tech weapons sales to the Islamic Republic.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African
 Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on May 25th
 that all issues surrounding delivery of the S-300
 system to Iran were progressing well, adding that
 the defense system would be delivered to Iran at
 'the soonest opportunity possible.'


World War III will spell end of humanity: Russia

Amid growing tensions between Moscow & the
 West, a senior Russian lawmaker has slammed
 enemies for resorting to Cold War-era tactics &
 threatening his country: warning that the start
 of a 3rd world war, will spell doom for humanity.

Sergei Naryshkin, chairperson of the State Duma,
makes his remarks in an interview with Izvestia
 daily, published on Thursday, on the anniversary
 of Russia’s joining World War I on Serbia’s side,
 Russia Today reports.

“World War III would be the last for humanity...
and strengthening Russia’s defense potential,
 including the budgetary decisions passed by
the State Duma, is done only for one purpose,
 which is to prevent the war,” he says.

Pointing to Russia’s resolve to defend the
interests of its allies & “close people,” he
stresses that Moscow will not try to meet
this end by using military force, but via
“pressing for strict observation of
international law by others ---
and not by violating it.”

“Many military conflicts started with the silent
 connivance to the idea of 1 people’s superiority
 over others. In this sense the modern ideologies
of 'exceptionalism', are extremely dangerous,”
 Naryshkin states.

The top parliamentarian adds that the Kremlin has
 many allies around the world, even in the countries
 whose governments aren't friendly toward Moscow.

“We know that real public sentiments are different
 there, if EU countries had the opportunity to make
 independent decisions on anti-Russian sanctions,
 we would see a very different picture,” he says.

He highlights that the current crisis in Europe is
benefitting the US, as it's weakening EU nations
 and damaging their international reputation.

Relations between the West and Russia are at
their lowest point since the end of the Cold War
 in 1991 --- largely due to the crisis in Ukraine.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse Moscow of
 sending troops into east Ukraine, to support
 pro-Russian anti-US coup forces.

Moscow has long denied involvement.


Turkish Attacks Cause Death of
  190 Kurdish Guerrillas
190 members of the Workers Party of Kurdistan
 died due to attacks on their positions in Turkey
 and in northern Iraq --- as announced today by
 the digital version of the newspaper Hurriyet.

According to Hurriyet, Turkish intelligence says
 another 300 Kurdish guerrillas were wounded
 due to the bombing, justified by Ankara, by its
 need to 'defend national security'.

According to the report, the Turkish forces used
more than 70 warplanes, attacked 130 targets,
and destroyed 25 anti-aircraft artillery positions
 of the PKK.

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
 last week, launched military operations against the
 Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Kurds in northern Iraq.

The leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People's
 Party, Selahattin Demirtas, says the alleged fight
 of Turkey against terrorist groups, is a front for
 attacking the PKK and countering the Kurds...
with whom, Turkey maintains a historic dispute.

After the bombing started, the high command
of the guerrillas reported that the ceasefire
over 2 years ago, now, does not make
sense any more.

Tensions between the government & PKK
 undermined peace talks initiated in 2012,
and are now generating strong waves of
in Turkey.


US military self-aiming rifles
 hacked through Wi-Fi bug

Hackers have revealed a way to easily take
 over the controls of US smart rifles, which
have computerized scopes.

Security researchers have successfully hacked
 into the brains of a self-aiming sniper rifle that
was adopted by the US army a short while ago.

Hacking couple Runa Sandvik & Michael Auger
revealed a method to successfully manipulate
disable the computer controlling the scope
on these rifles.

The rifle’s Achilles heel lies within its Linux OS
 and Wi-Fi connection, which is used to stream
videos from the digital viewfinder onto laptops
 and other similar devices.

Once the Wi-Fi connection becomes active, a
default password shared on all rifles can be
 used by any user on the network to connect
 to the gun.

This potential vulnerability is used by
 hackers who take control of the rifle’s
computer and feed it inaccurate data.

"You can make it lie constantly to the user
so they'll always miss their shot," Sandvik
 is quoted as saying, by Wired.

The attacker is said to be capable of
choosing a completely new target
and still hitting the bull’s eye on it.

Hackers are also capable of permanently
changing variables like wind velocity, and
 even the type and the weight of the bullet
 the gun is loaded with --- without arousing
 the user’s suspicion.

The attackers may also permanently lock
the owner out of the rifle, by defining a
new PIN code.

The wireless attack however does not end here
 as the attacker can simply lock the trigger and
 then disable the whole computer --- which will
render the $13,000 rifle useless.

Almost a year into its launch, the manufacturing
 company, TrackingPoint, has sold more than a
 thousand of these smart rifles, to US civilians.

The United States army was also set to take
these weapons into service and acquired a
number of them for testing purposes in 2014:
but no additional info is being released to the
 public, in this regard.


Lockheed Martin's F-35 humiliated
by aircraft from 1980s

A five-page brief written by an unnamed test pilot
 reveals that the highly expensive project suffers
 from serious design flaws, that result in energy
 losses and limited maneuverability in dogfights.

According to the document obtained by War Is Boring,
 in a test that was conducted on January 14, near the
 Edwards Air Force Base in California, two F-35A and
 F16D fighter jets. took each other on, in a mock air

The dogfight was specifically designed to test F35’s
 effectiveness in a close-range air battle, where the
 modern aircraft would perform extreme maneuvers
order to target and “shoot down” the F-16, whose
 pilot was assigned to evade the attack, and to 'kill'
 the JSF.

However, it didn’t go as planned and the F-16,
 despite carrying extra fuel tanks to limit its
 maneuverability, came out victorious and
'humiliated' the modern fighter.

In an instance where the F-35 fighter was able
 to defeat its aging opponent, it lost much more
 energy than expected as a result of maneuvers
 exercised by the pilot.

The cockpit also had a faulty design and limited
 the pilot’s viewing range which let the F-16 sneak
 up on the F-35 from behind, without being seen
 quickly enough.

The extent of problems with the fancy fighter
 jet is so vast, that even US military officials
not hide their disappointment.

US Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James
 said earlier this week that the JSF is costing
 more than they had “ever imagined possible.”

“People believed we could go faster, cheaper,
& better” but the strategy “has not worked as
 well as we'd hoped -- and that’s probably the
 understatement of the day,” Secretary James

F-35, a developing project by Lockheed Martin
Corp that has been going on for fifteen years, is
 said to be the highest costing weapon in the
history of the US military, with a fleet of over
2400 units planned to be manufactured
with an estimated cost of over $400 billion.

The Pentagon has set aside another $1 trillion
 to maintain and operate the Joint Strike Fighter
program over the course of its lifetime, as stated
 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).


China, Russia to hold joint military drills
 in Sea of Japan

China and Russia are set to hold joint military
exercises in the airspace and waters of the
Sea of Japan as part of the growing defense
 cooperation between the two countries.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson, Yang
 Yujun, told reporters in Beijing, on Thursday,
 that an eight-day drill will be conducted on
August 20-28 in the Peter the Great Gulf and
 other areas off the Russian coast.

The areas of the drills are located close to
where the borders of Russia, China and
 North Korea come together.

Yang said the exercise will include training
 in air defense, anti-submarine and surface
warfare, and landings.

Beijing will send seven naval ships along
with fighter jets and other aircraft, Yang
said, adding that China's naval contingent
 will also include a destroyer and a frigate.

According to the Chinese Defense Ministry
 spokesperson, Russia's fleet will include
submarines, surface vessels, and fixed-
wing aircraft.

The senior Chinese official also said
both sides will dispatch ship-borne
helicopters and marines.

Yang added that a key objective of
 the military exercises is to "further
enhance their capabilities of jointly
 coping with maritime security

China and Russia conducted their first
 joint naval exercises in Mediterranean
 and European waters in the Black Sea,
 in May.
Beijing & Moscow have already intensified
 cooperation in the political, economic and
 military spheres.

On May 8th, President Xi Jinping, during
 a meeting at the Kremlin with his Russian
 counterpart Vladimir Putin, agreed to invest
billions of dollars in the Russian economy.

Moscow is seeking to diversify its markets
 amid US-led Western sanctions against
 Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

China and Russia have been holding naval drills
 in Pacific waters since 2012 as the US moved to
 step up military cooperation with regional allies.

The latest drills could irk Japan due to the
fact that the relationship between Beijing
& Tokyo is strained by a territorial dispute.

Last week, Japan claimed that China has
put 16 drilling rigs close to its maritime
border with Japan in the East China Sea,
claiming Beijing could exploit undersea
reserves over which the two neighbors
 are at loggerheads.

Yang has dismissed Tokyo's claims, saying
 that Japan is exaggerating the 'threat' of
 China, in the Pacific region.

"The purpose of the Japanese accusation
 against China is to create and play up the
China threat theory," Yang said, adding it
provides Japan with "an excuse" for new
 'defense' legislation.

Japan's lawmakers from the lower house
 of parliament have recently approved new
controversial defense laws letting Japan's
 soldiers fight alongside allies, when under


Defense Secretary: Deal Imposes
 No Limits on US Attacking Iran

antiwar.com - again, seeking to reassure the
 Senate Armed Services Committee that the
deal won’t bar a potential US attack on
 Iran, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today
 insists the deal has “no limits” to US attacks,
 and that the US has such a “robust” amount
 of military force in the area, that they could
 hit anywhere in Iran, at any time.
Carter has repeatedly talked up the idea of the
 US following the nuclear deal with a unilateral
 military strike on Iran for an unspecified reason,
 and presented the notion multiple times in the
 week after the deal’s announcement, during
 which he visited Israel and sought to assure
them, that war is still 'in the works'.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Martin Dempsey
 appeared to talk back on the notion of a sudden
 attack, however, declaring in his own testimony
 how a US attack on Iran will be “an act of war,”
while going to great lengths to avoid taking a
position on the wisdom of launching such a war.
Dempsey and other officials also presented, as
part of the narrative on the deal, that it makes
 war less likely, as a plus for the administration,
 but this doesn’t seem to be sitting well with
 many in Congress, for whom a massive new
 war... is an end unto itself.


                Africa Demands a UNSC Permanent Seat               
 Prensa Latina - President of the African Union
 Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, today,
demands US support for the African continent
to have
a permanent seat on the UN Security

There is a longstanding unfairness that must
corrected in the United Nations. Africa is
the only
continent that is not represented on
that UN body,
says Dlamini Zuma.

"We are aware that this is no one-member
but we are asking all members
to support us to
secure the correction of
that longstanding
unfairness," she adds.


Turkey Promises to Continue
            Anti ISIS, Kurd Guerrilla Operations               
 Turkey''s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today
promises to continue military operations in Syria
 against the terrorist Islamic State (IS).... and in
 northern Iraq, against the Kurdistan Workers'
Party (PKK).

In a press conference shortly before leaving
for China, the president said that "they will
not step back in their fight against terrorism,
 and it is a process that will continue with
 the same determination."

With those statements, Erdogan refers to the
 bombings that started few days ago, against
IS positions in Syria, and the PKK in northern
 Iraq, with the argument of guaranteeing, in
that way, national security.

However, accusations have arisen lately,
 stating that these attacks have also hit
Kurdish populations in Syria, something
 being denied by Turkey's authorities.

For its part, the opposition accuses the
Justice and Development Party (AKP)
 provisional government of trying to lead
 the country into a war and to sow chaos.


              Bombing in Yemen Stops Humanitarian Truce               
 New bombing by an alliance led by Saudi Arabia
 confirms the abort (before starting) of a five-day
 humanitarian truce scheduled for last Sunday.

The media reported fierce air strikes against
Anand air base, in the southern Lahj province,
occupied by the Ansar Allah movement and
troops loyal to ex president Saleh, and zones
near Aden, the country's second largest

Shortly before, fighters from the alliance of
11 Islamic Conference Organization member
nations mistakenly fired at tribal militias and
soldiers loyal to president Abd Rabu Mansur
Hadi, exiled in Saudi Arabia for the last few
 months, and left 15 dead and tens of injured.

Fighters in Aden deny statements made by
 Mansur Hadi's followers last week -- about
 their control of that city, where government
 officials have arrived to re-establish basic
services and to deliver food and medicine.

Sources in this capital close to the Houthis
report attacks on Sabr and Jaawala cities,
both in the south, & Maarib province, east
 of Yemen's capital, but they are not able
to provide any further details.

The truce, declared by the alliance
unilaterally, had few posibilities of
surviving ---
since the Houthi leader, 
Abdelmalik El Huti,
warned he had
not been contacted by the UN,
inform him about the truce and its


Turkish Government Accused of
Promoting War in the Country

 The leader of the Democratic People''s Party,
 Selahattin Demirtas, today accuses the ruling
 Justice and Development Party (AKP), of
promoting a war in Turkey through its mass
 raids and bombings in neighboring nations.

"An acting Government with an acting prime
 minister is leading the country step by step
to a civil war, a regional war," says Demirtas.

In June's elections, the AKP, which had ruled
 by majority since 2002, was forced to begin
 talks with other parties, but they have not
reached a concensus yet and, in the mean-
time, the previous Executive is performing
 as a 'provisional' executive.

With regard to the recent Turkish Air Force
bombings in Syria and Iraq, and the internal
raids --- with hundreds detained --- Demirtas
considers this as a strategy thought out by
the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and
 implemented by the prime minister, Ahmet
 Davutoglu, to create chaos in Turkey.

According to the politician, the AKP pretends
to take advantage of this manufactured crisis
 to stay in power --- despite losing its majority
 in the elections.

"The AKP is a party that is in corruption up to
 its neck -- and it is irascibly looking for a way
return to government again," Hurriyet, the
daily newspaper,
quotes Demirtas saying.

A terrorist attack in Suruc locality, on the border
 with Syria, killed 32 activists just a few days ago,
 causing waves of tension and violence in Turkey.


Explosion Hits Turkey’s Pipeline,
Halts Flow of Natural Gas from Iran

Unidentified persons attacked a pipeline carrying
 natural gas from Iran to Turkey in Turkey’s eastern
 province of Agri late on Monday evening, halting
 the flow.


Yemeni Army, PC Destroy Saudi Bases in Jizan
As Ansarullah Gains more Support

The Yemeni army and fighters of the Popular
 Committees (PC) hit 2 military bases in Jizan,
Southern Saudi Arabia, in retaliation for the
continued airstrikes of Riyadh government's
 on Yemen.

"The Yemeni army and popular committees
 destroyed al-Mamout and al-Radif military
bases in Jizan of Saudi Arabia," Yemen's
 defense ministry states, on Tuesday.

The editor of the Yemeni weekly al-Massar
writes on his Facebook page that Yemen's
 army and the Committees have destroyed
over 200 vehicles of the Saudi army since
 the start of the Saudi aggression against
 Yemen on March 26th.

On Sunday, the national Yemeni army seized
 back control over about 12 military bases in
the Southern parts of Yemen, after heavy
 clashes with Al-Qaeda militants and forces
loyal to fugitive president Mansour Hadi.

The Yemeni forces also won back 10 military
 bases from militants' control, in the town of
Mudiyah in Abyan province, Southern Yemen.

Moreover, tens of al-Qaeda militants and gun-
men loyal to fugitive President Abed-Rabbu
Mansour Hadi were killed in heavy clashes
 with the Yemeni forces.

In a similar development on Saturday, Yemeni
 forces seized back 10 other military bases in
Lawdar, in Abyan province.

Meantime, sources announced that the Yemeni
 army and the popular committees hold over 80
 Al-Qaeda terrorists captive in Aden province.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 125
days to restore power to Hadi, who stepped down
 in January and refused to reconsider the decision.

In another achievement, sixteen Yemeni political
 parties voiced their support, late on Monday, for
 Ansarullah movement in its fight against terror,
 and urged the powerful group to find "strategic
 options" to counter Saudi aggression against
 their country.

In a statement released Monday, 16 Yemeni
 parties express full support for Ansarullah’s
 leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, calling on the
movement to explore "strategic options" to
counter a brutal Saudi military aggression
against Yemen.

They also voiced support for the Yemeni army
troops & fighters of allied Popular Committees
--- who are engaged, alongside the Ansarullah
fighters, in heavy battles with Al-Qaeda-linked
 Takfiri terrorists and militants loyal to fugitive
 former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The United Nations has lately declared its highest-
level humanitarian emergency in Yemen, as Saudi
Arabia continues its deadly airstrikes against the
 impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen since March
 26th to bring fugitive president Abed-Rabbu Mansour
Hadi back into power.

The airstrikes have so far claimed the lives of more
 than 5,302 civilians, mostly women and children.


Syria, Kurdish forces push ISIL
 out of Hasakah: Report

Syrian government forces & Kurdish fighters
 have pushed the IS terrorists from the north-
eastern city of Hasakah, says the so-called
 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights'.

ISIL Takfiri group “was expelled by the army'
 from Zuhur, the last district in which it was
in Hasakah,” Rami Abdel Rahman,
director of the
London-based group says.

He says militants belonging to the terrorist group
 “have been pushed to the southern outskirts of
 the city.”

The victory was achieved after over a month of
fighting in the city between Syrian government

forces and Kurdish fighters on the one side, &
 the Takfiri terrorists on the other.

A Syrian military source adds that Syrian army
 forces killed over 500 gunmen in the process
of clearing the city from Takfiri militants.

The source highlights the contribution of Kurdish
 forces to the victory, as they backed the Syrian
army in cutting the militants’ supply routes.

According to the source, Syrian army forces
 are now demining the city.

A local Kurdish commander said at least 15
villages around Hasakah are 'uninhabitable'
now, due to the mines laid by terrorists.

Last month, ISIL terrorists began their assault
 on Hasakah, before capturing a number of its
 neighborhoods and forcing the evacuation of
many of its residents.

The conflict in Syria, which started in March 2011,
 has reportedly claimed over 230,000 lives, so far.

Violence has also forced over 3.8 million Syrians
 to take refuge in neighboring countries, including
 Jordan and Lebanon. More than 7.2 million others
 have been displaced within Syria, according to
the United Nations.


Syrian Kurds: Turkish Forces