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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.
100% CERTAIN 9/11 WAS MOSSAD OPERATION
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 remained intentionally unresponsive in order to make war against 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 under 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 newsone.com
The World Trade Center collapse appeared similar to a controlled demolition. Many speculate that the towers were in fact blown down with explosives placed in selected locations. Some witnesses heard explosions inside the building as they attempted to escape. Many architects & scientists maintain that plane fuel couldn't produce enough heat to melt the steel frame of the buildings that collapsed, reports newsone.com
WESTERN MEDIA LIES LEAD TO WAR
Article by Finian Cunningham.
100 years ago, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in the Bosnian 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 with 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 revanchist.
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 "interference".
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.
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 objectives:
- 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 industry);
- 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 players.
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 achievements.
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 empire.
US "A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE"
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, by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 33% of registered voters name Obama as the worst president since 1945.
28% choose his predecessor, George W. 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 to 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 is that Kennedy asked Khrushchev to "cut him some slack" and withdraw the missiles without reference 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 and a huge amount of State Department scheming and 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 government 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 criminals!
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 going to hurt you, the EU asks?
Germany has a growing discord there over the 70 year occupation of Germany by US forces - we see demonstrations - Yankees go home! Europe 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 acts of the Kyiv Junta's ex facto war crimes/ 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, electrical installations and sanitary plants destroyed by shelling. The shooting of women and children leaving the region for shelter in Crimea, by bus. The execution style killing of civilians in a town by Junta forces, who lined the people up and shot them in the back of their heads. The use of chemical weapons 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 others.
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 to 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 feet 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 turned his back on another renewal of a 10- day 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 that 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 the 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 their 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.
Urgent appeal: Message from Slavyansk
Igor Strelkov makes an urgent appeal to the international community as western-backed Ukrainian forces slaughter Russian-speaking citizens, strafing women and children with military hardware.
Washington, Paris and London look on and continue to support the Ukrainian government. A massacre is taking place, the west is dancing with the Devil.
Urgent Appeal by Igor Strelkov, July 4, 2014
I would like to make a short statement with respect to what is happening around Slavyansk. With respect to what is happening here. And, well, to make an appeal, if you will.
Yesterday, the enemy completely surrounded Nikolayevka. The enemy shelled the city in the fiercest possible way, using all types of weapons. Using heavy MLRS systems, howitzers, mortars, tanks, APCs. The destruction is enormous. It is simply impossible to determine the numbers of casualties, because nothing works in the city now.
Our units that are in Nikolayevka at this moment continue the battle in complete encirclement. We have no communications with them.
Nikolayevka has been completely cut off from Slavyansk. At this very moment, a large enemy column of armoured vehicles is moving toward Semyonovka from the south, along the Kharkov- Rostov highway. At the same time, the enemy is continuing uninterrupted artillery shelling of the city and of Semyonovka.
Yesterday, the Nikolayevka Thermal Power Plant was destroyed to the ground and set on fire.
To put it bluntly, we are dealing here with unconcealed genocide. In other words, to break the resistance of the Militia, the enemy is using all the available types of weaponry against the civilian population.
Naturally, seeing the destruction and the death of the civilian population, militiamen are starting to lose the will to continue fighting.
I would like to say to you that, in Slavyansk, there is not one Chechen, not one mercenary. There is not a single person here who did not come of their own good will. If, before, 90% of the fighters were local, now the ratio is 95%.
Out of the entire garrison, there are maybe several dozen people who came from Russia. The majority, the overwhelming majority are citizens of Ukraine. Among them, the overwhelming majority are Donbass residents.
These are people who consciously took up arms to defend their homes, their families, their Motherland. To defend their language and their culture. To defend Russia. Because these people never separated from her. They consider themselves Russian. They want to live in Russia.
This right was taken from them a long time ago. And now, when they tried to restore this right, Russia does not want to help them reunite with their people, with their big Russian family.
It is difficult to understand and accept, that, over three months (it will soon be three months since we arrived in Slavyansk to help the local population defend their rights), that, over these three months, no real help has arrived.
I do not claim that Russia does not help. A huge stream of humanitarian cargo, equipment, uniforms, comes to us through private channels. But, that, which we desperately need, does not, at this time, arrive.
Please understand, that even if we get two tanks, four, even ten tanks, five-six artillery pieces, even if a plane flies here once, this will have no impact whatsoever. Over the course of the ceasefire, the Ukrainian army performed a full mobilization and concentration of forces.
Over sixty heavy artillery pieces are pointed a t Semyonovka and at Slavyansk at this time. At Kramatorsk. Two dozen MLRS systems, including Grad, Uragan and Smerch Heavy mortars. All of them are pointed here.
The enemy has so much ammunition - I did not see so much in Chechnya. In our time, we did not have so many shells. And the entire set of this artillery is shelling us without a stop. The supply columns are coming in continuously. They are transferring in more equipment.
Kharkov diligently repairs a dozen and a half armoured vehicles a day. We hit one or two armoured vehicles a day. No more than that. The enemy is able to grow its forces faster than it expends them. Not just faster - much faster.
If Russia is not able to secure an immediate termination of fire and the execution of a truce, or if it does not step in with its armed forces to protect us, to protect the Russian people that reside here, who are a part of the Russian nation, we will be exterminated.
We will be exterminated in the course of a week, two weeks at most. And Slavyansk will be the first to be exterminated, together with its still- numerous population. Over thirty thousand civilians are still left here.
I am being asked to take on the responsibility for their death. And for the death of the Militia brigade under my command. We are ready to fight. We are ready to die. But we do not want to die senselessly, burying beneath the ruins of the city of those people who believed in us.
Some believe that I am panicking, that I am nervous. Yes, I am nervous. Every day, my soldiers are dying. The hospitals are overflowing with wounded. It is very difficult to see children without legs, torn apart by exploding shells.
We will continue to fight. But we desperately need help.
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 one 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.
You will not hear much or anything about it from the 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 legislature.
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 billion from France's biggest bank --- for doing business with countries disapproved of by Washington.
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 of 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.
Washington's puppet in Kiev makes it clear --- that he is not going to accommodate any Russian interests or any opposition of the Ukraine's provinces, to the radical anti- Russian policies of Washington's stooge government.
As Washington acknowledges no responsibility whatsoever for the situation, how long can Putin wait for Merkel or Hollande to break ranks with Washington?
Putin's alternative is to come to the defense of the Ukrainians who are being attacked. Putin could accept the requests of the rebellious provinces to rejoin Russia, as he did with Crimea, declare Washington's stooge, Petro Poroshenko, to be a war criminal and issue a warrant for his arrest, and send in the Russian military to face down the forces sent by Kiev.
Outside the West, this would establish Putin as a defender of human rights. Inside the West, it would make it completely clear to Washington's European vassals that the consequence of their alignment with Washington is that they will be drawn into a war with Russia and, likely, also with China. Europeans have nothing to gain from these wars.
Sooner than later Putin needs to realize that his reasonableness is not reciprocated by Washington. Washington is taking advantage of Putin's reasonableness, and Washington is pushing Russia harder.
Putin has done what he can to avoid conflict. Now he needs to do the right thing, as he did in Georgia and Crimea.
Paul Craig Roberts
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 (ICAO)."
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 itwas "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 nukes"?
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 British prime minister whose effort to have Parliament approve Britain's participation with Washington in a military attack on Syria was 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 Washington 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 fact was inconsistent with Washington's agenda and was ignored by both the US government 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 nonstop, calling for an expert non-politicized investigation, 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 being placed on Russia long in advance of real information suggests that the downing of the airliner was 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, this 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 have 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 whetherthis 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 is 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 the 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 war?
The reason that the US Constitution requires war to begin with a declaration of war by Congress is to prevent the executive branch from orchestrating 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 the go-ahead for a 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 is 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.
Russian President Putin’s bet that by responding to Washington’s aggression in Ukraine in an unprovocative and reasonable manner, would 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 and 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 to 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 p roblem with which Washington has presented him in Ukraine while he still can, Washington’s next step will be to unleash its hundreds of NGOs inside Russia to denounce Putin as a traitor for abandoning the 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 mistakes.
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, the 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 remove Russia as a restraint on US hegemony --- with a preemptive nuclear attack.
It is almost certain that Obama is being told that 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 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, that Putin’s aggression in Ukraine is comparable to Stalin’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and that the Russian threat was not limited to Ukraine or 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 Yemen, 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 so 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 Washington.
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 is their responsibility to stop their enabling of Washington’s aggression or to accept their 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.
WHY RUSSIA REFUSES WAR
Two thirds of Russians say in the latest poll that they are against sending troops to Ukraine, despite the latest US' moves.
WHY EU LEADERS ARE FOLLOWING US SANCTIONS TO HURT RUSSIA
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 Andrianov.
“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 Europe 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. Meanwhile, 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 believes.
“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, the Deputy Director of Russia's Academy of Sciences 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 video above shows a mob of about 50 men in Kiev, attacking one of the few news outlets left which Kiev does not control. A legal case has dragged on for months, threatening its closure.
The US and UK say that the US-backed Kiev coup, is a "people's revolution"...
we say it's fascism.
LATEST NEWS ON SATURDAY
European Council Favors Application of Ceasefire in Ukraine
The European Council states that it favours the immediate application of the ceasefire in the southeast of Ukraine, and also considers as necessary, the holding of legislative elections scheduled for Sunday.
A communique by the European Council, which unites leaders of all 28 States of the EU, defends putting into practice what was stipulated in the protocol signed on September the 5th, and the memorandum on September the 19th, in Minsk.
The documents refer to a cessation of hostilities in Lugansk & Donetsk, where the regular army and the Ukrainian National Guard launched a cruel offensive in April, that resulted in over 3,500 dead people, mostly civilians.
The statement by the European Council, also refers to the need to comply with the creation of a separation area between the forces and the holding of parliamentary elections in the whole territory of the former Soviet republic.
Ukrainian troops have bombed residential areas in Donetsk city in recent days --- violating the truce agreed in September.
Rousseff''s Re-election Means Opting for a Better Brazil, Lula Says
The re-election of President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday, means avoiding the return of Brazil to the past, and continuing the process of social improvement, says the former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Lula da Silva stresses that Rousseff represents the Brazilian people, as the candidate of the Social Democracy (BSDP), while Aécio Neves, represents the interests of the bankers.
He warns of the contempt of the Brazilian elite towards the poor of this nation, who are the majority, and he says the elite do not want the government of the Workers Party (PT) or the current president to remain in power and daily improve the citizens' quality of life.
The oligarchy rejects all social achievements gained over the last 12 years --- the idea that the poor occupy new public spaces, travel by plane, or walk now, with their heads held high, Lulu says.
The former president condemns the BSDP candidate for disrespect towards the head of State, in recent television discussions, and wonders what Brazil will be like, ruled by such an irresponsible person.
Lula also notes that the bankers' candidate was upset because he called him "daddy's boy", yet called Rousseff "frivolous" last week.
To give good treatment and respect towards a woman and a head of State, is a matter of education and good social behaviour, adds 'Lula'.
Lula da Silva also blameS the UK magazine, The Economist, for publishing an article in which it bets on a Neves' victory at the polls, in order to 'ensure the growth of the Brazilian economy'.
"Recently a magazine called The Economist had the nerve to publish a story calling on people to vote for Aecio (Neves). Is this magazine stupid? If bankers want to vote for Aecio, go vote for him --- but Dilma is the people's candidate," he concludes.
SOUTH AMERICA LEADING SOCIALISM NOW
Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa, says that the world order is not only unfair, but also immoral.
Everything is aimed at serving the interests of the most powerful, he says, in a lecture fostered by the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
Correa questions the current power relations, which have unleashed the emergence of a world where capital and merchandise mobility are more liberalized every time, yet the mobility of human beings... is criminalized.
He also says that neocolonial models persist, affecting the developing nations, with examples such as the Agreement on Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments, which gives priority to the rights of the capital, and favors any transnational's ability to take a sovereign State to court.
According to the president, this organization should be changed, to build a world where the welfare of human beings comes first, rather than the interests of capital.
He says that the integration taking place in Latin America is essential, as a way for countries to be able to defend themselves from neocolonialism, and the unfair world order.
Correa also refers to the development model implemented in Ecuador, during the People's Revolution that began in 2007, based on what he describes as "modern socialism".
Israeli troops, Palestinians clash near West Bank city of Ramallah
Fresh clashes have erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters, who were furious about the recent death of a Palestinian teenager at the hands of Israeli troops.
The skirmishes broke out in Silwad village, north of the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Saturday, a day after Orwah Hammad, 14, was shot in the head there.
The Israeli army says that the youth, who was a US citizen, was about to throw a petrol bomb at Israeli motorists.
“The forces fired immediately to neutralize the danger...and confirmed a hit,” says an army spokesperson.
Also on Friday, Israeli police in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) fired tear gas to disperse stone- throwing Palestinian protesters.
Clashes have been taking place every night after Israelis said a driver, identified as Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, rammed his car into a rail- way stop in al-Quds, killing a baby girl and injuring eight others on Wednesday. He later died of injuries sustained from the Israeli troops' gunfire.
The Tel Aviv regime claims that the incident was deliberate, but the family of the 21-year- old, say it was an accident.
Israeli media also reports clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces in al-Quds’ Silwan neighborhood on Saturday, ahead of the upcoming funeral of al-Shaludi.
The timing of his funeral has been set by Tel Aviv, which has also said that a maximum of 80 people can attend the ceremony, Israeli Radio reports. The teenager’s funeral is also set to be held on Sunday.
Syrian troops recapture majority of key town in central area
The Syrian army on Thursday recaptured the vast majority of a strategic town in the central province of Hama, after battles with armed militant groups, Syria's national TV reports.
Syrian government forces wrested control over the vast majority of the key town of Mork in the northern countryside of Hama, as part of the military's ongoing offensive to dislodge rebels from Hama's northern countryside, says the TV report.
It adds that Syrian troops are "hunting down" the remnants of the armed rebels in the town.
A military officer says on condition of anonymity that the military operation in the Hama countryside is aimed at protecting Hama city & Muhardeh town --- where an important power station is located.
The operation will also prevent the "terrorists" from expanding their presence to the Syrian coast or the international road that connects the southern part of Syria with the coastal and northern regions.
Meanwhile, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV says that Syrian troops have fully recaptured Mork, while the oppositional Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a watchdog group, says the town has seen "violent clashes" in the past few hours.
The pro-government Sham FM radio cites sources from the town as saying that the militant groups in Mork sent distress calls to their comrades in nearby areas to back them against a crushing offensive by the Syrian army.
The al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other like- minded groups captured the town in February after capturing checkpoints at its entrances.
The Syrian air force has responded by striking the town several times, then by unleashing a wide-scale offensive in the northern country- side of Hama, in recent months.
IRAQ AND IRAN UNITING TO BEAT IS
Iran's former President and the present Chair of Iran's Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, says that cooperation among Muslim states, particularly between Iran and Iraq, is a requirement under the current regional and global circumstances, Fars news agency reports.
Iraq's full security & national sovereignty are Iran's best wishes, Rafsanjani says, in a meeting with the new Iraqi PM, Abadi.
The Islamic republic is ready to cooperate at all levels with its neighboring state. Rafsanjani says.
Abadi says Iraq has always believed in Iran as a reliable neighbour. He urges the promotion of Iran- Iraq ties in economic, cultural and political fields, saying that bilateral relations are rooted in their common culture and history.
On Tuesday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the Islamic republic now fully supports the new Iraqi government, the local media reports.
The current situation in Syria and in Iraq is the result of the "irresponsible policies" of some trans-regional powers and regional countries, Khamenei said, in a meeting with the Iraqi prime minister, Tasnim news agency reports.
Khamenei says Iraq's people and government are well capable of dealing with the security problems in the country and have no need to re-establish security with the help of foreign countries.
He describes Iraq as a "great, important and influential country in the region" and gives Iran's decisive support for the new government in Iraq.
The Iraqi leader, in turn, appreciates the support offered by the Islamic republic, in Iraq's fight against terrorism, and says he's pleased to be visiting Iran on his first official trip abroad, after forming Iraq's new government.
The final approval of Iraq's new government is seen as a major step forward in Iraq, where an average of over 1,000 people die in daily violence across the country, and in battles with the Islamic State militant group, an al-Qaida offshoot.
Four Blackwater mercenaries found guilty of killing Iraqi civilians
A federal jury in the USA, has found four former Blackwater security guards guilty of shooting over thirty unarmed Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007.
Nicholas Slatten was convicted of first-degree murder and the other three guards -- Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard -- were found guilty of at least three counts of voluntary manslaughter.
The jury said they acted wildly on September 16th, 2007, leaving 14 people dead (some sources say 17 people died) and 20 injured. The incident also triggered international criticism over the role of security contractors.
The four were convicted on about 30 charges.
Slatten faces a life sentence for murder, while the other three, convicted of manslaughter, could face 30 years in prison.
District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth allowed the jury to announce the verdicts, issued after a 10-week trial and 28 days of deliberation.
Prosecutors said Slatten viewed killing Iraqis as “payback for 9/11” and often “deliberately fired his weapon to draw out return fire and instigate gun battles”. The prosecutors also said that Slatten smashed the windscreens of passing cars, in Baghdad.
Blackwater Worldwide, known as Academi now, and based in McLean, Virginia, is the most notorious private security firm that operated in Iraq.
Iraqis believe that the US military allowed Blackwater mercenaries to commit many war crimes --- with impunity.
ISIL terrorist leader is CIA agent: Chechen president
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov says the ISIL terrorist group's leader, Ibrahim Samarrai, who is known by the alias Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, works for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and is supported by western secret services' cash.
"Baghdadi should take off his mask and declare loudly and clearly that he is a CIA agent, that he has been recruited,” Kadyrov says, adding:
“They (the ISIL militants) are Shaitans (devils) and their sole obsession is to grab as much money as they can lay their hands on. They are acting on orders from the West and are deliberately exterminating Muslims.”
The Chechen leader calls on Samarrai to confess to his atrocities, including the massacre of Muslims.
“He must openly confess that he is killing his brothers in faith, to apologize to his co- religionists and disband his gang."
Kadyrov states that the western secret services have helped the terrorists by 'all possible means'.
He also warns those Chechens who join ISIL Takfiris, that they wont be allowed to return to their homeland.
ISIL terrorists currently control swathes of territory across Syria and Iraq. They've been committing horrific crimes there, including mass executions and beheadings.
A US Intelligence report published in June, said 12,000 militants from 81 nationalities have joined ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
Crisis in Ukraine stems from Western attempts to move division lines eastwards — Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blames the West for the Ukraine crisis because of its attempts to move the Euro-Atlantic division lines eastwards.
“The Ukrainian crisis is a direct effect of attempts by our Western counterparts, to preserve and move to the east, division lines in the Euro-Atlantic space,” he says at a meeting with members of the Youth Civic Chamber, on Wednesday.
“We are against such attempts. We do not wish confrontation, but we shall be firm in defending our interests and doing what we deem right on the basis of international law. We believe that this is the optimal way of ensuring Russia’s interests," Lavrov says.
He warns against unilateral steps in handling the world's problems:
“The world today is getting polycentric and multipolar,” Lavrov says. “We are witnesses to soaring competition in various spheres.
“The awareness of this truth should serve as a warning against attempts by one group of countries to dictate solutions to others. This has not been eradicated yet.”
In a situation where there must be a common approach, we see unilateral steps undermining the success of our solutions,” Lavrov says.
“Over the past few years we have been able to see what this leads to. There was aggression against Yugoslavia, illegal intervention in Iraq, and the bombardments of Libya. Now we can see that, in Syria.”
Official suggests extending law on special status to more areas in eastern Ukraine
The head of eastern Ukraine's Luhansk region, has asked the Ukrainian parliament to extend the law on self-rule status, to other areas out of Kiev’s control.
Gennady Moskal has asked Ukraine's parliament to extend the law on the special status of Donbass to other districts in territories held by Ukraine's government forces, but which are, in fact, out of Ukraine’s control.
He says the authorities of 129 towns and villages in the region, have taken the side of the militia during the conflict.
Moskal has sent a list to Ukraine's parliamentary chairperson, naming all the districts, cities, towns and villages that need special self-government status, the region’s website says.
"All of these localities are in Ukraine-controlled territory, but it is impossible to hold meetings of the district, city or village councils. There are no mayors or village heads. All of them have fled to Russia, or are members of the militia," the governor says.
Since local governments cannot perform their direct functions, Moskal says it is necessary to re-elect, or reset them.
There are 2 territorial entities in the region. One is the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, headed by Igor Plotnitsky, and the other is the Luhansk region, headed by Gennady Moskal, who was approved by Petro Poroshenko’s decree on September 18th.
The law on special self-government status for districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions came into effect on October 18th and stays in force for three years.
The decree, approved by Ukraine's Duma, guarantees that Donbass' people will not be persecuted by Ukraine's authorities, for participating in the conflict.
Russian Relations with USA at Dead End, Says Lavrov Relations between Russia and the United States are complex and are currently at a dead end in several fields and this developed long before the Ukrainian crisis, says Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
The foreign minister criticizes the state of bilateral relations in an interview broadcast by the television station NTV, in which he deplores that proposals by their US 'partners' are mostly focused on the USA's unilateral interests.
Lavrov says the international agenda is full of contradictory approaches, in which both sides have to find solutions to commit to on a series of issues.
Among these issues, he mentions... negotiations to reduce the arsenals of strategic weapons, the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the Iranian nuclear program, and also the issue of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The minister highlights the wrong approach by Washington, which wants to attribute to itself exceptionalism in international relations.
It believes that it has the right to punish any countries that don't act as Washington wants, and force them to cooperate on issues vital to the United States and its allies, he says.
This imperial approach in international affairs will be corrected, but the process will take a long time, the foreign minister warns.
Pope Francis Lashes Out over Terrorist Group Islamic State
Pope Francis today raises his voice against the group Islamic State, as an extremist movement capable of bringing a new dimension to terrorism.
"We are witnessing a phenomenon of terrorism with dimensions that were unimaginable before. It seems to have lost awareness of the value of human life, that people have no value and can be killed by other interests, says the Holy Father.
Francis regrets "the indifference of many" over the presence of ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and demands "appropriate action" by the international community.
Speaking at a session to address the situation in the Middle East and the role that the Catholic Church can play in promoting peace, the Pope expresses his "desire for peace and stability in that region".
He states that there should be "the will to facilitate the resolution of conflicts through dialogue, reconciliation, and political commitment".
The Pope has been warning of the danger of ISIL, for months.
Iraqi lawmakers approve full cabinet
Faced with growing threats from the extremist militant group, the Islamic State (IS), the Iraqi parliament has now approved the full cabinet chosen by Iraq's PM, Haider al-Abadi, including the crucial defense and interior portfolios.
The appointment of Mohammed Salim al-Ghabban as interior minister, is a compromise after month- long haggling until his powerful Shiite party Badr understood that its leader, Hadi al-Ameri, their candidate for the interior portfolio, was not acceptable to the Sunni parties.
As for the defense ministry, parliament approved Khalid al- Obiedi, an ex-officer in the Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein's administration.
Observers here believe that Abadi's selections could inspire confidence for the Sunnis, who repeatedly complained under his predecessor Nuri al-Maliki, of injustice, marginalization, and discrimination.
They accused the Shiite-dominated security forces of indiscriminately arresting, torturing and killing their sons.
Observers believe that selecting Ghabban and Obiedi also sends a message of relief to the Shiite community assuring them that satisfying the Sunnis will not be at the expense of gains they got after the collapse of Saddam Hussein's administration, since the U.S.-led invasion.
Abadi has formed a 'partnership' government that could provide a coherent, more effective political response for Iraqis to better confront their huge challenges, including an IS threat to Iraq, the region, and the whole world.
Iraq faces increasing threats from IS militants, who control nearly a third of Iraq's territory.
The United States and many other world countries are providing air support, weapons and ammunition to the Iraqi forces and the Kurdish security forces, known as Peshmerga, to help halt the advance of the IS militants to seize more areas in northern and central areas of the country.
The Sunnis are very instrumental in the efforts of defeating IS. To win their minds and hearts, Abadi and his cabinet must address legitimate grievances and allow them to build their own forces as part of the security forces.
Iraq is witnessing some of the worst violence in years. Terrorism and violence have killed 5,576 civilians there, in the first half of 2014 alone, with 11,666 more wounded, according to a recent UN report.
Abbas says keen to keep dialogue with Hamas to end rift
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he's keen to keep talking with Hamas movement, to finalize reconciliation and end the internal rift.
Abbas spoke at the inauguration of his Fatah Party's revolutionary council held in Ramallah. "Our dialogue with Hamas will continue until achieving we achieve full reconciliation," he said.
"The last agreement we reached with Hamas is based on two major issues, forming a unity government and going for elections," he said, referring to the formation of the consensus government sworn in, in June.
Abbas added that east Jerusalem is a top priority for the Palestinian leadership, revealing that the holy city faces settlers' assaults to divide and empty it.
Speaking about going to the UN Security Council to end the Israeli occupation and establish a state, Abbas says "we want to gain a resolution that gives us the right to establish our state on 1967 borders."
Meanwhile, Fatah Party's central committee calls on the UK government to recognize an independent Palestinian state established on territories Israel seized in 1967.
Nabil Abu Rdineh, committee spokesperson, says in a press statement, that the Palestinians highly appreciate Sweden's stance and the UK House of Common decision to recognize a Palestinian state in the future.
Putin-Poroshenko Meeting Monopolizes Attention at ASEM Summit
The meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Piotr Poroshenko, will be the focus of attention at the 10th Asia- Europe Meeting (ASEM), being held in Milan.
During the talks, the two leaders will tackle the thorny subject of peace in southern Ukraine, where fighting continues.
Russia and Ukraine will seek to reach greater consensus about the implementation of the memorandum signed in Minsk, Belarus' capital, to halt battles, exchange prisoners and create a demarcation line 30 kilometers wide, among other measures.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and the Prime Ministers of the UK and Italy, will participate in the meeting.
The talks will also be attended by the president of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, and president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso.
According to local media, Poroshenko has suggested peaceful measures but in practice, military actions against self-defense groups in Donetsk and Lugansk continue to be reported.
With the participation of 53 countries, ASEM, running from October 16th to 17th, will also discuss energy security, climate change, commerce, economic problems, and unemployment.
Egypt Denies Bombing Libyan Islamist Militias
Spokespeople for the Egyptian government deny transnational media reports, claiming that the Egyptian Air Force has bombed the Islamic militia sites in Benghazi.
Russia Sets Up Cyber Units in Strategic Missile Forces
Russia''s Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) have started to create special units to neutralize and counter cyber attacks, the Defense Ministry says.
"The RVSN has been shifting its command lines to digital technologies. This is why the forces' high command is taking preventive measures to improve information security," RIA Novosti news agency quotes ministry spokesperson, Igor Yegorov, as saying.
The task of the digital units dubbed "Sopka," or Hill, is to counter hostile attacks on the Russian missile force's electronic hardware and information channels, Yegorov says, adding that the country plans to create a comprehensive system by 2017, to protect the armed forces' infrastructure from cyber attacks.
Earlier in October, President Vladimir Putin said Russia has been under increasing cyber attacks this year and protecting Russian information space against threats has been one of the priorities, to ensure national security.
Russian Security Council secretary, Nikolai Patrushev, says the country's segment of the Internet was attacked 57 million times in the first half of 2014, and some 90 million attacks have been registered since 2010.
Last summer, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, ordered the drafting of 500 computer-savvy students, into special "scientific squadrons," whose work will be counted as military service.
Venezuela's Historic Seat in UN Security Council Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Rafael Ramírez, terms as historic, his country''s membership of the UN Security Council, with widespread backing from the General Assembly.
In brief remarks after the election of the five non permanent members of the UNSC, Ramirez recalled the campaigns launched to try to discredit his country, which could not prevent the support of 181 of the 193 members of the Assembly.
"This resounding triumph is a result of a decision by late commander president Hugo Chavez Frias in Jan, 2007 to apply for Venezuela's membership.
It shows the world continues to respect his message of peace, solidarity and social justice," says Ramirez.
In Ramirez' opinion, the vote also shows that the UN belongs to all states.
He notes that his country will be the first nation to share responsibilities as President of the Non Aligned Movement and non permanent member of the UN Security Council.
"We take up this challenge, determined to fight against the people's submission, domination, exploitation and foreign occupation and the refusal of fundamental human rights," he says.
Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola and New Zealand have all won seats on the United Nations Security Council for two years from January 1, 2015.
A runoff vote is also underway to find out if either Spain or Turkey will fill the fifth place available.
The 193-member UN General Assembly voted for Venezuela by 181 votes, Malaysia picked up 187, while Angola scored 190 and New Zealand 145.
Donetsk Republic deputy PM praises Ukrainian president's special status law
The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic intends to “follow its way” despite the law on Donbass’ special status, chair of the Donetsk People’s Republic Supreme Council, Boris Litvinov, says on Friday.
“The quintessence of this document is, if I am not mistaken, that we’re entitled to hold elections to local bodies of power - to rural, settlement, district and town councils, on December 7th.
"On the former Donetsk region’s territory, the city council has not been functioning since April. It did not hear the population’s request to put forward an initiative on Ukraine’s federalisation.
Nobody will elect a regional council. Nobody will elect new bodies of power with a special status. We’re following our way,” Litvinov says.
The republic intends to hold elections of its head and the People’s Council, on November 2nd.
“We’re following this way. We’re electing our supreme legislative and executive power in the nationwide elections,” he says.
Earlier, first deputy premier of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Andrei Purgin, said that the signing of the law on special status for Donbass - the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine, seeking independence from Kiev - is a positive step.
“I believe this is a positive step but it does not influence the political situation. It’s certainly a plus. It means that the party of peace and not the party of war is winning. The law has its plusses and meeting points,” Purgin said.
“We positively assess the fact that Ukraine is moving to meet us halfway but it doesn't change our position on the political aspects,” he said.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a law on special status for Donbass on Thursday, October 16th.
The document is stipulated by agreements reached in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, in early September. The special status is granted for three years.
“During this time we will have an opportunity to turn into reality issues of deep decentralisation which should be also an issue for amending the Constitution,” Poroshenko said then.
Ukraine’s third defense minister in six months "sure sign military is demoralized"
The resignation of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Valery Heletey, appointed just three months ago, and the nomination and approval of his successor, National Guard commander Stepan Poltorak, is evidence of personnel chaos in the armed forces, amateurism by the authorities and demoralization in the military, the president of the Geopolitical Problems Academy, Doctor of Military Science, Konstantin Sivkov, says.
"Poltorak is a man from Interior Minister Arsen Avakov’s team. For a while he was commander of all Interior Ministry troops. As for Heletey, he's from President Poroshenko’s inner circle -- as a matter of fact, his personal bodyguard.
"He used to be in charge of Ukraine’s agency responsible for the security of senior officials. Poltorak’s nomination is sure evidence of the continuing under-the-carpet struggle for control of the army,” Sivkov believes.
“The way Poltorak commanded the National Guard in the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” zone, in the south-east of Ukraine, is well seen in the operation’s utter failure.
"On Monday, about 1,500 national guards - Poltorak’s subordinates just recently - staged a mutiny. They marched into the capital Kiev, chanting “Demob! Demob!” and met in front of the presidential office to demand demobilization and cash compensation for the excessive time they have spent in service," Sivkov says.
"Also, some National Guard members fear they may bear criminal responsibility for participation in the so-called “anti-terrorist operation."
"Apart from conscripts, the National Guard is manned by volunteers, many of whom have a criminal past.
"These are the sort of men that Poltorak was in command of, and this characterises him well enough. It is no accident that Heletey’s dismissal and Poltorak’s appointment, drew rather caustic remarks in the press - such as - 'Bodyguard Goes, Gendarme Takes Over,'" Sivkov says.
The now dismissed Heletey, (in his brief career) earned dubious publicity, by declaring plans for an early victory parade in Sevastopol and a huge military march through Kiev... just as hundreds of Ukrainian regular troops and members of volunteer battalions were being encircled near Ilovaisk in the east and killed," Sivkov recalls.
"In the run-up to the October 26th parliamentary elections, President Poroshenko, as commander- in-chief had to sacrifice Heletey. While addressing the legislators on Tuesday Poroshenko urged them to ‘leave criticism of the army outside the scope of the election campaign."
"The Kiev authorities’ decision to appoint a third defense minister in six months is evidence of the utter degradation of Ukraine’s political & military elite. In a normal political system, defence ministers are not changed every now and then.
"The personnel reshuffles have adverse effects on the condition of the armed forces. This shows that Ukraine’s political system is off balance," Sivkov believes.
"Both officers and the rank-and-file are reluctant to fight against their own people. They are now demoralized and no defence minister will be able to bolster their morale and discipline, as long as there is no lasting peace in south-eastern Ukraine," he concludes.
Hezbollah: To Direct All Capacities toward Protecting Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sanctities
Hezbollah states that the worsening Zionist aggression on Al-Aqsa mosque, means that Zionists now move without fear or shame, destroying its gates and injuring dozens of Palestinian worshippers who are trying to save it from the criminal acts of the Israeli occupiers.
The party says in a statement, that the Zionists feel comfortable because of the Arab silence, and the international complicity, and work to implement their plans, which aim at destroying Al-Aqsa mosque and replacing it with their alleged temple.
Condemning the escalating Israeli aggression, Hezbollah calls on all to direct their capacities to protect Al-Aqsa mosque and the Islamic and Christian Holy places there.
Syria Condemns Israeli Support for Armed Fundamentalists
At least 2 fundamentalists injured in a clash with the Syrian army have been transferred to an Israeli hospital, where hundreds of Islamic extremists have been treated over the past three years, reports Sana news.
The injured Islamists were admitted last night to Poria's hospital, Tiberias city, in the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.
In early October, two other fundamentalists were admitted to the Zif Hospital, in the northern Israeli city of Safed, and two others were treated at the medical centre in Western Galilee, near Nahariya.
According to press reports quoting Israeli sources, the former provided medical assistance to over 380 members of Islamic groups fighting in Syria, while the latter has treated nearly the same number of extremists.
Tel Aviv's support for terrorist organizations has also included attacks on Syrian Army positions, Sana news agency reports.
Putin worried over growing neo-Nazi tendencies in Baltic states and Ukraine
“Regrettably, the vaccine against the Nazi virus developed at the Nuremberg trials, is losing its efficiency in some European states,” Putin says.
Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, is worried over growing neo-Nazi tendencies in the Baltic states and in Ukraine.
“Regrettably, the vaccine against the Nazi virus developed at the Nuremberg trials, is losing its efficiency in some European states,” Putin says, in an interview with Serbia’s daily newspaper Politika, on Tuesday.
“A vivid example of this is open manifestations of neo-Nazism, which have become routine in Latvia and other Baltic countries.”
“In this sense, the situation in Ukraine causes special worries. The February anti-constitutional coup in that country, was driven by nationalists and other radical groups,” he says.
Moscow opposes direct confrontation with West: Lavrov
Moscow says it opposes a direct confrontation with the West despite its hostile moves against Russia, as a joint international effort is needed to counter threats to global stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says.
The remarks follow Lavrov's recent calls for a "reset" with the United States and a series of measures aimed at defusing tensions.
"Despite the hostile behavior of Western partners, we still opposes sliding into the primitive scenario of a direct confrontation between Russia and the West," Lavrov says in an interview with the Journal of Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
"Russia is ready to continue contributing to the solution of cross-border issues, but there must be mutual respect & equal rights," RIA Novosti news agency quotes Lavrov as saying.
The diplomat stresses that only a joint effort can be effective in fighting global threats posed by the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, the Islamic State (IS), the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, instability in Afghanistan, and so on.
Moscow will, as always, try to seek agreements with its partners to secure a balance of interests, as Russia's foreign policy principles are designed to pursue agreements in accord with Russia's national interests and the lawful interests of its partners, Lavrov says.
While blaming the West for causing the Ukraine crisis, the Russian foreign minister says this has seriously destabilized the international order, and it will have a long-term impact.
These developments in Ukraine "are not a manifestation of any fundamentally new tendencies, but rather the culmination of policies that Western partners have been implementing on Russia for many years," he says.
Britain officially recognizes Palestine
The UK Parliament has passed a non-binding resolution to recognize the Palestinian state.
MPs voted in favor of the motion with a majority of 274 to 12 after a six-hour debate on Monday.
The debate was initiated in the House of Commons by Labour MP Graham Morris, who said the UK is morally obligated to take action, because of its history as a colonial power in the region.
In the debate, the plight of Palestinians was reportedly highlighted by many MPs.
PM David Cameron was one of the many government members who refused to vote.
The debate watched around the world, after Sweden’s decision to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state, which angered Israel earlier in October. Other European countries are also likely follow suit.
On November 29, 2012, the 193-member United Nations General Assembly, voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
Palestinians seek to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip and demand that Israel with- draw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds (Jerusalem).
UKRAINE GUARDS WANT DEMOBILIZATION
Ukrainian National Guard troops are protesting outside the presidential administration office in Kiev as they demand demobilization. They are refusing to return to their barracks.
About 200 soldiers have surrounded the building claiming they've served six months longer than their contracts stipulated.
Soldiers are chanting, “Demobilization!” and, “All for one and one for all.”
They say they're not going to leave until the authorities answer their questions. The key one being, when they'll be able to go home.
Members of the presidential administration, however, have demanded that the soldiers immediately return to their military barracks.
“Soldiers, come on, return to [your] military units, we’ll figure this out there,” one of the officials told the protesters, reports TASS.
The Guards demand that they either receive better pay, or are allowed to return home.
One soldier said they were paid roughly $11 per month, adding that there has been no rise in wages since their contracts expired.
“I have served for over half a year. What are we: conscripts or professional soldiers? Then why are we still being paid $11.5 per month? Show us a document saying that we can be kept any longer,” the soldier told TASS.
“We have already served for almost two years and we don’t know how many more years we’ll have to serve: three, four?”, a soldier said to reporters at the scene.
Mothers of the protesting soldiers say their sons’ rights have been violated, with demands addressed to regimental headquarters, thus far, being ignored.
Soldiers in Kharkov have also taken to the streets to make their demands heard.
“We were recruited for 12 months in the spring of 2013 from different regions of Ukraine. Now 18 months have passed and there are no signs of demobilization,” one protester in Kharkov told reporters.
Last week President Poroshenko said that demobilization is currently not possible.
"There are currently no possibilities for demobilization under conditions of de-facto military actions,” the President said during his visit to Kharkov on Saturday.
Poroshenko said that it will be possible “to begin steps of demobilization” only when “there will be a constant ceasefire, when a line of defense is built, as soon as our teams, and this should be soon, will be deployed in full combat defensive order.”
The National Guard was re-established in March 2014. The first National Guard's regular battalion was formally sworn in for service on April 6th, following three weeks of training.
Izadi women tell of ordeal
Over 2 months after the ISIL atrocities in northern Iraq, Izadi Kurd women recount the ordeals they suffered at the hands of the Takfiri terrorists.
According to the women, who managed to escape and be reunited with their families, they were sold as slaves or forced to marry the Takfiris.
“I was sold in Syria. I stayed about five days with my two sisters. Then one of them was sold and taken to Mosul and I remained in Raqqa. Those who didn’t want to get married were married by force, whether they became Muslims or not. They insisted on marrying us. Even offering to live together and then get married,” said a 15-year-old girl.
Hundreds of women and girls were abducted by the ISIL militants following the capture of the Iraqi city of Sinjar, which is mainly populated by Izadi Kurds.
Referring to the ISIL Takfiris, or Daesh in Arabic, a 19-year-old Izadi girl, Amsha Ali, said, “I walked for four hours in Mosul. After that an Arab man asked me… what I was doing in the street at midnight. I told him I was Izadi and that I fled from Daesh because they wanted to marry me. He told me stay in his house and that nothing was going to happen to me. I went in stayed in his house for three days. After that he brought me to the Barda Rash checkpoint.”
The ISIL attacks displaced tens of thousands of people, including elderly people and children who died when left stranded in the mountains.
Another 19-year-old Izadi Kurd girl said, “When they took girls and women it was a very sad feeling for me. I saw a lot of murders, murders of Izadis. I saw my husband, brother-in-law and father-in-law forced on the ground and murdered.”
ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control parts of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Izadi Kurds and others, as they continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their country.
ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
The United States started conducting airstrikes on ISIL only after US interests were threatened by the militants.
Christian clerics urge Europe to recognize Palestinian state
Top Palestinian Christian clerics have called on European countries to recognize the state of Palestine.
“We are tired of negotiations while our people continue to be humiliated by an occupying force,” states the letter issued by the Palestinian leaders of Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Lutheran Churches.
"Europe has a moral, legal and political duty to hold Israel accountable and support Palestinian non-violent initiatives to end the Israeli occupation, including the recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border with east Jerusalem (al-Quds) as its capital," the letter adds.
The clerics’ plea comes shortly after Sweden stated it is to formally recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.
The UK parliament has announced its plan to hold a vote over the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state on October 13th.
On November 29, 2012, the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state.
Palestinians seek to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.
Tel Aviv, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to even discuss the issue of al-Quds.
Similarly, the US is also rejecting Palestinians’ current initiative in seeking recognition.
"We believe international recognition of a Palestinian state is premature," US State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, says, adding, "We certainly support Palestinian statehood, but it can only come through a negotiated outcome, a resolution of final status issues and mutual recognitions by both parties."
US ACTS FOR WAR OVER UKRAINE
US plans to supply weapons to Ukraine are not what is needed for a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Alexander Lukashevich says.
Lukashevich recalls that the Minsk agreements on a ceasefire and exchange of prisoners in the embattled southeast of Ukraine, point to the necessity to cease firing and withdraw all heavy weapons.
“And such tendencies undermine agreements on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis,” the diplomat warns.
Sayyed Nasrallah: US Mother of Terrorism, Morally Unqualified to Fight It
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah says in a televised speech via Al-Manar channel, that the US is not morally qualified to lead a counter- terrorism coalition, because it is the mother of terrorism.
Air Raids Against ISIL in Syria to Be Long, Says Pentagon
US air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria will be long and need a joint effort by all US federal agencies and all US-allied countries, a spokes- person for the Pentagon says now.
The bombings of Jihadists in Syrian territory are designed to limit their self-sufficnecy and training, but we must understand that this is an operation that takes time and patience, Rear Admiral John Kirby tells the CNN network.
"We need a solution that includes an international effort to defeat the extremists' ideology," he adds.
Kirby admits the possibility of the Islamic State taking Kobani, in northern Syria, bordering Turkey, which has been defended by Kurdish units for days, but adds - the town has "no strategic importance".
The United States started an air campaign against ISIL targets on September 23, without the approval of Damascus, involving over one hundred attacks in that Arab country so far, with cooperation from Jordan, Bahrein, Qatar & the United Arab Emirates.
UKRAINE NOT PEACE - BUT SMOULDERING WAR
The situation in south-eastern Ukraine isn't a fragile peace, but rather a smouldering war.
Tuesday, participants in an analysis meeting with permanent members of the Security Council under President Vladimir Putin, pointed to the extreme fragility of the ceasefire regime, in particular, near Donetsk airport. This major air hub remains under the control of Ukrainian forces conducting what Kiev calls an “anti-terrorist operation.”
Several experts believe that the authorities in Kiev are just simulating a truce, while in reality they are getting ready to launch another offensive against the Donetsk and Luhansk republics, possibly, next spring.
In defiance of the Minsk accords of September 19th on the ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons with a calibre of 100 mm plus from the engagement line, Ukrainian forces have continued to shell and fire rockets in Donetsk for the past few days. There have been casualties.
“This isn't a truce. It's a harsh war, looking pretty much like the massacre in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid 1990s,” a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, Maxim Shevchenko, says, after spending the past week in Donetsk.
“Over several days I saw three students killed by an artillery shell, on a street bench. Two people were killed at a bus stop. four lost their lives during the shelling of a local school. And twenty five were injured. That all happened within Donetsk city limits alone,” he adds...
“The Minsk Memorandum of September 19th does not work. President Poroshenko does not control the situation. In response to accusations of many continuing artillery attacks, the Ukrainian military says that some “third force” is to blame.
"In the meantime, all artillery positions near Donetsk airport are controlled by Ukrainian troops,” he points out.
“The authorities in Kiev are using the war in the east of the country, for their immoral purposes — it helps them maintain their rating with Ukraine’s patriots in the run-up to the October 26 parliamentary elections,” the analyst says.
“Poroshenko needs the truce in the east of Ukraine, not because he wants to address the problems of Donbass and the Luhansk Region in a civilized way, but for a pause to get ready for future battles,” Shevchenko says.
“The truce in the east of Ukraine continues to be violated because the Ukrainian army wishes to avenge its defeat in the so-called anti-terrorist operation. Novorossiya’s militias are not going to make concessions. One has a very acute feeling the energy of the conflict has not been exhausted yet.”
“President Poroshenko and his overseas handlers at the US Department of State have not achieved their original objectives and they will not agree to any peace settlement in the region,” President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Doctor of Military Sciences, Konstantin Sivkov, states.
President Poroshenko’s September 24 decree On Urgent Measures to Protect Ukraine and Strengthen its Defense Capabilities, clearly indicates that the authorities in Kiev are hatching revanchist plots.
The decree declares the national economy is to be shifted to conditions of a “special period.” In this military language, the term “special period” means the introduction of martial law war preparations.
As official sources in Kiev say, Ukraine is creating infrastructure for full-scale repairs and maintenance, as well as the manufacture of, military hardware.
“While preparations for another offensive are still underway, Poroshenko will keep the situation in the east of Ukraine suspended: neither peace nor war. The resumption of military operations will depend entirely on when the logistics of the Kiev-controlled armed forces become strong enough,” the military expert says.
UKRAINE CEASEFIRE MONITORS GROW
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), deployed since late March, will continue observing the situation in Donbass for at least another six months, spokesperson Michael Bociurkiw has said.
Bociurkiw told journalists that 2 out of 4 drones are to arrive in Ukraine today to help members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), to monitor the situation in the territories where active battles are ongoing.
The OSCE mission, in line with the Minsk agreement reached at the OSCE-mediated talks on September 5, is to control the ceasefire regime in eastern Ukraine.
Twenty-five new members of the OSCE mission arrived in Ukraine in late September to join 78 monitors working in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokes- person Yevgeny Perebeinos said.
Under the mandate, the mission initially consists of 100 monitors, but may expand by a total of up to 400 additional monitors... depending on developments in the country.
'Western Powers Plan to Dominate Region' --- Ruling Syrian Party
Syria's ruling Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party denounces the plans of Western powers and Israel to reshape the Middle East and steal its wealth, particularly oil.
In a communique on the 41st anniversary of the October War, known here as the Yom Kippur War, the party states that the conflict triggered by various countries against Syria, is aimed at weakening its role in the region.
The document says that the party will continue actions against Takfirists (Sunni extremists) in all their forms.
It also expresses support for any honest international effort to fight terrorism, which is based on respect for Syrian sovereignty and accords with international law.
Brazil holds peaceful elections on Sunday
Brazil held its general elections on Sunday, to choose a new president, state governors, federal & state representatives & a third of the senators.
Dilma Rousseff, the first female Brazilian president elected four years ago was leading in opinion polls, but another female politician, former environment minister Marina Silva, is a strong challenger.
Rousseff to face Neves in Brazil election runoff – exit poll
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her closest challenger, Aecio Neves, are likely to compete in a runoff to decide who wins Brazil’s presidential election, according to the latest exit poll results and a preliminary vote count.
The poll of 64,200 voters, released by TV Globo and conducted by public research firm Ibope, showed Rousseff leading with 44% of votes, followed by Neves with 30% and Marina Silva with 22%. The preliminary count shows Rousseff with an even smaller lead, (40.36%), while Neves has 35.23%, Brazil’s electoral authority says, according to Reuters.
(The preliminary figures reflect the vote after 75% of ballots were counted.)
As none of the 3 front-runner candidates looks likely to get over 50% of the votes, a run-off is expected to be held on October 26th.
Silva, presidential candidate of the Brazilian Socialist Party, joined the race in the middle, as the running mate of Eduardo Campos, who died in a plane crash in August.
From a distant third place, Silva rose quickly and surpassed Aecio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party to be runner-up and is likely to proceed to the second round.
Silva has to make sure that Neves won't steal her spot at the last minute. Neves started the campaign in second place, but was surpassed by Silva in August.
According to the latest polls on Thursday evening, he is technically tied with Silva and has a chance to enter the run-off.
Brazilians will also choose state governors.
In Sao Paulo, the most populous state, the incumbent Geraldo Alckmin was in the lead, trying for a fourth term as governor.
He may win in the first round of elections, as polls show he has nearly 50% of support.
In the state of Rio de Janeiro, incumbent Luiz Fernando Pezao, has the lead. Runner-up is Anthony Garotinho, a former Rio governor. Third-ranked Senator Marcelo Crivella, is also fighting to face him in the 2nd round.
Campaigning on radio and tv ended Thursday evening, but candidates could campaign in the streets, with no big rallies, until Saturday.
As Brazil has electronic ballots all over the country, the results of the first round, were expected to be known on Sunday evening.
Right Sector threatens Kiev unless police drop charges against supporters
The movement calls on other paramilitary group volunteers supporting the government’s military campaign in the east of Ukraine, to support their demands and oust “the helpers of the terrorists in police uniforms, from Ukrainian land.”
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov dismisses the Right Sector’s threat on his Facebook page, calling Yarosh’s armed forces “mythical” and the statement, a publicity stunt.
“Maybe it’s time to stop playing Robin Hood and stupidly putting in harm’s way the real patriots who believe you, Yarosh, for the sake of your patriotic snobbism?” the minister writes, adding that he sent the paperwork to have Yevdokimov dismissed, to the government, a couple of weeks ago.
The far-right group, which was at the core of February's armed coup that ousted President Viktor Yanukovich and installed the current government in power, has been at odds with the Interior Ministry for months.
The confrontation first erupted in March after the notorious Right Sector activist, Aleksandr Muzychko, was killed in a police raid to arrest him, from what police reported then, as a self-inflicted gun wound.
Muzychko publicly taunted Avakov before the raid, and fellow nationalists accuse the minister of master-minding his death.
The coup government reportedly considered outlawing the movement at the height of the confrontation. However the military campaign in eastern Ukraine marked a resurgence of the Right Sector’s ties with the government, as the group contributed to the creation of Ukraine’s volunteer battalions, to take part in the fighting.
Yarosh is now on a wanted list by Interpol at Russia’s request. Moscow suspects him of inciting extremism.
TRUCE HOLDING IN UKRAINE
Ukraine recognizes the Russia-ICRC relief cargo officially, as relief aid
Ukraine’s Minister of Social Policy, Lyudmila Denisova, has signed the appropriate decree.
Ukrainian saboteurs confess Plan against Russian Humanitarian Aid
Ukrainian National Guard (NG) troops captured by the rebel city of Lugansk, have confirmed that their mission was to attack Russia's humanitarian aid intended for Dombass region.
The three saboteur members of a task force of the NG hid a load of arms and ammunition in a vehicle, reports the headquarters of the unified militias of the People's Republic of Lugansk and Donetsk.
A rebel spokesperson explained that the arsenal was hidden in camouflaged food packaging bags.
The plan was to 'plant' mines on the local road and attack Russia's convoy carrying 400 tonnes of cereals, 100 of sugar, 62 of foods for children, 54 of medications, 12,000 sleeping bags and 69 electric generators.
In interviews, the commander of the mission said the main objective of the mission was to prevent the aid reaching residents in the rebel areas of southeastern Ukraine, which is declared a humanitarian disaster area, due to constant shelling by those forces still controlled by Kiev.
One detainee said that the Ukrainian army has sent seven teams of saboteurs into the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and that these groups are trained to ambush along roads leading to areas controlled by the rebel militia.
He explained that "security officers" were instructed to perform actions to force the convoy to return to the border, but without killing the Russian rescuers accompanying the shipment, so far.
Spokespersons for the militia HQ cited by Itar-Tass note that investigations continue, on the remaining orders of the saboteurs.
The Russian Foreign Ministry denounces the attempts to obstruct delivery of humanitarian aid sent by Moscow, to civilians in Southeast Ukraine.
A note posted on the ministry website expresses "deep concern" over attempts to put new barriers to the transportation of the humanitarian aid.
‘White rain’: Donetsk residents record alleged phosphorus shelling on video
Citizens in Donetsk have recorded multiple videos of white glowing particles raining on residential quarters. The locals allege that Ukraine's military has shelled their city with internationally prohibited phosphorus incendiaries.
On Thursday night, people in the Lenin district of the city of Donetsk, saw a flow of white fire pouring down from the dark sky alongside the now-familiar sound of bombing, RIA Novosti reported.
They suspect these may have been incendiary shells filled with white phosphorous, similar to those reportedly used by the military, during a blockade of another eastern city, Slavyansk in June.
So far there have been no official reports from the scene about the results of the night shell- ing of Donetsk, which could confirm whether white phosphorous munitions, were really being used against densely-populated areas.
Interfax news agency reported that unusual munitions resembling “fireworks or white rain” after exploding, have been seen on one front of the battlefield, up to 5 kilometers wide.
Charles Shoebridge, a former UK army officer, told RT that the video “does appear to show some of the characteristics one would expect to see with the use of white phosphorus or a similar incendiary ammunition.”
“In particular, a large number of brightly burning particles falling rapidly to the ground, without the assistance of, for example, parachutes to slow their descent, suggests this wasn't a more commonly used illumination ammunition, such as flares," Shoebridge said, stressing though, that “one would associate large volumes of smoke with white phosphorus use,” which aren't visible, possibly since the video was recorded at night.
The Ukrainian Army claims they are in the final stages of freeing Donetsk city from the local militia. Pro-Kiev forces are using heavy artillery, such as rocket launchers, against a city with a population close to 1 million (approximately 950,000 citizens).
More scenes of devastation are emerging from across the city, with many buildings burned out, or riddled with shell-holes. A large number of private homes in Donetsk have been burned down as firefighters can not put out all the fires started by bombs.
At least 74 people, including children, have been killed in the city in the last three days.
Donetsk has come under constant fire by Ukraine's Army since May, suffering at least 128 attacks. According to Donetsk People’s Republic statistics, at least 839 people have died in attacks, over the last three months.
Another centre, Lugansk city, remains a hot spot, being under siege for 2 weeks. City hospitals are running out of supplies: garages are completely out of fuel.
The populace, facing a looming humanitarian crisis, has almost halved, RIA Novosti reports.
The food supply is unstable, which has led to price rises and public transport is dwindling, while garbage disposal has been suspended. Potable water treatment facilities have no chemical agents to disinfect drinking water.
The Ukrainian Army and National Guard have kept shelling communities and residential areas around the regional centre, Donetsk.
The small town of Ilovaisk, 35 klmtrs from Donetsk, has been shelled day and night for the last nine days.
After Ukrainian troops failed to capture the town, pro-Kiev forces besieged it and began shelling residential areas.
The self-defense forces announced recently that they had managed to break the enemy chain around the town, but still, the heavy shelling continues.
Rockets from Grad multiple missile launchers fired by the Ukrainian Army have destroyed a local railway wagon factory, a Maintenance and Repair Department, a children's camp and a boiler house.
They have also damaged a large number of private dwellings, RIA Novosti reports.
The Ukrainian National Guard is deliberately shelling petrol stations, to cut fuel supplies to the town, Russian news agencies report.
Several thousand citizens who could not evacuate from the town through a lack of transport due to constant shelling, are hiding in cellars, 24 hours a day.
Victims of the shelling are being buried in parks and dooryards because the ongoing battle prevents citizens from burying their relatives in cemeteries.
Both electricity and water supplies in Ilovaisk have been restricted, so even the firefighting teams do not respond to emergency calls.
The locals say they cannot establish the real number of dead and wounded because of the absence of any authorities in the town.
In Grabovo village a device, most probably a Tochka-U ballistic missile, has left a crater eight meters deep.
In Gorlovka, shells destroyed a recreation centre, a shopping centre and a market.
In one place, the small town of Zugres, the local authorities say 15 people, including three children, died.
Ukrainian troops are trying to cut the connections between militia forces in Donetsk and Lugansk, but so far their efforts have been in vain.
In the meantime, the Lugansk self-defense militia has launched a counteroffensive on the Ukrainian Army, blocking a soldiers' unit near Miusinsk & inflicting a defeat on Kiev’s troops near the town of Krasny Luch.
AFTER PRESIDENT PUTIN's CRIMEA SPEECH... (in which he said "everything possible" would be done to stop the Ukraine fighting)
Shelling on Donetsk stopped: bread, water, electricity, were provided.
The situation in Donetsk was calm on Friday, as Kiev's military stopped shelling.
Buses ran to Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, & a marketplace was open in Donetsk city's Leninsky district, local residents say.
Bread, water, electric power supplies and Internet access were provided in Donetsk.
Electricity was still cut in several residential houses in Leninsky district of the city, as an artillery shell hit a high-voltage power line. This could be restored in about two days.
Militias control approaches to towns bordering Donetsk & Kiev's army faces them on the other side of the city. In the evening, a bridge was destroyed, disrupting traffic in the town.
Eyewitnesses also said fields were burning around the Donetsk dam lake and explosions had been heard in another regional town.
Leader Hails Changes in Iraq, Says US More Hostile despite Negotiations
The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, hails the talks between Iran and the World powers.
“What Dr Zarif and Iran’s negotiators have achieved will be continued; their negotiating experience is a priceless achievement because everyone knows that negotiations with the US, will not lessen their animosity toward Iran,” asserts the Leader.
His eminence compares the diplomatic field to a war front and believes that the current era is a time of transition towards a new world order.
"In this era, strong and pragmatic diplomacy is of great importance which makes the foreign ministry’s duties even more difficult," the Supreme Leader underlines.
He points to other nations’ hatred for the US's blind support for the Zionist entity in Gaza, and repeats that no one in the world will exculpate the US from complicity in the genocide by the usurping, cruel, pagan Zionist regime, in Gaza.
“The US' standing is now weaker,” the Leader adds.
“Palestinian's polemic about the truce is correct. They say that the predatory regime of Israel now cannot commit any crime it wills and return to a pre-war time unscathed,” he says.
“There should be reparation for the Zionists’ crimes in Gaza and, in the Palestinians’ view, the reparation will be an end to Gaza's siege,” says the Leader, closing his remarks with: “no just person would ever deny such a rightful demand.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also hails the appointment of Iraq's new prime minister, saying the enemies' plot to push Iraq into further chaos, through the political disputes over the premiership, will be foiled, once the new cabinet starts work.
"God willing, the deadlock will end with the appointment of Iraq's new prime minister and the government will be formed to start its work and give a good lesson to those who did, and do, intend to stir chaos and sedition in Iraq," his eminence says, at a meeting in Tehran.
Iraq's President Fuad Masum on Tuesday asked Haider al-Abadi to form a new government.
Abadi was nominated as the prime minister, while some Shiite parties named incumbent Nouri Maliki, as their choice as premier.
According to Iraq's constitution, the majority faction in the parliament, should name the prime minister.
Iran recognizes Abadi as Iraq's new premier. Several high-ranking Iranian officials have congratulated him and the Iraqi nation on the appointment.
Nouri al-Maliki has now resigned.
Israeli Government Splits over Gaza Permanent Ceasefire
Concluding a permanent ceasefire in Gaza has increased the split among Zionist ministers, as the Right's representatives refuse to 'concede' when faced with the Palestinian resistance.
The Zionist admission of defeat, is rising, highlighting the Palestinian resistance's achievements, including their ability to close Ben-Gurion Airport.
Israeli analysts also consider that the Palestinian resistance controlled the rules of engagement - and prevented Israel's army from reaching its goals.
The Zionist State Comptroller is to investigate the political & military setbacks, during the Gaza war.
KIEV REGIME SHAMED INTO AID
Ukraine’s State Service for Emergency Situations reports that 71 lorries have left Kiev, Kharkiv and Dnepropetrovsk to deliver 773 tons of essentials to Starobelsk in the Luhansk region, where they will be handed over to the ICRC, in compliance with international rules.
The ICRC will distribute aid to those civilians who've been worst hit by Kiev’s shelling of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Russia also dispatched a relief convoy to eastern Ukraine last Tuesday. 262 lorries, with about 2,000 tonnes of food supplies, medical products and essentials are now heading for Russia’s border with Ukraine.
Iraqi Dawa party endorses Abadi as new premier
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Dawa Party has announced its commitment to the country’s Prime Minister-designate, Haider al-Abadi.
The Dawa Party calls on all political parties to endorse Abadi as well.
The Dawa Party “calls on political blocs to work with the constitutionally designated prime minister, Mr. Abadi, and accelerate the government's formation in the defined time.”
Dawa initially refused Fouad Masoum, the new Iraqi President, when he asked Abadi, who was the deputy parliament speaker, to form a new government for Iraq.
The party announced its decision after asking Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s opinion on the matter.
The top Iraqi Shia cleric said the new premier should have broad national acceptance and be able to work with other ethnic & religious leaders in the country.
The request by Dawa comes days after Maliki said he would only leave office after a court ruling that he must do so.
3 days in Donetsk: 70+ civilians killed, over 100 wounded
Over 70 people have been killed in Donetsk Region, and 116 others wounded, in the last three days of fighting in eastern Ukraine, state the regional authorities.
Many civilians are also feared dead after Kiev's authorities resumed shelling of eastern districts in Lugansk, the city council reports. No figures for the number of casualties are known, yet.
“According to residents’ reports, eastern Lugansk came under intensive artillery attack Wednesday,” the city council says on its website. “Witnesses say - as a result of the shelling - many civilians have been killed and wounded.”
The city has been without water, electricity or fuel, for almost two weeks.
Over 60 people have been killed or wounded every day, UN human rights spokesperson, Cecile Pouilly states.
Dmitry Kazadaev, a Lugansk resident, says the Ukrainian forces are targeting mostly civilian locations – and not where the self-defense forces are stationed.
“There are a lot less casualties among the self- defense forces than among civilians,” he says.
“And these stupid bombings of residential areas ...you can take a look. There are a few houses destroyed here, two more over there, and one person died near that school. Why are they doing this?”
Lugansk residents say they have “to wait in line several times to get humanitarian aid stamps,” then “go stand in another line for this store, in order to actually get this aid.” The process is described as a “big hassle.”
Ukraine in bloody chaos — Putin
President Vladimir Putin says on Thursday that the current situation in Ukraine is “bloody chaos”, and pledges that Moscow will make every effort to stop the conflict.
“The country has fallen into bloody chaos and fratricidal conflict,” Putin said, at a meeting with Russian lawmakers in the Black Sea resort city of Yalta.
He said that the situation is deteriorating. “A major humanitarian catastrophe has broken out in the southeast,” Putin said.
President Putin said Russian sanctions are not just retaliatory measures, but a real means to support domestic producers and open up the domestic market to new partners.
“They are not just retaliatory steps. In the first place they are measures to support domestic producers and to open up our markets to the countries and producers who are eager to cooperate with Russia and are prepared for such cooperation,” he said, at a meeting with State Duma members on Thursday.
He recalled that the decisions on Russian sanctions had been taken in relation to the countries that had earlier imposed “utterly groundless and illegal sanctions” on Russia.
Putin said that, regardless of the foreign political and foreign economic situation, “the most important thing for us now, is our internal affairs, our tasks and goals that the people of Russia, the citizens of Russia, set for us.”
“Our future is in our own hands,” Putin said, with certainty.
He believes that it is of extreme importance to ensure the highest quality of state governance and “most importantly, a high quality of life for Russia's citizens’.
Russia does not seek isolation from the rest of the world, but the country intends to develop, by relying more on domestic resources and by boosting its industrial and agricultural sectors, President Putin said, on Thursday.
“We must... calmly, with dignity... effectively improve our country without isolating it from the outside world, without breaking ties with our partners, but also not allowing others to treat us in an insolent and tutorial manner,” he said at a meeting with members of the State Duma, in Yalta.
The president said he was confident that Russian society needs to consolidate itself and mobilize “not for wars, or conflicts, but for persistent work for Russia, and in the name of Russia.”
Much of the Russian people’s solidarity depends on the work of its lawmakers, according to Putin.
Vladimir Putin believes that Crimea may play a unifying role in healing historical scars and cementing Russian society:
“I believe Crimea today may be a unique yardstick. It's capable of playing a unique unifying role for Russia --- the role of an historical and spiritual source and a way to reconcile the Reds and the Whites,” Putin said.
Putin said the Crimean peninsula remembers both the triumphs & tragedy of the fratricidal civil war in the early 20th century, when Russians were killing Russians.
The head of state said Crimea may help heal the injury the Russian people suffered, as a result of the dramatic split of the 20th century and could amend the timeline of Russia’s history.
Putin urged legislators, representatives of political parties, religious organizations and culture workers to give thought as to how to cope with this task.
Russian President Vladimir Putin repeated his call to ensure the real equality of 3 languages - Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar - in Crimea.
“Work to exonerate the repressed people of Crimea must be carried out in full and the real equality of the three languages guaranteed,” he said.
Russian PM and chair of Russia’s ruling United Russia party, Dmitry Medvedev, the State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin & a number of federal ministers are also attending Putin’s meeting with State Duma lawmakers in Crimea’s Yalta.
Later on Thursday, the Russian president will meet with men of culture to discuss issues of Crimea’s integration into Russia’s cultural life.
President Putin's visit to the Republic of Crimea, has come after Crimea and Sevastapol signed reunification deals with Russia on March 18th, after a referendum two days earlier, in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
Work to integrate the Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military and infrastructure systems is actively underway, now that Crimea has become part of Russia.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when it was given to Ukraine by Soviet Communist Party leader, Khrushchev.
Now a new university, water supply, bridge to connect Crimea with Russia, and many other infrastructure developments are in progress.
Head of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) in Ukraine, Valery Bolotov, says he has resigned.
"I've decided to temporarily quit the post of head of the Luansk People's Republic," Bolotov tells reporters on Thursday.
"The impact of the wounds are preventing me from being fully efficient in this post."
He says he will ask LNR Defense Minister, Igor Plotnitsky, to replace him, promising to continue the struggle.
"I'm a resident of Luhansk; it's my home, and I'll continue to fight for our common ideals," he says, adding that he is confident that the LNR will be successful.
He acknowledges that there is a difficult situation in the self-proclaimed republic, saying Kiev has sent a large taskforce against LNR cities to destroy the LNR's infrastructure & are doing it on purpose.
"It's a fact that we're on the brink of a humanitarian disaster," he says, urging the LNR's leadership to exert them- selves to strenuous efforts, to work for the sake of the people's lives.
Mass killings of civilians by Ukrainian troops in Uglegorsk ignored by West
Kiev's forces announce the capture of Uglegorsk. The town lies in ruins now and casualties among the civilian population are described as 'plentiful'.
Yet there were no militia troops in the town -- just a militia checkpoint at its entrance.
Kiev's troops encircled Uglegorsk, without allowing humanitarian corridors to civilians.
"On August 12th, at 06:00, a massive artillery bombardment of the town began. The army used D-30 howitzers & MLRS Grad systems.
The missile fire was conducted from Debalcevo town, which was controlled by Kiev's forces.
According to residents in Debalcevo, the artillery shelling continued throughout the day," the press service of the People's Republic of Donetsk says.
The troops were shelling residential quarters: the militia checkpoint stayed intact.
"The infrastructure of this town has been destroyed. Numbers of civilian casualties are difficult to calculate, but it is possible to say it is one of the bloodiest operations by "Ukrainian policemen," the militia says.
Dozens, or even hundreds of civilians may have been killed.
According to the UN, as many as 2036 people have been killed during the punitive operation of Ukrainian troops against Ukrainian citizens.
UK BACK TO WAR IN IRAQ?
Monday night, the RAF made a second drop of aid supplies over Mount Sinjar, including 3,180 reusable containers filled with water.
The first drop took place on Saturday night, when the RAF delivered 1,200 reusable water containers, providing 6000 litres in total, and 240 solar lanterns, that can also be used to recharge mobile phones.
The MoD spokesperson confirms it is planning further aid drops over the coming days.
This decision comes as David Cameron is being urged to recall parliament from a summer recess to address the growing crisis in Iraq - and to even consider taking part in military action.
When asked whether the decision to send Tornado jets to Iraq, even if for surveillance purposes, could be a first step towards military intervention, Chris Nineham, Vice Chair of Stop the War Coalition, says:
"This is often how full-scale military interventions start," adding that the bombing of Libya started with no fly zones.
"The current dreadful crisis in Iraq has its roots in the Western occupation - Iraqi infrastructure was broken and sectarianism was encouraged."
"The very last thing needed is more Iraqis killed by the Western powers, it will only serve to inflame an already desperate situation."
France and the US are already interfering, by sending arms, planes and "advisers".
Russian aid convoy resumes journey to Ukraine
Uncertainty remains as to how much time it will take for Ukraine to vet the 2,000 tons of cargo and let it in, once the lorries arrive at the Russian-Ukrainian border.
Hours after the convoy departed for Ukraine, Tuesday, Russia said Kiev had guaranteed to secure delivery of Moscow's humanitarian aid -- on its territory.
"We are firmly relying on the reassurances given to us by the Ukrainian authorities: they guarantee the safe movement of the entire convoy through the territory controlled by Kiev's forces, " Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.
Lavrov says the pro-independence militias were also informed of the convoy, and are expected to ensure its safety.
"I am certain there will be no disruptions on their part, they're on the territory whose residents need humanitarian aid," Interfax news agency quotes him as saying.
Noting that Moscow, Kiev and relevant international organizations have worked intensively to coordinate the humanitarian operation, Lavrov says he expects that "some public statements that were heard from Kiev today, from some figures demanding some new conditions, will be disavowed."
Conflicting reports have emerged over such issues as, where the convoy will cross the border, and how the aid will be distributed.
In a telephone conversation with his German counterpart Frank- Walter Steinmeier, Lavrov called on Berlin to "employ every opportunity to facilitate implementation of this humane act, in line with the existing agreements... and not allow its disruption."
The humanitarian aid involves no Russian military personnel or hardware, and has about 2,000 tons of supplies, including food, medication, sleeping bags and electricity generators.
The UN estimates that nearly 118,000 people are now registered as internally displaced in Ukraine, with 87% from the country's east.
Over 168,000 have flown into Russia, and figures held by Moscow... are even higher.
The number of killed or wounded in E. Ukraine has doubled to 2,086 over the last two weeks, say the UN’s “very conservative estimates”.
Over 60 people have been dying every day, according to Reuters.
Israel agrees to open border crossing for aid supplies to Gaza Strip
Israel has consented to opening a border crossing for aid supplies to the Gaza Strip, the Sky News Arabia television channel reports on Wednesday.
The Israeli side also "does not object" to an extension of a fishery zone for Palestinians in the Mediterranean Sea for up to six miles - with the possibility of its further extension by agreement with the Palestinian authority.
They have also agreed to reduce the border buffer zone to 300 metres, which Palestinian negotiators have pressed for.
Israel also promises to release another group of prisoners.
Any resumption of the operation of the airport and the seaport, on which the Palestinians also insist, may be settled only after a final agreement on a ceasefire is reached, says the Israeli delegation.
There is also headway on the financial issue on the arrival of resources to Gaza Strip to pay the salaries of public employees.
KIEV TEARS UKRAINE APART
The acceptance of the US and EU proposals on membership of the EU, has invited Hell to Ukraine. The Orthodox Christian Church is still being attacked, as civil war rages.
The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Kiev, Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan, passed away on July 5th amid the Ukrainian civil war.
Inspired by his example, on January 22nd, Metropolitan Antony urged believers in Kiev:
"Today, we celebrate the Ukrainian Day of National Unity with a sense of sadness and grief. The country's on the brink of an abyss. The Church demands a stop to the violence. People! Come to your senses!"
Protests against Kiev's coup regime continue.
Mother's still gather to protest that their sons are being taken away to fight against their own people. Their sons are either fleeing to Russia, or taking drugs to endure the pain. Some even commit suicide.
Last May a priest was killed. Fr. Paul Zhuchenko was shot in the Donetsk region. In early August, Archpriest Vladimir Kreslyansky was killed in the bombing of Lugansk.
On August 9th in Lugansk another Orthodox priest was killed during the bombing. Witnesses say "he died praying. As he prayed, the falling bombs blew up in the air before they reached the ground and no other people were wounded." His prayers, the witnesses say, saved his people.
Other priests are missing and have to be presumed dead.
Churches in Ukraine are being bombed and the civilian population isn't being spared. In July a church was bombed & videoed by Anna News.
Recently, the Annunciation Church in Gorlovka was bombed and set on fire. Kiev appears to want genocide in South East Ukraine.
The Russian Church, in its most recent statement says it "is renewing its call for the immunity of holy places, and that clergy not be sacrificed to hatred".
Sadly, western churches have no compassion. Certainly their governments don't implore Kiev to stop the bombings. The West's churches seem to be following their masters voice - and ignoring the Holy spirit.
A few days ago a plane from Canada arrived in Kharkov, with $4.5 million worth of equipment for Kiev's compulsorily drafted forces.
Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby has admitted that he has sent US instructors to Kiev. Some, supposedly to help investigate the Malaysian MH17 Crash. These instructors are now being shot at and killed.
Perhaps Kirby might well be asked 'why investigate, since your country blamed Russia a few hours after the attack? Were they sent to remove evidence?
Alexander Dugin writes in his "Letter to the American People on Ukraine":
"The American political elite has stolen, perverted and counterfeited the American identity. And they make us hate you, and they make you hate us.
"The global oligarchy which rules the world is using you and smashing us. Let us revolt. Let us resist. Together, Russians and Americans. We are the people. We are not their puppets."
But the US elite won't make peace. Making peace means losing money --- whether in Europe, or the Middle East. They say "Yes" to war, because of their greed.
Obama claims that any news of dead priests and humanitarian catastrophe is Russian propaganda.
He is escalating a civil war, sending money, aid and military "trainers" to the Kiev government.
Bush used to call it the New World Order. Obama calls it "Hope and Change".
"For they are the spirits of devils working signs."
Urge FARC-EP to Leave Hatred Behind, and Embrace Peace
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, People's Army (FARC-EP) calls on everyone to leave all feelings of hatred and vengeance behind, to pave the way to peace and end the long-running civil conflict there.
US Attacks in Iraq ILLEGAL for Obama
US President Obama faces "legal difficulties" if he continues attacking the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq with no congressional approval, experts on constitutional issues say.
Russia sends humanitarian aid convoy to Ukraine
On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, that Russia, with Red Cross approval, was sending a humanitarian convoy to Ukraine.
The European Commission warned Russia not to attempt any unilateral actions in Ukraine “under any pretext, including humanitarian.”
Moscow has been urging Kiev to give permission for the shipment of humanitarian aid to residents of eastern Ukraine, but the government in Kiev, supported by the West, is now rejecting this.
The Red Cross says the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is critical. Reports say thousands have no access to water, electricity or medical aid.
Donetsk city is still being shelled, as fighting between Kiev's troops and anti-coup forces, continues.
The UN says over 1,540 people have been killed and 300,000 forced to flee their homes due to 4 months of fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Kiev intends to stop the internationally-supervised Russian humanitarian aid convoy for East Ukraine for at least a week, a spokesperson for Kiev's military says.
Ukraine says the time is needed for the ICRC), which is contributing to the Moscow-initiated mission, to establish where the aid should go.
The convoy of lorries sent on Tuesday “did not pass ICRC certification,” Andrey Lysenko says.
Presidential aide Valery Chaliy said Kiev wanted the entire cargo to be unloaded at the border to be transferred to Red Cross vehicles.
“We will not allow any escort of the Russian Emergencies Ministry or Russian military,” he says. “Ukraine will take responsibility for this.”
Lysenko claims that the convoy is repainted military lorries, accompanied by an S-300 air defense system, Ukraine News reports.
The ICRC says it was told by Moscow that the convoy had been dispatched, but hasn't yet had detailed lists, or distribution plans.
“The situation is changing by the hour and right now, we are not in a position to provide further details on how this operation could take place,” ICRC spokesperson, Anastasiya Isyuk, says.
Earlier, Moscow said the aid mission had been agreed by all parties concerned.
Russia has sent some 2,000 tons of aid to Ukraine, including food, medicine, sleeping bags and power generators.
The aid is meant for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which have seriously suffered in over 3 months of warfare, as Kiev's army has used heavy artillery, bomber aircraft and tanks, to advance on cities controlled by the militias.
Kiev earlier accused Moscow of trying to conduct a "stealth invasion" of Ukraine under the guise of humanitarian aid, saying Russian troops would be posing as guards of the convoy, while actually being tasked with starting an offensive.
Kiev's narrative is supported by some western countries, who say any humanitarian mission not backed by Kiev, will be considered as an attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Russia dismisses the accusations as nonsense.
In another media briefing on Monday evening, Lysenko said that the humanitarian convoy to Ukraine was organized “under an agreement between Petro Poroshenko & the Red Cross,” and Russia “wants to present this mission as its own initiative” as a publicity stunt.
Luhansk will be the final destination point for humanitarian aid delivery to southeast Ukraine residents, Vice-Premier of the self proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Andrei Purgin, said later, on Tuesday.
And Kiev seems to have reversed its insistence on transferring the lorries' cargoes.
Russia’s convoy of lorries with humanitarian supplies includes food, baby food, medicine & drinking water.
“The convoy is moving to Luhansk through Kharkov and will most likely stop in the town of Schastye [a Luhansk suburb]. If everything proceeds normally, combat operations will be halted there. We don’t have any other details right now,” the DPR vice- premier said.
Humanitarian aid distribution in Lugansk may be complicated, due to the complete absence of communications within the city and the destroyed infrastructure, he added.
“It's not clear who this aid will be handed over to, as the city has been severely damaged. There's no electricity and no means of communicating there,” he said.
The humanitarian convoy is moving to the region without any notice received by Luhansk, the DPR vice-premier continued.
“This means that the convoy will bring the aid and will then try to hand it over to someone on the spot,” he said.
There are currently about 250,000 people staying in Luhansk, according to the city council’s data.
They're being forced to live with unceasing armed clashes between local self-defense fighters and the Ukrainian army, and are also without water and electricity or any means of communication.
The Moscow Regional administration says the humanitarian cargo includes 400 tons of oats, 100 tons of sugar, 62 tons of baby food, 54 tons of medicine and medical items, 12,000 sleeping bags and 69 electric power generators.
US strikes against ISIL false show: Iran MP
The US' record of support for terrorists in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan belies its recent military strikes against Takfiri ISIL militants as only “posturing,” a senior Iranian lawmaker says.
“The Americans, who strengthened terrorist groups in Syria, Iraq & Afghanistan, are putting on a show of dealing with the ISIL instead of [taking] serious action,” Chair of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi says.
He adds the US is carrying out airstrikes against the ISIL terrorists, to show that "it has a role to play in the region."
Iran doesn't welcome such posturing by the US, the legislator says, adding, “Such intervention will surely bring no benefit to Iraq or the region.”
On Thursday, US President Obama authorized the use of targeted airstrikes, to prevent the advance of ISIL terrorists in Iraq and protect US' personnel & interests inside the country.
Just hours after President Obama’s authorization of "targeted airstrikes," US fighter jets & drones repeatedly bombed Takfiri ISIL militants in Iraq.
White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters on Friday, that the recent US' strikes against ISIL terrorists in Iraq, do not have a "specific end date."
Oddly, the US has been giving arms and training to militant groups to cause terrorism in Syria, to topple President Bashar al-Assad's government.
ISIL has taken several towns since it intensified its attacks in Iraq in mid-June. The Iraqi army is engaged in fierce fighting with the militants to push them out of the captured areas.
In Syria, the army continues to rack up victories against the many armed gangs there, including ISIL.
West cynical statement on 'no humanitarian need' in S. East Ukraine - Lavrov
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes that “Western partners won’t put a spoke in the wheel and will think about the people who are badly in need of water and electricity.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has talked to the head of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, says the president’s press service.
“Attention was focused on the catastrophic consequences of the military operation conducted by the Kiev authorities in the south-eastern regions, and the necessity to urgently deliver humanitarian aid to the conflict zone,” the statement says.
Russia's Foreign minister accuses Washington, London and Berlin, of a “blatant expression of cynicism” in thinking eastern Ukraine doesn’t need humanitarian aid.
“If what the press services in London and Washington and I think Berlin too, say about the phone contacts of the US, UK & German leaders - if it is true what was said, and in particular, that all three leaders agreed that there is no need for humanitarian aid to southeastern Ukraine, as all necessary measures are already being taken, then it is a blatant expression of cynicism,” the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry says.
Hundreds of thousands have been left with- out water, electricity, and both mobile and land-line 'phones, for over a week.
Constant shelling has forced many to seek refuge in underground shelters and 117,000 people are forcibly displaced within Ukraine, reveals the latest UN data. Moscow's data shows that 730,000 other people have fled for safety, to Russia.
Ukrainian Armed Forces in "misery" pushed back
Another unit of Ukraine's Armed Forces ran out of ammunition during a fierce firefight with anti- Fascist fighters as they tried to surround the city of Donetsk on the weekend.
Reports from the front line tell a story of misery, bad preparation, bad leadership and confusion.
In an interview with the Ukrainian publication Gordon, an unnamed soldier, asking not to be named, out of fear for his comrades, states:
"You know, not long ago, I realized with horror, that Russian "Channel One" tells more truth about the Ukrainian army's situation in the ATO zone, than our media does".
He confirms reports in the Russian media, that Ukrainian army units had crucified a three-year- old boy in Slaviansk and says only 20% of locals in Donbas welcome the Ukrainian Armed Forces -- while 80% want them to go away.
Saturday, Ukraine's Armed Forces admitted to heavy losses when trying to encircle Donetsk.
Although Kiev is admitting to many killed, eye witnesses say that the true figures are always far higher than the official ones.
Meanwhile the humanitarian situation in the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk, is worsening.
Russia states it is ready to launch an aid operation in the area to help the civilians, but the west is now procrastinating.
Some NATO and US figures (plus poodle UK leaders, of course) have said that, if Russia tries to enter Ukraine with aid, they will consider it to be an invasion, and an act of war.
Israel, Palestinians agree to new 72-hour Gaza ceasefire – officials
Agreement on a new Egypt-proposed 72-hour Gaza ceasefire is reached on Sunday, Reuters reports, citing Israeli and Palestinian officials.
Turkey premier wins presidential vote: Unofficial results
Turkey's outgoing PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has won the country’s presidential election, unofficial results say.
The results, based on a Turkish media count, say the ruling Justice & Development Party’s (AKP) candidate won almost 52% of the vote in the first round of the presidential election.
"The people showed their will at the polls today," Erdogan said in a brief speech in the Istanbul on Sunday evening.
Erdogan's main rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is said to have won nearly 39% of the vote.
Former head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ihsanoglu, 71, was joint candidate for the centre-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
"I hope that the result is beneficial for democracy in Turkey," Ihsanoglu said in Istanbul. "I congratulate the prime minister and wish him success."
Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas has reportedly won third place, with slightly more than 9% of the vote.
The official results in the election, are expected on Monday.
Erdogan promised the tens of thousands of voters backing him in the election, a strong and new Turkey, and is flying to Ankara for a victory speech.
Turkish citizens voted at over 165,000 polling stations on Sunday to directly elect their head of state for a five-year term. 53 million people were eligible to vote.
Spreading the truth:-- Spanish volunteers join fight against Kiev in Eastern Ukraine
2 Spanish volunteers have joined the fight against Kiev’s offensive on eastern Ukraine, speaking out against the actions of the nation's military. They say their main objective is to spread the truth about the conflict.
Anhel Davilla-Rivas, 29, and Rafa Munez, 28, arrived in Donetsk two weeks ago to offer their assistance to the residents of eastern Ukraine.
“What we saw in the weeks we've been here, is only bombing of the people and an assault by all the forces on all fronts from Kiev. They are trying to separate the cities and sending mercenaries to kill journalists -- and to demoralize any person that can tell the truth about what’s happening here,” Davilla-Rivas tells RT’s Ruptly agency.
The pair haven't engaged in fighting just yet, stressing that their main goal is to reveal the truth about what is happening on the ground.
Davilla-Rivas notes Russia has no presence in the area - and could do more in terms of humanitarian aid.
“I never see a Russian soldier... volunteers like us, but Russia isn't really doing anything. And I think that Russia should do more for these people - not with guns, but helping people with medicine,” the Spanish volunteer says.
Davilla-Rivas also calls on others around the world to come to eastern Ukraine and help in any way that they can.
“More people have to come here. If they don’t want to take up guns, they don't have to, but... all people can help with something:-- cleaning in the kitchen; telling the truth to countries from here; and watching the situation with their own eyes. It's more important that a lot of people come here and help in what way they can, not necessarily as soldiers.”
Both arrived in eastern Ukraine from Madrid by train and joined the Vostok battalion of the self-defense forces.
Kiev's forces completely encircled Donetsk, on Saturday.
The Donetsk region militia said it is ready for a ceasefire to stop a humanitarian catastrophe.
Their statement came as the UN voiced serious concerns over the situation in eastern Ukraine. “Innocent civilians trapped in fighting continue to lose their lives,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday.
“What we are scared about is the way the military operations are conducted. What will happen if we have intense fighting inside the big urban centres of Lugansk and Donetsk? Fighting in these highly intensified urban areas, could lead to a massive exodus and to massive destruction,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Vincent Cochetel, stated on Tuesday.
Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, has called for an international humanitarian mission to be launched.
But Kiev and some of its Western allies vehemently oppose any humanitarian mission involving Russia.
Kiev even accuses Moscow of scheming to infiltrate eastern Ukraine with the help of the International Red Cross mission to “provoke a full-scale conflict.”
According to Moscow, however, a “full-scale” war is already taking place in the region and it needs to stop.
Late on Saturday, the press service of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on his official website that the US has been invited to take part in an international humanitarian mission to Lugansk.
The mission, presented as Poroshenko’s initiative, under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, was mentioned during his phone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden. (Whose son now heads Ukraine's major energy company --- since the US-backed coup.)
The eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk declared a state of humanitarian catastrophe on Tuesday, as there are no medical supplies, electricity, or lighting. There's also a lack of mobile or internet communication. 250,000 civilians are unable to leave, a statement on the council's website says.
Over 1,100 people have been killed and 3,500 injured in eastern Ukraine since Kiev’s offensive began. Around 100,000 people remain internally displaced and up to 740,000 have crossed the Russian border since January to stay with friends or relatives, or to seek refugee status.
All of Israel within range of resistance missiles: Iran cmdr.
A senior Iranian commander says all Israel is within range of missiles from Palestine's resistance movement.
“Today, all the occupied territories are within range of the Palestinian resistance missiles,” said the Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Hossein Salami.
“When the resistance fires missiles at Haifa it means that the missile range of the Islamic resistance has reached 160 kilometers and it means that the entire area [controlled by] the Zionist regime... is within the range of the Palestinian resistance movement,” he noted.
The Iranian commander argued that now, all residents of the occupied territories feel the same level of insecurity, and Israel has become a securitized environment.
Israel has been incapable of controlling the barrage of Palestinian rockets and preventing the Islamic resistance forces from infiltrating into its military bases through a large number of tunnels, the commander pointed out.
Salami questioned Israel’s claim that Palestinian fighters had created 32 tunnels and the regime had destroyed them all.
“It is predicted that the resistance possesses equipment and capabilities which it will put into action if the war gets out of control,” the commander pointed out.
Salami said despite the technologies and equipment Israel possesses and the intelligence operations it carries out, the Palestinians have dug hundreds of kilometers of tunnels, while Tel Aviv has failed to target major Palestinian figures or discover and eliminate the resistance movement’s warehouses filled with rockets and missiles or even a large part of their tunnels.
“This shows that the Palestinian resistance movement has reached such intelligence maturity that has brought the intelligence service of the Zionist regime to its knees,” he noted.
He said the West Bank will surely go through the process Gaza went and it will undoubtedly take up arms and enter the battle against Israel, adding, “At present, they (West Bank) are fighting with stones, but Gaza, which now possesses missiles and drones, also used to fight with stones and the same will happen out there.”
The Iranian commander pointed to Israel’s 33-day war on Lebanon in July 2006 as one of the major failures of Israel as it ruined the image of the regime’s military forces as the world’s fifth most powerful army.
The achievements of Lebanon’s Hezbollah in the 2006 war inspired the Palestinians to resist Israel in the 22-day war on Gaza in 2008 and show better military capabilities in response to the regime’s 2012 aggression against the coastal sliver, Salami added.
He also slammed Tel Aviv’s sway over the US, adding, “Undoubtedly, it has been years that the Middle East policies and strategies of the US have been hostage to the policies of Israel.”
Referring to the atrocities of the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, Salami said the ISIL was established with US support to disintegrate the government of Iraq, and the US sought to reduce Iran’s regional sway, with the aid of a reactionary government.
Nagasaki marks 69th anniversary of US' atomic bombing
Japan has marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city of Nagasaki by the United States, in 1945.
A ceremony commemorating victims of the US nuclear attack, was held in Nagasaki’s Peace Park, on Saturday.
The event was attended by the aging survivors of the bombing, relatives of the victims & high-ranking Japanese officials.
In a speech at the ceremony, the Nagasaki Mayor pledged the city’s continued push for the elimination of nuclear weapons. He also criticized nuclear states for failing to disarm.
Taue urged Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to address growing public concerns over Tokyo’s security policy.
“The rushed debate over collective self- defence has given rise to the concern that this principle (Japan’s renunciation to war) is wavering.”
The US attack on Nagasaki, which killed over 70,000 people in the final stages of World War II, happened three days after Washington’s atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima, where over 140,000 died.
The US possesses the largest stockpile of active nuclear warheads in the world and is the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons against another nation.
The United States currently holds a stockpile of 4,650 nuclear warheads, 2,130 of which are operational.
US contracts Latin American youth for subversion in Cuba
A new investigation by Associated Press (AP) exposes a new USAID program to manipulate Cuban youth
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) secretly sent young Latin Americans to Cuba in an attempt to incite opposition and destroy the Revolution, according to an investigation conducted by the US press agency Associated Press, the same agency which exposed the ZunZuneo project, based on the use of mobile phone technology, to destabilize Cuba.
The report signed by journalists Desmond Butler, Jack Gillum, Alberto Arce and Andrea Rodríguez, stated that, beginning in October 2009, a project directed by USAID sent young Venezuelans, Costa Ricans and Peruvians to Cuba with the goal of inciting a rebellion on the island.
AP says: “The travelers worked undercover, often posing as tourists, and traveled around the island scouting for people they could turn into political activists.”
The project employed covert methods commonly used by US intelligence services, such as secret lines of communication, fronts and lies; encryption of information; security measures; promoting exchanges with overseas agents; seeking intelligence information on Cuban society; psychological preparation of emissaries in the case of possible detection by Cuban State Security; use of codes in communications, among others.
Nonetheless the journalists assert that the project was full of “incompetence and risks.”
The covert, illegal operation contracted people, even after the arrest and sentencing of the US contractor Alan Gross, imprisoned for committing acts in violation of Cuban independence and territorial integrity.
Young Cubans who were in contact with the “travelers,” such as university student Héctor Baranda, who became friends with a group of visitors, were shocked to hear about the AP report, and those working for USAID.
“Their assignment was to recruit young Cubans to anti-government activism,” stated AP. The mission consisted of organizing “programs disguised as civic activities, including a work- shop on health prevention.”
“Murillo was to check in every 48 hours and was provided with a set of security codes.”
"I have a headache," for instance, meant the Costa Rican thought Cubans were watching.”
USAID hired the firm Creative Associates International which also participated in the creation of the ZunZuneo program.
According to documents obtained by AP and interviews conducted in 6 countries, “USAID's young operatives posed as tourists, visited college campuses and used a ruse that could undermine USAID's credibility in critical health work around the world: An HIV-prevention workshop,” seen as the “perfect excuse” for the program’s political objectives.
The investigation revealed that the “operation often teetered on disaster. There was no safety net for the inexperienced travelers, who were doing work that was explicitly illegal in Cuba.”
According to emails obtained by AP, after Gross was arrested, USAID informed its operatives, privately, that they should consider suspending their scheduled plans to travel to Cuba.
However, in April 2010, Fernando Murillo was sent to Havana. He was contracted by Creative Associates to “turn Cuba's apathetic young people into effective political actors.”
In Santa Clara, Murillo met a cultural group that called itself “Revolution,” a modest outfit of artists devoted to electronic music & video.
If the idea was to hold a series of seminars to recruit “volunteers,” Murillo needed a theme that would draw in potential recruits and still be allowed by the state.
He initiated a HIV workshop, which in November 2010 attracted 60 young people. The workshop was supposed to give participants sex education to prevent contracting the virus.
But the ulterior motive, documents obtained by AP show, was to use the workshop as a recruiting ground for young people by showing them how to organize themselves.
When he was contacted in San Jose, Costa Rica, Murillo said he could not speak about the details of his Cuba trips because he signed a nondisclosure agreement. He said he wasn't trying to do anything but teach, “I never said to a Cuban that he had to do something against the government,” he said.
However, in the six page report which Fernando Murillo sent to Creative Associates, he stressed that the workshop was “the perfect excuse for the treatment of the underlying theme.”
Elsewhere in the report Murillo revealed another objective, “to generate a network of volunteers for social transformation.”
Manuel Barbosa, founder of artistic group Revolution, said in an interview in Santa Clara, that the Costa Ricans never told him that they were working for USAID.
AP’s report also stated that “Staging a workshop as a front to subvert a foreign government risked casting suspicion on USAID's legitimate public health mission, including a more than 3 billion dollar annual HIV program that the agency says has helped some 50 million people in nearly 100 countries.”
While Murillo and the Costa Rican travelers focused on the HIV workshop and other programs, teams of Venezuelans and Peruvians were deployed to Cuba's college campuses.
Their mission, documents & interviews show, was to “recruit university students with the long-term goal of turning them against their government.”
In late 2009, Creative Associates contracted Venezuelan lawyer Zaimar Castillo, then 22, who ran an organization called Renova.
His organization visited student residences on campus at the University of Santa Clara and took weekend trips to meet the families of students. Another team of young Peruvians also targeted the university in Santa Clara.
They described the students and their facilities in great detail, noting complaints and fairness issues that might be exploited. Potential recruits were listed by name, and then profiled, their leadership qualities assessed in a spreadsheet.
Nonetheless, the Cuban students, in recent interviews with AP, said they were shocked to discover that the foreigners were acting on behalf of USAID.
On September 3, 2010, Irving Perez, a manager at Creative Associates' office in San Jose, called a meeting via Skype to announce a change in strategy. “Our program will no longer rely on trips to the island, at least not as the backbone of the operation,” Perez told the travelers.
Instead of traveling to Cuba, they would try to help certain Cuban “star contacts” get exit visas to train in a third country.
AP recognized the failure of the subversion project.
On August 4, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declined to comment, when questioned about the project.
“I can not comment on the report (published in the US press) as there are several inaccurate points. I invite you to go directly to USAID.”
A statement by USAID spokesperson Matt Herrick says USAID denies the secrecy of their programs in Cuba, commenting:
“The United States Congress finances pro- democracy programs in Cuba to increase Cubans’ access to more information and the strengthening of civil society.”
Herrick added that all programs carried out in Cuba are available to the public via the webpage foreignassistance.gov. “This work isn't a secret, it isn't covert and it isn't illegal.”
However, as in the case of the ZunZuneo project, the characteristics of this subversive program place it in the category of unconventional war methods, which have been used increasingly over recent years.
This form of warfare seeks to achieve the goals of domination and regime change in countries the US considers opposed to its interests, without the direct involvement of traditional forces on the ground, resulting in relatively lower costs for the aggressor country, but not for the victim.
The participation of “unqualified” personnel in traditional intelligence operations is codified in a US Special Forces’ TC-1801 training circular.
According to the circular, unconventional warfare involves a “multi-agency” effort by the US. The entire project operatively reflects this doctrine, in which USAID plays an important role.
The federal agency obtains multimillion dollar funds from US tax payers for its "humanitarian" work around the world, but has been exposed to be a front for intelligence operations.
Excerpts from document obtained by AP
Contact must be anonymous by Gmail, SMS, or telephone, with a simple message saying the traveler is having a good time.
Communication by any means must be short and to the point.
If sensitive information needs to be reported (security issues, key programmatic events) the message must be encoded and should never mention names, places, numbers, etc. If need be, the free, easy- to-use service Hushmail Express will be used.
If language like the following needs to be used, please interpret according to the phrases:
“I have a headache” → We suspect we are being monitored and will temporarily abstain from carrying out the objectives of the trip, unless otherwise instructed.
“I got drunk and had to go to the hospital. I’m OK now and will take it easy for the rest of the trip” → We were detained and interrogated; we will not continue with the objectives of the trip and continue as tourists for the rest of the trip.
“I’m too ill to stay here, will return home early. See you soon” → We have been expelled and are leaving immediately. Will get in touch with you as soon as we are in a third country.
Israel communities near Gaza border half empty: Report
Nearly half the Israeli communities near the Gaza border, have reportedly fled their houses in recent weeks, expressing doubt over the prospect of any safe return to the area.
During the period, hundreds of Israeli families have left the Negev desert - a tourist attraction - to live in northern areas, the L.A. Times reports.
A poll this week reveals that 21% of residents in the area, are considering moving away.
Despite the Israeli army’s announcement to the residents of the area, after the latest cease-fire with Hamas that they can return to their homes, the communities are reportedly still half-empty.
A senior Hamas official says the group would not extend the truce because Israel has not responded to any of the Palestinian demands at the negotiations.
Israeli tanks have started to redeploy to their previous positions during the Gaza war.
Thousands of Palestinians left their homes east of Gaza City on Friday in fear of Israeli attacks after the truce ended.
The Israeli military aggression against Gaza, which began on July 8, has killed over 1,900 Palestinians, including over 400 children, and wounded over 9,500 others.
Palestinian resistance movements have retaliated by launching rockets into Israel.
US 'hiding truth' on Malaysian plane
Former US lawmaker Ron Paul says the US is “hiding” the truth about the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane in east Ukraine last month.
"The US government's grown strangely quiet on the accusation that it was Russia or her allies who brought down a Malaysian airliner with a buck anti-aircraft missile," Paul says, in an article published by Voices of Liberty.
US officials claim the plane was downed by a missile fired by anti-coup forces in Ukraine but Paul says that claim is baseless because the US has not provided any evidence for it.
"It’s hard to believe that the US, with all its spy satellites available for monitoring everything in Ukraine, that precise proof of who did what and when, is not available," he says.
“When evidence contradicts our government’s accusations, the evidence is never revealed to the public - for national security reasons, of course.
Independent sources claim that the crash site reveals evidence that the bullet holes may have come from a fighter jet. If true, it will implicate Western Ukraine,” he states.
Paul also condemns US officials for not wanting to reveal the truth. "Too bad we can’t count on our government to just tell us the truth & show us the evidence.
I’m convinced that it knows a lot more than it’s telling us."
Israeli soldiers fire live bullets to curb West Bank protest
Israeli soldiers have used live ammunition and plastic bullets to disperse thousands of angry anti-war Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank.
It came after Israeli soldiers clashed with Palestinian protesters after Friday prayers in the West Bank town of al-Khalil (Hebron).
Palestinian sources say 50+ Palestinians were injured after Israeli forces used live bullets to break up the protest in al-Khalil.
The demonstrators were protesting against the Israeli onslaught on the Gaza Strip now.
Initial reports say rallies also took place in the cities of Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarm, where protesters voiced their support for the resistance in Gaza.
This is the latest in a recent string of pro-Gaza rallies in the occupied West Bank since Israel began pounding Gaza a month ago.
Over a dozen Palestinian protesters have so far been killed during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank.
The Israeli forces have also arrested a large number of demonstrators across the occupied West Bank in recent days.
Palestinians in the West Bank said they were out in the streets to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters killed in Gaza.
The latest developments come as Israel has resumed its attacks on the besieged region after a three-day ceasefire which ended at 5:00 am GMT on Friday.
At least two Palestinians, including a child, have been killed in northern Gaza and nearly a dozen people have been wounded in the latest Israeli attacks.
The Israeli regime’s 30 days of military attacks against the Gaza Strip, which began on July 8, have claimed the lives of 1,900 Palestinians, including over 400 children, and wounded over 9,500 others.
Russia arrests five Ukrainian officers
Russia’s main federal investigating authority has arrested five Ukrainian army officers for shelling civilian areas in eastern Ukraine.
The Investigative Committee of Russia made their announcement on Friday, saying the 5 were among hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and border guards who laid down their arms and crossed into Russia to request refugee status on Monday.
According to the committee, evidence was present showing that the 5 detained soldiers were part of a Ukrainian mechanized brigade that indiscriminately shelled Luhansk region between July 19 and August 3.
The committee says the shelling, which left 10 civilians wounded or killed and at least 20 buildings damaged, is confirmed by other Ukrainian soldiers questioned.
If the 5 detained soldiers are convicted, they could face up to 20 years in jail.
Thursday, Ukrainian government forces shelled a hospital in Donetsk, killing at least one person and injuring two others.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the Kiev government launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the anti US-installed-regime protests.
The ongoing violence has forced thousands of civilians to abandon their homes. Local authorities warn of a looming humanitarian crisis as water, food and fuel supplies have dried up in the eastern regions.
CIA waterboarding is torture: International Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross breaks its silence on the CIA water-boarding inflicted on suspects, and say it's torture and a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
It's the first time that the Red Cross, based in Geneva, Switzerland, has publicly declared a specific interrogation technique, as torture.
"The definition of torture is any technique causing severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, inflicted for a purpose, such as:- the obtaining of information or a confession, exerting pressure, intimidating or humiliating," Anna Nelson, the Red Cross spokesperson in Washington, says, Friday.
"Waterboarding fits into this category and therefore qualifies as torture" --- under US and international law --- she adds.
Nelson says the recent US' public defense of waterboarding, has prompted the Red Cross, which historically has not publicly spoken on specific detention practices, to break its traditional silence.
"Given that this debate's been going on for years and continues to come up, we do not want our silence to be misconstrued as tacitly condoning this technique as permissible," she says.
Many human rights activists & legal scholars, have long maintained that waterboarding and other cruel techniques inflicted on detainees during George W. Bush's administration, were torture, which is prohibited by US federal law.
"There's no way any competent, knowledgeable attorney can say that waterboarding is legal under the Geneva Conventions, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or the Convention Against Torture," says retired Major General Thomas Romig, a former US Army judge advocate general.
The new condemnation of the CIA’s cruel actions, comes with a renewed US debate over the spy agency’s practices after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, which included waterboarding several detainees at so- called secret black sites overseas.
The CIA and US lawmakers have fought over publication of parts of a lengthy Senate Intelligence Committee report critical of the spy agency's conduct.
Last Friday, President Barack Obama said at a news conference that the coming CIA report would show some terrorism suspects suffered techniques that "any fair-minded person would believe were torture."
Over 10,000 killed in Kiev’s punitive op - Ukrainian MP
Over 10,000 people have been killed in Kiev’s punitive operation since April, says a Ukrainian parliamentary group.
The MPs urge the president to declassify the full information on citizens killed.
The Ukrainian parliamentary group “For peace and stability” says on Friday that the figure is given by volunteer groups working in the east of the country.
“We have estimated that just in the first two weeks of July nearly 2,500 Ukraine soldiers were killed in the ‘anti-terrorist operation’,” the group said, in a prepared statement, in the Verhovnaya Rada (Ukraine’s parliament).
“The number of wounded during the same period was over 5,000 people. Thousands of civilians fell victim to military actions. Most of them died from shrapnel wounds.
Thus, the preliminary number of the Ukrainians killed during the anti-terrorist operation, is more than 10,000 people according to our estimates,” says the co-chairperson of the parliamentary group, Sergey Gorokhov.
The MPs also addressed Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the Kiev government, urging them to “declassify the official data on the number of civilians, Ukraine soldiers, and everyone who took part in the anti- terrorist operation, who've been killed.”
Gorokhov states that the president gets a report on people killed every day, but it is "classified".
Meanwhile, the families of those missing in the military operation zone, petition the government each day, in the “hope that their close ones will be found,” he adds.
“According to local residents of the eastern regions, the bodies of Ukrainians are loaded into vehicles and taken to an unknown destination, each day.
We demand the Ukrainian people be told the truth - bitter, heavy, but the truth,” he urges.
Earlier on Friday, the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Security Council, Andrey Lysenko, stated that fifteen Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the last 24 hours.
“Over the last 24 hours, 7 armed forces personnel, and 8 border patrol agents were killed, while 79 were injured,” Lysenko said.
Kiev's military operation has been intensifying since May. According to the Security Council’s estimates, over 400 soldiers have died in the operation, while 1,600 have been injured.
The UN estimates, as of Tuesday, that there have been over 1,300 civilian deaths, over 4,000 have been injured, and over 100,000 people, have been forcibly displaced.
Moscow has called numerous times for a unilateral ceasefire and for negotiations between the two conflicted sides.
“Instead of giving these people a hand, inviting them to the negotiating table, and agreeing on how to live in the country, the military operation is going on,” Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said, way back in June.
He called for the start of a dialogue that should be based on the Geneva Statement of April 17, 2014, and the roadmap that was developed by the Swiss representatives of the OSCE at the beginning of May.
OLD MEN FORCED INTO KIEV's ARMY
Ukraine’s President Poroshenko, Friday, signed a parliament-approved bill which increases the age limit for reservists, the presidential press service reports, Friday.
The age limit for reservists liable for military service is increased from 50 to 60 years for privates, sergeants and sergeant-majors; from 55 to 60 years for junior and senior officers and 65 years for general officers.
Ukrainian deputies voted for the bill on July 22nd.
West blocks Moscow’s UN plea to reinstate ceasefire at MH17 crash site
The UN Security Council fails to adopt a resolution on reinstating the ceasefire at the Malaysian Airlines plane crash site in eastern Ukraine, after Russia’s draft was blocked by Western states.
“Unfortunately, some UNSC members have reacted in their usual way as they oppose any criticism of the Ukrainian leadership,” Churkin says, adding that Lithuania, the US and Australia proposed inappropriate amendments to the text.
“A few countries, such as Lithuania and the US, started to suggest amendments, saying that the draft lacks criticism of the people they call ‘separatists’,” Churkin adds.
Moscow’s resolution didn't concern the actions of either side in the conflict, the Russian envoy to the UN says. It was, rather, dedicated to the announcement published on the website of the Ukrainian commission investigating the crash.
According to that announcement, Kiev will not stick to the ceasefire, as international investigators have left the crash site.
As Churkin states, later on, the Ukrainian delegation to the UN informed the Security Council that this wasn't true, and that the ceasefire is still in force.
Thus Russia submitted a document urging the Ukrainian authorities to publicly clarify the situation, calling on both sides in the conflict “to restrain from any actions that could violate the integrity” of the crash site.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution for an international investigation into the MH17 incident, and demanding safe access to the site for investigators. Russia's draft said the resolution shouldn't be violated.
However, shelling and fighting in the area has continued, stopping the experts' work several times over the past few weeks.
On Thursday, Kiev suspended the truce with self-defense forces at the crash site.
"The ceasefire in the plane crash zone, announced by the President of Ukraine at the request of international experts, which has been thoroughly observed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, will not be in place at the beginning of the second phase of the investigation," Ukraine's current government said.
The government claims the international mission was halted because of “terrorist provocateurs” who “posed threats to the lives” of the recovery mission members.
The suspension of the ceasefire in the MH17 crash area is a direct violation of the UN resolution, Vitaly Churkin states:
“The truce was approved by UN Security Council resolution 2166, thus it is a clear violation of the resolution, and will have very serious consequences for the international inspectors' ability to conduct the investigation, when they decide to return to the area.”
Before the ceasefire was canceled, the Netherlands, leading the international probe, announced it was halting the mission to recover victims and debris of the July 17 MH17 crash, because of fighting between Ukrainian forces and rebels in the area.
The international investigating team got to the site days after the tragic incident, and was delayed for security reasons.
Experts are expected to resume their efforts once the situation allows.
Currently, at least 3 areas containing the Boeing-777’s debris remain unexamined by the international mission, according to the Ukrainian government.
The majority of experts will leave Ukraine until a decision on resuming the operation is made, it said in a statement.
Russia to create rapid reaction force as relations with West get strained
Russia’s airborne troops are to double and be fundamentally rearmed over five years to be the basis of a rapid reaction force.
A high-ranking source at the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, says that the Defense Ministry’s leadership approves of the ideas of airborne force commander, Colonel-General Vladimir Shamanov, to approximately double the strength of the airborne troops’ manpower to 72,000 officers and men over five years.
Shamanov adds: airborne troops are going to expand their presence outside Russia.
The troops will be equipped with combat drones as early as 2015, which will allow reconnaissance units to operate deeply inside the enemy’s rear.
“The plans for doubling the airborne troops’ strength, are quite realistic and relevant, as the vision of threats to Russia amid the crisis in Ukraine has changed,” a member of the military-industrial commission under the Russian government, Mikhail Remizov, states...
“Apparently, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is determined to correct the mistakes made by Anatoly Serdyukov, whose reforms were aimed at slashing the airborne troops’ strength of 35,000 men by half,” he says.
“Just a few years ago, Russia’s military reform was based on the assumption that the era of classical wars between countries had gone, never to return.
“All of a sudden it turns out that threats against Russia keep mounting. This circumstance has required building up the strength of the airborne troops, as the most mobile component of all,” Mikhail Remizov says.
“British General Adrian Bradshaw, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, has said the alliance’s rapid reaction force, charged with the mission to deter Russia, should incorporate ground and air forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, said that Russia would give a symmetric response to NATO’s build-up. For this reason, the plans for arming Russia’s airborne troops with combat drones, looks very timely and appropriate, given the new challenges.
So far, this class of aircraft has been the greatest weakness of Russia’s military hardware.
“A considerable airborne troops build-up, was discussed at the Defense Ministry in 2012-13, but nobody hurried to translate it into reality.
“This decision was prompted by the current political situation in Ukraine and the need to react to actions by our counter-parts, such as the NATO member-countries,” Colonel-General Viktor Yesin, former chief of the strategic missile forces’ staff, states.
“The airborne troops have a two-fold mission of dealing with local conflicts and serving as the backbone of peace-keeping forces. Of late, the number of both types of challenges has grown considerably, so the strength of mobile troops should be increased, on the condition, though, that the overall build-up won't exceed the current overall strength of Russia’s armed forces,” Yesin says.
“Converting Russia’s airborne troops into a full- fledged rapid reaction force their material and logistics base should be reinforced considerably.
“An ever wider use of drones by mobile, naval and ground units is an overall world trend. The fact that the Russian Defense Ministry has set the task of arming the airborne troops with drones is a very timely measure,” Yesin says in conclusion.
Israel pounds Gaza Strip after truce expiry Israel has resumed pounding the Gaza Strip, shortly after the expiry of a 72-hour-long truce between Tel Aviv and Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas.
There are still no reports of potential casualties from the renewed attack, which started after the lull expired at 0800 (0500 GMT) on Friday.
The Palestinian resistance is also reported to have started rocket attacks on Israel. Over 2 dozen rockets have been fired on Israeli cities including Ashkelon, Eshkol and Kivosim.
Israeli officials say that most rockets landed in open areas and there were some interceptions.
The developments came after indirect talks in Cairo failed to extend the ceasefire. A senior Hamas official has said the group would not extend the truce, as Israel had not responded to Palestinian demands at the negotiations.
Israeli tanks have started to redeploy to their previous positions during the Gaza war.
Thousands of Palestinians left their homes east of Gaza City on Friday in fear of Israeli attacks after the truce ended.
Kiev turns off hot water -- fears winter gas shortage
Kiev has turned off all hot water in the city to try to save gas for the winter months.
The Ukrainian government is unsure how long people will be affected, or whether the measure will be enough to ensure winter heating.
White House: US won’t attack ISIL in Iraq
White House press secretary Josh Earnest has rejected any idea of a US plan to bomb militants in Iraq, saying the US doesn't have a military solution to the ISIL advances.
"There are no American military solutions to the problems in Iraq," Earnest tells reporters.
"These problems can only be solved with Iraqi political solutions.”
He says the US may choose military action if US interests are endangered.
US-backed ISIL militants have terrorized entire communities: Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Yazidis and others, as they steadily advanced into Iraq.
White House and Pentagon officials have previously said, the US won't take military action in Iraq until PM Nouri al-Maliki, a Shia allied to Iran, steps down.
Hamas ready to resume war if its demands are not met
The armed wing of Hamas, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, calls on Palestinian negotiators in Cairo not to push for any extension of the 72-hour truce unless their demands are met, in particular, the opening of Gaza’s port.
They say they are prepared to engage in a long war with Israel, if those demands are not met. The 72-hour truce is due to end at 0500 GMT on Friday.
Over the past 3 weeks, almost 1,900 people have been killed in Gaza, the vast majority of whom, were Palestinian civilians.
Russia bans agricultural products from EU, USA, Australia, Norway, and Canada
Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev has signed a new decree banning all imports of beef, pork, and poultry meats, fish, cheese, milk, vegetables and fruit from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway.
The ban lasts a year, starting on August 7th.
The PM also says Russia has stopped transit flights by Ukrainian airlines to destinations such as Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, adding that Russia is considering a ban on transit flights across Russia for EU/US Airlines to the Asia-Pacific region.
Western sanctions are a “dead-end track”, but Russia has been forced to respond to the measures taken by western countries, Medvedev adds.
Alcohol imports from both the EU and the US, will not be restricted.
“We are actually speaking of an embargo on imports of entire product categories, from countries which have introduced sanctions against Russian organizations and individuals,” Medvedev says.
Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Federal Customs Service (FCS), to see that banned imports cannot cross the Russian border.
The Russian PM also warns against possible attempts to use the situation to raise prices.
"I'd like to warn that attempts to gain from price speculation in this situation, will be roughly stopped," Medvedev says.
The Russian PM adds that Moscow still has a lot of trading partners abroad, which it hasn't placed on its sanctions retaliation list.
The agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor announces plans to increase imports from Chile, which could include vegetables, fruit, fish, shellfish, meat and milk.
“Imports of fish, which last year amounted to 53,000 tons, may grow two or three times. Shellfish imports might increase from 3,000 tons to 15,000-20,000 tons,” the watchdog says in a statement.
Medvedev sincerely hopes "our partners’ economic pragmatism will prevail over bad political decisions, and they will think before trying to frighten Russia by imposing trade restrictions on it and then, mutual trade and economic partnerships will be restored to the volumes which existed before. We would like that to happen.”
In 2013, Russia imported $6.7 billion worth of both meat & meat products. The largest suppliers came from the now-banned states, like Denmark (6.6% of total Russian meat products), Germany (6.4%), USA (5.3%), and Canada (3.8%).
Medvedev believes the years' embargo Russia is imposing, will boost domestic agriculture. He accepts that Russian farmers will have to come a long way, but says that it's a unique opportunity to develop products to replace imports.
“We're only lagging behind in the production of certain varieties of meat and milk. We've to catch up -- and our farmers are ready to do so, especially if we help them.”
As a result of the ban, Russia’s production of agricultural products could grow by $10.8 billion over the next 18 months, the Russian Minister for Agriculture , Nikolay Fyodorov, states.
The Governor of Krasnodar Region, Aleksandr Tkachev, has been quick to react to the news by saying farmers in the region will use the chance to replace imported goods with their own produce.
“I've spoken to the heads of agricultural enterprises, about the presidential law banning imports of Western agricultural goods,” Tkachev says.
“The mood is on the whole optimistic. Krasnodar's farmers have received a big stimulus to use all their potential.”
Krasnodar is a big agricultural player in Russia. It's the 3rd biggest producer of meat & eggs in the country and the 4th biggest milk producing region.
Astrakhan Region in Russia’s south, also says it is ready to increase agricultural production by 20–25 percent next year.
“There’s a real possibility that all the low quality goods, which have been imported, will not appear on Russia's market again.
The country’s agriculture is now being given a historic chance for a breakthrough, to raise production, the variety of goods, and improve processing technology,” the Governor of the Astrakhan Region Aleksandr Zhilkin, says.
Banning certain imports from the West will provide “historic opportunities” for Russia’s more distant territories in the Ural Mountains and in the Far East.
“Russia is the richest country in the world and has unique marine resources, that, unfortunately, go abroad. However, the demand for these products on the international market are very high,” Irina Yarovaya, a Duma member from Kamchatka, says.
The new ruling will help Russia develop its agriculture and make it easier for Russian farmers to market their products, head of the Duma Committee on Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Igor Rudensky, says.
US ready for more sanctions against Russia – Obama
US President Barack Obama says Washington is ready to consider imposing more sanctions on Russia if Moscow does not change policies over Ukraine.
When asked if the sanctions are actually working, Obama said “We don’t know yet.”
He added that he believes “Sanctions are working as intended, in putting enormous pressure & strain on Russia's economy,” citing “estimates in terms of capital flight,” and “projections for Russian growth.”
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has a choice “to try to resolve the issues in eastern Ukraine through diplomacy and peaceful means... or alternatively, continue on the course he’s on, in which case he is going to be hurting his economy, and hurting his own people over the long term,” Obama said.
Donetsk People’s Republic PM announces his resignation
Aleksandr Boroday, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk (DPR) has announced he will resign.
He will be replaced by Aleksandr Zakharchenko, one of the militia commanders and also a leader of the ‘Oplot’ movement.
“I came here as a crisis manager, a start-upper, if you want. I’ve managed to achieve a lot in the past several months, the DPR's been established as a state,” Boroday told a media conference.
Unlike Boroday, who originally comes from Moscow, Zakharchenko was born in the Donetsk region.
Boroday was appointed PM of the DPR on May the 16th. He will continue working at the DPR government as an adviser to the prime minister.
I YEAR OF HARD SANCTIONS AS RUSSIA HITS BACK
European Union fruit & vegetable produce represents around 2.7 billion USD-worth of exports to Russia.
This is now stopped by Russia for one year in retaliation for the sanctions the EU put on Russia last week.
Meat sourced products, dairy and other foodstuffs are also banned, in a move which will hit the EU hard.
Several countries are stating that they intend to sue the EU, if sanctions hurt their businesses.
US farmers are also hit.
(More details on the Finance column on Rhondda Records' Home Page...)
Netherlands suspends search operation at MH17 crash site in Ukraine
Dutch PM Mark Rutte says it is dangerous for international experts to remain in the region where the security situation is deteriorating.
About 80 international specialists were at the crash site, including 8 members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, and experts from the Netherlands and Australia.
On July 31st, in Minsk, officials from Ukraine, the OSCE and Russia, and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic agreed to a ceasefire within the humanitarian corridor used by OSCE monitors to access the crash site.
Several days after the Boeing accident, local militiamen found the fragments of over 200 bodies at the crash site. All were taken to the Netherlands for identification.
Australian and Dutch experts wanted the passengers' remains and personal belongings sent to the Netherlands. But this may now take several weeks.
The expert mission consists of 332 members who are to be joined shortly by 68 Malaysian policemen. Up to 100 people will be working at the crash site daily, but will not conduct the investigation or collect evidence now.
Kiev ‘gave up on us’: Ukrainian commander tells why 400 troops escaped into Russia
The command in Kiev blatantly abandoned a group of the 400+ soldiers encircled by the self-defense forces, the senior Ukrainian officer who requested sanctuary in Russia with his men, reveals.
Lack of ammunition, food, fuel and clear orders from commanders on what to do in the condition of encirclement, made the Ukraine troops cross the border, Major Vitaly Dubinyak, a battalion commander, states.
“For two weeks, we were fighting back without ammunition and fuel. I didn’t have an opportunity to feed my men for almost two weeks. We even ran out of first strike rations. The personnel were more exhausted by despair than by the actual shelling,” Dubinyak says.
“Other than giving us a command ‘hold on,’ Kiev provided us with no other assistance. And - during the last week - they aborted all communication. They simply gave up on us,” he says.
438 soldiers, including 164 Ukrainian border guards, were let into Russia, on Sunday night.
The troops have been housed in a tent camp deployed near the checkpoint where they entered Russian territory.
“In order to save people, the commanders of units decided to cross the border with Russia. All the equipment and weaponry had to be left on the Ukrainian side. The main thing was to save the people,” the commander stresses.
‘This civil war must be stopped’ Dubinyak says, and adds that he is surprised by the “almost brotherly” treatment his men received from their Russian colleagues.
“Those, who give orders to us are lying when they say that we are in a war with Russia. None of the Russian’s even gave a wry look. They understand that we are hostages in this troubled situation,” he says.
“A medical check-up was organized for us here. The wounded received assistance. We were fed. We showered for the first time in a month. We're given clothes, with conditions required for recreation created for us,” the commander adds.
According to Dubinyak, his men went through “a meat grinder” and they won’t return to battle again.
He urges the decision makers in Kiev to “fight on their own and send their own children to die.”
The commander also admits that the fighting in south-eastern Ukraine has turned into a full- scale civil war.
“I don’t know how I’ll look into the eyes of the mothers of those of my boys, who died. But I know for sure that this civil war must be stopped. "I’ve seen enough of the locals' tears and enough of my mens'. suffering. I’m sick of it. The main thing is that we’re alive. We’ll deal with the rest after we get home,” Dubinyak says.
Russia, UN call for humanitarian corridors in Ukraine
At the emergency UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, Russia and the UN called for aid corridors to be established in eastern Ukraine.
But the Ukrainian envoy opposed this, said the situation is "manageable" and said that there is "no humanitarian crisis in Ukraine."
He accused Moscow of continuing the unrest by supporting the anti-coup regions.
John Ging, operations chief for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said nearly four million people in the region were directly affected by the violence, with casualties rising and 1,000 people leaving the region daily.
He said 1,367 civilians and combatants have been killed in the contested regions and over 4,000 wounded in the fighting since mid-April.
The UN said that of the 117,910 people registered as internally displaced persons (IDPs) throughout Ukraine, 87 percent were from the east.
There are 168,677 Ukrainians registered as having crossed into Russia: 60,000 of those applying for refugee status and 115,952 applying for other ways of staying legally in Russia.
"However, this isn't the full picture, as many Ukrainians who fled their homes, have not registered with Ukrainian authorities, or officially applied for assistance," he said.
"We call on the Ukrainian government to address some of the key challenges to implementation of relief activities." "A unified system for IDPs is crucial to enable comprehensive analysis and an understanding of the existing needs."
Suggesting that humanitarian assistance be exempt from Ukrainian taxes, he calls for more efficient entry into Ukraine for aid workers, plus the easier transfer of medical supplies certified by the World Health Organization, into the region.
"We call on all sides to this conflict to enable free and safe movement for the population, while at the same time ensuring full access by humanitarian organizations to affected populations remaining behind," he said.
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin of Russia said "indiscriminate shelling of housing blocs and critical civilian infrastructure" is taking place now, in eastern Ukraine.
Shells fired by Ukrainian armed forces "continue to fall into Russia," he said. "There were about 20 such cases on August the 3rd (Sunday)."
"There's a critical health and epidemiological situation in Lugansk. There's no electricity going to houses. There's no water either, because of shelling. There's no clean water. There's a lack of telephone communications and even waste is not being cleaned up ... Ukrainians have begun to leave the country en masse," Churkin said.
"Our country stands ready to undertake this great burden and does not need material assistance from outside," he continued. "We stand ready to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians on our own."
But, he said, the situation was different in the Ukrainian capital.
The Moscow envoy said: "We've made multiple appeals to them for humanitarian corridors to evacuate children and the vulnerable, including child orphans and also sending humanitarian assistance from Russia, but Kiev has refused all these offers scornfully."
"Russia calls on the international community to take emergency measures to improve the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine," he said.
"We'd like to send a convoy with Russian humanitarian aid - with the accompaniment of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) - to where Internally Displaced Persons are concentrated, in the east.
"We stand ready to act with optimal transparency. Let the international committee monitor convoys, their transport routes (and) distribution of aid."
Ukraine's acting permanent representative to the UN, Oleksandr Pavlychenko, in an attempt to counter Churkin's claim of Ukraine shelling, said Russia "continues shelling settlements and armed forces" near their joint border.
"The number of Russian armed forces, heavy armored vehicles & troops positioned along the Russian - Ukrainian border, has been constantly increasing," Pavlychenko said.
"The shelling has resulted in casualties among civilians and soldiers & destroyed residential and administrative buildings."
He said "the government of Ukraine gives consideration to all recommendations by the UN; there is no humanitarian crisis in Ukraine: the situation is manageable."
Pavlychenko said his government was able to fulfill all social obligations, including retirement payments, social benefits and salaries, to the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk regions "except for some small towns" which remain under control of the separatists.
"If the Russian Federation really is interested in stabilization of the humanitarian situation in the Ukraine we propose just a few easy steps to be made by Russia: stop sending mercenaries, weapons and ammunition to the territory of Ukraine, establish effective control over its part of the border to stop the infiltration of illegal armed troops and weapons, stop provoking instability, and withdraw all military and paramilitary formations of the Russian armed forces from Ukrainian borders," he said.
The sooner those steps are taken by Russia, Pavlychenko said, "the sooner the situation in my country will stabilize and we will get back to normal life."
Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the UN, said the situation in Ukraine "is a matter of deep concern to China."
"We hope the international community will play a constructive role in easing the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine.
"We hope that the UN humanitarian agencies will strictly abide by principles of neutrality and objectivity."
He called for a ceasefire "as soon as possible" and said conducting comprehensive dialogue is "the only way out of the crisis in Ukraine."
"The international community should do more to promote peace and dialogue and create favorable conditions for the parties concerned, to maintain dialogue and engagement, and make constructive efforts for the political advancement of Ukraine's crisis," Liu said.
The parties should "meet each other halfway," he said.
The situation in eastern Ukraine was described as a catastrophic, full-blown war by Russia's UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, at the UN Security Council meeting.
Russia called for the urgent UNSC meeting
Russia’s Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin had said he hoped the meeting would convene sooner, but the United Kingdom had not yet given its consent.
He also said there had been enough time to prepare for the meeting and added, “There were cases when meetings were convened in a shorter time.”
The Christian Science Monitor quotes the UN as saying that nearly one million people have been displaced by the escalating fighting in the two eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk & Luhansk.
According to Russia's regional authorities, over 5,000 Ukrainian refugees enter Russia’s Rostov region daily.
“It's getting close to a humanitarian crisis here,” says Alexander Titov, spokesperson for Rostov Governor Vasily Golubev.
“Depending on the fighting on any given day, between five and ten thousand people come across the border. We have 95 temporary refugee centres operating now, up from 15 in June. We try to send people on to other regions as fast as we can but the numbers are still swelling.”
GAZA 72 HOUR TRUCE
Hamas, Israel accept new 72-hour ceasefire
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and Israel have agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, starting Tuesday morning.
Hamas spokesperson, Sami Abu Zuhri, said on Monday, that the group had told Cairo it agreed to the truce -- proposed by Egypt.
A senior Israeli official confirmed that the temporary ceasefire would take effect at 0500 GMT.
The official said an Israeli delegation will head to Egypt for talks to work out a long- term truce in the next three days.
Israeli media quote an official as saying that there'll be no need for Israeli forces to be in Gaza, if the ceasefire is upheld.
"We agree to begin implementing Egypt's initiative. If the ceasefire is upheld, there will be no need for any forces in the Gaza Strip," the unnamed Israeli official says.
The Palestinians, earlier, set a number of conditions for a ceasefire. The terms include: the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza; lifting Israel’s blockade; and the release of Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israel.
Kiev deploying missile launchers, multiple rocket systems near Donetsk - Moscow
Kiev keeps deploying missile launchers, including SS-21 (Scarab) and multiple rocket systems Uragan and Smerch in Donetsk as it “wants to continue the war” in eastern Ukraine, Russia’s Foreign Ministry says in a statement.
Over 400 Ukrainian troops cross into Russia for refuge
More than 400 Ukrainian troops have been allowed to cross into Russia after requesting sanctuary. It’s the largest, but not the first, case of desertion into Russia by Ukrainian soldiers involved in Kiev’s military crack- down, in the east of the country.
Rostov Region’s border guard spokesperson, Vasily Malaev, says a total of 438 soldiers, including 164 Ukrainian border guards, were allowed into Russia, on Sunday night.
One of the Ukrainians was seriously injured on his arrival in Russia. He was taken to hospital for surgery, the officials added.
The other Ukrainian soldiers have been housed in a tent camp deployed near the checkpoint via which they entered Russian territory.
The Russian border guards are providing them with food and bedding.
Footage taken by Russian media at the scene shows the Ukrainian soldiers being handed ration packs and resting in temporary shelter.
Those who agreed to speak on camera said they were relieved to be in safety for the first time in weeks.
“We were given orders to leave our positions and go to Russia through a corridor. We were told it would be safe. Of course they, I would say, made us go fast from behind,” one of the soldiers, a BMP driver who wouldn't reveal his name or even show his face on camera, said.
“It was so bad back there. Hot, and so many deaths and bad things,” another one, Dmitry, said. “Folks can rest here. They gave us a chance to wash, gave us new clothes. We are thankful.”
“We have been in those fields for more than six months and are very tired,” he added.
Another one, Yaroslav, said he wants to go back to his family in Ukraine.
“I want to do something peaceful. My contract expired four months ago,” he explained.
The Ukrainian Security Council says it is keeping in touch with the soldiers “through diplomatic channels,” but it did not give an exact number of how many troops had crossed the border.
“A Foreign Ministry representative is now working with them, and negotiations over their return are ongoing,” Ukraine Security Council representative Andrey Lysenko said.
All their equipment and vehicles were taken intact by the Russian troops.
The flow of deserters from the ranks of Kiev's Army and National Guard seems to be growing during the escalating violence in Donets and Lugansk Regions, where Kiev is fighting armed anti-government militias.
In late July, 41 Ukrainian troops fled to Russia to escape fighting in eastern Ukraine. They're now being prosecuted in Ukraine for deserting in the heat of battle.
Several Ukrainian units are reported to be cut off from supply lines after attempted offensive operations, which brought them behind the militia-controlled territories... and close to the Russian border.
The Ukrainian troops, while far superior to the militia in terms of heavy weapons, suffer from poor logistics.
Many soldiers complain about lacking even basic supplies like food and water, on the frontline. The situation is aggravated by cases of apparent negligence from the command, with units being supplied with faulty equipment, coming under friendly fire, or simply left behind while retreating from militia counter-attacks.
A YouTube video allegedly shows a Ukrainian soldier explaining how he has to catch and cook snakes, as his unit receives no rations.
This causes serious morale problems in the army, with more critical voices saying the Ukraine de facto regime has no infantry troops, and has no other way to fight, but by leveling militia-held cities to the ground with artillery and air strikes.
There is rising resistance to the military campaign from Ukraine's population, with several cases of mass protests against the latest mobilization drive, as mothers and wives of the conscripts took to the streets to demand that their loved ones not be drafted into the army.
Over 700 Ukrainian government troops have surrendered to local militias in the Donetsk region, Novorossiya news agency says.
“There's a message from the militiamen that 702 members of the Ukrainian army have surrendered in Shakhtersk, which is being held by joint militia forces,” the agency quotes one of the militia commanders as saying.
This information could not be confirmed from other sources.
Militiamen also say they used heavy weapons against Kiev's troops twice on Monday.
Russia launches aerial war games
Russia has launched aerial "war games" in its central and western districts, a Russian air force spokesperson says.
Igor Klimov says the 5-day drill began Monday and includes aircraft such as Su-27 & MiG-31 fighter jets, the Su-34 bomber, as well as Mi-8, Mi-24 and Mi-28N helicopters.
The drill tests “aircraft weapons on land and air targets on new ranges, and will conduct real and electronic launches of anti-aircraft missiles in Ashuluk (Astrakhan region in southern Russia) specifically designed to improve coordination between aviation and anti-missile defenses,” says Klimov.
Klimov says the drills are planned to continue until August 8 and that the exercises are the first in a series to improve coordination in the Russian military.
The latest drill takes place in the middle of the Ukraine crisis, where government forces are attacking anti-fascist self defense militias in the eastern regions bordering Russia.
9 UN staff members killed in Gaza
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) says nine of its staff members have been killed in the Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip.
The UNRWA says in a statement that violence is devastating Gaza for the third time in six years and that the staff and other people, are in the line of fire.
The UNRWA's director, Robert Turner, calls the loss of staff, a tragedy that can't be forgotten.
“Consistently from the beginning, we called on all parties to the conflict to respect the neutrality and viability of our installations, to use proper precautions, distinctions & proportionality, when dealing with military targets near the installations,” Turner says.
“The locations of all of these installations have been passed to Israel's military multiple times, they know where these shelters are. How this still continues to happen, I don’t understand,” he adds.
On Sunday, Israeli forces struck a UN-run school in the southern city of Rafah, killing at least 10 Palestinians and injuring dozens others.
The school was sheltering 3,000 Palestinian refugees who had fled Israel’s relentless attacks on the blockaded enclave.
Over 1,822 people, including 400 children, have been killed & over 9,400 injured since July 8th, when Israel began attacking the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military says three Israeli civilians and 64 soldiers have been killed in the conflict.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas puts the fatalities at over 150.
Ukraine fires missiles into Russia and where OSCE Observers work
9 missiles fired by Kiev's Grad missile launchers landed in Russian territory, in Tarasovsky District in Rostov Region, says Russia's Security Service.
The spokesperson says that 9 craters from Grad- launched missiles were found in Mityakinskaya, a village in Rostov region --- no casualties reported.
But, since the conflict began, one Russian has been murdered by the shelling and nine injured.
Lugansk faces a humanitarian catastrophe, as Kiev's forces fire indiscriminately into the city.
Russia's border checkpoint at Gukovo crossing was shelled from Ukraine's side twice, Sunday.
OSCE observers and journalists were working at the checkpoint, as it was being shelled.
Moscow is showing remarkable restraint and patience, in the face of such attacks.
Palestinians launch fresh barrage of rockets into Israel
On Sunday, a fresh barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, hit Israel's Sdot Negev, Nahal Oz & Alumim, and a mortar shell exploded in Eshkol.
Rocket alarm sirens blared in several areas of Israel's Hof Ashkelon, and Eshkol and the Sha'ar HaNegev region were under Code Red missile alert.
Israel’s Tourism Minister Uzi Landau says that the military’s power is diminishing dramatically and that it has failed to break Hamas.
An Israeli soldier has been wounded by sniper fire in northern Gaza and transferred to Tel HaShomer.
The army says at least 64 soldiers have died since July 8th. Palestinian resistance groups dispute the number, saying the casualties are much higher.
Israel's aerial and ground attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip continued relentlessly for the 27th day, causing more death and destruction. Nearly 60 people were killed in Israel's attacks on Sunday.
Another UN school sheltering displaced Palestinians in the southern town of Rafah was hit, leaving eleven people dead and thirty injured.
Earlier, airstrikes claimed the lives of at least 33 Palestinians, including several children. Ten of the victims -- members of the same family -- were killed in Rafah.
Thousands of people have staged marches in different countries to protest against the ongoing Israeli military aggression against Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
US to Train, Arm Ukraine National Guard in 2015 --- EU to also sell armaments to Kiev ---
The US administration has notified Congress of its plans to train and arm the Ukrainian national guard next year, the Pentagon says, as the US continues to intensify its response to Russia's support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.
"The Defense Department & State Department have notified Congress of our intent to use $19 million in global security contingency funds to train and equip 4 companies and one tactical headquarters of the Ukrainian national guard, as part of their efforts to build their internal defense capacity," Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby, tells reporters.
The training, requiring congressional approval, will take place at a location in Ukraine which hosts multilateral exercises, Kirby says. The trainers will be provided by US Army Europe and the California National Guard, he adds.
Earlier, US President Obama urged Vladimir Putin to stop supporting separatists in east Ukraine & seek a diplomatic end to the crisis.
While the US repeatedly slams Russia's troop buildup on the border with Ukraine and its support for the rebels, the Obama administration has limited military aid to non lethal aid, such as medical supplies and helmets.
The EU is now complicit in murder in the south east of Ukraine, says Russia's President Putin, by allowing arms sales to the current regime, which came to power through violence, is extremely anti-Russian, and is now using ballistic missiles on civilians in rebel areas.
EU ‘quietly’ lifts ban on supplying Kiev with weapons and technology – Russia
The European Union has “quietly” agreed to lift restrictions supplying Kiev with military technology & equipment which can be used for the “repression” in the country, Russia's Foreign Ministry says.
"During a recent meeting of the Council of Europe in Brussels, leaders of EU member states agreed 'on the quiet' to remove restrictions on exports to Kiev of equipment that could be used for internal repression," the ministry says in a statement on its website. "The Export of military technologies and equipment were also allowed."
Moscow slams the move as "contradicting the rules on military technology and ammunition exports which have been earlier applied by the EU" and also "pierced" with double standards.
The EU approved its rules for controlling the export of weapons and ammunition on December 8th, 2008.
Criterion No.3 calls on EU member states, to stop issuing export licenses for military equipment and technologies that can provoke or prolong conflict.
The EU's decision to restart issuing licenses for special military equipment exports comes despite the continuing “anti-terrorist operation” in east Ukraine, the ministry says.
“It is obvious why the EU is ignoring the indisputable facts of the shelling of Russian territory [in Russia's Rostov region] by the Ukrainian side: the perspective of feeling your own involvement in such actions creates certain discomfort in Brussels,” the Russian statement says.
The ministry calls upon its European counter- parts “to follow logic,” and not the "prodding" from Washington.
“A decision to limit the supply of ammunition and weaponry to Ukraine should have been introduced, after the launch of the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in the Donbas and Lugansk Regions.
It isn't too late to restore the ban,” the ministry says.
Restrictions were introduced by the EU Council in February 2013, when Viktor Yanukovich was president and there was severe confrontation between Maidan protesters and police.
“Then the EU decided it was ‘wrong’ to supply the ‘Yanukovich regime’ with weapons,” Moscow points out.
Kiev’s so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in the eastern regions of Ukraine has intensified lately. The most recent crackdown was in the village of Gorlovka, in the Donetsk Region. It resulted in 31 civilians being killed there.
According to UN figures, at least 1,129 people have been killed, and nearly 3,500 wounded in eastern Ukraine since the start of the army operation in April. Also, 100,000 people have been forcibly displaced.
The latest UN report says that the cause of the rising death toll is intensified artillery shelling of civilian residential areas and the so-called “collateral damage” in heavily-populated areas.
Israel kills 150 Palestinians over "missing" officer
Israel killed 150+ Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours, after Tel Aviv's false claim that Hamas had captured one Israeli soldier.
Israel bombarded the south Gaza town of Rafah on Saturday, after it was reported that an Israeli soldier had been captured by resistance fighters.
Hamas denies capturing an Israeli soldier, saying the missing trooper might have been killed in the Israeli bombardment on Friday after Tel Aviv broke the internationally agreed three-day ceasefire.
Hamas' Qassam Brigades state that they are unaware of the missing soldier's status, or events surrounding his disappearance.
At least 35 Palestinians are killed on Saturday in Israeli bombardments and shelling, in and around Rafah early Saturday, says Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra and adds: Rafah’s main hospital is evacuated because of attacks.
Elsewhere in Gaza, Palestinian officials report over 150 airstrikes, including one against the Islamic University in Gaza City.
Friday’s escalation came after Israel abruptly ended a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire with Hamas, just a few hours after it began.
According to Tel Aviv, the Israeli death toll now stands at 66, including 63 soldiers and 3 civilians.
Hamas puts the figure at about 150, which is the heaviest loss of life for the Israeli military in years.
The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s 26 days of onslaught on Gaza has now reached nearly 1,650, with 9,000 people injured. Most of the casualties have been civilians, including a large number of women and children.
OBAMA SCARED OF HIS SHADOW
The head of the CIA has apologized privately to lawmakers after an internal review reveals that CIA employees secretly monitored, as alleged, the computer use of certain Senate staffers.
Director John Brennan’s admission this week that members of his agency “acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding” among the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee comes months after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chair of that panel, complained to Congress that her staff was subjected to covert monitoring, as they worked on an official investigation into CIA detention and interrogation practices.
That report — a 6,300-page review of tactics employed by the CIA, considered by some to be forms of torture — is not made public.
Dean Boyd, a spokesperson for the CIA, told journalists at McClatchy that an investigation into Sen. Feinstein’s allegations led the CIA to determine that some degree of wrongdoing did occur, and an additional review is being undertaken to examine what action, if any, the agency will take.
Sen. Feinstein says she has "grave concerns that the CIA's search may well have violated the separation of powers principle of the US Constitution.”
“I am deeply dismayed that some members of the Senate have decided to make spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts,” Brennan, the CIA’s director, had said, before his admission. “I am very confident that the appropriate authorities reviewing this matter will determine where the wrongdoing, if any, occurred, in either the executive branch, or the legislative branch.”
According to McClatchy, Feinstein’s staff is still being scrutinized. The Senate Sergeant at Arms office, Jonathan Landay and Ali Watkins reports, is investigating whether or not the Intelligence Committee staff removed classified documents without authorization.
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice confirmed that, after a careful review, it failed to find sufficient evidence to carry on with a criminal investigation into the CIA’s spying.
President Obama refused to back any inquiry, way back in March, at any level.
Israelis, Palestinians clash at rallies in West Bank
Clashes have erupted in several areas in the occupied West Bank between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians rallying against Tel Aviv’s massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
The scuffles occurred in different areas of the occupied West Bank including al-Khalil city (Hebron), Bethlehem, and Beit Ummar, as Israeli soldiers used live bullets to attack those who demonstrated in solidarity with the Gazans.
“Israel's forces are not using regular dispersal weapons such as smoke grenades and shock grenades, but they are using live ammunition,” states Press TV correspondent Hanna Qassis.
About 22 Palestinians have been injured during the clashes.
Palestinians threw stones and Molotov cocktails in retaliation.
The West Bank Palestinians say they're on the streets, to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters being killed in Gaza.
“Palestinians in Gaza are the same people, the same blood, and the same history, therefore they're clashing with Israeli forces to express their anger over the massacre taking place in the Gaza Strip,” Qassis adds.
Israel kills dozens of Palestinians during Gaza truce
The Tel Aviv regime has unilaterally ended a UN- brokered ceasefire in Gaza, with the Israeli army launching fresh deadly attacks on civilian sites across the besieged Gaza Strip.
Palestinian officials say over 60 Palestinians were killed and 200 more injured after tanks hit a major shopping centre and residential areas in southern Gaza on Friday.
Israeli media reports Tel Aviv has informed the United Nations that the ceasefire in the impoverished Palestinian region is over.
Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu accuses resistance groups of violating the truce.
However, Hamas and resistance groups reject the allegation, saying that Israeli attacks on Rafah provoked retaliatory fire from Palestinian fighters.
Sources say the 72-hour humanitarian lull was meant to allow Palestinians to bury their dead and treat the wounded.
The Israeli military alleges that one of its soldiers is now held by resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian fighters say they killed 15 more Israeli soldiers, south of Gaza.
Also on Friday, the Israeli military confirms that 5 of its soldiers died in a mortar strike near the impoverished territory.
Israel's military says it's so far lost nearly 61 soldiers in fights with Palestinian resistance fighters. Hamas says 146+ Israeli soldiers have been killed over the past 24 days.
This is the heaviest loss of life for Israel's military, in years.
East Ukraine clashes kill 14, including 10 troops Fierce clashes between Ukrainian troops & anti- coup forces have killed 14 people, including 10 government soldiers, in the east of the country.
Ukrainian military spokesperson, Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky, says Friday that clashes took place in Shakhtersk, 25 kilometers away from the crash site of Malaysian Air-lines Flight MH17.
The spokesperson adds that the 10 bodies are confirmed as Ukrainian soldiers and the remaining four have not yet been identified.
According to the Ukrainian army, its forces were ambushed in the town.
Kiev's military says it has re-launched a broader offensive against anti-coup forces after a day-long ceasefire; it claims it won't carry out operations in the immediate vicinity of the MH17 crash site.
A team of 70 international experts on Friday has finally arrived at the crash site to conduct search operations in a bid to recover the remains of some of the 298 victims of the July 17 crash. Over 200 bodies have so far been found.
The group of experts has been unable to access the area for several days in a row, due to fighting around the site.
Anti-coup forces have repeatedly accused Kiev of blocking access to the crash site by fighting in the area.
Ukraine launched military operations in Donetsk and Lugansk in April, to crush anti-coup forces there. Violence intensified in May after the two regions held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence from Ukraine.
The United Nations says at least 1,129 people have been killed in the ongoing military attack on eastern Ukraine.
Russian minister calls for reversal of dangerous trends which preceded WWI
Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky compares the policy of sanctions against Russia to the hysteria which preceded the outbreak of World War One.
The minister, who attended the “Great War, Lessons of History” public forum on Thursday says sanctions are not a liberal instrument.
Medinsky, who is a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), tells the forum that his University lecturers taught him that “sanctions are an economic instrument, which ruling elites use to inflict direct economic damage, including on one’s own business and citizens, in pursuit of their political goals.”
“It's a Stalinist approach, I would say,” he says.
He draws some dangerous parallels between what’s happening now, and the run up to WWI.
“Hysteria, the growth of nationalism, appeals to battered national pride, and a spying mania,” all filled newspapers in the pre-war years, and can also be seen today, Medinsky says, calling for a reversal of these dangerous trends.
“We, the Europeans, should be on one side of the barricades, in one fortress, to defend our common values, history and culture,” Russia's culture minister says.
"I killed 13 Palestinian kids today": Israeli sniper
An Israeli sniper has admitted to killing 13 children in the Gaza Strip in one day, as Tel Aviv continues its aerial and ground attacks in the besieged strip.
Posting on an Instagram account, David Ovadia released a photo of himself holding a sniper rifle.
The image with his post, however, was deleted entirely by hackers from an anonymous group. The group has launched hundreds of attacks on Israeli websites over the past two years.
The move was reportedly followed by the group’s cyber attacks on Israel's Mossad and Ministry of Military Affairs.
The development comes as Tel Aviv claims that its army has been targeting Palestinian fighters from resistance group Hamas and it describes the growing death toll, as "collateral damage".
Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since July 8. More than 300 children have so far been killed.
Israeli sources have confirmed the deaths of 56 soldiers. Hamas says the toll is much higher.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu pledges to complete the destruction of Gaza's tunnels with, or without, a ceasefire.
Tel Aviv has also mobilized 16,000 reservists for the ground military operations in Gaza, putting the total number at 86,000.
Tel Aviv has targeted hospitals, clinics, and civilian shelters, over the past 24 days.
Ukrainian parliament rejects PM's resignation
The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday failed to approve the resignation tendered by Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk last week, the parliamentary press service said.
Yatsenyuk's resignation was backed by only 16 of 339 deputies present at the 450-seat assembly.
The decision means that Yatsenyuk and the current cabinet will continue to fulfill their duties until parliamentary elections, which are widely expected to be held in October.
Yatsenyuk, a 40yr-old pro-European technocrat, took charge of Ukraine's cabinet in late February, following the anti-government street rallies which toppled ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and the former government.
Last week, Yatsenyuk tendered his resignation in protest against the "ineffectiveness" of Kiev's parliament after the collapse of the ruling group.
UN Rights Chief: Israeli Attacks in Gaza “Deliberate Defiance” of International Law
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay lashes out at the Zionist entity on Thursday, over its attacks in Gaza, saying that such attacks are considered as Israel's "deliberate defiance" of international law.
Pillay slams the country's attacks on homes, schools, hospitals and United Nations facilities, which shelter 250,000 civilians in Gaza.
"There appears to be a deliberate defiance of the obligations that international law imposes on Israel," the South African tells reporters.
Pillay says that repeated calls to respect the laws of war have gone unheeded during the latest crisis and in previous spikes in the Israeli offensive.
"The same pattern of attacks is occurring now on homes, schools, hospitals, UN premises. None of this appears to me to be accidental," she says.
She speaks 1 day after Israeli shells slammed into a UN school in Jabalia refugee camp, which was sheltering some 3,300 homeless Gazans, killing at least 16 people.
Pillay says that, under international law, civilian facilities should not be attacked, noting that due warning must be given before an attack, in order to allow civilians to be evacuated.
"It is completely unconscionable that the proportionality & precaution international law requires, is being ignored," says Pillay.
She also criticizes Israel's strikes on Gaza's only power plant, and on its water and sewerage systems.
The UN Human Rights Council has voted to open an inquiry into the Gaza offensive, despite fierce opposition from the Zionists and their global sponsor, the United States.
"We cannot allow impunity. We cannot allow this lack of accountability to go on," Pillay says, calling into question any investigation by Israel into its own abuses.
"I join the world in condemning the aggression that is taking place in Gaza, and particularly the killing of civilians. This is wrong and it will always be wrong," she concludes.
Egypt must reopen Rafah crossing soon: Iran diplomat
A senior Iranian diplomat says Egypt’s delay in issuing permits for the delivery of Iran’s humanitarian aid to Gaza is “unacceptable”, urging Cairo to immediately reopen the Rafah border crossing.
Cairo’s long delays in issuing permits to flights carrying Iran’s food and medical aid to people in the besieged Gaza Strip through Egypt is “unacceptable”, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab/Africa Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, says.
“We strictly call on the relevant officials in Cairo to speed up the issuance of permits,” the Iranian official says.
He adds that 57 Palestinian infants, children and women, who've been critically injured in the Israeli regime’s atrocities in the coastal enclave, are waiting for Egypt to allow them to fly to Iran for medical treatment.
Amir-Abdollahian notes that Iran’s first cargo of 100 tons of humanitarian aid, and the list of injured Palestinians ready for transfer to Iran, were placed at the disposal of Egypt's Foreign Ministry & Egypt’s interest section in Tehran, a few days ago, “but no flying license has yet been issued.”
Despite the international outcry, Cairo is keeping the Rafah border crossing closed. The 12-kilometer crossing links Egypt to the Gaza Strip, which has been under a crippling Israeli siege, since 2007.
On July 24th, Amir-Abdollahian said that the consignment of relief aid provided by the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) for Gazans had been flown into Cairo & was waiting to be cleared for transfer into Gaza, via the Rafah border crossing.
At least 1,262 people have been killed in Israel's aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip since July 8th. Over 7,000 - mostly civilians - have been injured.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, has been launching retaliatory attacks against Israel. Tel Aviv confirms 53 Israeli soldiers as having been killed in the Gaza war, but Hamas puts the number at over 100.
Criticizing Israel ends political careers in US: Rozzo
What Israel is doing in the besieged Gaza strip is a “massacre” and the “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians & US officials “can’t say anything, because this can end a lot of political careers,” an American political analyst in New Jersey says.
“The US and its political structure supports Israel because Israel is the largest military client in the Middle East,” says Constantino Rozzo, a former candidate for the second Congressional district in New Jersey.
“Palestine seems to be the largest open-air prison camp in the world, and what’s going on with Israel now (& our politicians won’t reveal this or condemn what’s going on) but what’s going on is a massacre, what’s going on is a human rights abuse,” Rozzo says on Wednesday.
The Zionist regime’s mission is “ethnic cleansing and destroying the Palestinian people,” he notes.
US lawmakers from across the aisle on Capitol Hill have said they will “stand with Israel” in its deadly offensive on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
On Monday, Republican & Democrat lawmakers gathered at an event hosted by the National Leadership Assembly for Israel, to express their opposition to any kind of criticism of Israel’s atrocities.
“Nobody can say anything, because it’s pretty hard to say anything, because this can end a lot of political careers, because Israel has a lot of power, a lot money behind this,” he says.
Israel has been pounding Gaza, killing innocent residents of the impoverished Palestinian strip since July 8th.
The Palestinian death toll from over 3 weeks of air, sea and ground assaults on the block- aded coastal sliver, is now over 1,300, with more than 7,500 people wounded.
UK, US AND LITHUANIA BLOCK UN ON BOEING CRASH SITE SAFETY
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expresses his disappointment over the UN Security Council’s inability to confirm the key provisions of resolution 2166, on the Malaysian Boeing crash.
"Ending hostilities in territory where the Malaysian Boeing’s wreckage is still lying, should be a priority step to be taken to fulfill resolution 2166,” he says.
He recalls President Poroshenko ordering an end to military attacks within 40 kilometers around the Boeing crash site - and how his order was followed by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council stating that Ukraine's army would stop the security operation, only after the militias were squeezed out of the crash area.
On Tuesday night, the US, UK & Lithuania, rejected Russia's proposed statement on the need to respect resolution 2166.
Lavrov denies that Russia and militia fighters are keeping international inspectors from the Boeing crash site.
“I've seen an interview with OSCE representatives, including the Dutch, who were trying to get to the crash area accompanied by militias protecting them.
“But they couldn't do it, because the Ukrainian army grossly violated the UN Security Council resolution,” states Lavrov.
Given the absurdity of the current situation, Lavrov dares to suggest that perhaps Russia should send peacekeepers there, to provide international access to the Boeing crash site.
“Against the background of these obvious facts -- plus calls on Russia to ensure the access of international experts to the crash site -- I don't have any other reaction than to urge the UN Security Council to pass a resolution inviting Russia to deploy its peacekeepers on the perimeter of the Boeing crash area for security reasons -- if everybody is so sure that only Russia can do anything about it, and it is impossible to do business with the Kiev authorities any longer,” he says.
LATIN AMERICA LEADS HUMANITY
As Chile, Peru, recall envoys from Israel, tyrant Israel earns nothing but hatred...
Israel’s international isolation is growing, as Chile & Peru join other Latin American countries & recall their envoys from Tel Aviv.
"Given the escalation of Israeli military operations in Gaza, the government of Chile, in coordination with others in our region, has decided to call in for consultation Santiago's ambassador for Chile in Tel Aviv, Jorge Montero," the Chilean Foreign Ministry statement says.
The statement adds that Israel's acts in Gaza “breach fundamental norms in international humanitarian law” --- referring to the civilian victims and strikes on hospitals and schools.
A similar statement is also published by the Peruvian Foreign Ministry, condemning the Israeli operation in Gaza.
Santiago and Lima’s move comes nearly two weeks after Brazil and Ecuador recalled their ambassadors, in protest against Israel’s atrocities in the tiny coastal sliver.
Venezuela & Bolivia, who cut ties with Tel Aviv over Israel’s 2009 war on Gaza, have also strongly condemned Israel's actions.
Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela, are among the 29 countries that voted in favor of a probe by the UN Human Rights Council into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
Kiev's bloody eastern Ukraine campaign
Ukraine's President Poroshenko has called a ceasefire within a 40km radius of where the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed.
Russia urges all parties in east Ukraine to lay down their arms while inspectors investigate what caused the tragedy.
Kiev is ready for a cease-fire “now,” US Secretary of State John Kerry claims, after seeing Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, in Washington.
Kerry says Poroshenko is also ready to start talks with militias in the southeast.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a 'phone conversation with Kerry, had earlier urged Washington to influence Kiev to achieve a prompt ceasefire and start negotiations with the southeast.
Lavrov stressed the need to return to the accord agreed at Geneva on July 17, including an end to the use of force, and to promptly start an open, accountable process of constitutional reform which includes all the regions of Ukraine.
The two diplomats agreed to implement the UNSC resolution which demands an international, independent investigation into the causes of the MH17 disaster & a ceasefire in the region surrounding the crash site.
Today, Monday, a nusing home is hit, killing several residents, and Kiev immediately blames anti-fascist self defence forces, in Gorlovka.
31 civilans were killed there over the last 24 hours, as Kiev's forces pound the city with high powered shells and rockets - with no guidance systems.
ISRAEL AND USA COMMIT WAR CRIMES
The Israeli regime is intensifying its attacks on hospitals in the Gaza Strip, as a shortage of medicines hits the tiny besieged enclave.
Basman Alashi, director of Wafa Hospital, says hospitals there cannot cope with the rising number of wounded in Israeli attacks.
The humanitarian aid body ‘Doctors without Borders’ (MSF) strongly condemns Israel’s attack, particularly on Gaza’s Shifa hospital, where women and children were sheltering.
“Targeting hospitals and their surroundings is completely unacceptable, and a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law,” says Tommaso Fabbri, MSF’s head of the mission in the Occupied Territories, adding:
“Whatever the circumstances, health facilities & medical staff must be protected & respected. But in Gaza today, hospitals are not the safe havens they should be.”
Israeli warplanes & tanks have already bombed several hospitals across the besieged strip, over the past few days.
Senior Palestinian officials describe the multiple attacks as a "brazen violation of international norms."
The UN says over 80% of Palestinian fatalities have been civilians, including over 250 children.
The UN Human Rights Council recently passed a resolution, calling for an independent probe into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
The US Congress says that it is completely on Israel's side, and will support it "come what may." The Congress is about to now approve a rise in war weaponry funding to "help" Israel's Gaza slaughter.
Iran's leader says no human being can stay indifferent to the slaughter of the innocent women and children of Gaza.
Massacre of Gaza's Civilians Continues
At least 100 people have been killed by Israeli shelling since midnight, as Operation Protective Edge enters its 22nd day on Tuesday.
The Israeli Defense Forces bombing of Khan Yunis and Rafah in southern Gaza has almost completely erased five whole families, writes Haaretz.
Reporters present at the site of the intense shelling say that for now it is impossible to tell for sure how many people have been killed, as many are missing or buried under the rubble of ruined buildings.
The attacks on Gaza intensified shortly after Prime Minister Netanyahu announced Monday that Israel had to be prepared for a “prolonged” campaign and warned that Israeli troops will not leave Gaza until they destroy Hamas' tunnel network. Ahead of the strikes, the Israeli army advised Palestinians to flee their homes in areas around Gaza City.
Palestinians, including Hamas, reportedly offered a 24-hour truce in war-torn Gaza. The groups added that - at a UN request - they would prolong it for 72 hours.
Late on Monday, it was reported that it was the PLO that actually declared a unilateral 24-hour truce to push forward the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire and advance its implementation.
Hamas’ spokesperson in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, denounced reports that it had agreed to the PLO-announced truce.
“We will not agree to calm until Israel commits to quiet. If we get an international commitment regarding an Israeli agreement for calm, we will consider it,” the spokesperson says, as cited by Haaretz.
Israeli attack knocks out Gaza’s only power plant The only power plant providing electricity for the people in the besieged Gaza Strip is knocked out of commission by an Israeli attack.
“Gaza’s sole power plant stopped working due to Israeli shelling last night, which damaged the steam generator & later hit the fuel tanks which set them on fire,” Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, the deputy director of the energy authority in the tiny coastal enclave, says on Tuesday.
Huge fires raged near the plant on Tuesday morning, reports say. Fire service vehicles are reportedly still unable to reach the area.
The damage to the power plant worsens the huge damage to infrastructure inflicted during the 22 days of Israel’s deadly offensive in Gaza.
The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s military offensive against the blockaded Gaza Strip has now risen to at least 1,130.
A Palestinian health official announced the new figure on Tuesday morning. Over 6,000 have been injured in the Israeli onslaught.
Israel says 53 Israelis have been killed so far; however, Palestinian fighters say they have killed over a hundred Israeli soldiers.
The new figures come as nearly 30 Palestinians are killed and dozens more injured in the latest Israeli attacks overnight. The houses of several Hamas officials, including that of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, also came under fire.
“My house is not more valuable than the houses of other people: destroying stones will not break our determination,” Haniyeh said in a statement after the attack.
At dawn on Tuesday, plumes of smoke rose above the Al-Shorouq media building in central Gaza City, which houses the offices of the Hamas-run Al-Aqsa television and radio. Hours earlier, at least 2 major blasts hit the media building.
On Monday at least 10 people, mostly children, lost their lives, as Israel struck Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City. Israeli tanks also killed 5 people, including three children and a 70-year-old woman, and wounded 50 in Jebaliya town, according to the Red Crescent.
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says Tel Aviv needs “to be ready for a prolonged campaign.”
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri reacts by saying, “His threats don't scare Hamas or the Palestinian people, and the occupation will pay the price for the massacres against civilians and children.”
Israel has rejected a recent call by the United Nations for a ceasefire, which the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas had endorsed.
TEN ISRAELI SOLDIERS KILLED IN ONE DAY
As Netanyahu refused to accept UN security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire, ten Israeli soldiers were killed on Monday, fighting Palestinian resistance fighters.
However, the heavy Israeli onslaught on the besieged Gaza strip, continues regardless.
Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, says in a statement that Palestinian resistance fighters killed the soldiers east of Shujaiyya.
The military wing of Hamas says its fighters infiltrated "behind enemy lines" and killed the soldiers.
The Israeli army also issues a statement after the incident, saying Hamas fighters infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel and opened fire on Israeli soldiers.
Elsewhere, in the city of Eshkol, at least four Israelis were killed and nearly a dozen others injured after Palestinian rockets hit the city.
The Israeli army has confirmed the casualties, which brings the total number of Israelis killed since the beginning of the war on Gaza to over 50, with 140 wounded.
Palestinian fighters, however, say they have killed over a hundred Israeli soldiers alone.
Palestinian rockets targeted several other Israeli cities including Be’er Sheva, Ofakim, Haifa and Ashkelon. Resistance brigades also fired over 200 rockets on the Nahal Oz region in the Negev desert.
MORSI PRAISES RESISTANCE
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi admires the Palestinian "resistance" in the 21-day Israeli war on Gaza Strip.
"A full salute to those who resist and to the revolutionaries," Morsi says on his Facebook page.
"Our compass is set on supporting Palestine against the usurping occupier and we are with any resistance against any occupier."
He also praises his supporters for "the pursuit of their revolution."
Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, was toppled in 2013 in a military coup led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s current president and then, its army chief.
In Gaza, Israeli warplanes are pounding sites in the enclave for the 22nd day.
Medics say over 1,095 Palestinians have been killed so far in Israel's attacks and over 6,500 others, injured.
Top Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh says the besieged Gaza Strip will become “a graveyard for Israeli soldiers” who are committing crimes against Palestinians.
Ukrainian attempt to take control of Boeing crash site to violate UN resolution - Russia
The Ukrainian military’s attempt to take control of the site where a Malaysian Airlines Boeing recently crashed, violates UN Security Council resolution 2166, says Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin.
Kiev's announcement of the Boeing's black box data also violates ICAO rules, says the ITAR-TASS news agency.
Resolution 2166 specifically says the Security Council “condemns in the strongest terms the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on 17 July in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine resulting in the tragic loss of 298 lives” and “supports efforts to establish a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.”
The Council also “demands that the armed groups in control of the crash site & the surrounding area refrain from any actions that may compromise the integrity of the crash site” and “demands that all military activities, including by armed groups, be immediately ceased in the immediate area surrounding the crash site to allow security & safety for the international investigation.”
Mr Churkin enthusiastically greets news that the Netherlands and Ukraine have signed up to establish an international mission believed to ensure experts' security at the site of the plane crash. He says Russia supports the idea to send a police and investigator group there.
“We said we were ready to immediately adopt a UN Security Council resolution that would support such steps on the part of the Dutch and Australians.
They responded to us that they want to first of all agree about everything with the Kiev authorities, which is quite logical,” he says.
“But then, as far as I understand the situation, the Ukrainian side started protracting the talks. I don’t know if it was dictated by their plans to seize the crash site --- or for other reasons. But the fact remains - they could have signed the agreement minutes ago,” Churkin says.
The diplomat stresses that Russia wants a thorough and unbiased investigation into the tragedy and that it helped the work on the relevant UN Security Council resolution. “We don’t want anyone to interfere in the investigation,” he says.
Churkin says warfare that the Ukrainian army keeps conducting in the vicinity of the crash site “is clearly out of line with the resolution that the UN Security Council adopted July 21.”
He says Kiev’s actions are beyond reasonable limits. “They shell residential neighborhoods with long-range artillery. Civilians die in tens,” he says.
Churkin recalls that Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko pledged his army would not open fire on civilians. “But they DO hit civilians, plus residential districts, apartment buildings, hospitals and parks,” he says. He urges Kiev to think of its fellow Ukrainian nationals.
“If the goal of the operation is to reunite the Ukrainian nation, then Kiev is making a tragic mistake that may have very serious long-term consequences,” the Russian permanent representative warns.
Russian General Staff Main Operations Directorat chief Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov says a Buk system was discovered in the locality of Zaroshchinskaya (50 kilometers east of Donetsk) on the morning of July 17th, yet was not there on July 18th.
Kartapolov urges Ukraine's military to explain the Buk's movements and stresses once again that Russia has not supplied the missile system, or any other weapons, to anti-coup militiamen. He calls video footage allegedly showing Buk’s movement from Ukraine to Russia, fake.
During the military operation, conducted since mid- April, Kiev has used armored vehicles, plus heavy artillery and attack aviation. Hundreds of civilians have been killed and over 1,300 wounded in it.
Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people forced to flee Ukraine’s war-torn Southeast.
ISRAEL's UNLIMITED CEASEFIRE A LIE
Israeli strikes leave 10 more Palestinians dead in Gaza
At least 10 people, mostly children, are killed today, when the Israeli military hit a medical complex and a playground in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Palestinian media and medical sources say an Israeli missile struck the building in the compound housing al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Monday. The building is close to the main gate of the hospital.
Another missile reportedly landed in a playground in Gaza City's Shati refugee camp, where a group of children was running around, leaving several children dead.
Statistics published by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) show that 22 hospitals, clinics and medical centres have been hit and damaged by Israeli shells since Israel’s attacks began on July 8th.
The World Health Organization said in a statement issued just before the hospital strike, that it was “appalled by the continuing trend for healthcare facilities, staff and vehicles to come under direct fire in Gaza since the escalation of violence on the 8th of July 2014,” adding, “It is vital for health facilities and staff to be able to perform their life- saving work without fear of attack.”
Palestinian medics say that nearly 1,050 people, including a large number of women and children, have lost their lives in the Israeli onslaught since July 8th and more than 6,200 have been wounded.
Israel says 43 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the war, but Hamas sources say it is over 100.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday dismissed a UN-brokered truce proposal endorsed by Hamas, saying Tel Aviv will take "whatever action necessary: to fight Palestine's resistance fighters.
Israel embarks on "unlimited ceasefire" policy in Gaza, (or so Netanyahu said)
Israel is now on an "unlimited ceasefire" after 21 days of conflict and rising world pressure to halt hostilities, an Israeli official stated on Sunday.
According to the official, the new policy meant that the Israeli military would halt its deliberate attacks on Gaza, and open fire only in retaliation for militant attacks.
"We're now on an 'unlimited ceasefire,' as decided by the political echelon," a source said. The PM's Office was 'not available' to comment.
However, according to local media reports the military did appear to be holding fire from the ground and air, but continued to destroy Hamas' cross-border tunnels.
The rocket fire from Gaza declined sharply Monday morning, with a single incident in which a rocket was fired this morning at the city of Ashkelon on Israel's southern coast, and hit an open field.
A spokesperson with the Israeli military said that after the incident, "Israel Defense Forces retaliated towards Beit Lahyia area, from which the rocket was fired."
The new lull policy came one day after US President Barack Obama spoke by 'phone with Israeli PM B. Netanyahu, demanding "an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement" brokered by Egypt.
On Monday morning, the UN Security Council joined Obama's call and urged "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance" in Gaza.
The pressure for a ceasefire came after Israel and Hamas on Sunday launched fresh attacks at each other, despite proposals for another temporary truce.
After intense US and UN mediation efforts, both sides agreed on a 12- hour ceasefire Saturday, but that lull could not be sustained.
Intl. teams find ‘no violations’ by Russia along Ukrainian border
Inspectors who came to check the state of Russian troops along the Ukrainian borders, have found no violations, Russia’s Ministry of Defense says.
This came as a response to the US allegation that Russia had amassed 15,000 troops on the Ukraine/Russia border.
No ‘rainbow families’: Canadian fertility clinic bans patient from using non-white donor
A single Canadian woman, who sought in vitro fertilization in the only local clinic in Calgary, has been prohibited from using donors of a different ethnicity, to avoid “creating rainbow families.”
"WE FIGHT ILLEGITIMATE OCCUPIERS" NOT JEWS
Hamas Political Bureau chief Khaled Meshaal demands that Israel lift its blockade of Gaza, and warns that “Palestinians cannot coexist with the occupiers.”
“I do not coexist with the occupiers," Meshaal says in an interview.
He adds that the Palestinians are not fighting Israelis because they are “Jews,” saying, "We are not actually fighting the Jews because they are Jews, per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers.”
The Palestinian death toll from 20 days of aerial and ground assaults on Gaza, now stands at 1,062, with over 6,000 injured.
Gaza has been blockaded by the Israeli regime since June 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment & unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies about 1.7 million people in Gaza their basic rights.
The Orthodox Jews who do not embrace Israel, say The Torah expressly forbids any separate Jewish state's existence, especially on land already occupied by another people.
UKRAINE "FALSE FLAG" COMING...
This weekend, spokesperson Anton Guryanov, of the South East Ukraine independent authorities, issued the following statement:
"According to our information, the Nazis of the Kiev Junta plan to conduct a major terrorist act in the next several days. Or a series of terrorist acts, on the territory of Ukraine".
"For the past several days, Mr. Avakov and his assistant Shkiryak have conducted preparations for this, in the mass media. The goal is to blame the terrorist acts on Russia, and to introduce a total dictatorship regime on Ukraine's territory."
"The maximum goal is to create the conditions for a NATO military intervention, and of the Polish-Lithuanian contingent, in particular".
The operation's code name is "Spalokhutemreve", and the Resistance Forces state that Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Major Aleksei Nikonov, is the person in charge of the operation.
The Resistance quotes as its source for this, as "high-ranking officials in Kiev" who fear for their future, after Poroshenko has fallen.
The Resistance warns the Ukrainian people:
"What should the common people, now listening to this address, do? In the next several days, do not visit places with public concentrations of people. Try not to use public transportation either, or use it as sparingly as possible. In particular, this concerns the metro system.
"Pay close attention to looking after your children. Look after your buildings' cellars & entranceways, to ensure that no strangers go there, and that no unknown cargos are deposited in your cellars and entranceways. Please pass on this information to your acquaintances, friends and neighbours - to anyone that you can. And may God help us".
Please stop fighting worldwide: Pope
Pope Francis makes a direct appeal for fighting to end all around the world.
During his weekly Angelus address in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday, the pontiff makes an emotional plea for peace around the world, saying his thoughts are on the Middle East, Iraq & Ukraine, in particular.
“Please stop!, I ask you with all my heart, it's time to stop. Stop, please,” he says.
The Pope makes no direct reference to the blood- shed in the Gaza Strip, but his comments come after a humanitarian truce, brokered by the UN, broke down on Sunday.
“Brothers and sisters, never war, never war! I am thinking above all of children, who are deprived of the hope of a worthwhile life, of a future,” the pope says.
“Dead children, injured children, mutilated children, orphaned children, children whose toys are things left over from war, children who can't smile anymore,” he adds.
Sunday - Dozens, including 2 children, die, as Kiev troops shell Gorlovka in E. Ukraine
At least 13 civilians and probably dozens more, are killed today by continuing artillery barrages, as Kiev's troops close in on the militia positions around Gorlovka city in eastern Ukraine.
A 1-year old - killed next to her parents - and a 5-year old, are among the dead, according to information published by Donetsk's regional administration. Several local journalists on the ground, have reported that as many as 30 have been killed, as fighting continues.
Government troops reached the outskirts of the city of 250,000 people late on Thursday, and pushed militants back into positions inside residential areas.
From about 5am Sunday morning, heavy artillery shells began to explode along- side several of the main highways.
"They were aiming for our headquarters, but missed and hit residential areas instead," a local militant source reports.
“One of the mortars hit the top floor of a popular supermarket with customers inside. Another hit exploded in a courtyard outside an apartment block, and another, next to a maternity hospital. We still don’t know how many are dead ---- there are ambulances everywhere,” local resident Sergey, who did not want to give his surname for fear of reprisals, states.
“My house has been reduced to rubble, and one of my in-laws has a piece of shrapnel lodged in his leg, while another has eye damage,” says Vera, another local resident, by telephone.
Hundreds of houses are without electricity and water, after infrastructure lines were hit, but now the streets of the city are deserted, as civilians cower in their flats.
“Food supplies are increasingly scarce in the city. In the past few days - black market traders seem to have appeared out of nowhere,” writes local blogger, Egor Voronov.
Officials from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic say the government is using powerful but imprecise Grad missiles in densely populated areas.
Kiev’s Anti-Terrorist Operation Headquarters are making a counter-accusation, claiming that anti- government forces are responsible for “bloody acts of terrorism.”
“The criminals are firing indiscriminately upon civilians to recruit more fighters to their cause, and to discredit the Ukrainian government,” officials say on their ATO Facebook page.
ATO officials continue the message, saying that clashes are ongoing in the rural areas around Gorlovka, and claim that all escape routes from the city are now cut off.
Yet DPR field commanders Igor Girkin & Igor Bezler appear to have slipped out of the city, according to sources in the Ukrainian army.
The report comes despite an earlier claim by the government that a targeted airstrike succeeded in destroying their temporary headquarters in a government building.
On Saturday, Ukraine's President Poroshenko (the man who paid for the Kiev riots and coup) promised that the Ukrainian army – which was under-equipped and under-trained from the start of the conflict – has now reached battle readiness, and promised that “new tactics” have been adopted that would allow “large- scale civilian losses” to be avoided.
The Russia-based IGCP monitoring group has concluded, on the basis of collated OSCE & ATO data, that over 1,100 Ukrainians have died in the conflict, since the toppling of Viktor Yanukovich, in February.
Hamas agreed to UN-proposed 24-hour humanitarian truce
According to the media, Hamas would halt fire for 24 hours from 11am GMT, on Sunday.
Afterwards, both sides resumed attacks.
The Israeli army resumed strikes on Gaza 3 hours before the truce, in response to rocket attacks by Palestinian militants on Israel, the army’s press office said.
“We are resuming air, sea & ground strikes on Gaza facilities, due to incessant rocket attacks during the humanitarian truce,” Israel's army press office said.
The Israeli army reported 7 rockets being fired from the Palestinian enclave on Israel on Sunday morning.
Two were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, while the other five exploded on Israeli territory.
A rocket that exploded in Petah Tikva town in central Israel wounded one Israeli citizen. Another three rockets were fired by Hamas militants on Israel on Saturday night.
Mortar fire by Palestinian militants on Saturday killed one and wounded another, Israeli soldier.
Kiev intensifies combat operations in MH17 crash zone to evade exposure - DNR PM
Kiev is seeking to evade exposure of the truth over the Malaysian MH17 crash near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, by intensifying its combat operations around the crash site, the press centre of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) said on Sunday, citing DPR's Prime Minister, Alexander Borodai.
Earlier, the mass media reported that the Ukrainian military planned to take control over the Malaysian jet crash area, to which end, they were shelling Gorlovka and other settlements controlled by the DPR forces.
Intensified combat operations “are irrefutable evidence, proving that Kiev seeks to destroy all evidence of the crime committed by its military,” Borodai was quoted as saying.
“The junta is in panic, the only thing that matters to them now, is to evade exposure. Kiev’s actions run counter to [President] Poroshenko’s decision to declare a 40-kilometre zone around the crash site, as ceasefire territory.”
Earlier on Sunday, after visiting the Malaysian embassy in Ukraine, President Poroshenko told journalists he had ordered a stop to all combat operations in a 40-kilometre zone around the Malaysian Boeing crash.
A Boeing-777 of the Malaysia Airlines (flight MH17) en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17 in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk Region, 60 kms from the Russian border, in the combat zone of fighting between Donetsk self-defence forces and the Ukrainian army.
All passengers and crew members on board the plane - 298 people - died. Travelling on the plane were the citizens of ten countries, including 193 Dutchmen, 27 Australians and 10 UK nationals.
Israel's deadly strikes "mowing the lawn"
Hamas said it would not accept any long-term ceasefire, until Israeli troops withdrew from the Gaza Strip. It also demanded the return of Palestinians to their homes, and the free movement of ambulances.
The Palestinian death toll from three weeks of Israeli strikes has reached about 1,052 and at least 6,000 Palestinians have been injured in the onslaught.
Israel has been carrying out military attacks against the blockaded Gaza Strip since July 8th.
While Israel says 43 Israelis have been killed in the war, Hamas sources put the number at over 100 dead.
Palestinian rockets reach deeper into Israel
Rockets fired by Palestinian resistance fighters from the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the Israeli regime’s military strikes against the besieged coastal sliver, are reaching deeper into Israel each time the two sides fight.
On Sunday, rocket warning alarms went off in several Israeli cities including Petah Tikva, Hod HaSharon and Tel Aviv.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, fired five Grad rockets into the port city of Ashdod, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) south of Tel Aviv. There are no reports of the number of casualties.
EX-GEORGIA PRESIDENT HIDING IN KIEV
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been summoned to Georgia’s Prosecutor’s Office for questioning, the ex-president’s mother said on Sunday.
Saakashvili who is currently staying in Kiev, was summoned for the first time in March, but he refused to come to Georgia, saying he "does not intend to come to Tbilisi and cooperate with the Main Prosecutor’s Office."
“A European Union official & my friends holding senior positions in the US leadership, earlier advised me to leave Georgia -- due to fears of the institution of criminal proceedings,” Saakhashvili said.
“The representative of the Main Prosecutor’s Office handed this document to me. He acted very politely,” his mother said Sunday.
Georgia’s Main Prosecutor’s Office announced in March that Saakashvili had been summoned as a witness over several cases: eg, the death of Georgian prime minister Zurab Zhvania, the special operation to suppress the rebellion of a battalion of Georgia’s army in Mukhrovani in 2009, illegal acts against the family of business- man Badri Patarkatsishvili, and other cases.
Saakashvili has been staying in Ukraine for the past 6 months where he reportedly is an "unofficial adviser" to Kiev's regime.
If he fails to turn up on Monday, he will be put on the same Interpol wanted list, as several members of Kiev's neo-fascist coup-imposed regime are, already.
Experts urge learning lessons from world wars
Over 200 historians are urging people around the globe, to learn lessons from the two world wars --- and avoid the outbreak of a third one.
Experts from the US, Russia, Serbia, Germany, Japan and other countries held an international conference in Beijing to retrospect World War I and II ahead of the 100th anniversary of WWI, which falls on Monday (tomorrow).
As in 1914, some traces of old security concepts can still be seen in international affairs in 2014, warns Li Chenggang, associate professor of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
"The US is treating the countries which are rising quickly in a time of globalization as those powers did a century ago, at a time of imperialism and realpolitik," he says.
To ensure its own absolute security, the US has frequently carried out military interventions in other countries, resulting in suspicion, envy and hostility among powers, Li adds, urging people to avoid the same mistakes as those made 100 years ago.
Historians also warn of a revival of militarism in Japan. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies threaten the peace of Japan and lead it down a dangerous path, says Nakayama Toshio, of the Clausewitz Society of Japan.
Abe Administration's strategy of cornering China by aligning with other nations is not only a comeback under the wing of US' hegemony, but also a demonstration of the Japan-US alliance in the 21st century, that means more than a resurgence of Japanese militarism, he adds.
At the conference, Chinese scholars refuted the "China threat theory," which compares emerging China with the rising Germany that challenged the system, before World War I.
"The view that China is the challenger to the existing world order is extremely wrong as it didn't, doesn't and won't follow the footsteps of those big powers to seek hegemony once they grew powerful," says Lyu Jie, professor with the Chinese Military Academy.
Israel: War criminal
In Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, the Tel Aviv government warned hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of the north of the Gaza Strip to abandon their homes, as the zone would be attacked by bomber jets from Tel Aviv.
The military offensive of Israel’s Zionist army has killed over 1,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the majority, civilians, and between 25-30%, of all those killed, were children.
This has caused an exodus towards the south of Gaza, worsening the already catastrophic conditions in which Palestine's population live.
Thousands of wounded are in over-crowded hospitals, with a scarcity of vital medicines, shortages of water and food and only one access point on Egypt's border, from which Gaza can communicate with the rest of the world.
Over the days of the military offensive, called Border Protector, homes and buildings have been destroyed; with Israel's air force picking - among its targets – a UN hospital, a school and a mosque.
Israeli soldiers have not killed a single leader of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad - the supposed targets of the Tel Aviv government - which has not even been able to significantly reduce the pace at which homemade missiles are fired from Gaza's borders into Israeli territory.
Dozens of these missiles – which cause fear in Israeli neighborhoods bordering Gaza, but possess an insignificant destructive capacity - continue to be launched daily.
They are the only possible defensive response available to Palestinians.
After 2 previous grand scale military offensives against Gaza (2008-2009 and 2012), based on the same pretexts, Tel Aviv authorities have been obliged to admit that no massive bombardments or military raids can stop the manufacture or use of rudimentary arms by Palestinians.
The only real objective of the current attack seems to be to kill civilians, as journalist Gideon Levy writes in Haaretz:
"Israel’s real purpose in the Gaza operation? To kill Arabs," given that overthrowing the Hamas government is an illusory and illegitimate objective, as well as undesirable, since the alternative could be far worse.
Israel sincerely believes that if it kills hundreds of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, calm will be restored.
This strategy, as well as the destruction of homes "is a war crime, even if the Israeli solders label them as control and command centres or conference rooms," states Levy, renowned for his critical stance toward the Tel Aviv government.
The brutality and cruelty perpetrated against the defenseless population of Gaza are unfathomable, but the passivity and indifference of the US and EU in the face of a genocidal military operation, is also incomprehensible.
The Western powers mounted campaigns against Syria's government and intervened militarily in Libya to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, for a lot less.
The suffering of the Palestinian population clearly demonstrates the obscenity and hypocrisy of the US and Europe, both accomplices overlooking the war crimes perpetuated by Tel Aviv in martyred Gaza.
Russia Delivering Weapons to Iraq to Thwart Terrorists
Russia has begun supplying military helicopters & fighters jets to Iraq, a report says, after Iraq's defence minister visited Moscow to press for equipment to thwart a terrorist offensive.
"A number of contracts with Iraq have entered into force and are being fulfilled," the Interfax agency quotes a source in Russia's defense export establishment as saying. Deliveries of Mi-35 helicopter gunships and Su-25 fighters that provide close air support for ground troops, have begun, adds the source.
Iraq also has contracts for Mi-28 attack helicopters and mobile Pantsir-S1 surface- to-air and anti-aircraft artillery systems.
Russia's ambassador to Baghdad Ilya Mogunov has said he believes up to 10 Sukhoi fighter jets will be delivered by the end of summer.
The Russian defence industry source tells Interfax that given the increased tensions following the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet over a region in Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia rebels, the US may pressure Baghdad to cancel its orders for Russian weaponry.
3 MORE TEL AVIV TROOPS KILLED
The Israel military confirms three more deaths among its soldiers on Saturday.
The soldiers were killed in attacks by Palestinian resistance fighters.
The three were identified as Roy Peles, Avraham Grintzvaig, and Gal Bason.
Palestinian resistance movement Hamas puts Israel’s military fatalities at over 100.
Death toll from Israel war crimes in Gaza surpasses 1,000.
Palestinian rescue workers pulled over 100 bodies from the ruins of homes on Saturday.
A temporary truce was in effect to allow the delivery of humanitarian supplies to the impoverished region.
The UN says over 80% of Palestinian fatalities were civilians, including 200+ children killed.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has lashed out at Israel, for targeting ambulances & medical staff in the beseiged Palestinian territory.
Separately, in the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops attacked Palestinian protesters after a funeral ceremony for 9 people killed by Israeli forces, during pro-Gaza protests on Friday.
Thousands of angry protesters responded by throwing stones at the heavily armed troops.
At least 11 people have been killed by occupying troops in the West Bank over the past three days.
The UN Human Rights Council has recently passed a resolution calling for an independent probe into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza.
A prominent French lawyer has filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on behalf of the Palestinian government, against the Israeli army, over its obvious warcrimes.
GERMAN PILOTS SLAM RESUMPTION OF FLIGHTS TO ISRAEL
The German pilots’ trade union Cockpit has slammed a decision by Lufthansa to resume flights to Tel Aviv.
The union’s spokesperson, Joerg Handwerg, criticized the move by Lufthansa, Saturday, saying commercial flights should not fly in warzones, or regions in crisis.
He said that many crew members were questioning the decision, as the security situation in the region remains a major concern.
Handwerg said Tel Aviv's advisory warnings were lifted, despite the Israeli war on the besieged Gaza Strip continuing, and the flights continue --- for "political reasons".
The remarks from Cockpit came after Lufthansa and Air Berlin said they would resume flights to and from Tel Aviv’s international Ben Gurion Airport on Saturday, after a 3-day suspension.
A number of the world’s leading airlines also suspended flights to Israel’s main airport.
Despite the instability and insecurity surrounding the area, US airlines resumed their flights to Tel Aviv on July 25th. Washington had suspended all flights to Ben Gurion Airport, after a rocket fired by Palestinians landed near the airport on July 22.
Israeli jets have hit the blockaded Gaza Strip since July 8th. On July 17, thousands of Israeli soldiers launched a ground invasion into the densely-populated strip.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement, launched retaliatory attacks against Israel.
1,000+ Palestinians, over 80% of whom were civilians, died after the offensive began, and 6,000 more have been injured.
ISIS militants blow up Prophet Jonah's tomb in Iraq
The shrine of Jonas – revered by Christians and Muslims alike – was turned “to dust” near Iraq’s Mosul. Footage of the event was posted online, and witnesses say it took ISIS militants just an hour to fill the mosque with explosives.
“ISIS militants have destroyed the Prophet Younis (Jonah) shrine east of Mosul city after they seized control of the mosque completely,” an anonymous security source tells Iraq-based al-Sumaria News.
Muslims know the tomb as the shrine of Younis, and Christians refer to it as the tomb of Jonah.
Jonah is renowned for having been swallowed by a fish or a whale in the Bible’s Old Testament, with a similar story being present in the Koran.
The site upon which the mosque had been built dated back to the eighth century BC.
“[The] Islamic State completely destroyed the shrine of Nabi Yunus after telling local families to stay away and closing roads 500 meters from the shrine,” an anonymous official from the Sunni Endowment, which manages Sunni religious affairs in Iraq, tells AFP.
After evacuating people from the area, they blew it up in front of a large crowd.
Several religious sites have been destroyed in recent days, but the official citing the Yahya Ibn al-Qassem, Aoun al-Din, and Prophet Daniel shrines as the most important says– “the worst destruction was of Nabi Yunus, which has been turned to dust.”
30 shrines and 15 hussainias and mosques in the Mosul area have been destroyed by IS, Sunni Takfiri terrorists, in recent months.
The tombstone itself was smashed at the start of July.
"Elements of ISIS [have] controlled the mosque of the Prophet Younis since they invaded Mosil,” Ninevah official, Zuhair Al-Chalabi, is quoted as saying, by IraqiNews.com.
Last month, Sunni militants from IS took northern and western Iraq, destroying mosques and shrines and aiming for the society which held, in Islam's early days.
On Friday, the group demanded that all Mosul's women must wear full face veils or risk severe punishment.
“The conditions imposed on clothes and grooming was only to end the pretext of debauchery resulting from grooming and overdressing. This is not a restriction on women's freedom, but it prevents women falling into humiliation and vulgarity,” IS states.
‘Google must not be left to censor history’ – Wikipedia founder
The power to “censor history” should not be left in Google’s hands, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales warns, after the search engine giant reveals it has approved 90,000+ ‘right to be forgotten’ requests.
Wales says a European Court ruling allowing people to have links scrubbed from the search engine's index, is too "open-ended." He also criticises the law for being unclear.
“The law as it stands right now is quite confusing. We've this one ruling of the ECJ (European Court of Justice) which is very open-ended and very hard to interpret,” he tells BBC Radio 4's Today program.
In May, the ECJ said links to irrelevant, outdated data should be erased from searches on request, sparking fears that news stories and other public information could be concealed from public view.
On Friday, it was revealed that half of all ‘right to be forgotten’ requests had been granted. So far, the internet giant has had requests from 91,000 individuals to block search results for 328,000 websites.
“There is a significant, difficult and philosophical question around the balance between privacy and free speech," Wales said at the time of the ruling. "I think what this decision highlights is that we've got (that balance) all wrong."
Wales says the biggest problem is the law as it stands directs Google to censor links to information “that is clearly public” from reputable news sources.
“That is a very dangerous path to go down, and if we want to go down a path where we are going to be censoring history, there is no way we should leave a private company like Google in charge of making those decisions.”
Wales argues that personal information in this instance is being confused with private information, including personal health and financial information, which in fact, should remain outside the public domain.
“That's a completely different category,” he says.
Google says that over 30% of requests were rejected outright, while additional information was requested in 15% of cases. At this rate, links to 164,000 websites will not be provided via the Google search engine.
Google says the French submitted the most: 17,500 requests relating to 58,000 websites.
16,500 Germans sent 57,000 requests, while the British came third, with 12,000 people submitting requests for 44,000 links.
Spanish, Italian and Dutch citizens submitted 8,000, 7,500 and 5,500 requests, respectively.
Google has previously expressed its displeasure with the ECJ ruling, claiming it conflicts with the firm’s principles, though their hands were tied when it came to implementation.
Google CEO Larry Page even goes so far as to say the decision could encourage repressive regimes to crack down on internet freedom.
According to the Wall Street Journal, other firms like Microsoft have watched Google closely to see how it interprets the ECJ decision.
European politicians, who are debating a law which could potentially tighten up the loose interpretation of the ECJ ruling, are keeping an eye on Google as well.
Over 40 mortar shells ‘fired to kill’ into Russia from Ukraine
At least 45 mortar shells fired on targets in the Russian Rostov-on-Don region have been unleashed by Ukraine’s army, Russia’s border officials say.
The barrages destroyed many houses and forced the evacuation of civilians.
Investigators say they were examining the site of a previous shelling near Primiusskiy hamlet on the southwestern tip of Russia Wednesday, when a barrage of rockets went off from the other side of the border.
“There is no doubt that those shooting from the Ukrainian side picked their target, and tried to kill Russian security officials,” says Vladimir Markin, Investigative Committee representative.
“It's only the poor training of Ukrainian gunners, and the timely evacuation of Russian officials under the cover of armored vehicles, that thwarted their plan.”
Six houses in the village were damaged, and one woman received concussion as a result of a nearby explosion.
“The barrage is continuing from the other side of the border and its intensity hasn't decreased,” says Vasily Malaev, the regional border service spokesperson.
Shells from artillery fights in Ukraine frequently land on Russian territory and have done so ever since summer began. Primiusskiy was shelled previously, just two days ago.
Earlier this week, a temporary refugee camp for Ukrainians fleeing the war was relocated further from the border, after several mortars landed nearby.
A man was killed and two received serious injuries, when a Ukrainian shell hit a house in the region, earlier this month.
The Russian Foreign Ministry then, described the incident as “an act of aggression” and threatened “irreversible consequences”... if the attacks were not discontinued.
Ukrainian officials have denied responsibility, and say that it is Russia using its artillery to support anti-Kiev militants in the Donetsk region across the border.
Ukraine used phosphorous incendiaries, cluster bombs against cities – Russian military
Kiev's troops have used incendiary weapons and cluster bombs against militia-held cities, acts banned by international laws regulating warfare, the Russian military says.
According to Major General Viktor Poznikhir, the deputy commander of the chief operations branch of the Russian General Staff, the Russian military are certain of a number of such attacks by Ukrainian troops.
Those include artillery shelling with incendiary shells on June 12 in Slavyansk, on June 24 and June 29 in Semyonovka and July 7 in Lisichansk.
There were also airstrikes with incendiary bombs on June 21 in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk and on July 23 in Donetsk and shelling with cluster- shells on June 24 in Semyonovka.
“We have sufficient proof that in the cities and villages of Ukraine I mentioned, phosphorus based ammunition was used,” Poznikhir says.
In all those instances characteristic fast-falling clusters of sparks were spotted in the air, and massive fires on the ground were reported, proving that they were not illumination flares.
The evidence behind the ministry’s assessment includes eyewitness accounts, injuries sustained by the victims of the attacks and media reports from Ukraine, the Russian general says.
“Incendiaries were used on residential areas where only civilians were present at the time,” Poznikhir stresses.
“We believe the Ukrainian side wanted to produce a demoralizing effect on the people, and to inflict serious damage to the communal infrastructure, creating conditions for a humanitarian disaster.”
Most of the incidents mentioned by the general happened in or near Slavyansk, once the most defended strongholds of the Ukrainian militia, which for two months held out against a siege by Ukrainian troops.
The city was eventually abandoned by militia forces, which regrouped and fortified other Ukrainian cities. They are under attack now.
Using incendiary weapons against civilians or military objects located in civilian areas is forbidden by Protocol III of the UN Convention on Conventional Weapons.
Ukraine is a signatory to the protocol. Cluster munitions are prohibited by the Convention on Cluster Munitions, but Ukraine did not ratify that agreement.
We terminated ten more Israeli soldiers: Hamas
Al-Qassam Brigades said its fighters killed the Israeli soldiers near the northeastern part of the Gaza Strip in the early hours, this Friday.
The resistance group put the death toll then at about 80, including at least 10 Israeli soldiers it says it killed east of Beit Hanoun, earlier that day.
The latest killings came as the death toll among Israeli troops was on the rise.
The Israeli army confirmed the deaths of just 2 of its soldiers over the 24 hours. The Israeli media said the latest deaths brought to 36, the number of troops killed in Tel Aviv’s onslaught.
The Israeli army had informed the family of a missing soldier that he had been killed. But Qassam Brigades said they'd captured the Israeli soldier, Oron Shaul, in an ambush on Israeli forces in Sheja'iyah neighborhood, east of Gaza, on Saturday.
Israel has kept a tight rein on media outlets, regarding the true number of Israeli soldiers captured or killed during its assault on the besieged coastal enclave.
The climbing death toll of Israeli forces in the assault on Gaza Strip, prompted rising opposition amongst the Israeli public.
International bodies & human rights groups said the Israeli military's actions in Gaza... could amount to war crimes.
US LIES SAYS RUSSIA
Russia slams the US's latest accusations against Moscow over the Ukrainian crisis, calling them a baseless “smear campaign.”
The remarks were made by Russia's Foreign Ministry, in a statement released on Friday.
"We reject unfounded public insinuations" by the US, that Russia is involved in the Ukraine crisis, said Russia's Foreign Ministry.
The statement clearly referred to remarks by US State Department spokesperson Ms Harf:
"We deny the unfounded public insinuations that State Department spokesperson M. Harf repeats day after day," said the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The release by Russia's ministry came a day after Harf said Russia fired artillery shells across the border into eastern Ukraine, where Kiev’s coup forces are fighting anti-fascist self-defence militias.
Moscow denies the US allegations, saying it is Russian territory that's being shelled by Kiev's forces.
Russia reports that dozens of shells have fallen on Russia’s Rostov region, fired by Kiev's forces in Ukraine's eastern regions.
On July 13, artillery shells from Ukraine hit the Rostov area, killing a 46-year-old man and seriously injuring two others.
EU CRAWLS A BIT MORE TO USA
EU ambassadors have reached a deal on widening sanctions against Russia, over the crisis in Ukraine, after a propaganda blitz by the US.
The agreement is made on Friday in Brussels during a second day of talks on expanding sanctions against Russia.
The proposed bans target Russia’s access to EU capital markets and trade in defense, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.
EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic says the proposals have been submitted to EU officials to codify into regulations, with EU ambassadors meeting again on July 29th, to review the results.
The EU charges Russia with involvement in the crisis in neighboring Ukraine, where government forces are fighting anti-fascist forces. Moscow rejects any involvement with, or link to, the anti fascist regional militias.
The sanctions come just over a week after the crash of a Malaysian Airlines plane over Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
The US and its allies accuse anti-fascists of downing the civilian airliner. They deny any involvement in the tragedy and accuse Kiev of being responsible for the plane’s crash.
The investigation into the crash has barely begun, yet the crash is already yielding a diplomatic edge to US/UK plans to isolate Russia and weaken Europe's economy.
However, there is a long way to go before Europe's leaders commit themselves to sanctions on gas and other major trade links with Russia.
Ukrainian cabinet appoints acting PM
The Ukrainian cabinet on Friday appoints Deputy PM Volodymyr Groysman as acting prime minister, a day after the incumbent, A. Yatsenyuk, announces his resignation.
Groysman will serve as acting PM until the parliament elects a new interim head of the cabinet, Kiev's press service says.
According to the Ukrainian Constitution, only parliament has the power to dismiss the prime minister by voting within 10 days after receiving a written resignation request.
The Ukrainian parliament's deputy speaker, Ruslan Koshulynsky, says that Yatsenyuk has not tendered an official resignation letter to lawmakers, as of Friday morning.
On Thursday, Yatsenyuk said he was stepping down over parliament's "ineffectiveness" after two political parties withdrew from Ukraine's ruling coalition.
After the announcement, President Poroshenko said there was no reason for Yatsenyuk and the rest of the cabinet to resign and asked lawmakers to pass a vote of confidence in the government.
AL QUDS DAY BRINGS FRESH HOPE
Attack on Gaza leads PNA to adopt street views.
Huge numbers of people in the West Bank responded to a call by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to protest for Gaza.
Fury in the Palestinian street at Israel's attacks has led the PNA to change its long-held stance of seeking calmness in the West Bank.
In the past two weeks, PNA police have thwarted angry Palestinians from marching towards an Israeli settlement near Ramallah to protest at the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.
Citizens criticized President Mahmoud Abbas for describing Hamas's rockets against Israel as "futile", in the first few days of the Israeli operation "Protective Edge", and for saying it gives Israel a reason to attack Gaza.
However, this all changed on Tuesday, when Abbas supported public protests, endorsed the Palestinian militant groups led by Hamas in Gaza and adopted their demands for a cease-fire.
Hamas lists six demands to agree on a truce including lifting the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Local observers say this is because members of the PNA's ruling party of Fatah are urging the Palestinian President to listen to the Palestinian street.
"There's a growing sensation of Hamas pride in the West Bank, compared to a disappointment at Abbas's failed approach of peace talks which didn't achieve any tangible result," the Political Science Professor in Al-Quds University, Ahmed Rafiq Awad, says, on al Quds day.
Palestinian parties are now racing to catch up with Hamas' success in challenging the Jewish state and raising military fatalities for Israeli soldiers.
Palestinians all applaud the militant groups' performance in the war with Israel, helping the party to put its truce demands on the table, the analyst says.
People in West Bank cities celebrated Hamas' abducting of an Israeli soldier and the 24-hour ban on US flights to Israel (lifted with indecent haste by the US today) after a missile landed near the only Israeli international airport of Ben Gurion.
This gives Palestinians reason to cheer for Hamas - despite their grief at the deaths caused by Israel.
Awad says it is mainly the internal public pressure from the West Bank that drove the PNA to seek a different approach in the hope of keeping its popularity alive:
"The Palestinian people are important for Abbas. The PNA knows if it doesn't listen to the people, it will lose its reputation and its legitimacy as a representative body for the Palestinians."
Sameeh Hamouda, a political science professor in Birzeit University, says that Israel's crimes against people in Gaza proved to Abbas that Israel designed the attack to break the unity government formed a few weeks prior to the operation, and knows it isn't just aimed at stopping Hamas from firing rockets.
"Abbas does not accept giving in to the Israeli will that wants to keep Palestinians fragmented," he explains.
Analysts say that unity between the West Bank and Gaza, empowers Abbas in any future peace talks with Israel, as it shows him as the leader of all the Palestinian people.
ISRAEL CANNOT ATTACK AGAIN AND AGAIN WITHOUT COSTS RISING
Palestinian resistance fighters launched rocket barrages into Israel, to retaliate for the aerial and ground bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip.
The military wing of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades, fired rockets at different cities & areas, including Tel Aviv, Nitzan, Nitzanim, Ashkelon, S'derot, Bir Am, Ganim, Sdot Negev and Netivot.
Media reports say the attacks triggered red sirens, causing panic among the residents. At least two Israelis were injured, one of them critically, after a rocket hit Eshkol city in the south.
Israel’s US-funded Iron Dome missile system has once again proved vulnerable after failing to intercept retaliatory rockets fired into the occupied territories. The failure of the highly- publicized missile system has sparked panic among Israelis.
Israeli military sources say Palestinian fighters targeted the Hatzerim airbase.
Hamas says Palestinian resistance fighters killed eight Israeli soldiers, east of Tofah, after at least 16 Palestinians were killed, among them seven children, in the Israeli shelling of a UN-run school in Beit Hanoun, where many Palestinians were taking refuge.
Hundreds were injured in the attack.
International organizations and rights groups estimate that civilians made up over 80% of the killed, in the besieged coastal enclave.
Ukraine parliament speaker dissolves Communist party
The Speaker of the US installed parliament, Aleksandr Turchinov, announces that he has just dissolved the Communist party in the Verkhovnaya Rada, RIA Novosti says.
He calls the decision “his historic mission” and cites the fact that their numbers have dwindled to 23 deputies from 33, since the US-backed coup began.
A district court in Kiev was expected to start a hearing Thursday, on the Justice Ministry’s order, banning the Communist Party.
Two Ukrainian parties left the coalition in parliament on Thursday, to let President Petro Poroshenko start the process of holding new parliamentary elections.
The neo-fascist nationalist Svoboda party, and the Udar party of former boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko, announced together that they were leaving the coalition, says Reuters.
They already formed the majority in the current rump parliament.
Ukraine's parliament-appointed PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk announced his resignation, also, on Thursday.
“In connection with the breakup of the parliamentary coalition, as well as the non-adoption of a number of important bills, I announce my resignation,” he said, on Friday.
Rada speaker, Alexander Turchinov, suggests that deputies submit their candidacy for the post of 'technical PM', to the rump parliament, now.
KIEV FORCES DRAFT 60 YEAR OLD MEN
The decree on a partial military draft, which President Poroshenko signed on Wednesday, signals the agony of the Kiev regime and its inability to resolve the problems of its own homeland in a civilized manner, say experts.
Ukraine's media gave evidence of the great pain which accompanied the endorsement of a third phase of a reservists’ call-up, to join the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’.
“President Petro Poroshenko was outraged by the fact that voting in parliament took place with a critically low number of votes,” wrote the Ukraine publication Segodnya.ua.
“The whole country is at war and 210 deputies believe that this war doesn’t concern them,” it quoted him as saying.
The Kiev authorities will not reveal how many reservists will be called up. “The case in hand may be tens of thousands of men in 45 days,” says Nedelya.ua portal, adding that, also, the Verkhovna Rada has now revised the upper age limit for individuals liable to be drafted, to 60 years, from the previous 50 years old.
“This mobilization isn't the first one in Ukraine and will turn out to be even more disastrous than the previous army drafts,” Dr. Vladimir Anokhin, a Vice President at the Academy of Geopolitical Problems in Moscow, states.
“The Ukrainian Army is suffering heavy losses and is short of the most elementary things, like meals and uniforms, plus Kiev doesn’t have the money or resources to maintain the servicemen it has already, while the population subjected to being drafted, doesn’t show any enthusiasm to go to the battlefront,” Dr. Anokhin says.
“When the draft engulfs the age bracket of up to 60 years old, this is simply the military and political agony of the Kiev junta,” he says.
“Meetings of women opposed to this draft are taking place in many regions of the country, because it’s one thing if a fair war is under- way and another thing when your child is called up to take part in a punitive expedition.”
“The latter is a shame on the entire family and everyone in the neighborhood will remember it,” Dr. Anokhin says.
“The losses that the Ukrainian Army is suffering are not measured by the numbers of killed and/ or wounded only,” says Alexander Perendzhiyev, a member of the Association of Military Political Scientists. “It includes deserters suffering from enormous stress and morally degenerate people in its ranks.”
“Many of those fighting in combat actions (in the Ukrainian Army) are, in a certain sense, dysfunctional, and can't be used in combat anymore,” Perendzhiyev says.
“A continuation of this war, which is costing an inordinate amount of money, is dealing a heavy blow, not only to the economy, but to Ukraine’s demography,” he says.
“A yet another attempt to reinforce this punitive force, is tantamount to an anti- state policy. All the actions of the Kiev regime aim at destroying the state.”
“All of this will bring a social explosion in Kiev,” Perendzhiyev says. “The Ukrainian authorities will get a reverse reaction from mobilization. Families will be falling apart, people’s futures will be crashing, and the people will eventually be unable to tolerate this situation anymore.”
“The social and economic situation is deteriorating with every passing day,” Perendzhiyev says. “Laws are being eroded and all of this is accumulating, which makes the eventual social explosion, unavoidable.”
“This decision on a new mobilization testifies to the powerlessness of defense officials in Ukraine because this Army draft won't bring any substantial result,” Alexander Golts, a military expert, tells ITAR-TASS.
“Another draft will lead to an expansion of the scale of combat operations, a bigger number of human losses and even greater economic damage,” Dr. Sergei Markov, director of the Institute for Political Research, says.
“People making up the incumbent government in Kiev, are not statesmen,” he says. “They are suppressing by force, any form of protest against the policies they are conducting.”
“They behave towards their fellow-country men like foreign agents & military criminals,” Dr. Markov says.
“This third phase of drafting into the Ukrainian Army, taking place in just over seven months, testifies to a full demoralization of the political establishment in Kiev,” Andrei Klimov, deputy chair of the committee for international affairs in the upper house of Russian parliament says.
“A third drafting of human expendables for participation in the punitive operation in the country’s east where people totally unfamiliar with the battlefield, are immediately thrown into combat action, is a really immoral thing and it savors of a crime,” he says.
“The Ukrainian authorities get persistent proposals to solve the problem of Ukraine’s eastern regions, but they think that the US will continue throwing its support behind the anti-terrorist operation,” Klimov says.
“As long as Washington finds it profitable to fan passions in the region, Ukraine's government will have to carry out a tenth draft, never mind a third one.”
Luhansk Republic announces a voluntary mobilization
“We are urging everyone who can hold arms to join the ranks of the LPR army voluntarily, honestly and consciously,” a statement says.
The Luhansk People’s Republic announced its full voluntary mobilization on Thursday, as fierce fighting continues between local self-defense fighters and Ukraine's forces in the east Ukrainian region.
“The treacherous military attack by fascist Ukraine on our Motherland is continuing,” says a mobilization decree signed by the Luhansk People’s Republic's head, Valery Bolotov.
“Despite the heroic resistance of the army of the Luhansk People’s Republic and despite the fact that the enemy’s best battalions and aviation squadrons have been defeated and found their grave on battlefields, the enemy continues pushing forward, committing new forces to the front,” the decree says.
“Its human resources are not boundless. With some more fighting, the Ukrainian fascists will run out of people capable of conducting combat operations,” the decree says.
“What is needed to crush the enemy? It is necessary for people to understand this, and stop being unconcerned. They need to mobilize themselves and readjust to a new military mode that knows no mercy for the enemy,” the decree says.
Pro-Kiev troops and local militias in Ukraine's Donetsk and Luhansk regions are involved in fierce clashes, as the Ukrainian armed forces conduct a military operation to regain control over the breakaway regions, which on May 11 proclaimed their full independence in local referendums.
During the military operation, Kiev has used armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. Many buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have had to flee Ukraine’s embattled east.
West colludes with genocidal Tel Aviv: Analyst
An analyst writes for Press TV, that the so-called peace process between Israel and Palestine looks like a ‘sick joke’, as the apartheid regime moved ahead with its killing of Palestinians in Gaza.
“The 20-year so-called peace process, is just another sick joke, whereby the West's genocidal regime in Tel Aviv, can get away with more mass murder, and other crimes against humanity,” Finian Cunningham says.
He adds that any so-called truce, can only give nothing, but “heap more misery and suffering” on the beseiged Palestinians.
“The truth is that Israeli military aggression against the people of Palestine has been an ongoing non-stop campaign, ever since 1948,” writes the analyst.
Referring to the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza, Cunningham says the Zionist entity is putting “on display” once again,its crimes against humanity, “in the most despicable and barbaric way.”
He says no truce between Hamas and the Israeli regime can fix the oppression of the Palestinians:
“There is a hemorrhage of human life, that requires deep intervention.”
Over 1,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli offensives in the besieged Gaza Strip in less than 3 weeks.
According to Palestinian human rights group estimates, 81% of those killed in Gaza since Israel first launched its ongoing offensive on July 8th, have been civilians.
Tel Aviv targeted over 3,250 locations in the besieged strip, totally destroying 500 homes , and damaging over 2,600.
UN officials warn that 70% of Gazans now do not have access to safe water, as major water wells have been hit directly, by Israel.
UN Chief Again Urged Immediate End to Gaza Violence
"I am standing here with very heavy heart. My message has always been consistent and strong, this violence must stop now," Ban told a joint news conference with Jordan's Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh.
"Everyone should work together to bring this violence to an immediate end. They must stop now. Military solutions do not provide sustainable solutions."
Palestine fighters kill 9 more Israeli forces: Hamas
On Wednesday, the Israeli military acknowledged three more deaths in battles with Hamas fighters in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
However, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said 9 were killed there.
It added that their fighters destroyed a Merkava Mark IV tank in battles and fired rockets on Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area (Gush Dan), Shefela, Ashkelon, Palmachim, Bnei Darom, Ashdod, and Lod.
Code red sirens went off in Rehovot and in Beit Shemesh, near East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
According to Israel's media, the Iron Dome intercepted five rockets fired from Gaza.
Since July the 8th, Israeli warplanes have hit numerous sites in the Gaza Strip, some attacks demolishing houses and burying whole families in the rubble.
Palestinian resistance forces continued to force heavy losses on Israel's army -- in retaliation for its onslaught on the Gaza Strip.
Israel's war machine continues to relentlessly massacre Gazans
The Israeli war machine continues to target the besieged Gaza Strip from air, land and sea, pushing the Palestinian dead to 655.
Palestinian officials say on Wednesday that new attacks have killed at least two dozen Palestinians, including several children.
Medics say at least 150 others have also been injured in Israel's ongoing onslaught on the tiny coastal enclave.
Sources say nearly a dozen of victims were killed in tank shelling in the southern town of Khan Yunis.
Latest reports say Israeli jets have pounded multiple sites across the impoverished region, including a mosque and the enclave's sole power plant.
Local residents say at least one person was killed and dozens more wounded near the targeted mosque.
Israel has continued its airstrikes on the Gaza Strip for the 16th straight day
According to figures provided by emergency services, the total number of people killed since the Israeli offensive on July 8 stands at nearly 655. More than 4,200 people have been injured in the attacks.
Israel's military admits that over 400 of those killed were civilians, including women and children.
The Chief Rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba has issued a ruling that will "allow" the killing of civilians in wartime.
Rabbi Dov Lior claims it is permissible to fiercely attack what he describes as the enemy population, even if this means hurting or taking, innocent lives.
The ruling reads that the army is allowed to even order the destruction of the whole area, to avoid the Israeli people suffering.
The United Nations says Israel's military actions could well amount to war crimes.
Two Ukrainian military jets shot down over East
Kiev says anti-fascist forces have shot down two of Kiev's jet fighters in the country’s restive east, where government forces are holding military operations against the anti-coup population.
Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky, a Ukrainian military spokesperson, says 2 of Kiev's Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jets, were shot down on Wednesday.
Anti-coup forces confirm this with a video posted online. The video allegedly shows the wreckage after, of one of the planes.
Kiev gives contradictory information on where the jets were downed.
Dmytrashkivsky says the jets were downed 25 kilometers (16 miles) from the crash site of the Malaysian flight MH17, and that the fate of the two pilots is "unknown".
But another Kiev military spokesperson declares that the aircraft was hit south of the Lugansk region and that the two pilots managed to bail out.
The downing of the two jets comes days after the MH17 was shot down over the volatile Donetsk region, while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, with all 298 passengers and crew, killed.
Kiev & Western powers accuse anti-fascist forces of downing the passenger plane, by firing a surface-to-air missile at the aircraft.
But militias in eastern Ukraine have denied the accusation and blame Kiev for shooting down the plane. Some witnesses say they saw the passenger plane being attacked by a Ukrainian army plane.
Zionist Massacres in Gaza Continue: Death Toll Reaches 631
The death toll in Gaza reached 631 Palestinian martyrs and the wounded numbered over 3750 on Tuesday, as emergency teams pulled dead bodies from the rubble of homes destroyed by Israeli strikes on the 16th day of the assault, Maan news agency reports.
The latest martyrs, who are as yet unidentified, died in the Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City as a result of Israeli artillery shelling, the health ministry's spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra says.
He had previously announced the death of 22- year-old Mahmoud Salim Mustafa Daraj, who succumbed to his wounds in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip.
The deaths take the number of Palestinians killed by Israel's occupation army, Tuesday, to 31.
Palestinian medical sources earlier announced the death of Ahmad Abu Seido, by Israel shelling a park in eastern Gaza City.
Rescue teams removed the body of a man from rubble, in Shujaiyya neighborhood.
Al-Qidra earlier announced another martyr as a four-year-old girl, Muna Rami al-Kharawt, in the northern Gaza Strip.
The bodies of two women were also removed from the debris of their homes in the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City, al-Qidra said.
He identified the two martyrs as 70-year-old Fatima Hasan Azzam & 50-year-old Maryam Hasan Azzam.
Additionally, emergency teams pulled the body of Muhammad al-Hindi from out of a bombed building in Tal al-Hawa, south Gaza.
Earlier on Tuesday, dozens of Palestinians were killed, after Israeli airstrikes and artillery shells hit their homes.
More Airlines Suspend Flights to ’Israel’
Major European carriers are following their US counterparts - suspending flights to the Zionist entity over security concerns - as the Israeli aggression continues on Gaza.
Air France says it is suspending services to Ben Gurion International Airport until further notice and Germany's Lufthansa says it is halting flights for 36 hours.
Lufthansa says the step, which also affects its subsidiaries Austrian Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss, is being taken "for the security of the passengers and crews" in the "unstable situation."
The German carrier says it operated up to 10 daily flights to Tel Aviv from Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.
Affected passengers can choose to either be reimbursed or exchange their tickets, it says.
Air France says the move will affect its three daily flights to Tel Aviv from Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, as well as the three flights per week from Marseille and the four flights per week, from Nice.
Brussels Airlines has cancelled one flight late on Tuesday and three flights on Wednesday.
Earlier US Delta announced that it had diverted a flight bound for Tel Aviv to Paris after "reports of a rocket or associated debris near the airport in Tel Aviv."
Other major US carriers US Airways and United Airlines said they were also cancelling their services to Ben Gurion airport.
Putin Rules Out Destabilization in Russia
President Vladimir Putin today rules out any destabilization in Russia, or attempts to create chaos inside the country, in a similar way to those implemented in other regions of the world.
In a extraordinary session of the Security Council, President Putin was confident that destabilization scenes, known as "colour revolutions," will not work in the Russian Federation.
However, Putin admitted that there are attempts to erode and heat up the internal situation from abroad, in a similar way to other countries, and he considers these actions as unacceptable, and harmful to the world's order.
The language of ultimatums & unilateral sanctions is frequently heard towards "awkward" countries and regimes which carry out independent policies or just defend their interests, stressed Putin.
The Russian president warned that destabilization plans and coup d'etats, funded and sponsored from abroad, are carried out against those nations.
Putin said it is incomprehensible that some nations use their internal problems as a pretext to destroy other nations, as seen now, in various regions of the world.
Putin deplored that - apart from that - some countries also resort to using radical forces: nationalists, fundamentalists, or just fascists, as happened in the post-soviet period, and is now happening in Ukraine.
As a result of such coups, radical nationalist – or simply neo-fascist, fundamentalist forces – come to power, which is what happened in Ukraine, Putin said.
"Yes, after the coup, elections were held, but for some reason, again, those who funded or carried out the coup became the heads of state. The current authorities are using force, trying to silence the part of the population that disagrees with this development," Putin noted, with regret.
The international community has been calling on Russia to use its influence on the eastern anti-government militia to cooperate in the resolution of the crisis.
“We of course will do everything in our power but that is not nearly enough,” the president stated at the meeting.
Putin believes the West must appeal to Kiev to honour its ceasefire pledge.
Putin highlighted that Kiev should not fuel the conflict, citing Tuesday’s incident when “the Ukrainian Armed Forces attacked Donetsk with their tanks” as the local militia were handing the black box of the crashed MH17 over to experts.
“Tanks broke through to the train station and opened fire at it. The international experts there couldn't even look out of the windows,” said the Russian head of state. “It’s not like the rebels are shooting at themselves.”
The Russian leader called for joint work to solve all those internal problems that might endanger the Russian Federation's unity, and for a rapid stiffening of Russia's military defence "particularly in Crimea", against NATO's eastward aggressive missile placements and the build-up of NATO's air and naval forces nearby.
"Our strength", he declared, "is that we do not belong to any military organisations that can take away our ability to be independent."
Joko Widodo Wins Indonesia Presidential Elections
The candidate of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), and former Jakarta governor, Joko Widodo, won the presidential elections in Indonesia, with 53% of the votes, the National Commission states today.
The definitive count, cited by the website Channel News Asia, came after Widodo's adversary, Prabowo Subianto, rejected the election result, and accused the winner of committing massive fraud.
According to the official vote recount, Jokowi won 53%, followed by 46% for his opponent, the former General Subianto, candidate for the Great Indonesian Movement Party.
Palestinian resistance fighters have killed 40+ Israeli soldiers, since Tel Aviv began its offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip.
Al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, says its forces killed 15 more Israeli forces in eastern Gaza City, on Monday alone.
Palestinian fighters also targeted an Israeli Merkava-4 tank in the east of Gaza City on the same day.
Hamas also fired dozens of retaliatory rockets into Israel. Warning sirens have sounded in Tel Aviv, Yavne, Gadara, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and many other places.
Top Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, says the beseiged Gaza Strip will become "a grave-yard for Israeli soldiers" who have been committing criminal acts against the Palestinians in the blockaded enclave, for over two weeks.
The Palestinian death toll is now 600 - from 14 days of Israeli attacks. Over 3,000 Palestinians have been injured in the onslaught.
Anti-Israeli rallies are being held worldwide to condemn Tel Aviv's ongoing atrocities against Palestinians and to urge an end to the bloodshed in Gaza.
A group of US demonstrators, joined by anti- Zionists, has gathered in front of the White House to demand that Tel Aviv’s escalating ground and aerial offensives stop.
Similar rallies have been held in the Netherlands, Austria, Chile, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, the UK, Morocco, Bolivia, and Australia, among others.
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION PASSED ON BOEING CRASH IN UKRAINE
The resolution was supported by all 15 members of the Security Council, including Russia.
The resolution calls for an immediate end to all armed hostilities in the crash area and urges the local militia to secure the crash site & give the Special Monitoring Mission of the OSCE, access to it.
It also calls for the bringing to justice of all persons responsible for the accident.
The UN resolution condemns in the strongest possible terms, the actions that caused the plane to be shot down, & calls for a thorough & independent investigation of the accident, in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines.
Ukraine's army launches massive offensive operation on Donetsk
The western part of the city was shelled from 4am, local time.
Kiev's armored vehicles and tanks were trying to break through to a train station in the city of Donetsk, Deputy PM of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Andrei Purgin, said on Monday.
“The tank column is trying to break out from the local railway station to the local airport. The gunfire is very intensive, blasts are heard loudly even in the centre of the city,” he said.
The western part of the city had been shelled since 4am local time (2am UTC) on Monday, using Grad multiple launch rocket systems, local residents told ITAR-TASS. Heavy weapons were being used and loud explosions, heard.
Ukrainian warplanes delivered an air strike by unguided rocket projectiles at the Donetsk city railway station on Monday morning. Six rockets were fired. Railway tracks & a locomotive, were damaged in the projectile blasts. The market- place was set on fire. The mayor’s office noted that the bus station is closed and that car traffic is now restricted.
Defense Minister of Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Strelkov, said that “Ukrainian army units had broken into the settlement of Avdiivka and were moving to the railway station from there.”
“At the same time our positions are under attack near Peski, Karlivka and Netailove,” he said, adding that “Tanks and marines on armored infantry assault vehicles are being used, with huge support from artillery guns.”
It was reported earlier that Donetsk militias were fighting with Ukrainian army units near the missile units positions outside Donetsk.
Israel tanks, jets continue pounding Gaza
'IIsraeli tanks and warplanes continued to pound the Gaza Strip for the 14th day, on Monday, with the death toll among Palestinians rising to 508.
Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza Health Ministry official, said on Monday that 20 bodies were retrieved at a home destroyed in an overnight airstrike in Khan Younis.
Israeli tanks also opened fire on a home in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, killing at least 10 people, including a 9-month-old baby girl, Kidra added.
Sunday was the bloodiest day of the two-week Israeli war, as 150+ Palestinians were killed, including 70 people who were massacred in Shejaiya neighborhood.
The Israeli military said the regime's forces killed at least 10 resistance fighters, who tunneled into southern Israel to attack it.
It also said that two squads were detected “infiltrating through two tunnels from the northern Gaza Strip,” and that an Israeli aircraft targeted one squad, as soldiers engaged in a gun battle with the other.
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claims responsibility for the attack, saying that it conducted “an operation behind enemy lines in response to the massacre in Shejaiya.”
The UN Security Council has held an emergency meeting, expressing its “serious concern”, about the growing number of fatalities in Gaza, and calls for an immediate end to the conflict.
US President Barack Obama has also called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, echoing calls for an “immediate ceasefire.”
83,000 Palestinians have taken shelter in 60 schools across the enclave, run by the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
CEASEFIRE BREAK LEADS TO SLAUGHTER
Scores of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers were killed on Sunday as hostilities continued in Gaza.
Both sides earlier agreed to a brief ceasefire to allow medics to reach those wounded by Israeli shells.
The 87 Palestinians killed on Sunday, is the heaviest loss since Israel launched its war on the Palestinian territory, on July 8th.
The brief ceasefire earlier in the day, was broken after just an hour, after shots were fired in Gaza.
“The agreement to implement a ceasefire was ended because of Hamas who started firing at our soldiers. We had to answer back,” said an Israeli army source.
Hamas has yet to comment on the Israeli allegations that it breached the ceasefire.
The death toll is condemned by the Arab League who described Israeli attacks on Gaza on Sunday as a “war crime” against Palestinian civilians.
Over 400 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s operation Protective Edge, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said Sunday.
13 Israeli soldiers were killed on Saturday night and early Sunday in several incidents across the Gaza strip, said Haaretz.
During the ceasefire, Gaza rescue services recovered 50 Palestinian bodies from Shejaia neighbourhood in the east of Gaza City.
Gaza's Health Ministry said the dead included 17 children and 14 women and that hundreds of wounded were being treated.
The Rafah crossing has been opened, but only for use in 'humanitarian emergencies'.
According to Haaretz, Israeli Defense Forces also announced the setting up a field hospital near the Erez Crossing at the northern end of the Gaza strip, to treat wounded Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel will take "whatever action is necessary" to halt Hamas' cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza and restore calm, but insists his forces are doing their best to avoid civilian casualties there.
"We try to target military targets and unfortunately there are civilian casualties, which we regret and we don't seek," Netanyahu told CNN, shortly after an Israeli attack on a Gaza neighbourhood killed at least 89 Palestinians.
He accused Hamas of deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and of using Gaza residents as "human shields." Asked how long it would take Israel to complete an operation it says is meant to destroy Hamas weapons tunnels, Netanyahu said it is being done "fairly quickly," but gave no time frame.
Qatar ready to host truce talks
Doha announced it was hosting a meeting between Palestinian President Abbas, and UN Sec. General, Ban Ki-moon, on Sunday, to try and push for an end to fighting in the Gaza strip, said a senior source from Qatar.
The session took place in Doha and was chaired by the Gulf state's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who's been acting as a "communication channel" between Hamas and the international community, said the source.
"Qatar has presented Hamas' demands to the international community. The list has been presented to France and to the UN. The talks were to further negotiate these conditions."
Hamas has rejected Egyptian efforts to end the fighting, saying any deal must include an end to a blockade of the coastal area and a recommitment to a ceasefire reached in an eight-day war there, in 2012.
Their conditions include the release of prisoners re-arrested since an exchange deal with Israel, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings and an end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza's seaport, a Hamas source in Doha says.
"In general, Israel must end all forms of aggression and attacks, end the blockade of Gaza and remove the actions that resulted from its military offensive in the West Bank after June 12th," Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesperson, tells Reuters.
"We want the rights of our people. Palestinians on the ground are supporting us and we will get them back their rights," says the source.
An IDF spokesperson says:
“We do not target in any way or form, civilians - we target Hamas terrorists. The idea of the ongoing operation is to secure safety and security for the state of Israel.
“Hamas decided to have an onslaught against the state of Israel and indeed even when we held our stations yesterday for 6 hours, they continued to bombard Israel indiscriminately and we were left, basically, with no alternative,” he says.
We terminated 32 Israel troops: Hamas
Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, says Palestinian resistance fighters have killed at least 32 Israeli soldiers since Saturday.
Hamas military sources say scores of Israeli soldiers injured in the clashes with Palestinian fighters have been transferred to hospital. A senior Israeli military commander is said to be among them.
However, the Israeli military has confirmed only seven deaths.
The Palestinian fighters also say they targeted six Israeli tanks with rocket-propelled grenades.
Palestinian retaliatory rockets have hit several areas in Israel, including a Tel Aviv neighborhood.
More retaliatory rockets have been fired out of the Gaza Strip deep into Israel. Warning sirens have wailed in several Israeli cities including Tel Aviv, Eshkol and Be'er Sheva.
Over 1700 projectiles have been launched from Gaza in less than two weeks. Hamas says it is ready for a prolonged conflict and is continuously stocking up its weapons.
Political analysts say the war on Gaza is taking its toll on the Israeli army, with Palestinian fighters stepping up their retaliatory attacks.
The developments come as bloodshed continues in the besieged Gaza Strip for the 13th straight day, with no let-up to the Israeli onslaught by air, sea and land.
Israeli tanks & artillery continue to shell northern and eastern Gaza, while fighter jets keep pounding away at the densely-populated strip.
Medics are now warning of a serious humanitarian crisis, as clinics are running out of basic medical supplies.
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar is calling for an international probe into Israel's ongoing massacres in Gaza.
Malaysian Experts Arrive in Kiev for Plane Disaster Investigation
About 130 Malaysian experts have arrived in Kiev to help with the investigation of the Boeing-777 disaster, which left 298 dead, when crashing in Donetsk region, where fierce combat is ongoing.
AIRSTRIKES RAISE DEATH -TOLL AMONG PALESTINIANS
"Our goal is Hamas' infrastructure in the north, south, and east Gaza," says a military spokes- person, which itself reveals that this ground offensive is leading to an Israeli reoccupation of Palestinian territory in Gaza.
Another sign of Israeli intentions is the call up of another 18,000 reservists to join the Army, which brings the number of troops in position to control Palestine's population, to 65,000.
Meetings now trying to find agreement for a ceasefire seem trivial, as Israel's declared intention is to keep its military presence in Gaza, for an indeterminate time.
One should not tell Russia what to do; it is necessary to sit down to talks — Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says in an interview with Russia 24 TV news channel, that it is unnecessary to tell Russia what it is supposed to do and that it will be much more expedient to sit down to talks.
“The most important thing, as Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated in his conversation with President Obama, is to stop lecturing Russia on what it should do and look into the core of the matter, which consists of the fact that Ukraine's authorities are absolutely unwilling to sit down to talk with those who don't accept the February military coup and refuse to accept the policy of talking to the Russian-speaking population in southeast Ukraine by force,” Lavrov says.
He explains that people in Eastern Ukraine want their lawful rights to be respected.
“The only thing they want is to sit down to talks to discuss the future structure of the Ukrainian state and what rights will be guaranteed to all citizens. This is not their whim. It is a demand to the Kiev authorities to implement what they signed when they were still in opposition,” Lavrov says.
He adds that the creation of a national unity government was the key provision of the February 21st agreement.
“After being formed, the national unity government was supposed to start a constitutional reform that was supposed to have served as the basis for elections. Everything was distinct, logical and clear,” Lavrov stresses.
He explains that the opposition broke the agreement --- with Europe's connivance.
“At least, the Europeans didn't want to insist that the former opposition must respect an agreement which had already been signed.
“After that, an attempt was made to return to a constructive dialogue, end violence and to start an inclusive, transparent and open constitutional process with the involvement of all Ukrainian regions,” Lavrov continues.
“When we brought the paper to the UN Security Council and the OSCE and asked them to adopt a document signed by the foreign policy chiefs of the EU, the US, Russia and Ukraine, we did not find any support,” Lavrov says.
"We were offered President Poroshenko’s peace plan, which ignored the April 17th Geneva statement and the principle of an open constitutional process."
Obama says Russia to blame for Malaysian plane tragedy
US President Barack Obama says Russia is refusing to take the concrete steps necessary to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, and this has led to the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
The Boeing 777-200 passenger aircraft crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 on board. US intelligence and military officials say the plane was hit by a Russian SA-series missile launched from eastern Ukraine.
In a speech from the White House on Friday, Obama calls for an immediate ceasefire in the area, so that a “credible international investigation” can be conducted.
He says the evidence so far indicates that the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched from areas inside Ukraine held by “Russian separatists”.
“The deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions,” Obama says.
“It's not possible for these separatists to function how they’re functioning … without sophisticated equipment” and Russian support, he says.
“I spoke to President Putin yesterday in the wake of additional sanctions that we had imposed. He said he wasn't happy with them, and I told him that we have been very clear from the outset that we want Russia to take the path that would result in peace in Ukraine, but so far, at least, Russia has failed to take that path.”
“If Mr. Putin makes a decision that we are not going to allow heavy armaments and the flow of fighters into Ukraine across the Ukrainian-Russian border, then it will stop. He has the most control over that situation and, so far, he has not exercised it,” Obama says.
Moscow dismisses as "nonsense", claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest.
The government in Kiev is currently engaged in an all-out offensive against activists who reject the current regime imposed by violence in Kiev.
Kiev is pursuing US conditions that dissent must be crushed, or Ukraine will not get its loans from the US-controlled IMF.
The armed attacks on anti-coup activists are following very closely a US plan outlined in a RAND Corporation memo.
The memo, leaked earlier this month, showed the US government-funded think tank advised the Ukrainian government to engage in an all- out war in the south-east, place citizens in internment camps, and kill all who resist.
FIDEL CASTRO TELLS THE TRUTH
'An unheard of provocation'
"This morning, cables were full of reports about the unheard of news, that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane had been hit at an altitude of 10,100 meters as it flew over Ukrainian territory, along a route controlled by the war-hungry government of chocolate king, Petro Poroshenko.
"Cuba, which has always stood in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and in the difficult days of the Chernobyl tragedy provided medical care to the many children affected by the accident’s harmful radiation --- and is always willing to continue doing so --- must express our repudiation of the action of the anti- Russian, anti-Ukrainian and pro- imperialist government.
"At the same time, coinciding with the Malaysian aircraft crime, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the nuclear state, ordered his army to invade the Gaza Strip, where, over the last several days, hundreds of Palestinians have died, many of them children.
The President of the United States supported this action, describing the repugnant act, as 'legitimate defense'.
"Obama does not support David against Goliath, but rather Goliath against David. As is known, young men and women from the Israeli people, well prepared for productive work, are being exposed to death without honour, without glory.
"I'm not aware of the Palestinian’s military strategy, but I know that a combatant prepared to die can defend even the ruins of a building, as long as he has his rifle -- as the heroic defenders of Stalingrad demonstrated.
"I only wish to express my solidarity with the heroic people who defend the last sliver remaining, of what was their homeland for thousands of years."
Fidel Castro Ruz
UKRAINE COUP FORCES LACK CREDIBILITY
Russia's Defense Ministry reveals that it holds a record of Ukrainian missile defense radars on the day of the Boeing 777 crash.
The ministry says that features of the Buk-M1 mean that it exchanges information between the squadrons of one battalion.
Militias don't have the Ukrainian Buk missile system, admits Ukraine's general prosecutor.
The flight route of the Boeing 777 and the site of its crash were within the zone of operation of two Ukrainian batteries of the S-200 long- range anti-aircraft missile system, and three squadrons of the Buk-M1 medium-range anti- aircraft missile system, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry says on Friday.
“Russian radio-technical facilities during July 17 were recording the work of the 9s18 Kupol radar station of the Buk-M1 squadron, stationed in the area of the Styla settlement (30 km south of Donetsk),” the ministry adds.
The Russian Defense Ministry adds that Kiev’s statement that Ukraine’s anti-aircraft defense systems or Ukrainian armed forces planes, on July 17th, did not fire on air targets, raises serious doubts.
“This information is fully confirmed by the air data recorders,” the ministry adds.
Unilateral Sanctions Against Russia Are an Expression of Evil
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev says that sanctions "are an expression of evil", but they have not brought anyone to their knees in the world, despite all the damage inflicted on peoples and their economies.
The Russian Foreign Ministry considers that the new package of sanctions from the West against Russia, allegedly aimed at specific economic sectors, is shameful, because the events in Ukraine "aren't developing according to Washington's script".
When referring to sanctions against Russia, at the meeting with the rest of the cabinet, Medvedev pointed out that such measures cannot cause irreparable damage to the economy, as western media reports say.
Taking note of international experience, they have not succeeded and have not bought anyone to their knees, the Russian leader said.
He warned that as a unilateral instrument, these sanctions against Russian citizens and companies are illegal, because they are not based on decisions by the UN and are being imposed arbitrarily.
Medvedev noted that punitive measures against Russian companies in the energy sector, military-industrial complex, and some banks, will only promote more anti-US and anti-Europe attitudes.
He added that they will help consolidate Russia's society against those who are trying "to limit our country & act against the interests of its citizens".
The head of government emphasised the need to reorientate Russia's economic development models, so that they can replace imports and internal sources of growth can be used, including financial resources.
He admitted, however, that the pressure from the West will have an impact, in a certain way, on budgetary policies, but made it clear that the State will comply with all its social obligations.
ZIONISTS LET ISRAEL COMMIT GENOCIDE
Israel has launched a ground invasion on the besieged Gaza Strip, as the Palestinian death toll from Israeli airstrikes & shelling, hits 243.
On Thursday, Israeli forces launched a ground offensive against the blockaded enclave after Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the army to push the aggression against Gaza, into "a new stage".
Netanyahu made the decision after a security cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv.
Israeli warplanes, warships and artillery have today launched an intensive bombardment of different locations in the tiny coastal enclave.
Israel has killed at least 243 people and injured 1,800 others since it began its latest onslaught against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on July 8.
About a third of the Palestinian fatalities are women and children.
Since July 8, the Israeli military has attacked 1,800 targets across Gaza, home to 1.8 million Palestinians living under an Israeli blockade.
Hamas has been responding to the full-scale Israeli assaults by firing rockets into Israel.
Israel has blockaded Gaza since 2007, denying the Palestinian people there, their basic rights, such as freedom of movement, well paid jobs, adequate healthcare and education.
2 Ukrainian fighters seen following Malaysian jet minutes before crash
Two Ukrainian fighters were following the passenger Boeing-777 of Malaysian Airlines several minutes before the crash, Russia’s TV Channel One says Friday, citing a tweet made by a Spanish air traffic controller, of Kiev’s airport Borispol.
According to the Spanish air traffic controller, 2 Ukrainian fighters were seen following the Malaysian jet 3 minutes before it disappeared from radars.
This information is confirmed by eyewitnesses in the Donetsk region who saw Ukrainian war- planes near the passenger jet. They say they heard the sound of powerful blasts and saw a Ukraine warplane shortly before the crash.
All those who were onboard the plane - 280 passengers and 15 crew members - died.
According to preliminary data, passengers included citizens of the Netherlands, the US, UK, France, and Malaysia.
According to Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov, there were no Russians among the passengers.
MALAYSIAN PASSENGER PLANE "FALSE FLAG" SLAUGHTER?
A Malaysian passenger airliner has reportedly been ‘shot down’ over Ukraine near the border with Russia - all 295 people on board are dead.
The Boeing plane was en route from Amsterdam, to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, when it fell from 10 kilometers high above eastern Ukraine.
Itar-Tass news agency says the airplane was downed by a “ground-to-air missile.”
A Russian aviation industry source says the plane didn't enter Russia’s airspace on schedule.
Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's interior ministry, says on his Facebook page the plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was hit on Thursday by a missile fired from a Buk launcher, the Associated Press reports.
BUK, also known as the SA-17 GRIZZLY, is a mobile anti-aircraft system mounted usually on a tracked vehicle or lorry, that can simultaneously track and strike 6 targets flying from different directions and at different altitudes, according to military think- tank Globalsecurity.org.
Europe’s air traffic regulator, Eurocontrol, has announced the closure of eastern Ukrainian airspace until further notice.
"Since the crash, the Ukrainian authorities have informed Eurocontrol of the closure of all routes from the ground to unlimited altitude in Eastern Ukraine," Eurocontrol says in its statement.
“All flight plans that are filed using these routes are now being rejected by Euro- control. The routes will remain closed until further notice,” it adds.
Leading European airlines have announced plans to route planes away from the area.
These developments came just hours after the passenger plane went down in Grabovo village, about 40 kilometers from the Russian border.
Ukrainian Interior Ministry officials say 23 US citizens were among those killed.
Senior Ukrainian authorities claim that the Boeing 777 was hit by a ground-to-air missile. Yet the International Air Transport Association says that the airspace was not subject to any restrictions.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is calling the crash an act of terror.
Anti-coup authorities, however, accuse Kiev of shooting down the plane. They have also proposed a three-day ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, to allow for recovery work at the site of the downed airliner.
International condolences are pouring in over the tragic crash of the Malaysia Airlines plane in troubled eastern Ukraine.
US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin have reportedly discussed the incident by 'phone.
Kiev’s military retreats from Luhansk, leaves settlements near Donetsk
Self-defense fighters forced Kiev's military to retreat, the local news agency Novorossiya reported on its website on Thursday.
Kiev's troops left their positions in the Sabovka, Govorukha, Roskoshnoye and Georgiyevka settlements near Luhansk, retreating to the west, the agency said.
The militia has also established control over Marinovka settlement in Donetsk Region.
Kiev's troops were surrounded by self- defense forces, and had to retreat.
Donetsk People’s Republic troops opened fire using 120mm mortars against Kiev military’s fortified positions near Mospino settlement in Donetsk Region, destroying a KAMAZ truck, an armored personnel carrier, an anti-tank system and killing and wounding about 50 personnel, the self-defense militia reported.
Ukraine's National Security & Defense Council spokesperson Andriy Lysenko said Wednesday evening, that "fierce fighting" was underway between self-defense militia and Ukraine's military, in Amvrosiyevka, Marinovka and Izvarino settlements in Donetsk Region.
“We understand that there are losses. The battle is continuing, our guys are fighting on but it is very hard there so far,” Lysenko said.
The southeast Ukraine militia has tanks, combat aircraft, multiple launch rocket systems and artillery guns in its arsenal.
The self-defense fighters say they seized them all, in battles with Kiev's military.
On Tuesday, the parliament of the Union of the Donetsk & Luhansk Republics, declared that all armed Ukrainian formations staying on their territories are illegal, and said that “corresponding measures would be taken” against them.
Donetsk People’s Republic Defense Minister Igor Strelkov, said earlier, that self-defense militias are switching to a contractual basis and would now “receive about $500-800 in money allowances.”
Union Parliamentary Chair, Oleg Tsaryov, says the self-defense forces have enough strength to contain Kiev's military.
3-WAY TALKS STARTED AT 7pm THURSDAY
The next round of 3-way consultations on the Ukrainian crisis (involving the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and representatives of Kiev and the south-east of Ukraine, was held on Thursday evening.
It was, above all, expected to yield an agreement on a ceasefire and the exchange of prisoners, the speaker of the Supreme Council of the self- proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, told a pre-meeting briefing.
“There's hope that progress will be made towards a ceasefire. We don’t want any more citizens to be killed. At the moment we can only talk about a ceasefire and an exchange of captives, all for all. It’s the only correct option,” Pushilin said.
He added:- “taking part in the consultations from Donetsk is DPR First Deputy PM Purgin, and the candidate from Luhansk has yet to be approved”.
The consultations would take place at 19:00 Thursday, the DPR speaker said.
5 hour humanitarian ceasefire ends... Israel continues bombing beseiged Gaza
Hamas & Palestinian militant groups agreed to a UN appeal for a five hour humanitarian ceasefire with Israel to occur on Thursday.
Israel Defense Forces said they would enable a humanitarian window in Gaza between 10am to 3pm local time (7am - 12pm GMT) Thursday, as a result of a dialogue with the UN.
It was the first pause in fighting since Israel & Hamas fighters engaged in fierce cross-border attacks last Tuesday, when Israel started an all-out operation to halt Gaza rocket fire. The operation has claimed 223 Palestinian lives so far, and one Israeli.
On Thursday, the killing began again.
Resistance groups say they want the seige on Gaza lifted before any talks.
Russia threatens retaliation over new US sanctions
"The US administration's new decision to enforce sanctions against a number of Russian legal entities and individuals, under a far-fetched and false pretext, can not be called anything other than outrageous and fully unacceptable," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said on Thursday.
Ryabkov noted that Moscow will retaliate, without providing details.
"We condemn those politicians and officials who are behind such actions, and confirm our intention to adopt measures which will be perceived in Washington rather painfully and acutely," Ryabkov said.
"We are not after an immediate effect, we are not going to copy the methods of the US administration that provoke rejection, we will not yield to provocation, and will act in a calm manner," he added.
The reaction came after the US Treasury said the measures included sanctions against Russia’s Gazprombank and Rosneft energy companies.
Under the new embargoes, Washington is also targeting a series of large banks, and energy and defense firms.
The EU deferred a sanctions vote after nearly half of its members refused to impose trade sanctions... then put a small list forward on more individuals and instructed two EU organisations not to finance new investments.
President Assad: Syria to Stay Proud, Steadfast, Strong against Foreigners
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad was sworn in on Wednesday, and he stressed that Syria will stay proudly, steadily strong against foreign troublemakers, over 3 years after terrorism swept into its land, disguised as “revolution”.
In a triumphant speech delivered after he took the oath of office at a red carpet ceremony in Damascus, the Syrian leader saluted all the “honorable” and “free” Syrians.
He branded the 2011 so-called Arab spring as a "fake spring" and reminded us of how some had spoken for Syria's people, by repeatedly raising the slogan: “The People Want’.
“Yes, the people did want, the people did make their decision, the people did act,” the President said, smiling.
“Years have passed since some chanted for freedom, but you Syrians were freemen at the time of subordination, and you were masters at the time of acting,” he added.
The President hailed the Syrian people's firm steadfastness, as they refused to bow, surrender or give up, to those who shouted loudest about God.
“They wanted a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries,” he said.
The Syrian president added that ugly faces were exposed after the mask of ‘freedom’ and ‘revolution’ was dropped.”
“All those who exploited the crisis for their own benefit, have lost.”
Assad hailed Syria’s presidential elections as “a full-dimensional battle” and not just a procedural political process, but a battle that “for its victory, all other battles have been devoted.”
The elections, he added, “were a declaration of real affiliation to the homeland, that rises above affiliations given by IDs or passports.” “The elections were a bullet shot straight at the terrorists,” he added.
Assad stressed that Syria’s “victory could not have been achieved, had it not been for the blood of the martyrs and injured.”
President Assad added that “since the start, we warned that what was happening was a dangerous scheme for the region.”
“Isn't what we see today in Iraq, Lebanon, all countries infected by the false plague of the Arab spring, concrete, tangible proof of what we warned of before,” the Syrian leader asked.
On the other hand, President Assad stressed that Syria will continue fighting terrorism...
“We have decided from the first, to press on using a balanced approach; by both striking terrorism, plus making local peace moves towards those who wanted to return to the right path, and we were always confident that the right solutions would be and are, Syrian ones.”
“We're not concerned about those who left as traitors, agents or corrupters, as Syria has now been cleansed of them… and they have no place or position at the Syrian table.”
President al-Assad added that “this day marks the start of a new stage, the main distinguishing feature of which, is consensus on protecting the homeland and rebuilding it morally, psychologically, and physically, as well as consensus on eliminating terrorism and bringing all those who strayed from a proper path, back into the arms of the homeland.”
On the brutal Israeli aggression against Gaza, the Syrian leader noted this was not a separate event, “because all events since the occupation of Palestine, up to the invasion of Iraq and Sudan's division, were part of a chain of events planned by Israel and the West and implemented always by the countries of oppression, tyranny, and regression.”
President Assad stressed that the events in Syria and the whole region are directly linked to Palestine, adding that those who believe they can live in peace, while distancing them- selves from the Palestinian cause, are truly delusional.
Palestine “will always be the central cause based on principles & reality, and what that reality imposes in terms of links between what is happening in Syria and Palestine,” he said.
Finally, President Assad saluted the Syrian Army, which spared no effort in defense of the homeland, and salutes the popular defense groups --- and all the young men and women who took up arms in defense of the dignity, pride and honour, of their homeland.
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, calls on all UN members to implement the sanctions imposed on Takfiri ISIL terrorists.
“Member states must meet their obligation to implement and enforce the targeted financial sanctions, arms embargo and travel ban imposed on ISIS (ISIL),”
the UN chief wrote in a report to the UN Security Council, on the UN's political mission in Iraq.
Al-Qaeda-linked groups, including ISIL, have been listed as terrorist entities under sanctions by the UN.
Ban denounces the crimes being committed by the terrorist group, describing their acts of terrorism & violence as “extremely disturbing.”
“I strongly condemn the upsurge of violence at the hands of ISIS and its supporters and call on (U.N.) member states, including Iraq’s neighbours, to come together and support Iraq in its fight against terrorism,” Ban wrote.
“Terrorism must not be allowed to succeed in steering Iraq away from its path towards stability and democracy,” he added.
The crisis in Iraq escalated after Takfiri ISIL terrorists took control of Mosul on June 10, then Tikrit, just 140 kilometers (87 miles) northwest of the capital.
The militants have declared a “caliphate” in the overrun areas.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said Saudi Arabia and Qatar are responsible for the security crisis and growing terrorism in his country, denouncing Riyadh as a major supporter of global terrorism.
Iraq forces withdraw from Tikrit offensive after heavy mortar fire
The Iraqi army has retreated from the city of Tikrit, 140km northwest of Baghdad, after their offensive met strong resistance.
The operation was an attempt to push back Sunni militants controlling large parts of the country.
Government army and allied Shiite volunteers withdrew their troops to a base four km south after being caught by heavy mortar and sniper fire, a soldier who fought in the battle tells Reuters news Agency.
KILLING FOR PEACE?
Israeli jets early on Wednesday bombed the home of a senior Hamas leader as part of a series of morning raids on Hamas officials.
There were reportedly no casualties there, but doctors reported 3 fatalities elsewhere in the morning.
Parliament of Union of People’s Republics adopts constitution of Novorossia
The parliament of the Union of People’s Republics (UPR) has adopted changes to the Constitution of the confederative state of Novorossia, and has passed a number of important laws, parliament head Oleg Tsaryov states.
“The second plenary meeting of the parliament of the Union of People’s Republics has taken place. The meeting adopted changes to the Constitution of UPR. We can now rightly, de jure, call our state Novorossia. This name has been enshrined in the Constitution. Our legislative body is now called the parliament of Novorossia,” he said.
Each deputy will be responsible for his own district, work & help people there, especially with humanitarian aid, parliament's head says.
“The real work with the citizens of Novorossia will be launched. I hope that the parliament of Novorossia will become a venue in which the people’s republics will be reaching consensus and developing common decisions. Step by step we will be moving towards building an independent state,” Tsaryov says.
“We all realise very well that two republics are stronger than each separate one. Having launched Novorossia as a project, having adopted the Constitution of the state, we are ready to admit all the other republics of southeast Ukraine, possibly, from the west also. In the Novorossia state all republics will have equal opportunities to settle language and cultural issues. They will have equal voting rights.
The parliamentary session held on Monday registered 48 deputies: 25 from Luhansk and 23 from Donetsk People’s Republics. UPR's parliament has 60 deputies: 30 from each republic.
On June 24th, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, announced their decision to unite into a confederative state - the Union of People’s Republics.
The cease fire collapsed! Sadly, the cease fire collapsed.
Israel began large scale air raids on Gaza after Hamas & other organizations in Gaza refused to accept the cease-fire proposal... continuing to fire rockets into Israel.
The situation is escalating and many more innocent civilians will suffer - with no end in sight.
Please invite more people to call an end to this horrible war.
Israel accepted ceasefire proposal, as did Abbas, but Hamas rejected it.
According to a statement from the Israeli PM's Office, Israel's security cabinet accepted the Egyptian proposal on Tuesday morning for a ceasefire starting at 9am Tuesday, local time (0600 GMT).
Egypt's initiative demanded an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and urged Israel to stop its aggression on the Palestinian people.
The move was welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who urged both parties to be committed to the terms of the initiative to stop the bloodshed.
The Cairo-based Arab League also supported Egypt's bid for a ceasefire in Gaza, calling on all parties to support it, said a joint statement after their extraordinary ministerial meeting.
The AL announced in the statement the formation of a ministerial committee "to head to the United Nations and demand an end to Israeli aggression & provide guaranteed protection for Palestinians."
Welcoming the initiative, US President Obama said Israel has the right to defend itself against the "inexcusable" attacks by Hamas militants, yet "the death & injury of Palestinian civilians is a tragedy, which is why we've emphasized the need to protect civilians."
Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, however, rejected the proposal, saying that there woul be no ceasefire until an agreement was reached to lift the illegal inhumane seige on Gaza.
"We reject any ceasefire before reaching a truce agreement," Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas' spokesperson in Gaza said, in an emailed press statement, adding that Gaza is still under occupation and seige and that their resistance to occupation and seige, is the right of their people to defend themselves, [and not merely a "terrorist threat"]
Abu Zuhri said they had not received any official initiative from any side.
"If the published text of this is correct, we can only say that it is an initiative of subordination and submission, which al-Qassam Brigades totally and completely rejects."
"Escalation, violence, counter-violence and the resultant victims will not favour any of the two parties," said the initiative.
The initiative urged both Israel and Palestinians in Gaza "to stop all acts of aggression whether via land, sea or air," and the opening of border crossings to facilitate the traffic of people and goods, in the light of stable security conditions on the ground.
Anti-coup forces in eastern Ukraine say they have shot down another military plane.
A recent video purportedly shows the moment when the Ukrainian military transport airplane, an Antonov-26, was hit in the Lugansk region.
Officials announced that the aircraft’s 5 crew parachuted out as soon as they were targeted.
Oleksiy Dmytrashkivsky, a spokesperson for Kiev's controversial military operations, says the army lost contact with the plane earlier, as it flew over 6,000 metres above the ground:
“Today, at around lunchtime, contact with this plane was lost. I cannot add anything more."
Military authorities said that the aircraft was hit after it threw down supplies for troops based in Krasnodon area of Lugansk.
Meanwhile, other reports said that anti-coup forces had destroyed 27 Ukrainian armored vehicles near Lugansk.
US "TRYING TO START WAR WITH RUSSIA"
James Fetzer, US philosopher, on Kiev's ferocity:
"As a former Marine Corps officer I would observe that they are taking extremely aggressive action against the rebels. It would not surprise me if someone at the level of Zbigniew Brzezinski, is advising them. It's intended to provoke Russia into a military response which may yet happen.
"As a philosopher I must observe that the silence of the US about the immorality of these actions is completely stunning. Here we have atrocities taking place...
"The Israelis are committing genocide in Gaza, but the US is mute because Israel is our ally. We have Ukraine committing genocide in Ukraine, but the US stands mute because Russia is now apparently our new enemy.
"The situation is a complete disgrace and America has lost any semblance of moral authority in the world.
"It appears that the forces behind this, which include the US military & NATO, are dedicated to provoking a conflict with Russia, which I must observe, it is not very likely to win.
"Russia has very sophisticated equipment, but, ultimately, if there is a nuclear exchange between these world powers we're all losers: a nuclear winter will threaten to envelope the earth --- and extinguish life on this planet."
RUSSIA "MULLS STRIKES" ON UKRAINE
Russia is considering targeted retaliatory strikes against Ukraine, after shells fired from Ukraine hit Russian territory, killing a civilian, media said.
Russian daily Kommersant, quoted a source close to the Kremlin, saying that Moscow is mulling the possibility of targeted strikes.
The source, whose name isn't mentioned, said “our patience is not limitless,” adding that Russia “knows exactly where they (the Ukrainians) are firing from.”
According to the source, Russia is considering targeted one-off strikes on the positions from which, shells are fired at Russian territory.
The Kiev government denies that Ukrainian shells have fallen on Russian territory, and blames the anti-coup forces in the area.
Russia's Rostov region has recently seen over a dozen shells hitting the area, which borders Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region, where Kiev is attacking anti-coup forces.
Put Palestine under UN protection: Abbas
President of the Palestinian national unity government, Mahmoud Abbas, calls for the international protection of Palestine.
“President Abbas presented a letter to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, addressed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to officially put the State of Palestine under the UN's international protection system and to form a legal committee for immediate follow-up,” the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) says in a statement.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the PLO, said in a statement after a meeting of the PLO executive that “Abbas is undertaking several steps and measures to deal with the horrific situation in Gaza.”
Russia warns of “irreversible consequences” after a cross-border shell fired from Ukraine, hit a residential area in Russia, killing one man and injuring two others.
In a statement, Russia's Foreign Ministry described the incident in Russia’s Rostov region as another act of aggression by Ukraine towards sovereign Russian territory, saying that Russia has the right to take measures to protect its territory and to ensure the security of its citizens.
“The incident shows an extremely dangerous escalation of tensions at the Russian-Ukraine border & can have irreversible consequences, for which Ukraine will bear responsibility,” the statement says.
The artillery shell from Ukraine reportedly killed a 46-year-old man and injured 2 elderly women.
Kiev, however, denies that any Ukrainian shells have fallen onto Russian territory, blaming it on anti-coup forces, who still control much of the border area.
The Russian Rostov region has recently seen over a dozen shells hitting the area, which borders Ukraine’s eastern Lugansk region, where Ukrainian troops are fighting Kiev's regime, installed and backed by the USA.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has also forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia, with the majority arriving in the Rostov region.
France Announces New Military Operation in Africa
French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says that about 3,000 soldiers will participate in an upcoming military operation in Africa.
The action will begin this summer, together with five regional countries. Its objective is to fight terrorist groups, Le Drian says.
The majority will be stationed in Chad and Mali, with 1,250 & 1,000 soldiers, respectively.
France also expects to activate its military bases in Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad.
On the French intervention in Jan. 2013 in Mali, the minister notes that the troops will be relieved by the UN Stabilization Mission and finally, by Malian forces.
France also maintains nearly 2,000 soldiers in the Central African Republic, as part of Operation Sangaris, begun in Dec. 2013.
Russia Reopens Checkpoints on Ukrainian Border
The Russian border control service has reopened 3 checkpoints in the southern region of Rostov, bordering Ukraine, after over a week of interruptions due to mortar attacks from the other side of the border.
The checkpoints in Donestk, Gukovo and Novoshajtinsk were reopened and have resumed their functions, says Vasili Malaev, a representative of the Federal Security Service in Rostov.
Malaev notes that the checkpoints are now working normally but that there is no movement of people from Ukraine's side, in Gukovo or Novoshajtinsk.
The 3 checkpoints were closed in early July due to repeated attacks with heavy artillery from Ukraine.
Malaev says a projectile hit and exploded on the checkpoint, affecting border traffic.
Fortunately, there were no victims and the evacuation was quick, says Malaev.
Donetsk militia downs Ukraine’s Mi-24 chopper
Militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have downed a Mil-24 used by the Ukrainian Air Force, Novorossiya news agency says.
On the outskirts of Snezhny, in Donetsk region, the militia downed a Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter by using a shoulder-carried air-defence system, and destroyed several of the enemy's combat units, it said.
Earlier, the DPR press service said its fighters had downed an Su-25 in a morning fight near Gorlovka city in the Donetsk region.
“Ukraine’s aviation launched an assault on the outskirts of the city,” the DPR spokes- person told reporters adding that “a return of vertical fire destroyed the jet, supposedly an Su-25.”
Earlier, militiamen destroyed a military plane, presumably an attack aircraft, in the area of the town of Perevalsk in the Lugansk region - another battleground of the civil conflict in Ukraine’s east.
DPR evacuating civilians from Donetsk outskirts under Ukrainian army’s fire.
“The refugees are heading for Russia and we can speak about several hundreds of refugees,” - DPR's prime minister says.
The Government of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has begun evacuating the population of Maryinka town bordering Donetsk city in the west, which is the battleground between DPR's militia and Kiev's army, PM Alexander Borodai says.
“First of all, we are evacuating children,” Borodai says. “The refugees are heading for Russia and involves several hundred refugees.”
Many residents are fleeing the area of the armed conflict on their own - by personal or municipal transport, he says.
Ukraine’s military have continued their bombardment of Maryinka, damaging a feed-milling factory, dairy, tire factory and a seepage station.
According to unverified data, the death toll in Maryinka now stands at 30.
Israeli Casualties by Resistance Rockets as Gaza's Offensive Death Toll hit 190
Seven Israelis were injured, one seriously, when rockets hit the occupied city of Ashdod.
Israeli media report that the petrol station in Ashdod suffered a direct hit by rockets fired at it, which started a massive fire.
Firefighters were deployed to the scene, and 7 people received medical treatment on the spot:-- one was severely wounded.
Iraq Accuses Kurds of Seizing Oil Fields
Iraq accuses Kurdish forces of seizing two oil fields near Kirkuk, as relations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region hit a new low...
The Kurdish regional administration rejects the charge.
"The oil ministry strongly condemns the seizure and control of crude oil in the Kirkuk and Bey Hassan oil fields this morning, by groups of Kurdish peshmerga forces," the oil ministry says in a statement from Baghdad.
"The oil ministry strongly warns the Kurdistan region of the dangers of this irresponsible behavior which violates the constitution and the national economy, and disregards the federal authorities, threatening iraq's unity."
Halkurd Mulla Ali, a spokesperson for Kurdish peshmerga forces, tells AFP that "peshmerga forces have not approached the oil fields in Kirkuk" province.
Iraqi lawmakers have met but failed to gain a new government, in a parliament session meant to revive flagging efforts to form one. The only other time parliament met after the April polls ended, MPs exchanged heckles and others walked out.
RUSSIA TRIES AGAIN FOR UKRAINE TALKS
Russia's ambassador at the UN has attempted a third resolution to persuade Security Council members to stop the tragedy and arrange talks.
Russia Today reports that 2 warplanes (one in Donetsk, one in Lugansk), were shot down on Friday, and that 30 Kiev troops were killed by self-defence units.
A column of armoured vehicles was completely destroyed and over 100 Kiev soldiers were wounded.
President Poroshenko says "he" will kill 100s of anti-Kiev rebels for each one killed.
Kiev's army has intensified artillery fire on various buildings in Ukraine’s south- eastern Luhansk region.
According to military reports, huge strikes are being aimed at industrial facilities, as the self-defence Militias try to avoid direct clashes, but use mortars to hit back.
A transport station came under mortar fire near militia facilities of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic, witnesses report from there.
ISIL NOW HAS DEADLY GAS AGENTS AND NUCLEAR MATERIALS, TAKEN FROM SYRIAN AND IRAQI STORES
ISRAEL ATTACKED GAZA WITHOUT MERCY
9 young Palestinians were killed and 15 injured in an overnight Israeli air raid on a Gaza Strip beach while watching the World Cup semifinal game between the Netherlands and Argentina.
The victims were sitting in a beach café in Khan Yunis when the Israeli F-16 fighter jet struck it.
No-one killed had been warned, according to Gulf News sources. However, this could not be independently verified.
4 dead, 16 injured as bus with miners fired upon in Eastern Ukraine.
At least four people have been killed and 16 injured after a bus carrying miners was shelled in Lugansk Region, eastern Ukraine. The bombardment almost ripped the bus apart, according to local witnesses
“Four have been killed and 16 injured, two of them are in intensive care as they're seriously injured,” Maksim Timchenko, director general of Donbass Fuel-Energy Company (DTEK), says.
The bus was taking the miners from DTEK to their workplace when it came under artillery fire at about 5:40pm local time (14:40 GMT). It's still unclear who carried out the attack.
The company has decided to stop work at some of its facilities in the region, to avoid similar tragedies.
“We've decided to stop work at four mines in Lugansk Region, where 4,500 people are employed, until we're sure that people are safe,” Timchenko adds.
Earlier, the company’s press service reported 15 injured, but didn’t state the number of dead.
‘As a result of the shell which hit the bus, over 15 people were injured. There are also dead miners,” said a statement from DTEK.
DTEK is an energy holding company with its HQ in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. It's the largest private vertically integrated energy holding in the country.
Established in 2005, the company employs about 140,000 people. In February, 2013, DTEK controlled about 50% of Ukraine's coal production.
DTEK mines produce about 41.4 million tons of coal, annually.
ALL OUT WAR DECLARED BY KIEV JUNTA
The Kiev regime installed by the US government says it has launched an “all-out attack” on the eastern city of Donetsk held by anti-coup forces.
The interior ministry states that military pushes are taking place "across several parts of the front", and that the 'all-out attack' may last for another month.
Early last Thursday, three Ukrainian army troops were killed and 27 others wounded in fighting between pro-federal protesters and Kiev's soldiers in the country’s east.
Leader of the self-proclaimed “Lugansk People’s Republic,” Valery Bolotov, says around 50 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in fighting over Lugansk airport, held by pro-Kiev forces.
HAMAS TARGET: NUCLEAR REACTOR
The Israeli military confirms that two Palestinian rockets struck Dimona - where Israel has a nuclear reactor.
Palestinian resistance groups in the besieged Gaza Strip, fired rockets in retaliation for Israeli attacks on the coastal enclave.
Israeli media reports say Israel's Chief of Staff, Lt General Benny Gantz stressed that pressure will be increased against all Palestinians.
The UN called for a stop to the rising tension, and a ceasefire immediately, but was ignored.
Gaza has been blockaded since 2007, a situation that has caused a decline in the standard of living, crushing levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.
The apartheid regime of Israel denies 1.7 million people in Gaza basic rights - such as freedom of movement, jobs with decent wages, and adequate healthcare and education.
Moscow says the anti Kiev coup militias in eastern Ukraine will not surrender --- until Kiev negotiates with them.
"They are not ready to fulfill Kiev's ultimatums to capitulate and lay down their arms before negotiations begin," Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says at a press conference with Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, of Italy, at a meeting in Moscow.
Lavrov repeats that the most important phase in resolving Ukraine's crisis is to put in force an unconditional ceasefire once again.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Ukraine, and Russia, make up “the contact group” for the crisis there.
"Another important aspect is that all members of the contact group assume their set task – an unconditional, bilateral, stable ceasefire - so they see their partners in the contact group as participants in the process, and not merely as people from whom they demand capitulation," Lavrov says.
Ukraine's Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey says Kiev won't hold talks with anti-coup units unless they “irrevocably lay down their arms.”
The security chief of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Khodakovsky says pro-independence forces are preparing to defend Donetsk, an industrial city of one million people, and fight back after losing Slavyansk, their main stronghold, as oligarch President Poroshenko says he wants the army offensive to continue.
New PM approved in Luhansk People’s Republic
Marat Bashirov says the Luhansk People's Republic is switching over to rubles since Ukraine's Finance Ministry disconnected the Luhansk treasury from state servers.
The Supreme Council (parliament) of the self- proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) has approved the candidacy of Marat Bashirov as Chair of the LPR Council of Ministers.
Bashirov was born in 1964 in the Russian republic of Mordovia. He's a former vice president of private Russian energy company KES (Complex Energy Systems), which is present in 16 Russian regions.
The newly elected premier outlined the priorities of the Council of Ministers activity for the near future, which “will be aimed at the resolution of economic issues". He said a working budget variant will be drafted by November, with figures in rubles.
“The working variant of the budget will be drafted in rubles. Taking into account that Kiev disconnected our treasury yesterday, the issue of joining this or that currency emerged,” he said.
The new government of the LPR plans to resolve the issue of cooperation with the Russian Federation in the energy sphere shortly before this winter.
The Luhansk Republic is connected to Russia’s gas system, and, Bashirov said, "there'll be no difficulties with deliveries". He said that steam generating stations may be supplied to the LPR from Russia.
Spanish Figures Ask to Avoid Civilization's Collapse
Around 250 Spanish personalities demand that, if the world wants to avoid a probable civilization collapse in the 21st century, it needs an urgent change now, in its model of consumption.
The signatories of a manifesto circulated today assert that our present method of growing, is already a genocide in slow motion, and that the rate of progress is weakening, because of: the decline in cheap energy; climate change; and geopolitical tensions due to the need for resources.
The document, entitled 'Last Call', which can still be signed, asks parties & organizations emerging through social protest, to assume radical changes in their lifestyles.
Scientists, intellectuals and representatives of social, political & trade-union movements, warn that our present superficial planning of sustainable development, the commitment to eco-efficient technologies, or supposed "green" economies, is not enough.
We need a society whose objective is to recover balance with the biosphere, and which uses research, technology, its culture, economics and politics, to move forward towards that aim.
They say that the ecological crisis is not a partial issue, that affects just ecosystems or resources --- it determines all aspects of society: food, transport, industry, a balance between town and country, armed conflicts --- the foundations of our economy and life.
All civilizations come to an end, & we have to build a new one. The consequences of doing nothing or doing too little, lead us straight to a social, economic and ecological collapse, warns the manifesto.
However, the document says that, if we begin today, it is still possible to build a democratic society of solidarity, in peace with the planet.
Cayo Lara & Pablo Iglesias are among the politicians who have signed the document, and also social activists such as Ada Colau and Esther Vivas, writers like Isaac Rosa and Belen Gopegui, scientists such as Antonio Turiel, and many other figures.
Moscow hopes the EU will denounce the policy of the Kiev authorities, Russia's Foreign Ministry says.
“Despite numerous calls on the part of Russia, Ukraine’s Western partners, world bodies and the public, a massive military operation is still continuing in Ukraine’s East. Civilians are still being killed, and civil infrastructure facilities are still being destroyed by the operation,” the ministry says.
“It's apparently senseless to demand that Kiev stop shelling civil facilities yet again. Kiev is deaf to calls to save the lives of people,” the ministry says.
“In this connection, we hope for a proper reaction on the part of the EU countries, condemning the criminal policy of the Kiev authorities.”
“Can it be that their policy is being conducted within the framework of the so-called political part of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine?” the statement queries.
The Russian foreign policy department cites events in eastern Ukraine over the last few days, including artillery strikes on a Luhansk city suburb- Bolshaya Vergunka, Luhansk itself, as well as on Sloviansk, & air strikes on Donetsk Airport.
A few bombs exploded on the grounds of Luhansk regional clinical treatment centre. In the Rostov Region in southern Russia, the “Donetsk” border- crossing point came under fire from Ukraine, and in Nikolayevka (15 kilometers from Sloviansk), Ukrainian troops opened fire on civilians who were trying to leave the city.
On July 6th, National Guard soldiers conducted a mopping-up operation in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, when they arrested all people who have ever given interviews to Russian journalists.
The next day, the cities came under artillery fire, despite the fact that the militiamen had left them.
“Kiev’s security officials are destroying their own cities, using tactics which are seldom used, even by occupation troops on hostile territory,” the Russian Foreign Ministry says. “These are facts. They can’t be hidden.”
At the end of last year, Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych, suspended the signing of an association agreement with the EU to study the deal more thoroughly. His decision triggered anti-government protests that turned violent, and eventually led to a coup in February 2014.
New people were brought to power in Kiev using riots and ultranationalist rhetoric, supported by neo-fascist parties which now make up a third of Ukraine's cabinet.
AHMADZAI WINS AFGHAN PRESIDENCY
Ex Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has won Afghanistan's presidential elections, having received 56.44% of the votes.
According to preliminary information given by a Central Electoral Commission member, Ahmadzai’s competitor, ex Foreign Minister, Abdullah Abdullah, received 43.56%.
The final official results will be announced on July the 22nd.
People’s militias in south-east Ukraine seize assault plane, anti-aircraft guns
Igor Plotnitsky, the defense minister of the self- proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, says that the self-defense forces now have a Su-25 assault plane at their disposal.
“We seized a Su-25 plane from the Ukrainian army when it was making an emergency landing. It will be ready to go into battle again after minor repairs. The army of the Luhansk People’s Republic, has its own aviation,” Plotnitsky said.
Residents of Donetsk say they saw two lorries with anti-aircraft guns driving to Karlivka, 20km from Donetsk, carrying self-defence fighters.
People’s militias have set up checkpoints at all exits and entrances to Donetsk.
“It is possible to go in and out of the city. Checkpoints have been set up at all transport arteries. However, they are not hindering the movement by civilians, including cars,” the press service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic tells ITAR-TASS.
“Shops, banks, enterprises and social service institutions are working normally. The situation in the city is calm. There is no panic in Donetsk. Many people who wanted to leave the city for fear of military hostilities in its territory, have decided to stay,” the press service says.
Moscow concerned about Kiev troops shelling civilian territories
Moscow is concerned by reports that the eastern Ukrainian towns abandoned by self-defense forces, including Slavyansk & Kramatorsk, are still being shelled by Ukrainian troops, states the Russian Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov.
He describes the shelling as a way the Kiev government continues “to exert pressure” on those who are “dissatisfied, and do not want to reconcile themselves with the plans the authorities in Kiev are imposing on them.”
Dolgov calls for an immediate termination of the military operation by Kiev.
People in Donetsk rally in support of pro-Russians
A huge demonstration was held in Donetsk to support pro-Russian forces.
Thousands of pro-Russian supporters demonstrated in the city.
The protest rally came after Ukrainian troops forced pro-Russia forces out of Slavyansk.
Anti-Kiev-coup fighters left the city for Kramatorsk after Ukrainian security forces' overnight attacks, saying they did it to avoid civilian casualties, as Kiev's junta had poured armed units into the city, using attack jets, multiple rocket launchers and heavy artillery.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko ordered the Ukrainian flag to be hoisted all across the flashpoint city.
Opposition leader, Andrei Purgin, claims his men left Slavyansk to protect the civilian population.
Violence in Ukraine worsened after the Donetsk and Lugansk regions declared independence on May 12th, after referenda, in which residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence from Kiev. The authorities, who came to power in a US-backed coup, dismiss the referenda as “null and void”.
Hundreds of people have so far lost their lives as a result of the ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, which has forced tens of thousands to escape to Russia.
Iran, Russia to join forces against terror in Iraq: Tehran
Iran & Russia have agreed to jointly help Iraq curb terrorism, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir- Abdollahian, says.
“Tehran and Moscow firmly support Iraq in its fight against terrorism and will strongly stand by the Iraqi nation and government to protect Iraq’s unity, independence, and territorial integrity,” Amir-Abdollahian says, to al-Alam Arabic-language news channel.
He adds that Iran and Russia both oppose any conspiracy for the disintegration of Iraq into smaller entities.
The top Iranian diplomat continues: “Tehran and Moscow have close, and in many cases, a common and coordinated stance, on regional developments.”
Iran and Russia believe that Iraq, along with its fight against terrorism, should seriously focus on completing the political process and facilitate parliament forming a cabinet.
The first session of the newly elected parliament was adjourned on July 1st, for a week, without choosing a new speaker, as Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session over their conflicts with other lawmakers.
Members of parliament are tasked with naming a new unity government. After choosing a new parliament speaker, they will have to pick Iraq's president and prime minister, within 45 days.
Incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is bidding for a third term, despite stiff opposition from his key rivals.
On Iraq's future, Abdollahian says Tehran will respect and support any coalition formed by Maliki’s State of Law coalition, which won the most parliamentary seats in the elections.
“If Maliki is introduced as the prime minister and agreement is reached inside Iraq, we will strongly support him; and if any other individual is elected and approved within the framework of the recent election’s outcome, he too will be supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he says, adding, "This is an entirely internal issue for Iraq."
Iraq is currently enduring a wave of violence, which escalated after militants from the ISIL terrorist group, backed by several Western countries and Saudi Arabia, took control of large swathes of the country, including key cities, last month.
Ukraine’s military shells east Ukraine’s Lugansk residential quarters
Kiev’s military opened artillery fire on residential buildings in east Ukraine’s Lugansk, the militia of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic stated.
The fire was presumably conducted from Grad multiple launch rocket systems, the militia said.
“Several buildings are burning in the city; there are wounded persons and a lot of ambulances in the streets. Eye-witnesses say the strike was delivered against the Accumulator Plant near the bus terminal,” the local self-defense militia said.
“The residents are hurriedly going into air- raid shelters or leaving the shelling area.”
The local residents also reported several powerful explosions near Lugansk airport.
The Ukrainian military are also shelling the city’s Krasnodon, Sverdlovka districts, and the Izvarino checkpoint, the press office of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic said.
Combat operations are also continuing near the settlements of Mettalist and Krasny Yar, and near the Izvarino checkpoint, which is controlled by the local self-defense militia, the press office said.
A signature-collecting point has been opened in the centre of Lugansk, to sign an appeal to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, with a demand to stop Kiev’s aggression against civilians.
Health Minister of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic Viktor Avakyan said that at least 80 people, including 56 civilians and 24 self-defense fighters, had been taken to Lugansk hospitals as a result of bombings and shelling by the Ukrainian military.
SLAVYANSK's MEN BEING TAKEN AWAY
Kiev's authorities are arresting all men aged from 25 to 35 in Ukraine’s southeastern city of Slavyansk, whether they are members of the self-defence forces or not, the speaker of the parliament of the Union of Lygansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, Oleg Tsarev, told Russia 24 TV channel.
“Overnight, they arrested all policemen and took them out of the city. They are arresting all young men aged from 25 to 35, not even trying to find out whether these men took to arms or not. Searches are underway. They are trying to find those who helped take care of the wounded,” he said.
Donetsk militia confirms -- left stronghold cities of both Slavyansk and Kramatorsk
The self-defense forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) have left the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, for the south of the region, says the republic’s HQ.
A column of DNR militia arrived from Slavyansk - which had been surrounded by the Kiev military - to Kramatorsk. However, the self-defense forces later left Kramatorsk as well and headed towards areas in Donetsk region – such as the city of Gorlovka - which remain under militia control.
“Kramatorsk was difficult to defend because of its poor location. That’s why the Command decided to leave the city,” a representative of the DPR headquarters told RIA Novosti agency.
However, the source says, small self-defense groups remain in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk ready to fight with the Kiev-coup's forces.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's US installed PM Arseny Yatsenyuk, announces that the military operation “liberating Slavyansk and Kramatorsk from terrorists” has been accomplished, the Kiev regime's press-service reports.
The country’s President Petro Poroshenko calls the “liberation of Slavyansk” symbolic.
“It’s not a complete victory yet. But the clearing of Slavyansk from an armed to the teeth gang of bigots has a huge symbolic meaning," his official website reports.
According to Poroshenko, it is a turning point “in the fight with terrorists for the territorial integrity of Ukraine” and for “the return to normal life” in the Donetsk region.
Poroshenko has ordered the authorities to provide aid to Slavyansk residents and to those in other areas “liberated from the militants”. He also promises that work to resume water and energy supplies will start "in the nearest future".
So far though, the military operation seems to have brought local residents only grief and devastation.
“You think you won? That was a tactical retreat. We will enter Slavyansk again, with victory,” Denis Pushilin, one of the DPR leaders tweets.
Slavyansk residents say government forces are checking locals’ IDs and detaining all suspicious individuals.
As Russian Channel One reported earlier, the self-defense units had to leave Slavyansk after “massive shelling” of the city, and when armored vehicles entered the area and street fighting began. That’s when the self-defense forces took the decision to leave the city, the channel says.
“Despite the massive bombardment, fighters stormed out of the city and headed straight for neighboring Kramatorsk. A part of their hard-ware was shot down in the process,” the channel says.
Hours later, as self-defense troops left their second stronghold as well, the Ukrainian flag was raised over Kramatorsk's admin building, which was used as the DPR headquarters.
Further to the south, in the capital of the region Donetsk, eyewitnesses say they spotted a lot of DPR’s military hardware and “suntanned and bearded men with tattoos,” RIA Novosti quotes.
Donetsk authorities said earlier that they didn't have any confirmation that self-defense forces were moving toward the city, Mayor Aleksandr Lukyanchenko’s website says.
Earlier, one of the leaders of Donetsk People’s Republic, Pavel Gubarev, said the Slavyansk militia would probably relocate to Donetsk and the surrounding area.
Ukraine's Interior Ministry announces that it's going to launch an investigation against “every policeman” in Slavyansk to find out whether they cooperated with the self- defense forces.
Such line-of-duty checks will define if “an employee of Slavyansk police cooperated with separatists or maintained loyalty to the Ukrainian people,” Deputy Interior Minister Sergey Yarovoy says, as cited by Ukraine's post-coup media.
Police in Donetsk region will be reformed - starting with Donetsk and Lugansk cities - “due to necessity” - says the neo-fascist Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov.
And for now, law enforcers from other Ukrainian regions will be sent to work in the area.
“Police from the entire country will be working there, including those who got though the filter of fighting during the anti-terrorist operation: in other words the guys who were not afraid,” he tells journalists, as sited by segodnya.ua news portal.
All the policemen who violated their oaths and left their guard posts in Donetsk and Lugansk region have been fired, Avakov says. He adds that in some cases, “these people were arrested”.
Donetsk militia confirm Slavyansk falls to Kiev
Russia's Foreign Ministry announces that Moscow is halting delivery of all weapons, Ukrainian military forces' equipment and funds owed by Crimea to Kiev's authorities, because of their military acts in the east, which have caused the “death of civilians, including children, and the civilian infra- structure in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, being destroyed.”
“The decision will be valid until a full cease- fire in the east of Ukraine by the country’s military, & a peaceful solution is reached,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry says.
Afghan lorries go up in flames
A huge fire has destroyed over 400 vehicles - carrying fuel and oil for US-led forces - near Kabul, police say.
Afghan police spokesperson, Hashmatullah Stanekzai, says the fire broke out overnight at the lorry terminal near Paghman town, northwest of Kabul.
Most of the tankers burnt were used to carry fuel to US-led troops operating in Afghanistan.
The Taliban claims responsibility for the fire. The group also claims that 600 lorries and fuel tankers went up in flames.
Leaked: ‘US think-tank plan’ on E. Ukraine suggests internment camps, executions
A leaked memo attributed to 'RAND corporation think tank', suggests the Ukrainian govt should engage in an all-out war in the east, including shutting down all communications, putting citizens in internment camps and killing all who resist such actions.
In the letter, leaked to online media, advice is offered, step by step, on how to deal with the people of eastern Ukraine.
The document's authenticity, (it bears the RAND corporate logo), however, could not be independently verified.
The RAND Corporation is a non-profit global think tank which offers research and analysis to the US' armed forces.
In the first line the memorandum notes that the peace plan - as outlined by the new president - is likely to fail. However, it suggests that any political or material downsides to following the military operation, will be “outweighed” by the gains.
The letter lists the advantages that a full scale military onslaught against the break- away eastern Ukrainian regions would have.
The pro-Russian political movement, claims the advice, would be decimated and the pro- Russian voters would become disorganized.
Instead of upholding the region’s coal supplies as a source of future employment, it says the decimation of the coal industry in the fighting would mean they would be quickly shut down, thereby relieving Ukraine of any subsidy costs.
Shutting down Donbass' industries would mean a reduction in Russian gas consumption and the destruction of local oligarch Rinat Akhmetov’s clan, and his political and economic clout.
The memorandum then lists a three stage military campaign to guarantee victory.
Stage one, called the total isolation of the rebel regions, presumes that all civilians who stayed behind are “complicit in the unrest or supportive of it.”
It proposes that martial law be imposed in the area with a strict curfew between 20:00 and 06:00, while all local authorities would have their competencies terminated and their Constitutional rights would be suspended.
The regions should then be encircled with troops with special attention being given to areas which border Russia.
On the media, it recommends that all broadcasting services, telephone and mobile communications and internet services in the region should be shut down and that the international media should be “subject to a special procedure.”
Stage 2: Internment camps for male adults, those who resist to be killed on the spot.
Stage Two of the operation, called 'mop-up', involves a gradual tightening of the circle of troops round the region, followed by air- strikes, then artillery and mortar assaults, against the “enemy’s” strategic facilities.
Without any apparent regard for human life, RAND authors advise that the use of non- conventional arms should not be ruled out “to ensure smaller casualties among our own personnel”.
The authors then say that settlements should be liberated one by one with armour going in first, followed by infantry who should shoot to kill anyone bearing arms.
In what appears to be advising ethnic cleansing, all male adults should be removed to internment camps, while anyone attempting to resist should be executed; children under 13 and people over the age of 60 should be moved to specially equipped facilities in other areas.
RAND then says that anyone with bruises, scuff marks, traces of gun powder or gun oil on their clothes should be tried in court for separatism and terrorism.
Residents who don’t fall into these categories would be allowed to return home after a period of two months “of internment” and would then be under surveillance by the security services.
Stage 3: Property of convicted and displaced to be nationalized.
Stage Three, called ‘Back to Normal’, says that all refugees “from the warzone” should then be allowed to return home.
Men aged 18-60 shall be “checked” in internment camps, while the property of those convicted or displaced residents of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, shall be nationalized.
The area of the punitive operation shall be made “off limits” to foreign media, the memorandum concludes.
Syrian army recaptures Aleppo's industrial city
Syrian government forces announce that they have fully recaptured an industrial city in the northern province of Aleppo.
Activists say that Syrian troops carried out over 20 airstrikes on the city, to dislodge the rebels there.
Aleppo, once called Syria's economic hub, has seen hard battles between government troops and an array of jihadist groups.
The Syrian troops' fresh victory comes as al Nusra Front is deadlocked in fights with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant in Aleppo and areas in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK- based one-man operation in a semi in England, says over 7,000 rebels and civilians have been killed since earlier this year, because of rebel- on-rebel battles.
RUSSIA NEEDS TO TAKE "ALL MEASURES" TO STOP BEING EMASCULATED BY EU & US
NATO arming Ukraine with Soviet weapons – Deputy PM Rogozin
NATO's newest Eastern European members - on US orders - are handing over their Soviet arms stockpiles to Kiev's army, Russia’s Deputy PM, Dmitry Rogozin, says, adding that the alliance is in danger of pouring gasoline on the flames of that country’s civil war.
Rogozin, who oversees Russia's military industry, tweets that NATO is asking its newest members to get rid of operable Soviet military equipment & send it to Ukraine, to aid the miserable state of the country’s military hardware.
“In turn, the US is ready to "compensate" the losses of newly coopted NATO member states. The American military-industrial complex must be happy,” Rogozin writes in his Twitter account.
“By the way, this is NATO’s commonplace - to put out the fire of civil wars with aviation kerosene,” Rogozin adds.
Over the past months of Ukraine’s political crisis, NATO member states - primarily the US - have said they are sending non-lethal aid to Ukrainian troops, such as uniforms and tents, and even promised to deploy a number of military instructors to train the Ukrainian army to fight the anti-kiev coup regions in Eastern Ukraine.
Political commentator Mikhail Rostovsky says the “US and EU are thinking, not about Ukraine, but about the neutralization of Russia.”
Rostovsky compares the current policies of the EU and US leaders with that of UK PM Thatcher and French President Mitterrand, towards the reunification of East and West Germany in 1990.
Speaking loudly about “the European choice for Ukraine,” EU and US politicians are essentially seeking ways to drive a wedge between Moscow and Kiev, to neutralize what they see as Russia’s possible “imperial ambitions,” Rostovsky says.
“We’re dealing with politics dictated by fear: God forbid the Kremlin’s imperial instincts got awakened! This is a matter of principle: to deny the Kremlin any opportunity, by breaking Ukraine from Russia.”
Rostovsky says he fully agrees with the German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who told Der Spiegel in late April, that Europe has slid “into the worst crisis since the end of the Cold War.”
“Those who can remember the fall of the Berlin Wall know what we've accomplished over the past 25 years. The gains we've made almost everywhere in Europe in terms of peace, freedom and prosperity, are now at risk,” Steinmeier says, adding that that it is important to take “every measure to prevent things [in Ukraine] from getting worse.”
Ukraine defense minister vows victory parade in Crimea
The new Ukrainian defense minister has vowed to hold a victory parade in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, which was annexed by Russia following a referendum in March.
Valeriy Heletey said that he would not only restore the country's territorial integrity, but also hold a victory parade in Sevastopol, currently disputed by Moscow and Kiev.
"We will ensure peace and harmony in our country. Be sure there will be many victories. We can bring peace and harmony to our home. I am convinced that Ukraine will win. And believe me, a victory parade will certainly be held in Ukrainian Sevastopol," Heletey told a session of the parliament in Kiev.
Meanwhile, fighting continues between Kiev forces and anti-coup forces in eastern Ukraine.
SAUDI TROOP MOVE "NEWS" IS JUST "MORALE SAPPING NEWS MANAGEMENT"
As Iraqi troops battled their way into Tikrit's centre, Saudi troops, 30,000 strong, were reported to have moved onto Iraq's borders, in an area now left less heavily defended by Iraq, Saudi media allege.
That's what Saudi media says, but Baghdad denies pulling off any guards from any borders.
Saudi state-owned news channel Al Arabiya released a video apparently showing Iraqi soldiers saying the government ordered them to retreat from their positions along borders with Syria in the west and Saudi Arabia in the south, despite no evident danger.
“We didn’t know why,” an officer says in the video, which was obtained by Al Arabiya’s sister channel Al Hadath.
The reports didn’t clarify if the alleged withdrawal included Iraq’s borders with Jordan and Kuwait, both in the southern part of Iraq, or Turkey in the north.
The authenticity of the video cannot be immediately verified, but the withdrawal report is denied by an Iraqi government spokesperson.
"This is false news aimed at affecting the morale of our people and the morale of our heroic fighters," spokesperson Lt General Qassim Atta, tells reporters in Baghdad. He adds that the frontier is "fully in the grip" of Iraqi border troops.
The deployment by King Abdullah is meant to protect the Sunni Islamic state from potential “terrorist threats” Saudi state news agency SPA commented.
Baghdad has received limited military assistance from the US to battle the terrorists (ISIL) because Washington says now "it doesn't want to" deploy ground troops in the country it once occupied.
The idea of any such US deployment is also objected to by Saudi Arabia, a fundamental Sunni monarchy and long-time ally of the US.
So far, the biggest military help Iraq has apparently received... is from Shiite Iran.
‘Thanks, Ukraine Air Force’: Bombarded villagers accuse Kiev of killing civilians
The village of Kondrashovka in eastern Ukraine lies devastated, after shelling by Kiev troops killed seven people. Bodies torn to pieces are strewn across the settlement and those who survived ask: why did Kiev kill their families?
At least 5 shells hit the settlement, destroying an entire street in the peaceful Lugansk region community, just 25km from the city of Lugansk.
“They killed my mother, and my father is injured. I took him to hospital,” Aleksandr Mironenko told RT’s Marina Finoshina, one of the few journalists to report from the scene.
Aleksandr was desperately showing pieces of human flesh scattered across his property.
“Come here - can you see this? It's a human body which has been torn to pieces. Let's go and film some more, I'll show you. Bodies everywhere, obviously all of them are terrorists!” he said sarcastically, through tears.
Next door, Kondrashovka residents told a tragic story of their friend, who lost his 5-year-old son.
“He celebrated his son’s 5th birthday yesterday, today the boy's leg was cut off – I don’t know if he's alive or not,” said Sergey, a neighbour.
“No, no, he died, said another man.
“He died? Yes. Then he died,” adds Sergey.
Few of the village residents were left unharmed by the shelling. One of ‘the lucky ones,’ Andrey, said his family was not home when the shelling started, but his property was badly damaged. He showed RT holes from the shells in a fence.
“What do I think? ‘Thank you, Ukrainian Air Force’,” he said, adding that his family would have died, had they been there when the attack hit.
Stunned residents ask why the government is targeting their peaceful village. Kiev troops claim they are killing ‘terrorists’, but here, that term includes women, children and the elderly.
“Why? There was nobody here – only peaceful civilians, poor people who worked from dawn till dusk,” says a local woman.
“We are peaceful. We don’t mind Poroshenko being in office,” says Irina Stasyuk, a local resident, “But don’t kill us. There are 12 people here.”
Yury, a veteran military pilot, had his own opinion on why the troops targeted the village. He said the aircraft targeted a self-defense base, but either missed or intentionally fired on civilian dwellings.
“The first time the aircraft pilot got it right – there is a self-defense base 3km from here. He hit it,” said Yury. “But the second time, he pulled the trigger a few seconds late - either by mistake, or he received an order to target this village. I don’t know.”
In the meantime, the pro-Kiev Azov Battalion deputy commander, admits that bombarding Kondrashovka might have been the result of “pilot error.”
“I think there was both pilot error and shelling from outside,” Igor Mosyichuk told Ukraine’s 112 Channel, adding that Kondrashovka turned out to be “between a rock and a hard place” – people’s self-defense forces and Kiev troops.
Even after the attack, the rest of the village is not safe, as during the interviews the cannonade can be distinctly heard.
RT crew visited the local hospital where there is no water and electricity, as the local power station was hit in another air raid.
“We received 13 people – four of them are already dead, including a five-year-old, a boy,” Maksim Pavlov from the central hospital says.
Among the injured is Ivan Mironenko, a father of Aleksandr, a local resident.
After Ivan lost his wife in the attack, he doesn’t want to live anymore, saying he sees no point.
“Why was she killed? Why not me? Why is God punishing me like this?” exclaims Ivan, sobbing.
Russian authorities strongly condemn attacks on eastern Ukrainian civilians by Kiev forces.
Moscow demands that Ukrainian authorities stop shelling civilian objects in the country in order to save the lives of local people, said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov at a press conference with his Moroccan counterpart.
“Western countries should urge Kiev to follow the declaration approved in Berlin, which calls for the formation of a special contact group aiming at establishing a truce in Ukraine,” he added.
The regions of eastern Ukraine have been continuously targeted by Kiev troops in recent months.
Fearing a deepening of the crisis, scores of refugees have left the country. The number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia has reached 110,000 people, the UN’s refugee dept. said, on June 27th.
Shells devastate entire streets in eastern Ukrainian town
Eyewitnesses in the Cossack settlement of Luganskaya accuse government forces of committing airstrikes on densely-populated residential areas.
Kiev says the devastation is the result of shelling by anti-coup forces.
Kiev govt, Russia, Germany, France agree East Ukraine ceasefire
A roadmap of measures that point a way out of the Ukraine crisis, has been agreed during four-way talks between the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, the German FM, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, says.
In their joint statement, ministers call for the Contact Group to resume its work “no later than July 5 with the goal of reaching an unconditional and mutually agreed, sustainable ceasefire.”
The group should include representatives of both Kiev and the self-defense forces of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, says.
“The ceasefire should be monitored by the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, in conformity with its mandate,” their joint statement reads.
Lavrov says that the ceasefire is essential to prevent further casualties among the civilian population, and to provide the chance of reaching an agreement between all sides in the conflict.
Moscow is ready to grant Ukraine border guards access to Russian territory, so they can control border crossings at several checkpoints, while the mutually agreed ceasefire is in place.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is called upon to deploy observers at the checkpoints.
“Of course, this will work only during a ceasefire. It will all be possible only after the ceasefire is agreed and officially declared,” Lavrov says.
The Russian FM insists that the ceasefire must in no way be used to redeploy forces by either side involved in the Ukrainian conflict.
"All sides must contribute to a secure environment," the joint statement concludes, emphasizing a need to ensure the safety and security of journalists working in the conflict zone.
Steinmeier expresses hope that, by working together, the sides will be able to stop “the escalation of the conflict, which has taken place in recent days.”
Ukraine’s foreign minister, Pavlo Klimkin, confirms that during the Berlin talks the parties agreed “the establishment of a bilateral ceasefire, which will be monitored by the OSCE.”
However, he says that de-escalation will only happen when the Ukrainian president’s peace plan is respected in its totality.
Klimkin also expresses hope that “the effectiveness of control over the border regime between the Ukraine and Russia will be strengthened,” as a result of the Berlin agreements.
French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, describes the outcome of the talks as “mission accomplished.”
“Our task is, first of all, to achieve peace and security. I think that the agreement the four countries reached is a step in the right direction,” he says.
According to Fabius, the most important issues to be addressed in Ukraine are the “ceasefire; the release of hostages and a border settlement.
US commander’s accusations toward Russia aimed at justifying ceasefire break by Ukraine – Moscow
The accusations by Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, US General Philip Breedlove, who blamed Russia for destabilizing the situation in Ukraine, are aimed at justifying the breaking of the cease- fire in southeast Ukraine by the country’s army, the Russian Foreign Ministry says.
“We think it is absolutely unacceptable when a military representative of such a high rank gets involved in an information & propaganda campaign by spreading false information about the situation on the Russian-Ukrainian border,” says Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Aleksandr Lukashevich.
He adds that no convincing proof of a Russian military buildup along the border with Ukraine was presented.
SHAPING THE WORLD MOVES US ALL CLOSER TO WW3
President Putin says Poroshenko's declaration of "war to the end" on the anti-coup forces in Ukraine, cuts across the wishes of Europe's major powers, Germany and France.
He suggests that "an outside influence" is to blame.
In a speech to Russia's ambassadors, he asks if anyone is happy with the West's attempts to "turn the whole world into a military barracks".
There is focused effort to liquidate journalists in Ukraine — Putin
At least three Russian journalists covering developments in Ukraine’s embattled south- eastern regions were killed in June.
Japan's Abe in a dangerous coup against the pacifist Constitution Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has now completed a dangerous coup, to overturn the country's post-war pacifism and democratic ideals.
He has released Japan's legally tethered military and war will, from a war-renouncing Constitution.
His move drastically changes Japan's defense stance since the end of World War II, and could see the country dragged into bloody conflicts in the near future.
Japan's new collective self-defence stance, breaks its internationally-recognized anti-war constitution, as Article 9 reads "the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes."
"To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."
Abe avoided the normal procedures to amend the Constitution by accepting broad "conditions to the use of force," not the original "conditions to launch self-defense", thereby violating the spirit of Japan's Constitution.
Abe's coup against the Constitution exposes his scorn for public opinion, as many surveys conducted by Japanese mainstream media show nearly 70% of Japanese oppose Abe's plot to exercise 'collective defense' through reinterpreting the constitution, and over 60% are against allowing the SDF to engage in war outside Japan, through any means.
Abe's trusted follower, deputy PM Taro Aso talked earlier about changing the no-war constitution, but suggested that Japan... should do it quietly...
"Just as in one day the Weimar constitution changed to the Nazi constitution --- without anyone realizing it --- why don't we learn from that sort of tactic?" Aso suggested.
Now Abe has reached his goal through such "Nazi tactics," having hollowed the Constitution's Article 9 and over- thrown the country's peaceful path in the postwar era.
Abe's visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, which honours 14 convicted Japanese war criminals from WW2, also challenged the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, and his claim to islands disputed with Japan's neighbours, attacks the essence of both the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation.
Now, Abe's final volume of his "postwar remilitarization trilogy" is completed --- tearing up Japan's peaceful commitment to the international community --- as the resolution on collective defense, has now been voted through.
A Japanese lawmaker bemoans that the "dusk of the Weimar Constitution" is now repeated --- in Japan.
One can only hope that the dusk of Japan's pacifist constitution will not lead to the entire collapse of the postwar international system.
Southeastern militiamen shoot down Ukrainian attack aircraft - eyewitnesses
Militiamen of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) have shot down a Sukhoi Su-27 air superiority fighter, militiamen said.
2 pilots of the plane ejected, militia representatives said. LPR soldiers are currently combing the terrain in search of the pilots near the Luganskaya village, where the aircraft earlier fired a shot.
Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings destroyed and tens of thousands forced to flee Ukraine to Russia as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s embattled South-east involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation, which has been conducted since mid-April.
Fierce military attacks by pro-Kiev forces on the country’s southeastern regions resumed after Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko decided to end the 10-day ceasefire in the South-east. There were numerous reports that the truce was repeatedly violated by... Kiev.
The Donetsk and Lugansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine.
South Ossetia has recognized the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Lugansk People's Republic (LPR).
IRAQ FIGHTS AS VULTURES GATHER
Behind the Scenes: Turkey Trying to Strike Deal with Kurds on Iraq
Military intelligence experts estimate that the fall of hundreds of villages in Aleppo countryside by government forces will take place soon, after the Takfiris recently received devastating blows in many Syrian districts. Qatari authorities are trying again to explore the possibility of a reconciliation with the Syrian government. Turkish authorities are trying to strike a deal with the Kurds in Iraq, to benefit from recent developments in Mosul. The ISIL occupation of Mosul has reinvigorated Turkish ambitions to annex parts of Iraq's provinces to Turkey. Over 5,000 Takfiri members were killed in continuing fights between different military groups in Syria, especially ISIL and Al-Nusra.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says:
"Throughout the years of its independence, Ukraine did not bother to officially register its borders as that of a sovereign state."
There has been, and can be, no violation of the Ukrainian border by Russia. Under the CIS agreement, Ukraine's territory only has administrative borders as set within the USSR, while Russia is a legal successor to the USSR, Nezavisimaya Gazeta points out today.
According to the paper, it's now impossible in principle, to accuse anyone of violating Ukraine's borders because, "as far as the international law is concerned, the country simply does not have an officially set border."
In order to resolve this problem, the newspaper says, Kiev must agree on border demarcation with all neighboring states, including Russia.
Although Kiev is trying to carry out unilateral demarcation, "it will be null and void from the point of view of international law."
Ukraine president terminates ceasefire!!!
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has decided not to prolong a ceasefire with Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics, announcing the end of a fragile deal to de-escalate tensions in the eastern regions of the country.
“We will attack & will free our land,” Poroshenko said. The ceasefire officially ended at 19:00 GMT, according to a statement that appeared on the president’s website shortly after midnight.
Hours before the ceasefire, and since, heavy shelling and intense shooting is reported in the city of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region.
“The shelling started at 22:25 local time,” US photographer, Patrick Lancaster, 'phones in from Kramatorsk.
“We are in the basement of the Kramatorsk Hotel. About 2 hours ago, mortaring started on the centre of the city. Each wave lasted anywhere between 5 to 20 minutes, and there were 3 different waves of mortars. I do not have any direct information about the wounded or killed, but there were so many explosions, that I really think there's a large number of casualties.”
Itar-Tass's source says the attack by Kiev troops began at 19:30 GMT. The Ukrainian military claims it was Self-Defence militia who attacked first, killing several service members.
The newly-elected president (in a 40% vote) says that the decision to unilaterally end the ceasefire was taken after meeting Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council.
Poroshenko says “peace” is the end game, but the “tools” of achieving it have changed:
“Protection of Ukraine's territorial integrity, security and lives of civilians requires not only defensive, but offensive acts against terrorists-militants.
“Armed Forces, the National Guard, the State Border Service, the Security Service, have received their appropriate orders,” he says, adding that they “are no longer constrained by the ceasefire.”
“Non-renewal of the ceasefire is our response to terrorists, rebels, looters, all those who torment the civilians, who paralyze the economy of the region, who disturb the payment of salaries, pensions, stipends, who undermine the railroads, destroy water pipes, those who deprive people of a normal peaceful life,” Poroshenko said in an address to the nation.
Poroshenko puts all the blame for the truce failure on representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk militias, claiming they violated the ceasefire “over 100 times,” thus losing this “unique opportunity” to fulfill a peace plan.
Poroshenko added that within the timeframe of the temporary truce, international support for Ukraine's actions grew stronger, as Kiev managed to sign an EU Association Agreement.
“The political leaders of the separatists demonstrated an unwillingness and an inability to control the actions of their terrorist units and gangs of looters,” Poroshenko said.
"Ukrainian Armed Forces, National Guard & other units, will never allow themselves to use force against peaceful people. They will never assault residential quarters.
"Ukrainian soldiers and guards will risk their lives, not to expose to danger, women, children and elderly people," Poroshenko said, adding, "such is the eternal nature of Ukraine's military valour."
150,000 civilians have now fled Ukraine, after residential areas were pounded by artillery, rockets, phosphorous flares, tank shells, ground attack planes and military assault helicopters.
CRIMINAL ISIL AND BACKERS MUST FACE TRIAL
Iran's defense minister says terrorists of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) & their supporters must be put on trial as “war criminals.”
“Murder, plunder, aggression, destruction, mass execution and the displacement of thousands of innocent people in Iraq & Syria are clear examples of war crimes,” Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan says to media.
He adds that such criminal acts combined with the silence and inaction of the so-called human rights advocates & international organizations "have butchered the security of the region."
The official emphasizes that such crimes are being committed to create a safe haven for the Israeli regime and to undermine the resistance against Tel Aviv's illegal acts.
The Iranian minister said the ISIL will have a destiny worse than that of the executed Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, and that the terrorist group’s inhuman measures will definitely backfire on its supporters.
Dehqan stresses the importance of strengthening unity among all Iraqi ethnicities and groups... to maintain the country’s integrity, and secure its national interests, noting that foreign countries interfering in Iraq’s internal affairs are not interested in the country’s dignity and independence.
Dehqan expresses Iran's support for the territorial integrity of Iraq, saying, “The Islamic Iran seeks a unified, united, secure and advanced Iraq and will support any measure in this regard.”
IRAQ ARMY PUSHES ISIL BACK
Iraq's army, backed by thousands of Christian volunteers, has pushed back Takfiri terrorists of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from a strategic area in Salahuddin Province.
Iraqi security officials say army troops retook the village of Awja in Salahuddin Province on Monday, adding that the village, south of Tikrit, is entirely under the army’s control.
Meanwhile, Iraqi helicopters have hit ISIL positions and hideouts in the areas surrounding Tikrit.
The Iraqi army and tribal fighters have also retaken full control of Tikrit from the ISIL terrorists.
Elsewhere in Aqlawi district of Anbar Province, some 140 Takfiri militants were killed in an ongoing massive military operation.
Iraqi armed forces have managed to liberate the town of Deli Abbas in Diyala Province.
The latest operation comes days after thousands of Iraqis fled their homes after militants from the ISIL attacked Christian areas and minority communities in northern Iraq.
Peshmerga fighters attack Iraq army.
A senior Iraqi military commander says Kurdish Peshmerga forces have seized heavy weapons and military equipment in Kirkuk governorate.
Lieutenant Abdul Amir al-Zaidi says that Kurdish forces attacked military bases and disrupted security in Diyala and Kirkuk.
This comes after the president of the semi- autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said that the KRG will not return the oil- rich hub of Kirkuk to Baghdad.
Masoud Barzani’s comments sparked angry reactions from some Iraqi politicians who warned of an armed conflict with the Kurds in the near future. Also, some lawmakers have accused the Kurdish forces of having relations with Israel.
Kurdish security forces took control of Kirkuk after Iraqi troops entered a battle with the so- called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) earlier this month.
The latest developments come as tensions rise between Kurdistan’s regional leaders and the central government in Baghdad.
Iraq's government slammed Kurdistan region for exporting oil without Baghdad’s consent.
Baghdad says it has the sole right to export the country’s crude, but the Kurds say they are entitled to market the resources of their own region.
The regional government has recently used a pipeline to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan for crude oil exports.
A spokesperson for the region says the cash is being held by Turkey's Halkbank.
Most refineries are reluctant to get involved in the trade which Iraq's central government has called smuggling.
Baghdad has started arbitration against Turkey for facilitating the sales and has threatened to pursue the buyers.
Israeli PM Netanyahu endorses Kurdish independence "because of chaos in Iraq"
Citing Iraq's “collapse”, Israel's Netanyahu endorses the de-facto independence of Iraqi Kurds today, and calls for support for the “Kurdish aspiration for independence.”
GERMANY FRANCE, RUSSIA - "LONGER CEASEFIRE"
In a telephone conversation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande joined Putin to ask Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko to extend a ceasefire.
But about 1,000 neo-fascist supporters shouted "We want war!" repeatedly, in front of government buildings in Kiev's Maidan Square.
S. Korean 'comfort women' for US military sue state for forced prostitution
A group of South Korean former “comfort women”, who worked in state-controlled brothels for the US military after the 1953 Korean War, has filed a suit demanding compensation from the authorities for forced prostitution.
DEFENCE FORCES GAIN "SAM" BATTERY
Self-defence forces of Donetsk People’s Republic have taken control of an army missile defence unit equipped with Buk missile defence systems, the press service of Donetsk People’s Republic says.
The Buk missile defence system is a mobile medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed to defend field troops and logistics installations against air threats using heavy electronic countermeasures and within intense enemy fire.
UP FOR IT
Russia says it will not stand idly by in the face of terrorist groups who're attempting to spread terrorism in the Middle East.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warns the US and Europe that terrorist groups are becoming a serious risk to several Middle Eastern countries. "Russia will not remain passive to attempts by some groups to spread terrorism in the region," he tells journalists after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"The situation is very dangerous in Iraq and the foundations of the Iraqi state are under threat," he added.
A solution must be found and prompt measures taken to stem the flow of militants into the US and European countries from abroad, he said.
In the last few days, Iraqi armed forces have engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists, threatened to take their acts of violence to other Iraqi cities, including the capital.
Now their advance has been slowed down as Iraqi military forces & volunteer fighters have begun engaging them on several fronts... pushing terrorists out of areas they overran.
HI HO SUKHOI, AWAY!
Iraq's government has received the first Russian-made Sukhoi fighter planes to use against terrorists from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Iraqi army sources said the fighter jets are expected to be stationed at an airbase in the country's south.
Iraq has purchased several used Sukhoi fighter planes from Belarus and Russia.
Iraq’s PM, Nouri al-Maliki, said earlier that these Sukhoi fighter jets will turn the tide against ISIL and its associated militant groups --- within days.
Iraq's army continues to pound ISIL positions after retaking Tikrit, killing dozens of militants.
Iraqi officials also confirm that Khalis town is now fully controlled by Iraq's armed forces. Khalis lies 15 kilometers north of Baquba and is one of the six districts of Diyala Province.
Iraq's army took full control of all areas in the east, except Sa’adiyah district.
The army say large numbers of ISIL militants were killed in the flashpoint province during army operations.
Soldiers of the Iraqi army have so far been able to push back militants in several areas.
PM Maliki vows that Iraq’s security forces will confront all the foreign-sponsored militants successfully.
EU AND RUSSIA TO WIN-WIN?
A Russian official says Moscow seeks common ground in forthcoming talks with Ukraine and the European Union, over Kiev’s association with the bloc.
Moscow has expressed hope that officials from Russia, Ukraine and the EU will find “mutual understanding” at upcoming rounds of technical and expert consultations and ministerial meetings scheduled for both this week and next month.
“There's a need for a substantive, technical, expert dialogue on how to avoid worsening the economic climate in Russia-Ukraine relations amid the signing of this deal, and what steps the sides should take,” Russia's deputy foreign minister Alexei Meshkov said.
The official warned, however, that the move could disrupt cooperation between Ukrainian and Russian companies.
Meshkov recommended that some approaches be revised.
The statement came one day after an EU summit in Brussels, where the Ukraine President, Petro Poroshenko, signed a trade and political association deal with the EU.
The Kremlin has warned that it will take action if it inflicts damage on Russia's economy.
In November, Ukraine fell into chaos after then president, Viktor Yanukovych, refused to sign an Association Agreement with the 28-member bloc. The refusal led to months of unrest and clashes, and resulted in the ousting of Yanukovych on February 23rd.
The US stands accused of deliberately overthrowing Yanukovich's government by using violence and supporting neo- nazi forces, like the Right Sector, and other extremist groups, to gain control of Ukraine, push the EU to reject close economic and energy ties with Russia, and keep accepting US leadership...
The US Vice-President's son, for example, now heads Ukraine's largest gas supply company...
After the US-backed coup, protests broke out in Ukraine’s east and south.
The protests gained momentum after independence referendums in eastern parts of Ukraine led to new Republics.
Ukrainian troops have been carrying out military operations since mid-April to crush dissent in the eastern regions.
SOUTH-EAST UKRAINE MOBILIZES - TO STOP "COLOUR REVOLUTION"
The city of Sloviansk ( in Donetsk region) and its adjoining settlements have again been subjected to intense artillery fire in which dwelling houses were destroyed.
According to the self-defence forces, “over 10 gunmen were killed” in the clashes that continued for about three hours.
In response to the increase in combat actions, the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has launched a general mobilisation.
The DPR press service tells ITAR-TASS that recruiting stations were opened on Friday where men aged from 19 to 40 years must turn up to enlist.
On Thursday, martial law was declared in the neighbouring self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and a total mobilisation of men aged from 18 to 45 years was announced.
Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, states at the 3rd International Security Conference in Moscow on Friday that the conflict in Ukraine has now actually grown into a civil war.
He says that the Russian Defense Ministry has at its disposal the facts on the participation of private military companies in events in Ukraine.
Appointed by the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada, the interim PM of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, believes that nothing can or will prevent Ukraine holding a snap presidential election on May 25th.
Head of the special operation in the east of the country, Valentin Nalivaichenko, promises that the Ukrainian security agencies won't conduct actively aggressive operations on voting day.
Water and food supplies have been cut, in several towns and cities in the South East.
In the opinion of Russia's military and foreign political leadership, “a colour revolution” is being implemented in Ukraine by the West.
“After the forceful removal from power of Ukraine’s incumbent president with active participation by external forces, the country has actually slid into a civil war,” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, says.
“We remember the attempts to implement the concept of “colour revolutions” in the former USSR space.
“In the recent past, such attempts were made in Central Asian countries and in Georgia. Now it’s Ukraine. The appearance of a new trouble spot has negatively affected general security,” he stresses.
“The West has preferred the customary policy of the containment of Russia, to the historic chance of building a Greater Europe,” believes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“The attempts to force on other peoples its own formulas of internal reform, which do not take into account their traditions & national features, to engage in the ‘export of democracy,’ have a destructive effect on international relations and result in the multiplication of hot spots on the world map,” the minister stresses.
The turbulence in Ukraine is reminiscent of the violence and bloodshed Europe experienced in the 20th century, Lavrov tells a security conference in Moscow.
“The European continent, which brought two global military catastrophes in the last century, is not demonstrating an example to the world of peaceful development and broad cooperation,” he says, adding that the situation is not accidental, but is “a natural result of the developments over the past quarter of a century.”
“Our Western partners rejected a truly historic chance to build a greater Europe, in favour of borderlines and the habitual logic of expanding the geopolitical space under their control to the East,” Lavrov stresses. “This is, de facto, a continuation of the policy of 'containing' Russia, only in a softer wrapping.”
The West ignored Russia’s calls for cooperation and would not pursuit the challenge of bringing together different integration projects in Eurasia.
Instead it was and is, forcing nations historically close to Russia, to choose between the East and the West.
“With Ukraine’s fragile political situation, this pressure was enough to trigger a massive crisis of statehood,” Lavrov points out.
But Ukraine is just one example of the destructive results that Western foreign policies bring, Lavrov says.
“The operations to change regimes in sovereign states & foreign-orchestrated ‘colour revolutions’ of different brands, produce obvious damage to international stability.
“The attempts to impose one’s own designs for internal reforms on other peoples, which don’t take into account national characteristics, to ‘export democracy’, impacts destructively on international relations and multiplies the number of flashpoints on the world map,” he continues.
“Schemes based on advocating one’s exceptionalism, the use of double standards, a pursuit of unilateral geopolitical outcomes in crisis situations, are widely used, not only in Europe, but also in other regions, and this undermines crisis mediation efforts.”
The problems in Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan and many other countries, can only be solved through a collective effort, and Russia stands for joining forces in tackling issues.
A collective effort resulted in recent advances on the Iranian nuclear program and launched the dismantling of the Syrian chemical arsenal, he says.
Meanwhile unilateral attempts to resolve the Arab-Palestinian conflict, proved to be deficient.
“When crisis management in all directions requires collective effort, one can hardly understand the reasoning of those, who take decisions on limiting cooperation with Russia over responding to common challenges and threats,” he says.
“It’s doubtful that this will raise the efficiency of combating terrorism, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, responding to natural and man-made disasters or erecting barriers to extremism.”
Lavrov stresses that a polycentric system of global security, in which parties respect each other’s interests, cultural differences and the right to self-determination, is needed to build a just, safe and democratic world.
The foreign minister speaks at the international security conference in Moscow, which brought together officials, military officers and experts from over 40 countries, including China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran and Belarus. It is the third time Moscow has hosted the event.
‘Colour revolutions are like military operations’
Lavrov’s condemnation of colour revolutions as an instrument of hostile international politics, is repeated by the Russian military at the conference.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu says Ukraine's crisis is the latest example of such a revolution, and it follows a global trend for them to become more violent.
“After the forced ouster of the president with the help of foreign forces, [Ukraine] has now, practically, slid into a civil war,” he says.
“A hotspot of tension has been artificially created in the heart of Europe. This has negatively affected global security.”
Shoigu adds that the scheme for fanning an internal conflict used in Ukraine is applicable to many countries, and points to Venezuela, “where the legitimate government is being opposed by a so-called democratic opposition fuelled from abroad,” and Venezuela appears to be a victim of this same approach.
But unlike the colour revolutions of the 1990s and 2000s, which were relatively bloodless, the latest generation of such operations increasingly resembles military invasions, the Russian minister stresses.
Now colour revolutions lead to long-term destabilization, rather than to the simple regime change that the forces triggering them, initially aim at.
Meanwhile the head of Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov, accuses the US and its allies of initiating most of the regional conflicts in recent history.
“The US cannot stomach the formation of new centres of power,” he states. “That is why it uses a wide arsenal, to ramp up regional tension, including unilateral sanctions, aid sent to West-allied forces, private military companies & ultimately the national military.”
The general adds that the Russian military will not walk away from the new challenges that have emerged in the Ukrainian crisis.
“Some Western countries have ramped up anti-Russian rhetoric, and are building up NATO troops in the Baltic, Poland and Romania, as well as a military presence of the alliance in the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea,” Gerasimov says.
“We cannot be indifferent to this, and will have to take measures in response.”
The Obama administration has taken the over 6,000-page report on the use of torture during the Bush years, laboriously researched by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and placed it in the hands of the entity that carried out the torture, the CIA, to 'redact', before publication.
Many believe the torture report will never see the light of day, or will now be so edited, as to make it worthless.
TALKS NEEDN'T BE SO HARD, SAYS PUTIN
President Putin says Russia respects the will of the Ukrainian people, but will keep a close watch on what’s happening.
It was easier for Ukraine’s opposition to reach agreement with President Viktor Yanukovych, who “was ready to agree to everything”, President Putin states.
Putin explains that Ukraine’s Constitution contains only four reasons for removing the incumbent president from power: death, illness, impeachment and a personal resignation request.
“None of those things actually happened in Ukraine,” Putin says.
US House Rejects Closing Gitmo Prison
The US House of Representatives has rejected by 247-177, a proposal to authorize President Barack Obama to close the prison in the US Base of Guantanamo, in eastern Cuba.
Since 2002, the White House has kept the prison in the naval base on Cuban territory against the will of both the Government and people of Cuba.
The initiative, introduced by the Democrats as part of the national defense budget for 2015, was intended to cancel the ban on a transfer of inmates to US mainland territory, and for the closure of the prison by 2017.
In his state of the union address last January, Obama said that 2014 should be the year for Congress to end restrictions to transfering inmates and the year for the final closure of the prison, which still harbors 154 prisoners.
In 2009, Obama signed an executive order to close it in less than a year.
A recent Pentagon report admits that the prison spends one billion dollars a year, and the total amount will exceed five billion USD by late 2014.
There have been numerous reports about the use of cruel techniques to torture prisoners, like depriving them of sleep, keeping them naked in low temperatures and submitting them to exhausting interrogations.
Pentagon reportedly assigns 13k servicemen to first ever US-Jordanian-Israeli joint drill
Roughly 13,000 additional US troops are in the Middle East right now, reports RT news on its US page, as the Pentagon begins joint military drills with soldiers in the neighboring countries of Israel and Jordan.
The US-Israeli exercise, “Juniper Cobra,” which began earlier this week, involves around 6,000 members of the US Eastern Command and 1,000 airmen, involving the joint missile systems used by the allies.
But on Saturday, over 6,000 US Marines moved to Jordan to begin conducting drills there, as part of the annual Eager Lion program.
According to Israel’s DEBKAfile news agency, the activities in Israel & Jordan, are “the first time the US has unified two large military exercises,” and is reportedly being carried out now, to counter an alleged advance of Hezbollah troops.
“The two war games were planned as military maneuvers plain [and] simple until Wednesday, May 21,” the site reports, “when news came in of large Hezbollah military forces heading toward southern Syria to help Syria's army overcome the rebel forces fighting for over a week, to capture the Syrian Golan town of Quneitra, opposite the Israeli and Jordanian borders.”
“In the last few days, both Israel and Jordan have boosted their Syrian border deployments and placed them at battle stations.
Hezbollah’s intervention in the Golan battle "may well result in the war game being switched to combat operations for real," DEBKA claims.
Earlier this week, the Jerusalem Post confirmed that Jordan's military was redeploying forces along its border with Syria on murmurings of a growing insurgency there — that report came straight after an announcement from Israel’s Arutz Sheva news outlet that the US would send a Patriot missile battery and F-16 fighters to Jordan as part of Eager Lion, and keep them there after the exercise is finished.
On Tuesday, however, the Pentagon-affiliated Air Force Times said no such plans to leave weapons behind, were in place.
However, combined with the US Navy presence in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, more US service members than usual are now in the volatile region, amid civil wars and skirmishes that have dominated international politics in recent months.
According to the International Business Times, the chief defense attaché for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, suggested recently that expanded cooperation between the US & its Middle East allies would greatly improve on those nations’ ability to secure the region, as tensions rise.
"If we were able to build a regional defense capability in say, Jordan, that capability could easily defend Israel, Jordan and even Egypt, if you so desired, adding one more layer to your multi-layered defense," the IB Times quoted the attaché, John Shapland, as saying.
Palestinian prisoners hold solidarity strike in Israeli jails
Over 5,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons have launched a hunger strike in solidarity with another group of Palestinian detainees who have been on hunger strike for nearly a month.
The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs said in its Wednesday statement that 5,200 prisoners would act in the solidarity strike on Thursday, in a bid to pressure the Israeli regime to comply with the demands of the 100 Palestinian detainees, who have been on hunger strike for 28 days, to oppose their “administrative detention.”
Administrative detention is an imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to gaol Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can, however, be renewed for an indefinite period of time.
The statement by the Palestinian ministry warns that thousands of prisoners will announce their open hunger strike next week, and will make new demands, if the Israeli regime does not comply with the demands of the group of 100 administrative detainees, Ma’an News Agency reported on thursday.
According to the report, 40 more Palestinian detainees held in the Israeli Negev prison of Ktziot began their open-ended hunger strike on Wednesday, joining the administrative prisoners.
Over 120 Palestinian prisoners, including two jailed leaders, went on a one-day hunger strike on Wednesday to help administrative detainees who've been refusing meals for nearly a month.
Palestinian prisoner human rights organization Addameer estimates that about 183 Palestinians are now being held in administrative detention.
Over 800,000 Palestinians have been detained since 1967, with 5,224 currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
PUTIN SAYS IT'S "FULL SCALE CIVIL WAR" NOW
Kiev troops reportedly shoot at deserting conscripts as eastern military op escalates
Kiev forces have killed at least seven militiamen and injured dozens of people, including civilians, in clashes in the Lugansk Region.
Some Kiev troop conscripts reportedly tried to desert and flee to the militia, and were shot at by their commander.
Both sides suffered losses during the battle near the village of Rubezhnoye, close to Lisichansk city in the Lugansk region.
At least seven self-defense members were killed and 16 others injured, according to the militia. A spokesperson for Kiev’s troops reported two fatalities and seven wounded among their ranks.
The shooting followed botched negotiations between the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Lugansk forces and pro-Kiev troops, Ostap Cherniy, a spokesman for the militias, said at a press conference on Thursday night.
“When the Ukrainian military with a column of armored vehicles approached Lisichansk, militias tried to negotiate with them,” Cherniy said. “Shooting erupted during negotiations.”
He added that local residents, including children, were among those who went to talk to the Kiev loyalists.
The civilians were trying to block military vehicles of the National Guard and asking them “not to kill them,” he said.
There are claims that at least some of the casualties among Kiev loyalists were not due to the militias.
Some 30 of the conscripts wanted to defect, Cherniy said. The militias fed the prisoners and wanted to relocate them, but the other troops opened fire, he said, at the entire group.
“After they boarded a bus and drove to the college, the military opened fire at the bus with a heavy machine gun,” said the self- defense force representative.
A militia member told RIA Novosti that it was the commander of the unit preparing to desert who opened fire at his own men.
The information was confirmed by one of the defectors, who says he and fellow conscripts decided to defect and say 'no', rather than follow an order to fire at militias and civilians.
“The commander ordered us to open fire indiscriminately ,” the soldier said during the same press conference, adding that locals “saved him” from the Kiev- controlled soldiers.
A military doctor Gennady Moralishvili said that most of those injured in the clashes are currently in the local hospital and are civilians, not militia.
He added that the pro-Kiev National Guard set the city's train station on fire and when the fire brigade arrived to put it out, they shot at them too.
Also damaged in clashes was a local bridge, although it was not immediately clear how it was taken down. Some reports say militias demolished it to prevent Kiev’s troops from transporting armored vehicles across river.
Others say that the loyalists destroyed it during the clashes.
A local railway was damaged as well, disrupting traffic in the Lugansk Region.
By nightfall, the gunfight ceased around the city, local activist Sergey told RT by phone, adding that the militias have taken control over all checkpoints that came under fire in the day.
Medics in local hospitals were reporting large numbers of injured coming in during the day, the activist says.
“There are a lot of injured among the local population who came under fire on the outskirts of Lisichansk and Severodonetsk. Some are seriously wounded, who will be sent for surgery and treatment to [Lugansk].”
Militias said they have captured three BMP-2 armored personnel carriers from Kiev’s troops.
The escalation of violence in the Lugansk Region follows weeks of a focused assault by the Kiev troops on the neighboring Donetsk Region.
The confrontation there claimed dozens of lives both among the belligerents and local civilians, but neither side managed to take control over the entire region.
Reports of a possible shooting between different pro-Kiev troops came from the Donetsk Region on Thursday too, where at least 16 Ukrainian troops were killed and over 30 injured in a night attack on a checkpoint.
While some accounts said the battle near the town of Volnovakha was a night raid of the militias, there are numerous accounts showing that it could actually be a case of friendly fire, in which a unit of pro-Kiev militia hired by oligarch Igor Kolomoisky mistakenly attacked a facility manned by the Ukrainian military.
A soldier was killed and two others injured in the battle, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry says, with the self-defense forces also speaking of several wounded on their side.
The Border Guard says that five of its troops were injured and one suffered concussion in a gunfight at Stanchino-Luganskoe, RIA- Novosti reports.
Kiev is piling more troops into the south-east in anticipation of presidential elections on Sunday.
“According to our data, there’re currently around 6,000 [Kiev troops in the Lugansk Region], and their number has increased in recent days,” Valery Bolotov, head of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Lugansk, says.
Lugansk & Donetsk regions refuse to recognize Kiev’s coup-imposed regime, holding referenda on May 11th, which gave landslide support for their independence from Kiev.
KERRY SAYS "ALL OPTIONS ON TABLE"
... to deal with Venezuela!
John (don't laugh at me) Kerry might be confusing his options, countries or maybe his tables, as he warns Venezuelans that the US is "running out of patience".
Could it have to do with the fact that the day before, Venezuela said it will give oil to Palestinians struggling under the Israeli rightwing regime, which is denying civilians fuel?
UKRAINE GOES FOR "FINAL ASSAULT"???
The coup-installed PM, says the "final assault" on Eastern regions has begun - and will "wipe out" the "terrorists" there.
This, despite the Rada instructing - through their Memorandum - that ALL Kiev's army and "special" forces immediately withdraw.
WEST's "ONE-UPMANSHIP" COMPLETES DEAL
China & Russia inked a long-awaited gas deal in Shanghai, ending decade-long natural gas supply talks between the two.
The deal came one day after visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "significant progress" had been made over the price, in the lengthy talks.
The deal, worth 38 billion, uses the eastern transit route from Siberia, directly to China.
Gazprom's CEO notes: “38 billion is just the start. We've agreed with our Chinese partners that, as soon as we struck the deal on the eastern route, we will start talks on the western route.
As regards the western route, there is a fundamental difference concerning the resource base: this is the same base, from which we are making gas supplies to Europe.”
MORE NAZI DEATH CAMP GUARDS FOUND
German investigators of Nazi war crimes say they have identified about 20 former guards from the Majdanek death camp, who are still alive.
Federal prosecutor Kurt Schrimm says his special Nazi War Crimes Office is preparing to recommend that state prosecutors pursue charges against the suspects in the next two weeks.
Lead investigator Thomas Will tells AP that the probe of more former guards in Majdanek, which was based on the outskirts of Lublin in occupied Poland, is ongoing.
Altogether, about 1,000 possible suspects are being investigated now.
GANG BURN DOWN MP's HOUSE IN UKRAINE
Unidentified assailants attacked and burnt down Oleh Tsariov's house. He's a member of the Ukrainian parliament and a candidate in the snap presidential elections.
The attack took place in the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk.
“My house in Dnipropetrovsk was burnt down at night,” Tsariov wrote on his Facebook page.
“Two buses with armed people arrived at 2am, showering the house with Molotov cocktails. The assailants acted confidently. They were filming the arson, probably to report later on their job."
“My wife and children left Dnipropetrovsk some time ago, and my mother did the same last week, and that's why no one was injured,” Tsariov adds.
“Yes, the house was burnt down,” he tells ITAR-TASS. “No one was injured in the fire. We called the police.”
Tsariov was registered to run in Ukraine’s presidential election, slated for May 25th, but withdrew his candidacy from the race in late April, citing his protest over the current authorities’ policies in the southeastern regions of the country.
He had also received threats to himself and his family.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General, a neo-nazi member of Svoboda installed by the CIA coup, had said previously that he wants the Party of Regions deputy to be deprived of his immunity as an MP.
Ukrainian MPs call for immediate troop withdrawal from country’s east
Ukrainian troops deployed in the country’s east should immediately return to their bases, the country’s parliament says in a memorandum.
The freshly-adopted document also urges constitutional reforms to decentralize Kiev’s central power.
With 226 votes required to pass the law, Ukraine's parliament has finally adopted its ‘Memorandum of Peace and Consent’, with 252 MPs voting in favour.
The document calls "to restore law, order and public safety in the state by stopping bloodshed and bringing to justice those responsible for the killings of civilians during mass protests; to stop the anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine’s southeast and return the soldiers involved in anti-terrorist operations to their permanent deployment places.”
The adopted document also urges immediate constitutional reform granting more autonomy to regions – a key demand of the protesters in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
As hopes for federalization passing a vote in the post-coup Duma shrank, eastern regions created self-defense forces, seizing government buildings.
On May 11th referenda were held in Donetsk and Lugansk regions and independence proclaimed.
The “constitutional status of the Ukrainian language as the language of state” is confirmed.
The document adds that the state “must ensure the rights of minority languages.” The document does "grant status to the Russian language," but stops short of giving it constitutional status.
The gift of amnesty for self-defense forces in the east is also dropped from the final draft of the memorandum. This was harshly criticized by the Communist Party, who abstained from the vote.
MPs from the nationalist neo-nazi Svoboda Party abstained from voting on Tuesday as well, saying that they believe the reform will be ineffective.
Further, the reform will provide for Ukraine dropping its non-aligned status, allowing it to join an interstate union through a referendum.
After the announcement, Russia says that if Ukraine’s authorities plan to implement all of the reforms declared in the memorandum, then they will finally be responding to Moscow's calls.
"First, we have to see how it looks on paper. If this is true then it's the development we have been talking about over the past months,” says Deputy Head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Grigory Karasin, as quoted by RIA Novosti.
Today, the coup-installed PM, says the "final assault" on the Eastern regions is to start - and will "wipe out" the "terrorists" there.
For months Moscow has been urging Kiev to de-escalate tensions in the east, stop its military operations and hold an all-inclusive dialogue on constitutional reform in Ukraine.
Russia & China: ‘No to sanctions rhetoric, or regime change in other countries’
Moscow and Beijing reject the imposition of sanctions as political tools & condemn attempts at “encouraging and financing” regime change in other countries, in a joint statement made during President Putin’s official visit to China.
Having faced economic sanctions and threats of more to come from the West, Russia has now turned to the East, seeking to boost business ties in a friendlier environment.
An impressive package of deals on energy, business and infrastructure has already been signed in Shanghai.
More is yet to come, judging by the title of the joint statement by Beijing and Moscow, which promises “a new stage in full-scale partnership and strategic relations.”
Boosting mutual trade is not all there is to that “new stage,” as, following the meeting with Xi, the Russian president shares his expectations of closer cooperation between the countries in international politics.
“We have common priorities on a global and a regional scale,” Putin says. “We’ve agreed upon closer coordination of our foreign policy steps, including those in the UN, BRICS and APEC,” he adds.
Among attitudes Russia and China share, is their mutual dislike of economic restrictions imposed for political reasons.
“The parties stress the necessity to… reject unilateral sanctions rhetoric,” the joint statement reads.
Economic restrictions applied as a punishment are no better than financial aid to forces that seek“a change in the constitutional system of another country,”the Russian-Chinese statement says.
Moscow feels bitter about the role it believes the US played in the Ukrainian coup. Russia accuses Washington of investing $5 billion in regime change in Kiev.
A number of European politicians, meanwhile, admit that the EU might have been pressing Ukraine too hard to sign the integration deal which, according to German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, possibly gave an “impression in Ukraine that it had to decide between Russia and the EU."
The ongoing political crisis in Ukraine can only be resolved peacefully, Putin and Xi Jinping believe, and they call on political opponents in Ukraine to switch from confrontation to dialogue.
"The sides urge all Ukrainian regions and public and political groups to enter into broad nation- wide talks; develop jointly a concept of further constitutional development of the country, envisaging the full observation of universally recognized rights and the freedoms of people," the statement reads.
Russia and China also call for the creation of new “universal rules of behavior in information space,” citing concerns at some communication technologies “running contrary to international stability and security, damaging countries’ sovereignty and violating personal privacy.”
The ‘rules for internet’ comment comes as the US and China trade accusations over online espionage.
A grand jury in the US recently indicted five Chinese military - allegedly officers of an elite cyber squad - with hacking into US networks and stealing sensitive business information from US companies.
China dismisses all the US accusations and has published proof that the US is actually stealing data from China.
UN REPORT SAYS NO FOOD/WATER AND SITUATION "DETERIORATING"
The Kiev government is responsible for the ongoing humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine, a political analyst says.
“We can blame the military operation launched by Kiev and this is not just a military operation.
"It hasn't just used Ukrainian army forces; it has also used militias, irregular troops, terrorist units, & simple violent hooligans,” says Manuel Ochsenreiter, chief editor of Zuerst news magazine.
He holds the Kiev government and not Donetsk and Lugansk or even Moscow, accountable for the ongoing crisis.
The acting Kiev government has been staging military operations in the eastern and southern regions since mid-April in a bid to stop anti-coup demonstrations.
130 people have been killed so far, during clashes and operations by Ukrainian troops in the east and south, according to the UN.
“It’s a very cynical interpretation of the situation to say, well, you wanted to be independent, now starve, don’t find a doctor, don’t get medicine,” the analyst points out.
KIEV REGIME BOMBING RESIDENTIAL AREAS
Ukraine’s government troops stationed outside the eastern city of Slavyansk in Donetsk region have targeted residential areas of the city.
Several houses were destroyed, 'though there have been no reports of fatalities yet.
The attacks spark anger among residents, and anti-Kiev sentiments continue to rise.
"The ‘active phase’ of the Ukrainian security forces’ operation continued in Slavyansk and Kramatorsk during the night.
"The Molocharsky market was almost completely destroyed. Fighter jets were flying over the city all night long.
"Ukrainian army tanks attempted to enter the area from Izium city in the Kharkov region. However, we placed our military hardware in their way," a spokesperson for the local self- defense headquarters said.
The acting Kiev government has been staging military attacks in the south-east since mid-April.
'STILL TIME - BUT NOT LONG'
A political analyst says peace and unity can still be achieved in Ukraine if the interim authorities in Kiev stop their military attacks.
“If they stop the so-called anti-terrorist operation, if they stop bombing and bombarding the cities where Russian-speaking people live, I think that peace is still achievable and Ukraine will stay as one country,”Dmitry Babich, radio host of Voice of Russia, says.
The longer ongoing military operations continue, the less chance there will be, that Ukraine will stay a united country, he adds.
The commentator says the call by Russia's President Vladimir Putin on the interim regime in Kiev to immediately withdraw its troops from eastern Ukraine, is an attempt to de-escalate the crisis.
“I think that he [Putin] never escalated the crisis. From the very beginning Russia has been calling for an end of violence in the east of Ukraine,” Babich says.
He holds the Kiev government accountable for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as it sent troops to the southeast of the country against so-called terrorists, but they have failed to achieve any success - despite several weeks of fighting.
“Also, Putin has always called for dialogue,” the analyst points out.
U.S. foreign policy "shortsighted": Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says that the overall policy of the United States to his country and the international business community is "shortsighted" and moving towards a new Cold War.
Washington has put ideology ahead of mutual market benefits, which is a road leading to nowhere, Medvedev tells Bloomberg TV in an exclusive interview, citing the refusal of US and European companies to attend the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum due later this week, as evidence.
"That's too bad, that shortsighted position reminds us of Soviet policy in a certain period. It looks like we just swapped positions," he says, adding that the current US approach ruins international trade.
He adds that Moscow is disappointed with the White House's handling of the Ukrainian crisis, which is dragging Russia-U.S. relations even further toward a new Cold War.
"It's regrettable that all results we've reached are being effectively nullified by those (US President Barack Obama's) decisions," the Russian PM says.
He says that Obama is no longer capable of making "restrained, accurate and smart decisions," as he is guided by a desire to show the Congress that "the United States does not fear Russians."
The prime minister notes that sanctions imposed by Washington and its allies have not affected the Russian economy so far, but urges those countries to take responsible measures.
He also dismisses allegations that Russia looks forward to integrating more Ukrainian territories, adding all parties should work for de-escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, or see a "civil war", in his words.
On Russia possibly intervening militarily, he does not commit to whether Moscow guarantees non-intervention in Ukrainian events, or not.
"We are not obliged to guarantee anyone anything because we never took those obligations in regard to this issue," Medvedev says. "We are proceeding with the fact that the main goal is not guaranteeing anyone anything, but calming the situation."
On Sunday, Ukraine held snap presidential elections, which eastern regions such as Donetsk and L