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Tuesday April 24th, 2018

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Europe: Paris suspect Abdeslam found guilty, handed 20 years in Brussels shootout
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 469 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[IsraelTimes] Belgian-born French national also awaits trial for November 2015 terror rampage in which 130 were killed

A Belgian court on Monday found Salah Abdeslam, the last surviving suspect in the Gay Paree attacks, guilty of terrorism-related attempted murder over a shootout with police in Brussels days before his capture in 2016, and sentenced him to 20 years in jail.

In its judgment, the court in the Belgian capital said "there can be no doubt" about jihadist Abdeslam and his co-defendant Sofiane Ayari’s involvement in extremism.

Abdeslam, 28, a Belgian-born French national, was transported to the court from La Belle France for the first day of the trial amid tight security including a helicopter escort, while Tunisian national Ayari, 24, is in jail in Belgium.

Three coppers were maimed in the shootout after police acting on a tip-off over the Gay Paree attacks raided a flat in the Forest area of Brussels on March 15, 2016.

Abdeslam was tossed in the calaboose
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
three days later in the largely immigrant Molenbeek area of the Belgian capital, near his family home.

The Belgian trial is a prelude to a bigger one that Abdeslam will face in La Belle France at a later date over the November 13, 2015, Gay Paree attacks, claimed by the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
jihadist group, in which 130 people were killed.

Abdeslam’s brother Brahim was one of the jacket wallahs.


Europe: Far-Right Group Attacks Migrants on Greek Island
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 611 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[AnNahar] A far-right group made a violent attack overnight on migrants colonists staging a sit-in protest on the Greek island of Lesbos, injuring around a dozen people, police said Monday.

The violence erupted like lava from a volcano late Sunday after members of the radical Patriotic Movement gathered on the central square of the island's main city Mytilene, where some 200 Afghan asylum-seekers launched the demonstration last week against their squalid living conditions.

Despite a police presence, the situation soon escalated as members of the group threw bottles and lit flares, shouting slogans like "burn them alive" and "throw them in the sea."

Tensions spiraled further when leftwing activists arrived to defend the migrants colonists and started fighting with the far-right supporters.

The festivities raged all night until security forces used tear gas to disperse the crowd and evacuate the square, forcing the Afghans to return to their overcrowded camps.

A dozen asylum-seekers were lightly hurt and had to be taken to hospital, police said.

The mayor of Lesbos, Spyros Galinos, accused police of intervening too late, in a letter addressed to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and opposition leaders.

Galinos also criticized the government's "inertia and wrong handling" of the migrant crisis, which has "stranded thousands of people in miserable conditions in a city of 27,000."

The prime minister is due to visit Lesbos, currently home to some 6,500 migrants colonists -- far exceeding the 3,000 spots available in the camps.

More than one million people, mainly fleeing war in Syria, crossed to Greece from The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the decaying remnant of the Ottoman Empire....
in 2015 after the onset of the bloc's worst migration crisis since World War II.

The influx has been sharply cut since the European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
signed a controversial deal with Turkey in 2016 to send back migrants colonists.

However,
a clean conscience makes a soft pillow...
more than 13,000 migrants colonists are still languishing in camps on five Greek islands until their asylum claims can be processed. This has fueled despair and sparked protests and outbreaks of violence.

Greece, a country of 11 million people, recorded 58,661 asylum applications last year, making it the member state with the highest number of asylum seekers per capita, according to official data.


Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Gaza briefs: bomb/rocket kills Hamas militant, 2 more protesters die, 4 fence-crossers nabbed
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 554 words Read the whole thing on page 1


Hamas man reported killed, 3 injured in Gaza explosion

[IsraelTimes] A man was reported killed and three others were injured Monday in an explosion in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian media reported. The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry identified the man killed in Beit Lahiya as 55-year-old Mohammed Nimr Maqadmah. Chanel 10 news, citing Gaza media outlets, said Maqadmah was a member of the Hamas terror group’s military wing. One of those injured was said to be a child.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately known. Terror operatives have in the past been killed while handling explosives.
Ynet adds:
A 50-year-old Paleostinian man was killed in an kaboom in the northern Gazoo Strip on Monday morning. Another person, believed to be the man's son, was maimed in the incident.
Another Ynet article adds:
Hamas, the well-beloved offspring of the Moslem Brotherhood,'s Military Wing said he was killed by a rocket fired by an unnamed rival organization in Gazoo.

2 Palestinians die of wounds sustained in Gaza protests

[Ynet] Two identified as 18-year-old who was shot in head earlier this month and 20-year-old son of senior Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth", commander killed in festivities with more radical snuffies in 2009; Monday’s deaths raise to 34 the number of Paleostinians killed in mass protests along the border since March 30.
The Times of Israel adds:
The Hamas, the well-beloved offspring of the Moslem Brotherhood,-run Gazoo Strip health ministry front man named the latest fatalities as Tahrir Wahada, 18, and Abdullah Shamali, 20.

IDF nabs 4 unarmed Palestinians trying to cross from Gaza

[Ynet] Four unarmed Paleostinians were caught by the IDF while trying to cross the border fence from Gazoo. They were detained for questioning.


Southeast Asia: Malaysian police issue sketches of suspects in hit on Hamas rocket expert
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 2 Comments 267 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[IsraelTimes] Men in killing ascribed to Mossad described as being of Middle Eastern or European descent, well-built, 1.80 meters tall; officials say no threat made to family of Fadi al-Batsh

Malaysian police on Monday issued facial composites of two suspects in the shooting of a Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth", rocket and drone expert bumped off over the weekend, in what the Paleostinian terror group says was an liquidation by Israel.

Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, 35, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Saturday in the country’s capital, according to Malaysian authorities.

Royal Malaysia Police Inspector-General Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said Sunday the suspects were male, around 1.80 meters tall, well-built, had fair complexions, and were believed to be of Middle Eastern or Western descent.

Harun said the composite images were based on eyewitness descriptions.

The suspects had been riding BMW and Kawasaki cycle of violences and it was not clear if they were still in the country, he added.

Harun said 14 bullets were recovered from the body of the victim after an autopsy and had been sent for forensic examination.

He noted that no threat had been made against Batsh’s family.
#1: I hate to tell you, Mossad is far better than that shot group. I would be looking for Hamas instead. They had some problem before...
Posted by: newc|| 2018-04-24 02:06 ||Comments

#2: I'm thinking this is a Malaysian mob hit. Hama probably tried to operate in someone else territory, raising the ire of someone who should not have been messed with.
Posted by: Seeking Cure For Ignorance|| 2018-04-24 04:36 ||Comments



Terror Networks: Islamic State calls for attacks on Arab states, shifting focus from West
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 607 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[IsraelTimes] Spokesman for jihadist terror group says there is no difference between attacking Paleostinians, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or their 'American Crusader allies'

The official Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
front man on Sunday published a call for the jihadist terror group’s adherents to focus their attacks on Arab states, diverging from his previous policy of urging assaults on Western targets.

In an audio-recording that ran for nearly an hour, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir said there was no difference between fighting the Paleostinians, Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
, Egypt, or Iran and "their American Crusader allies, or the Russians or the Europeans," the New York Times

...which still proudly displays Walter Duranty's Pulitzer prize...

reported along with an English-language translation of some of his comments.

Arab states should be attacked because they are "apostates," Muhajir said, using the terror group’s term to describe Sunni Moslems who do not follow its krazed killer version of the faith.

The Arabs were in fact worse than Western nations, as they were "more fierce and vicious against Islam."

Muhajir’s last speech was released in June 2017, when he called for lone-wolf attacks ‐ assaults not directed by an official organization ‐ in Europe
...also known as Moslem Lebensraum...
and North America.

The Islamic State group has lost some 97 percent of the territory it seized for its self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Muhajir replaced the previous US front man Abu Mohammad al-Adnani who was killed in Syria in 2016, apparently in a US Arclight airstrike.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Israel hits Syria artillery position after mortar hits Golan
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 356 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[IsraelTimes] The Israeli army attacks a Syrian artillery position after a mortar shell strikes near the border on the northern Golan Heights, in an apparent case of spillover fighting from Syria’s civil war, the army says.

The army targeted an artillery cannon belonging to Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad’s military, which was in the same area of the Syrian Golan Heights from which the mortar shell was fired.

"The IDF sees the Syrian regime as responsible for every action in its territory and will not tolerate violations of the illusory sovereignty of the State of Israel and the security of its citizens," the army says in a statement.
Ynet adds:
No one was hurt in the stray mortar fire, which landed east of the border fence near Quneitra.

Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Light of the Alawites...
's’s army has been seeking in recent weeks to create a logistical disconnect between areas in his war-torn country controlled by the rebels near the border with Israel in a possible preparatory move to stage a major maneuver to regain control of the Syrian Golan Heights.

Three months ago, Assad’s army scored a victory with the capture of the Syrian Hermon and regained control over the Syrian town of Beit Jann by, inter alia, dropping explosives from helicopters flying a few kilometers from the Israeli border.

Around 80 percent of the territory adjacent to the Israeli border is controlled by a combination of fighters from various Syrian rebel groups and the Free Syria Army, with ISIS being pushed to the the southern end of the Hermon. Assad controls the northern Hermon.


Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Blazing kites from Gaza set fire to Israeli wheat field
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 743 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[IsraelTimes] Gazooks sent four kites affixed with flaming materials over the border on Monday, setting fire to wide swathes of a wheat field in southern Israel as Paleostinians vowed to use the new tactic to try and cause "panic and attrition among the enemy."

Local farmers in the Shaar Hanegev region called the fire brigade to extinguish the blaze on the Gazoo border, which caused no injuries, but did extensive damage. Reports said that up to 100 dunams (25 acres) of wheat was destroyed.

A farmer who lives near the border told Ynet news site that, "We are dealing with a new, destructive and dangerous phenomenon that it gaining momentum. Almost every day, we see the kites flying towards us."

Al-Jazeera
... an Arab news network headquartered in Qatar
...an emirate on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It sits on some really productive gas and oil deposits, which produces the highest per capita income in the world. They piss it all away on religion, financing the Moslem Brotherhood and several al-Qaeda affiliates. Home of nutbag holy manYusuf al-Qaradawi...
, notorious for carrying al-Qaeda press releases. The name means the Peninsula, as in the Arabian Peninsula. In recent years it has settled in to become slightly less biased than MSNBC, in about the same category as BBC or CBS...

reported Wednesday that the self-styled "Sons of Zouari" group in the Gazoo Strip announced it was responsible for the flaming kites. The group said it would burn the Israeli fields because this would deny Israelis the right to work the land they viewed as theirs, according to a clip translated and uploaded by the Middle East Media Research Institute on Monday.

In an interview, one of several masked men from the Bureij refugee camp in central Gazoo told the TV station, "These are our lands, and we have the right to return to them. We say to them, we will not let them sow our lands and enjoy them.

"We will burn your fields, which you harvest to pay for the bullets that you use to shoot children and peaceful unarmed demonstrators."

The interviewer, who referred to Israeli citizens as "settlers," asked the man what had inspired the group.

The inspiration, he replied, had come from Mohammed Zouari, a Tunisian-born member of Hamas, a contraction of the Arabic words for "frothing at the mouth",’s military wing who oversaw the manufacture of drones flown against Israel during the 2014 Israel-Gazoo war. Zouari was assassinated in Tunisia in 2016, in a hit that Hamas blamed on Israel.

The interviewee described Zouari as a man whose "new ideas and methods of resistance" were put to use in "the most glorious battles of bravery and self-sacrifice. He introduced the new method of resistance ‐ invasion by air."

The man went on, "By the grace of Allah, we have managed to implement this idea in a simplified way, through popular resistance, the goal of which is to lead to panic and attrition among the enemy."

In a separate interview by the Wattan News Agency on Friday, a different masked youth boasted that "we’ve developed something that everybody is talking about." He then explained how the Molotov cocktails were made, attached to kites, and released.

"Allah willing, it will light up and burn fields and houses," he said. "It will get to a place where it will burn a large area."

Kites carrying containers of flaming liquid have already started several fires in fields and outhouses close to the Israeli side of the border with the strip.


Iraq: Three people killed, injured in bomb blast, west of Anbar
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 230 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Three people were killed and injured in a kaboom, west of Anbar province, a security source from al-Jazeera Operations Command said on Monday.

"An explosive, from the remnants of Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
war went off while some civilians were passing by the residential complex at al-Ebeidi region in Qaim town, west of Anbar, near borders with Syria," the source told BasNews. "One civilian was killed and two others were maimed."

Moreover, the source added that "security troops seized three tunnels reaching from al-Karabla region in Qaim."

"Security troops are working on securing all the desert regions which surround the liberated areas," he added.


Iraq: Iraqi official says civilian killed in landmine explosion in Basra
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 253 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Basra (Iraqinews.com) ‐ An Iraqi civilian was killed Monday as a landmine left over from the anti-terror war went kaboom! at a border area in Basra governorate, a provincial official was quoted as saying.

Jabar al-Saadi, the head of the security committee at the Basra provincial council, told the SNG news agency that a landmine went kaboom! while a civilian was searching for minerals in Shalamcheh town on the country’s border with Iran. The kaboom left the civilian dead.

The landmine is believed to be left over from Iraq’s three-year fight against Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
, Saadi pointed out, adding that the victim was moved to the forensic medicine department.


India-Pakistan: India ditches its Stealth Fighter program.
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 2 Comments 143 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[TheDrive] It's No Surprise India Finally Ditched Its Stealth Fighter Program With Russia.

India has reportedly stopped working with Russia on the long-troubled Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft program, or FGFA, a shared effort that was supposed to produce an improved variant of the equally vexing Su-57 stealth fighter. Though hardly surprising, with years of reports that the Indian government has become increasingly disappointed in the project’s progress and the aircraft's capabilities, the decision could have significant ramifications for both countries.

On April 20, 2018, Jane’s 360 reported that the Indian Air Force had put FGFA program on indefinite hold, citing unnamed official sources. India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Defense Secretary Sanjay Mitra had reportedly told visiting Russian officials of the decision in February 2018. Similar reports also appeared in domestic Indian outlets.
#1: Buy American.

The Russian stuff is crap.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2018-04-24 00:17 ||Comments

#2: In this case, vapor-crap.
Posted by: gorb|| 2018-04-24 03:15 ||Comments



Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Iraqi warplanes kill Islamic State’s second-in-command in Syria
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 658 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) ‐ A senior Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(IS) leader was killed on Monday after Iraqi warplanes targeted a gathering of the terrorist group in Syria, an intelligence source was quoted as saying.

Speaking to Shafaq News, the source said, "Iraqi air forces launched an air strike targeting a group of IS bully boys, who were gathering at a building inside the Syrian territories, managing to kill a notorious IS leader, identified as Abu Luqman al-Suri."

Al-Suri, who is believed to be deputy of Islamic State leader His Supreme Immensity, Caliph of the Faithful and Galactic Overlord, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
...the head of ISIS, or what remains of it, and a veteran of the Abu Graib jailhouse. Looks like a new messiah to bajillions of Moslems, like just another dead-eyed mass murder to the rest of us. So far he has been killed at least four times, though not yet by a stake through the heart...
, was "in charge of recruiting suicide kaboomers and dispatching them to Iraq to carry out terrorist attacks there."

Iraq to strike Syrian sites in search of IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — MP

Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – Iraq is planning to carry out new air raids inside the Syrian territories to eliminate chief of the Islamic State (IS) group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi lawmaker was quoted as saying.

MP Abdel Aziz Hassan, the rapporteur of the Iraqi parliament’s security and defense committee, told SNG agency that the federal government in Baghdad received intelligence reports about the presence of a number of IS leaders at a border area between Iraq and Syria.

According to Hassan, “Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is expected to be at one of IS sites inside Syria,” adding that the Iraqi government will seek Syria’s approval first before launching the raid.

More on the April 19th attack
More on this report from yesterday.
[AAWSAT] An Iraqi air strike in Syria on April 19 has killed 36 ISIS myrmidons, including some of the group's leaders in Syria, an Iraqi military front man said on Sunday.

Iraqi warplanes had attacked an ISIS explosives factory
...oooohhhh secondaries!
and other positions inside Syria on Thursday, a rare air assault across the border.

A video of the operation showed two F-16 fighter jets destroying a house near the town of Hajin in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, about 50 kilometers from the Iraqi border.



Iraq: IS threats to target polling stations an attempt to gather militants
Posted by trailing wife 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 337 words Read the whole thing on page 2
Bagdad (IraqiNews.com) The Iraqi forces have responded to the threats made by Islamic State over attempts to target candidates running for the elections, considering this as attempt to gather the members.

In remarks to New al-Arabi website, Brig. Gen. Yehia Rasool, spokesperson for the Joint Operations Command, said, “It’s not the first time to have elections in Iraq. There are plans currently drawn by out troops. Operations will be carried out by our troops to arrest the remaining militants of Islamic State.”

“We are dealing with a terrorist enemy, however, we would like to reassure the Iraqi people that our forces are doing great efforts and will totally secure the balloting process,” he added.

Earlier today, IS threatened to carry out terrorist attacks at polling stations in Iraq’s parliamentary elections.

Rasool described the statement as weak and “an attempt to gather the militants, however, we are dealing with all these threats seriously.”

The Iraqi parliamentary elections is scheduled to take place on May 12. The elections were originally scheduled for September 2017, but were delayed due to the country’s fight against Islamic State.

Audio message from IS not yet verified

Baghdad (Iraqinews.com) – In an audio message released on Monday, the group’s spokesman Abul Hassan al-Mohajer said, “All those who participate in the (parliamentary) elections, whether candidates or voters, are infidels and should be dead.”

The recording has not been verified yet, according to the Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies.

Nearly 7,000 Iraqi candidates started on Sunday their campaigning for parliamentary elections, in which they compete for 329 seats.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has promised successful elections despite the challenges of stabilizing areas retaken from IS and returning millions of residents displaced by war to their homes.

In a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month, “emphasized the importance of the success of the upcoming elections to complete the building and construction phase,” a White House statement said.


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia: More on Wagner PMC
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 1 Comments 37 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[JamestownFoundation]
An informative article from Jamestown with more on the Russian PMC Wagner. This is part 2 with part 1 last month. Go to link in the title.
#1: Wagner forces are currently involved in fighting on the side of Omar al-Bashir in South Sudan. Also, Wagner different from most Russian PMCs as it trains in the same facility with GRU unit 10.
Posted by: 3dc|| 2018-04-24 00:36 ||Comments



Iraq: Iraq's An-32 Cargo Planes Turned Bombers Flew Nearly Twice As Many Strikes As its F-16s
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 28 words Read the whole thing on page 1


The Grand Turk: Turkish claim of a new mobile mine to kill even carriers
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 1 Comments 17 words Read the whole thing on page 2
#1: Pretty cool if it's true.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:34 ||Comments



Africa North: US builds drone base in Niger, crossroads of extremism fight
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 1 Comments 45 words Read the whole thing on page 1
AP again.
Go to link in title.
#1: More spending we can't afford, to fight wars that aren't ours, making fresh enemies of people who never hated us.
Posted by: Herb McCoy|| 2018-04-24 04:29 ||Comments



Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia: Armenia’s leader Serzh Sargsyan quits amid protests, saying ‘I was wrong’
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 39 words Read the whole thing on page 3
AP again so go to link.



Caribbean-Latin America: US raises Nicaragua threat level, pulls diplomats’ families
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 2 Comments 58 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[AP]
Another AP story so just hit the link in the title.
#1: I was hoping for Latin America news but what I got was:
Fearing Ethiopian dam, Egypt bans water-intensive crops

which is also timely.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:40 ||Comments

#2: Try now.
Posted by: 3dc|| 2018-04-24 00:44 ||Comments



Africa North: Fearing Ethiopian dam, Egypt bans water-intensive crops
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 24 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[AP]
It is an AP article so click the link in the title.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Tracking the Illegal Shipment of Sarin Precursor from Belgium to Syria
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 153 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[bellingcat] On 18 April 2018 Syrian Archive and Knack revealed information that Belgium violated EU sanctions against Syria according to the summons of an upcoming lawsuit. The Belgian customs found that without having requested the appropriate export licenses three Flemish companies have exported 96 tonnes of isopropanol
...known in the common parlance as rubbing alcohol, it is used in the manufacture of a wide variety of industrial and household chemicals, and is a common ingredient in chemicals such as antiseptics, disinfectants, detergents, and sarin...
in a concentration of 95% or higher to Syria since sanctions came into force in September 2013.

The Syrian Archive has worked with Belgian news outlet Knack on this investigation for the past year. All of the information was publicly or collaboratively sourced through searching online databases, submitting Freedom of Information Requests and requesting statements from authorities, courts and companies involved.


India-Pakistan: Punishments handed to judge, wife suspended in Tayyaba torture case
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 205 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[DAWN] A division bench of the Islamabad High Court on Monday suspended the one-year jail sentences handed to a judge and his wife in the Taiba torture case, which had captured the country's attention in late December 2016.

The IHC had last week sentenced additional district and sessions judge (ADSJ) Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife Maheen to one year each in prison and ordered them to pay a fine of Rs50,000 each for keeping the then 10-year-old child maid Taiba in wrongful confinement, burning her hand over a missing broom, beating her with a ladle, detaining her in a storeroom, and threatening her of "dire consequences".

The statements of a total of 19 prosecution witnesses were recorded during the course of the proceedings, including that of Taiba's parents.

Following the sentencing, the court approved their bail applications against surety bonds of Rs50,000. The convicts were given seven days to appeal against the verdict.

Raja Khurram and Maheen challenged the sentences through their lawyers Raja Rizwan Abbasi and Advocate Sohail Warraich who were present in court today before a two-judge division bench comprising justices Athar Minallah and Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb.

The bench subsequently suspended the sentences and adjourned the case until the second week of May.



Afghanistan: IS accused of beheading trio of brothers in Nangarhar
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 341 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[DAWN] Three brothers have been beheaded in restive eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday, blaming the gruesome executions on Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
group fighters.

The men aged 19, 24 and 27 were taken from their home and killed by IS on Sunday night in Chaparhar district in Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
province, provincial governor front man Ataullah Khogyani told AFP.

Nangarhar borders Pakistain and is a stronghold for IS krazed killers.

Two of the brothers recently graduated from medical school and the third was still at university, Khogyani said, adding the boys' father was also killed by IS last year.

"Their bodies were found in Chaparhar district where they lived," said the front man.



India-Pakistan: Christian woman attacked with acid for refusing marriage proposal dies
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 431 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[DAWN] A Christian woman, who was hospitalised with 90 per cent burns in a Lahore hospital after she came under an acid attack last week for reportedly turning down a Moslem man's marriage proposal, succumbed to her wounds on Monday after putting up a five-day long fight for life.

According to the dear departed girl's father, Yaqub Masih, a man named Rizwan threw acid on his daughter Asima, 24, on April 18.

Yaqub, a labourer of Pakpura area in Sialkot, said her daughter had refused to marry Rizwan because of the difference of religion. He said according to the local doctors, 90pc body of Asima was burnt in the acid attack.

She had to be shifted to the Mayo Hospital in Lahore due to her life-threatening injuries. There is no burn unit at the Government Allama Iqbal Memorial Teaching Hospital in Sialkot.

Yaqub said instead of registering the acid throwing case, the Sialkot Civil Line police had changed the nature of the crime in the first information report, stating she was set ablaze by the accused.

He had alleged that police exploited them because of their illiteracy, and got their thumb impressions on blank papers.

The family with other local Christians had protested against the police for changing the nature of the offence in the FIR.

The family and other Christians had demanded that Chief Justice of Pakistain Saqib Nisar, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif
...Pak dynastic politician, brother of PM Nawaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab...
and Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz take notice of the offence.

District Police Officer (DPO) Asad Sarfraz Khan had told news hounds at the time that the police had included the acid-throwing clause in the case.

He said a department probe had also been ordered against the police officials for misleading the nature of the offense in the FIR.

The DPO had also informed the media that his department had managed to arrest Rizwan after the FIR was registered.



India-Pakistan: MQM 'hitman' Raees Mama confesses to 59 murders
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 439 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[DAWN] Raees alias Mama ‐ the alleged MQM hitman who was extradited to Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
through Interpol last month ‐ has admitted to killing 59 people, DawnNewsTV reported citing an investigation report.

The report, a copy of which is available with DawnNewsTV, has Raees making a number of major confessions regarding his time as a gun for hire.

"In 2010, I was made the in charge of a 10-man button man team," he was quoted as saying. "We had made a torture cell at a sector office where our rivals were tortured and their corpses were dumped later."

"All the directives used to be issued by the leadership in London," Raees said.

Raees, in the report, owns up to killing eight and injuring several others near Baloch Colony during the infamous May 12 carnage of 2007.

Also among his tally of 59 killings were five politicians who had met MQM-Haqiqi Chairman Afaq Ahmed in jail, four Jeay Sindh political workers, SP Shah Mohammad and Dr Dilshan (both in 2012), and KDA Assistant Director Abdul Jammad Mangi ‐ who was reportedly assassinated at the behest of Hammad Siddiqui and Nadeem Nusrat.

The report says that Raees also confessed to murders of four MQM-Haqiqi workers each in a 2012 attack on a taxi and during the 2013 general elections, as well as the 2014 murder of Anti-encroachment Assistant Director Amir Zia.

He also admitted to being involved in kidnapping for ransom, China cutting, land grabbing, extortion as well as other crimes of serious nature.

Raees, although extradited to Karachi last month, is believed to have been placed in durance vile
You have the right to remain silent...
in Malaysia in December 2017. He had reportedly fled the country when the Karachi operation was launched.



Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Minister Warns Hamas of Retaliation if it Targets Israeli Officers Abroad
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 446 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[AAWSAT] Israel did not officially admit to the liquidation of Paleostinian scientist Fadi al-Batsh in Malaysia with its Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman saying it was likely part of "settling scores" between Paleostinian factions.

Israeli experts and analysts, however, agreed that such a "clean" operation done with precision was most probably executed by the likes of the Mossad Israeli intelligence.

Meanwhile,
...back at the wine tasting, Vince was about to start on his third quart...
Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz warned the Hamas, one of the armed feet of the Moslem Brüderbung millipede, leadership against threatening Israeli officers abroad, warning that Tel Aviv will retaliate by targeting the movement’s bigwigs.

"I suggest that (Hamas politburo chief Ismail) Haniyeh talk less and be more careful," Katz cautioned on Sunday, adding: "Gazoo is much closer than Malaysia."

He said an attack against Israelis abroad would be crossing a red line, threatening that it would lead to the resumption of Israel's assassination policy.

"Hamas officials in Gazoo, with (Haniyeh) among them, are expected to be hurt badly."

"Haniyeh and his friends should be careful before they speak ... because Israel's ability to hurt them will be absolute, hard and swift," Katz went on to say.

On Saturday, Batsh, 35, was assassinated by button men while he was on his way to morning prayers at a mosque near his house in Gombak north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

When asked about accusations that Israel killed the scientist, Katz indicated that it does not comment on such incidents.

"But based on what has been reported so far about the profession of the man who was assassinated, and based on the cries of despair from the heads of Hamas in Gazoo, it turns out he was not such a great saint, and the citizens of Israel have no reason to shed a tear over him," he stressed.


Arabia: Houthi Commander Killed in Arab Coalition Air Strike in Hodeidah
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 307 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[AAWSAT] The Iran-backed terrorist Houthi
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ...
militia announced on Monday that one of its commanders, Saleh al-Sammad, was killed.

Sources confirmed that he was killed in an air strike by the Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, reported al-Arabiya television. The strike was carried out on Thursday in the al-Hodeidah region.

Sammad was head of the so-called Houthi political council and the second most wanted figure on a list released by the Arab coalition. A reward of 20 million dollars had been put up for any information that would lead to his arrest.

The sources said that the coalition strike targeted his vehicle as he was traveling in southern Hodeidah. Over 20 leading Houthi figures were also killed in the attack.

Yemeni government front man Rajeh Badi told al-Arabiya that Sammad’s death dealt a strong blow to the Houthis.


Arabia: Military Operations Accelerate on 3 Axes in Yemen
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 503 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[AAWSAT] Military operations in Saada, Taiz and al-Bayda governorates have accelerated in favor of the legitimacy, Yemeni army front man Lieutenant Abdo Majali said.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, Majali stressed that the military option was the most appropriate solution in face of the Houthis' rejection of peace and refusal to implement the three references.

Majali indicated that the military is closing in on Iranian-backed Houthi
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ...
militias, especially after the liberation of al-Qaniya area in al-Bayda province, and the major progress in Saada, Houthis stronghold, along with Taiz, Hays and al-Jarahi districts on the west coast.

The front man recounted the advancements saying there was significant progress in the front of al-Bayda. The army was able to take full control of al-Masudah and al-Arr mountains and progressed towards al-Wahhabiah areas.

He indicated that the national army was progressively advancing at Karsh front towards al-Rahida city.

"Houthi militias are retreating in light of the concentrated strikes of the coalition aircraft," he said, explaining the great coordination between the national army and the Arab coalition led by Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
since the beginning of operations until now.

Majali believes the military solution is the safest way to confront these Iranian militias, which reject peace.

"The military option is the safest as long as Houthi militias reject peace and the implementation of the three references: Gulf initiative, outcomes of national dialogue, and UN Resolution 2216," indicated the front man.



Arabia: Arab Coalition Intercepts 2 Missiles Fired at Saudi’s Jizan from Yemen
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 547 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[AAWSAT] The air defense of the Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen
...an area of the Arabian Peninsula sometimes mistaken for a country. It is populated by more antagonistic tribes and factions than you can keep track of. Except for a tiny handfull of Jews everthing there is very Islamic...
intercepted on Monday two ballistic missiles fired by the Houthi
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ...
militias in Yemen against Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
The rockets were targeting the southwestern region of Jizan.

Coalition front man Colonel Turki al-Malki said that the missiles were detected at 4:23 pm on Monday.

They were headed to the city of Jizan and deliberately targeting residential and populated areas, he added.

The air defense downed the missiles with shrapnel landed on some residential areas. No one was injured and no damage was reported from the incident, Malki stressed.

This hostile act by the Iran-backed Houthi militias proves Tehran’s ongoing armament of the group in a clear and blatant defiance of United Nations
...an organization conceived in the belief that we're just one big happy world, with the sort of results you'd expect from such nonsense...
Security Council resolution 2216 and 2231, he continued.

He deemed such attacks a threat to the security of Saudi Arabia, the region and the world, he stated.

Missiles fired at residential regions is a violation of International Humanitarian Law, he declared.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Iran FM Seeking to Dissuade Trump against Withdrawing from Nuclear Deal
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 340 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[AAWSAT] Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif stated on Monday that European countries that signed the 2015 nuclear must convince US President Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
not to exit the accord.

He said in a series of tweets: "It is either all or nothing. European leaders should encourage Trump not just to stay in the nuclear deal, but more important to begin implementing his part of the bargain in good faith."

There is no "plan B", he stressed.

Under Iran’s settlement with the US, La Belle France, Germany, Britannia, Russia and China, Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program to satisfy the powers that it could not be used to develop atomic bombs. In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were lifted in January 2016.

Trump has given the European signatories a May 12 deadline to "fix the terrible flaws" of the 2015 nuclear deal, or he will refuse to extend US sanctions relief on Iran.

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a Fox News Sunday interview he has no "plan B" for the deal and the US should stay in the agreement as long as there is no better option.

"President Macron is correct in saying there is no "plan B" on JCPOA," Zarif Tweeted. The JCPOA or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is the formal name of the accord.

Iran has said it will stick to the accord as long as the other parties respect it, but will "shred" the deal if Washington pulls out.


Iraq: UAE to Rebuild Iraq’s Iconic Mosul Mosque Destroyed by ISIS
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 227 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[AAWSAT] The United Arab Emirates announced on Monday that the Gulf state will offer $50 million to rebuild djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri that was destroyed during last year’s battle against the ISIS terrorist group in Iraq.

UAE Culture Minister Noura al-Kaabi said her country would put forward $50.4 million (41.2 million euros) for the task.

"The five-year project is not just about rebuilding the mosque, the minaret and the infrastructure, but also about giving hope to young Iraqis," she said during a ceremony at Baghdad's National Museum.

She called on the international community "to unite to protect universal heritage sites, especially those in our Arab region" in theaters of conflict.

"The millenia-old civilization must be preserved."

The deal was signed by Kaabi and her Iraqi counterpart, Faryad Rawanduzi, in the presence of UNESCO's Iraq representative Louise Haxthausen.

"This is an ambitious, highly symbolic project for the resurrection of Mosul and Iraq," said Haxthausen.

"The work has already begun, the site is now protected... we must first clear the site, remove the rubble (and) document, before we can begin reconstructing the mosque and its minaret."


Bangladesh: Another narrow escape from rape in a bus
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 175 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Dhaka Tribune] Another woman in Dhaka has narrowly escaped sexual assault on a local bus.

Students from Uttara University took control of around 40 buses owned by the Great Turag Company in front of the BNS Centre in Uttara on Monday after it was revealed that the staff on one of their buses tried to assault a female student on Saturday.

They are demanding fair investigations into the sexual harassment of the female student from the university while she was travelling in a Great Turag bus around 12:45pm Saturday.

According to students, the girl got on the bus from Badda Link Road to go to Uttara. After a while, she noticed that the bus had stopped taking passengers.

Panicked at suddenly finding herself alone and suspicious at the conductor and the driver’s behaviour, she jumped off the window of the running bus to get to safety.

Later, her husband filed a case against the Great Turag Company at Gulshan cop shoppe.



Home Front: Politix: Romney Loses Utah GOP Convention, Derailing Senate Coronation
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 3 Comments 400 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[NYMAG] Months before 84-year-old Utah senator Orrin Hatch
...Republican Senator-for-Life from Utah. The state does have two senators but nobody can remember who the other guy is...
announced his retirement, polls showed Willard Mitt Romney
...former governor of Massachussetts, the Publican nominee for president in 2012. He is the son of the former governor of Michigan, George Romney, who himself ran for president after saving American Motors from failure, though not permanently. Romney has a record as a successful businessman, heading Bain Capital, and he rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from the midst of bribery and mismanagement scandals....
easily winning the race to replace him. When Romney received Hatch’s blessing to enter the contest, and quickly secured an endorsement from President Trump, he had every reason to think that he’d sail to victory. But that’s not how things work for Willard Mitt Romney.

Romney was narrowly defeated at Saturday’s Republican state convention, receiving 49 percent of the vote to state Representative Mike Kennedy’s 51 percent. That means he’ll have to face a primary race, like some pleb who wasn’t governor of Massachusetts and the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, with a car elevator to boot.

While this is a setback, Romney is still very likely to win the Senate race in November. He’d already qualified for the June 26 primary ballot by collecting more than 28,000 signatures ‐ which Romney pointed to as the reason for his second-place finish. As the Salt Lake Tribune reports, for the past few years Utah conservatives have been fighting to overturn the law that allows signature gathering, since it weakens the power of the state convention.

"I know there were many people who were not enthusiastic about someone gathering signatures," Romney said, adding that pursuing the nomination through both signatures and the convention "was right for me. I’m glad I did it that way."

#1: Perhaps he can run as a Democrat. Democrats run as Republicans all the time and then if they lose the Dem won, and if they win the Dem covertly won.
Posted by: rjschwarz|| 2018-04-24 00:36 ||Comments

#2: an endorsement from President Trump

I actually think Trump knew he was going to lose round 1 but endorsed him to let him know who's the big boss, the electorate.
Posted by: Ulaigum Ebbineng7056|| 2018-04-24 00:42 ||Comments

#3: He can't even win at home.
Must have done something to piss off the temple.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:56 ||Comments



Caribbean-Latin America: Report: Red Cross Spent 25 Percent Of Haiti Donations On Internal Expenses
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 4 Comments 19 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[NPR.ORG]
#1: Somebody's gotta admin those Clinton donations.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:41 ||Comments

#2: And the rest went straight to Switzerland?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2018-04-24 03:59 ||Comments

#3: No. It went straight to the Cayman Islands. IRS can get information on deposits in Switzerland now.
Posted by: Seeking Cure For Ignorance|| 2018-04-24 04:29 ||Comments

#4: If you give at St. Patrick's kitchen, you can stay on have a plate. Beyond that, it becomes a vast mystery.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2018-04-24 04:43 ||Comments



Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia: Managing Potential Flashpoints Between Russia and the West in Eurasia
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 1 Comments 532 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Carnegie - more US central viewpoint] U.S.-Russia relations are unlikely to improve soon, yet they need to avoid future clashes. The years since the Cold War provide some lessons on how to do that.

While future clashes over Eurasia are possible, they are limited to a small number of issues. This is in part because U.S. engagement with Eurasia has declined since former president George W. Bush was in office. Moving forward, however, potential problems could arise from the political dysfunction in Washington, where the Trump administration has yet to develop clear policies toward Russia or Eurasia. An inward-looking United States that is lukewarm toward its NATO commitments or its partnerships with Georgia, Ukraine, or other Eurasian states could lead to fewer frictions with Russia. However, if the administration reaffirms its ties to the region, as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the region suggests it may do, tension with Moscow could rise.

On the other end of the spectrum, Russia no longer feels bound by the post–Cold War order, which it believes is against its national interests. Kremlin policymakers—many of whom have backgrounds in the security services and are deeply distrustful of the United States—have shown greater willingness to go toe-to-toe with the West since 2014. Eurasia is a relatively easy place for Russia to demonstrate its clout with few costs. Intervening militarily or politically in one of its Eurasian neighbors does not risk the same sort of direct confrontation with the West as an attack on the Baltic states—now NATO members—would. However, such an intervention would still cause tension, risk additional sanctions, and lead to further isolation from the West. It also would reinforce Western views of Russia as a threat to the rules-based international system.

Beyond the politics playing out in both capitals, any surprise events—such as an unintended Russia-NATO military escalation, unpredictable political transitions, tensions between Russia and several of its neighbors, or a populist backlash against a sitting Eurasian state government—could test the U.S.-Russia relationship. In addition, an increase in U.S. military and security cooperation with Central Asia to support a surge of troops in Afghanistan could meet resistance from the Kremlin. The Trump administration’s recent decision to cease security cooperation with Pakistan increases the chances for greater U.S. outreach to Central Asia on Afghanistan and has the potential to increase tensions.

Given Moscow’s growing economic and diplomatic reliance on Beijing, it also is more likely that the Russian media will focus on U.S. military or security activities in Central Asia, as opposed to China’s expanding security activities there. The Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy makes clear that it anticipates the renewal of geopolitical competition, with both Russia and China as U.S. adversaries, and it even highlights Central Asia as a likely battleground. Finally, Ukraine will remain contentious at least through its 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections, while the war in eastern Ukraine will remain a barrier to improved East-West ties for the foreseeable future.
A long article at the title link
#1: many of whom have backgrounds in the security services and are deeply distrustful of the United States

I wonder why?
Could it be the butchery of Serbia?
Or American meddling in Ukraine?
Or the willingness of US "elites" to provoke conflict with Russia for internal political reasons (it's hardly Russia's fault that Hillary is in-electable)?
Neh, it's just unreasonable Russian paranoia.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2018-04-24 03:56 ||Comments



Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia: Russian-U.S. Flashpoints in the Post-Soviet Space: The View From Moscow
Posted by 3dc 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 275 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Carnegie-Moscow] Russian-U.S. relations are at their worst since the end of the Cold War. The only predictable dynamic in this relationship is that it is likely to be worse tomorrow than today. On both sides, there are multiple explanations for this state of affairs.

The Kremlin’s new pattern of thinking viewed offense as the best defense; Russia would exploit various opportunities around the world to weaken its Western opponents and undercut their interests.

As Moscow embarks on this activist foreign policy, the number of flashpoints around the world where Russian and U.S. interests can clash is on the rise. Much attention has been paid to the Middle East and Europe as the top potential hotspots for incidents and conflict between the two powers. Russia intervened boldly in Syria to support the regime of President Bashar Assad and increased its cyber activities against the United States and European countries. There has also been a dramatic rise in Russian military aircraft encounters with civil and military planes in close proximity to the airspace of U.S. allies in NATO or Asia.

The post-Soviet space, however, is probably the most fertile ground for potential flashpoints between Russia and the United States. The risks of miscalculation and misunderstanding between Moscow and Washington in the republics of the former Soviet Union may be graver than in other hotspots because of the Kremlin and White House’s asymmetry in capabilities and sensitivities in the region. Managing these flashpoints will require special attention from decision makers on both sides.
Long background article at the title link.


-Lurid Crime Tales-: Trump Is Right: A ‘Pakistani Mystery Man’ Has Documents Wasserman Schultz Didn’t Want Prosecutors To See
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 5 Comments 480 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[DAILYCALLER] On Friday, President Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
tweeted: "Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC Server that they refused to give to the FBI, the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
...Congresswoman from Florida, the abrasive chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She has been a politician since 1992, and prior to that was in training as a political science major. Her primary accomplishment seems to be that she's Jewish...
Servers and Documents held by the Pak mystery man and Clinton Emails."

Trump appears to have accurately identified a key issue with the "Pak mystery man" that comes straight from court documents.
  • Lawyers for Pak-born Imran Awan currently have a copy of the contents of a laptop with the username RepDWS

  • Wasserman Schultz wanted to block prosecutors from seeing what was on it

  • Imran’s lawyers have attempted to set up a situation where it is up to Imran whether prosecutors can see the laptop, claiming "attorney client privilege"

  • Other analysts say the laptop should be fair game for review
Each twist has increased the intrigue:
  • On Feb. 2, 2017, Imran was banned from the House computer network for making "unauthorized access" to congressional data, according to the House inspector general

  • This happened not long after Wasserman Schultz was fired from the DNC after a cyber breach, yet she refused to fire Imran or even put him on paid leave, claiming that an IT aide didn’t need to access the internet to do his job

  • Wasserman Schultz’s refusal to fire him meant he had continued physical access to the congressional office buildings, even though all of his other part-time employers fired him and he knew there was an ongoing criminal investigation

  • On April 5, 2017, despite not being allowed to connect to the House network, he was in possession of a laptop with the username RepDWS and left it in a phone booth, where it was picked up by police who confiscated it because they recognized that it was left there by a criminal suspect
#1: It is her l3sbian homemade shoot with Hillary.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2018-04-24 00:18 ||Comments

#2: Gads! Now I'll need a grapefruit spoon to scrape that image out of my skull.
Posted by: gorb|| 2018-04-24 00:47 ||Comments

#3: Too late, Darth! It's SEARED, SEARED into my memory......
/channeling Jawn F'c'n Kerry
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2018-04-24 00:59 ||Comments

#4: Argh! Plucking out my eyes! The Horror! Darth, The Horror!
Posted by: magpie|| 2018-04-24 04:05 ||Comments

#5: The next court date is set for May 4, though could be postponed a sixth time.

Another betrayal coming on Cassinga Day. Who could have known ?
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2018-04-24 04:41 ||Comments



-Lurid Crime Tales-: Woman calls cops on man playing with his kids at park because she was afraid of his pro-gun shirt
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 1 Comments 856 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[THEBLAZE] On Saturday, Blue Lives Matter reported that the man’s shirt was not only upsetting the woman, but reportedly others in the vicinity as well.
This is in Texas. Texas, mind you!
Troy Johnston was visiting a Benbrook, Texas, playground with his two daughters to play in late March.
I was just in Texas a few years ago. It seemed normal enough...
Johnston, who was legally and openly carrying his firearm on a hip holster wore the above shirt to the father-daughter outing.
Benbrook is in Tarrant County, and it's a 'burb of Fort Worth, home of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, among other things.
“I figured I might get some comments or looks,” Johnston told Blue Lives Matter. “[But] I was legally exercising my First and Second Amendment rights.”
Surely he's not the only person who's ever been there totin' a rosco on his hip?
A short while after Johnston and his daughters arrived, a man, along with his family reportedly, approached Johnston about his T-shirt. The man reportedly told Johnston that, between his open carry and his T-shirt, a nearby woman was “fuming.”
Maybe they need a watchlist of known bozeaux?
“I thanked him for letting me know, and continued playing with my kids,” Johnson said, and he noted that shortly after, another family approached him. This time, the second family wanted to read Johnston’s shirt, which was apparently creating waves in the park by this point.
So far reactions are typically Texan...
The man from the second family reportedly told Johnston that the woman was contacting law enforcement over his shirt, adding that he personally “felt more secure knowing there was someone [in the park] that would protect them.”
And now cometh the busybody episode...
What did the police say?
Blue Lives Matter reported that Benbrook Police Department Cpl. J. Reese said the woman did indeed call police on Johnston, and described him as a “suspicious person” who had a “gun holstered to his chest” and wearing the offensive T-shirt.
Dear Gawd! Not a shoulder holster and an offensive tee shirt! Had she come down with the vapors on the spot it woulda been all his fault! And fault means everything, as all us liberals know!
When Reese arrived at the park, he spoke with the woman, who said that Johnston was “was making other parents on the playground very uncomfortable with his T-shirt.”
Only the one, apparently...
“The subject did not act threatening to anyone, nor did he threaten anyone,” Reese noted, and later described Johnston as “polite.”
No rattlesnakes rattled when he appeared. No electronic music could be heard in the background.
“She was not scared of the gun,” Reese added. “[She] was concerned about his T-shirt.”
Tee shirts, as we all know, are dangerous...
According to Johnston, who “voluntarily identified himself” to Reese, he offered to show his gun permit to police.
"I got a permit for my shootin' arn. Want to see it?"
“They didn’t ask,” Johnston told Blue Lives Matter.
"Why'd I bother gettin' a permit if they don't want to see it? You wanta see my permit, lady? Do you? Would it still yer palpitations? Would your hair stop standin' up on end?"
Police said Johnston did nothing wrong and was able to leave the playground.
"I don't want to leave the playground! I want to play with my kids!"
“I cannot believe how the media has convinced so many people that guns are scary,” he told the website. “This lady was having a literal panic attack.”
Maybe he should carry paper bags for when people like her hyperventilate.
He added, “I love my shirt. I’ll probably order more just so I can wear them every day I’m off of work.”
And this happened in Texas, mind you.
No doubt it will be discovered that the dear lady just fled California.
#1:
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:46 ||Comments



-Lurid Crime Tales-: Waffle House shooting suspect Travis Reinking in custody, police say
Posted by Fred 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 144 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[TENNESSEAN] Metro police announced Monday afternoon that Travis Reinking, the suspect in a deadly shooting at an Antioch Waffle House, had been placed in durance vile
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
Shortly after 1 p.m., police announced Reinking had been arrested in a wooded area near Mountain Springs Drive ‐ less than one mile from the scene of the shooting and close to Cane Ridge Elementary.

A tip from a construction worker led police to Reinking, officials said. Detectives from the department's narcotics unit swarmed the area.

Det. Kyle Williams spotted Reinking in the wooded area and took him into custody ‐ he was carrying a loaded silver handgun and flashlight in a black backpack.


Caribbean-Latin America: Canadian studying hallucinogenic medicine gets on wrong side of Peruvian villagers
Posted by Besoeker 04/24/2018  00:00 2 Comments 261 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[AP] LIMA, Peru -- A 41-year-old Canadian who traveled to Peru to study hallucinogenic medicine was killed by a mob in a remote corner of the Amazon rain forest after people blamed him for the slaying of an elderly shaman, authorities said Sunday. Peru's attorney general's office said Sebastian Woodroffe was dragged by the neck shortly after the killing of Olivia Arevalo, an octogenarian plant healer from the Shipibo-Konibo tribe of northeastern Peru.

Officials backed away from initial reports that Woodroffe was the principal suspect in Arevalo's killing.

Arevalo and Woodroffe were both killed Thursday in the indigenous community of Victoria Gracia, officials said. But police did not begin to investigate until a cellphone video appeared in local media showing a man purported to be Woodroffe begging for mercy while being dragged between thatch-roofed homes. He was then left motionless on the muddy ground.

On Saturday, officials dug up Woodroffe's body from an unmarked grave where he had been hastily buried.

Every year thousands of foreign tourists travel to the Peruvian Amazon to experiment with ayahuasca, a bitter, dark-colored brew made of a mixture of native plants. The hallucinogenic cocktail, also known as yage, has been venerated for centuries by indigenous tribes in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia as a cure for all sorts of ailments. But it's also increasingly consumed by Western tourists looking for mind-altering experiences, sometimes with deadly consequences.
#1: She probably tried to grope him when he was high.
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:48 ||Comments

#2: Now THAT's a "bad trip"
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418|| 2018-04-24 01:26 ||Comments



Home Front: Culture Wars: Joy Reid (MSNBC) had old blog; blog has many anti gay posts
Posted by lord garth 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 216 words Read the whole thing on page 3
Mediaite has obtained a series of homophobic posts from Joy Ann Reid's old blog that she denies were actually written by her.
[but that has personal data that only she would actually know]
In an exclusive statement to Mediaite, the
[currently popular]
MSNBC host claims these posts from The Reid Report ‐ which include defending homophobia, gay jokes, and the outright mocking of gay people and homosexuality ‐ were somehow put in by an "external party" that "manipulated material from my now-defunct blog."
[I'm pretty sure anyone with the skills to place external material in a defunct blog would be using those skills for something more commercial]
While Reid apologized in December
[2017]
for writing homophobic content on a blog she ran long before her days as an icon of the #Resistance movement, she claims these new posts opposing gay marriage and cringing "at the sight of two men kissing" were part of a "fabricated" outside effort to paint her as "offensive and hateful."

These anti-gay articles from The Reid Report, a site that pre-dated Reid's former MSNBC show of the same name, were originally shared on Twitter by user Jamie_Maz who found them using the Wayback Machine


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-: No Tornadoes Have Been Reported in Oklahoma in 2018, Nearing a Record
Posted by Ebbang Ebbeanter1040 04/24/2018  00:00 1 Comments 129 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Weather.com] There have been fewer tornadoes than average so far in 2018.

In fact, no tornadoes have been reported in Oklahoma so far, which is approaching a record.

Fewer tornadoes than average have occurred so far in 2018 and portions of the Plains that would typically expect at least a few tornadoes by now have not seen any of these dangerous storms. In fact, this may lead to a new tornado record for Oklahoma.

Through April 18, a preliminary 255 tornadoes have been reported this year. This is below the 10-year average of 371 tornadoes from 2005 through 2015, according to NOAA.
Has Al Gore been visiting the Midwest?
#1: The 100th Meridian, Where the Great Plains Begin, May Be Shifting
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:51 ||Comments



-Land of the Free: U.S. Questions COSCO's Takeover of Long Beach Terminal -Report
Posted by Alaska Paul 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 230 words Read the whole thing on page 3
Hutchinson Wampoa has port operations at both ends of the Panama Canal. Now Long Beach approach. Like a big game of Go.
[gCaptain] A U.S. national security review has raised concerns about a takeover by China’s COSCO Shipping Holdings Co of a large container terminal in Long Beach, California, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The terminal is part of COSCO’s planned $6.3 billion deal to buy shipping firm Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) , the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

COSCO executives met with officials at the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) this week and proposed to divest or carve out the Long Beach terminal to ease U.S. concerns about the deal, the report said.

A spokesperson for the Treasury Department, which oversees CFIUS reviews, did not immediately reply to Reuters’ request for comment.

The planned acquisition of Orient Overseas Container Line, OOIL’s main subsidiary, is on track to be completed by the end of June, COSCO Vice Chairman Huang Xiaowen said earlier this month.
COSCO Vice Chairman Huang Xiaowen seems to be pretty confident by his talk. How does the CFIUS feel about it? Any Deep State folks voting?


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-: An invisible boundary that divides the US in half has started to shift
Posted by Skidmark 04/24/2018  00:00 1 Comments 248 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[BusinessInsider] One of the fundamental climate constants that has helped define and divide the United States for centuries is shifting in response to global warming, according to new research.

The 100th meridian west— the invisible line of longitude that roughly bisects the continental US in half — was historically seen as a boundary separating the humid eastern states from their arid western counterparts.

But thanks to climate change, the world is not what it once was, and neither is this intangible barrier.

According to a new analysis of rainfall and temperature data by climate scientist Richard Seager from Columbia University, the climate boundary that once traced the 100th meridian has effectively been shifting eastwards ever since the 1980s, with the arid conditions of the western plains slowly expanding into the midwest.

While the meridian itself — which continues beyond US borders, northwards into Canada, and southwards into Mexico — is in the same place as always, the climate barrier that used to sit on top of it has moved approximately 225 kilometres (140 miles) to the east, Seager says, placing it closer to the 98th meridian west.

So far, this shift hasn't significantly affected farming and land use as the dryer conditions move across the US.

But the team's modeling suggests altered precipitation and rising temperatures as the century progresses will see the "effective 100th meridian" continue its shift eastward for decades to come, as arid conditions slowly colonize the east.
#1: No Tornadoes Have Been Reported in Oklahoma in 2018, Nearing a Record Wait
Posted by: Skidmark|| 2018-04-24 00:53 ||Comments



Caribbean-Latin America: Journalist is among more than two dozen reported killed in Nicaragua street protests
Posted by Skidmark 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 238 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[LATimes] In the grainy, nighttime video, journalist Angel Gahona, clad in jeans and a blue shirt, holds up a cellphone and narrates as he approaches the facade of city hall in Bluefields, Nicaragua, reporting live via Facebook on protests that have rocked the Central American nation for four days.

Seconds later a gunshot rings out and Gahona slumps lifeless to the curb. Voices cry his name and someone presses a piece of cloth to his head to try to stanch the stream of blood. Another Bluefields reporter, Ileana Lacayo, confirms that he died before reaching the hospital.

Besides Gahona, at least 25 other people have been killed since Wednesday in unrest over social security reforms planned by President Daniel Ortega's government, according to a human rights group. Dozens more have been injured or arrested.

Ortega said Saturday in his first public appearance since the demonstrations began that his government is willing to enter into talks over the dispute. In a nationally televised address, he said he is open to negotiations so that there is "no more terror for Nicaraguan families."

But he said the dialogue would be only with business leaders and not with other sectors of society. He also seemed to try to justify what many see as a heavy-handed response by the government and allied groups, accusing demonstrators, most of them university students, of being manipulated by unspecified "minority" political interests and of being infiltrated by gangsters.


Britain: British retailers are furious as Chinese firms 'use loophole to ship goods within UK for fraction of cost of a postage stamp'
Posted by Skidmark 04/24/2018  00:00 2 Comments 71 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[DailyMail]
  • China still classified as a developing country so retailers get subsidised shipping

  • Thought Chinese retailers can send lightweight packages for half a pence each

  • Most of the goods sold on platforms such as eBay and Amazon exempt from VAT
If President Trump can renegotiate, so can a Brexited Britain...
#1: Same thing in the USA. That's why you can
buy Chinese stuff on Ebay for a $1 delivered when shipping from the US to overseas starts at $14.
Posted by: Maggie Chinemp2886|| 2018-04-24 03:23 ||Comments

#2: Ask Henry Kissinger to sort it out. I suspect he's somehow at the bottom of it.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2018-04-24 04:44 ||Comments



The Grand Turk: Brits flock back to terror-hit holiday destinations including Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey after prices plummet amid fears of more slaughter on the beaches
Posted by Skidmark 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 32 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[DailyMail]
Let us pray this does not turn out to be a really stupid idea on their collective part.


Europe: France approves controversial immigration bill
Posted by Skidmark 04/24/2018  00:00 0 Comments 274 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[BBC] The French National Assembly has passed a tough new immigration law that tightens the rules around asylum.

The bill shortens asylum application deadlines, doubles the time for which illegal migrants can be detained, and introduces a one-year prison sentence for entering France illegally.

President Emmanuel Macron's governing centrist party says the bill will speed up the process of claiming asylum.

But opposition figures and human rights groups say the measures go too far.
The bill passed by 228 votes to 139, with 24 abstentions, after more than 60 hours of debate over the weekend and hundreds of amendments.

The main aim of the law is to cut the length of asylum applications and make the deportation system more efficient for those rejected. Refugees given asylum will be given greater help with integration and learning French.

What's controversial about it?
One of the most significant changes is that failed asylum seekers awaiting deportation can be held for up to 90 days, double the existing period of 45 days. The government had initially aimed for a 135-day period.

Opponents complained in parliament that migrants were being treated like criminals. Children can also be kept in detention with their families, although officials agreed to set up a working group to look into the issue. In 2017, 275 minors were being held in administrative detention centres. Far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon condemned the practice as "barbaric".

The deadlines for filing asylum applications or appealing against a rejection have also raised concerns. Claimants will have 90 days to file an application, down from 120 days, and two weeks to appeal against rejection.

The bill will now be debated in the upper house, the Senate, in June.