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          Accord with Russia signed for training of Pakistani troops       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Russia on Tuesday signed an agreement that allows for training of Pakistani troops at Russian military training institutes.

“Both countries signed the Contract on Admission of Service Members of Pakistan in RF’s (Russian Federation) Training Insti­tutes,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The agreement was signed at the conclusion of the first meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC), described by the defence ministry as the highest forum of defence collaboration between Pak­istan and the Russian Fede­ra­tion. The two countries had earlier this year, during the visit of the then foreign minister Khawaja Asif to Moscow, agreed to set up a commission to boost military cooperation.

Russian Deputy Defence Minister Col Gen Alexander Fomin led his side at the talks while Pakistani Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Zamirul Hassan Shah headed the host side.

The two sides, during the talks, reviewed the progress made in bilateral defence cooperation since they signed the defence cooperation pact in November 2014. Subsequently, Pakistan and Russia in October 2015 signed the military-technical cooperation accord providing for arms supplies and cooperation in weapon development.

Russia has over the past three years provided four Mi-35M combat and cargo helicopters to Pakistan and the militaries of the two countries also held joint drills codenamed ‘Friendship’.

“A comprehensive issue based review was also carried out during which the two countries expressed satisfaction on the milestones achieved,” the defence ministry said, adding that the two sides deliberated on areas for cooperation in future.

The talks also featured a discussion on the situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

One of Russia’s key concerns in its security dialogue with Pakistan had been the growing foothold of the militant Islamic State (IS) group, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, in Afghanistan and the relocation of IS fighters from Iraq and Syria to the land-locked country.

Meanwhile, Gen Fomin visited General Headquarters for a call on Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

During his meeting with Gen Bajwa, the Russian deputy defence minister “expressed requirement” of cooperation to defeat extremism, according to the Inter Services Public Relations.

The two had a discussion on “regional security situation, and matters of mutual interest including enhancement of bilateral defence and security cooperation”.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2018


          Dolan praises St. Dominic at KofC convention      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Baltimore, Md., Aug 8, 2018 / 03:54 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of New York encouraged Catholics to imitate the patient and persistent prayer of St. Dominic, during a homily Aug. 8 at the 2018 Knights of Columbus convention in Baltimore.

“Jesus prefers patient, persistent, persevering, pestering prayer! St. Dominic claims this creates within us a readiness, a space, to receive God’s answer.  We would say such constant prayer exercises our ‘faith muscle,’ which tends to get flabby,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

The cardinal pointed to St. Dominic’s dedication to the rosary and contemplation of the Gospels as daily practices worthy of imitation, comparing St. Dominic’s perseverance with that of the Canaanite woman in the Gospel.

Dolan also commended the amount of prayer that takes place at the Knights of Columbus’ annual convention, which includes daily Masses, a Eucharistic adoration chapel, and invocations before every event.

Aug. 8 is celebrated in the Church as the memorial of St. Dominic, the 13th century founder of the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans, who spread devotion to the rosary.

“This towering saint gives us an abundance of attributes to celebrate: his preaching, so renowned that his spiritual sons are called ‘the order of preachers’; his intellect, the spring that gave us scholarly giants such as St. Albert and St. Thomas Aquinas; his zeal, as St. Dominic was non-stop in his teaching, preaching, travel, and work, all for Jesus and His Church,” said Dolan.

However, he reminded the Knights that prayer was “what generated the renowned preaching, scholarship, and evangelical energy of St. Dominic.”

After the Mass, the Greek Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, Jean-Clement Jeanbart spoke briefly about a pilgrim icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians, which was then blessed by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

Lori’s blessing was the kickoff to the Knights’ Marian icon prayer program. The archbishop invoked St. Paul’s words, “though we are afflicted in every way, we are not crushed; though perplexed, not driven to despair; though persecuted, not forsaken; though struck down, not destroyed.”


           Vlaamse Syriëstrijder spreekt op Arabische zender       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
18:07 Één Vlaamse en twee Nederlandse Syriëstrijders staan in het laatste grote rebellenbolwerk in Syrië paraat voor de nakende strijd met het regeringsleger.
          Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation Reacts To Travel Ban Order      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation have largely been supportive of President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans travel of certain foreign nationals to the United States. Under the order, citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen would not be allowed to enter the United States for 90 days. Over the weekend, permanent resident visa holders were detained at airports, which led to protests across the country. The White House later said permanent resident visa holders are from those 7 countries will be allowed. The order also places a 120 day freeze on the admission of refugees, and an indefinite halt on resettling Syrian refugees in the United States. Congressman Steve Russell, R-Oklahoma City, says he supports the executive order. Russell is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel who saw combat in Iraq. He wants to make sure exemptions will be available for military interpreters, informers, and ousted political allies in the seven countries.
          Oklahoma Congressmen On 'Wide Open' Search For House Speaker      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Members of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation have voiced their opinions regarding the race for the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the wake of Speaker Boehner’s retirement announcement and front-runner Kevin McCarthy’s decision to leave the race. U.S. Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) described the speaker race as “wide open.” Russell said he approached South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy after McCarthy dropped out of the race, but Gowdy quickly said he is not interested. The Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 conservative House members, opposed McCarthy. Russell said they have no clear plans on issues like budget negotiations, Russia’s moves in Syria or Social Security and Medicare. “We have deep divisions right now with a certain segment that are these 100 percent, all or nothing types of Congressmen in a group. But the problem with that is they can’t even agree amongst themselves on what the 100 percent is,” Russell said. “It’s easy enough to pull the pillars down. It’s
          Four Of Five Oklahoma Congressmen Vote To Arm Syrian Rebels      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine was the only member of Oklahoma's U.S. House delegation to vote against President Obama's request to train and arm rebels fighting Islamic State militants in Syria. Bridenstine says that if the Islamic State is deemed a threat, the United States should "eliminate it," not train and arm rebels. U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, James Lankford , Frank Lucas and Markwayne Mullin all voted in favor of the plan, which passed the House on a 273-156 vote Wednesday. Lankford said the plan is similar to recent proposals in Iraq. Watch: U.S. Rep. James Lankford explains his vote on the amendment to arm Syrian rebels, followed by his remarks on the House floor "ISIS would have already overrun Iraq if we had not trained the Iraqis and the Kurds in the years past," Lankford said. "So we need to be able to do the same thing in Syria for them to be able to defend themselves and be able to defend for what is uniquely American values as well, and for uniquely American priorities." But
          8/8/2018: FRONT PAGE: Syria accused      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency of assassinating a top Syrian rocket scientist.
          Comment on Israel’s Mossad Suspected of Assassinating Syria Weapons Chief by ross      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
It's about time for the Syrians and Iranians to start assassinating jews .
          The Uninhabitable Earth      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


The Uninhabitable Earth
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.

By David Wallace-Wells

In the jungles of Costa Rica, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out. Fossils by Heartless Machine
July 9, 2017

I. ‘Doomsday’
Peering beyond scientific reticence.

It is, I promise, worse than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today. And yet the swelling seas — and the cities they will drown — have so dominated the picture of global warming, and so overwhelmed our capacity for climate panic, that they have occluded our perception of other threats, many much closer at hand. Rising oceans are bad, in fact very bad; but fleeing the coastline will not be enough.

Indeed, absent a significant adjustment to how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.

Even when we train our eyes on climate change, we are unable to comprehend its scope. This past winter, a string of days 60 and 70 degrees warmer than normal baked the North Pole, melting the permafrost that encased Norway’s Svalbard seed vault — a global food bank nicknamed “Doomsday,” designed to ensure that our agriculture survives any catastrophe, and which appeared to have been flooded by climate change less than ten years after being built.

The Doomsday vault is fine, for now: The structure has been secured and the seeds are safe. But treating the episode as a parable of impending flooding missed the more important news. Until recently, permafrost was not a major concern of climate scientists, because, as the name suggests, it was soil that stayed permanently frozen. But Arctic permafrost contains 1.8 trillion tons of carbon, more than twice as much as is currently suspended in the Earth’s atmosphere. When it thaws and is released, that carbon may evaporate as methane, which is 34 times as powerful a greenhouse-gas warming blanket as carbon dioxide when judged on the timescale of a century; when judged on the timescale of two decades, it is 86 times as powerful. In other words, we have, trapped in Arctic permafrost, twice as much carbon as is currently wrecking the atmosphere of the planet, all of it scheduled to be released at a date that keeps getting moved up, partially in the form of a gas that multiplies its warming power 86 times over.

Maybe you know that already — there are alarming stories in the news every day, like those, last month, that seemed to suggest satellite data showed the globe warming since 1998 more than twice as fast as scientists had thought (in fact, the underlying story was considerably less alarming than the headlines). Or the news from Antarctica this past May, when a crack in an ice shelf grew 11 miles in six days, then kept going; the break now has just three miles to go — by the time you read this, it may already have met the open water, where it will drop into the sea one of the biggest icebergs ever, a process known poetically as “calving.”


Watch: How Climate Change Is Creating More Powerful Hurricanes

But no matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough. Over the past decades, our culture has gone apocalyptic with zombie movies and Mad Max dystopias, perhaps the collective result of displaced climate anxiety, and yet when it comes to contemplating real-world warming dangers, we suffer from an incredible failure of imagination. The reasons for that are many: the timid language of scientific probabilities, which the climatologist James Hansen once called “scientific reticence” in a paper chastising scientists for editing their own observations so conscientiously that they failed to communicate how dire the threat really was; the fact that the country is dominated by a group of technocrats who believe any problem can be solved and an opposing culture that doesn’t even see warming as a problem worth addressing; the way that climate denialism has made scientists even more cautious in offering speculative warnings; the simple speed of change and, also, its slowness, such that we are only seeing effects now of warming from decades past; our uncertainty about uncertainty, which the climate writer Naomi Oreskes in particular has suggested stops us from preparing as though anything worse than a median outcome were even possible; the way we assume climate change will hit hardest elsewhere, not everywhere; the smallness (two degrees) and largeness (1.8 trillion tons) and abstractness (400 parts per million) of the numbers; the discomfort of considering a problem that is very difficult, if not impossible, to solve; the altogether incomprehensible scale of that problem, which amounts to the prospect of our own annihilation; simple fear. But aversion arising from fear is a form of denial, too.

In between scientific reticence and science fiction is science itself. This article is the result of dozens of interviews and exchanges with climatologists and researchers in related fields and reflects hundreds of scientific papers on the subject of climate change. What follows is not a series of predictions of what will happen — that will be determined in large part by the much-less-certain science of human response. Instead, it is a portrait of our best understanding of where the planet is heading absent aggressive action. It is unlikely that all of these warming scenarios will be fully realized, largely because the devastation along the way will shake our complacency. But those scenarios, and not the present climate, are the baseline. In fact, they are our schedule.

The present tense of climate change — the destruction we’ve already baked into our future — is horrifying enough. Most people talk as if Miami and Bangladesh still have a chance of surviving; most of the scientists I spoke with assume we’ll lose them within the century, even if we stop burning fossil fuel in the next decade. Two degrees of warming used to be considered the threshold of catastrophe: tens of millions of climate refugees unleashed upon an unprepared world. Now two degrees is our goal, per the Paris climate accords, and experts give us only slim odds of hitting it. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues serial reports, often called the “gold standard” of climate research; the most recent one projects us to hit four degrees of warming by the beginning of the next century, should we stay the present course. But that’s just a median projection. The upper end of the probability curve runs as high as eight degrees — and the authors still haven’t figured out how to deal with that permafrost melt. The IPCC reports also don’t fully account for the albedo effect (less ice means less reflected and more absorbed sunlight, hence more warming); more cloud cover (which traps heat); or the dieback of forests and other flora (which extract carbon from the atmosphere). Each of these promises to accelerate warming, and the history of the planet shows that temperature can shift as much as five degrees Celsius within thirteen years. The last time the planet was even four degrees warmer, Peter Brannen points out in The Ends of the World, his new history of the planet’s major extinction events, the oceans were hundreds of feet higher.*

The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster. The rate is accelerating. This is what Stephen Hawking had in mind when he said, this spring, that the species needs to colonize other planets in the next century to survive, and what drove Elon Musk, last month, to unveil his plans to build a Mars habitat in 40 to 100 years. These are nonspecialists, of course, and probably as inclined to irrational panic as you or I. But the many sober-minded scientists I interviewed over the past several months — the most credentialed and tenured in the field, few of them inclined to alarmism and many advisers to the IPCC who nevertheless criticize its conservatism — have quietly reached an apocalyptic conclusion, too: No plausible program of emissions reductions alone can prevent climate disaster.

Over the past few decades, the term “Anthropocene” has climbed out of academic discourse and into the popular imagination — a name given to the geologic era we live in now, and a way to signal that it is a new era, defined on the wall chart of deep history by human intervention. One problem with the term is that it implies a conquest of nature (and even echoes the biblical “dominion”). And however sanguine you might be about the proposition that we have already ravaged the natural world, which we surely have, it is another thing entirely to consider the possibility that we have only provoked it, engineering first in ignorance and then in denial a climate system that will now go to war with us for many centuries, perhaps until it destroys us. That is what Wallace Smith Broecker, the avuncular oceanographer who coined the term “global warming,” means when he calls the planet an “angry beast.” You could also go with “war machine.” Each day we arm it more.

II. Heat Death
The bahraining of New York.

In the sugar­cane region of El Salvador, as much as one-fifth of the population has chronic kidney disease, the presumed result of dehydration from working the fields they were able to comfortably harvest as recently as two decades ago. Photo: Heartless Machine
Humans, like all mammals, are heat engines; surviving means having to continually cool off, like panting dogs. For that, the temperature needs to be low enough for the air to act as a kind of refrigerant, drawing heat off the skin so the engine can keep pumping. At seven degrees of warming, that would become impossible for large portions of the planet’s equatorial band, and especially the tropics, where humidity adds to the problem; in the jungles of Costa Rica, for instance, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.

Climate-change skeptics point out that the planet has warmed and cooled many times before, but the climate window that has allowed for human life is very narrow, even by the standards of planetary history. At 11 or 12 degrees of warming, more than half the world’s population, as distributed today, would die of direct heat. Things almost certainly won’t get that hot this century, though models of unabated emissions do bring us that far eventually. This century, and especially in the tropics, the pain points will pinch much more quickly even than an increase of seven degrees. The key factor is something called wet-bulb temperature, which is a term of measurement as home-laboratory-kit as it sounds: the heat registered on a thermometer wrapped in a damp sock as it’s swung around in the air (since the moisture evaporates from a sock more quickly in dry air, this single number reflects both heat and humidity). At present, most regions reach a wet-bulb maximum of 26 or 27 degrees Celsius; the true red line for habitability is 35 degrees. What is called heat stress comes much sooner.

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Michael Oppenheimer: Only 10 Percent Chance We Meet Paris Targets
Actually, we’re about there already. Since 1980, the planet has experienced a 50-fold increase in the number of places experiencing dangerous or extreme heat; a bigger increase is to come. The five warmest summers in Europe since 1500 have all occurred since 2002, and soon, the IPCC warns, simply being outdoors that time of year will be unhealthy for much of the globe. Even if we meet the Paris goals of two degrees warming, cities like Karachi and Kolkata will become close to uninhabitable, annually encountering deadly heat waves like those that crippled them in 2015. At four degrees, the deadly European heat wave of 2003, which killed as many as 2,000 people a day, will be a normal summer. At six, according to an assessment focused only on effects within the U.S. from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer labor of any kind would become impossible in the lower Mississippi Valley, and everybody in the country east of the Rockies would be under more heat stress than anyone, anywhere, in the world today. As Joseph Romm has put it in his authoritative primer Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, heat stress in New York City would exceed that of present-day Bahrain, one of the planet’s hottest spots, and the temperature in Bahrain “would induce hyperthermia in even sleeping humans.” The high-end IPCC estimate, remember, is two degrees warmer still. By the end of the century, the World Bank has estimated, the coolest months in tropical South America, Africa, and the Pacific are likely to be warmer than the warmest months at the end of the 20th century. Air-conditioning can help but will ultimately only add to the carbon problem; plus, the climate-controlled malls of the Arab emirates aside, it is not remotely plausible to wholesale air-condition all the hottest parts of the world, many of them also the poorest. And indeed, the crisis will be most dramatic across the Middle East and Persian Gulf, where in 2015 the heat index registered temperatures as high as 163 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as several decades from now, the hajj will become physically impossible for the 2 million Muslims who make the pilgrimage each year.

It is not just the hajj, and it is not just Mecca; heat is already killing us. In the sugarcane region of El Salvador, as much as one-fifth of the population has chronic kidney disease, including over a quarter of the men, the presumed result of dehydration from working the fields they were able to comfortably harvest as recently as two decades ago. With dialysis, which is expensive, those with kidney failure can expect to live five years; without it, life expectancy is in the weeks. Of course, heat stress promises to pummel us in places other than our kidneys, too. As I type that sentence, in the California desert in mid-June, it is 121 degrees outside my door. It is not a record high.

III. The End of Food
Praying for cornfields in the tundra.

Climates differ and plants vary, but the basic rule for staple cereal crops grown at optimal temperature is that for every degree of warming, yields decline by 10 percent. Some estimates run as high as 15 or even 17 percent. Which means that if the planet is five degrees warmer at the end of the century, we may have as many as 50 percent more people to feed and 50 percent less grain to give them. And proteins are worse: It takes 16 calories of grain to produce just a single calorie of hamburger meat, butchered from a cow that spent its life polluting the climate with methane farts.

Pollyannaish plant physiologists will point out that the cereal-crop math applies only to those regions already at peak growing temperature, and they are right — theoretically, a warmer climate will make it easier to grow corn in Greenland. But as the pathbreaking work by Rosamond Naylor and David Battisti has shown, the tropics are already too hot to efficiently grow grain, and those places where grain is produced today are already at optimal growing temperature — which means even a small warming will push them down the slope of declining productivity. And you can’t easily move croplands north a few hundred miles, because yields in places like remote Canada and Russia are limited by the quality of soil there; it takes many centuries for the planet to produce optimally fertile dirt.

Drought might be an even bigger problem than heat, with some of the world’s most arable land turning quickly to desert. Precipitation is notoriously hard to model, yet predictions for later this century are basically unanimous: unprecedented droughts nearly everywhere food is today produced. By 2080, without dramatic reductions in emissions, southern Europe will be in permanent extreme drought, much worse than the American dust bowl ever was. The same will be true in Iraq and Syria and much of the rest of the Middle East; some of the most densely populated parts of Australia, Africa, and South America; and the breadbasket regions of China. None of these places, which today supply much of the world’s food, will be reliable sources of any. As for the original dust bowl: The droughts in the American plains and Southwest would not just be worse than in the 1930s, a 2015 NASA study predicted, but worse than any droughts in a thousand years — and that includes those that struck between 1100 and 1300, which “dried up all the rivers East of the Sierra Nevada mountains” and may have been responsible for the death of the Anasazi civilization.

Remember, we do not live in a world without hunger as it is. Far from it: Most estimates put the number of undernourished at 800 million globally. In case you haven’t heard, this spring has already brought an unprecedented quadruple famine to Africa and the Middle East; the U.N. has warned that separate starvation events in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen could kill 20 million this year alone.

IV. Climate Plagues
What happens when the bubonic ice melts?

Rock, in the right spot, is a record of planetary history, eras as long as millions of years flattened by the forces of geological time into strata with amplitudes of just inches, or just an inch, or even less. Ice works that way, too, as a climate ledger, but it is also frozen history, some of which can be reanimated when unfrozen. There are now, trapped in Arctic ice, diseases that have not circulated in the air for millions of years — in some cases, since before humans were around to encounter them. Which means our immune systems would have no idea how to fight back when those prehistoric plagues emerge from the ice.

The Arctic also stores terrifying bugs from more recent times. In Alaska, already, researchers have discovered remnants of the 1918 flu that infected as many as 500 million and killed as many as 100 million — about 5 percent of the world’s population and almost six times as many as had died in the world war for which the pandemic served as a kind of gruesome capstone. As the BBC reported in May, scientists suspect smallpox and the bubonic plague are trapped in Siberian ice, too — an abridged history of devastating human sickness, left out like egg salad in the Arctic sun.

Experts caution that many of these organisms won’t actually survive the thaw and point to the fastidious lab conditions under which they have already reanimated several of them — the 32,000-year-old “extremophile” bacteria revived in 2005, an 8 million-year-old bug brought back to life in 2007, the 3.5 million–year–old one a Russian scientist self-injected just out of curiosity — to suggest that those are necessary conditions for the return of such ancient plagues. But already last year, a boy was killed and 20 others infected by anthrax released when retreating permafrost exposed the frozen carcass of a reindeer killed by the bacteria at least 75 years earlier; 2,000 present-day reindeer were infected, too, carrying and spreading the disease beyond the tundra.

What concerns epidemiologists more than ancient diseases are existing scourges relocated, rewired, or even re-evolved by warming. The first effect is geographical. Before the early-modern period, when adventuring sailboats accelerated the mixing of peoples and their bugs, human provinciality was a guard against pandemic. Today, even with globalization and the enormous intermingling of human populations, our ecosystems are mostly stable, and this functions as another limit, but global warming will scramble those ecosystems and help disease trespass those limits as surely as Cortés did. You don’t worry much about dengue or malaria if you are living in Maine or France. But as the tropics creep northward and mosquitoes migrate with them, you will. You didn’t much worry about Zika a couple of years ago, either.

As it happens, Zika may also be a good model of the second worrying effect — disease mutation. One reason you hadn’t heard about Zika until recently is that it had been trapped in Uganda; another is that it did not, until recently, appear to cause birth defects. Scientists still don’t entirely understand what happened, or what they missed. But there are things we do know for sure about how climate affects some diseases: Malaria, for instance, thrives in hotter regions not just because the mosquitoes that carry it do, too, but because for every degree increase in temperature, the parasite reproduces ten times faster. Which is one reason that the World Bank estimates that by 2050, 5.2 billion people will be reckoning with it.

V. Unbreathable Air
A rolling death smog that suffocates millions.


By the end of the century, the coolest months in tropical South America, Africa, and the Pacific are likely to be warmer than the warmest months at the end of the 20th century. Photo: Heartless Machine
Our lungs need oxygen, but that is only a fraction of what we breathe. The fraction of carbon dioxide is growing: It just crossed 400 parts per million, and high-end estimates extrapolating from current trends suggest it will hit 1,000 ppm by 2100. At that concentration, compared to the air we breathe now, human cognitive ability declines by 21 percent.

Other stuff in the hotter air is even scarier, with small increases in pollution capable of shortening life spans by ten years. The warmer the planet gets, the more ozone forms, and by mid-century, Americans will likely suffer a 70 percent increase in unhealthy ozone smog, the National Center for Atmospheric Research has projected. By 2090, as many as 2 billion people globally will be breathing air above the WHO “safe” level; one paper last month showed that, among other effects, a pregnant mother’s exposure to ozone raises the child’s risk of autism (as much as tenfold, combined with other environmental factors). Which does make you think again about the autism epidemic in West Hollywood.

Already, more than 10,000 people die each day from the small particles emitted from fossil-fuel burning; each year, 339,000 people die from wildfire smoke, in part because climate change has extended forest-fire season (in the U.S., it’s increased by 78 days since 1970). By 2050, according to the U.S. Forest Service, wildfires will be twice as destructive as they are today; in some places, the area burned could grow fivefold. What worries people even more is the effect that would have on emissions, especially when the fires ravage forests arising out of peat. Peatland fires in Indonesia in 1997, for instance, added to the global CO2 release by up to 40 percent, and more burning only means more warming only means more burning. There is also the terrifying possibility that rain forests like the Amazon, which in 2010 suffered its second “hundred-year drought” in the space of five years, could dry out enough to become vulnerable to these kinds of devastating, rolling forest fires — which would not only expel enormous amounts of carbon into the atmosphere but also shrink the size of the forest. That is especially bad because the Amazon alone provides 20 percent of our oxygen.

Then there are the more familiar forms of pollution. In 2013, melting Arctic ice remodeled Asian weather patterns, depriving industrial China of the natural ventilation systems it had come to depend on, which blanketed much of the country’s north in an unbreathable smog. Literally unbreathable. A metric called the Air Quality Index categorizes the risks and tops out at the 301-to-500 range, warning of “serious aggravation of heart or lung disease and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary disease and the elderly” and, for all others, “serious risk of respiratory effects”; at that level, “everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion.” The Chinese “airpocalypse” of 2013 peaked at what would have been an Air Quality Index of over 800. That year, smog was responsible for a third of all deaths in the country.

VI. Perpetual War
The violence baked into heat.

Climatologists are very careful when talking about Syria. They want you to know that while climate change did produce a drought that contributed to civil war, it is not exactly fair to saythat the conflict is the result of warming; next door, for instance, Lebanon suffered the same crop failures. But researchers like Marshall Burke and Solomon Hsiang have managed to quantify some of the non-obvious relationships between temperature and violence: For every half-degree of warming, they say, societies will see between a 10 and 20 percent increase in the likelihood of armed conflict. In climate science, nothing is simple, but the arithmetic is harrowing: A planet five degrees warmer would have at least half again as many wars as we do today. Overall, social conflict could more than double this century.

This is one reason that, as nearly every climate scientist I spoke to pointed out, the U.S. military is obsessed with climate change: The drowning of all American Navy bases by sea-level rise is trouble enough, but being the world’s policeman is quite a bit harder when the crime rate doubles. Of course, it’s not just Syria where climate has contributed to conflict. Some speculate that the elevated level of strife across the Middle East over the past generation reflects the pressures of global warming — a hypothesis all the more cruel considering that warming began accelerating when the industrialized world extracted and then burned the region’s oil.

What accounts for the relationship between climate and conflict? Some of it comes down to agriculture and economics; a lot has to do with forced migration, already at a record high, with at least 65 million displaced people wandering the planet right now. But there is also the simple fact of individual irritability. Heat increases municipal crime rates, and swearing on social media, and the likelihood that a major-league pitcher, coming to the mound after his teammate has been hit by a pitch, will hit an opposing batter in retaliation. And the arrival of air-conditioning in the developed world, in the middle of the past century, did little to solve the problem of the summer crime wave.

VII. Permanent Economic Collapse
Dismal capitalism in a half-poorer world.

The murmuring mantra of global neoliberalism, which prevailed between the end of the Cold War and the onset of the Great Recession, is that economic growth would save us from anything and everything.
But in the aftermath of the 2008 crash, a growing number of historians studying what they call “fossil capitalism” have begun to suggest that the entire history of swift economic growth, which began somewhat suddenly in the 18th century, is not the result of innovation or trade or the dynamics of global capitalism but simply our discovery of fossil fuels and all their raw power — a onetime injection of new “value” into a system that had previously been characterized by global subsistence living. Before fossil fuels, nobody lived better than their parents or grandparents or ancestors from 500 years before, except in the immediate aftermath of a great plague like the Black Death, which allowed the lucky survivors to gobble up the resources liberated by mass graves. After we’ve burned all the fossil fuels, these scholars suggest, perhaps we will return to a “steady state” global economy. Of course, that onetime injection has a devastating long-term cost: climate change.

The most exciting research on the economics of warming has also come from Hsiang and his colleagues, who are not historians of fossil capitalism but who offer some very bleak analysis of their own: Every degree Celsius of warming costs, on average, 1.2 percent of GDP (an enormous number, considering we count growth in the low single digits as “strong”). This is the sterling work in the field, and their median projection is for a 23 percent loss in per capita earning globally by the end of this century (resulting from changes in agriculture, crime, storms, energy, mortality, and labor).
Tracing the shape of the probability curve is even scarier: There is a 12 percent chance that climate change will reduce global output by more than 50 percent by 2100, they say, and a 51 percent chance that it lowers per capita GDP by 20 percent or more by then, unless emissions decline. By comparison, the Great Recession lowered global GDP by about 6 percent, in a onetime shock; Hsiang and his colleagues estimate a one-in-eight chance of an ongoing and irreversible effect by the end of the century that is eight times worse.

The scale of that economic devastation is hard to comprehend, but you can start by imagining what the world would look like today with an economy half as big, which would produce only half as much value, generating only half as much to offer the workers of the world. It makes the grounding of flights out of heat-stricken Phoenix last month seem like pathetically small economic potatoes. And, among other things, it makes the idea of postponing government action on reducing emissions and relying solely on growth and technology to solve the problem an absurd business calculation.
Every round-trip ticket on flights from New York to London, keep in mind, costs the Arctic three more square meters of ice.

VIII. Poisoned Oceans
Sulfide burps off the skeleton coast.

That the sea will become a killer is a given. Barring a radical reduction of emissions, we will see at least four feet of sea-level rise and possibly ten by the end of the century. A third of the world’s major cities are on the coast, not to mention its power plants, ports, navy bases, farmlands, fisheries, river deltas, marshlands, and rice-paddy empires, and even those above ten feet will flood much more easily, and much more regularly, if the water gets that high. At least 600 million people live within ten meters of sea level today.

But the drowning of those homelands is just the start. At present, more than a third of the world’s carbon is sucked up by the oceans — thank God, or else we’d have that much more warming already. But the result is what’s called “ocean acidification,” which, on its own, may add a half a degree to warming this century. It is also already burning through the planet’s water basins — you may remember these as the place where life arose in the first place. You have probably heard of “coral bleaching” — that is, coral dying — which is very bad news, because reefs support as much as a quarter of all marine life and supply food for half a billion people. Ocean acidification will fry fish populations directly, too, though scientists aren’t yet sure how to predict the effects on the stuff we haul out of the ocean to eat; they do know that in acid waters, oysters and mussels will struggle to grow their shells, and that when the pH of human blood drops as much as the oceans’ pH has over the past generation, it induces seizures, comas, and sudden death.

That isn’t all that ocean acidification can do. Carbon absorption can initiate a feedback loop in which underoxygenated waters breed different kinds of microbes that turn the water still more “anoxic,” first in deep ocean “dead zones,” then gradually up toward the surface. There, the small fish die out, unable to breathe, which means oxygen-eating bacteria thrive, and the feedback loop doubles back. This process, in which dead zones grow like cancers, choking off marine life and wiping out fisheries, is already quite advanced in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and just off Namibia, where hydrogen sulfide is bubbling out of the sea along a thousand-mile stretch of land known as the “Skeleton Coast.” The name originally referred to the detritus of the whaling industry, but today it’s more apt than ever. Hydrogen sulfide is so toxic that evolution has trained us to recognize the tiniest, safest traces of it, which is why our noses are so exquisitely skilled at registering flatulence. Hydrogen sulfide is also the thing that finally did us in that time 97 percent of all life on Earth died, once all the feedback loops had been triggered and the circulating jet streams of a warmed ocean ground to a halt — it’s the planet’s preferred gas for a natural holocaust. Gradually, the ocean’s dead zones spread, killing off marine species that had dominated the oceans for hundreds of millions of years, and the gas the inert waters gave off into the atmosphere poisoned everything on land. Plants, too. It was millions of years before the oceans recovered.

IX. The Great Filter
Our present eeriness cannot last.

So why can’t we see it? In his recent book-length essay The Great Derangement, the Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh wonders why global warming and natural disaster haven’t become major subjects of contemporary fiction — why we don’t seem able to imagine climate catastrophe, and why we haven’t yet had a spate of novels in the genre he basically imagines into half-existence and names “the environmental uncanny.” “Consider, for example, the stories that congeal around questions like, ‘Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell?’ or ‘Where were you on 9/11?’ ” he writes. “Will it ever be possible to ask, in the same vein, ‘Where were you at 400 ppm?’ or ‘Where were you when the Larsen B ice shelf broke up?’ ” His answer: Probably not, because the dilemmas and dramas of climate change are simply incompatible with the kinds of stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, especially in novels, which tend to emphasize the journey of an individual conscience rather than the poisonous miasma of social fate.

Surely this blindness will not last — the world we are about to inhabit will not permit it. In a six-degree-warmer world, the Earth’s ecosystem will boil with so many natural disasters that we will just start calling them “weather”: a constant swarm of out-of-control typhoons and tornadoes and floods and droughts, the planet assaulted regularly with climate events that not so long ago destroyed whole civilizations. The strongest hurricanes will come more often, and we’ll have to invent new categories with which to describe them; tornadoes will grow longer and wider and strike much more frequently, and hail rocks will quadruple in size. Humans used to watch the weather to prophesy the future; going forward, we will see in its wrath the vengeance of the past. Early naturalists talked often about “deep time” — the perception they had, contemplating the grandeur of this valley or that rock basin, of the profound slowness of nature. What lies in store for us is more like what the Victorian anthropologists identified as “dreamtime,” or “everywhen”: the semi-mythical experience, described by Aboriginal Australians, of encountering, in the present moment, an out-of-time past, when ancestors, heroes, and demigods crowded an epic stage. You can find it already watching footage of an iceberg collapsing into the sea — a feeling of history happening all at once.

It is. Many people perceive climate change as a sort of moral and economic debt, accumulated since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and now come due after several centuries — a helpful perspective, in a way, since it is the carbon-burning processes that began in 18th-century England that lit the fuse of everything that followed. But more than half of the carbon humanity has exhaled into the atmosphere in its entire history has been emitted in just the past three decades; since the end of World War II, the figure is 85 percent. Which means that, in the length of a single generation, global warming has brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe, and that the story of the industrial world’s kamikaze mission is also the story of a single lifetime. My father’s, for instance: born in 1938, among his first memories the news of Pearl Harbor and the mythic Air Force of the propaganda films that followed, films that doubled as advertisements for imperial-American industrial might; and among his last memories the coverage of the desperate signing of the Paris climate accords on cable news, ten weeks before he died of lung cancer last July. Or my mother’s: born in 1945, to German Jews fleeing the smokestacks through which their relatives were incinerated, now enjoying her 72nd year in an American commodity paradise, a paradise supported by the supply chains of an industrialized developing world. She has been smoking for 57 of those years, unfiltered.

Or the scientists’. Some of the men who first identified a changing climate (and given the generation, those who became famous were men) are still alive; a few are even still working. Wally Broecker is 84 years old and drives to work at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory across the Hudson every day from the Upper West Side. Like most of those who first raised the alarm, he believes that no amount of emissions reduction alone can meaningfully help avoid disaster. Instead, he puts his faith in carbon capture — untested technology to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which Broecker estimates will cost at least several trillion dollars — and various forms of “geoengineering,” the catchall name for a variety of moon-shot technologies far-fetched enough that many climate scientists prefer to regard them as dreams, or nightmares, from science fiction. He is especially focused on what’s called the aerosol approach — dispersing so much sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere that when it converts to sulfuric acid, it will cloud a fifth of the horizon and reflect back 2 percent of the sun’s rays, buying the planet at least a little wiggle room, heat-wise. “Of course, that would make our sunsets very red, would bleach the sky, would make more acid rain,” he says. “But you have to look at the magnitude of the problem. You got to watch that you don’t say the giant problem shouldn’t be solved because the solution causes some smaller problems.” He won’t be around to see that, he told me. “But in your lifetime …”

Jim Hansen is another member of this godfather generation. Born in 1941, he became a climatologist at the University of Iowa, developed the groundbreaking “Zero Model” for projecting climate change, and later became the head of climate research at NASA, only to leave under pressure when, while still a federal employee, he filed a lawsuit against the federal government charging inaction on warming (along the way he got arrested a few times for protesting, too). The lawsuit, which is brought by a collective called Our Children’s Trust and is often described as “kids versus climate change,” is built on an appeal to the equal-protection clause, namely, that in failing to take action on warming, the government is violating it by imposing massive costs on future generations; it is scheduled to be heard this winter in Oregon district court. Hansen has recently given up on solving the climate problem with a carbon tax alone, which had been his preferred approach, and has set about calculating the total cost of the additional measure of extracting carbon from the atmosphere.

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Hansen began his career studying Venus, which was once a very Earth-like planet with plenty of life-supporting water before runaway climate change rapidly transformed it into an arid and uninhabitable sphere enveloped in an unbreathable gas; he switched to studying our planet by 30, wondering why he should be squinting across the solar system to explore rapid environmental change when he could see it all around him on the planet he was standing on. “When we wrote our first paper on this, in 1981,” he told me, “I remember saying to one of my co-authors, ‘This is going to be very interesting. Sometime during our careers, we’re going to see these things beginning to happen.’ ”

Several of the scientists I spoke with proposed global warming as the solution to Fermi’s famous paradox, which asks, If the universe is so big, then why haven’t we encountered any other intelligent life in it? The answer, they suggested, is that the natural life span of a civilization may be only several thousand years, and the life span of an industrial civilization perhaps only several hundred. In a universe that is many billions of years old, with star systems separated as much by time as by space, civilizations might emerge and develop and burn themselves up simply too fast to ever find one another. Peter Ward, a charismatic paleontologist among those responsible for discovering that the planet’s mass extinctions were caused by greenhouse gas, calls this the “Great Filter”: “Civilizations rise, but there’s an environmental filter that causes them to die off again and disappear fairly quickly,” he told me. “If you look at planet Earth, the filtering we’ve had in the past has been in these mass extinctions.” The mass extinction we are now living through has only just begun; so much more dying is coming.

And yet, improbably, Ward is an optimist. So are Broecker and Hansen and many of the other scientists I spoke to. We have not developed much of a religion of meaning around climate change that might comfort us, or give us purpose, in the face of possible annihilation. But climate scientists have a strange kind of faith: We will find a way to forestall radical warming, they say, because we must.

It is not easy to know how much to be reassured by that bleak certainty, and how much to wonder whether it is another form of delusion; for global warming to work as parable, of course, someone needs to survive to tell the story. The scientists know that to even meet the Paris goals, by 2050, carbon emissions from energy and industry, which are still rising, will have to fall by half each decade; emissions from land use (deforestation, cow farts, etc.) will have to zero out; and we will need to have invented technologies to extract, annually, twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as the entire planet’s plants now do. Nevertheless, by and large, the scientists have an enormous confidence in the ingenuity of humans — a confidence perhaps bolstered by their appreciation for climate change, which is, after all, a human invention, too. They point to the Apollo project, the hole in the ozone we patched in the 1980s, the passing of the fear of mutually assured destruction. Now we’ve found a way to engineer our own doomsday, and surely we will find a way to engineer our way out of it, one way or another. The planet is not used to being provoked like this, and climate systems designed to give feedback over centuries or millennia prevent us — even those who may be watching closely — from fully imagining the damage done already to the planet. But when we do truly see the world we’ve made, they say, we will also find a way to make it livable. For them, the alternative is simply unimaginable.

*This article appears in the July 10, 2017, issue of New York Magazine.

*This article has been updated to provide context for the recent news reports about revisions to a satellite data set, to more accurately reflect the rate of warming during the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum, to clarify a reference to Peter Brannen’s The Ends of the World, and to make clear that James Hansen still supports a carbon-tax based approach to emissions.


          Finally, People Are Talking About Climate Change. But Is It Too Late?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
by Katie Herzog

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Jodi Jacobson/Getty

Something strange is happening in America right now: People are talking about climate change.

Before The Stranger saved and then quickly crushed my body, mind, and spirit, I worked for Grist, the Seattle-based online magazine with a focus on climate change. (Apropos of nothing, Grist unceremoniously booted me and four out of five of the staff writers a few days after Donald Trump took office, but I'm not bitter. Really. The office was always freezing and it's going to get creamed when the earthquake comes.) While I was at Grist, what I noticed through writing about climate change five days a week, was that no one gave a shit. We had a dedicated audience of 6 to 10 commentors (everyone's favorite was a gay man in New York who primarily used the comment section to hit on a very cute young intern named Sam), but for the most part, people just didn't care. Nothing makes someone's eyes glaze over faster than the word's "climate change."

It's kind of wild how little people are paying attention: climate change is leading to huge increases in human suffering as parts of the world dry up and others flood, burn, and blister. The repercussions of this man-made phenomenon are genuinely terrifying, and not just for tree-huggers and nature-lovers. There's some evidence, for instance, that the conflict in Syria was in part sparked by climate change-connected drought and subsequent food shortages, which then led to the migrant crisis currently embroiling Europe... which, in turn, led to a resurgence of white nationalism and xenophobia in places like Italy, France, and the UK. Climate change touches everything, and yet, we really don't talk about it much. Broadcast news organizations ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox had a combined total of 50 minutes of climate change coverage in 2016. That's less than the Jolie-Pitt breakup. The world is burning, and we're over here freaking out about celebrity divorce.

In recent weeks, however, there's been a noticeable uptick in climate change news, inspired, I'm guessing, by the catastrophic wildfires currently burning through California. Climate change is easy to ignore until a wildfire threatens to destroy your neighborhood. Here's how Google has tracked in the term over the past 30 days.

In the midst of these disasters, NPR has been discussing climate change every day, and the networks and cable changes have at least mentioned the words. Even Jimmy Kimmel talked about it on his show Tuesday night, with a message that was designed to reach the heart of one Donald J. Trump:

But will an uptick in coverage have any affect on public policy? And is there still time to correct this collision course? According to a report released this week by a international team of climate scientists, we're reaching the "too-little-too-late" stage of ecological collapse. The paper portrays a potential future of dead forests, rapid sea level rise, and storms that make Sandy, Maria, and Katrina look minor if we don't transition to a carbon-neutral economy yesterday. It does not look good.

The media immediately jumped on the study, issuing dire headlines about the end of mankind, but the paper's author took issue with this sort of coverage. She pointed out on Twitter that people probably weren't reading the study if their takeaway from it was that it's too late. The truth, according to the researchers, is that it's not too late—at least, if we actually take action on fossil fuels now, not later. Of course, Donald Trump is the kind of man who thinks wind turbines are ugly and diesel exhaust smells like money, so under this administration and with Republicans in control of Congress, the hope of any sort of progressive action on climate change is smaller than none. Still, there's an election coming in a mere 90 days. If we're going to get leaders in office who are willing to help up save ourselves, now may very well be our last chance to do it. There's no excuse this time; each and everyone of us who is concerned about the fate of the planet—and our species—must vote.

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          China, Germany Defend Iran Business Ties as US Sanctions Grip      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
China and Germany defended their business ties with Iran on Wednesday in the face of President Donald Trump’s warning that any companies trading with the Islamic Republic would be barred from the United States. The comments from Beijing and Berlin signaled growing anger from partners of the United States, which reimposed strict sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, over its threat to penalize businesses from third countries that continue to operate there. “China has consistently opposed unilateral sanctions and long-armed jurisdiction,” the Chinese foreign ministry said. “China’s commercial cooperation with Iran is open and transparent, reasonable, fair and lawful, not violating any United Nations Security Council resolutions,” it added in a faxed statement to Reuters. “China’s lawful rights should be protected.” The German government said U.S. sanctions against Iran that have an extra-territorial effect violate international law, and Germany expects Washington to consider European interests when coming up with such sanctions. The reimposition of U.S. sanctions followed Trump’s decision earlier this year to pull out of a 2015 deal to lift the punitive measures in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program designed to prevent it from building an atomic bomb. Iran’s highest authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said meanwhile the country had nothing to be concerned about, a report on his official website said in an apparent reference to the imposition of the U.S. sanctions “With regard to our situation do not be worried at all. Nobody can do anything,” Khamenei said recently, the website reported. “There is no doubt about this.” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking in a meeting with North Korea’s foreign minister, said that America could not be trusted, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency. “Today, America is identified as an unreliable and untrustworthy country in the world which does not adhere to any of its obligations,” Rouhani said. Tuesday’s sanctions target Iran’s purchases of U.S. dollars, metals trading, coal, industrial software and the auto sector. Trump tweeted on Tuesday: “These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level. Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States.” Europeans withdraw European countries, hoping to persuade Tehran to continue to respect the deal, have promised to try to lessen the blow of sanctions and to urge their firms not to pull out. But that has proved difficult: European companies have quit Iran, arguing that they cannot risk their U.S. business. Among those that have suspended plans to invest in Iran are France’s oil major Total, its big carmakers PSA and Renault, and their German rival Daimler. Danish engineering company Haldor Topsoe, one of the world’s leading industrial catalyst producers, said on Wednesday it would cut around 200 jobs from its workforce of 2,700 due to the new U.S sanctions on Iran, which made it very hard for its customers there to finance new projects. The chief executive of reinsurance group Munich Re said it may abandon its Iran business under pressure from the United States, but described the operation as very small. Turkey, however, said it would continue to buy natural gas from Iran. “Simplistic idea” In Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted by an Iranian newspaper as saying that a U.S. plan to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero would not succeed. U.S. officials have said in recent weeks that they aim to pressure countries to stop buying oil from Iran in a bid to force Tehran to halt its nuclear and missile programs and involvement in regional conflicts in Syria and Iraq. “If the Americans want to keep this simplistic and impossible idea in their minds they should also know its consequences,” Zarif told the Iran newspaper. “They can’t think that Iran won’t export oil and others will export.” Rouhani hinted last month that Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, if the U.S. attempted to stop the Islamic Republic’s oil exports. Trump responded by noting that Iran could face serious consequences if it threatened the United States. “The Americans have assembled a war room against Iran,” Zarif said. “We can’t get drawn into a confrontation with America by falling into this war room trap and playing on a battlefield.” Iran has dismissed a last-minute offer from the Trump administration for talks, saying it could not negotiate while Washington had reneged on the 2015 deal to lift sanctions. In a speech hours before the sanctions were due to take effect on Tuesday, Rouhani rejected negotiations as long as Washington was no longer complying with the deal. “If you stab someone with a knife and then you say you want talks, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
          Damascus: Syria's first lady starts breast cancer treatment - ABC News      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

ABC News

Damascus: Syria's first lady starts breast cancer treatment
ABC News
Syria's first lady Asma Assad has begun treatment for breast cancer, the presidency said Wednesday, wishing her a speedy recovery. Such public announcements are uncommon in the Arab world, where cancer is considered a taboo. The presidency posted ...
Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatmentITV News

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          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          Syria’s first lady diagnosed with breast cancer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Asma-Al-assadThe wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has begun treatment for early-stage breast cancer, the presidency said on Wednesday. “Asma al-Assad is beginning the first stage
          In Africa, Mystery Murders Put Spotlight on Kremlin's Reach - New York Times      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

New York Times

In Africa, Mystery Murders Put Spotlight on Kremlin's Reach
New York Times
MOSCOW — The three Russian journalists ventured into the violent and rebel-plagued Central African Republic as part of a daring investigation into the Kremlin's use of mercenaries to project power into Africa, Syria and other distant lands. Three days ...

and more »

          Pompeo, Shoukry discuss US-Egypt ties, Syria, Libya, Mideast peace efforts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
WASHINGTON, Aug 8 (KUNA) -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met at the State Department, department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Wednesday. They discussed "the strong US-Egypt partnership, US military assi
          DASKAA to mark climax of USA anti-Russian hysteria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
US Congress currently considers a new document, the essence of which is to put even more pressure on the Russian Federation. The document, inter alia, highlights the need to find the assets of Russian President Putin and declare Russia an accomplice of international terrorism.The document titled "Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2018" or DASKAA, proposes reducing all existing anti-Russian sanctions to a common denominator. Also, according to the bill, Washington will create a special department to oversee the actions of the United States of America on sanctions against Russia.The senators who supported the bill want the Russian Federation to return the Crimea to Ukraine and refuse to sponsor military operations in the Donbass. Representatives of the US government also urge Moscow to stop supporting separatists of Georgia and Moldova. In addition, US authorities want Russia to stop its participation in military operations in Syria, withdraw from the alliance with pro-government forces of the country and no longer support the regime of Bashar Assad.
          Russia's five-day war with Georgia: What lies beneath international lies      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Ten years ago, on August 8, 2008, Georgia attacked South Ossetia. The attack marked the beginning of the conflict that would later be called "The Five-Day War."Tensions between Georgia and South Ossetia had been growing since the collapse of the Soviet Union or even earlier. In the beginning of the 2000s, the crisis subdued, but the situation took a turn for the worse again after Mikhail Saakashvili came to power in Georgia as a result of the "Rose Revolution" in 2004. When Saakashvili took office as President of Georgia, the authorities of the republic embarked on  political and then military provocations. At some point, Saakashvili came to Ossetia in 2004 within the framework of the election campaign, but he had not coordinated his visit with the local authorities. He publicly stated then that it was the last year when the Ossetians had not cast their votes in the election of the Georgian president. At the same time, the vast majority of residents of South Ossetia (approximately 98-99 percent) had voted at referendums for their independence from Georgia. What it more, they had voted for South Ossetia to join the Russian Federation. Russia has been trying to act as a peacekeeper since the late 1980s. Russia's peacekeeping contingent was deployed in South Ossetia. Yet, Georgian officials - especially those who came to power as a result of the "Rose Revolution" - saw only a military way for annexing Ossetia. Apparently, Saakashvili expected that the West would approve of Georgia's military aggression against the Ossetians. Most likely, the plan was to seize the republic so that the West would then recognize it as a part of the Georgian territory despite the losses among the Russian peacekeeping contingent and civilians.In 2008, few believed that Russia would intervene in the conflict to protect the Ossetians and their interests. Today, ten years later, it is obvious that Saakashvili was hoping for a blitzkrieg: to  attack and seize South Ossetia very quickly so that the Russians would not even know what hit them. Georgia launched the artillery attack on the city of Tskhinvali on August 8 at 00:15 a.m. At first, the Georgian troops captured several villages and reached the outskirts of the capital of the republic, having killed several Russian peacekeepers. In one of the interviews, sitting President of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, recollected those events: "Unfortunately, on the outskirts of the city, riot policemen were killed. I told them then that they would have to retreat into the city, but they were carrying out the order. One must pay tribute to those heroic guys, because they had been executing the order until the very last second of their lives." The Russian troops entered the territory of the republic several hours later. It became clear by the evening of August 8 that the Georgian blitzkrieg had failed. Russia launched its counteroffensive operation, which was dubbed as an act of "coercion to peace."At the same time, a group of ships of the Black Sea Fleet entered the territorial waters of Georgia to block the Georgian fleet. As a result, the territory of South Ossetia was cleared of Georgian troops already on August 11. The Russian troops entered the territory of Georgia and occupied the Georgian city of Zugdidi. The Georgian troops had abandoned the city of Gori by that time.However, Western mass media distorted the events that were happening in South Ossetia and declared Russia an aggressor state. As the armed conflict was unfolding, Russian mass media outlets were full of reports about the war. However, news stories about the conflict appeared in Western publications only several hours later. All Western mass media outlets were saying that it was Russia that attacked Georgia. Mikhail Saakashvili, formerly the president of Georgia and an outcast Ukrainian politician, who now serves, as it appears, a blogger on Echo of Moscow radio station, still believes that it was Russia, but not Georgia, that committed aggressive acts. His recent column is devoted to "heroic battles" of the Georgian army and the "Russian aggression." According to Saakashvili, Chechen terrorist and warlord Shamil Basayev was a Russian volunteer.  Saakashvili still thinks that he found courage to show proper resistance to Russia. Well, the famous video of Mikhail Saakashvili chewing on his tie is a perfect example of this man's unexampled heroism. In the end, all attempts to accuse Russia of aggression fell apart when the International Commission of the European Union concluded as a result of its investigation that it was Georgia that committed an act of aggression. The verdict from the EU, however, did not stop either Georgia or the United States from accusing Russia of attacking Georgia. The events of August 8 marked a turning point in Russia's modern history. The conflict with Georgia made Russia believe that the country is capable of protecting its interests and ensuring  peace not only on our borders, but also in adjacent territories. Russia was experiencing the feeling of triumph and historical justice. The Georgian army shelled residential quarters of Tskhinvali, and we still remember the footage of the city in ruins with dead bodies of civilian residents on the streets. Now, ten years after that war, South Ossetia is a developing republic. The majority of Ossetians still want their republic to join the Russian Federation, and South Ossetian President, Anatoly Bibilov, says that it will happen sooner or later. South Ossetia runs its own economy and pursues an independent foreign policy. The republic has recently established trade relations with Syria. Most importantly, however, South Ossetia lives in peace today. As for Saakashvili and other Georgian politicians who unleashed that war, some of them have been defamed, jailed or put on international wanted list. The current relations between Georgia and Russia remain complicated, but the sitting Georgian leadership is wise enough not to pursue the policy of saber-rattling in relation to the territories that historically have never been Georgia and do not want to be a part of it in the future.Pravda.Ru Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru
          Syrian Forces Retake Last Daesh Stronghold (4:14) / Press TV on YouTube      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Lunch At A Public Shelter In Homs      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In Homs, like many other parts in Syria, WFP provides food assistance to vulnerable families in need. Here, a group of Syrian children are eating a hot meal served at public shelter where WFP food is cooked in communal kitchens and served to internally displaced families. - Copyright: WFP/Abeer Etefa
          Centcom Commander: Afghan Government Will Prosecute ISIS-K Terrorists      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan members held in Afghanistan will be tried as war criminals and the Afghanistan government will ensure those found guilty will be held to account for their war crimes, the commander of U.S. Central Command said.
General sits at table briefing reporters.

          Damascus Cover Official Trailer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

https://img-hws.y8.com/cloud/v2-y8-thumbs-video-thumbnails-001/250247/s640x360_video_thumbnail.jpg Ari Ben-Zion, haunted by the death of his son, is assigned by the Mossad to smuggle a chemical weapons scientist out of Syria. Within days his mission goes wrong. To survive Ari reaches out to a deep cover agent code named, The Angel. He soon discovers that he is a pawn in a much bigger plan.


          Syria's first lady starts breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Syria's first lady Asma Assad has begun treatment for breast cancer, the president’s office said Wednesday.

Such public announcements are uncommon in the Arab world, where cancer is considered a taboo.

The president’s office posted on its Facebook page a photo of President Bashar Assad sitting...


          A Syrian refugee’s view of his European hosts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
This story from a Daily Caller is a bit off a beaten path, but I found it fascinating enough to want to share it here. Given a current debate in Europe over how to h&le mass migration & a flood of primarily Syrian refugees, this is a story which might contribute to that conversation. It’s […]
          Syria’s first lady, Asma Assad, reportedly begins breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

State news agency SANA said the first lady is undergoing treatment at a military hospital in the Syrian capital of Damascus. It gave no further details.
          Syrian War Report – August 6, 2018: Syrian Army Preparing For Operation In Northern Latakia      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   



[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, August 9th, 2018.]
          Comment on Will the Trump Administration Attack Iran? by euhuguenin      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
No, Iran is not going to haul off and attack Israel, either in Syria or Israel proper. It's government in Tehran is many things, but stupid is not one of them. What Israel is attempting to do is create a false flag, to be blamed on Iran, as the justification for attacking it, and bringing it the US in on its side, militarily. And unfortunately, Netanyahu's ventrilloquist dummy, here in the US, AKA President Trump, has just made it very painfully clear this morning, that the US's withdrawal from the P5+1, and the sanctions which will ensue, are the US government's prelude to a war against Iran. Just because something isn't the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing the US government could do, is no guarantee that it will not do it, and President Trump's speech about the US withdrawing from the P5+1 deal, is no exception to this very dark reality. He is making claims about Iran's actions and capacities which bear absolutely no basis in reality. The IAEA, which is staffed by amazinglingly bright people, has looked at the suspected facility, and said that there is no "there" there. And if that is what the IAEA is telling the world, I would very much tend to believe them. What Netanyahu and Trump are doing is tantamount to calling members of the IAEA, in their inspections of Iran's nuclear facilities, idiots and liers, and members of this organization is neither. With a potential corruption indictment hanging over his head, Netanyahu is going to want to jump start this war as quickly as possible, which is most probably the reason President Trump made the decert announcement today, rather than wait until this coming Saturday, 12 May, which was the actual deadline. Look for this war to generate the revival of the draft in this country, and this time, the US military will be coming after both our young women, as well as our young men. And here is how I see the forces lining up; China, Russia, and Iran on one side, with the US; NATO, Saudi Arabia, and Israel on the other. There is no way that this will be allowed to stay regional; my sense is, it will go global in a heartbeat. Memo to Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon: the American people have gotten extraordinarily tired of the demands, bullying, and blackmail the American government has received from the fully nuclear armed, viciously apartheid, theocracy which is what Israel has become in the 21st century. And we have one word for you: enough!! We will provide you no more American military to get slaughtered or maimed for life in the process of "neutralizing" all your alleged existential threats in the Middle East. And of course, as we both know, that includes all of your neighbors in the region. And on top of that, sir, we would appreciate it greatly if the US government immediately pull all financial and military aid from your country immediately, as all this aid is completely illegal under the Symington Amendment. We the people would like to see this accomplished and immediately, sir. The days of the host/parasite relationship between the Us government and that of Israel may well be coming to a very abrupt halt, and it is damn well about time, sir!!!
          Trump's Rhetoric Doesn't Necessarily Match His Administration's Actions in Syria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: The strikes on Syria over the weekend fit a pattern for a president who goes public with his instincts before policies have been finalized. Ultimately the U.S. conducted three targeted, narrow strikes on Syrian facilities connected to the regime's chemical weapons program. NPR's Tamara Keith reports it seemed short of what Trump had threatened. TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: As images of dead and suffering children emerged from Syria a little more than a week ago, President Trump tweeted, President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing animal Assad - big price to pay. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: This is about humanity. We're talking about humanity, and it can't be allowed to happen. KEITH: He echoed that sentiment in remarks in the Cabinet Room, saying if it's Syria or Iran or Russia or all of them together... (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) TRUMP: It's going to be very tough, very tough.
          Trump Denounces FBI Raid On His Attorney And Alleged Chemical Attack In Syria       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: President Trump is lashing out at special counsel Robert Mueller after an FBI raid on his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Here's what's happening. Cohen's lawyer said in a statement that the raid was based at least in part on a referral from the special counsel. It's not clear exactly what investigators may be after or whether this may be related to the Russia probe. Here's what Trump had to say tonight about the development. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It's a disgrace. It's frankly a real disgrace. It's a - an attack on our country in a true sense. It's an attack on what we all stand for. So when I saw this and when I heard it - I heard it like you did - I said, that is really now in a whole new level of unfairness. KELLY: NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith joins us now. Hey there. TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi. KELLY: Hi. We can hear President Trump is clearly really upset about this -
          damascus syria map      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
damascus syria map

          Syria's first lady diagnosed with breast cancer: presidency      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Syria's first lady diagnosed with breast cancer: presidencyThe wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has begun treatment for early-stage breast cancer, the presidency said on Wednesday. "Asma al-Assad is beginning the first stage of treatment for a malignant tumour in the breast that was discovered at an early stage," the presidency announced on its social media accounts. The presidency did not specify where the first lady was being treated, but the word "military" was printed on a blanket visible in the picture, indicating she was likely in a government-run military hospital.



          Syria's first lady treated for breast cancer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syria’s First Lady, Asma al-Assad is being treated for breast cancer in Damascus
          More than 235,000 Syrians return home since start of Russian military operation      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
More than 235,000 refugees have returned to Syria after September 30, 2015
          Russia to help Syria restore system of response to emergencies      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Russia’s Emergencies Ministry will help Syria restore the national system of reaction to emergencies
          More than 120 homes restored in Syria in one week      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Two kindergartens and a school opened in Syria in one week
          Syrian constitutional committee to be set up in September      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura expects to form a Syrian constitutional committee in September
          Syrian authorities set up camp for displaced Idlib residents near Damascus      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The camp is located on the territory of a former sports complex
          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          ARABIC Interpreter - INCommunities - Hamilton, ON      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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From Indeed - Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:06:23 GMT - View all Hamilton, ON jobs
           CMA CGM levies rate hikes on Asia-Med/African cargo from August 15      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
French shipping giant CMA CGM has announced Freight All Kinds (FAK) rate increases from August 15 but not beyond August 31 on shipments from Asia to the Mediterranean and African ports, according to Shipping Gazette.The rate increase from September from Asia to all South African ports is US$300 per TEU and $600 per FEU.The new rate from Asia to the West Med is US$1,100 per TEU, $2,000 per FEU, $2,050 per FEU high cube and $2,050 per FEU reefer.The new rate from Asia to the Adriatic is $1,100 per TEU, $2,000 per FEU, $2,050 per FEU high cube and $2,050 per FEU reefer.The new rate from Asia to the Black Sea is $1,500 per TEU, $2,100 per FEU, $2,100 per FEU high cube and $2,100 per FEU reefer.The new rate from Asia to the East Med is $1,500 per TEU is $2,100 per FEU, $2,100 per FEU high cube and $2,100 per FEU reefer.The new rate from Asia to Syria is $1,500 per TEU is $2,100 per FEU, $2,100 per FEU high cube and $2,100 per FEU reefer.The new rate from Asia to Algeria is $2,000 per TEU, $3,800 per FEU and $3,875 per FEU high cube.The new rate from Asia to Tunisia is $1,900 per TEU, $3,600 per FEU and $3,675 per FEU high cube.The new rate from Asia to Libya is $1,750 per TEU, $3,300 per FEU and $3,375 per FEU high cube.The new rate from Asia to Morocco is $1,600 per TEU, $3,000 per FEU and $3,075 per FEU high cube.These rates include the basic freight and the bunker surcharge. The new rate subject to other bunker-related surcharges, the THC (origin and destination), the peak season charges and similar charges, the safety and security-related surcharges that are accessible at http://www.cma-cgm.com/ebusiness/tariffs/charge-finder. Other charges such as Contingency charges and local charges may also apply.

Source: Transportweekly
          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          Syria's first lady diagnosed with breast cancer: Presidency      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has begun treatment for early-stage breast cancer, the presidency said on Wednesday.
          Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad treated for breast cancer - state media      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad has started treatment for early stage breast cancer, Syrian state media reported on Wednesday.

          Đột phá từ người Kurd, Nga muốn chốt hạ chiến trường Syria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Một phái bộ của Liên đoàn quốc tế cộng đồng người Kurd , đứng đầu là ông Knyaz Mirzoyev, đã gặp Thứ trưởng Ngoại giao Nga kiêm Đặc phái viên đặc biệt về Trung Đông và châu Phi Mikhail Bogdanov vào ngày 6/8, Bộ Ngoại giao Nga cho biết trong một tuyên bố trên trang web của cơ quan này.

Đột phá từ người Kurd, Nga muốn chốt hạ chiến trường Syria - Ảnh 1.

Thứ trưởng Ngoại giao Nga kiêm Đặc phái viên đặc biệt về Trung Đông và châu Phi Mikhail Bogdanov. (Nguồn: Sputnik)

"Các thành viên của phái bộ đã thông báo cho ông Bogdanov về kết quả thi bang lai xe a2 của cuộc họp sáng lập Liên đoàn quốc tế cộng đồng người Kurd tổ chức tại Moscow vào ngày 4/8 và hoan nghênh sự hiệp tác và kết đoàn của các đại diện từ các tổ chức phi chính phủ người Kurd, bao gồm cả những người Kurd ở Nga và Trung Á.

Các đại biểu cũng luận bàn về các vấn đề bít tất tay ở Trung Đông với sự tụ họp về những vấn đề của người Kurd trong bối cảnh có nhiều diễn biến ở Iraq và Syria, bao gồm sự cấp thiết củng cố các núm quốc tế chống ISIS và các nhóm khủng bố khác", tuyên bố của Bộ Ngoại giao Nga cho hay.

Theo Southfront, sự tăng cường mối hệ trọng giữa Nga và các tổ chức người Kurd diễn ra trong bối cảnh chính phủ Damascus và các phe phái người Kurd ở Syria đang siết chặt quan hệ.

Vào ngày 27/7, một phái đoàn của Hội đồng Dân chủ Syria (SDC) [một phe cánh chính trị thuộc Lực lượng Dân chủ Syria SDF được Mỹ hậu thuẫn] do Ilham Ehmed dẫn đầu đã đến Damascus để thương lượng với chính quyền Syria.

Điều quan yếu cần lưu ý là SDF và SDC trên thực tế nằm dưới sự dẫn đầu của lực lượng dân quân người Kurd YPG.

Vào ngày 2/8, một nhóm người Kurd khác, Đảng mai sau Syria (FSP), thông tin sẽ mở văn phòng tại khu vực do chính phủ Syria kiểm soát.

Ngày 5/8, tư lệnh Các đơn vị bảo vệ dân chúng Kurd YPG, Siban Hamo, nói với tờ báo Asharq al-Awsat có hội sở tại Anh rằng, các lực lượng của ông sẵn sàng tương trợ quân đội Syria chống lại các phần tử khủng bố ISIS tại đông al-Suwayda.

Những diễn biến này là một dấu hiệu quan trọng cho thấy nhiều cuộc thương thảo đang diễn ra trong nội bộ các lực lượng Syria, trong đó Moscow đóng một vai trò quan yếu như người hòa giải. Dù Nga vẫn chưa thể hướng đến nhận thức chung với Mỹ về ngày mai của Syria, thì có thể họ đang tận dụng ảnh hưởng của mình để thúc đẩy một quá trình hòa bình trên mặt trận.


          Russia: BOOM! International Army Games tank biathlon      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The tank biathlon was full speed ahead on day six of the 2018 International Army Games. Teams from Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyztan, Myanmar, Syria, Tajikistan and Vietnam competed on the sixth day of the games.
          Health agencies warn Idlib offensive could uproot 700,000 Syrians      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
An anticipated Syrian government offensive against rebels in Idlib province could displace more than 700,000 people, far more than were uprooted in a recent battle in the southwest of Syria, a U.N.-led group of health agencies said in a monthly report. Ma
          ISIS Suicide Bombings Kill Dozens, Setting Off Intense Fighting In Syria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Suicide bombers struck an open-air market and other targets in the southern Syrian city of Sweida early Wednesday. The four attacks killed dozens of people and injured dozens more, local media say, in a region where the government has been fighting ISIS militants. Citing the Syrian regime's state media agency, NPR's Ruth Sherlock reports, "The news report says a motorcycle bomber struck the marketplace just after dawn." Other attacks followed. Images from the scene show a truck with a burned and dented hood, sitting in a wide street next to fruit and vegetables from a stall. The ground nearby was littered with charred debris and a pair of sandals, along with a pool of blood. Elsewhere, bodies lay amid the wreckage of part of a building's exterior that was destroyed. The attacks were just one element of the violence to hit the area on Wednesday. Describing a chaotic scene, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says pro-regime militants and armed villagers also clashed with ISIS
          Dolan praises St. Dominic at KofC convention      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Baltimore, Md., Aug 8, 2018 / 03:54 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of New York encouraged Catholics to imitate the patient and persistent prayer of St. Dominic, during a homily Aug. 8 at the 2018 Knights of Columbus convention in Baltimore.

“Jesus prefers patient, persistent, persevering, pestering prayer! St. Dominic claims this creates within us a readiness, a space, to receive God’s answer.  We would say such constant prayer exercises our ‘faith muscle,’ which tends to get flabby,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

The cardinal pointed to St. Dominic’s dedication to the rosary and contemplation of the Gospels as daily practices worthy of imitation, comparing St. Dominic’s perseverance with that of the Canaanite woman in the Gospel.

Dolan also commended the amount of prayer that takes place at the Knights of Columbus’ annual convention, which includes daily Masses, a Eucharistic adoration chapel, and invocations before every event.

Aug. 8 is celebrated in the Church as the memorial of St. Dominic, the 13th century founder of the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans, who spread devotion to the rosary.

“This towering saint gives us an abundance of attributes to celebrate: his preaching, so renowned that his spiritual sons are called ‘the order of preachers’; his intellect, the spring that gave us scholarly giants such as St. Albert and St. Thomas Aquinas; his zeal, as St. Dominic was non-stop in his teaching, preaching, travel, and work, all for Jesus and His Church,” said Dolan.

However, he reminded the Knights that prayer was “what generated the renowned preaching, scholarship, and evangelical energy of St. Dominic.”

After the Mass, the Greek Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, Jean-Clement Jeanbart spoke briefly about a pilgrim icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians, which was then blessed by Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

Lori’s blessing was the kickoff to the Knights’ Marian icon prayer program. The archbishop invoked St. Paul’s words, “though we are afflicted in every way, we are not crushed; though perplexed, not driven to despair; though persecuted, not forsaken; though struck down, not destroyed.”


          Knights of Columbus pledge support for persecuted Christians      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Baltimore, Md., Aug 7, 2018 / 04:00 pm (CNA).- Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson pledged the fraternal organization’s continued efforts to aid and rebuild persecuted Christian communities in the Middle East, during his Aug. 7 address at the 2018 Knights of Columbus convention in Baltimore, Maryland.

Anderson also unveiled a new pilgrim icon, “Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians,” created for the Knights by Italian artist Fabrizio Diomedi. The icon will travel from parish-to-parish across the country to raise awareness, show solidarity, and inspire support for persecuted Christians.

In his opening remarks at the convention, taking place August 7-9, Anderson said that he hopes that this “pilgrim icon program” will “focus the eyes of our Church on the sacrifice of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Anderson’s remarks highlighted the pivotal role that the Knights of Columbus have played in supporting Christians in the Middle East, where they have committed more than $20 million since 2014 to provide “food, shelter, and clothing to our neighbors who lost everything in Iraq and Syria because they refused to give up their love of Christ.”

“It is clear that without the support of the Knights of Columbus, Christianity might have died in Iraq,” said Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, in a video shown during Anderson’s speech. The Chaldean archbishop’s community was driven from their historic home in the Nineveh Plains by repeated attacks from the Islamic State starting in 2014.

Vice President Mike Pence also thanked the Knights of Columbus for their support of minorities in the Middle East in a video message shown at the convention. Anderson said that the Knights are working with the vice president to ensure that these minority communnties are included in U.S. and U.N. assistance in Iraq.

“When the conflict between Kurdistan and the Government of Iraq threatened an ancient Christian town that had just been rebuilt, we alerted the State Department and the White House.  We worked with them to help de-escalate tensions and avoid a bloody conflict that could have ended the Christian presence in Iraq,” said Anderson.

The Supreme Knight also thanked Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria, who was in attendance at the Baltimore convention, for his courageous leadership.

Anderson said that he is challenging the Knights of Columbus to raise $1 million this year to finish a project to provide housing for both Syriac and Chaldean Christian families. The 140-unit apartment building will be called the McGivney House, in honor of Father Michael McGivney, the Connecticut priest who founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882.

Anderson commended the Knights for meeting last year’s challenge of raising $2 million for the rebuilding of the Iraqi town of Karamles, which he said had been “a Christian town for centuries before ISIS overran it, drove out its inhabitants, destroyed their homes, and desecrated their churches.”

One Knights of Columbus council in Nebraska, St. John the Baptist Council 10-305, raised $163,000 for the families of Karamles at a dinner and auction.The funds will be used to rebuild more than 80 homes of Christians in Iraq.

“If we value only self-interest, we will get discord and division. But if we value charity — if we value unity and fraternity — we will build a society where the common good is protected,” said Anderson.

He highlighted the many other charitable initiatives the Knights have funded throughout the world, including providing for 950 ultrasound machines, 7,649 new wheelchairs, 105,000 new coats for children, and a pilgrimage that brought over 200 wounded veterans and military personnel to Lourdes, France. Last year, the Knights also contributed $4.2 million dollars for disaster relief after hurricanes hit Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida.

The Knights of Columbus’ total charitable contributions last year exceeded  $185 million dollars with its members providing 75.6 million volunteer hours.

Internationally, Anderson also announced that the Knights of Columbus is expanding, with its newest territory in now in South Korea and a new State Council designation for Ukraine. He also noted that the Knights have experienced a considerable growth in membership both in France and the Philippines.

This year, membership totalled 1,967,585 - a new high, according to Anderson.

Addressing attendees in the Baltimore Convention Center, Anderson quoted a speech delivered by Saint Pope John Paul II at the Baltimore Orioles Park at Camden Yards next to the center:

“Catholics of America,” St. John Paul II proclaimed, “Always be guided by the truth — by the truth about God who created and redeemed us, and by the truth about the human person, made in the image and likeness of God.”


          8/9/2018: WORLD: Mossad takes out Syrian rocket chief      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A senior Syrian rocket scientist blown up by a car-bomb on Saturday was killed by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, according to a new account quoting informed Middle East intelligence sources. Aziz Asber, who was killed along with his chauffeur...
          How great is your faith?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
St. Dominic
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St. Dominic Church, NOLA

The Lord guides Israel's people out of their Assyrian exile. He leads them back to Jerusalem, saying, “I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they shall be my people.” When all are settled, the Lord appears to Israel and reassures them, “With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt. . .” Despite Israel's faithlessness to the Covenant, the Lord keeps His promise. In His great love, He shows mercy. And His mercy brings restoration. The Good News is that God's love and mercy are not limited to the people of Israel. We Gentiles have a Covenant with God too. A Covenant that we too often forget and fail. When the Canaanite woman begs Christ to exorcise her possessed daughter, the Lord says to her, in effect, “I'm not here for you Gentiles. I'm here for the Jews.” The woman replies, in effect, “Even Gentiles get the leftovers from the Jewish table!” Christ, possibly glancing wryly at his disciples to see if they are paying attention, answers her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter is healed.

In these difficult times, Christ could ask his Church, “How great is your faith?” If we were being honest, we might say, “Not so great, actually.” Or perhaps, “Our faith is being tested, Lord.” He might ask us to look carefully at how faithful we are to the Covenant he died to establish. He might ask us to look at how well we love, how well we forgive, how well we find hope in this mess. He might even suggest to us that as a gift from the Father our faith is not the sort of thing we can measure. Faith is received and put to good use, or it is ignored and left to shrivel up. So, maybe the better question for us is: “Have you received the faith our Father freely offers and put it to good use?” If not, why not? Israel was unfaithful to the Covenant established by Abraham. And the Lord allowed the Assyrian Empire to scatter His people all over the region in exile. When they were allowed to return to Jerusalem, the Lord said to them, “With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. Again I will restore you, and you shall be rebuilt. . .” So, after suffering the consequences of their sin, Israel is restored and rebuilt. Please notice that the Lord never stopped loving Israel. Allowing Israel to be scattered, to experience the consequences of their unfaithfulness is what brings them back home. In His mercy, the Lord brings them home. 
 
How great is your faith? How well do you forgive, show mercy, live in hope? Not so great? Better than you'd expect? Maybe: needs improvement? However you answer these questions – your faith heals you. Your trust in God's promises heals you. You are freed from your sins using the same measure you use to free others from theirs. And remember the Lord's words to Israel as they return from their exile: “With age-old love I have loved you; so I have kept my mercy toward you. Again I will restore you,  and you shall be rebuilt. . .”


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          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          Journalist Austin Tice has been missing in Syria for six years. Is it still news?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Wife of Japan journalist held in Syria pleads for his release      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Comment on Media News Digest: Press council reverses Homolka blame, the Roast of Tony Marinaro, Celine Cooper ends Gazette column by Marc      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Probably because there's at least some truth to it? Take a look at Fox (biased to Trump), MSNBC (biased to the Dem party establishment) or CNN (biased to the overall DC-dwelling establishment). It's very hard to find a pack of people who are that unserious about their jobs. From tribalist, partisan hacks to baldfaced liars to neocons always pushing out more war. The first time Trump bombed the government of Syria (Russia's #1 ally) you had Brian Williams beaming with glee at the sight of those missile blazing their way through the sky. You had Fareed Zakaria declare that moment as the one Trump truly became POTUS. The second time Trump bombed the government of Syria (Russia's #1 ally), the media put out the fake news that a chemical weapons facility was successfully destroyed. Except that isn't what it was. It was a medical lab researching new snake venom antidotes - that they chose to not report. And don't get me started on the "BREAKING NEWS" tagline. CNN abuses it beyond belief. Broadcast cable news pump out fake news all the time. Print media on the other hand are far more serious and reliable.
          ARABIC Interpreter - INCommunities - Hamilton, ON      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Albanian, Amharic, *Arabic*, Armenian, Assyrian, Azeri/Azerbaijani, Bengali, Bosnian, Burmese, Calabrese, Cantonese, Chaldean, Croatian, Czech, Dari, Dinka,... $26 an hour
From Indeed - Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:06:23 GMT - View all Hamilton, ON jobs
          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          August 9: Nehemiah 7; Ephesians 4:17–32; Psalm 36; Proverbs 21:5–7       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Old Testament: Nehemiah 7

Nehemiah 7 (Listen)

Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many. And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their guard posts and some in front of their own homes.” The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few, and no houses had been rebuilt.

Lists of Returned Exiles

Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it:

These were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried into exile. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel: the sons of Parosh, 2,172. The sons of Shephatiah, 372. 10 The sons of Arah, 652. 11 The sons of Pahath-moab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,818. 12 The sons of Elam, 1,254. 13 The sons of Zattu, 845. 14 The sons of Zaccai, 760. 15 The sons of Binnui, 648. 16 The sons of Bebai, 628. 17 The sons of Azgad, 2,322. 18 The sons of Adonikam, 667. 19 The sons of Bigvai, 2,067. 20 The sons of Adin, 655. 21 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, 98. 22 The sons of Hashum, 328. 23 The sons of Bezai, 324. 24 The sons of Hariph, 112. 25 The sons of Gibeon, 95. 26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188. 27 The men of Anathoth, 128. 28 The men of Beth-azmaveth, 42. 29 The men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, 621. 31 The men of Michmas, 122. 32 The men of Bethel and Ai, 123. 33 The men of the other Nebo, 52. 34 The sons of the other Elam, 1,254. 35 The sons of Harim, 320. 36 The sons of Jericho, 345. 37 The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721. 38 The sons of Senaah, 3,930.

39 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, namely the house of Jeshua, 973. 40 The sons of Immer, 1,052. 41 The sons of Pashhur, 1,247. 42 The sons of Harim, 1,017.

43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, namely of Kadmiel of the sons of Hodevah, 74. 44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, 148. 45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, 138.

46 The temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha.

57 The sons of Solomon's servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Amon.

60 All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon's servants were 392.

61 The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not prove their fathers' houses nor their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, 642. 63 Also, of the priests: the sons of Hobaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai (who had taken a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name). 64 These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but it was not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food until a priest with Urim and Thummim should arise.

Totals of People and Gifts

66 The whole assembly together was 42,360, 67 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337. And they had 245 singers, male and female. 68 Their horses were 736, their mules 245,1 69 their camels 435, and their donkeys 6,720.

70 Now some of the heads of fathers' houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics2 of gold, 50 basins, 30 priests' garments and 500 minas3 of silver.4 71 And some of the heads of fathers' houses gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minas of silver, and 67 priests' garments.

73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns.

And when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns.

Footnotes

[1] 7:68 Compare Ezra 2:66 and the margins of some Hebrew manuscripts; Hebrew lacks Their horses . . . 245
[2] 7:70 A daric was a coin weighing about 1/4 ounce or 8.5 grams
[3] 7:70 A mina was about 1 1/4 pounds or 0.6 kilogram
[4] 7:70 Probable reading; Hebrew lacks minas of silver

(ESV)

New Testament: Ephesians 4:17–32

Ephesians 4:17–32 (Listen)

The New Life

17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!—21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,1 which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Footnotes

[1] 4:22 Greek man; also verse 24

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 36

Psalm 36 (Listen)

How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love

To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the LORD.

36   Transgression speaks to the wicked
    deep in his heart;1
  there is no fear of God
    before his eyes.
  For he flatters himself in his own eyes
    that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
  The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
    he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
  He plots trouble while on his bed;
    he sets himself in a way that is not good;
    he does not reject evil.
  Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
  Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O LORD.
  How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
  They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
  For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light.
10   Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11   Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12   There the evildoers lie fallen;
    they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Footnotes

[1] 36:1 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Jerome (compare Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts in my heart

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 21:5–7

Proverbs 21:5–7 (Listen)

  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.1
  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.

Footnotes

[1] 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death

(ESV)


          Blueprint News Celebrates 250 000 Visitors      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The registration of visitor statistics for "blueprint news" started in May 2010 and reported about 250.000 visitors in August 2018. Here are some numbers that remain incomplete, however, because only the leading 10 visitor nations are given, together with information about browsers and systems applied by visitors. Some rare browsers that came to my attention during the years are not included in the overall statistics as they present only a low number of visitors i.e. < 1%. Same goes with the computer systems where the list is too long to integrate it entirely into the following chart, and there are, as well, some visitors who withhold part of the Information. An increasing trend to data anonymization makes it even more difficult to collect visitor data.



Overall visitor statistics for August 8, 2018.


However, more important than mere numbers should be the following choice of highlights of visitor activity during all those years and which might give an idea of the global acceptance my rather tiny blog achieved.


Visitor Highlights



Chinese visitors coming from River Yangtse and from Hangzhou, both places being
near to Shanghai. A closer look on the satellite images provides interesting features.



The former Portuguese colony of Macao which is now a part of PR China. Two
long bridges, connecting the main parts of Macao, might attract your attention.



Living the Chinese Dream



Economic prosperity and military strength are integral parts of China's global dream. While
facing maritime disputes with other nations, China is enforcing a modernization of its navy.



Japan and North Korea



One visitor came from the diplomatic quarters of Tokyo (above) and which is near to
the Imperial Palace. Another visitor called from Ground Zero in Hiroshima where the
first atomic bomb had been dopped in 1945.



Earlier this year Japanese authorities launched a missile alert via Japan National TV
when a North Korean test missile was heading toward Japanese territory. As tensions
with North Korea were high at the time, I was just watching Japanese news on satellite
TV. I immediately took a photo from my TV screen and posted it. My blogspot was then
available on the internet while the North Korean missile was still in the air over Japan !



One of the rare visitors from North Korea is indicating he came from the Ryugyong
neighbourhood in Pyongyang and which is not far away from the central compound
of North Korea's ruling Workers Party. The internet access point, however, remains
difficult to localize in this case.



In August 2017 two US military bases on Guam were threatened by North Korea which said
it would create an "enveloping fire" around the US territory using four Hwasong-12 missiles
that should detonate 30-40 km off the island. The US side made clear this would mean war.



Nuclear Research

The CERN Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, is operating the greatest particle accelerator
ever built. It was there that a predicted elementary entity, the Higgs boson, was detected
for the first time.



The center for nuclear research in Dubna is situated in the neighbourhood of
Moscow, Russia. In Soviet times it was the most important facility of its kind.



Washington and Israel

No, it's not at all a call from the President but rather from a
public hotspot facing the White House in Washington DC :



In the hustle of the 2016 pre-election times I simply forgot to publish the below picture.
Sorry for that ! The picture can be named "Grabber King at the Chicago Trump Tower".



The US Department of State noticed my translation of a political poem originally written by
Guenter Grass, one German laureate of the Nobel Price for Literature. It's all about Israeli
militarism directed against Arab neighbours (i.e. their Semitic brethren...) and against Iran.



In the week after the author's death, my translation
of his poem was addressed by different US visitors :



US - Iranian Enmity



The National Defense University NDU in Washington DC, a US government institution,
visited a blogspot of mine and which is dealing with a scenario of mutual threats that
has steadily developed between Iran and the USA.

All

All of Central Asia and the Middle East
is under control of The Empire.
Well, not entirely ..........


An Iranian visitor enjoyed, as well, my visualization of the conflict.



One visitor coming from the faculty of law at Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, made
a Google search by simply entering the timeless adage of justice to be found above the
entrance of a Cairo law court, and found ..... my blogspot about decisive battles in Syria.
What an amazing coincidence !



After the ousting of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Ghadafi, a visitor called from some
internet access point nearby to Martyrs Square in Tripoli, the former capital of Libya.
It is on Martyrs Square that a shrine was established for the heroes of the revolution.



A "postcard" from the holy places of Makkah in Saudi-Arabia :



In August 2014 Islamic fighters were threatening Kurdish residents in the
Kirkuk region of Northern Iraq. People fled into the nearby mountaineous
area while Islamists headed further to Mosul. After the fall of Mosul, the
Islamist leader al-Baghdadi declared his caliphate in the great mosque
of Mosul.



Visitors coming from Northern Pakistan took immediate interest in the Iraqi developments.
They came from Islamabad, its southern environment, from Quetta and Peshawar (below).



Mongolia - Chingis Khan and the "Art of War"



A smiling Mogolian leader once presented his Mongolian horsemen to US president Bush.
When a Mongol horde invaded and destroyed the Caliphate of Baghdad in 1258, they left
a gigantic regional chaos similar to what did the US Cavalry under US president Bush. The
difference, however, is: The Mongol horde robbed what they could carry on horseback and
returned home, while the US sat and waited as oil wells cannot be so easily carried away.



Other "cold warriors" can be found on Elmendorf Air Base in Alaska, USA, .....



..... while some people are peacefully fighting the cold in an Inuit community on Greenland :



The "University of the South Pacific" on the lonesome island of Fiji, however, is a real "hotspot".
No wonder they provide a swimming pool needed to cool off the heated brains of young folks.



In comparison, the "Harvard Business School" in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, might make a point with a better reputation.




          Land Destroyer: US Warmachine Seeks New Pretext in Syria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
  US designs in Syria were made crystal clear by US Army General Joseph Votel – head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) – during a July 19th press briefing General Votel would state unequivocally when asked what the “arrangement” was regarding Syria, that: Our mission is very, very clear: It is focusing on the defeat of […]
          Incense burner, Syria or Palestine, 8th century      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

2

3

4

5

Incense burner, cast and engraved bronze, later chain, Syria or Palestine, 8th century, H: 11; Diam: c. 10 cm, Inv. no. 7/1994. © The David Collection.

In the first centuries after the hijra, the Muslims conquered extensive territories inhabited by Jews and Christians. They were largely allowed to live in peace and to keep and practice their religions as long as they paid poll taxes to the Muslim authorities.

The Christian incense burner – with quite primitive depictions in relief of the Annunciation, Christ’s birth and baptism, the Crucifixion, and the tomb of Christ – belongs to a group that is normally ascribed to the Syrian and Palestinian area. This attribution is further confirmed by the unique inscription in early Kufi that can be translated as follows: “In the name of Allah (God), made by Yaqub, son of Ishaq from Damascus.”

 


          Damascus Cover Official Trailer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

https://img-hws.y8.com/cloud/v2-y8-thumbs-video-thumbnails-001/250247/s640x360_video_thumbnail.jpg Ari Ben-Zion, haunted by the death of his son, is assigned by the Mossad to smuggle a chemical weapons scientist out of Syria. Within days his mission goes wrong. To survive Ari reaches out to a deep cover agent code named, The Angel. He soon discovers that he is a pawn in a much bigger plan.


          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad treated for breast cancer: state media      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad has started treatment for early stage breast cancer, Syrian state media reported on Wednesday.

           Nga quyết không khoanh tay để Mỹ, Israel “đánh hội đồng” Iran       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nga sẽ không đơn giản trao Iran cho Israel hay Mỹ. Lý do này bao gồm cả thực tế rằng Mỹ-Israel và Ả rập Xê-út đang tiến hành một cuộc chiến lớn chống lại Iran. Cuộc chiến này sẽ không ngoài mục đích "thay đổi chế độ" tại Iran và có thể tạo nên những hậu quả thảm khốc lan ra trong khu vực từ Syria, Iran tới Trung Á hay ngay cả nước Nga, theo JNO.Với câu hỏi về sự hiện diện của Iran tại Syria đang nóng lên - sự hiện diện này không phải là không hợp pháp và cũng không phải là một cuộc xâm lược như những gì Mỹ đang làm, căng thẳng trong khu...
          – Syria ødelagt for 3200 milliarder      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Over sju års borgerkrig i Syria har ført til fysiske ødeleggelser for 388 milliarder dollar, eller rundt 3200 milliarder norske kroner. Tallet, som ikke inkluderer menneskelige lidelser, ble offentliggjort av FN-organet ESCWA onsdag.
          8月8日(水)のつぶやき その2      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

【時事通信の記者は心底アホか、それとも誘導目的か?-極悪虚報:時事通信】ロシア、北方領土の軍備強化加速=戦闘機配備か、抗議にも反発 jiji.com/jc/article?k=2…
★日本に米軍基地がある限り、ロシアは軍事プレゼンスを均衡せざるを得ない。

— 衣笠書林@猫の生活が第一 (@syuugoro2) 2018年8月8日 - 17:23

嫁に「死ぬまで面倒を見るから」と言われたのをきっかけに辞任を決断だって。最後まで意味不明なこんな人が、王様のような権力を振るうまでに、組織のトップに登りつめた理由とはなんだったのかねぇ。 pic.twitter.com/3Qc3I8Wq16

— 毛ば部とる子 (@kaori_sakai) 2018年8月8日 - 15:07

安倍首相は選挙妨害を依頼した前科8犯の男と密室で何を話したのか? 全容が記録された秘書の署名捺印入り文書が lite-ra.com/2018/07/post-4… @litera_webさんから

— やっちん (@YSOUKOMAN) 2018年8月8日 - 15:57

ツイッター、フェースブック、グーグルはユーザーを裏切った、ディープステートが人々をスパイするのに協力し、世論を誘導し、検閲し、表現の自由を攻撃した。しかし彼らのテクノロジーは簡単に入れ替えが可能だ。ユーザーは離れるのみ。これらのS… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2018年8月8日 - 17:38

少し涼しくなってツバメが飛び始めた pic.twitter.com/2kbkbxwuoI

— 服部順治(脱戦争/脱原発) (@JunjiHattori) 2018年8月8日 - 18:36

夏の夕暮れの唐辛子の花 pic.twitter.com/l6bmQTkhk3

— 服部順治(脱戦争/脱原発) (@JunjiHattori) 2018年8月8日 - 18:40

中国はシリアのイドリブで、米国が支援するテロリストと戦うために参戦する。ジスル・アルシュガールを中心に活動する、トルケスタン党(TIP)のウイグル・テロリストの数は当初言われた5千人ではなく、1万~2万人!
mintpressnews.com/china-may-join…

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2018年8月8日 - 18:44

ところで
株やっててやっぱよかったと思う
人の煽りでコインとか握りっぱなしが危険て知ってるじゃん。
株なら朝、直感買いしてから調べるってこともあるけど
コインとか夢ばっか言ってけっきょく調べると、わからんもん。
とにかく人を信じるのはダメ。
ニュースも発表も意図的。

— 皿 (@sarah_asia) 2018年8月8日 - 20:00

甘利明元大臣、テレ東取材を中断し提訴「日本は終わりだ。もう私の知ったことではない」 news.nicovideo.jp/watch/nw2078218

— Yasu (@noosa_noosa) 2018年8月8日 - 20:42

翁長知事死去。67歳なの。若いよね、まだ。なんだか他殺の感じがする。本土の人間が、エゴと無関心とで、翁長の首に縄を掛け、みんなで引っ張ったのだ。本土の人間がみんな加害者であることは否定できない。沖縄独立しか、彼の死に報いる道はない… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 兵頭正俊 (@hyodo_masatoshi) 2018年8月8日 - 20:18

翁長知事が膵臓癌で亡くなられた。所謂オール沖縄の象徴的存在でありその路線には様々な限界があったのは事実だが、彼自身は日米両県力に対しよく抵抗し抜いたと見るべきだろう。癌が原因というのが引っかかるが、チャベスの様に何らかの工作が為された可能性もないとは言い切れないかも。

— よーすけ (@yoshimichi0409) 2018年8月8日 - 20:33

悔しい…。もっと生きて、沖縄をアジアと日本を繋ぐ架け橋として、また「平和の緩衝地帯」として発展させるというビジョンをぜひとも実現してほしかった。

でも、沖縄に限らず、たくさんのものを遺してくれたと思う。貴方の背中を見てきた人は、… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 布施祐仁 (@yujinfuse) 2018年8月8日 - 19:43

先ほど亡くなった翁長知事には何も言わない腐ったやつ。どうせ自民党の懇親会で飲んでるんだろうよ。何が美しい日本だか。美しい海を埋め立ててほざくな、安倍!

【津川雅彦さん死去】安倍晋三首相「悲しい。総理辞職後、背中を押していただいた… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— ぱーぱ1980 (@papayan1980) 2018年8月8日 - 20:37

父の回復は順調で、来週退院できそうとのこと。しかし、
膵臓がん、平均余命22ヶ月の事実に変わりはない。
気を引き締めて、できることをしよう。
免疫を上げる食事作り、楽しくウォーキングできる仕組みづくり。

— 増山 愛子 (@masuai) 2010年10月14日 - 09:26

@JunjiHattori <マクドナルド>金沢有松店で異物混入 歯のかけら?
headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20180807-…
マックは2014年にも8月と9月に歯と歯の詰め物の混入が3件判明している。これらって座間9遺体とか児童… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— rinrin (@miuporo) 2018年8月8日 - 18:36

@kj666japan じゃあ、僕が大便じゃない、代弁してあげよう。
つまり、そういうことだ。
え、何も言っていない?
そうとも言えるwww
blog.livedoor.jp/wisdomkeeper/a…

— ありがとう (@ant10ant10) 2018年8月8日 - 16:20

プリンスホテルでもありましたよね、人体の混入
プリンス≒爬虫類人
つまりホテルに偽装された人肉供給センターと云う話も聞きます
どちらにせよアクシデントで人体が混入する事は早々ないと思います
【マクドナルドで歯と思わしきモノが混入】
news.goo.ne.jp/article/chuplu…

— nibiruちゃん (@nibiru__x) 2018年8月7日 - 07:59

【プリンスホテル】
reptilianbuster.blogspot.com/2016/07/blog-p…

— nibiruちゃん (@nibiru__x) 2018年8月7日 - 08:16

@valsecaprices おはよーyurina*さん✨
ピザゲート事件、これに絡むシンジケートはかなり前から捜査、逮捕、壊滅が噂されてたけどついに決着着くのかな
だとしたら世界がひっくり返るね、あんなおぞましい事にあの人もこの… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— nibiruちゃん (@nibiru__x) 2018年8月8日 - 06:49

えっ、歯がはいってるのも、そういう理由?ピザゲートとも関連?
【マクドナルドは人肉バーガーを提供
blog.livedoor.jp/wisdomkeeper/a…
グランドプリンスホテル新高輪の宴会場で人肉&歯入りのギョーザ:系列ホテルで3件も… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 服部順治(脱戦争/脱原発) (@JunjiHattori) 2018年8月8日 - 21:12

イラン国会関係者、「国際機関において人権の重要性が薄れている」

米国やイスラエル、サウジの戦争犯罪が野放しになっていると指摘。広島・長崎への原爆攻撃についても反省と賠償をしていないと批判!
parstoday.com/ja/news/iran-i…

— よーすけ (@yoshimichi0409) 2018年8月8日 - 21:58

露国との関係を強めるASEAN諸国に対する不安定化工作を米国は進める

インドネシアやフィリピンではワッハビ派テロ集団の活動が活発化しタイではブッシュ家と関わりのあるチナリット家が政治経済の実権を握ろうとしている。その黒幕は米国… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— よーすけ (@yoshimichi0409) 2018年8月8日 - 22:30
          8月8日(水)のつぶやき その1      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The latest 日刊レインボーリング! paper.li/InfoRring/1316… Thanks to @zenquestnews

— レインボーリング運営委員 (@InfoRring) 2018年8月8日 - 06:09

坂本龍馬や岩崎弥太郎が率いた亀山社中や海援隊が、英国の支援を受ける武器商人だったのは明らか。しかも倒幕を目指す薩長の武器調達を担い第二次長州征伐では直接戦闘にも参加し幕府側を撃破している。今でいうワッハビ派テロ集団と何ら違いはしな… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— よーすけ (@yoshimichi0409) 2018年8月8日 - 01:56

五輪のために2年だけ導入するサマータイムが、どう地球環境の持続に役立つのか。意味不明もほどほどにせよ。 pic.twitter.com/tInAQGAoUi

— 毛ば部とる子 (@kaori_sakai) 2018年8月8日 - 00:03

そんなに女性が入学しちゃ困るなら、最初から男女で定員分ければいいじゃないか。浪人も定員分ければいいじゃないか。

「1点のため死ぬ気で」女子減点、憤る医学生と女性医師

asahi.com/articles/ASL86…

— 藤原直哉 (@naoyafujiwara) 2018年8月7日 - 21:35

オバマ大統領、ロバート・F・ケネディ人権賞を受賞

ケネディ兄弟はオバマと違い軍産やネオコンに立ち向かいベトナム戦争と冷戦を止めさせようとして暗殺された。リビアやシリアを侵略したオバマがこの賞を授与するのはナンセンスであろう。
jp.sputniknews.com/world/20180808…

— よーすけ (@yoshimichi0409) 2018年8月8日 - 05:59

houdoukyoku.jp/clips/CONN0039…
日本ボクシング連盟の山根会長が暴力団と黒い交際があったことに、スポーツ庁・鈴木長官は「辞任に値する」と言ってるんだけど、選挙戦で安倍事務所が暴力団に選挙妨害を依頼した話はどうなるの?… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— Dr.サキ (@XKyuji) 2018年8月8日 - 00:28

そんなヤクザみたいなことがあるのか?と思ったけど、アレは“暴力団関係者”だから、あるのかな 笑

冷や飯食わせる、干してやる… 石破氏「そんなバカな」:朝日新聞デジタル asahi.com/articles/ASL87…

— Hiromi1961 (@Hiromi19611) 2018年8月7日 - 19:46

【千葉女児殺害】渋谷恭正のFacebook・嫁と子供など家族情報!!ベトナム女児リンちゃん遺棄事件犯人の正体がヤバイ【画像あり】 : NEWSまとめもりー|2chまとめブログ akb48matomemory.com/archives/10654… こんな外道は極刑に!見守り隊? 物色してたんじゃねーか!

— 夕月夜 (@k81mission) 2017年4月15日 - 00:27

千葉のベトナム人の子殺したの見守り隊的ポジの人なの、、、、なんかもう何を信じたらいいのか、、、

— グラブル貼るだけくん (@_kiminonawa) 2017年4月14日 - 21:47

【ベトナム女児殺害】TBS

澁谷容疑者は、①保護者会会長。②見守り隊として事件後に先頭に立っていた。③ベトナムへの帰国の寄付金集めにも奔走。 pic.twitter.com/grXhibsIbe

— 林 志行 (@linsbar) 2017年4月14日 - 11:08

ベトナム女児 殺害事件 父親が綴った「悲憤の手紙」全文掲載・・・事件後にTVインタビューに平然と写り、「無罪」を主張する厚顔。「子供見守り隊」を利用して無抵抗な子供に性暴行殺害。鬼畜には地獄を・・・news.nifty.com/article/domest…

— Tomson iv (@Tomson_iv) 2018年6月25日 - 13:18

冤罪が疑わしい事件に限って、判決が早いんだよね。

当然、上告すると思いますが。

【本編】澁谷恭正容疑者に会ってきた。我孫子女児遺棄 youtu.be/qS_jmH6ymDI @YouTubeさんから

— 俺のFX ◢ ◤ドル円 BTCFX (@tam420fx) 2018年7月6日 - 15:24

澁谷容疑者が冤罪である可能性はまだ残っていると個人的に考える。精神科の通院歴や薬物常習の情報は出ていない。地域社会と交流して普通に家庭を持つ人間が突然狂ったよう無茶な犯罪を犯すと普通は考えにくい。真犯人が現れた時、マスコミはそれまでの人権無視の報道に対してどう責任をとるのだろう。

— もえタクシー (@moetaxi) 2017年4月21日 - 00:18

【澁谷恭正被告(47)】裁判中に渋谷容疑者が家族に向かって叫んだ言葉がヤバイ・・・/千葉
is.gd/E0C4Ak
#まとめ #タイ #殺人 #裁判 pic.twitter.com/L2npC0pUVH

— LH MAGAZINE (@Life_hacker_net) 2018年6月21日 - 18:35

被害者1名での死刑判決はいくつもある。
裁判員は、澁谷被告に更正の可能性を感じたのだろうか?

【千葉・9歳女児殺害】渋谷恭正被告に無期懲役判決 殺害の計画性「むしろ場当たり的」 sankei.com/affairs/news/1… @Sankei_newsから

— Tomiko_Mitsuhashi (@ma_amyachan110) 2018年7月16日 - 09:26

【ニュース】去年松戸市の小学生の女の子を登校途中に連れ去って殺害した罪などに問われている保護者会の元会長澁谷恭正被告の裁判員裁判が千葉地裁で始まり、起訴された内容について「検察が架空ねつ造したことであり私は事件に関わっていない」と… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— NHK千葉&ラッカ星人 (@nhk_chiba) 2018年6月4日 - 10:28

<識者が選ぶ、これが平成の100人だ!⑤>
【社会・事件】AKB48、東浩紀、麻原彰晃、宮台真司、宮崎勤、大塚英志、酒鬼薔薇聖斗、ホリエモン、勝間和代、加藤智大、宅間守、山田昌弘、古市憲寿、津田大介、吉田昌郎、乙武洋匡、奥田愛基、… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

— 中央公論編集部 (@chukoedi) 2017年12月22日 - 08:05

@AbeShinzo 地下鉄サリン散布テロは「徳仁皇太子開祖の祝いとして起こされたクーデター」である。これは断固事実である。麻原彰晃(松本智津夫)は犯行の全てを背負わされたのである。徳仁皇太子が地下鉄サリン散布テロの指示をだし、配… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 水政 文彦 (@DenkiNisyu) 2018年7月9日 - 06:26

@AbeShinzo 徳仁皇太子が オウム真理教の最高幹部であり、オウム真理教の開祖である。麻原彰晃(松本智津夫)は徳仁皇太子(なるちゃん)には逆らえないのである。

— 水政 文彦 (@DenkiNisyu) 2018年7月9日 - 06:29

@AbeShinzo 徳仁皇太子は酒鬼薔薇聖斗の実行犯でもあり主犯であることも把握している。

— 水政 文彦 (@DenkiNisyu) 2018年7月9日 - 06:32

元少年Aこと酒鬼薔薇聖斗の現在は結婚して子供も?今の名前・本名や画像は?東真一郎から改名し整形も…神戸連続児童殺傷事件の犯人の情報まとめ endia.net/sakakibara-sei…

— ある@Courage (@AruCourage) 2018年7月30日 - 10:45

@JunjiHattori 信じたくないけど 今後いっさいニュースでは出ない。

— 地球人 (@tanq103) 2018年8月7日 - 07:52

どひゃー、酒鬼薔薇聖斗も皇太子だった!冤罪被害者の元少年A~小児性愛(ペドフィリア)殺人など無差別大量殺人鬼と猟奇殺人犯は天皇家・皇族・旧華族というのが日本の定番~
nipponseigenbaku.com/?p=449
元少年A酒鬼薔薇… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 服部順治(脱戦争/脱原発) (@JunjiHattori) 2018年8月8日 - 11:40

どひゃー、酒鬼薔薇聖斗も皇太子だった!冤罪被害者の元少年A~小児性愛(ペドフィリア)殺人など無差別大量殺人鬼と猟奇殺人犯は天皇家・皇族・旧華族というのが日本の定番~
nipponseigenbaku.com/?p=449
元少年A酒鬼薔薇… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

— 服部順治(脱戦争/脱原発) (@JunjiHattori) 2018年8月8日 - 11:40

アホぼん三世、絶対に朝鮮半島に関わってくれるな。きみの日本国民への貢献は、1日も早く辞めることだ。アホぼん三世が朝鮮半島に関わると、国富をドブに捨てることになる。金正恩に手玉に取られ、究極の日本破壊がはじまる。5.tvasahi.jp/000133415?a=ne…

— 兵頭正俊 (@hyodo_masatoshi) 2018年8月8日 - 16:12

最後の力を振り絞っての撤回表明だったのだろうな。公約をやり抜くことが叶わず無念でしょうが、今は治療に専念してほしい。ご回復を心から祈ります。

翁長知事、辞職へ 職務代理者に謝花副知事 知事選前倒しも(琉球新報) - headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20180808-…

— 布施祐仁 (@yujinfuse) 2018年8月8日 - 16:23

政権批判の消えた『報ステ』から小川彩佳アナも降板との情報が。古舘時代からのリベラルなスタッフは全員切られるということか…→『報道ステーション』から安倍政権批判が消えた理由! 杉田水脈問題も赤坂自民亭もスルーする異常事態 lite-ra.com/2018/07/post-4…

— litera (@litera_web) 2018年8月8日 - 16:15

「人事で干す」恫喝が裏目に…参院竹下派“石破支持”の矜持
nikkan-gendai.com/articles/view/…

— 藤原直哉 (@naoyafujiwara) 2018年8月8日 - 17:07

ドイツの議員がダマスカスを訪問。アサド大統領と会談し「戦争は終わりそうですね」と語った。この事実をドイツ紙が報じる。 twitter.com/Syrian_Uruk/st…

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2018年8月8日 - 15:35

北朝鮮、対立を再開しようとしているとして韓国を非難

韓国軍部や保守勢力は米国ネオコンと組み南北融和の動きをブチ壊そうと水面下で動いている。彼らは戦争が起きれば真っ先に逃亡し同胞の殺戮をほしいままにする売国奴である!
jp.sputniknews.com/asia/201808085…

— よーすけ (@yoshimichi0409) 2018年8月8日 - 16:37
          Fem IS-medlemmer fratatt australsk statsborgerskap      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tre menn og to kvinner er fratatt sine australske statsborgerskap etter å ha slåss for IS i Irak og Syria. Alle fem hadde doble statsborgerskap.
          The Captain's AMERICA Third Watch For August 7...      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
itunes pic
Enjoy the Tuesday Podcast of "The Captain's AMERICA Third Watch" hosted by Retired Captain Matt Bruce heard LIVE 2-6 AM ET broadcasting across America from Tampa, FL.... "The Captain's AMERICA Third Watch" is on the Radio with Breaking News from across America & around the World as it happens! ***Tomorrow's News, TONIGHT!*** Where it's ALL about America & WE the PEOPLE with 'The Captain' LIVE Friday August 3rd from 2-6 AM ET broadcasting from Tampa, FL in the #MausNissan Studio of our Salem Media Group Flagship Radio Station #am860theanswer in the #19 Radio Market of America. Our Radio Show is also heard on the #TalkAmericaRadio Network. The Radio Show is heard in over 130 Countries around the World via our Digital Internet Streams. We proudly support our Nations Active Duty Military, Veterans, EMT's, Firefighters, Police & ALL First Responders... Our Guests Tonight Are: Kyle Warren - The Professor of Politics, Ms Rosemary - Prayer Intercessor, Denise Simon - Founders Code, Ron Edwards - The Edwards Notebook & Veterans News along with the Truckers 'National Highway Report' every hour. We're also happy to take your phone calls on the air LIVE at 1-877-969-8600... We are currently heard on 80 radio affiliates in 28 States & more new affiliates coming in 2018! Atlanta, you hear us on our Salem Radio Affiliate AM 920 The Answer. Orlando, we're on AM 660 & FM 105.5 The Answer. We are also heard on our Salem Media Group Tampa Sister Stations: 930 The Answer Sarasota, FM 103.1 Bradenton, FM 93.7 Bayshore Gardens & 1380 The Biz in St Petersburg FL. Talk America Radio Network Stations 92.1 WDDQ FM in Valdosta GA, Talk 107.5 WJHC in Jasper FL, & AM 1330 WLBB in Carrollton GA. Seattle you hear us on #Megatalk 920 KGTK AM and 1400 KITZ AM in Seattle-Olympia-Tacoma-Bremerton WA. You can also hear the show on the Internet via these websites: The Captain's AMERICA Third Watch, Cowboy Logic Radio, Freedom In America Radio, iHeart Radio, IPBN-FM, iTunes, KTalk Radio, Radioways in Germany, ROKU, Talk Stream Live, Top Talk Radio & TuneIn... Download our FREE app for your iPad, iPhone, Laptop or Personal Computer by going to the AM 860 The Answer website. Find Out Why We Are The FASTEST Growing Overnight News Talk Radio Show On Your Radio Dial!!!!! #America #Afghanistan #Border #Congress #Conservative #DonaldTrump #EchoInRamadi #Economy #Guns #Iran #Iraq #Israel #Immigration #Military #Mueller #NATO #News #Korea #Politics #Russia #Socialism #Syria #Terrorism #Truckers #Veterans #walkaway
          Afghanistan Becomes Ground Zero for an ISIS Resurgence      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

ISIS in Afghanistan has received significant manpower for its expansion from Syria and Iraq where the terrorist group’s self-proclaimed caliphate was recently defeated.

The post Afghanistan Becomes Ground Zero for an ISIS Resurgence appeared first on MintPress News.


          VỤ BẮT CÓC TRỊNH XUÂN THANH TRỞ THÀNH CHUYỆN LỚN TẠI CHÂU ÂU (Tú Anh - RFI)       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   



Tú Anh – RFI
Đăng ngày 08-08-2018

Kinh tế Iran dưới sức ép của Donald Trump, thương mại Pháp thâm thủng nghiêm trọng, một người thợ làm vườn ở California làm run rẩy tập đoàn hóa chất đa quốc gia Monsanto là những tựa lớn của báo chí Pháp hôm nay bên cạnh hồ sơ « Trịnh Xuân Thanh bị Hà Nội đánh thuốc mê và bắt cóc », chiếm một phần ba trang quốc tế của Le Monde.

Ảnh chụp qua màn hình TV : Trịnh Xuân Thanh xuất hiện trên truyền hình Việt Nam nhận tự về nước đầu thú, ngày 03/08/2017.REUTERS/Kham

Cảnh sát Đức nắm đủ chứng cớ vụ bắt cóc Trịnh Xuân Thanh

Slovakia dính líu vào vụ bắt cóc một người Việt ở Đức. Trịnh Xuân Thanh rời châu Âu trong chiếc máy bay của bộ Nội Vụ Slovakia tựa của Le Monde. Nhật báo độc lập mô tả vụ việc này như một tiểu thuyết gián điệp với những nhân vật có thật như (cựu) bộ trưởng Nội Vụ Robert Kalinak, bộ trưởng Công An Tô Lâm, cố vấn thủ tướng Slovakia Lê Hồng Quang và Trịnh Xuân Thanh, một cán bộ cao cấp của đảng Cộng Sản Việt Nam bị thất sủng.

Theo các nhà điều tra Đức, nhờ vào sự giúp đỡ - tự nguyện hay không - của chính quyền Slovakia hồi tháng 07 năm 2017 mà mật vụ Việt Nam đã bắt cóc thành công nhân vật này lúc đó đang tị nạn tại Berlin. Hai tuần sau, Trịnh Xuân Thanh xuất hiện tại Việt Nam và sau đó, lãnh bản án chung thân với tội danh tham nhũng.

Tuy nhiên, cảnh sát Đức không tin vào luận điểm của Hà Nội, theo đó Trịnh Xuân Thanh « tự ý về Việt Nam để được xét xử ». Trong bản báo cáo, cảnh sát Đức ghi rõ « ông Thanh bị cưỡng chế rời không gian Schengen trên một chiếc phi cơ của chính phủ Slovakia ». Ba ngày sau khi mật vụ Việt Nam bắt cóc Trịnh Xuân Thanh ở Berlin, văn phòng bộ Nội Vụ Slovakia chấp thuận một yêu cầu của bộ trưởng Công An Việt Nam Tô Lâm.

Thông tin này, có dính líu đến cựu bộ trưởng Nội Vụ Robert Kalinak, do báo chí Đức loan tải, đã làm Slovakia, quốc gia thành viên của Liên Hiệp Châu Âu từ năm 2004, chới với, kinh ngạc. Bởi vì tai tiếng này xảy ra chỉ 5 tháng sau vụ phóng viên điều tra tham nhũng Jan Kuciak bị bắn chết. Nhà báo Jan Kuciak bị giết trong khi điều tra những mối quan hệ giữa xã hội đen và chính phủ liên minh dân túy cánh tả và cực hữu.

Trước sức ép của công luận qua các cuộc xuống đường trên khắp nước lên án đích danh, bộ trưởng Nội Vụ Robert Kalinak phải từ chức vào ngày 12/03/2018.

Tô Lâm xin Slovakia giúp máy bay ?

Trở lại vụ Trịnh Xuân Thanh vào thời điểm tháng 07 năm 2017, theo lời giải thích của ông Robert Kalinak thì ông được « ông Tô Lâm cho biết đang ở Praha chờ máy bay về Việt Nam nhưng chuyến bay bị hủy nên cần giúp đỡ máy bay để về gấp ». Thế là bộ Nội Vụ Slovakia cấp ngay cho ông Tô Lâm một chiếc phi cơ của bộ, bay đến Praha đón nhóm người Việt rồi bay về Bratislava thủ đô của Slovakia. Sau một cuộc tiếp xúc ngắn giữa Robert Kalinak và đồng nhiệm Tô Lâm tại một khách sạn, chiếc máy bay nói trên cất cánh bay sang Matxcơva. Đó là lời giải thích của cựu bộ trưởng Nội Vụ Slovakia.

Thế nhưng, báo chí Slovakia được một nhân chứng, sĩ quan cảnh sát Slovakia có nhiệm vụ bảo vệ an ninh cho đoàn Việt Nam. Viên cảnh sát này cho biết nhận được lệnh từ vụ trưởng vụ Lễ Tân của bộ Nội Vụ cho một người đàn ông độ 40 tuổi, bước chân loạng choạng, có hai người kèm hai bên, lên xe từ bãi đậu xe của bộ Nội Vụ chở ra phi trường Bratislava, lên máy bay đậu sẵn chở phái đoàn Việt Nam sang Matxcơva.

Thám tử điều tra của Đức gần như chắc chắn người đàn ông này là Trịnh Xuân Thanh, bị đánh ma túy nửa tỉnh nửa mê. Hai người đi kèm dìu hai bên là mật vụ Việt Nam. Chiếc xe « van » của toán đặc nhiệm Việt Nam đậu trước khách sạn Bôrik vào lúc Robert Kalinak và Tô Lâm gặp nhau đã được dữ liệu định vị GPS xác nhận. Chiếc xe này mang biển số Cộng Hoà Séc, trước đó được phát hiện ở Đức và ở nơi xảy ra vụ bắt cóc.

Một chi tiết khác, Lê Hồng Quang, một doanh nhân Việt mang quốc tịch Slovakia, cố vấn thủ tướng thời đó là Robert Fico, cũng có mặt trong chuyến bay từ Praha về Bratislava cùng với bộ trưởng Công An Việt Nam Tô Lâm. Lê Hồng Quang khi đó đang là đại biện ngoại giao sứ quán Slovakia tại Hà Nội.

Ẩn số

Câu hỏi đặt ra là vì sao vào thời điểm diễn ra vụ bắt cóc, bộ trưởng Robert Kalinak không chút thận trọng trước yêu cầu xin máy bay « trên trời rơi xuống » của đồng nhiệm Tô Lâm ?
Chính phủ Đức đã thông báo cho tất cả các nước thành viên trong không gian Schengen, trong đó có Slovakia, vụ Trịnh Xuân Thanh bị bắt cóc. Đã thế, chuyến thăm của Tô Lâm được tổ chức vào giờ chót, ba người đi hạng doanh nhân, một người đi hạng phổ thông vì hết chỗ. Bốn vé máy bay của phái đoàn được đặt mua vào ngày hôm trước ở Cộng hoà Séc, theo báo Dennik N.

Cứu danh dự Slovakia

Tổng thống Andrej Kiska, độc lập, cố gắng làm trong sạch hóa chế độ, yêu cầu điều tra đến nơi đến chốn và thúc giục đương kim bộ trưởng Nội Vụ từ chức vì bà này bị nghi ngờ cản trở điều tra để bao che cho người tiền nhiệm. Tai tiếng vụ Trịnh Xuân Thanh làm cho tổng thống Kiska lo âu cho danh tiếng của Slovakia trên trường ngoại giao châu Âu.

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Trung Quốc gì cũng mua để phục hồi sinh lý : Sau tê giác đến da lừa
"Da lừa của Kenya giao cho yêu tinh Trung Quốc", đó là tựa bài phóng sự của Le Monde kèm theo bài xã luận tố cáo Bắc Kinh hủy diệt sinh thái châu Phi.

Sau khi sát hại gần hết giống lừa tại Hoa lục, từ 11 triệu con xuống còn 5 triệu, Trung Quốc tấn công vào Kenya. Quốc gia này là nước cuối cùng tại châu Phi còn bán da lừa cho Bắc Kinh mà hệ quả là chỉ trong vòng 8 năm, động vật kéo xe của dân nghèo đã giảm 50% từ 1,8 triệu xuống 900 ngàn. Trung Quốc mua da lừa để cà thành bột trị bệnh thiếu máu và tăng cường sinh lực tình dục.

Thấy đoàn động vật của mình sắp bị diệt chủng, nhiều nước châu Phi như Niger,Burkina Faso và Botswana cấm xuất khẩu sang Trung Quốc. Theo Le Monde, trong thế cờ kinh tế và đại chính trị, vụ da lừa chỉ là một chuyện nhỏ mà nạn nhân là loài gia súc bị hy sinh làm thần dược nhưng trên thực tế cho thấy châu Phi đã thành « vùng đất hứa » : "Trung Quốc khai thác tài nguyên thiên nhiên, dầu hỏa, uranium, kim loại tối cần để phát triển kinh tế mà còn biến châu lục đen này thành thị trường tiêu thụ hàng biến chế của Trung Quốc. Trong vòng không đầy 20 năm, trao đổi thương mại giữa Trung Quốc và châu Phi đã từ 10 tỷ đôla lên 200 tỷ".

Trước những mối lợi trước mắt, liệu Kenya có đủ sức khước từ để bảo vệ đoàn gia súc của mình hay không ? Từ hai thập niên nay, Trung Quốc là thị trường số một tiêu thụ ngà voi châu Phi cho dù từ 1989, cộng đồng quốc tế ngăn cấm. Đến năm 2015, Tập Cận Bình, cảm thấy cần phải đánh bóng thể diện quốc gia, đã ra lệnh cấm bán ngà voi. Thế nhưng lừa thì sao ?

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Iran dưới sức ép củaDonald Trump
Trong bài xã luận « đánh cược Ba Tư », Le Figaro đặt câu hỏi « liệu trừng phạt có làm chế độ lung lay hay không ? ». Theo nhật báo cánh hữu, khác với Bắc Triều Tiên khép kín, Iran là một cường quốc cấp vùng, có quan hệ khắp Trung Cận đông do vậy ván cờ áp lực của Donald Trump có nhiều rủi ro. Tuy nhiên, không ai rõ là tổng thống thứ 45 của Mỹ tính gì. Ông đe dọa rồi lại mở cánh cửa đối thoại khi lệnh trừng phạt có hiệu lực. Điều rõ ràng duy nhất là Donald Trump nhắc nhở thế giới ai là « chủ nhân » và đẩy châu Âu vào thế phản đối vô vọng. Còn theo đặc phái viên ở Teheran, Iran đang « sắp chết ngạt ». Một trường hợp cụ thể là dưới sức ép của Mỹ, các ngân hàng nước ngoài từ chối tài trợ nhập khẩu, ngân hàng trung ương không có tiền mặt. Đồng tiền mất giá làm một doanh nhân bị lỗ 2 triệu đôla sau khi bán ra 200 thùng hàng mới nhập từ châu Á.

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Châu Âu trả đũa yếu ớt
Tin bi quan thứ nhất tràn ngập báo chí Pháp là nhập siêu tăng kinh khủng : 33 tỷ euro trong sáu tháng đầu năm.

Tin bi quan thứ hai là trước lệnh trừng phạt Iran của Mỹ, Bruxelles gần như vô kế khả thi để bảo vệ doanh nghiệp châu Âu.

Iran : Liên Hiệp Châu Âu cố gắng chận lệnh trừng phạt của Mỹ, La Croix loan tin nhưng không mấy tin tưởng với tiểu tựa : Giới doanh nghiệp hoài nghi hiệu năng của luật châu Âu.
Les Echos cũng đưa tựa : Trả đũa yếu xìu của Bruxelles. Tại sao ? Bởi vì « luật ngăn chận trừng phạt » ban hành năm 1996 chưa bao giờ được sử dụng. Nguyên tắc là bảo vệ các công ty châu Âu bị Mỹ trừng phạt nhưng lại có điều khoản trừng phạt công ty tuân thủ lệnh cấm vận.

Về thời sự châu Á, Le Monde trở lại số phận của sắc tộc Rohingya - Miến Điện. Trong số hơn nửa triệu người tị nạn tại Bangladesh, có thể 100 ngàn người sẽ bị đưa ra một hải đảo trong vịnh Bengal. Tuy nhiên, Liên Hiệp Quốc kêu gọi Dacca suy xét lại bởi vì đây là nơi thường xuyên bị lũ lụt.

Trung Đông, ngoài Iran, vụ ám sát tiến sĩ vật lý người Syria tên Aziz Asber được Le Monde chú ý. Nhà khoa học này ít được biết đến nhưng là cột trụ của chương trình vũ khí chiến lược của Damas. Một nhóm thánh chiến tự nhận là thủ phạm gài mìn ám sát tối thứ Bảy nhưng theo Le Monde « đây là lần đầu tiên một chuyên gia vũ khí Syria bị thanh toán theo cách thức gần giống như chiến thuật của tình báo Israel ». Trái lại, đối lập Syria cho rằng giám đốc cơ quan nghiên cứu khoa học Syria bị chế độ thanh toán.

Các tài liệu mật của Pháp cho rằng chính cơ quan nghiên cứu khoa học này đóng vai trò then chốt trong việc chế tạo vũ khí hóa học mà quân đội Syria sử dụng tấn công đối lập võ trang và thường dân trong những vùng do đối lập kiểm sóat.

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Châu chấu đá xe Monsanto
Liberation giới thiệu chân dung của một người Mỹ da đen, thợ làm vườn, đang làm rung chuyển tập đoàn hóa chất Mỹ Monsanto. Dewayne Johnson, 46 tuổi, bị ung thư sau ba năm sử dụng thuốc diệt cỏ, kiện tập đoàn hóa chất ra toà. Sau một tháng xét xử, toà án Caliornia sắp công bố phán quyết. Luật sư Brent Wisner của nguyên đơn có lập luận vững như bê tông :" tập đoàn hóa chất này chống lại khoa học và chỉ lưu tâm đến lợi nhuận kinh tế mà thôi". Luật sư cho biết là Monsanto có trong tay 3,1 tỷ đôla tiền mặt. Do vậy, ông sẽ hỏi thẩm phán « làm cách nào để trừng phạt một tập đoàn có nhiều tiền như thế ? Phạt bao nhiêu thì tập đoàn giàu có như thế xem là không đáng kể ? » Vị luật sư này cho biết tại Mỹ hiện có 4000 đơn kiện đang được thụ lý.








          8/9/2018: COMMENT & FEATURES: Moscow on the Golan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Russia has deployed Military Police to eight observation points on the Golan. For the first time, Israeli and Russian forces are directly across from each other at a border. This has the makings of a new strategic alignment in Syria, potentially...
          America condemns the Syrian regime for the crimes of torture of prisoners and detainees      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[size=21]America condemns the Syrian regime for the crimes of torture of prisoners and detainees August 08 2018 02:09 p[/size] [rtl][size=12][rtl]US State Department spokeswoman Heather Neuert[/rtl][/size] [/rtl]Baghdad Post [rtl] Iraq news   The United States condemned the atrocities of the Syrian regime and demanded that it abide by international laws and norms in the treatment of detainees, including allowing independent monitors to access them.  "The recent warnings of ...
           error in translating China into a battle within an Arab country      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
[size=32] error in translating China into a battle within an Arab country[/size] [size=18] Twilight News      2 hours ago[/size] In the first official Chinese response to the Syrian newspaper "Al Watan" that Beijing is ready to participate in the liberation of Idlib, the Chinese Embassy in Damascus pointed out that these reports are baseless. Al-Watan newspaper published a clarification on Tuesday, which included the Embassy's statement in this regard, which attributed ...
           Nga quyết không khoanh tay để Mỹ, Israel “đánh hội đồng” Iran       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nga sẽ không đơn giản trao Iran cho Israel hay Mỹ. Lý do này bao gồm cả thực tế rằng Mỹ-Israel và Ả rập Xê-út đang tiến hành một cuộc chiến lớn chống lại Iran. Cuộc chiến này sẽ không ngoài mục đích "thay đổi chế độ" tại Iran và có thể tạo nên những hậu quả thảm khốc lan ra trong khu vực từ Syria, Iran tới Trung Á hay ngay cả nước Nga, theo JNO.Với câu hỏi về sự hiện diện của Iran tại Syria đang nóng lên - sự hiện diện này không phải là không hợp pháp và cũng không phải là một cuộc xâm lược như những gì Mỹ đang làm, căng thẳng trong khu...
          Fighting Violent Extremism by Teaching Tolerance      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Doug Bandow

Although terrorism understandably has become the focus of U.S. foreign policy, the problem of religious intolerance and violence is far broader. As Islamic extremism has erupted throughout the Middle East, most dramatically in Iraq and Syria, Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities are being driven from their historic homes.

What to do? U.S. “public diplomacy” has been ineffective, essentially attempting to put lipstick on a pig in terms of selling American foreign policy. Washington has spent millions on foreign aid to promote education and provide social services for supposedly at-risk Islamic youth, without any evident impact on violent behavior.

America’s military response has turned into endless war, which appears to create as many terrorists as are captured or killed. Indeed, America’s multiple interventions and wars have both spawned violent extremists and created chaos in which they thrive. The Islamic State, the fount of so much horror, was merely the most notable beneficiary of misguided U.S. war-making.

However, the fact that there is no simple, quick answer doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. Education can work, but of a unique kind. The group Hardwired, run by Tina Ramirez, a former Capitol Hill staffer, engages in what it calls “rights-based education,” which has had notable if small-scale success in building support for religious tolerance and liberty.

Washington has spent millions on foreign aid to promote education and provide social services for supposedly at-risk Islamic youth, without any evident impact on violent behavior.

I witnessed the group’s approach at a conference held in Erbil, Kurdistan. Hardwired brought together people of varying, even contentious faiths and backgrounds — most of whom had suffered persecution at the hands of Islamic radicals. Although divided in beliefs, they came to recognize their shared interest in respecting the rights of others.

Hardwired also has targeted children, efforts detailed in a new study by Lena Smith, Tina Ramirez, and Mary Anne Rea-Ramirez, “Protecting Children from Violent Extremism.” The report reviewed Hardwired’s efforts in Iraq, Lebanon, and Morocco, in which the group taught 56 teachers and 1161 students at 46 different schools. The overall assessment: “students demonstrated greater acceptance of the rights of others, greater respect for the equal rights of women and minority communities, were less intimidated by public expression of belief, and reflected greater resiliency to extremist thinking.”

As almost everyone recognizes, kids are the most important target for purveyors of violence. Explained the group, “The threat of intolerance, extremism, and radical ideology is evident everywhere, and children throughout the Middle East and North Africa are particularly vulnerable to its influence.”

The problem is not just that children are exploring their way, gaining new experiences, and coming under new influences. With conflict and oppression widespread throughout much of the Islamic world, Muslim kids are particularly vulnerable. Thus, one of the principle fronts for defending against persecution and terrorism is at the school level. However, most teachers, no matter how well-intentioned, are ill-prepared for such a battle.

Hardwired noted some of the shortcomings of existing efforts. For instance, in Iraq, organizations working on educational reform “did not take into account the key misunderstandings about each community that may need to be addressed for people at different beliefs to better understand different religious communities.” Proposals to address “problematic religious texts and teachings” also ran into problems: “given the sensitive nature of religious teachings and religious authority, reforms focused on the removal of certain texts have not been well received by members of society-from both majority and minority religious communities.”

Into this breach stepped Hardwired. It explained: “To make children resilient to radicalization and reduce the likelihood that they will repeat the violent extremism they have witnessed or experienced, we must change the way they see and treat others.” This takes intensive effort.

But it is Hardwired’s specialty. At the seminar I attended, Tina helped lead the diverse attendees who worked together on various exercises. That generated strong personal bonds and practical experience in working with those of radically different backgrounds and beliefs. Out of that came an appreciation for working together to ensure respect for the lives, dignity, and faiths of others.

Hardwired took a similar approach with schoolchildren and their teachers. Explained the group, “Nearly 1,200 children from three countries were taught to value the dignity and freedom of others through simple lessons that used analogies to encourage them to have tough conversations about their beliefs, misconceptions and fear of others.” Much of the effort was directed at kids who had suffered horrific persecution.

For instance, Hardwired sought to help them deal with their fears, including “misconceptions of people who may have attacked them or other communities different from their own.” Even more important, though, “for the first time, these severely traumatized children learned that they were valued, regardless of what they believed, and deserved to be treated with respect and dignity.” Doing so is necessary for them to move on with their own lives, as well as improve their communities and reduce threats to others.

The group provided several courses, with simple, understandable themes. For instance, “The Peaceful Garden: A Lesson in Valuing the Rights of Others,” builds a lesson around children going to a garden. Another is “Sanctuary Island: A Lesson in the Importance of Religion or Belief in Human Life,” which forces students to consider how to maintain peace among different groups on an island.

Notably, the program does not attempt to challenge or change religious teachings. Rather, it emphasizes the need to respect others’ lives and dignity. And the objective is not to transform people’s culture or religion, but to change the way people think. That is, “to help individuals develop new ways of understanding their religion and culture compared to the rights of people of different religions and beliefs.”

Reaching teachers is an important aspect of Hardwired’s efforts. Explained the recent report, “the objective of Hardwired’s educational program is to provide teachers with tools to build a more peaceful and inclusive society by leading youth toward a greater respect for the dignity and freedom of people of different religions or beliefs, while at the same time helping teachers promote a positive counter-narrative to the ideas that inspire intolerance and violent extremism.” The idea is to empower kids to not just tolerate, but defend, those with different beliefs.

The organization’s efforts in this case were just the start. On their own teachers were able to continue and even expand the program. Moreover, noted Hardwired, educators “are eager to replicate and expand the program and train other teachers in their communities.” Governments have sought Hardwired’s aid to reach more teachers, and other nations have approached the group about bringing its courses to them.

The program is just a start, a pilot, but could become a model for much broader use. Most important: the program’s results warrant expansion.

Hardwired’s new report details how “educating children to value the rights and freedoms of people of different religions and beliefs can influence positive, sustainable changes in their communities. Importantly, children consistently exhibited positive movement in their perspective of and behavior toward others that made them more inclusive of others.”

Explained the group, children became:

  • More resilient to the ideas of hate and intolerance that fuel extremism,
  • More likely to mitigate conflict through dialogue and understanding,
  • More likely to defend and actively engage people of different religions and beliefs,
  • More supportive of the role of religion in the public and private life of individuals,
  • More likely to support women, girls, and minority groups from discrimination, and
  • More empathetic of others, particularly those who were different from them.

It’s an impressive list. Yet it understates the potential for personal change and growth. In Erbil I watched Christians, Yazidis, Sunni and Shia Muslims, and even a Jew, who had lost a hand in a terrorist bombing, work together. Obviously, the problems of persecution and terrorism are huge and reflect broader ideological, political, and spiritual trends. Nevertheless, personal transformation offers the only sure, long-term answer to build a more tolerant, less violent world.

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Beyond Good Intentions: A Biblical View of Politics.
          Cruising the Web      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Senator Chuck Grassley goes to the WSJ to call out the emptiness of Senator Schumer's demand to see Brett Kavanaugh's documents from his time as staff secretary to President George W. Bush. Schumer has announced that he has no intention of voting for Kavanaugh, so why does he need to see the documents if his mind is already made up?
Presumably, Mr. Schumer announced that he would oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination before he read the judge’s 307 written opinions and the many other opinions he joined. Certainly, it was before he reviewed the more than 17,000 pages Judge Kavanaugh provided to the committee in response to our bipartisan questionnaire and an estimated one million pages of documents the committee has requested from the Bush White House, where Judge Kavanaugh once worked.

It stands to reason that Senator Schumer wasn’t too concerned about Judge Kavanaugh’s record before he announced his opposition. Why is it so important to Senator Schumer now?

Democratic leaders are demanding access to every page from every email and every paper record from every one of the hundreds of White House aides who came and went during the entire eight years of President Bush’s time in office. This includes records that merely mention Judge Kavanaugh’s name and records he’s never seen. That is not reasonable. As I have made clear, I will not put taxpayers on the hook for a fishing expedition.

These documents include those from Judge Kavanaugh’s time as White House staff secretary, a post that manages the paper flow into and out of the Oval Office. They are both the least relevant documents to the nomination and the most sensitive to the executive branch, two considerations that have guided previous review processes. They’re extremely sensitive because they contain policy advice that went directly to President Bush, and the policy directives that came directly from him, on the full range of presidential responsibilities, including national security.

The staff secretary is an important position, but it’s decidedly less revealing of Judge Kavanaugh’s legal thinking than his 12 years as a judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and his legal service in the White House Counsel’s Office and the Office of Independent Counsel—roles in which he acted as a lawyer. The staff secretary documents consist largely of materials Judge Kavanaugh didn’t write. They were prepared by policy advisers across the executive branch. The materials are also saturated with irrelevant documents—including miscellaneous news clippings, the daily schedule, and even the White House lunch menu....

So recent complaints from Mr. Schumer and other Democrats about the scope of records requests ring hollow, especially coming from senators who have already declared their opposition to Judge Kavanaugh and initially refused even to meet with him....

The next time you hear complaints about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s vetting process—the most extensive and transparent in history—remember Mr. Schumer’s pledge to oppose Judge Kavanaugh with everything he’s got. How much more do Democratic leaders need to know when they’re already voting no?
Exactly. I'm glad that Grassley is signaling that he's not going to fall for these stalling tactics.


David French writes in the NYT
about the banning of Alex Jones by Apple, Facebook and YouTube. As French and anyone with a moral sense acknowledges, Alex Jones is a loathsome person. But there is another method for tackling his disgusting statements - slander and libel laws rather than having private companies deciding suddenly that his language is too objectionable for their platforms.
Let me start by making a few things abundantly clear. First, Alex Jones is a loathsome conspiracy theorist who generates loathsome content. Second, there is no First Amendment violation when a private company chooses to boot anyone off a private platform. Third, it seems reasonably clear that Mr. Jones’s content isn’t just morally repugnant, it’s also legally problematic. He makes wild, false claims that may well cross the line into libel and slander.

Right now, Mr. Jones is defending lawsuits filed by multiple Sandy Hook Elementary families accusing him of making intentionally false factual statements. Most appallingly, he has insisted that these grieving families were faking their pain: “I’ve looked at it and undoubtedly there’s a cover-up, there’s actors, they’re manipulating, they’ve been caught lying and they were preplanning before it and rolled out with it.”

So on Monday, when Apple, Facebook and YouTube acted — in seemingly coordinated fashion — to remove the vast bulk of Mr. Jones’s content from their sites, there’s no cause for worry, right? After all, this was an act of necessary public hygiene. A terrible human being who has no regard for truth or decency is finally getting what he deserves.
The problem is the subjectivity of the sites' decisions.
Rather than applying objective standards that resonate with American law and American traditions of respect for free speech and the marketplace of ideas, the companies applied subjective standards that are subject to considerable abuse. Apple said it “does not tolerate hate speech.” Facebook accused Mr. Jones of violating policies against “glorifying violence” or using “dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants.” YouTube accused Mr. Jones of violating policies against “hate speech and harassment.”

These policies sound good on first reading, but they are extraordinarily vague. We live in times when the slightest deviation from the latest and ever-changing social justice style guide is deemed bigoted and, yes, “dehumanizing.” We live in a world where the Southern Poverty Law Center, a formerly respected civil-rights organization, abuses its past trust to label a host of mainstream organizations (including my former employer, the Alliance Defending Freedom) and individuals as “hate groups,” “white nationalists” or “anti-Muslim extremists,” based sometimes on disagreements about theology or sexual morality or sometimes on outright misreadings and misrepresentations of an individual’s beliefs and views.

Exhibit A of how wrong the center has been: In June, it paid Maajid Nawaz $3.375 million for labeling him an “anti-Muslim extremist.” This is rich, considered Mr. Nawaz is a former Islamist turned Muslim reformer.

Yet Big Tech still listens to the Southern Poverty Law Center and takes action to punish its targets. Amazon recently booted Alliance Defending Freedom from its AmazonSmile charity program because of the center’s designation....

One doesn’t even have to look to Big Tech to see the almost infinite malleability of the “hate speech” label. In the name of stopping hate speech, university mobs have turned their ire not just against alt-right figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer, but also against the most mainstream of conservative voices, like Ben Shapiro and Heather Mac Donald.

Dissenting progressives aren’t spared, either. Just ask Evergreen State College’s Bret Weinstein, who was hounded out of a job after refusing to participate in a “day of absence” protest in which white students and faculty members were supposed to leave campus for the day to give students and faculty members of color exclusive access to the college.
Rather than having these private companies decide on their own what is objectionable to them with vague definitions of hate speech, it would be better, French argues to make their decisions based on the legal definitions of libel and slander.
To be sure, this would tie their hands more: Unlike “hate speech,” libel and slander have legal meanings. There is a long history of using libel and slander laws to protect especially private figures from false claims. It’s properly more difficult to use those laws to punish allegations directed at public figures, but even then there are limits on intentionally false factual claims.

It’s a high bar. But it’s a bar that respects the marketplace of ideas, avoids the politically charged battle over ever-shifting norms in language and culture and provides protection for aggrieved parties. Nor do tech companies have to wait for sometimes yearslong legal processes to work themselves out. They can use their greater degree of freedom to conduct their own investigations. Those investigations would rightly be based on concrete legal standards, not wholly subjective measures of offensiveness.

Private corporations can ban whoever they like. But if companies like Facebook are eager to navigate speech controversies in good faith, they would do well to learn from the centuries of legal developments in American law. When creating a true marketplace of ideas, why not let the First Amendment be your guide?
Sounds like a much more reasonable standard than something as amorphous and subjective as "hate speech."

Ben Shapiro, who has been a target of personal attacks from Jones and thinks Jones is a vile person, also criticizes the decision by these companies to ban him. But, as Shapiro argues, the Left won't stop with Alex Jones.
But I’m far more concerned with social-media arbiters suddenly deciding that vague “hate speech” standards ought to govern our common spaces than I am with the daily dose of detritus distributed by this delirious dunce. Social-media giants had a choice here. If they wanted Jones gone, they could simply have defined a standard limit on the number of debunked conspiracy theories one could peddle on the site before being banned, or they could have created a standard prohibiting public threats.

Instead, they chose the most politically correct way of booting Jones: They claimed he’d violated undefined standards regarding “hate.” That’s why so many on the right are rushing to Jones’s defense — not because they like Jones or anything he stands for, but because the Left is happy to apply double standards under the rubric of “anti-hate measures.”

To see how, we only need to examine the last week of news. Sarah Jeong, the newest member of the New York Times editorial board, has tweeted dozens of times, in racist fashion, about white people. The Left defended Jeong, not on the grounds that the New York Times ought to ignore social-media mobbing, but on the grounds that people of color can’t be racist. Were Jeong white, the Left dutifully explained, she would justifiably be fired; but since she is an Asian-American graduate of Berkeley and Harvard Law School, she’s a victim of the white patriarchy, and thus fully entitled to use racist slurs to target those with less melanin in their skin. “Hate speech,” it seems, only runs one way.

And it only applies to particular viewpoints, too. Suggest that Caitlyn Jenner is a man, and you might be violating crucial social-media “hate speech” taboos; suggest that the Jews are bloodsucking demons, as Louis Farrakhan does, and the leaders of the Women’s March will still hobnob with you.

Is it any wonder, then, that conservatives don’t trust social-media hall monitors to apply their alleged rules with equal vigilance? It’s demonstrative of the echo chamber that is Silicon Valley that rather than going after Jones on some semblance of an objective standard, they went directly for the buzzwords that will be most popular among those who love Sarah Jeong.

Unfortunately, the informal implementation of left-wing “hate speech” standards will likely be only a precursor to far more devastating culture wars to come. That’s because the Left does not operate in good faith. People of rational mind agree that Jones is a never-ending font of silly garbage. But the Left won’t leave it at Jones, which is why the social-media giants didn’t craft an objective standard to apply.


Robby Soave also weighs in to argue that the issue isn't free speech, - after all, these are private companies -
but the "incoherence of 'hate speech.'"
Facebook doesn't actually need a reason to ban people from its platform. It can take virtually any action it thinks will improve the user experience. It could ban all conservatives tomorrow if it so desired.

Facebook did give a reason for banning Jones, though, and it's a fairly weak and ill-defined one. "As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies," the company explained. The problem was not that Jones was lying, or engaged in libel, or spreading fake news. The problem was hate speech. But we don't know which statements he made were deemed hateful, or why. We don't know if Jones is being singled out, or if anyone who said the things he said would be banned. We don't know if a statement has to be targeted at a particular person to count as bullying, or whether generic trutherism could fit the bill.

I'm saying this for a third time so that I'm not misunderstood: Facebook can define hate speech however it wants. I am criticizing the lack of clarity in its definition, not because I think the government should intervene, but because I am a user of Facebook who worries that a stronger anti-bullying policy will be difficult to apply evenly.

Jones has been engaged in the same shtick for years. I can't imagine that no one had ever complained about him before. So why now? What is so hateful or bullying about his speech that wasn't apparent last week? What prompted the clearly coordinated campaign to remove him from so many major publishing platforms?
Soave quotes what he wrote in response to Zuckerberg's comments that Holocaust deniers should not be banned from Facebook.
In our modern political discourse, Facebook plays a role very much akin to the public square: a massive one, involving the entire world. The arguments for letting nearly all voices—even deeply evil ones, provided they do not organize direct violence or harassment—be heard on this platform are the same arguments for not taking the European route on hate speech: Policing hate on a very large scale is quite difficult given the frequently subjective nature of offense; we risk de-platforming legitimate viewpoints that are unpopular but deserve to be heard; and ultimately, silencing hate is not the same thing as squelching it.
The story of what has happened with Alex Jones is a good trial of whether or not people believe anymore in the famous quote that Voltaire, apparently, never said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Such an attitude has long been the classical liberal attitude toward freedom of speech. Sadly, it no longer is. Just about everyone can agree that Alex Jones is truly loathsome. Let him rant his ugliness. Let the courts proceed with the suit by the Sandy Hook parents. At least, if they're going to ban him, don't do it because of some ill-defined "hate speech." Do it because he has made reckless statements about the killings at Sandy Hook that have led to harassment of grieving parents by his rabid viewers. What is more important is the precedent that has been set and where it goes from here.


For an example of how those on the Left will band together to try to ban speech of which they disapprove, witness the recent story about how journalists pressured the Newseum, the museum devoted to freedom of the press, to stop selling T-shirts that say "Fake News." Their objection was that this was legitimizing Trump's attacks on the press. As Tunku Varadarajan points out, they were missing the history of the phrase which first arose by Trump's opponents to characterize how Trump and his supporters manipulated the news. Several months later Trump started using the phrase and was able to turn the tables on those criticizing him. But the media critics of Trump ignored that history and pressured the Newseum to stop selling the shirts.
This sweeping mea culpa leads one to wonder how well the folks at the Newseum know their history. “Fake news” isn’t Mr. Trump’s own coinage. He first tweeted the phrase on Dec. 10, 2016, several months after his media detractors had used it as a barb against him. The modern paternity of the phrase, in other words, lies with the people who wanted to kill off the T-shirt.

But its first recorded use predates the Trump presidency by some distance. On June 7, 1890, the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune headlined a story thus: “Secretary Brunnel declares that fake news about his people is being telegraphed over the country.”

That said, the main objection to the Newseum’s decision isn’t pedantic. It has misunderstood completely the semiotics of the T-shirt. Who takes a T-shirt’s text literally? Wearers put them on for all sorts of reasons, frequently in pursuit of irony. Donning a T-shirt that blares “Fake News” on its front can just as easily be a subversion of the idea—a slap at Mr. Trump—as an endorsement of it.

You’d think the guardians of journalism would get that—even as they strong-arm a museum dedicated to free speech to pull a T-shirt whose message they dislike.


Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono has decided to ask judicial nominees about their sexual history.
At the time, she claimed such questions were relevant because at least one judge had been accused of sexual harassment. The judge in question was Alex Kozinski – on the 9th Circuit – while the first judge Hirono asked these questions to was nominated to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Not that the difference matters, but it’s basically like someone from Facebook asking if you ever embezzled money because someone from Twitter was accused of doing so. Same industry, different companies, and using one incident to justify asking inappropriate questions....

Hirono in January asked Judge Kurt Engelhardt two questions about his sexual history designed to look like perjury if someone in the future accused him. Engelhardt was confirmed to the 5th Circuit despite Hirono’s questions, and has thus far not been accused of sexual misconduct.

During his senate hearing, Hirono asked Engelhardt the following:
Since you became a legal adult, have you ever made unwanted requests for sexual favors or committed any verbal or physical harassment or assault of a sexual nature?

As Woehrle and attorney Scott Greenfield have pointed out, this is an incredibly leading question that has two unrelated parts.

“This question deliberately lumps together two very different things,” Woehrle wrote. “A request to your spouse for sexual favors is not illegal, even if your spouse says he doesn’t want sex; by contrast, assault of a sexual nature certainly is illegal, and should preclude anyone who commits it from ever being a judge.”

But as anyone with commonsense would know, there is no way to know something is unwanted until you ask.

“Defenders of Senator Hirono’s questions say they are appropriate because she is asking about unwelcome sexual advances, and sexual harassment involves unwelcome sexual advances,” Woehrle wrote. “But that is as illogical as saying that because Aristotle is a man, all men are Aristotle. To be sexual harassment, sexual advances or other behavior must be ‘unwelcome.’ But that does not mean that all, or even most, unwelcome behavior is sexual harassment.”

Woehrle points out that courts have up held that to be sexual harassment in the legal sense, the unwelcome conduct “must be ‘severe or pervasive’ enough to create a hostile environment for a ‘reasonable person,’ based on their sex, and be ‘objectively offensive,’ not just subjectively unwelcome.”


Kamala Harris, who is all set to run for president in 2020, is fully embracing identity politics. She just doesn't want to call it that. But she's happy to advocate that Democrats should be choosing more women of color. And, by happy coincidence, she is a woman of color. Isn't that a wonderful coincidence?
“I have a problem, guys, with that phrase, ‘identity politics,’” Harris told the audience. “Because let’s be clear, when people say that, it’s a pejorative. That phrase is used to divide, and it is used to distract. Its purpose is to minimize and marginalize issues that impact all of us. It is used to try and shut us up.”

The left have become experts at flipping reality on its head, blaming others for the very behavior they project.

Harris launched into the discussion on identity politics after noting the Democrats “shouldn’t just be thanking women of color for electing progressive leaders in 2018, we should be electing women of color as those leaders.”

The California lawmaker declared Democrats “won’t be shut up, and we won’t be silenced” on issues like playing the race card, abortion and advocating for illegal immigrants.

“And let’s be clear these issues that they’re trying to diminish and demean are the very issues that will define our identity as Americans,” she concluded.
Who knew that our identity as Americans meant supporting abortion and illegal immigration?


One member of the Santa Cruz City Council has made a political gaffe by actually saying what he really believes.
A Santa Barbara city councilman inadvertently let slip the primary purpose of progressivism in 21st century America.

The city recently criminalized the use of plastic straws. Speaking to that issue, Councilman Jesse Dominguez said, “Unfortunately, common sense is just not common. We have to regulate every aspect of people’s lives.”

Got that? "We" are smarter than you and know what's best for you better than you do.
That isn't a conservative using hyperbole to characterize the progressive agenda - that's a politician stating what he believes the real goal is. Now he's apologizing for saying what he really thinks.
The comment sparked an immediate backlash from people who read the quote in Noozhawk and other local media, wondering “did he really say that?” Yes, he did, and on Tuesday, Dominguez apologized for the comment.
“I just wanted to apologize,” Dominguez said at the beginning of the meeting. “A few weeks ago I made a string of words in a rhetorical fashion about regulation and they were not taken as rhetorical and that’s my fault so I want to apologize.”

Steven Hayward comments,
Now, we do have to admit that the good councilman has a point about Santa Barbara citizens lacking common sense. He’s on the city council, after all. Sort of an inversion of the great rhetorical question both Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan liked to ask: “Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?”

But “string of words”? I know of a new editorial board member at the New York Times who will buy that, but otherwise I think everyone can understand exactly what the councilman believes. That “string of words” combines into a noose for individual liberty. And common sense. Here’s to hoping the voters of Santa Barbara recover their common sense and pull the string on Dominguez (and his “words”) at the next election, along with the other five knuckleheads who voted for the plastic straw ban.
Maybe he can address exactly which aspects of our lives he doesn't believe the government should regulate.


Tamara Berens explains how anti-Semitism is a chosen strategy of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party's leadership. It's been clear for a while now that Corbyn has a history of hanging with anti-Semites and participating in anti-Israel activities. But Corbyn isn't apologizing or resigning as most politicians would have to do if even half of what has been made public about Corbyn's history had come to light. And other leaders of Labour with similarly ugly histories are remaining in leadership. It's clear that this is now a choice and that says a lot about the state of British politics.
erate action to sow discord with both the Jewish community and moderate Labour MPs. The Labour National Executive chose not to fully adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism used by the British government, Metropolitan Police, and many other institutions around the globe. They opted instead to omit examples of antisemitism relating to Israel from their definition, including guidance that calling the creation of Israel a racist endeavor is an antisemitic claim. After reacting to the Jewish community’s longstanding pleas for change with empty promises, the adoption of the IHRA definition in full was a prime opportunity for the Labour party to achieve an easy win. The choice to reject it should be seen as nothing less than a deliberate snub of British Jewry.

As well as snubbing the Jewish community, Jeremy Corbyn appears to be actively seeking the silencing of his internal political opponents. Margaret Hodge, a veteran Jewish Labour MP, recently publicly confronted Corbyn about his attitude towards antisemitism, accusing him of being a “racist and anti-Semite.” Ian Austin MP, supporter of the parliamentary Labour Friends of Israel group, also stood up for his values and made his disagreement with Corbyn’s rejection of the IHRA definition known. They are now both under formal investigations by the party and were sent letters threatening "disciplinary action."These investigations seem to be moving suspiciously more swiftly than those initiated by the party against Corbyn allies Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah.

Finally, an old video recently resurfaced of Jeremy Corbyn linking a terror attack in Egypt to “the hand of Israel.” The 2012 interview on Iranian-owned Press TV saw him pedal anti-Israel conspiracy theories in a discussion of a bombing where 16 Egyptian policemen were killed in the Sinai desert. His comments from 2012 were defended last week by a Labour party spokesperson, who asserted that his “speculation” had been factually based on previous Israeli actions in Egypt.
So why would he be doing all this? It could be that he's just an unreconstructed anti-Semite but it seems more like he's chosen this as a political strategy that he thinks will help Labour. It's also clear that Corbyn likes hanging with the sort of company that anti-Semitism puts him into.
Anti-Zionism—and by extension, giving credence to antisemites—is fundamental to the worldview Corbyn has cultivated on his journey to political stardom. For most of his political career, Corbyn was a fringe socialist politician and supporter of the USSR, Syria’s Assad, the Iranian Ayatollahs and Maduro’s Venezuela. After becoming Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn toned down some of this support for radical anti-Western groups. Nonetheless, he has consistently maintained his support for anti-Zionist causes. What’s undoubtable is that throughout his career, his ultimate goal has remained the same; rejecting Western values and embracing the alliance between radical socialists and Islamists in a strategic bid to normalize and implement socialism in the UK.

Politically, Corbyn’s strategy is working: According to a recent YouGov poll, 61 percent of the party believes Corbyn is handling accusations of antisemitism well. And 80 percent of the party deems him a good leader overall. The events of the past few weeks indicate that the Labour leadership has been able to build on their apparent success to formally distance themselves from the overwhelmingly Zionist British-Jewish community. This perhaps became most apparent last Friday, when Jeremy Corbyn published another article in The Guardian disregarding his part in normalizing antisemitism in the party. The piece came out at 5pm, when the majority of Jews in the country were busy preparing for the Sabbath.

The reality is that support from the Jewish community is no longer an indispensable part of the Labour party. In fact, Corbyn’s foreign policy—a large aspect of his political differences to Blair’s Labour—rests on weakening UK-Israel relations. Corbyn has constructed a successful strategy for claiming the Labour party as his own socialist vehicle for disruption of the Western liberal order. Labeling recent events a “scandal” greatly underestimates the strategic nature of his leadership.


If you live in Washington D.C., as my daughters do, and already hate the Metro, now there is an additional reason to be contemptuous of how the Metro is being run.
All of the new 7000 Series rail cars on Washington D.C.’s Metrorail subway system must undergo repairs to replace the cars’ wiring, a new report says.

According to a review conducted by Metro’s Quality Assurance, Internal Compliance & Oversight office, the wire crimping on the cars was not correctly completed. The flawed wiring has and has been a factor in issues with the rail cars and can lead to major delays.

As a result, all of the 548 new rail cars currently in service must undergo repairs that are likely to take a full year to complete. The review determined that Metro did not demand Kawasaki, who was manufacturing the rail cars, to conduct relevant quality checks.
More delays - oh, joy. How can the leaders of Metro not demand quality checks?

I lived in D.C. when the Metro system was built and first opened. At the time, I was so very impressed at its design and how it operated. It was so clean compared to other cities' older systems. It's still clean, but it seems to have slow-downs and gets shut down on some routes way too often.
          August 9: Nehemiah 7; Psalm 36; Mark 14       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Old Testament: Nehemiah 7

Nehemiah 7 (Listen)

Now when the wall had been built and I had set up the doors, and the gatekeepers, the singers, and the Levites had been appointed, I gave my brother Hanani and Hananiah the governor of the castle charge over Jerusalem, for he was a more faithful and God-fearing man than many. And I said to them, “Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun is hot. And while they are still standing guard, let them shut and bar the doors. Appoint guards from among the inhabitants of Jerusalem, some at their guard posts and some in front of their own homes.” The city was wide and large, but the people within it were few, and no houses had been rebuilt.

Lists of Returned Exiles

Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of those who came up at the first, and I found written in it:

These were the people of the province who came up out of the captivity of those exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried into exile. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his town. They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah.

The number of the men of the people of Israel: the sons of Parosh, 2,172. The sons of Shephatiah, 372. 10 The sons of Arah, 652. 11 The sons of Pahath-moab, namely the sons of Jeshua and Joab, 2,818. 12 The sons of Elam, 1,254. 13 The sons of Zattu, 845. 14 The sons of Zaccai, 760. 15 The sons of Binnui, 648. 16 The sons of Bebai, 628. 17 The sons of Azgad, 2,322. 18 The sons of Adonikam, 667. 19 The sons of Bigvai, 2,067. 20 The sons of Adin, 655. 21 The sons of Ater, namely of Hezekiah, 98. 22 The sons of Hashum, 328. 23 The sons of Bezai, 324. 24 The sons of Hariph, 112. 25 The sons of Gibeon, 95. 26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188. 27 The men of Anathoth, 128. 28 The men of Beth-azmaveth, 42. 29 The men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, 621. 31 The men of Michmas, 122. 32 The men of Bethel and Ai, 123. 33 The men of the other Nebo, 52. 34 The sons of the other Elam, 1,254. 35 The sons of Harim, 320. 36 The sons of Jericho, 345. 37 The sons of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 721. 38 The sons of Senaah, 3,930.

39 The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, namely the house of Jeshua, 973. 40 The sons of Immer, 1,052. 41 The sons of Pashhur, 1,247. 42 The sons of Harim, 1,017.

43 The Levites: the sons of Jeshua, namely of Kadmiel of the sons of Hodevah, 74. 44 The singers: the sons of Asaph, 148. 45 The gatekeepers: the sons of Shallum, the sons of Ater, the sons of Talmon, the sons of Akkub, the sons of Hatita, the sons of Shobai, 138.

46 The temple servants: the sons of Ziha, the sons of Hasupha, the sons of Tabbaoth, 47 the sons of Keros, the sons of Sia, the sons of Padon, 48 the sons of Lebana, the sons of Hagaba, the sons of Shalmai, 49 the sons of Hanan, the sons of Giddel, the sons of Gahar, 50 the sons of Reaiah, the sons of Rezin, the sons of Nekoda, 51 the sons of Gazzam, the sons of Uzza, the sons of Paseah, 52 the sons of Besai, the sons of Meunim, the sons of Nephushesim, 53 the sons of Bakbuk, the sons of Hakupha, the sons of Harhur, 54 the sons of Bazlith, the sons of Mehida, the sons of Harsha, 55 the sons of Barkos, the sons of Sisera, the sons of Temah, 56 the sons of Neziah, the sons of Hatipha.

57 The sons of Solomon's servants: the sons of Sotai, the sons of Sophereth, the sons of Perida, 58 the sons of Jaala, the sons of Darkon, the sons of Giddel, 59 the sons of Shephatiah, the sons of Hattil, the sons of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the sons of Amon.

60 All the temple servants and the sons of Solomon's servants were 392.

61 The following were those who came up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not prove their fathers' houses nor their descent, whether they belonged to Israel: 62 the sons of Delaiah, the sons of Tobiah, the sons of Nekoda, 642. 63 Also, of the priests: the sons of Hobaiah, the sons of Hakkoz, the sons of Barzillai (who had taken a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by their name). 64 These sought their registration among those enrolled in the genealogies, but it was not found there, so they were excluded from the priesthood as unclean. 65 The governor told them that they were not to partake of the most holy food until a priest with Urim and Thummim should arise.

Totals of People and Gifts

66 The whole assembly together was 42,360, 67 besides their male and female servants, of whom there were 7,337. And they had 245 singers, male and female. 68 Their horses were 736, their mules 245,1 69 their camels 435, and their donkeys 6,720.

70 Now some of the heads of fathers' houses gave to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics2 of gold, 50 basins, 30 priests' garments and 500 minas3 of silver.4 71 And some of the heads of fathers' houses gave into the treasury of the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver. 72 And what the rest of the people gave was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minas of silver, and 67 priests' garments.

73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, some of the people, the temple servants, and all Israel, lived in their towns.

And when the seventh month had come, the people of Israel were in their towns.

Footnotes

[1] 7:68 Compare Ezra 2:66 and the margins of some Hebrew manuscripts; Hebrew lacks Their horses . . . 245
[2] 7:70 A daric was a coin weighing about 1/4 ounce or 8.5 grams
[3] 7:70 A mina was about 1 1/4 pounds or 0.6 kilogram
[4] 7:70 Probable reading; Hebrew lacks minas of silver

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 36

Psalm 36 (Listen)

How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love

To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the LORD.

36   Transgression speaks to the wicked
    deep in his heart;1
  there is no fear of God
    before his eyes.
  For he flatters himself in his own eyes
    that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
  The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
    he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
  He plots trouble while on his bed;
    he sets himself in a way that is not good;
    he does not reject evil.
  Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
  Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O LORD.
  How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
  They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
  For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light.
10   Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11   Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12   There the evildoers lie fallen;
    they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Footnotes

[1] 36:1 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Jerome (compare Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts in my heart

(ESV)

New Testament: Mark 14

Mark 14 (Listen)

The Plot to Kill Jesus

14 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,1 as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii2 and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Judas to Betray Jesus

10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

The Passover with the Disciples

12 And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” 16 And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Institution of the Lord's Supper

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the3 covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus Foretells Peter's Denial

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”4 35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

43 And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 45 And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 46 And they laid hands on him and seized him. 47 But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant5 of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And they all left him and fled.

A Young Man Flees

51 And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

Jesus Before the Council

53 And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. 54 And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council6 were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. 56 For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. 57 And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?”7 61 But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” 62 And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” 63 And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? 64 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

Peter Denies Jesus

66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway8 and the rooster crowed.9 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.10

Footnotes

[1] 14:3 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[2] 14:5 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
[3] 14:24 Some manuscripts insert new
[4] 14:34 Or keep awake; also verses 37, 38
[5] 14:47 Or bondservant
[6] 14:55 Greek Sanhedrin
[7] 14:60 Or Have you no answer to what these men testify against you?
[8] 14:68 Or forecourt
[9] 14:68 Some manuscripts omit and the rooster crowed
[10] 14:72 Or And when he had thought about it, he wept

(ESV)


          Why Hasn't Seymour Hersh's Syria War Crimes Denial Ended His Career? - Haaretz      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Haaretz

Why Hasn't Seymour Hersh's Syria War Crimes Denial Ended His Career?
Haaretz
Seymour Hersh, the multiple award-winning journalist who broke some of the 20th century's biggest stories – the My Lai massacre, the Abu Ghraib scandal – has just released his memoirs. It has a suitably bullish title, the lone word "Reporter," and has ...


          Ten Bombshell Revelations From Seymour Hersh's New Autobiography       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Among the more interesting revelations to surface as legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh continues a book tour and gives interviews discussing his newly published autobiography, Reporter: A Memoir, is that he never set out to write it at all, but was actually deeply engaged in writing a massive exposé of Dick Cheney a project he decided couldn't ultimately be published in the current climate of aggressive persecution of whistleblowers which became especially intense during the Obama years.

Hersh has pointed out he worries his sources risk exposure while taking on the Cheney book, which ultimately resulted in the famed reporter opting to write an in-depth account of his storied career instead — itself full of previously hidden details connected with major historical events and state secrets

In a recent wide-ranging interview with the UK Independent, Hersh is finally asked to discuss in-depth some of the controversial investigative stories he's written on Syria, Russia-US intelligence sharing, and the Osama bin Laden death narrativewhich have gotten the Pulitzer Prize winner and five-time Polk Award recipient essentially blacklisted from his regular publication, The New Yorker magazine, for which he broke stories of monumental importance for decades.

Though few would disagree that Hersh "has single-handedly broken more stories of genuine world-historical significance than any reporter alive (or dead, perhaps)" — as The Nation put it — the man who exposed shocking cover-ups like the My Lai Massacre, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and the truth behind the downing of Korean Air Flight 007, has lately been shunned and even attacked by the American mainstream media especially over his controversial coverage of Syria and the bin Laden raid in 2011.

But merely a few of the many hit pieces written on this front include The Washington Post's "Sy Hersh, journalism giant: Why some who worshiped him no longer do," and elsewhere "Whatever happened to Seymour Hersh?" or "Sy Hersh's Chemical Misfire" in Foreign Policy — the latter which was written, it should be noted, by a UK blogger who conducts chemical weapons "investigations" via YouTube and Google Maps (and this is not an exaggeration). 

The Post story begins by acknowledging, "But Sy Hersh now has a problem: He thinks 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue lied about the death of Osama bin Laden, and it seems nearly everyone is mad at him for saying so" — before proceeding to take a sledgehammer to Hersh's findings while painting him as some kind of conspiracy theorist (Hersh published the bin Laden story for the London Review of Books after his usual New Yorker rejected it). 

Seymour Hersh broke the story of CIA's illegal domestic operations with a front page story in the New York Times on December 22, 1974.

However, the mainstream pundits piling on against his reporting of late ignore the clearly establish historical pattern when it comes to Hersh: nearly all of the biggest stories of his career were initially met with incredulity and severe push back from both government officials and even his fellow journalists, and yet he's managed to emerge proven right and ultimately vindicated time and again. 

* * *

Here are ten bombshell revelations and fascinating new details to lately come out of both Sy Hersh's new book, Reporter, as well as interviews he's given since publication...

1) On a leaked Bush-era intelligence memo outlining the neocon plan to remake the Middle East

(Note: though previously alluded to only anecdotally by General Wesley Clark in his memoir and in a 2007 speech, the below passage from Seymour Hersh is to our knowledge the first time this highly classified memo has been quoted. Hersh's account appears to corroborate now retired Gen. Clark's assertion that days after 9/11 a classified memo outlining plans to foster regime change in "7 countries in 5 years" was being circulated among intelligence officials.)

From Reporter: A Memoir pg. 306 — A few months after the invasion of Iraq, during an interview overseas with a general who was director of a foreign intelligence service, I was provided with a copy of a Republican neocon plan for American dominance in the Middle East. The general was an American ally, but one who was very rattled by the Bush/Cheney aggression. I was told that the document leaked to me initially had been obtained by someone in the local CIA station. There was reason to be rattled: The document declared that the war to reshape the Middle East had to begin "with the assault on Iraq. The fundamental reason for this... is that the war will start making the U.S. the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination." Victory in Iraq would lead to an ultimatum to Damascus, the "defanging" of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, and other anti-Israeli groups. America's enemies must understand that "they are fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation." I and the foreign general agreed that America's neocons were a menace to civilization.

* * *

2) On early regime change plans in Syria

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 306-307 — Donald Rumsfeld was also infected with neocon fantasy. Turkey had refused to permit America's Fourth Division to join the attack of Iraq from its territory, and the division, with its twenty-five thousand men and women, did not arrive in force inside Iraq until mid-April, when the initial fighting was essentially over. I learned then that Rumsfeld had asked the American military command in Stuttgart, Germany, which had responsibility for monitoring Europe, including Syria and Lebanon, to begin drawing up an operational plan for an invasion of Syria. A young general assigned to the task refused to do so, thereby winning applause from my friends on the inside and risking his career. The plan was seen by those I knew as especially bizarre because Bashar Assad, the ruler of secular Syria, had responded to 9/11 by sharing with the CIA hundreds of his country's most sensitive intelligence files on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamburg, where much of the planning for 9/11 was carried out... Rumsfeld eventually came to his senses and back down, I was told...

3) On the Neocon deep state which seized power after 9/11

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 305-306 — I began to comprehend that eight or nine neoconservatives who were political outsiders in the Clinton years had essentially overthrown the government of the United States — with ease. It was stunning to realize how fragile our Constitution was. The intellectual leaders of that group — Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle — had not hidden their ideology and their belief in the power of the executive but depicted themselves in public with a great calmness and a self-assurance that masked their radicalism. I had spent many hours after 9/11 in conversations with Perle that, luckily for me, helped me understand what was coming. (Perle and I had been chatting about policy since the early 1980s, but he broke off relations in 1993 over an article I did for The New Yorker linking him, a fervent supporter of Israel, to a series of meetings with Saudi businessmen in an attempt to land a multibillion-dollar contract from Saudi Arabia. Perle responded by publicly threatening to sue me and characterizing me as a newspaper terrorist. He did not sue. 

Meanwhile, Cheney had emerged as a leader of the neocon pack. From 9/11 on he did all he could to undermine congressional oversight. I learned a great deal from the inside about his primacy in the White House, but once again I was limited in what I would write for fear of betraying my sources...

I came to understand that Cheney's goal was to run his most important military and intelligence operations with as little congressional knowledge, and interference, as possible. I was fascinating and important to learn what I did about Cheney's constant accumulation of power and authority as vice president, but it was impossible to even begin to verify the information without running the risk that Cheney would learn of my questioning and have a good idea from whom I was getting the information.

4) On Russian meddling in the US election

From the recent Independent interview based on his autobiography — Hersh has vociferously strong opinions on the subject and smells a rat. He states that there is “a great deal of animosity towards Russia. All of that stuff about Russia hacking the election appears to be preposterous.” He has been researching the subject but is not ready to go public… yet.

Hersh quips that the last time he heard the US defense establishment have high confidence, it was regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He points out that the NSA only has moderate confidence in Russian hacking. It is a point that has been made before; there has been no national intelligence estimate in which all 17 US intelligence agencies would have to sign off. “When the intel community wants to say something they say it… High confidence effectively means that they don’t know.”

5) On the Novichok poisoning 

From the recent Independent interview — Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: “The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime.” The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions –though this files in the face of the UK government's position.

Hersh modestly points out that these are just his opinions. Opinions or not, he is scathing on Obama – “a trimmer … articulate [but] … far from a radical … a middleman”. During his Goldsmiths talk, he remarks that liberal critics underestimate Trump at their peril.

He ends the Goldsmiths talk with an anecdote about having lunch with his sources in the wake of 9/11. He vents his anger at the agencies for not sharing information. One of his CIA sources fires back: “Sy you still don’t get it after all these years – the FBI catches bank robbers, the CIA robs banks.” It is a delicious, if cryptic aphorism.

* * *

6) On the Bush-era 'Redirection' policy of arming Sunni radicals to counter Shia Iran, which in a 2007 New Yorker article Hersh accurately predicted would set off war in Syria

From the Independent interview: [Hersh] tells me it is “amazing how many times that story has been reprinted”. I ask about his argument that US policy was designed to neutralize the Shia sphere extending from Iran to Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon and hence redraw the Sykes-Picot boundaries for the 21st century.

He goes on to say that Bush and Cheney “had it in for Iran”, although he denies the idea that Iran was heavily involved in Iraq: “They were providing intel, collecting intel … The US did many cross-border hunts to kill ops [with] much more aggression than Iran”...

He believes that the Trump administration has no memory of this approach. I’m sure though that the military-industrial complex has a longer memory...

I press him on the RAND and Stratfor reports including one authored by Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in which they envisage deliberate ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq. Hersh ruefully states that: “The day after 9/11 we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do – to expand NATO too far.”

* * *

7) On the official 9/11 narrative

From the Independent interview: We end up ruminating about 9/11, perhaps because it is another narrative ripe for deconstruction by sceptics. Polling shows that a significant proportion of the American public believes there is more to the truth. These doubts have been reinforced by the declassification of the suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report last year undermining the version that a group of terrorists acting independently managed to pull off the attacks. The implication is that they may well have been state-sponsored with the Saudis potentially involved. 

Hersh tells me: “I don’t necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. We really don’t have an ending to the story. I’ve known people in the [intelligence] community. We don’t know anything empirical about who did what”. He continues: “The guy was living in a cave. He really didn’t know much English. He was pretty bright and he had a lot of hatred for the US. We respond by attacking the Taliban. Eighteen years later… How’s it going guys?”

8) On the media and the morality of the powerful

From a recent The Intercept interview and book review  If Hersh were a superhero, this would be his origin story. Two hundred and seventy-four pages after the Chicago anecdote, he describes his coverage of a massive slaughter of Iraqi troops and civilians by the U.S. in 1991 after a ceasefire had ended the Persian Gulf War. America’s indifference to this massacre was, Hersh writes, “a reminder of the Vietnam War’s MGR, for Mere Gook Rule: If it’s a murdered or raped gook, there is no crime.” It was also, he adds, a reminder of something else: “I had learned a domestic version of that rule decades earlier” in Chicago.

“Reporter” demonstrates that Hersh has derived three simple lessons from that rule:

  1. The powerful prey mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
  2. The powerful lie constantly about their predations.
  3. The natural instinct of the media is to let the powerful get away with it.

* * *

9) On the time President Lyndon B. Johnson expressed his displeasure to a reporter over a Vietnam piece by defecating on the ground in front of him

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 201-202 — Tom [Wicker] got into the car and the two of them sped off down a dusty dirt road. No words were spoken. After a moment or two, Johnson once again slammed on the brakes, wheeling to a halt near a stand of trees. Leaving the motor running, he climbed out, walked a few dozen feet toward the trees, stopped, pulled down his pants, and defecated, in full view. The President wiped himself with leaves and grass, pulled up his pants, climbed into the car, turned in around, and sped back to the press gathering. Once there, again the brakes were slammed on, and Tom was motioned out. All of this was done without a word being spoken.

..."I knew then," Tom told me, "that the son of a bitch was never going to end the war."

10) On Sy's "most troublesome article" for which his own family received death threats

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 263-264 — The most troublesome article I did, as someone not on the staff of the newspaper, came in June 1986 and dealt with American signals intelligence showing that General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the dictator who ran Panama, had authorized the assassination of a popular political opponent. At the time, Noriega was actively involved in supplying the Reagan administration with what was said to be intelligence on the spread of communism in Central America. Noriega also permitted American military and intelligence units to operate with impunity, in secret, from bases in Panama, and the Americans, in return, looked the other way while the general dealt openly in drugs and arms. The story was published just as Noriega was giving a speech at Harvard University and created embarrassment for him, and for Harvard, along with a very disturbing telephone threat at home, directed not at me but at my family. 

* * *


          The Consequences of Chaos Syrias Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Consequences of Chaos Syrias Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect

The Consequences of Chaos: Syria?s Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect by Elizabeth G. Ferris, Kemal Kirisci
English | 2016 | ISBN: 0815729510 | 203 Pages | PDF | 12.6 MB
The civil war in Syria has forced some 10 million people-more than half the country's population-from their homes and communities, creating one of the largest human displacements since the end of World War II. Daily headlines testify to their plight, both within Syria and in the countries to which they have fled.


          Turkish, American defense minister discuss Syria on the phone      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Turkish and American defense ministers Hulusi Akar and James Mattis exchanged a phone conversation late Aug. 7 to discuss an ongoing bilateral agreement on the Manbij province in Syria and the fight against terrorism, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
          Syria’s first lady starts breast cancer treatment: Damascus      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syria’s first lady Asma Assad has begun treatment for breast cancer, the presidency said Wednesday, wishing her a speedy recovery.
          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          Parents Speak Out, Say FBI Arrest Saved Son On Verge Of Joining ISIS       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Life changed as Sadiik Yusuf knew it about two years ago, when the FBI appeared at his front door in Minneapolis to tell him his son Abdullahi had been stopped at the airport, suspected of trying to board a flight that would take him to Syria to fight with ISIS. "My job has always been to drop Abdullahi off at school and to pick him up," Sidiik told a group of community leaders last week during a meeting at the U.S. Attorney's Office. "But that day, around noon there was a knock on the door. It was the FBI and I was asked if I was Abdullahi's father and the FBI agents held out a picture." That's how it all began for Sadiik Yusuf and his family: with a knock, a photograph, and the sudden realization that their son, now 20, was being lured to Syria by a shadowy group few at the time realized was targeting young Muslims in Minneapolis. "As a family it was a very difficult day, it was a shocking and horrifying day," he said through an interpreter, speaking publicly for the first time about
          He Was Caught Trying To Join ISIS, Now He's In Jihadi Rehab       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
All eyes were on 20-year-old Abdullahi Yusuf when he stepped on the stand in federal court last week in Minneapolis to testify for the prosecution in America's largest ISIS recruitment trial. As Yusuf began to speak, his words provided a rare, behind-the-scenes look at how more than a dozen young men convinced themselves that the way to prove they were good Muslims was to travel to Syria and fight for ISIS. The radicalization process in this case was frightening simple. It began with a meal at a Somali restaurant and a pickup game of basketball. Then, he testified, smart phones came out of their pockets and the young men began watching ISIS videos on a YouTube channel called "Enter the Truth." They stayed up until 2 a.m., Yusuf said, talking about the killing in Syria and watching ISIS videos. "The channel is saying that the West is corrupt and you can follow religion perfectly over there [in Syria]," Yusuf told the court. "And you don't have to conform to anyone else's traditions."
          ISIS Trial May Offer A Window Into How The Extremist Group Recruits      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
In a Minneapolis federal courtroom, three Somali-Americans are on trial for allegedly plotting to join the Islamic State in a case that's expected to offer the most detailed public accounts yet of how the extremist group recruited nearly a dozen young men from the Twin Cities. Six Somali-Americans arrested in connection to the case have already pleaded guilty to conspiring to travel to Syria to join ISIS, making this the largest American investigation and trial related to ISIS since the terrorist group seized large parts of Syria and Iraq and declared a state nearly two years ago. Nationwide, more than 80 Americans, mostly young Muslim men, have been arrested for seeking to join the group. Most of those arrested have said they were seduced by ISIS recruiters on social media. According to the FBI, some 200 Americans have traveled to Syria and a small fraction of those people have joined ISIS. The Twin Cities area has been especially hard hit by these terrorist recruiters. This is home
          Methods For Reforming Neo-Nazis Help Fight The Radicalization Of Muslims      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up8BYVHn-pY Imagine this scenario: A young Muslim leaves home to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Thousands of young men from Europe have done exactly that in the past two years. But here's the twist: Imagine that just weeks after arriving, the young man realizes he's made a terrible mistake. What does he do now? If he's American, his options are few. Even attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS is considered providing support to a terrorist organization, a federal offense that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. But if the young Muslim is German, he might be in luck. The German government is looking at new ways to work with what are essentially ISIS dropouts, and it is drawing from its previous work with right-wing extremists. It appears many of the same methods used to reform neo-Nazis are directly applicable to young people who are taken in by violent Salafist groups like ISIS. "We got a phone call from a family who told us their son had
          Jihad Rehab Program To Get Second Participant      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
A 20-year-old Eagan, Minn., man could become the second person to enter the country's only jihadi rehab program. Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State, and while he awaits sentencing, three sources familiar with the case tell NPR that he is likely to join a defendant named Abdullahi Yusuf in the emerging de-radicalization program in the Twin Cities. Until recently, U.S. counterterrorism officials had seen building a curriculum to defuse extremist ideology as unnecessary — there weren't enough young men and women seeking to join terrorist organizations to make rehabilitation a priority. Instead, incarceration seemed like enough of an answer. The Islamic State's incredible hold on young Muslims in America has changed all that. Dozens of young men and women from the Twin Cities area have either tried to travel to Syria to join ISIS or have been arrested while seeking to do so. That's what happened in the Warsame
          Returning Assyrians Hold Procession in Iraq on Anniversary of Their Exodus      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hundreds of Iraqi Christians in Karamles took part in a procession last night, to commemorate the night four years ago earlier, when IS/Daesh drove many tens of thousands of Christians from the towns and villages of the Nineveh Plain.
          Assyrian Mayor in Iraq Who Was Illegally Removed Reinstated      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Basim Bello, the Assyrian mayor of Tel Kepe.Tel Kepe, North Iraq (AINA) -- Basim Bello, the Assyrian mayor of Tel Kepe, an Assyrian town in north Iraq, has resumed his duties as the mayor of Tel Kepe after he won his case in the Iraqi federal court.
          8/9/2018: News: On a hospital drip, Assad’s British wife reveals breast cancer battle      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

SyriA’S British- born first lady Asma Assad is being treated for breast cancer. A photo of president Bashar Assad sitting with his wife in a hospital room with a drip in her left arm was posted on the Syrian presidency’s Facebook page. An...
          35.000 υποψήφιοι στις πρώτες τοπικές εκλογές που θα διεξαχθούν στη Συρία από το 2011      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Σημειώνεται ότι στη σπαρασσόμενη από τον πόλεμο Συρία, οι κυβερνητικές δυνάμεις ελέγχουν σχεδόν τα δύο τρίτα της χώρας, ενώ οι τζιχαντιστές, οι αντάρτες και οι κούρδοι πολιτοφύλακες μοιράζονται το υπόλοιπο του εδάφους.


          A Syrian refugee’s view of his European hosts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Gratitude is a tough concept for some

The post A Syrian refugee’s view of his European hosts appeared first on Hot Air.


          Journalist Austin Tice has been missing in Syria for six years. Is it still news?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
On August 13, 2012, only a few days after celebrating his 31st birthday, freelance journalist Austin Tice emailed his father back in Houston to let him know he had wrapped up his reporting from Syria. Tice’s parents have not heard from him since. Austin went missing the following day, August 14, while traveling by taxi […]
          November 1942 - Australian 2/4 Anti Malaria Control Unit troops Len Spencer & Bill Angwin, at the ancient Roman Temple of Bacchus ruins in Baalbek, Syria (now Lebanon)      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

aussiejeff posted a photo:

November 1942 - Australian 2/4 Anti Malaria Control Unit troops Len Spencer & Bill Angwin, at the ancient Roman Temple of Bacchus ruins in Baalbek, Syria (now Lebanon)

SOURCE INFO
- Original image was captured by my late father-in-law, Driver Tom Beazley of the Australian Army 2/4 Anti Malaria Control Unit, 9th Division, 2nd Australian Imperial Force, using a folding Kodak 6-20 Brownie camera with 120 roll film, while he was on extended leave.
**************************
PROCESS INFO
- Digitized using a Canon Canoscan 8800F scanner.
- Restored from the very badly grained, scratched & faded original, using Adobe Photoshop Creative Studio 8.0


          9.08.18 05:55 Kenton  >  Кутузов 5.03.04 15:55      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I'm on a course at the moment <a href=" [link] ">what to do if viagra doesnt work</a> Mother Pelagia Sayah, the head of Saint Tekla monastery in Maaloula, denied earlier reports that churches and monasteries had been attacked. But the recent kidnappings of prominent Orthodox bishops, plus the Christian peace activist Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, have raised disturbing parallels to the height of sectarian violence in Iraq, and fears that Syria’s Christian minority may not survive the war.
          IS-medlemmer mistet statsborgerskap      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tre menn og to kvinner er fratatt sine australske statsborgerskap etter å ha slåss for IS i Irak og Syria. Alle fem hadde doble statsborgerskap. Torsdag sier Australias innenriksminister Peter Dutton at de fem ikke får komme tilbake til landet.
          Dayton Honors Refugee Populations      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The United Nations established World Refugee Day to honor people forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. In 2013, there were an estimated 10.4 million refugees around the world. In 2014, with situations in Syria, Somalia, Iraq and other places, those numbers are likely to grow drastically. (Update: According to NPR, "At least 51.2 million people are now living under forced displacement, a U.N. agency says, announcing its tally of people who are seeking refuge or asylum, or who are internally displaced. It's the first time the number has topped 50 million since World War II." ) On Sunday, June 22, 2014, the city of Dayton will celebrate World Refugee Day by honoring its own refugee populations. The city has provided temporary refuge, or become a permanent home, to a number of refugee groups over the years. Sunday they’ll recognize them with music, food, dancing, and other activities at McIntosh Park. Melissa Bertolo, Program Coordinator with
          Officials Confirm Foreign First Lady Has Been Diagnosed with Breast Cancer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The world has been at odds for decades. Fighting in the Middle East has consumed news headlines for years and diplomatic battles have played out among many different nations.

Now, a major news story is being reported about the wife of the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. According to reports, she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/1027194974427856897

https://twitter.com/TimesofIsrael/status/1027243817454383105

"Officials confirmed on Wednesday that Mrs. Assad was receiving treatment for an early-stage malignant tumor," reported BBC.

Assad is a highly controversial world leader. America has long disagreed with his decision making and he is responsible for some terrible tragedies, even to his own people.

This news is sure to weigh heavily on his mind. A photograph of the leaders was posted online as Assad sat with his wife for her treatment.

https://twitter.com/business/status/1027207430546104320

https://twitter.com/MailOnline/status/1027245837674577922

"Mrs. Asma al-Assad begins the first stage of treatment for a malignant breast tumor that was discovered early.... the Presidency and its team wish Mrs. Asma a speedy recovery," reported BBC.

Mrs. Assad is a dual citizen of Britain and Syria. She even studied in London and later became a banker.

"She moved to Syria in 2000 and married former ophthalmologist Bashar al-Assad, just months after he succeeded his father Hafez al-Assad as president," reported BBC.

https://twitter.com/MailOnline/status/1027224197523808256

What do you think about this? Be sure to let us know! Also, make sure you read our latest viral article about the young boy who was in a car wreck with his father. His father was killed instantly and the boy fell into a coma. When he woke up, his mother asked him if he knew where his dad was and his answer shook her to the core.


          Star Control: Origins, Strange Brigade and Assassin's Creed Odyssey FREE with Radeon RX Vega, RX 580 or RX 570      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

AMD is offering three free games with the purchase of one of their new GPUs between today, August 7th, and November 3, 2018 with the game codes being redeemable until December 31, 2018.  None of the three games are yet released, Strange Brigade comes on August 28, Star Control: Origins on September 20 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey coming October 5. 

140952-radeon-big-multibundle-1260x709_1.png

As you do get them all for free the usual pre-order advice would not apply and you should definitely take advantage of this deal if you have any inclination of picking up an AMD GPU in the near future. 

This announcement comes at the same time as the arrival of the new MECH 2 RX 570 and 580 series from MSI, with a reasonable overclock out of the box and an updated cooler design.  Look out for more news on those two GPUs very soon.

img_5788.jpg

Today, AMD announced that gamers can get the PC versions of the highly anticipated Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Star Control: Origins and Strange Brigade for FREE when they buy an AMD Radeon RX Vega, RX 580 or RX 570 graphics card, once the titles are released.
 
Fast-forward to the year 2086 to join the galactic community and feel the thrill of ship-to-ship battle in Star Control: Origins. Stand against an ancient forgotten evil power in Strange Brigade. And forge your destiny and define your own path in war-torn Ancient Greece as you live an epic adventure in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
 
Strange Brigade will be available on August 28, Star Control: Origins will be available on September 20 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey will be available on October 5. The promotional period begins August 7 and expires November 3, 2018. Games can be redeemed until December 31, 2018.
 
The promotion is available worldwide with the following exceptions: China, Cuba, North Korea, Syria, Sudan and Iran

read more


          Australia strips five of citizenship over Islamic State links      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Five people have been stripped of their Australian citizenship for fighting alongside the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, with officials saying Thursday the country was a better place without them.
          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          La Task Force siriana sta avanzando decisamente nel deserto a Est di Sweida: ISIS in fuga!!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
La potente task force siriana messa in campo per ripulire il Badiyeh (deserto) a Est di Sweida dalla presenza di gruppi superstiti dell'ISIS ha iniziato le sue operazioni con bombardamenti di artiglieria, razzi e missili e il sostegno dei cacciabombardieri siriani e russi.

Attualmente le forze siriane stanno avanzando oltre Al-Dayathah e hanno catturato già le colline di Al-Karaa e Deko.



Tal Sanim, Barak al-Tamthounah, Satah Namalah sono tutte state bombardate intensamente; le perdite per i seguaci del tramontato "califfato" si contano nelle dozzine.

Ricordiamo che l'operazione in questione é stata lanciata come risposta agli orribili attentati che hanno colpito la popolazione drusa di Sweida e dintorni; una vigliacca rappresaglia per la distruzione della 'sacca' dell'ISIS nella vallata dello Yarmouk.


          How Putin and Trump Put an End to the War      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Western Press continues to support the elite transnational financiers and to scorn the actions of President Trump. This attitude makes it difficult to understand the progress made towards peace in Syria. Thierry Meyssan looks at the agreements reached during the last five months and the rapid progress on the ground. It is with prudence and determination that the Russian Federation and President Trump put a definitive end to the domination of the world by transnational interests. Convinced that the balance of powers does not depend on their economics but rather on their military capacities, President Putin has certainly reinvigorated … Continue reading

The post How Putin and Trump Put an End to the War appeared first on LewRockwell.


          Dopo gli annunci dell'ambasciatore e dell'attaché militare cinese in Siria, PLA e SAA fotografati insieme ai giochi militari di Alabino!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
La si potrebbe chiamare una "coincidenza".

Ma nel mondo globalizzato dalla Rete, dalle comunicazioni istantanee via streaming, dai social network, è CREDIBILE che il fatto che inizi a circolare una foto di gruppo (scattata ai giochi militari di Alabino) che ritrae militari dell'Esercito Arabo Siriano (SAA) e dell'Armata di Liberazione Popolare (PLA) a poche ore dalle dichiarazioni dell'ambasciatore cinese in Siria e dalle puntualizzazioni dell'attaché militare a Damasco sia SOLO un 'caso'?



Io sono SEMPRE stato iper-scettico quando altri proclamavano a voce alta e forte che stavano "arrivando i Cinesi", e ho sempre avuto ragione in merito.

ADESSO però mi sembrano presenti tutte le condizioni per un certo qual impegno militare della Repubblica Popolare in Siria.

1) un EVIDENTE E CHIARO interesse nazionale di Beijing (la presenza di migliaia di islamisti uiguri in Provincia di Idlib), che se sfuggissero attraverso il confine turco potrebbero tornare in patria e destabilizzare il Far West cinese, con tutte le nefaste conseguenze che ciò avrebbe sul progetto Nuova Via della Seta.

2) il fatto che ormai con la guerra al terrorismo agli sgoccioli l'impegno cinese sarebbe CHIARAMENTE limitato e a tempo.

3) last but not least il fatto che un aiuto militare cinese rafforzerebbe le posizioni della Repubblica Popolare per ottenere importanti e lucrosi contratti nell'opera di ricostruzione della Siria; impresa titanica per la quale Beijing é già ben posizionata ma, ovviamente, non vi é situazione favorevole che non possa venire ulteriormente migliorare.

Ripeto, non mi aspetto di vedere un contingente paragonabile a quello russo arrivare dall'oggi al domani, ma ormai ritengo che una qualche forma di coinvolgimento attivo del PLA ci sarà, in un modo o nell'altro.
          "Un po' per uno...fa male a tutti e due!" dopo quelle di Nour al-Din al-Zinki l'artiglieria siriana bombarda ANCHE le posizioni di Al Nusra!      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Poche ore dopo aver livellato a colpi di obice e lanciarazzi multipli le posizioni del gruppo takfiro Nour al-Din al-Zinki attorno a Kafr Dar (secondo le accuse dei takfiri bombardati, grazie a "soffiate" ricevute dai loro rivali, i wahabiti di Al Nusra) gli artiglieri siriani hanno deciso di non fare "figli e figliastri" e di spianare coi loro colpi anche numerose basi e installazioni dell'altro gruppo terrorista.



Una serie di bombardamenti estremamente potenti e precisi ha colpito, infliggendo danni ingentissimi, concentrazioni di forze e di equipaggiamenti di Al Nusra presso Zeizoun, Al-Ziyara, Al-Zakat, Al-Arbaeen, Al-Janabarah e Kafr Zita, nella striscia settentrionale della Provincia di Hama che ancora rimane sotto il controllo dei takfiri.

Anche il comandante di Al Nusra conosciuto come Tisir al-Eisi, sarebbe morto sotto i loro colpi; le altre vittime si conterebbero a dozzine.
          Damascus: Syria’s first lady starts breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syria’s first lady Asma Assad has begun treatment for breast cancer, the presidency said Wednesday, wishing her a speedy recovery.Such public announcements are uncommon in ...
          Revolution is positive and civil war is negative: "Civil Wars" 3 of 3: by David Armitage      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
AUTHOR. (Photo: Mass meeting in New York City April 20, 1861, to support the Union.) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow Revolution is positive and civil war is negative: "Civil Wars" 3 of 3: by David Armitage [](https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Wars-David-Armitage/dp/030745617X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533779701&sr=1-1&keywords=david+armitage+civil+wars) [https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Wars-David-Armitage/dp/030745617X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533779701&sr=1-1&keywords=david+armitage+civil+wars](https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Wars-David-Armitage/dp/030745617X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533779701&sr=1-1&keywords=david+armitage+civil+wars) A highly original history, tracing the least understood and most intractable form of organized human aggression from Ancient Rome through the centuries to the present day. We think we know civil war when we see it. Yet ideas of what it is, and what it isn't, have a long and contested history, from its fraught origins in republican Rome to debates in early modern Europe to our present day. Defining the term is acutely political, for ideas about what makes a war "civil" often depend on whether one is a ruler or a rebel, victor or vanquished, sufferer or outsider. Calling a conflict a civil war can shape its outcome by determining whether outside powers choose to get involved or stand aside: from the American Revolution to the war in Iraq, pivotal decisions have depended on such shifts of perspective.  The age of civil war in the West may be over, but elsewhere in the last two decades it has exploded--from the Balkans to Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Sri Lanka, and most recently Syria. And the language of civil war has burgeoned as democratic politics has become more violently fought. This book's unique perspective on the roots and dynamics of civil war, and on its shaping force in our conflict-ridden world, will be essential to the ongoing effort to grapple with this seemingly interminable problem.
          Is a civil war generative? "Civil Wars" 2 of 3: by David Armitage      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
AUTHOR. (Photo:The meeting of the Estates General on 5 May 1789 at Versailles ) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow Is a civil war generative? "Civil Wars" 2 of 3: by David Armitage https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Wars-David-Armitage/dp/030745617X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533779701&sr=1-1&keywords=david+armitage+civil+wars A highly original history, tracing the least understood and most intractable form of organized human aggression from Ancient Rome through the centuries to the present day. We think we know civil war when we see it. Yet ideas of what it is, and what it isn't, have a long and contested history, from its fraught origins in republican Rome to debates in early modern Europe to our present day. Defining the term is acutely political, for ideas about what makes a war "civil" often depend on whether one is a ruler or a rebel, victor or vanquished, sufferer or outsider. Calling a conflict a civil war can shape its outcome by determining whether outside powers choose to get involved or stand aside: from the American Revolution to the war in Iraq, pivotal decisions have depended on such shifts of perspective.  The age of civil war in the West may be over, but elsewhere in the last two decades it has exploded--from the Balkans to Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Sri Lanka, and most recently Syria. And the language of civil war has burgeoned as democratic politics has become more violently fought. This book's unique perspective on the roots and dynamics of civil war, and on its shaping force in our conflict-ridden world, will be essential to the ongoing effort to grapple with this seemingly interminable problem.
          How do you know you are in a civil war? "Civil Wars"1 of 3: by David Armitage      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
AUTHOR. (Photo: ) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow How do you know you are in a civil war? "Civil Wars"1 of 3:  by David Armitage [https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Wars-David-Armitage/dp/030745617X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533779701&sr=1-1&keywords=david+armitage+civil+wars](https://www.amazon.com/Civil-Wars-David-Armitage/dp/030745617X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1533779701&sr=1-1&keywords=david+armitage+civil+wars) A highly original history, tracing the least understood and most intractable form of organized human aggression from Ancient Rome through the centuries to the present day. We think we know civil war when we see it. Yet ideas of what it is, and what it isn't, have a long and contested history, from its fraught origins in republican Rome to debates in early modern Europe to our present day. Defining the term is acutely political, for ideas about what makes a war "civil" often depend on whether one is a ruler or a rebel, victor or vanquished, sufferer or outsider. Calling a conflict a civil war can shape its outcome by determining whether outside powers choose to get involved or stand aside: from the American Revolution to the war in Iraq, pivotal decisions have depended on such shifts of perspective.  The age of civil war in the West may be over, but elsewhere in the last two decades it has exploded--from the Balkans to Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, and Sri Lanka, and most recently Syria. And the language of civil war has burgeoned as democratic politics has become more violently fought. This book's unique perspective on the roots and dynamics of civil war, and on its shaping force in our conflict-ridden world, will be essential to the ongoing effort to grapple with this seemingly interminable problem.
          Trump Ratchets Up The Rhetoric Over Attack On Syrian Civilians       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit DAVID GREENE, HOST: Trump this morning is ratcheting up his language and sounding more specific about what he may do in response to a reported chemical attack in Syria. The president tweeted this morning that if Russia is prepared to shoot down any American missiles fired at Syria, quote, "get ready, Russia, because they will be coming nice and new and smart" - end quote. Russia has just responded to the president. A foreign ministry spokeswoman said, quote, "smart missiles should fly towards terrorists, not legal government." Let's bring in NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Hi, Mara. MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, David. GREENE: All right. So this is a president who has made a big deal of not showing his hand, especially when it comes to really important decisions as commander in chief. So what exactly is he doing here? Is he declaring that he's - there's an impending missile strike? LIASSON: Yes, he is. He's doing exactly what he
          Trump Cancels Trip As He Decides On Response To Alleged Chemical Attack In Syria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: It was only a week ago that President Trump said publicly that it was time to bring U.S. troops home from Syria. Now he's contemplating military action against the Syrian regime in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack. It's unclear how robust that military response will be. It's also unclear what it would mean for the larger U.S. strategy in Syria. NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson joins me here in the studio. Hey there, Mara. MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hi, Audie. CORNISH: At this time, what is the president's strategy on Syria as you understand it? LIASSON: I don't know if he has a strategy. I think he has some inclinations, one of which is that there's a red line - chemical weapons should not be used. And if they are, he will respond. The second one is that he wants to defeat ISIS and then get out of Syria. And he thinks that other countries should be responsible. In this case of course those other
          Israel Sees Syrian Army Growing Beyond Pre-Civil War Size      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(Reuters) Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Syria was building up its ground forces beyond their pre-civil war size, an assessment that suggests President Assad's army has recovered from a critical manpower shortage earlier in the war. "We see the Syrian military, which is not satisfied with just taking over all of Syrian territory but is expressly building a broad-based, new ground army that will return to its previous proportions and beyond." Russia has been helping arm and train the Syrian army. Local Syrian militias raised by Lebanese Hizbullah with Iranian support include the National Defense Forces.
          Woman sentenced to 8 years in prison after following her ISIS husband into Syrian war      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Living in constant fear, hiding from shelling with her children and no way out - a Russian woman who was sentenced to prison for being part of a terrorist group after following her ISIS husband to Syria shared her story with RT. In February this year, Zagidat Abakarova from the Republic of Dagestan in southeastern Russia received an eight-year jail sentence for joining an illegal armed group. However, she won't actually go to jail until her youngest child turns 14. The girl is currently one year old. Speaking to RT's Madina Kochenova, Zagidat recalled the story of her life, which has been turned upside down ever since she traveled to Syria. "I was 29 when I left [Russia], I went to Turkey first with my husband, I never thought I would end up there [in Syria]," the woman, who is now 33, admitted to RT.
          Asma al-Assad: Wife of Syrian President diagnosed with breast cancer as civil war rages on      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


BASHAR al-Assad’s British-born wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and has reportedly begun treatment at a military hospital in the Syrian capital of Damascus.
          Τέτοιες ευκαιρίες δεν πάνε χαμένες - Οι γερόλυκοι των MiG τους έπιασαν στον ύπνο και τους λιάνισαν κανονικά      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Freepen.gr - Η Συριακή Πολεμική Αεροπορία επιτέθηκε την Τρίτη σε ένα μεγάλο κονβόι του Ισλαμικού Κράτους στο νότο της επαρχίας της Σουέιντα εξολοθρεύοντας περισσότερους από 70 τρομοκράρες, ανέφερε το πρακτορείο ειδήσεων SANA.

Οι πιλότοι κατέστρεψαν στρατιωτικό εξοπλισμό και οχήματα και διάφορα φορτηγά με όπλα και πυρομαχικά. Η επίθεση πραγματοποιήθηκε εναντίον στόχων των τρομοκρατών στο Qabr al-Sheikh στη έρημο της Συρίας από όπου επιτίθενται στους οικισμούς των πολιτών.

Παράλληλα οι ρωσικές αεροπορικές δυνάμεις σφυροκόπησαν επί οκτώ ώρες τις θέσεις του ISIS στην ανατολική ύπαιθρο της επαρχίας και συγκεκριμένα τις θέσεις του γύρω από τις περιοχές Κάρα και Αλ Σαφά.

Αυτές οι περιοχές θεωρούνται τα τελευταία οχυρά του Ισλαμικού Κράτους στην ανατολική ύπαιθρο της Σουέιντα και αν απελευθερωθούν, τότε οι τζιχαντιστέ δε θα είναι σε θέση να κρατήσουν τα υπόλοιπα εδάφη τους.

          Comment on Giving Trump Carte Blanche for War by Realist      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Do people realise how close we came to starting WWIII today when a NATO jet accidentally fired a live air-to-air missile on the Russian border in Estonia? What if that trigger-happy pilot had struck a Russian target, even though not intentionally? Would the maniacs in Washington find it unreasonable if Putin was not as restrained in his response as he was when a Russian plane was downed near the Turkish border in Syria? Would they have unleashed the nukes if Russian planes had shot back, defending their own frontier? This brinksmanship with Russia is madness. It's all fun and games until the world's cities start going up in mushroom clouds. https://www.rt.com/news/435479-estonia-nato-patrol-missile/
          Comment on Giving Trump Carte Blanche for War by CitizenOne      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I have long wondered about our Navy and its utter vulnerability. Like ducks in a barrel there are a myriad of weapons systems that have no known defense against and the systems are multiplying at a brisk pace. Russia recently announced its stable of new weapons which could render our Navy incapable. We should have abandoned a fleet based defense as unworkable a long time ago. However the carrier based offensive strategy has been successfully deployed time and time again. Perhaps the reason that nations which have acquired these technologies choose not to use them or perhaps the developer nations have not supplied the technology to nations which we attack with Carrier fleets. Perhaps there is some fear that using these technologically advanced weapons platforms against an American fleet will result in nuclear retaliation if the naval resource is destroyed by obliterating it. But the fact is that these weapons platforms exist and there is no known countermeasure which can defeat them. Torpedoes that can travel at hundreds of miles per hour under water exist. Options include underwater detonations which can crack carrier hulls like eggs. Cruise missiles like the French Exocet can fly under the radar and are virtually undetectable hence unstoppable. Couple that with our recent multiple collisions with fishing trawlers and you have to wonder if we are really prepared to defend ourselves even from incidental mishaps. Apparently we are not. But all of these uncontrollable risks seems to not deter our reliance or continued use of ships to launch attacks. It is logical to assume that sooner or later existing technology will be used to thwart US naval capabilities to launch attacks with devastating effect. What would the US do if a carrier was sunk? Likely it would result, given the complete media control by the MIC, to result in a redo of the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor. The press would bring the nation to war against some enemy (Russia) even if the true perpetrator was not immediately known. We have recently seen such media based and supported rush to judgements against Syria for the various Sarin gas attacks with the resulting launch of cruise missiles in retaliation. The proposed bill would make such instantaneous actions based on cooked up evidence lawful. Not surprised that the bill was introduced. It is just a legal fig leaf covering the current practice of making up any story and taking immediate actions be they military or political such as economic sanctions based on flimsy or unsupported evidence which is what has been happening in countries like Syria and Ukraine. The proposed law would enshrine and justify such actions in the future as unquestionable and seditious if opposed. It seems a logical next step to codify and justify current practices. On the other hand we should be alarmed that there is a proposed law that would allow current practices to become unquestionable under the law and could silence dissent with incarceration. This proposed law would become just another piece in the puzzle which enables the US to justify any military action based on any accusation or allegation even if untested and unproven against perceived enemies. This is a scary scenario given we are already conducting foreign affairs according to the principle of "Ready-Fire-Aim".
          S/2018/734      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
IDENTICAL LETTERS DATED 24 JULY 2018 FROM THE CHARGÉ D’AFFAIRES A.I. OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF THE SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC TO THE UNITED NATIONS ADDRESSED TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL
[ Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish ]
          Comment on Giving Trump Carte Blanche for War by Joe Tedesky      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
“Sources speak of a joint CIA-Saudi operation to arm moderate Québécois rebels for their fight against the repressive Trudeau regime in Ottawa. Codenamed Acor Sycamore, the operation will purchase weapons in Bulgaria and Croatia and secretly ship those to CIA trained freedom fighters. The Saudis will redeploy their al-Qaeda and ISIS from Syria to the Canadian tar sands. The U.S. plans to use their establishment as pretext for the war on Canada and its following occupation. The Israeli cyber spy company the Saudis hired to attack Amnesty International will be redirected to attack Ottawa. Mossad will send agents to sabotage Canada's Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve. The move will increase demand for U.S. syrup products.” http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/08/codename-acor-sycamore-the-saudi-us-al-qaeda-operation-to-reconquer-canada.html#more There you go Realist. I was reluctant to post this Moon article but you kind of brought it up in your own way. Bizarre isn’t dramatic enough for the times we are living in. Why, watching the UK & the USA struggle with Russian conspiracies, and disillusioned citizens, seems baked into the cake. I mean just how scripted is all of this? At times like this I can only hear John Lennon singing, ‘and nothing is real’. Always good to read your comments. Joe
          Israel Was Right to Neutralize a Syrian Threat - Yoav Limor       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Comment on State Production on Terry FOIA Lawsuit Leaves Key Questions Unanswered by Trumped      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
This is part of why the Deep State crooks wanted Hillary to win so badly - they knew she had been involved in so many illegal acts that she was easy to blackmail and control. She has been involved in illegal operations and cover ups all of the way since the 80s when her and Bubba were covering up the drugs being flown in by the cia to Mena. She has her hands in Fast and Furious, Benghazi, running guns to syria and Libyan terrorists, shady energy deals with russia, stealing money for Haitian earthquake victims, and lots of bizarre deaths involving people she knew like Vince foster and Seth rich.
          How I Used my Volunteer Time Off with Refugee Rescue      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

As a part of Elastic Cares, we offer 40 hours of volunteer time off (VTO) to all Elasticians. In a previous post, we heard from an Elastic group that built a family home. In this post, we hear from Nik Richers and how he used his VTO. Please note that this interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what do you do at Elastic?

Hiya! I'm Nik and I'm one of three technical writers on the Elastic Cloud team. I work from Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada and just passed my two-year anniversary at Elastic.

How do you use your Elastic volunteer time off (VTO)?

The volunteer opportunity I want to talk about is with Refugee Rescue, a small Irish NGO that has been operating on the north shore of Lesvos in Greece since late 2015. For two weeks, I crewed on the “Mo Chara,” a wonderful, old Atlantic-class lifeboat helping refugees as they arrived in rickety, overloaded dinghies in an effort to help prevent further deaths at sea. When I wasn’t driving our boat, I spent time helping out in a UN temporary refugee camp nearby.

Lesvos is one of the Greek islands off the coast of Turkey in the Aegean Sea that has been a hot spot for refugee arrivals, many driven out by the ongoing civil war in Syria, but refugees arrive from as far as Iran and Afghanistan. The peak of the crisis happened in 2015 - 2016, when a thousand people a day arrived on Lesvos alone, yet boats continue to arrive even today. When I was there, about 150 - 200 refugees were landing each day on Lesvos. About half were children, sometimes unaccompanied.

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At the helm of the “Mo Chara” (Copyright: Roman Kutzowitz / Refugee Rescue 2018)

Outside of my time with Refugee Rescue, I’m a first responder with a decade of experience in marine search and rescue, both in Canada and in the UK. I'm currently a coxswain — our equivalent of a captain — with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR), where I have done over 85 rescue missions so far. I'm usually on call a couple of times a week. If my phone goes off, I need to call the Canadian Coast Guard, then hop on one of our boats in under 15 minutes. Once it's all said and done, I go back to work and make up for any lost time. I spend about 200 hours a year on training and missions, plus a few hundred hours more on call. If you can imagine a group of 40 people who all get excited when the weather turns bad — that’s my rescue station!

How did you become involved with this organization?

This all began in 2015, when news about the refugee exodus from Syria started pouring in. I vividly remember a beautiful day in late December: we were out on a mission here on the west coast of Canada, lazily drifting about at sea for several hours, our big turbo diesels idling in the crisp winter air. We had been asked to watch over a broken down powerboat that was adrift with one person on board who was in no immediate danger and waiting for commercial assistance to arrive. Meanwhile, volunteers were heading to Lesvos and other Greek islands to help save lives. People were trying to make it across from Turkey to Greece in overcrowded boats, often with fatal consequences. I watched this grassroots marine search and rescue effort unfold, saw the good that some of my friends were doing in an effort to prevent further loss of life at sea, and thought to myself: "What am I doing here?!"

Among the volunteers who arrived on Lesvos and stayed were Joby Fox and Jude Bennett, who would go on to found Refugee Rescue, as well as a boat from the Atlantic Pacific International Rescue Boat Project. Refugee Rescue continues to recruit both land and boat crew to this day. The volunteers search for refugee boats from lookouts, help land refugees on shore safely, and care for them in the UN temporary refugee camp nearby. If you want to help, the land crew is an absolutely wonderful place to be and open to anyone (you do need search and rescue experience to serve on their lifeboat).

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The “Mo Chara” (Copyright: Roman Kutzowitz / Refugee Rescue 2018)

The amount of good Refugee Rescue does, on an absolute shoestring budget, makes them an easy choice for volunteers and donors alike. In the last two years, my rescue station here in Canada is credited with assisting some 115 people. We're one of the busiest stations on the west coast of Canada. In the same timeframe, Refugee Rescue helped more than 6,000 (!) people.

What’s it like to volunteer for Refugee Rescue?

You’re based in Skala Sikamineas — Skala for short — which is a small Greek fishing village of 200 that has become home to a community of volunteers from all over the world. There are several volunteer organizations here, such as Refugee Rescue, Lighthouse Relief, and Refugee4Refugees, along with agencies such as IsraAID, all joining in for a common cause.

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Looks idyllic, but there are refugees hiding in the forests on the other side. (Photo: Nik Richers)

The name of our boat — Mo Chara — means “My Friend” in Gaelic, and it shows. People here connect with an immediacy that is rare: they are friendly, they are here because they take an interest in what is going on, and there's a common bond created by the desire to do good. Ages range from university students to retirees, with everything in between and from all walks of life. Besides English and Greek, you’ll hear languages from all around the globe. Most locals are accepting of the influx of volunteers — without them, there would be far less help to cope with the constant arrival of boats.

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A recycled refugee boat hiding in plain sight. (Photo: Nik Richers)

There is evidence of refugee arrivals everywhere. For example, the large, grey cover for a pile of fishing gear right next to where the lifeboat “Mo Chara” gets moored is a recycled rubber skin from a boat that carried somewhere between 30 and 50 people. You can tell from the inflation valves that are still present. As each boat arrives, it's disassembled bit by bit and reused until very little remains. Even the “Mo Chara” benefits from this practice, as we had to make repairs using some leftover rubber.

As boat crew on the “Mo Chara”, you’re on call 24/7. Refugee boats typically arrive just before midnight or just before dawn, and your job is to find and help them. To find them, you run patrols, either early in the morning or late at night, or you launch with permission of the Hellenic Coast Guard after a confirmed boat sighting. Many boats land at Korakas lighthouse right next to Skala, which is easily visible, but not very accessible. The lighthouse is there for a reason — it marks a navigational hazard. Without last-mile guidance by the “Mo Chara”, refugees can end up stuck on the rocks, exposed to the weather and waves with nowhere to go. It’s a vital form of assistance, as none of the much larger government vessels can operate this close to shore.

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Looking for refugee boats at dawn. (Photo: Nik Richers)

During my two weeks with Refugee Rescue, I had encounters with hundreds of refugees, far more than I expected. All were memorable, some were surreal, and a couple managed to turn my soul upside down. I still think about those. But one really drove home the importance of the work that the volunteers from Refugee Rescue are doing.

One night, we found 38 people in a flimsy dinghy. Following up on a report of a suspected refugee boat, I raced the “Mo Chara” across the pitch dark ocean, feeling the waves more than seeing them. After spotting the boat by night vision and radar, we knew that it was about to shipwreck on a small island with jagged rocks and steep cliffs. Our biggest problem: the refugees were going to land no matter what and they ignored our hails to alter course or stop the boat. I ended up having to physically block the refugee boat with the “Mo Chara” to keep it safe while the crew looked for a more suitable landing spot on the charts. Luck was on our side and we managed to guide the refugee boat to another island nearby that has a small beach, and then worked with another boat from Pro Activa to evacuate everyone to a nearby Frontex vessel. Back in Skala, we shuttled the new arrivals from the Frontex vessel into the harbour and delivered them to the waiting land crew. The whole operation lasted seven hours and we didn't make it to bed until close to 5 AM.

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Helping refugees make it to safety. (Photo: Nik Richers)

I often think back about what it must have been like on that boat. Imagine being one of 38 human souls packed into a small handmade dinghy that is built so poorly that it is disintegrating under your very feet. Somehow, the dangerous path forward across the sea is safer than remaining on land. It is pitch dark. You and your loved ones are exposed to the wind and waves. The cheap plywood deck is swamped by several inches of water and is separating, exposed screws threatening to puncture one of the poorly made tubes on which your life depends. And yet it is the only way forward. You can’t stop.

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A refugee boat. The shimmer is standing water. (Photo: Nik Richers)

These 38 souls would have shipwrecked, had they stayed their course. Many of the life jackets are fake, children and even adults often cannot swim, and loss of life remains a very real threat. If it hadn't been for Refugee Rescue and the crew of the Mo Chara responding to a suspected boat report, finding them, and redirecting them to a safer location at the last minute, and then helping them several more times on their way to Skala, the outcome that night could have been far worse.

What's your takeaway from this volunteering opportunity?

I tried to make the most of my time on Lesvos, not just to helm a rescue boat, but also to bear witness to what is happening. If there was one thing I personally took away from this experience, it is that grassroots efforts by volunteers deserve our respect and support. It’s a living, constantly evolving testament to what human beings can achieve when they come together as a group to help. Some day, these volunteers will no longer be needed, I hope, but I feel fortunate that I got to see them in action and do my own, small part with Refugee Rescue.

I am also deeply grateful that Elastic gave me a paid week off to volunteer. I started at Elastic in mid-2016, and when we announced our Elastic Cares program, it felt like coming full circle: here was the chance to finally make good on my ‘What am I doing here?!’ moment.

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Last day. I spent a lot of time in that seat. (Photo: Nik Richers)
          Land Destroyer: US Warmachine Seeks New Pretext in Syria      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
  US designs in Syria were made crystal clear by US Army General Joseph Votel – head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) – during a July 19th press briefing General Votel would state unequivocally when asked what the “arrangement” was regarding Syria, that: Our mission is very, very clear: It is focusing on the defeat of […]
          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
           Australia strips five of citizenship over Islamic State...       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Five people have been stripped of their Australian citizenship for fighting alongside the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, with officials saying...
          The Consequences of Chaos Syrias Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Consequences of Chaos Syrias Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect#source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

The Consequences of Chaos: Syria?s Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect by Elizabeth G. Ferris, Kemal Kirisci
English | 2016 | ISBN: 0815729510 | 203 Pages | PDF | 12.6 MB
The civil war in Syria has forced some 10 million people-more than half the country's population-from their homes and communities, creating one of the largest human displacements since the end of World War II. Daily headlines testify to their plight, both within Syria and in the countries to which they have fled.


          Like father, like son: Trump Jr. defiant about Russia probe      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
WASHINGTON – If Donald Trump Jr. is worried, he sure doesn’t show it.

His father, the president, is reported to be fretting about his eldest son’s entanglement in the Russia investigation. And Don Jr.’s role in the special counsel’s probe continues to throw off headlines. But the 40-year-old son is hardly ducking his head.

He’s beloved on the right as the swaggering embodiment of the Make America Great Again agenda. And he’s embracing his role as a popular emissary for his father, crisscrossing the country on campaign trips, penning op-eds in support of favored candidates and showcasing his new relationship with former Fox News host Kim Guilfoyle.

Unbowed and unapologetic, the son’s approach appears to mirror the father’s combative defiance toward special counsel’s Robert Mueller’s investigation. The enthusiastic reception he receives in many Republican strongholds is more evidence that Trump voters are rallying around the president’s criticism of the probe – perhaps even fired up by the fight.

Trump Jr. has downplayed any talk of his own legal exposure stemming from his involvement in a 2016 Trump Tower meeting that’s a focus of Mueller’s investigation into possible links between the president’s election campaign and Russia. The president recently unleashed a series of angry tweets on the subject, and in one he acknowledged that his son set up the meeting to seek damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton from a Kremlin-connected lawyer.

In another political era, that’s the sort of uncomfortable fact that could make someone a pariah on the campaign trail. Today, Trump Jr. is a sought-after surrogate.

He’s stumped in West Virginia, Montana, Florida and Kansas in recent months. In the coming weeks, he’s expected to campaign in Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota.

“He’s one of the top draws, if not the top draw for people not named President Trump,” said Jason Miller, a top aide to the 2016 Trump campaign.

His appeal was clear in Great Falls, Montana, recently where he was cheered as he discussed his love of hunting in the state and laid into Democratic Sen. Jon Tester.

“Just because Donald Trump isn’t on the ticket in 2018 doesn’t mean that everything he has accomplished is not on the ticket,” Trump Jr. said, adding: “I’m going to be coming a lot out here in this fall, helping all of these guys.”

He welcomed Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte onto the stage. Invited to speak, Daines said, “Donald Trump Jr. is a heck of a shot.”

And the Mueller investigation?

“I never see anybody at any of these events, nobody even brings it up,” Miller said. “The base loves him because he’s a true believer.”

In fact, the legal concerns may work in his favor, says Sam Nunberg, a consultant who was a political adviser to the Trump 2016 campaign. “It actually helps him because he’s being persecuted,” Nunberg said. “Don is the biggest asset of all the kids. He’s a guy’s guy. He understands the movement. And knows how to communicate it.”

Trump Jr. long has been the Trump child most in touch with the president’s most ardent voters. He seems to relish the button-pushing, asserting or trolling Tweet.

His Twitter feed has traded in conspiracy theories and hard-line messages about immigration or gun control. He once circulated a post that compared Syrian refugees to a bowl of Skittles candy that contained some that “would kill you.”

“He’s someone who like the president can rile up the base and get party activists excited,” said Republican strategist Ryan Williams. “He’s probably not someone you’re going to send to a swing district, but in a red state he may be able to draw out some base voters.”

Republicans say Trump Jr. shows few signs of being rattled by the attention. He is not talking much privately about the investigation and tends to dismiss the scrutiny as mere media fixation, according to a person familiar with his thinking who demanded anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Trump Jr.’s allies believe he’s being held to a higher standard than others and that any campaign would have taken the meeting with someone offering dirt on an opponent.

But his legal woes have not been so easily brushed off by his father.

The president has stewed over the media coverage of the federal trial of Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman, who has been charged with financial fraud as part of the Mueller probe. Although the trial is not connected to Russian election interference, Trump has seethed to confidants that he views the Manafort charges as “a warning shot” from Mueller. He has told those close to him that as he watches the courtroom proceedings, he fears that Donald Trump Jr. could at some point be the one on trial, according to two people familiar with his thinking but not authorized to discuss private conversations.

Despite his behind-closed-doors concerns, the president publicly denies that he is worried about his son. While doing so on Twitter in recent days, he offered a new – and potentially legally damaging – explanation of why his son is under such legal scrutiny.

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” Trump tweeted last Sunday. “This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics - and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

Trump Jr. has acknowledged that he took the meeting in anticipation of receiving dirt about Clinton.

“To the extent that they had information concerning the fitness, character or qualifications of any presidential candidate, I believed that I should at least hear them out,” he told Senate staff in a private interview last year.

Trump Jr. told investigators his father was never advised about the arrangement.

Federal law makes it a crime for a campaign to knowingly accept or solicit a “thing of value” from foreign nationals. But Trump Jr. has said he received nothing of value during the meeting, which he has suggested was ultimately a waste of time. He declined to comment for this article but has not shied from the limelight as he campaigns around the country.

In a recent interview with TV host Laura Ingraham, he angrily deemed the matter a Democratic conspiracy.

The meeting lasted 20 minutes and “ended up being about essentially nothing that was relevant to any of these things,” he said. “That’s all it is and that’s all they’ve got.”


          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          Pompeo, Shoukry discuss US-Egypt ties, Syria, Libya, Mideast peace efforts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) WASHINGTON, Aug 8 (KUNA) -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met at the State Department, department ...
          الأمم المتحدة: كلفة الدمار في سوريا نحو 400 مليار دولار - العربية نت      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

العربية نت

الأمم المتحدة: كلفة الدمار في سوريا نحو 400 مليار دولار
العربية نت
قدرت الأمم المتحدة، الأربعاء، كلفة الدمار في #سوريا بعد أكثر من سبع سنوات من حرب مدمرة، بنحو 400 مليار دولار. وصدر هذا التقدير في ختام اجتماع عقد في بيروت بمشاركة أكثر من 50 خبيراً سورياً ودولياً، بدعوة من اللجنة الاقتصادية والاجتماعية لغرب آسيا التابعة للأمم المتحدة (الإسكوا). كما قدرت اللجنة "حجم الدمار" بأكثر من 388 مليار دولار، موضحة أن هذا الرقم لا يشمل "الخسائر البشرية"، في إشارة إلى الأشخاص الذين قتلوا بسبب المعارك، أو الأشخاص المهرة الذين تركوا أماكن سكنهم. وأجبرت الحرب نصف سكان سوريا على ...
كلفة الدمار في سوريا تقارب ال400 مليار دولار حسب الامم المتحدةفرانس 24 / FRANCE 24
الأمم المتحدة تقدر كلفة الدمار في سورياروسيا اليوم
الامم المتحدة: كلفة الدمار في سوريا تقارب الـ400 مليار دولارالنهار
إرم نيوز -المستقبل - لبنان -اخبار الامارات العاجلة -pheladelphianews.com
جميع المقالات البالغ عددها 83 »

          Syrian first lady Asma Assad undergoing breast cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
The 42-year-old was born and raised in the UK.
          Yazidi Slavery, Child Trafficking, Death Threats To Journalist: Should Turkey Remain In NATO?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Uzay Bulut via The Gatestone Institute,

August 3 marked the fourth anniversary of the ISIS invasion of Sinjar, Iraq and the start of the Yazidi genocide. Since that date in 2014, approximately 3,100 Yazidis either have been executed or died of dehydration and starvation, according to the organization Yazda. At least 6,800 women and children were kidnapped by ISIS terrorists and subjected to sexual and physical abuse, captives were forced to convert to Islam, and young boys were separated from their families and forced to become child soldiers, according to a report entitled "Working Against the Clock: Documenting Mass Graves of Yazidis Killed by the Islamic State." Moreover, 3,000 Yazidi women and girls are believed to remain in ISIS captivity, but their whereabouts are unknown.

One Yazidi child recently sold in Ankara, Turkey, and then freed through the mediation efforts of Yazidi and humanitarian-aid organizations, according to a report by Hale Gönültaş, a journalist with the Turkish news website Gazete Duvar. On July 30, three days after Gönültaş's article appeared, she received a death threat on her mobile phone from a Turkish-speaking man, who told her that he knew her home address, and then shouted, "Jihad will come to this land. Watch your step!"

This is not the first time that Gönültaş has been threatened for writing about ISIS atrocities. In May 2017, she received similar telephone threats after posting two articles: "200,000 children in ISIS camps," and "ISIS holds 600 children from Turkey."

In addition, a video of Turkish-speaking children receiving military training from ISIS was sent to her email address. In the video, in which one of them is seen cutting off someone's head with a knife, the children are saying, "We are here for jihad."

Gönültaş, whose lawyer has filed a criminal complaint about the threats, told Gatestone:

"A child has been sold, and this is a crime against humanity; and I do not think the sole perpetrator is ISIS. There is a larger organized network involved in this. My report has further exposed this reality. I have been a journalist for 22 years and have been subjected to similar threats many times. I do not live in fear or worry. I will continue reporting facts."

In her article, Gönültaş conducted an interview with Azad Barış, founding president of the Yazidi Cultural Foundation, who said that a Yazidi girl, who was taken captive during the ISIS invasion of Sinjar in 2014, was sold for a fee determined by ISIS through "intermediaries" in Ankara:

"To restore the child to liberty, the Yazidi community and humanitarian aid organizations -- the 'reliable intermediaries' who stepped in to save the child -- contacted the intermediaries who acted on behalf of ISIS.... The child was then taken out of Turkey quickly with the help of international organizations and reunited with her family. As far as I know, Turkish security forces were not informed of the incident. The priority was the life of the child and to take her to safety swiftly. And the child did get safely reunited with her family."

Barış also said that Yazidi women were exposed to mass rapes at the hands of ISIS terrorists who called them "spoils of war" and claimed that it was "religiously permissible" ("jaiz" in Arabic) to rape them:

"Women were taken from one cell house to another and were exposed to the same sexual and psychological torture in every house. According to witness statements, women were mass raped by ISIS militants three times every day. Dozens of women ended their lives by noosing and strangling themselves with their headscarves.

"Slave markets have been formed on an internet platform known as the 'deep web.' Not only women but also children are sold on auctions on the deep web... When the selling is completed on the internet, the intermediaries of those buying the women and the intermediaries of ISIS meet at a place considered 'safe' by both parties. Women and children are delivered to their buyers. Some Yazidi families have liberated their wives, children and relatives through the help of the reliable persons that joined in the auctions on the deep web on their behalf. The price for liberating the women and children ranges between 5,000 and 25,000 euros... Our missing people are still largely held by ISIS. Wherever ISIS is, and wherever they are effective, the women and children are mostly there. But selling women is not heard of very often anymore."

Also according to Barış, the second largest Yazidi group held captive by ISIS are boys under the age of nine:

"[they] receive jihadist education at the hands of ISIS; are brainwashed, and have been made to change their religion. Each of them is raised as a jihadist. But we are not fully informed of the exact number and whereabouts of our kidnapped children."

This is not the first time that the sale of Yazidis in Turkey was reported in the media. In 2015, the German public television station ARD produced footagedocumenting the slave trade being conducted by ISIS through a liaison office in the province of Gaziantep in southeast Turkey, near the Syrian border.

In 2016, the Turkish daily Hürriyet reported that the Gaziantep police had raided the Gaziantep office and found $370,000, many foreign (non-Turkish) passports, and 1,768 pages of Arabic-language receipts that demonstrate the transfer of millions of dollars between Syria and Turkey.

Six Syrians were indicted in Turkey for their involvement, but all were acquitteddue to a "lack of evidence." No member of the Gaziantep Bar Association, which had filed the criminal complaint against them, was invited to attend the hearings. According to Mehmet Yalçınkaya, a lawyer and member of the Gaziantep Bar Association:

"The court, without looking into the documents found by police, made the decision to acquit... We learned of the decision to acquit by coincidence. That the trial ended in only 16 days and 1,768 pages of documents were submitted to the court after the decision to acquit shows that it was not an effective trial."

A news report from German broadcaster ARD shows photos of Yazidi slaves distributed by ISIS (left), as well as undercover footage of ISIS operatives in Turkey taking payment for buying the slaves (right).

Addressing the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on December 9, 2015, Mirza Ismail, founder and chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, said, in part:

"We Yezidis are desperate for your immediate help and support. During our six-thousand-year history, Yezidis have faced 74 genocides in the Middle East, including the ongoing genocide. Why? Simply because we are not Muslims. We are an ancient and proud people from the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization and the birth place of many of the world's religions. And here we are today, in 2015, on the verge of annihilation. In response to our suffering around the World there is profound, obscene silence. We Yezidis are considered 'Infidels' in the eyes of Muslims, and so they are encouraged to kill, rape, enslave, and convert us."

...

"I am pleading with each and every one of you in the name of humanity to lend us your support at this crucial time to save the indigenous and peaceful peoples of the Middle East."

Three years after this impassioned plea, Yazidis are still being enslaved and sold by ISIS, with Turkish involvement, while the life of the journalist who exposed the crime is threatened. Reuniting the kidnapped Yazidis with their families and bringing the perpetrators to justice should be a priority of civilized governments worldwide, not only to help stop the persecution and enslavement of Yazidis, but also to defeat jihad.

The question is whether NATO member Turkey is a part of the solution or part of the problem. Should Turkey, with the path it is on, be allowed even to remain a member of NATO?


          Ten Bombshell Revelations From Seymour Hersh's New Autobiography       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Among the more interesting revelations to surface as legendary investigative journalist Seymour Hersh continues a book tour and gives interviews discussing his newly published autobiography, Reporter: A Memoir, is that he never set out to write it at all, but was actually deeply engaged in writing a massive exposé of Dick Cheney a project he decided couldn't ultimately be published in the current climate of aggressive persecution of whistleblowers which became especially intense during the Obama years.

Hersh has pointed out he worries his sources risk exposure while taking on the Cheney book, which ultimately resulted in the famed reporter opting to write an in-depth account of his storied career instead — itself full of previously hidden details connected with major historical events and state secrets

In a recent wide-ranging interview with the UK Independent, Hersh is finally asked to discuss in-depth some of the controversial investigative stories he's written on Syria, Russia-US intelligence sharing, and the Osama bin Laden death narrativewhich have gotten the Pulitzer Prize winner and five-time Polk Award recipient essentially blacklisted from his regular publication, The New Yorker magazine, for which he broke stories of monumental importance for decades.

Though few would disagree that Hersh "has single-handedly broken more stories of genuine world-historical significance than any reporter alive (or dead, perhaps)" — as The Nation put it — the man who exposed shocking cover-ups like the My Lai Massacre, the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and the truth behind the downing of Korean Air Flight 007, has lately been shunned and even attacked by the American mainstream media especially over his controversial coverage of Syria and the bin Laden raid in 2011.

But merely a few of the many hit pieces written on this front include The Washington Post's "Sy Hersh, journalism giant: Why some who worshiped him no longer do," and elsewhere "Whatever happened to Seymour Hersh?" or "Sy Hersh's Chemical Misfire" in Foreign Policy — the latter which was written, it should be noted, by a UK blogger who conducts chemical weapons "investigations" via YouTube and Google Maps (and this is not an exaggeration). 

The Post story begins by acknowledging, "But Sy Hersh now has a problem: He thinks 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue lied about the death of Osama bin Laden, and it seems nearly everyone is mad at him for saying so" — before proceeding to take a sledgehammer to Hersh's findings while painting him as some kind of conspiracy theorist (Hersh published the bin Laden story for the London Review of Books after his usual New Yorker rejected it). 

Seymour Hersh broke the story of CIA's illegal domestic operations with a front page story in the New York Times on December 22, 1974.

However, the mainstream pundits piling on against his reporting of late ignore the clearly establish historical pattern when it comes to Hersh: nearly all of the biggest stories of his career were initially met with incredulity and severe push back from both government officials and even his fellow journalists, and yet he's managed to emerge proven right and ultimately vindicated time and again. 

* * *

Here are ten bombshell revelations and fascinating new details to lately come out of both Sy Hersh's new book, Reporter, as well as interviews he's given since publication...

1) On a leaked Bush-era intelligence memo outlining the neocon plan to remake the Middle East

(Note: though previously alluded to only anecdotally by General Wesley Clark in his memoir and in a 2007 speech, the below passage from Seymour Hersh is to our knowledge the first time this highly classified memo has been quoted. Hersh's account appears to corroborate now retired Gen. Clark's assertion that days after 9/11 a classified memo outlining plans to foster regime change in "7 countries in 5 years" was being circulated among intelligence officials.)

From Reporter: A Memoir pg. 306 — A few months after the invasion of Iraq, during an interview overseas with a general who was director of a foreign intelligence service, I was provided with a copy of a Republican neocon plan for American dominance in the Middle East. The general was an American ally, but one who was very rattled by the Bush/Cheney aggression. I was told that the document leaked to me initially had been obtained by someone in the local CIA station. There was reason to be rattled: The document declared that the war to reshape the Middle East had to begin "with the assault on Iraq. The fundamental reason for this... is that the war will start making the U.S. the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination." Victory in Iraq would lead to an ultimatum to Damascus, the "defanging" of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, and other anti-Israeli groups. America's enemies must understand that "they are fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation." I and the foreign general agreed that America's neocons were a menace to civilization.

* * *

2) On early regime change plans in Syria

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 306-307 — Donald Rumsfeld was also infected with neocon fantasy. Turkey had refused to permit America's Fourth Division to join the attack of Iraq from its territory, and the division, with its twenty-five thousand men and women, did not arrive in force inside Iraq until mid-April, when the initial fighting was essentially over. I learned then that Rumsfeld had asked the American military command in Stuttgart, Germany, which had responsibility for monitoring Europe, including Syria and Lebanon, to begin drawing up an operational plan for an invasion of Syria. A young general assigned to the task refused to do so, thereby winning applause from my friends on the inside and risking his career. The plan was seen by those I knew as especially bizarre because Bashar Assad, the ruler of secular Syria, had responded to 9/11 by sharing with the CIA hundreds of his country's most sensitive intelligence files on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamburg, where much of the planning for 9/11 was carried out... Rumsfeld eventually came to his senses and back down, I was told...

3) On the Neocon deep state which seized power after 9/11

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 305-306 — I began to comprehend that eight or nine neoconservatives who were political outsiders in the Clinton years had essentially overthrown the government of the United States — with ease. It was stunning to realize how fragile our Constitution was. The intellectual leaders of that group — Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle — had not hidden their ideology and their belief in the power of the executive but depicted themselves in public with a great calmness and a self-assurance that masked their radicalism. I had spent many hours after 9/11 in conversations with Perle that, luckily for me, helped me understand what was coming. (Perle and I had been chatting about policy since the early 1980s, but he broke off relations in 1993 over an article I did for The New Yorker linking him, a fervent supporter of Israel, to a series of meetings with Saudi businessmen in an attempt to land a multibillion-dollar contract from Saudi Arabia. Perle responded by publicly threatening to sue me and characterizing me as a newspaper terrorist. He did not sue. 

Meanwhile, Cheney had emerged as a leader of the neocon pack. From 9/11 on he did all he could to undermine congressional oversight. I learned a great deal from the inside about his primacy in the White House, but once again I was limited in what I would write for fear of betraying my sources...

I came to understand that Cheney's goal was to run his most important military and intelligence operations with as little congressional knowledge, and interference, as possible. I was fascinating and important to learn what I did about Cheney's constant accumulation of power and authority as vice president, but it was impossible to even begin to verify the information without running the risk that Cheney would learn of my questioning and have a good idea from whom I was getting the information.

4) On Russian meddling in the US election

From the recent Independent interview based on his autobiography — Hersh has vociferously strong opinions on the subject and smells a rat. He states that there is “a great deal of animosity towards Russia. All of that stuff about Russia hacking the election appears to be preposterous.” He has been researching the subject but is not ready to go public… yet.

Hersh quips that the last time he heard the US defense establishment have high confidence, it was regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He points out that the NSA only has moderate confidence in Russian hacking. It is a point that has been made before; there has been no national intelligence estimate in which all 17 US intelligence agencies would have to sign off. “When the intel community wants to say something they say it… High confidence effectively means that they don’t know.”

5) On the Novichok poisoning 

From the recent Independent interview — Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: “The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime.” The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions –though this files in the face of the UK government's position.

Hersh modestly points out that these are just his opinions. Opinions or not, he is scathing on Obama – “a trimmer … articulate [but] … far from a radical … a middleman”. During his Goldsmiths talk, he remarks that liberal critics underestimate Trump at their peril.

He ends the Goldsmiths talk with an anecdote about having lunch with his sources in the wake of 9/11. He vents his anger at the agencies for not sharing information. One of his CIA sources fires back: “Sy you still don’t get it after all these years – the FBI catches bank robbers, the CIA robs banks.” It is a delicious, if cryptic aphorism.

* * *

6) On the Bush-era 'Redirection' policy of arming Sunni radicals to counter Shia Iran, which in a 2007 New Yorker article Hersh accurately predicted would set off war in Syria

From the Independent interview: [Hersh] tells me it is “amazing how many times that story has been reprinted”. I ask about his argument that US policy was designed to neutralize the Shia sphere extending from Iran to Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon and hence redraw the Sykes-Picot boundaries for the 21st century.

He goes on to say that Bush and Cheney “had it in for Iran”, although he denies the idea that Iran was heavily involved in Iraq: “They were providing intel, collecting intel … The US did many cross-border hunts to kill ops [with] much more aggression than Iran”...

He believes that the Trump administration has no memory of this approach. I’m sure though that the military-industrial complex has a longer memory...

I press him on the RAND and Stratfor reports including one authored by Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in which they envisage deliberate ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq. Hersh ruefully states that: “The day after 9/11 we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do – to expand NATO too far.”

* * *

7) On the official 9/11 narrative

From the Independent interview: We end up ruminating about 9/11, perhaps because it is another narrative ripe for deconstruction by sceptics. Polling shows that a significant proportion of the American public believes there is more to the truth. These doubts have been reinforced by the declassification of the suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report last year undermining the version that a group of terrorists acting independently managed to pull off the attacks. The implication is that they may well have been state-sponsored with the Saudis potentially involved. 

Hersh tells me: “I don’t necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. We really don’t have an ending to the story. I’ve known people in the [intelligence] community. We don’t know anything empirical about who did what”. He continues: “The guy was living in a cave. He really didn’t know much English. He was pretty bright and he had a lot of hatred for the US. We respond by attacking the Taliban. Eighteen years later… How’s it going guys?”

8) On the media and the morality of the powerful

From a recent The Intercept interview and book review  If Hersh were a superhero, this would be his origin story. Two hundred and seventy-four pages after the Chicago anecdote, he describes his coverage of a massive slaughter of Iraqi troops and civilians by the U.S. in 1991 after a ceasefire had ended the Persian Gulf War. America’s indifference to this massacre was, Hersh writes, “a reminder of the Vietnam War’s MGR, for Mere Gook Rule: If it’s a murdered or raped gook, there is no crime.” It was also, he adds, a reminder of something else: “I had learned a domestic version of that rule decades earlier” in Chicago.

“Reporter” demonstrates that Hersh has derived three simple lessons from that rule:

  1. The powerful prey mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
  2. The powerful lie constantly about their predations.
  3. The natural instinct of the media is to let the powerful get away with it.

* * *

9) On the time President Lyndon B. Johnson expressed his displeasure to a reporter over a Vietnam piece by defecating on the ground in front of him

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 201-202 — Tom [Wicker] got into the car and the two of them sped off down a dusty dirt road. No words were spoken. After a moment or two, Johnson once again slammed on the brakes, wheeling to a halt near a stand of trees. Leaving the motor running, he climbed out, walked a few dozen feet toward the trees, stopped, pulled down his pants, and defecated, in full view. The President wiped himself with leaves and grass, pulled up his pants, climbed into the car, turned in around, and sped back to the press gathering. Once there, again the brakes were slammed on, and Tom was motioned out. All of this was done without a word being spoken.

..."I knew then," Tom told me, "that the son of a bitch was never going to end the war."

10) On Sy's "most troublesome article" for which his own family received death threats

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 263-264 — The most troublesome article I did, as someone not on the staff of the newspaper, came in June 1986 and dealt with American signals intelligence showing that General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the dictator who ran Panama, had authorized the assassination of a popular political opponent. At the time, Noriega was actively involved in supplying the Reagan administration with what was said to be intelligence on the spread of communism in Central America. Noriega also permitted American military and intelligence units to operate with impunity, in secret, from bases in Panama, and the Americans, in return, looked the other way while the general dealt openly in drugs and arms. The story was published just as Noriega was giving a speech at Harvard University and created embarrassment for him, and for Harvard, along with a very disturbing telephone threat at home, directed not at me but at my family. 

* * *


          Nederlanders doneren 160.000 euro voor terugkeer ontheemden Syrië - NU.nl      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

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Nederlanders doneren 160.000 euro voor terugkeer ontheemden Syrië
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Nederlanders hebben tot nu toe ruim 160.000 euro gestort op giro 7244 om ontheemde Syriërs te helpen die thuis komen in hun verwoeste huizen. Het Rode Kruis sloeg vorige week alarm over de slechte omstandigheden waaronder Syriërs hun leven weer ...
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          8/9/2018: NEWS: Asma Al Assad, wife of Bashar, has malignant breast cancer tumour      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Syria’s first lady, Asma Al Assad, has begun treatment for cancer, state media reported yesterday. A statement by the Syrian presidency said “the first lady began the first stage treatment for a malignant tumour of the breast, which was discovered...
          8/9/2018: OPINION: Battle of Idlib could be the endgame of the conflict      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
This year alone, the seven-year Syrian conflict has seen the fall of many rebel strongholds, including Eastern Ghouta, Rastan and the cradle of the revolution, Deraa. To the north of the country, the Syrian Democratic Council is making overtures of...
          U.S. Commander: No Need for Major Change in Afghan War Plan as New General Takes Over      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
U.S. Commander: No Need for Major Change in Afghan War Plan as New General Takes Over

U.S. Commander: No Need for Major Change in Afghan War Plan as New General Takes Over by Lolita C. Baldor – AP

The top U.S. commander in the Middle East said he doesn’t expect any major change in the Afghanistan war strategy this fall, as a new general takes over the campaign a year after the Trump administration unveiled a broad new plan to resolve the 17-year conflict.

Army Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters that the campaign to use military, social and political pressure to force the Taliban to the peace table is still valid. Incoming Afghanistan commander Army Gen. Scott Miller will make his own assessment of the war’s progress, Votel said, but while he may make tactical changes on the ground fight, “I don’t think that that will result in a relook at the strategy of the overall approach here.”

Votel also said the reconciliation plan doesn’t extend to Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan…

Read on.

SWJED Wed, 08/08/2018 - 4:17pm
          War Without End: The Pentagon’s Failed Campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
War Without End: The Pentagon’s Failed Campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan

War Without End: The Pentagon’s Failed Campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan by C.J. Chivers – New York Times 'At War'

… In early October, the Afghan war will be 17 years old, a milestone that has loomed with grim inevitability as the fighting has continued without a clear exit strategy across three presidential administrations. With this anniversary, prospective recruits born after the terrorist attacks of 2001 will be old enough to enlist. And Afghanistan is not the sole enduring American campaign. The war in Iraq, which started in 2003, has resumed and continues in a different form over the border in Syria, where the American military also has settled into a string of ground outposts without articulating a plan or schedule for a way out. The United States has at various times declared success in its many campaigns — in late 2001; in the spring of 2003; in 2008; in the short-lived withdrawal from Iraq late in 2011; and in its allies’ recapture more recently of the ruins of Ramadi, Falluja, Mosul and Raqqa from the Islamic State, a terrorist organization, formed in the crucible of occupied Iraq, that did not even exist when the wars to defeat terrorism started. And still the wars grind on, with the conflict in Afghanistan on track to be a destination for American soldiers born after it began.

More than three million Americans have served in uniform in these wars. Nearly 7,000 of them have died. Tens of thousands more have been wounded. More are killed or wounded each year, in smaller numbers but often in dreary circumstances, including the fatal attack in July on Cpl. Joseph Maciel by an Afghan soldier — a member of the very forces that the United States has underwritten, trained and equipped, and yet as a matter of necessity and practice now guards itself against.

On one matter there can be no argument: The policies that sent these men and women abroad, with their emphasis on military action and their visions of reordering nations and cultures, have not succeeded. It is beyond honest dispute that the wars did not achieve what their organizers promised, no matter the party in power or the generals in command. Astonishingly expensive, strategically incoherent, sold by a shifting slate of senior officers and politicians and editorial-page hawks, the wars have continued in varied forms and under different rationales each and every year since passenger jets struck the World Trade Center in 2001. They continue today without an end in sight, reauthorized in Pentagon budgets almost as if distant war is a presumed government action…

Read on.

 

SWJED Wed, 08/08/2018 - 1:16pm
          'A new approach to crisis': how robots are throwing Syrian refugees a lifeline | Kate Hodal      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

A grassroots education initiative in Lebanon has brought renewed dignity and hope to young Syrians uprooted by war

In a disused hospital in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, three teenage refugees set to work on a robot. Despite intermittent power cuts and blazing summer temperatures, the team buckle down, sweaty and studious, to program the robot to pick up and stack a number of small cones. It is a task requiring skills in coding, engineering, maths and science – an assignment unlike anything they learned back home across the border.

“In Syria, we could only hope to work on something like robotics, with so much innovation, and here we actively can,” says Weeam Salem, 17, who fled Damascus at dawn in 2014 by taxi with her family and nothing but a small backpack, after bombs began flattening her neighbourhood.

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          9.08.18 08:56 Harland  >  Форвард 5.03.04 13:47      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I didn't go to university <a href=" [link] ">how long before should i take viagra</a> The U.S.-British-French draft is intended to support an American-Russian deal reached in Geneva last Saturday calling for Syria to account for its chemical weapons within a week and for the removal and destruction of the arsenal by mid-2014.
          Nederlanders doneren 160.000 euro voor terugkeer ontheemden Syrië      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nederlanders hebben tot nu toe ruim 160.000 euro gestort op giro 7244 om ontheemde Syriërs te helpen die thuiskomen in hun verwoeste huizen. Het Rode Kruis sloeg vorige week alarm vanwege de slechte omstandigheden waaronder Syriërs hun leven weer moeten opbouwen.
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White Fascists of Antifa attack black and Hispanic police who were protecting a black woman who was just eating her breakfast

Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens are outspoken leaders of the pro-Trump super PAC Turning Point USA. But on Monday morning, they were hungry diners who showed up at Philadelphia’s Green Eggs Cafe in Midtown before it opened and managed to nab a window seat.

The pair barely had time to peruse the menu before people – apparently demonstrators – started jeering at them from other tables, Malik Joe, the Green Eggs Cafe’s manager, told The Washington Post.

Outside their window, they could see a large group of protesters approaching the restaurant, flanked by police.

The protesters “were screaming at one guy sitting in the window and I looked and he was laughing...the protesters were screaming ‘white supremacist’ and something about immigrants.”

Mr Joe said the protesters also flung food and objects.

At some point, Ms Owens pulled out her phone. She tweeted the scene from inside and outside the restaurant, including the moment when one demonstrator dumped a cup of something onto Mr Kirk’s head.

“Charlie Kirk and I just got ATTACKED and protested by ANTIFA for eating breakfast,” Ms Owens wrote a short time later. “They are currently following us through Philly. ALL BLACK AND HISPANIC police force protecting us as they scream.”

SOURCE 







Bozell: Socials Banning InfoWars 'Not Just a Slippery Slope, It's a Dangerous Cliff'

Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell issued the following statement Monday in response to Facebook, Apple and Spotify removing "The Alex Jones Show" and other InfoWars content. In April, MRC released an extensive report detailing censorship by social media companies.

MRC President Brent Bozell:

“I don’t support Alex Jones and what InfoWars produces. He’s not a conservative. However, banning him and his outlet is wrong. It’s not just a slippery slope, it’s a dangerous cliff that these social media companies are jumping off to satisfy CNN and other liberal outlets.

“This is part of a disturbing trend. In recent months top conservative congressmen have been shadowbanned on Twitter. Pro-life and pro-gun posts and videos are often removed on several platforms. Liberal journalists even objected to one conservative outlet attending a meeting with Facebook. Several conservative organizations like Live Action, the NRA and even the Christian satire site Babylon Bee have complained they had posts removed or censored.

“Social media sites are supposedly neutral platforms, but they are increasingly becoming opportunities for the left and major media to censor any content that they don’t like. The lack of transparency is also problematic and, as of this release, Facebook, Apple and Spotify have provided no detailed explanation for the ban.

“Conservatives are increasingly concerned that InfoWars is not the end point for those who want to ban speech. It’s just the beginning. We are rapidly approaching a point where censorship of opposing voices is the norm. That’s dangerous.”

SOURCE







How We’ve Robbed a Generation of Hobbies, Joy, and Creativity

Dennis Prager   

If you ask most young people today if they have any hobbies, you will receive one of four answers:

1. “No.”

2. “What do you mean?”

3. “Yeah. I play video games/watch TV/watch movies.”

4. “Yeah…” and then they may actually cite a hobby.

The fourth is the least common.

Dan Scotti, lifestyle writer at the website Elite Daily, and a millennial, wrote a perceptive piece on the matter titled, “Why Don’t Millennials Have Hobbies Anymore?”

“None of my friends have hobbies,” Scotti wrote. And he was honest enough to include himself in this assessment:

With a pair of iPhone speakers and a Netflix subscription, I rarely feel as though I’m missing out on anything. … It’s as if modern technology has fooled me into thinking my life is very fulfilling. I mean, I have social media accounts to uphold, television series to chain watch, and a whole bunch of dating profiles to swipe through—so, what time do I even have for hobbies?

He concludes:

The fact that hobbies may be a thing of the past is an eerie thought. I can’t honestly say that I see hobbies such as “carpentry” making a comeback at any time in the near future. … As sad as it may seem to older generations, we genuinely have an interest in Instagram, Twitter, and other products of the digital age.

Clearly, you don’t have to be a member of the “older generations” to think this sad.

Here’s why.

There is a world of difference between being active and being passive, between creating something and watching something, between doing something and being entertained.

I’m not picking on millennials. The problem is not new. In 1984, Neil Postman wrote a book whose title said it all: “Amusing Ourselves to Death.” It’s as relevant today as it was in 1984.

The question, then, is what, if anything, can we do about this?

Parents need to cultivate hobbies or, if you will, passions in their child. The only passion most middle-class and upper-class parents cultivate in their children is getting good grades so that they can get into a prestigious college.

But that is misguided. If the most important passion you cultivate in your child is getting good grades, what will your child’s most important passion be after leaving school—in other words, for the next 70 years of his or her life?

Schools are complicit. By adding more and more homework hours over the years (which has accomplished nothing; if online communications are indicative, most students leave high school today far less well-educated and proficient in basic skills than high school graduates of decades ago), they deprive children of time to develop a hobby.

After hours of homework, parents understandably want to allow their child time to unwind. And what more convenient way to unwind than by watching a screen—whether a smartphone screen, a computer screen, or a big screen?

How can parents cultivate interests, hobbies, and passions in their child?

Most importantly, they can limit time spent in front of a screen. And the earlier in life the better. Then the child has to figure out what to do with the time he or she would have spent in front of the screen.

If I may offer a personal example, when I was in eighth grade, I refused to do almost any homework. My mother was certain—no exaggeration—I’d end up in jail.

But while my parents could not force me to do homework, they could enforce a limit on my television watching: one hour a night. So, they asked, what would I do with the rest of my after-school hours?

Solely as a result of that dilemma, the idea arose that I learn to play a musical instrument (my older brother, who did all his homework, never took up a musical instrument).

Thanks to that decision, I learned to read music, fell in love with classical music, taught myself to read orchestral scores, and for the last 25 years, have periodically conducted orchestras (including twice in the last year at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles). All thanks to little TV and little homework in eighth grade.

Instead of doing homework or watching television, I also started reading—newspapers, serious magazines, and books—which has remained a lifelong passion.

I might add that among my peers who spent their non-leisure time studying for tests and doing homework, not many ended up loving reading. Why? Because they read solely for school and grades rather than for the love of learning.

Technology, excessive homework, and the demise of God, religion, and love of country—these have all left a generation bereft of passions beyond amusement and getting good grades.

Parents need to ask themselves if this troubles them. And if it does, decide to do something about it—by first asking themselves what they really want for their child.

SOURCE






Intolerance spreads as cultural censors shut down ‘dangerous’ debate

Comment from Australia:

Social media and reporting of it in mainstream news are producing intolerance not seen since anti-communist senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1940s and 50s.

The free-thinking rebelliousness of the 60s grew out of a backlash against McCarthyist repres­sion of what was regarded as sedi­tious activities, literature, plays and movies inspired by com­munism to undermine American values.

Today it is the storm troopers of the student Left and musicians and actors who lead a daily barrage of threats against people whose free thought they can’t tolerate.

Usually these involve “look-at-me” verbal violence against US President Donald Trump for ­do­ing in office exactly what he promised to do before the 2016 presi­dential election.

Public outbursts of moral outrage by multi-millionaire stars such as Madonna or Robert De Niro show just how intolerant parts of the modern Left are.

While intimidation of Australia’s politicians falls far short of anti-Trump hysteria, there is among students, artists, journalists and political activists an increasing intolerance here, too.

In the past month activists have tried to prevent Canadian conservative Lauren Southern staging public events; a writers festival has sought to exclude Germaine Greer and Bob Carr because of their “unsafe” views; a prominent ABC host has written a column to defend the presence of the occasional conservatives on The Drum; and mainstream media personalities have tried to dismiss reporting of African crime gangs in Melbourne.

Southern, 23, a Canadian journalist, is described as alt-right by critics but sees herself as libertarian. She is accused of racism for saying what many people privately think about unauthorised mass migration, mainly by Muslims from Africa and Syria.

She was billed $68,000 by Victoria Police for security at a $750-a-head rally on July 20 in Somerton, 20km north of the Melbourne CBD. Last week police prevented Southern from walking on a public footpath past the Lakemba Mosque in Sydney’s western suburbs for fear her presence might provoke violence by Muslim worshippers.

Both incidents seem to reverse the onus of civic responsibility. Why were police not protecting Southern’s right to free assembly in Melbourne, or to walk freely about suburban Sydney? Why in Brisbane on July 29 did police warn she could be fined if any police were injured if she persisted with attempts to interview protesters outside her Brisbane Convention Centre rally?

Shutting down of other people’s opinions is counter-productive. Surely after the Brexit and Trump votes anti-racist protesters should realise worldwide concern about immigration cannot be sil­enced by intimidation. In democracies voters get their own back.

The withdrawal of invitations to Carr and Greer by the Brisbane Writers Festival is even more troubling for free thought. Southern is a provocateur, for sure, but Carr and Greer are intellectuals whose books should be discussed even by people who dislike their ideas, as I do.

Richard Flanagan, 2014 Man Booker Prize winning Tasmanian author of The Narrow Road to the Deep North, published a blistering response to the festival’s decision in Guardian Australia on July 29. “A writer, if they are doing their work properly, rubs against the grain of conventional thinking. Writers are often outcasts, heretics and marginalised. Once upon a time writers festivals celebrated them, and with them the values of intellectual freedom,” he argued.

Flanagan went on to criticise the same festival’s 2016 handling of US author Lionel Shriver after a fiery blog by former ABC personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied, who had heard only a third of Shriver’s presentation but accused her of laying the foundations “for genocide”.

“For Shriver the talk was about the damage identity politics could do to writing. For her critics it was about belittling the movement against cultural appropriation,” Flanagan wrote. Whatever your view, the debate was important, but Flanagan says “the BWF betrayed Shriver when she was at her most vulnerable”. As a fan of her writing, I agree.

“The Shriver controversy was the first time Australian writers festivals began to feel like a foreign country occupied by a strange regime, hostile to what writers stand for,” Flanagan wrote.

Carr is probably being dropped because of his sympathy with China and Greer because of comments suggesting not all rapes are equally serious and some should be considered “non-consensual … bad sex” as most “don’t involve any injury whatsoever”. Apparently the gentle “Volk” of Brisbane will not feel “safe” hearing such things.

Well here’s the rub. “Writers festivals, like … (literary) prizes have … become less … about books and more … about using their … power to enforce the new orthodoxies, to prosecute social and political agendas”, Flanagan wrote

Even the ABC is facing intolerance from the Left.

Julia Baird, part-time host of The Drum, used her column in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 28 to call out social media intimidation she was receiving for supposedly privileging panellists from the Institute of Public Affairs. Baird said the show had included only three IPA appearances this year, two by the same person.

Now the IPA, even though supported by big businesses and Australia’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, is not the Ku Klux Klan. It was founded in 1943 by Charles Denton Kemp, father of Howard government ministers Rod and David Kemp. Although associated with free-market economic policies in recent decades, it was very much a Keynesian institution until the early 70s.

Wrote Baird: “The art of persuasion has been thoroughly trounced by polemic in public debate. Online, in comments sections, in staccato bursts of hate and attack, in the citing of feelings over facts, we see people shoving pillows over divergent views and trying to stop them being aired at all.”

She complained about the Twitter campaign to silence the IPA on The Drum. Just exactly what are Twitter’s twits afraid of? On subjects from migration to power prices, climate change and taxation reform, many on the uneducated Twitter Left would benefit from hearing well-argued conservative views. They might even learn why voters around the world disagree with most social media pieties.

The worst example of left-wing censoring of debate last month concerned opinion-makers from Waleed Aly to ABC journalists Jon Faine and Virginia Trioli trying to shut down discussion of Mel­bourne’s African gang violence. No amount of fudging the figures will change the fact this is a real issue and Africans are overrepresented in crime statistics, even if total numbers reflect the small African population.

Yet Aly said on Ten’s The Project on July 19: “If there really are a bunch of African gangs, frankly I am offended to not at least have been asked to join one.” His eight-minute segment was praised, of course, on social media.

Victims of gang crime who can’t afford the salubrious and safe suburbs inhabited by privileged members of the commentariat will just feel more isolated. No African migrants will be helped.

SOURCE 






Extremist Persecution of Christians, 2018

The Slaughter of Christians in Egypt

Three masked gunmen targeted and killed Bassem Attallah, a Christian man, 27, after identifying him as a Christian by the cross tattoo on his wrist. According to his older brother, Osama, 38, the siblings and a Muslim colleague, Muhammad, were walking home after work when three armed men, aged between 23 and 25 stopped them. "We thought they were policemen because they weren't masked... They were wearing black jackets," Osama recalled. "They approached us and asked Bassem to show them the wrist of his right hand, and when they saw the tattoo of the cross, they asked him: 'Are you Christian?' Bassem answered 'Yes, I am Christian,' and repeated that again in a loud voice."

The men then asked Muhammad his name and to show them his wrist. They saw no cross and allowed him to leave. On learning Osama's name, which is popular among Muslims, and not seeing any cross tattoos on his wrist, they also allowed him to leave. "And then they shot Bassem in the head. I could not believe what happened to my brother. He fell on the ground in front of me and I was unable to do anything.... We lost a person dear to our hearts. My brother Bassem was a very good and kind man. He had a strong relationship with God. He was always reading in the Bible, praying and going to the church. He was loved by all people," said his grieving brother. The murder took place in Al-Arish, Sinai, which in recent years has been the scene of many attacks on Christians—including the murder of two priests and the mass upheaval of Christian villages.

Separately, on New Year's Day, which the Muslim calendar does not recognize or celebrate, two Christian brothers were gunned down in public by a masked man on a motorcycle. While they died en route to a hospital, the murderer escaped. At the time of the attack, they were near Christian friend's store, which sold liquor. Coptic-owned stores that sell liquor have been targeted by those who consider alcohol haram, or forbidden by Islam. Almost one year to the day, on January 3, 2017, a Muslim man sneaked up behind a Christian shop owner in Egypt and slit his throat for selling alcohol.

Finally, more details concerning the Islamist terror attack on a Coptic church on December 29, which left nine dead, continued to emerge. One mother sacrificed herself to save her two young daughters. Nermin Sadik, 32, was walking her two daughters, aged 11 and 7, to Sunday school, when one of the gunmen ran up to her. When she realized what was happening and that he was about to open fire, she flung her daughters away and received a bullet. When the terrorist turned on the two girls, their mother, "with her last breath held them between her arms to protect them from flying bullets," says the report. Although the girls survived the ordeal, in the end their mother's body had several bullets in it. Speaking after the tragedy, Nermin's widower said his wife, who was a nurse, "was affectionate for everyone and she liked to help without charge."

The Slaughter of Christians in Nigeria

Various attacks on Christians by Muslim Fulani herdsmen continued throughout the month of January. "At least 16 people have been killed by gunmen in southern Nigeria after a New Year's Day church service," says one report. "The group had attended a midnight service before they were ambushed in the early hours of Monday."

According to another report, in one week alone, 55 people were killed and 200 homes torched, in the Lau local government area of Taraba state.

In yet another instance, 80 Christians were slaughtered by the Muslim herdsmen, many hacked to death by machetes, in Logo and Guma County. Speaking from a hospital bed, one survivor, Peter, said the attackers who went after him "were people I had interfaced with in that community. I got up and called them by their names and tried to wrestle the machete they had out of their hands, but to no avail. I was overpowered and they began to cut me."

Discussing these ongoing raids, Rev. Musa Asake, the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said "Under President [Muhammad] Buhari, the murderous Fulani herdsmen enjoyed unprecedented protection and favoritism to the extent that the herdsmen treat Nigeria as a conquered territory. Rather than arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the North offer them protection as they unleash terror with impunity on the Nigerian people."

The Rape of Christians in Pakistan

"A Christian boy of only 7 years old was brutally sodomized by a Muslim rapist," says a report. Daim Masih, a first grader, was walking home from school when he was met by Shan Muhammad, 19, a local: "Hi Daim, it's nice to see you," he began. "I have good news, some of our cows have given birth to young calves. Would you like to come with me and see them?" Because the unsuspecting child was fond of animals and knew Shan, he went with him. Walking hand in hand, Masih began to realize that they were not headed for the farm but a secluded place. When he pointed this out to Shan, the latter responded that he had "another big surprise for him." The report continues:

They walked a few meters to some trees when suddenly Shan ripped off Daim's shirt, then the rest of his clothes and threw Daim to the ground. Shan then jumped on Daim and proceeded with a sexual assault and sodomization of poor Daim. While the attack was happening the tiny 7 year old struggled to fight off Shan who was much bigger and more powerful then him. Daim was punched, slapped and kneed by Shan who was shouting obscenities during the attack and demanding Daim to stop his screaming. The violence and the unlawful penetration of Dain was so painful however, that he could not stop his screaming. Desperate for him to be quiet or thrilled by the power and subjugation of his prey, sexual predator Shan began to tighten his hands around Daim's neck and was slowly throttling him to death while having his wicked way with him.

In fact, many Christian children—boys and girls—have been strangled to death during or after being raped in Pakistan over the years. Fortunately for Daim, his grandfather and uncle heard his cries and rushed to the scenes, at which point Muhammad pulled up his pants and fled the scene. The traumatized 7-year-old was subsequently hospitalized.

In another incident, a young, married Christian woman, the mother of a two-year-old girl "was brutally gang-raped by three men and then left tied in the courtyard of a Muslim man's house until she was found by police two days later," according to a report. Sidhra, 20, had just left her mother's home, when three local men began following her. She started to run towards her home, but they caught up with her, and, according to the report, "grabbed her at which point Sidhra blacked-out. She is unable to recall the events of the next 36 hours at this time." The family eventually learned that she was seen bound to a chair in the courtyard of a local home. The report continues:

[A]ll her family ran to the house of Mohammed Ilyas and peered through the gates when the mother saw her daughter tied up unconscious to a chair with a gag in her mouth, restrained in the courtyard of the neighbor's home, she started to scream. As each sibling saw their sister they too began to scream and shout hysterically. They banged on the gates and one brother climbed over and unlocked the gate from inside and rushed towards his sister. Sidhra was fully clothed and tied at her wrists and legs the rope securing her was so tight bruises could be seen on her wrists. Despite attempts to wake her it took a few minutes to revive her and she remained dizzy—she showed signs of having been drugged.

When she awoke, Sidhra, who "was unconscious for the whole two days and believes that she was subjected to rape," identified the three local men, all nephews of Mohammed Ilyas, the owner. Although her father went to lodge a complaint at the police station, "The Police refused to acknowledge her kidnap or rape and did not initially register a First Incident Report (FIR), as they told the family they had no evidence." After much pressure from the family and other local elders, police registered a crime and arrested two of the assailants—only to release them after some time. Although the family continued to seek justice, "the family holds little hope of any prosecution, as the courts and the police are exhibiting little empathy and seem keen on exonerating the wealthy Muslims," according to the report. Later, Sidhra said:

I am totally distraught, a visit to my mother has become a day of ruin for me. I have suffered a brutal kidnap and rape by disgusting men with no shame.... The thought of what the men done to me makes me shudder, I have nightmares and feel like my whole world has collapsed. I am terrified of walking on the streets at night and am finding it hard to cope with a deep depression that has consumed me. I had a happy life and that has been taken away from me, but the cruel men who stole my joy will soon be released to threaten me and to attack other women like me. There is no justice in this country.

Jihad on Christian Freedom

Kyrgyzstan: Unknown attackers torched a church building in the Muslim-majority nation. The small Baptist community was left "fear[ing] for its safety," says the report: "The damage to the church has forced its 40 Kyrgyz and Russian members to start searching for a new place of worship, while wondering if there will be a further attack."

An official told church members that the attack was "organized by those who don't like your church and Christianity in the midst of a Muslim country." "We don't believe that the police will find and punish those who burned our church," a congregation member said. The report adds that, "Instead of pursuing the arsonists, local Christians said police have asked questions about who funded the church building, how many Kyrgyz are members, and why, as ethnic Muslims, they do not go to the local mosque."

Kenya: Muslim students beat and stabbed their Christian counterparts for refusing to convert to Islam at Nairobi's Jamhuri High School. Hostilities began when Muslim students complained of discrimination. This prompted school officials to designate separate bathrooms and sections in the library for Christians and Muslims. It was not long, however, before the Muslim students began defaming Christianity and pressuring Christians to recite the shahada, the Islamic proclamation of faith, and to uphold Muslim rituals. "Some Muslim students forcefully tried to induct Christian students into their Islam faith, and those who refused were knifed, while others were physically beaten," a local source said. "The knives and machetes used are alleged to have come from outside the school." At least 35 students — including some Muslims, as the Christians did defend themselves — were injured in the melee. Some Christian students received hospital treatment for stab wounds and other injuries; the principal was also injured. The school was subsequently closed indefinitely.

Uganda: A Christian widow was poisoned by her Muslim neighbors on Christmas Day. Earlier that morning, the mother of five was pleasantly surprised when two female Muslim neighbors visited her with food gifts. After they left, she began preparing lunch for her family and used some of the recently brought ingredients. Before serving her family, she tasted the meal and within minutes, was vomiting. "When she started screaming and was continuously vomiting, I called in a taxi and rushed her to Kabuna dispensary, where it was found that she had been poisoned," a family member said. She was treated and discharged from the hospital the next day. An analysis of the food items gifted her were revealed to contain poison. A local meeting was convened and the Muslim neighbor, on being question, confessed to poisoning the food. "Accused of intending to kill Madina and her family members," the reports notes, "Hajira asked for forgiveness, saying that since Madina's family left Islam two years ago, the loudness of their weekly worship at their house with some other church members had been disturbing her and other Muslim neighbors." Despite the attempted murder of the apostates, "village leaders made no legal decisions.

Police have not been called, apparently in order to keep tensions with the Muslim community from escalating, but the in-law [of Madina] said Muslim neighbors have started taunting Madina's children by calling them infidels."

In a separate account, according to one report, Munabi Abdullah, a 37-year-old Muslim man who embraced Christianity, was met with ostracism. On the evening of his conversion, and "with an irrepressible joy in his heart, he shared his experience with his wife, Aisha Namukoli. She became furious." In the convert's own words, "My wife shouted at me in front of the children, saying, 'Kafir, Kafir [infidel]! You are a big shame to the family.' She then pushed me out of the house." Later when he returned, he found several people including his father and mosque members at his house. When he tried to greet them, they silently and angrily stared at him; then his father stood up and said, "You are no longer my son, be cursed forever." "He hit me with a walking stick that was in his hand and hurt my left hand," Abdullah explains. "I managed to escape through a banana farm, and after a short while I was at the pastor's house" where he sought refuge. Local Muslim leaders have since prevented him from having any access to his wife and seven children, aged between 3 and 17.

Nigeria: To coerce, it appears, a Christian woman, 40, and her daughter 21, to convert to Islam, local Muslims falsely accused the two of kidnapping another family member, a child. Problems had begun soon after the husband/father of the family converted to Islam in order to obtain a government job. Amina Isa, his wife, explained: "They told him that he cannot be appointed as a ward head because he's a Christian, and that if he converts to Islam, he'll be appointed the ward head. I advised him against changing his religious faith for worldly position, but after much pressure from Muslims in our area, he succumbed to the demand and became a Muslim.... I reminded him that he should remember that all my family members are Muslims, but that I am the only Christian in that family, and that I married him because he was a Christian like me, so I cannot now convert to Islam simply because the Muslims have appointed him a ward head." Her five children also refused to convert and insisted on remaining Christian. She continues:

Because of their refusal to convert too, we have been threatened, beaten, and subjected to all forms of indignities by my husband and his Muslim collaborators. They've [her children] constantly been threatened, beaten, and harassed. In fact, at one time, [the oldest daughter] had to take her younger siblings and go into hiding, but both have been traced and captured by the officials and are currently being held against their will in a location undisclosed to me.... Right now, my daughters are in the custody of these Muslim officials and are being forced into Islam, while at the same time, we are being tried on false charges. All this is to force us to recant. We can never stop being Christians, and we are confident that the God we serve can never abandon us in our trying moments.

After the father forcibly enrolled his youngest daughter in an Islamic school, and her mother and older sister removed her and re-enrolled her in a Christian school, "Their father, in anger, came to me demanding for both girls. When I told him that the children have decided to remain as Christians, he and other Muslim officials in our village went to file charges against me on abducting my own children at the Magistrate Court in Tudun Wada town, a trial I'm still facing for refusing to change my religious faith. They summoned me and demanded I withdraw my daughter from the Christian school, bring her back to the village, and hand her over to them. Since I was helpless, I did as instructed by them and brought my daughter back to them."

Separately "Pastor Simput Eagles Dafup has been arrested and whisked away to an unknown destination ... for allegedly converting a Muslim girl to a Christian, in Plateau State," a report disclosed. Speaking of this incident, another pastor, Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa, and executive director of Voice of Northern Christian Movement, said: "Nigeria security has declared war against Christians in this country." He also accused the Nigerian government of treating Christians and Muslims differently: "Muslims have abducted 100 Christian girls under the age of 18 and forcefully converted them to Islam and we have reported to several security agencies but no arrest was made or return of Christian girls to their parents.... The abduction of Christian girls has continued unabated. Such scenarios are serious cases of injustice against Christians in the country, and the perpetrators have often gone Scott free."

European Union/Switzerland: While uncritically taking in and conferring refugee status on countless Muslim migrants, European authorities continued singling out those most in need of sanctuary for deportation. In one instance, a Christian legal group filed an expert brief with the European Court of Human Rights in support of a Muslim man from Afghanistan who converted to Christianity and who risked being deported from Switzerland. The group, known as ADF International, said the man, if forced back to Afghanistan, would as an apostate from Islam face immense persecution, possibly including death: "Afghanistan is not a safe place for a Christian convert," it said. "The Court should ask Switzerland to stop turning a blind eye to the situation of religious minorities in Afghanistan.... This means much more than demanding a convert practice his faith in secret. Sending a refugee back to a country where they face persecution because of their faith is incompatible with the Convention."

The Christian legal group ADF International filed an expert brief with the European Court of Human Rights in support of a Muslim man from Afghanistan who converted to Christianity and who risked being deported from Switzerland. Afghanistan is not a safe place for a Christian convert," it said. "The Court should ask Switzerland to stop turning a blind eye to the situation of religious minorities in Afghanistan..." (Image source: Adrian Grycuk/Wikimedia Commons)

Raymond Ibrahim, author of the new book, Sword and Scimitar, Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, is a Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslim extremists is growing. The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location.

SOURCE

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Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here

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          France detains two suspects over joining insurgents      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
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          Nederlanders doneren 160.000 euro voor terugkeer ontheemden Syrië - NU.nl      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

NU.nl

Nederlanders doneren 160.000 euro voor terugkeer ontheemden Syrië
NU.nl
Nederlanders hebben tot nu toe ruim 160.000 euro gestort op giro 7244 om ontheemde Syriërs te helpen die thuiskomen in hun verwoeste huizen. Het Rode Kruis sloeg vorige week alarm vanwege de slechte omstandigheden waaronder Syriërs hun leven ...
Rode Kruis: tot nu toe 160.000 euro opgehaald voor SyriëNOS
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          Mỹ: Iran tập trận hải quân ở Eo biển Hormuz để phô trương năng lực      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

AP đưa tin, ngày 8/8, Tư lệnh Bộ Chỉ huy Trung tâm của Mỹ (CENTCOM), Đại tướng Joseph Votel cho rằng cuộc tập trận hải quân của Iran với sự tham gia của ít nhất 100 thuyền nhỏ xung quanh khu vực Eo biển Hormuz hồi tuần trước đã phát đi thông điệp tới Mỹ liên quan tới việc nước này tái áp đặt các lệnh trừng phạt kinh tế nhằm vào Tehran.

Phát biểu với báo giới tại Lầu Năm Góc, Đại tướng Votel nhận xét, Iran đang phô trương năng lực quân sự, trong bối cảnh Tổng thống Iran Hasan Rouhani đe dọa phong tỏa eo biển này.

Ông Votel nói: “Rõ ràng, họ đang cố gắng tận dụng cuộc tập trận này để phát đi thông điệp tới chúng tôi, rằng khi chúng tôi tiếp cận thời kỳ trừng phạt, thì họ cũng sở hữu một số năng lực.

Chúng tôi nhận thức rõ những gì đang diễn ra, và chúng tôi luôn sẵn sàng tự vệ.”

Ngoài ra, Đại tướng Votel còn chỉ trích Iran vì những âm mưu liên tiếp gây bất ổn các nước khác trong khu vực, trong đó có Syria, Iraq và Yemen.



Theo ông Votel, Iran có khả năng bố trí mìn và các thuyền chứa chất nổ tại tuyến đường biển này, cũng như sử dụng tên lửa và radar dọc bờ biển.

Tuy nhiên ông Votel cho biết Mỹ và các đồng minh thường xuyên được đào tạo ứng phó với tình huống này, và sẵn sàng đảm bảo tự do hàng hải và thương mại tiếp tục được tiến hành ở khu vực này.

Đại tướng Votel khẳng định Tướng Qassem Soleimani, người chỉ huy các hoạt động quân sự của lực lượng Iran ở Trung Đông (lực lượng tinh nhuệ Quds), chính là người thực hiện nhiều hoạt động của Iran ở eo biển này và trong khu vực, đồng thời gọi lực lượng Quds là mối đe dọa hàng đầu trong khu vực.

Trong những tuần gần đây, Tổng thống Rouhani đe dọa phong tỏa Eo biển Hormuz, một tuyến đường vận chuyển dầu quan trọng; đồng thời khẳng định nếu các lệnh trừng phạt đe dọa hoạt động xuất khẩu dầu thô của Iran, hoạt động xuất khẩu của các nước khác ở Trung Đông cũng sẽ bị đe dọa./.

          Australia tước quyền công dân 5 đối tượng có quan hệ với IS       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

AFP đưa tin, ngày 9/8, giới chức Australia thông báo, 5 người gốc Liban đã bị tước quyền công dân Australia do tham gia tổ chức Nhà nước Hồi giáo (IS) tự xưng ở Iraq và Syria.

Theo các quan chức, nước này là một nơi đẹp đẽ hơn nếu không có những đối tượng trên.

Các đối tượng trên cùng với Khaled Sharrouf, đối tượng khủng bố khét tiếng người Australia, là những công dân bị đuổi khỏi Australia theo quy định của luật chống khủng bố cứng rắn hơn của nước này.



Trong một thông báo, Bộ trưởng Nội vụ Australia Peter Dutton cho biết: “Tôi có thể xác nhận rằng thêm 5 cá nhân không còn là công dân Australia do chúng có dính líu với IS ở nước ngoài.

Về cơ bản, quyền công dân đòi hỏi sự trung thành với đất nước... Những đối tượng mang hai quốc tịch này đã hành động đi ngược lại lợi ích của Australia, thông qua việc gia nhập tổ chức khủng bố và chọn việc rời bỏ cộng đồng Australia.”

Năm đối tượng này trong độ tuổi 20 và 30 tuổi. Ông Dutton không công bố thêm chi tiết về danh tính của các đối tượng này.

Canberra đang ngày càng quan ngại về việc các công dân Australia quay về nước, sau khi gia nhập IS ở nước ngoài và đã thông qua một loạt bộ luật an ninh quốc gia cứng rắn hơn trong những năm gần đây./.


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          Comment on SYRIA by Eva Bartlett      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Hi Ahmad, I took a break but am back online. Thanks for your concern! :)
          Comment on SYRIA by Ahmad Tamimi      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
hello Eva, hope you are fine, where did your facebook page go ? please upload something on your youtube or let miss Vanessa Beeley inform us on facebook just to make sure you are alright <3 all the love and respect Ahmad, Jordan.
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          Yazidi Slavery, Child Trafficking, Death Threats To Journalist: Should Turkey Remain In NATO?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Authored by Uzay Bulut via The Gatestone Institute,

August 3 marked the fourth anniversary of the ISIS invasion of Sinjar, Iraq and the start of the Yazidi genocide. Since that date in 2014, approximately 3,100 Yazidis either have been executed or died of dehydration and starvation, according to the organization Yazda. At least 6,800 women and children were kidnapped by ISIS terrorists and subjected to sexual and physical abuse, captives were forced to convert to Islam, and young boys were separated from their families and forced to become child soldiers, according to a report entitled "Working Against the Clock: Documenting Mass Graves of Yazidis Killed by the Islamic State." Moreover, 3,000 Yazidi women and girls are believed to remain in ISIS captivity, but their whereabouts are unknown.

One Yazidi child recently sold in Ankara, Turkey, and then freed through the mediation efforts of Yazidi and humanitarian-aid organizations, according to a report by Hale Gönültaş, a journalist with the Turkish news website Gazete Duvar. On July 30, three days after Gönültaş's article appeared, she received a death threat on her mobile phone from a Turkish-speaking man, who told her that he knew her home address, and then shouted, "Jihad will come to this land. Watch your step!"

This is not the first time that Gönültaş has been threatened for writing about ISIS atrocities. In May 2017, she received similar telephone threats after posting two articles: "200,000 children in ISIS camps," and "ISIS holds 600 children from Turkey."

In addition, a video of Turkish-speaking children receiving military training from ISIS was sent to her email address. In the video, in which one of them is seen cutting off someone's head with a knife, the children are saying, "We are here for jihad."

Gönültaş, whose lawyer has filed a criminal complaint about the threats, told Gatestone:

"A child has been sold, and this is a crime against humanity; and I do not think the sole perpetrator is ISIS. There is a larger organized network involved in this. My report has further exposed this reality. I have been a journalist for 22 years and have been subjected to similar threats many times. I do not live in fear or worry. I will continue reporting facts."

In her article, Gönültaş conducted an interview with Azad Barış, founding president of the Yazidi Cultural Foundation, who said that a Yazidi girl, who was taken captive during the ISIS invasion of Sinjar in 2014, was sold for a fee determined by ISIS through "intermediaries" in Ankara:

"To restore the child to liberty, the Yazidi community and humanitarian aid organizations -- the 'reliable intermediaries' who stepped in to save the child -- contacted the intermediaries who acted on behalf of ISIS.... The child was then taken out of Turkey quickly with the help of international organizations and reunited with her family. As far as I know, Turkish security forces were not informed of the incident. The priority was the life of the child and to take her to safety swiftly. And the child did get safely reunited with her family."

Barış also said that Yazidi women were exposed to mass rapes at the hands of ISIS terrorists who called them "spoils of war" and claimed that it was "religiously permissible" ("jaiz" in Arabic) to rape them:

"Women were taken from one cell house to another and were exposed to the same sexual and psychological torture in every house. According to witness statements, women were mass raped by ISIS militants three times every day. Dozens of women ended their lives by noosing and strangling themselves with their headscarves.

"Slave markets have been formed on an internet platform known as the 'deep web.' Not only women but also children are sold on auctions on the deep web... When the selling is completed on the internet, the intermediaries of those buying the women and the intermediaries of ISIS meet at a place considered 'safe' by both parties. Women and children are delivered to their buyers. Some Yazidi families have liberated their wives, children and relatives through the help of the reliable persons that joined in the auctions on the deep web on their behalf. The price for liberating the women and children ranges between 5,000 and 25,000 euros... Our missing people are still largely held by ISIS. Wherever ISIS is, and wherever they are effective, the women and children are mostly there. But selling women is not heard of very often anymore."

Also according to Barış, the second largest Yazidi group held captive by ISIS are boys under the age of nine:

"[they] receive jihadist education at the hands of ISIS; are brainwashed, and have been made to change their religion. Each of them is raised as a jihadist. But we are not fully informed of the exact number and whereabouts of our kidnapped children."

This is not the first time that the sale of Yazidis in Turkey was reported in the media. In 2015, the German public television station ARD produced footagedocumenting the slave trade being conducted by ISIS through a liaison office in the province of Gaziantep in southeast Turkey, near the Syrian border.

In 2016, the Turkish daily Hürriyet reported that the Gaziantep police had raided the Gaziantep office and found $370,000, many foreign (non-Turkish) passports, and 1,768 pages of Arabic-language receipts that demonstrate the transfer of millions of dollars between Syria and Turkey.

Six Syrians were indicted in Turkey for their involvement, but all were acquitteddue to a "lack of evidence." No member of the Gaziantep Bar Association, which had filed the criminal complaint against them, was invited to attend the hearings. According to Mehmet Yalçınkaya, a lawyer and member of the Gaziantep Bar Association:

"The court, without looking into the documents found by police, made the decision to acquit... We learned of the decision to acquit by coincidence. That the trial ended in only 16 days and 1,768 pages of documents were submitted to the court after the decision to acquit shows that it was not an effective trial."

A news report from German broadcaster ARD shows photos of Yazidi slaves distributed by ISIS (left), as well as undercover footage of ISIS operatives in Turkey taking payment for buying the slaves (right).

Addressing the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on December 9, 2015, Mirza Ismail, founder and chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, said, in part:

"We Yezidis are desperate for your immediate help and support. During our six-thousand-year history, Yezidis have faced 74 genocides in the Middle East, including the ongoing genocide. Why? Simply because we are not Muslims. We are an ancient and proud people from the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization and the birth place of many of the world's religions. And here we are today, in 2015, on the verge of annihilation. In response to our suffering around the World there is profound, obscene silence. We Yezidis are considered 'Infidels' in the eyes of Muslims, and so they are encouraged to kill, rape, enslave, and convert us."

...

"I am pleading with each and every one of you in the name of humanity to lend us your support at this crucial time to save the indigenous and peaceful peoples of the Middle East."

Three years after this impassioned plea, Yazidis are still being enslaved and sold by ISIS, with Turkish involvement, while the life of the journalist who exposed the crime is threatened. Reuniting the kidnapped Yazidis with their families and bringing the perpetrators to justice should be a priority of civilized governments worldwide, not only to help stop the persecution and enslavement of Yazidis, but also to defeat jihad.

The question is whether NATO member Turkey is a part of the solution or part of the problem. Should Turkey, with the path it is on, be allowed even to remain a member of NATO?


          Ammi?      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Ci sono 6 risposte, la più recente del 09 agosto 2018 alle ore 08:23:21 inviata da: mohdlab
Testo:


Grazie Massimo
secondo il sondaggio delle piante in Libano, ci sono due specie di tordilium: tordylium aegyptiacum e tordylium syriacum. quale pensi che sia corretto?

Thank you massimo
according to the plant survey in Lebanon, there are two tordylium species: tordylium aegyptiacum and tordylium syriacum. which one do you think it is the correct
          Media Quotes of the Week: From I'm Mainstream Media and proud says Robert Peston to banning boozy lunches took the fun out of Fleet Street      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Robert Peston @Peston on Twitter: "Pls give up trying to shame me by calling me MSM. It is pointless. I’ve worked for amazing MSM news organisations for decades. & some of you who use MSM as term of abuse wouldn’t recognize objective impartial journalism if it rolled over you in a monster truck. I am #MSMandProud"


Owen Joneson Twitter: "Periodic reminder that the British media, with some excellent exceptions, is absolute trash, which disproportionately attracts talentless people who use their ill-gotten platforms to bait Muslims, refugees, immigrants, benefit claimants, trans people and other minorities."


Will Bunch on philly.com: "The growing insanity of Trump’s rallies poses a threat to the free press, which is essential for making democracy happen. Showing some editorial restraint — and not airing unedited and unfiltered falsehoods and hate speech — would hardly make the media an enemy of the American people. In fact, that would be an act of tremendous love — for the truth."


Bret Stephens in the New York Times about receiving a death threat phone call: "Donald Trump’s more sophisticated defenders have long since mastered the art of pretending that the only thing that matters with his presidency is what it does, not what he says. But not all of the president’s defenders are quite as sophisticated. Some of them didn’t get the memo about taking Trump seriously but not literally. A few hear the phrase “enemy of the people” and are prepared to take the words to their logical conclusion. Is my caller one of them? I can’t say. But what should be clear is this: We are approaching a day when blood on the newsroom floor will be blood on the president’s hands."


Donald Trump at his rally in Pennsylvania, as reported by Huff Post, pointing at journalists: “These horrible, horrendous people back there.. [news media] can make anything bad, because they are the fake, fake disgusting news...What ever happened to the free press? What ever happened to honest reporting? They don’t report it. They only make up stories.”
  • Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump on Twitter: "The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!"

Pete Vernon in the Columbia Journalism Review: "Given Trump’s consistent media-bashing, it’s not surprising that members of his administration would refrain from criticizing those who take the same line as the president. But as Trump and his allies in the media demonstrate their ability to foment public vitriol toward the press, perhaps it’s worth considering the reaction if the target were not a professional class like journalists, but rather a racial minority, or a group of immigrants. The mob behavior on display at these rallies is, at times, downright frightening."


Photographer Ricardo Vilanova on returning to Syria to face two of the captured "ISIS Beatles" who held him and other journalists hostage, as reported by Quentin Sommerville for BBC News: "The first thing I thought when I saw them was Gaddafi, or Saddam… Who were not able to face death .. they were exactly the same, they were able to torture and murder but when the moment arrived they handed themselves in order to survive. I think that´s despicable. I hope they spend the rest of their life in prison because dying is easy but spending the rest of your life in prison, especially in the same conditions they kept us hostage"


Mr Justice Mann quoted in The Times [£] on his Cliff Richard vs BBC privacy judgment: “It has been suggested that my judgment is remarkable in imposing a new blanket restraint on the reporting of the subject of a criminal investigations. That is an erroneous reading of my judgment. My judgment acknowledges that the reasonable expectation of privacy in the face of an investigation is a presumption or starting point that can give way to countervailing factors; the safety of the public is one example. The desirability of flushing out potential witnesses or more potential complainants is another, as the judgment itself acknowledges.”

Old Bell:Fleet Street
Colin Dunne in Press Gazette bemoaning the end of the pub lunch culture in Fleet Street: "It shouldn’t have worked, but it did. In between swifties and quickies and long lunches and early evenings, out of all this emerged some marvelous copy. The tabloids were full of fun and merriment and the readers loved them. Now they are full of spite and anger. That’s what egg-and-cress sandwiches do to a man."

[£]=paywall
          Turkey: MPM Turkey Migrants' Presence Monitoring - Situation Report, July 2018      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: International Organization for Migration
Country: Afghanistan, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, World

Overview of Migrant Situation in Turkey

According to the latest available figures from the Turkish Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) currently there are more than 3.9 million foreign nationals present in Turkish territory seeking international protection.

Most of them are Syrians (3,542,250* individuals) who are granted the temporary protection (TP) status, while according to UNHCR another large group of the foreign nationals requiring Turkish humanitarian and international protection are 360,608** asylum-seekers and refugees consisting of different nationalities, but mainly coming from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and other countries.

In addition, there are 718,297* foreign nationals under residence permit holder status including humanitarian residence holders.

*Data Source DGMM, 02.08.2018

**Data Source UNHCR, 30.06.2018 Temporary Protection

Turkey implements a Temporary Protection regime for 3,542,250 indivuals from Syria which grants beneficiaries right to legally stay in Turkey as well as some level of access to basic rights and services. A vast majority of them, 3,335,847 individuals, live outside the camps and are spread across the Turkish border provinces while nearly 206,403 live in 19 camps the majority of which are also located close to the Syrian border.

The number of Syrians under temporary protection decreased for the first time since two years. The decrease was recorded as 20,000 persons comparison to previous month.

*Data Source DGMM, 02.08.2018


          World: Humanitarian Funding Update July 2018 - United Nations Coordinated Appeals      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Funding Required: $25.41B
Funding Received: $9.39B
Unmet Requirements: $16.02B
Coverage: 37.0%

People in need: 134.0M
People to receive aid: 95.8M
Countries affected: 41

As of the end of July 2018, 21 Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (3RP) require US$25.41 billion to assist 95.8 billion people in urgent need of humanitarian support. The 21 HRPs and the Syria 3RP were funded at $9.52 billion: 37 per cent of financial requirements for 2018. Humanitarian organisations still require $16.02 billion to meet the needs covered by these plans.

Requirements are $2 billion higher than last year at the same time. Overall coverage is also slightly higher (three per cent), with $1.4 billion more received this year than last.

Pooled funds

Between 1 January and 31 July 2018, the Emergency Relief Coordinator approved $333 million through the Central Emergency Response Fund, including $233 million through the rapid response window and $100 million through the underfunded emergencies window. In July, $24 million was approved in rapid response grants to respond to displacement in Ethiopia, population movement from Venezuela into Colombia, worsening food insecurity in Niger, and a volcanic eruption in Guatemala. The largest allocation was $15 million to provide relief items, safe water, sanitation facilities, and health and nutrition treatment to 800,000 people displaced by inter-communal violence in Gedeo and West Guji in Ethiopia.

Between 1 January and 6 August 2018, 17 country-based pooled funds (CBPF) received $536 million in contributions from 30 donors (including $80 million in pledges). During this period, $369 million were allocated to a total of 663 humanitarian projects, implemented by 443 partners, with the funds in Yemen ($92 million), DRC ($36 million) and Iraq ($34 million) allocating the largest amounts. During July, the funds in Afghanistan, Jordan, Nigeria, South Sudan and Turkey were processing allocations. As for overall CBPF allocations, 58 per cent were disbursed to NGOs, including 19 per cent ($71 million) directly to national and local NGOs. Another 41 per cent ($150 million) was allocated to UN agencies and 1 per cent of funding was allocated to Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations.

Country updates

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Some 22.2 million people – about 75 per cent of the population – require humanitarian assistance or protection. This includes 8.4 million people who do not know where their next meal is coming from. An unprecedented outbreak of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea has resulted in more than 1.1 million cases since April 2017. Escalating conflict in Hudaydah has displaced more than 350,000 people since 1 June. More than 90 per cent of these people have received emergency relief packages distributed by humanitarian partners. Sustained hostilities in Hudaydah city, interruptions to port operations or a siege would be catastrophic and must be avoided. Humanitarian programmes have expanded significantly across Yemen. In June, partners provided emergency food assistance to 7.5 million people – an increase of 200,000 people since January. Similar increases have occurred in other sectors. As of mid-year, about 60 per cent of people targeted with assistance had been reached. Generous and flexible funding has been key. Donors have provided more than 60 per cent of the HRP’s $3 billion requirements – including an early, unearmarked $930 million contribution from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Partners recently sequenced the HRP to show first-line, second-line and full response activities, and require full funding to deliver all programmes based on this plan.

Needs remain high in Ethiopia with 7.88 million people food insecure, as per the Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP) released in March. There has been a major surge in displacement since the beginning of June around Gedeo (SNNPR) and West Guji (Oromia) zones resulting in the release of a response plan which seeks $117.7m to assist the 818,250 recently displaced people. Some funding has already been mobilized by Government and partners, primarily through reallocating resources that were originally intended for important response elsewhere in the country under the HDRP.

Fighting in south-west Syria continued to impact hundreds of thousands of civilians, with 180,000 people remaining newly displaced as of the end of July. Aerial bombardment and artillery shelling resulted in civilian deaths and destruction of civilian infrastructure in many areas. Humanitarian workers and service providers were caught up in the violence, with many displaced alongside other civilians. Humanitarian response continued in Dar’a governorate, building on cross-border prepositioning and subsequently drawing on programming from inside Syria. However more than 100,000 newly displaced people remained largely cut off from sustained assistance in Quneitra governorate. Partners identified priority requirements of $85 million to cover the most urgent protection and assistance needs of 300,000 people across the south-west up until mid-October. Concerns also persist around the threat of further military escalation in the north-west of the country, where the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in Aleppo and Idleb governorates had increased by close to 600,000 by mid-year, to a total of 4.2 million, of whom half were in acute need. Response across the north-west continues to depend on cross-border assistance delivered from Turkey.

At least 3.4 million people in Cameroon need humanitarian assistance and protection. Six out of ten regions are affected by humanitarian crises related to Boko Haram in the Far North, the conflict in the Central African Republic and the worsening situation in the Anglophone regions. Further, growing levels of food insecurity and malnutrition are affecting over 2.6 million people, including 1.5 million children, and there is an ongoing cholera outbreak in the Center and North regions. The 2018 HRP calls for $319.7 million but is only 23 per cent funded. Additional donor support is critical to ensure life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable populations, especially the newly displaced persons in the Far North and the South-West.

Although the number of IDPs in the Central African Republic (CAR) fell to 608,000 during June, a seven per cent decrease compared to May, this does not indicate an improvement of the situation. The tensions and armed violence that erupted in April continue, and are causing new displacements in areas with very limited access. More than half (354,017) of the IDPs are staying with host families, while some 249,522 are in IDP sites and settlements, and another 4,489 are scattered in the bush, in desperate need of assistance. Increasing insecurity is affecting the delivery of aid, as five humanitarian workers have been killed since the beginning of 2018, making CAR one of the most dangerous countries in the world for the delivery of humanitarian aid. Moreover, underfunding remains one of the biggest impediments to stepping up the humanitarian response. At mid-year, the 2018 HRP had only received 26 per cent of its $515.6 million requirement. Without additional funding, humanitarian actors will be unable to address the needs of 1.9 million people targeted in the Plan.

The Marawi Conflict Response and Resources Overview (Mindanao, Philippines) seeks $61 million to provide essential services, food security, protection, livelihood and early recovery support for 199,000 conflict-affected people in Mindanao, of whom 69,412 are still displaced, from July 2017 to December 2018. While an organized return is underway, the majority of those who were forced to flee during the conflict will continue to require humanitarian assistance until sustainable recovery activities are underway, especially for those from the most affected areas of the city. Some $11 million (18%) has been received to-date.

Afghanistan is in the midst of a drought, the scale of which has not been seen since 2011. It has already resulted in some 84,000 people being displaced to Hirat City in western Afghanistan, with up to 150,000 at risk of being displaced. In 2017, wheat production was at an all-time low (57 per cent under the five-year average) and the expected shortfall in production in 2018 is decreasing further -- from 4.2 million metric tonnes to 3.5 million metric tonnes. This decrease is impacting some two million already food insecure people across two thirds of Afghanistan. The ongoing drought led the Humanitarian Country Team to increase the Afghanistan 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan requirements by $117 million, for a total of $547 million. The HRP is currently only 29 per cent funded. Additional funding is required to provide food security, agriculture, water, sanitation, hygiene and nutritional support. The humanitarian community is currently conducting a multi-sectoral humanitarian-development assessment, led by OCHA and UNDP, to examine both humanitarian needs and the wider, long-term complexities underpinning the drought crisis, that would need structural support through development programming.

Four years of conflict have put a tremendous strain on the civilian population in eastern Ukraine. Disrupted access to critical facilities and diminished livelihoods mean that some 3.4 million people are without basic supplies and services and need assistance for protection and survival. Some 200,000 people live under constant fear of shelling every day. One and a half million Ukrainians have been displaced across the country and cannot return home due to hostilities or lost livelihoods. Over 1 million civilians cross the “contact line” every month through operational checkpoints, which lack required shade, cooling spaces and healthcare facilities. Under these conditions, coupled with prolonged waiting hours and summer heat, civilians—many of them elderly—suffer health-related complications. Funding for the Humanitarian Response Plan is urgently needed, as only 27 per cent of the required $187 million has been received so far to respond to the urgent needs of 2.3 million vulnerable Ukrainians with assistance and protection throughout 2018.

Haiti is well into the hurricane season and increased international support for emergency preparedness efforts is required. Haitians are still recovering from consecutive natural disasters, including a major earthquake, hurricanes, floods and drought, and need sustained support. This support is not only to obtain life’s basic necessities, but also to move beyond recurring disasters and build sustainable livelihoods and live in resilient communities that are prepared for future shocks. Humanitarian actors aim to provide humanitarian assistance and protection services to the 2.2 million most vulnerable Haitians, but they have received only 9 per cent of the required $252 million this year.


          Comment on Software Development Freshers Jobs in Chennai by Ellsworth      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
I'm interested in this position <a href="http://www.betisweb.com/foro/stmap_dd380.html?viagra.reosto.zoloft.mefenamic-acid" rel="nofollow">maxoderm krém 120 ml</a> How totally ironic that the US government and its willing accomplices, who together possess and control some of the very largest series of stock piles of Chemical Weapons on Earth are pontificating about controlling the chemical weapons in Syria, of which large quantities are likely already in the hands of the so-called “Free Syrian Army”, a motely collection of fanatical, butchering Terrorists, flooding into Syria from all over the Middle East.
          MEA Announced Multi-Pronged Business Delegation to Syria & Lebanon      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj will be travelling with a multi-product business delegation to Syria and Lebanon in September. Keeping in view that India has been extending continuous support to Syria, the country has allowed tax relaxations and special provisions for Indian companies willing to participate in the 70th Damascus International Trade Fair

The post MEA Announced Multi-Pronged Business Delegation to Syria & Lebanon appeared first on SMEStreet: Knowledge & Networking for Growth.


          Syrian President's wife diagnosed with breast cancer      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Mandatory credit: Syrian Presidency The wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Asma, has reportedly started treatment for a malignant breast tumour, according to Syrian President Media platforms and Syrian state media SANA on Wednesday. A photo released by the Syrian presidency and SANA shows the First Lady attached to an IV line, seemingly in a hospital room. She is accompanied by her husband. A statement which was published alongside the photo reads, "Asma al-Assad begins the first stage of treatment for a malignant tumor of the breast which was discovered early. The Presidency and its team wish Mrs Asma a speedy recovery." Forty-two-year-old Asma al-Assad married al-Assad in 2000, shortly after he became president. Born and raised in the UK, the dual British-Syrian national was an investment banker before she became First Lady of Syria. Watch Live: http://www.presstv.com/live.html YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/videosptv/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/PressTV LiveLeak: http://www.liveleak.com/c/PressTV Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PRESSTV Google+: http://plus.google.com/+VideosPTV Instagram: http://instagram.com/presstvchannel Dailymotion: http://www.dailymotion.com/presstv
          Comment on Pop Culture Fix: My Friends, Lesbian Ruby Rose Is Your Lesbian Batwoman and Other Stories by ebook      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Amelia TBH that’s some shit I’d expect to see on Stormfront. I think you have a lot of reading to do on the wonderfully complex world of Jewish identity. (Hint: 5,779 years later, we too are still debating the nuances.) I’ll assume good faith (though the rest of your comment doesn’t really make me think you’re in good faith), and try to compress 10,000 years or so in a few paragraphs: Judaism is a religion. Within that religion, there are tons of different practices. Think of Christianity: there are Catholics and Protestants, PLUS many others, PLUS tons of different kinds within each of those. It’s like that. Judaism is also a set of cultures associated with the religion and its different practices. Like: Yiddish culture has a lot of representation in this country. Think bagels, kvetching, standup comedy. This is but one of the many rich tapestries forming Judaism! There are also some relatively distinct ethnicities associated with groups of people who have historically practiced this religion/belong to those cultures. However! You can be descended from Jews (ethnically Jewish) and be some other religion entirely! You can be descended from no Jews and have chosen to become Jewish! You can culturally Jewish and totally non-religious! Etc. Basically, the religious, cultural, and ethnically components can be mixed and matched at will. Now, there are a few main cultural/religious/ethnic divisions, for reasons of diaspora history and geography. Ashkenazi Jews hail from Eastern Europe. Sephardi Jews’ families were expelled from Spain in the Inquisition and moved around the Mediterranean. Mizrahi Jews (like me) come from the Middle East—Egypt, Syria, Iraq, etc. There are also lots more (Bukharan, Ethiopian, etc). So! To address your point specifically. To be pedantic, an Ashkenazi Jew could be lots of things. It could be someone who’s not European at all but practices Judaism in the Ashkenazi style (since it is the dominant flavor of Judaism in the US [though not everywhere, which is a mistake a lot of people make]). It could be someone with a certain ethnic background who isn’t religious at all. Etc. However! When people say “an Ashkenazi Jew”, they are most typically talking about someone descended from an Eastern European Jewish family who is themselves culturally and/or religiously Jewish. ***So here is the big point: that person would be both 100% European AND 100% Jewish.*** Jew isn’t a race. It’s a set of religious practices, cultural practices, and ethnicities. You can’t be half European and half Jewish and DNA tests could never show such a thing. That just doesn’t make sense. Hope that helps.
          A Syrian refugee’s view of his European hosts      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

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This story from the Daily Caller is a bit off the beaten path, but I found it fascinating enough to want to share it here. Given the current debate in Europe over how to handle mass migration and the flood of primarily Syrian refugees, this is a story which might contribute to that conversation. It’s particularly pertinent because it involves both Germany and Austria, two nations who have reacted to the swelling numbers of new arrivals in very different ways.

This particular tale has to do with Aras Bacho, a 19-year-old Yazidi Christian refugee from Syria who is now living in Germany. (It should also be noted that Bacho writes columns for a local Huffington Post edition in Germany.) Seeing the divisive nature of the debate over immigrants in nearby Austria, he wrote an “open letter” to the people of Austria to share his thoughts about how they should be treating their new guests. (Emphasis added)

“Austrians and refugees should go on joint excursions and learn together. This makes the newcomer smarter, and can see how an Austrian lives and discuss with him,” he began.

Bacho continued his note outlining ways in which refugees can become neighbors and friends with Austrians, and then suggests Austrians should donate money to refugees out of obligation.

The taxes Austrians pay, which in part go to governmental efforts that handle refugees, are not enough, according to Bacho. Austrians should be giving additional money to refugees to support them on top of taxes, because Jesus tells them to.

“‘If necessary, give them your house and all your money,’” Bacho writes, quoting the Bible. “As you can see, not all Christians abide by these guidelines,” he added.

Bacho goes on to insist that Austrians have to take refugees into their own homes and that integration only works if it’s a two-way street.

I suppose we should at least offer a tip of the hat to young Mr. Bacho for supporting Christian values and keeping up with his Bible studies. And I think his heart is in the right place when he suggests more conversations between the groups, making it easier for the immigrants to learn both the language and customs of their new country. But beyond that, the overall tone of this letter is probably not going to win him many converts in Austria. The attitude on display is not uncommon from far too many other stories we’ve heard out of Europe since the refugee crisis began and definitely could use a bit of softening.

First of all, the Austrians already pay money into support for the refugees in their country in the form of taxes. Others donate above and beyond that through charitable organizations. But it’s not a requirement and not everyone can afford it. Even if they can, they are still under no obligation to do so, even if you want to lecture them with Bible quotes.

Perhaps the biggest flaw in this missive, however, comes with Bacho’s interpretation of integration. As Inigo Montoya famously said, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The Austrians don’t have to integrate. They’re already Austrian. If you’re moving to their country, you’re the one who needs to learn the language, the customs and ensure that you integrate with them.

And give them your house and all your money? Yes, I realize it’s a lesson from scripture, but in the real world, you’d have to be approaching sainthood to literally do it. Prodding people about the amount they are giving to you is more likely to annoy them than prompt them to give even more. What this really boils down to is an apparent lack of gratitude for the enormous burden that most of Europe has already taken on. Austria is already on the verge of basically slamming their doors on any further immigration. Letters such as this will probably only hasten the process.

The post A Syrian refugee’s view of his European hosts appeared first on Hot Air.


          Hmmm: Trump slaps sanctions on Russia over Skripal poisoning      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

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After Donald Trump’s debacle in Helsinki, I predicted that the deluge of partisan criticism would force the president to show his toughness on Russia in policy, if not in rhetoric. Today, that shoe dropped in the form of tough new sanctions over the use of chemical weapons in the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal. The Trump administration gave Vladimir Putin 90 days to agree to stop using Novichok and other weapons and open up for inspections to verify compliance with international treaties. Or else:

The Trump administration said Wednesday it would impose new sanctions against Russia as punishment for its use of a nerve agent in an attempt last March to assassinate British citizen and ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

A terse release from the State Department said that the United States had determined Russian responsibility for the attack in Salisbury, England — a British conclusion the administration had already accepted — under a 1991 U.S. law on biological and chemical weapons use that requires the president to impose sanctions. …

The statement demanded that Russia “address all questions” related to the attack” and provide “full and complete disclosure” of its Novichok program. Last month, British Prime Minister Theresa May urged Trump to raise the issue of the poisonings when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month, although it remained unclear whether the subject came up in their talks.

Consider this a do-over. To some extent, the decision to act was out of Trump’s hands, at least theoretically. The Washington Post notes that the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act requires the White House to determine whether existing treaties on chemical/biological warfare has been violated, and then apply sanctions when such a finding is made. In practice, that hasn’t always meant a robust response; the Obama administration avoided action as long as possible on Syria despite knowing full well that Bashar al-Assad was using them on his own people. Once the administration made the call, new sanctions were a required result.

The scope of the sanctions announced today, however, is surprisingly broad. NBC News, while noting that Trump dragged his heels past the statutory deadline for acting, notes that the administration laid down a marker that is seemingly calculated to ensure that the tougher sanctions go into effect:

The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis.

That new prohibition could cut off hundreds of millions of dollars in future exports to Russia, said a senior State Department official. …

A second, more painful round kicks in three months later unless Russia provides “reliable assurances” that it won’t use chemical weapons in the future and agrees to “on-site inspections” by the U.N. — conditions unlikely to be met. The second round of sanctions could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending state airline Aeroflot’s ability to fly to the U.S, and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

In other words, it’s no joke. It sets a bar — let’s call it a “red line” — that Trump will find difficult to take back, and Putin will find impossible to swallow. The result will almost certainly be more diplomatic expulsions and a shutdown in trade that might ding the US economy but will hit Russia much harder. That will damage Putin’s standing with the only people in Russia who matter — the oligarchs.

The timing is also curious. Senator Rand Paul had just delivered a message from Trump to Putin while traveling to Russia to promote friendlier ties between the two nations:

The White House distanced itself from the effort almost immediately:

The White House later released its own statement underscoring that the letter was “introductory” and written at the request of Paul.

“At Sen. Paul’s request, President Trump provided a letter of introduction,” deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said in a statement. “In the letter, the president mentioned topics of interest that Senator Paul wanted to discuss with President Putin.”

Within a few hours, Trump turned Paul into the “good cop” to his “bad cop.” Let that be a lesson to senators who want to conduct their own public diplomacy.

The post Hmmm: Trump slaps sanctions on Russia over Skripal poisoning appeared first on Hot Air.


          Comment on Immigration and Asylum: some thoughts from the house bureaucrat… by Richard S      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
@Martin, Playing devil's advocate here, but anything is possible post Brexit. For example we might very well see an asylum system where a Syrian arriving in Britain from a refugee camp in France is only asked to prove that he was oppressed without recourse in France, his more historical situation in Syria being irrelevant.
           Tổng thống Syria ân cần đưa vợ đi trị liệu ung thư      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Tổng thống Syria ân cần đưa vợ đi trị liệu ung thư Ngày 8/8 Tổng thống Syria Bashar Assad đưa vợ tới bệnh viện ở thủ đô Damascus bắt đầu điều trị ung thư, theo thông tin từ Văn phòng Tổng thống Syria.
          Hibiscus syriacus - ibišek syrský      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Keř, který bohatě kvete uprostřed parného léta, pochází z Asie, ale s úspěchem si podmaňuje i české zahrady. Ibišek syrský (Hibiscus syriacus), označovaný také jako zahradní nebo keřový ibišek, projasňuje záhony živými barvami květů od poloviny června až do září. Opadavý keř pochází z Asie a v Jižní Koreji je uctíván jako národní květina. Do Evropy se ibišek ...
          Comment on VT and UNHRC to Cooperate on Resettlement of Syrian Refugees by mb.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Also of course interesting that Syrians want to return to Assad's Syria.
          Comment on VT and UNHRC to Cooperate on Resettlement of Syrian Refugees by mb.      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
UN should prevent it all. UNHCR is UN, so too late. But of course there are companies who benefit, incl. the media.
          'Syria has become safer': Returning refugees explain urge to come back home      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
As the Syrian Army moves closer to regaining control over the last remaining militant-occupied areas, a growing number of refugees are returning to begin rebuilding their lives. RT asked some of them why they are coming home. Between January and October of last year, 700,000 Syrians returned home from abroad, according to UN data. One man who's already moved back to Aleppo told RT that normality was returning to the city as infrastructure and utilities were being repaired after more than seven years of civil war. "We opened a shop here," he said, upon his family's return to the city. "Thank God the electricity is back and life went back to normal again." Another man making the trip from Lebanon by bus said they're thinking of moving back because it's become safer.
          "Syrian Army Cuts off ISIL's Supply Lines from US-Run Al-Tanf to Sweida"      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
none
           Syrian troops shell Idlib to pave way for assault: monitor       Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syrian regime forces shelled rebel and jihadist positions in the northwestern province of Idlib on Thursday, a monitor said, as reinforcements arrived ahead...
          Nederlanders doneren 160.000 euro voor terugkeer ontheemden Syrië      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Nederlanders hebben tot nu toe ruim 160.000 euro gestort op giro 7244 om ontheemde Syriërs te helpen die thuiskomen in hun verwoeste huizen. Het Rode Kruis sloeg vorige week alarm vanwege de slechte omstandigheden waaronder Syriërs hun leven weer moeten opbouwen.
          Deployed US military personnel must disable geolocation on phones, watches and more      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

The Pentagon has banned deployed military personnel from using smartphones, smart watches fitness trackers and apps with geolocation enabled.

The move was made in response to a serious security risk identified in January, when publicly available Strava data was found to reveal both the locations and layouts of US military bases in countries like Syria and Afghanistan …

more…


          Syrian troops shell Idlib to pave way for assault: monitor      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syrian regime forces shelled rebel and jihadist positions in the northwestern province of Idlib on Thursday, a monitor said, as reinforcements arrived ahead of an expected assault.
          Suriye Hava Kuvvetleri IŞİD konvoyunu vurdu: 70 cihatçı öldürüldü      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Suriye Hava Kuvvetleri, IŞİD'e ait konvoyu hedef aldı. Saldırıda 70 cihatçı öldürüldü.

Suriye Hava Kuvvetleri, Süveyde'de cihatçılara ait konvoya saldırı gerçekleştirdi.

Saldırıda en az 70 cihatçı öldürülürken, Suriye uçaklarının IŞİD'e ait mühimmat ve silah yüklü kamyonları imha ettiği duyuruldu.

IŞİD geçtiğimiz haftalarda bölgede 40 kişiyi rehin almıştı. Rehin alınan kişilerin 14'ünün kadın 16'sının çocuk olduğu açıklanmıştı.

Suriye ordusu bölgede IŞİD'e karşı operasyonlara devam ediyor.


          08/08 Links Pt1: Senior UN official blasted for floating Israel's suspension; Trudeau Gave $50M To The Palestinians. Then They Sided With Saudi Arabia; Iran has only begun to feel the pain of Trump’s sanctions      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
From Ian:

Senior UN official blasted for floating Israel's suspension from world body
A United Nations human rights expert is under fire after suggesting Israel could have its member status at the world body suspended over alleged violations of international law.

Michael Lynk, the special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories, made the remarks at a side event during a July session of the Human Rights Council -- the controversial panel the U.S. withdrew from last month.

Audio of the event, “Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Systematic Violations with Impunity,” was obtained by Fox News from NGO Monitor -- a Jerusalem-based research institute analyzing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) claiming to advance humanitarian agendas.

In that audio, Lynk describes Israel as an “illegal occupant,” and says “the international community has not simply the ability, but also the responsibility and obligation to bring [settlements] to an end.”

He then goes on to say that there are “a number of tools” that the international community can use to bring Israel back in line.
Amb. Danon blasts official who suggested Israel be suspended from U.N.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon harshly criticized a suggestion by UN official Michael Lynk that Israel be suspended from the world body over what the United Nations characterizes as violations of international law, Fox News reported Wednesday.

Lynk's comments is “another reason why the [Human Rights Council] lost its credibility,” Danon said.

“Mahmoud Abbas knows that actions such as this do nothing to encourage peace," Danon said in an interview on Fox News. "In fact, it actively works against it, and encourages incitement and a culture of hate."

“The international community has not simply the ability, but also the responsibility and obligation to bring [settlements] to an end,” Lynk, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories for the UN, told a July session of the Human Rights Council, adding that there are “a number of tools” the international community can use to change Israeli actions.

“It may mean reviewing or suspending Israel’s privileges as a state member in the United Nations,” Lynk said. “It may mean that countries in the world, particularly those with significant trading or political relationships with Israel, would review their relationships with Israel in the military, political, diplomatic and economic investment spheres. It may mean that Israel would face some forms of restrictions in its abilities to wind up trading.”

The United States withdrew from the Human Rights Council in June, citing what it characterized as the body's biased treatment of Israel and its failure to address serious abuses throughout the world.
Elliott Abrams: Saudi Arabia and Canada
What was the Canadian action that led to this fierce reaction? A tweet from Canada’s foreign minister saying “Very alarmed to learn that Samar Badawi, Raif Badawi’s sister, has been imprisoned in Saudi Arabia,” and that “Canada stands together with the Badawi family in this difficult time, and we continue to strongly call for the release of both Raif and Samar Badawi.” And the following day a tweet from the foreign ministry saying “Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women’s rights activists in #SaudiArabia, including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful #humanrights activists.”

These are not harsh or shocking statements. The Raif Badawi case has long been a matter of international concern and comment. The United States commented in 2015 that “We are greatly concerned by reports that human rights activist Raif Badawi will start facing the inhumane punishment of a 1,000 lashes, in addition to serving a 10-year sentence in prison for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and religion. The United States Government calls on Saudi authorities to cancel this brutal punishment and to review Badawi’s case and sentence.” This is surely tougher than the Canadian comments. Moreover, the United States had no actual link to the case whereas Badawi’s wife and three children are now Canadian citizens. In addition, there has been plenty of comment about the current combination in Saudi Arabia of social and economic reform with the government’s absolute insistence on setting the pace of change—and punishing Saudis who seek to increase it. For example, just days before the kingdom allowed women to drive it punished women activists who had long sought that change.

The Saudi position amounts to this: no government may comment on anything that happens in the kingdom. Any such comment is a violation of Saudi sovereignty. Thus the phrase in the Saudi statement that the Canadian comments were “against basic international norms and all international protocols.”
PATHETIC: Trudeau Gave $50 MILLION Of Our Taxpayer Dollars To The Palestinians. Then They Sided With Saudi Arabia & Condemned Us
Once again, Justin Trudeau has let Canada get played like a fool.

As I recently reported, the Trudeau government gave $50 MILLION of our taxpayer dollars to the Palestinians.

“$12.65 million will go to the Palestinians through the United Nations and other ‘international organizations,’ while most of the rest will go towards other NGOs who will disperse the money.”

But did that get us any goodwill?

NOPE.

After relations between us and the Saudis broke down, the Palestinians sided with Saudi Arabia and condemned us:

As noted in a recent report, “Palestinian news agency Wafa reported on Monday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas stands with Saudi Arabia in a political row with Canada, rejecting what it called Ottawa’s “blatant interference” in Riyadh’s internal affairs. He also called on the Arab countries to stand by the Kingdom to reject and condemn the Canadian intervention in its internal affairs.”

So, Justin Trudeau took $50 million away from the Canadian People, and gave it to the Palestinians, who then sided with our opponent and condemned us.

How stupid can a government possibly be?

Why the hell are we giving our money to people who hate us and oppose everything we stand for?



Israel and Gaza: How did we get here?
In the years to follow, Hamas continued to misuse funds and supplies in Gaza. Over $120 million worth of concrete originally intended to develop civilian infrastructure was used to build terror tunnels to infiltrate Israel. These tunnels were used as early as 2006 in the kidnapping of IDF soldier, Sergeant 1st Class Gilad Shalit.

Since then, Hamas has continued to waste concrete on terror tunnels, and in the construction process, has killed more than 400 Palestinians, including at least 160 children. Attempts were made to smuggle weapons into Gaza via the Mediterranean Sea, which led to the imposition of a legal naval blockade. Additionally, rocket and mortar shell fire continued, inflicting wide-spread damage and trauma on Israel’s southern residents in particular, which lead to the development of the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

Today, the relationship between Israel and Gaza remains tense. Yet Gazan civilians are still allowed to enter Israel to receive medical treatment, pray, study, travel, and work on a daily basis. Israel regularly facilitates the transfer of humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, even in times of conflict, including during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Hamas remains accountable for controlling the Gaza Strip, and continues to put its terror-based goals above the needs of its people. They insist on inciting violence and wasting vital supplies on terror activity. The IDF will continue to operate as necessary to safeguard the security needs of the State of Israel, and is ready to defend Israeli civilians and sovereignty.
Hamas Source: 5-Year Truce to Include Return of 4 Israelis at Some Point
A truce between Hamas and Israel will be officially unveiled by the end of August, according to Turkey’s official news agency Anadolu, quoting a Hamas source.

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that as part of the deal, which was brokered by Egypt and the UN with input from Turkey and Qatar, Hamas and Israel would initially observe a two-week trial cease-fire.

The truce, which is planned to last five years, would include the release of four Israelis: the remains of two fallen IDF soldiers and two living, mentally handicapped men who wondered across the Gaza border including two soldiers.

The Anadolu report did not specify at which stage of the truce the release would be carried out, nor whether or not it would involve releasing Hamas terrorists who are behind bars in Israel.

Under the agreement’s terms, according to the same Hamas official, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip would be opened on a permanent basis, and Israeli restrictions on the Kerem Shalom border crossing would also be eased “dramatically.”
IDF closes roads near Gaza over fears of revenge attack
The military closed off a highway in southern Israel on Wednesday out of concerns that the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip may open fire at Israeli vehicles as revenge for an exchange the day before in which the army killed two Hamas members.

The military said the decision to close Route 25 and several smaller service roads near the border was made in light of recent threats by Hamas and after IDF soldiers saw that the terror group had begun abandoning several of its positions in the Strip — a move Hamas generally takes as a precaution before carrying out attacks against Israel.

“In light of Hamas statements and the evacuation of Hamas outposts, the Southern Command decided to increase readiness and to close a number of roadways in the Gaza periphery,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
Terrorists shoot at civilians near Gaza
Terrorists from the Gaza Strip opened fire on civilian workers engaged in the construction of the barrier along the security fence near the northern Gaza Strip Wednesday afternoon.

According to the IDF, an engineering vehicle was struck by gunfire from Gaza.

No injuries were reported.

Earlier Tuesday, the IDF Southern Command decided to reinforce the Gaza Division and close several access routes in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip in response to threats from the Hamas terrorist organization.
UN humanitarian agency calls on Israel to let fuel into Gaza Strip
A UN aid agency on Wednesday urged Israel to let emergency fuel into the Gaza Strip to avert the shutdown of hospitals and sanitation facilities.

Jamie McGoldrick, from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, called Israel’s restriction of fuel imports “a dangerous practice, with grave consequences on the rights of people in Gaza.”

Israel halted the supply of petroleum and natural gas to Gaza last week after there was no pause in incendiary kites and balloons launched from Gaza into southern Israel, arson attacks that have gone on for months accompanied by border clashes. The violence has at times escalated into exchanges of fire on the border, rocket attacks from Gaza on southern Israeli cities, and Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets.

Israel temporarily suspended fuel shipments to Gaza in July for similar reasons. The airborne arson attacks have started hundreds of fires that consumed thousands of acres of farmland and countryside, causing millions of shekels in damage.
Hearing the real story from Jewish National Fund-USA
A tour around “the Gaza Envelope,” the western Negev, reveals a conventional life dealing with unconventional circumstances.

Along open roads are bomb shelters, some even painted with beautiful patterns to make something so unnatural not seem intimidating to children who rely on fleeing to these shelters often on a daily basis – or even multiple times a day.

Some playgrounds are indoors, like the Indoor Recreation Center in Sderot. With a mere 15 seconds to run for cover, playing out in the open is a luxury children of the South can ill afford.

“We established the world’s first protected playground with the amazing Jewish National Fund-USA, spearheaded by CEO Russell F. Robinson, who invested heavily in the playground so children could play without fear,” remarked Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi.

“Sadly, the hundreds of kids who come here every day are used to this,” playground manager Shmuel Ohayon laments. “They are used to frequent drills in school, running to bomb shelters at home, and if there’s trauma, they have psychologists to speak to. Seventy-four percent of them have some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD].”
A Democratic Nation State of the Jewish People
As Prime Minister Netanyahu's Advisor for World Communities, part of my job is to listen to what people around the world have to say. Much of what I have heard from critics following the passage of Basic Law: Israel - Nation State of the Jewish People is mistaken and misinformed. The accusations about the new law's effects on Israeli democracy have no connection to the actual content or context of the law.

The new Basic Law was passed to fill a constitutional void. Israel, like the United Kingdom, lacks a written constitution and instead relies on a set of basic laws. Israel already has basic laws to protect individual freedoms (such as Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty). Israel lacked a basic law defining the identity and purpose of the state.

During the seven-year debate surrounding the Nation State Law, there was a broad consensus that a basic law was needed to define the identity of the country. However, the new basic law does not contradict or supersede the basic laws that protect and guarantee individual rights of all citizens regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender.

The new law does not erode a single right or protection of any minority. It actually reaffirms Israel's commitment to minority groups.

The new law also, for the first time, constitutionally enshrines Arabic as a language with "special status." It affirms that "the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect will not be harmed."
Isi Leibler: Hysteria over nation-state law
Most Israeli Arabs are happy to live in Israel – the only democracy in a region of barbaric conflict and dictatorships. They enjoy a higher standard of living and better opportunities than they would in any Arab country. An increasing number are engaged in professions and one need only enter an Israeli hospital where Arab and Jewish medical staff treat Jewish and Arab patients on a basis of equality, in order to repudiate slanders of apartheid or racism.

The rule of law applies to Arab citizens as it does to any other Israeli. They enjoy freedom of religion and do not live in fear of punitive amputations or decapitation as prevails in much of the region.

This law was designed to ratify classical Zionism, reject post-Zionism and reiterate that Israel is a Jewish state. Yet not a single clause can be construed as racist, denigrates minorities or suggests that they will be denied state support. Israel remains a democratic Jewish state with or without the law, which merely seeks to reinforce its identity.

There are legitimate grounds for criticizing the law, particularly errors of omission by the government due to a lack of foresight, but the hyperbole used by some of those opposing it is malicious and will foment hatred within Israel and provide aid to those nations seeking to besmirch us.
The masquerade is over
What's all the fuss about? The spirit of the nation-state law has engulfed Israel for decades already. The law says that the land of Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people; and that the state established in this land is the nation-state of the Jewish people in which they are realizing their natural, cultural, religious, and historical right to self-determination. According to the law, the realization of the right to self-determination in the State of Israel is exclusive to the Jewish people.

Here are a few other trivialities: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Hebrew is the national language, and Arabic has a special status. The nation will be open to aliyah [Jewish immigration] and to an ingathering of the exiles. The state will be responsible for ensuring the safety of its citizens and other members of the Jewish people who are in distress or imprisoned because of their Jewishness or their Israeli citizenship. The state will work in the Diaspora to uphold the ties between it and the Jewish people abroad and will work to preserve the Jewish people's cultural, historical, and religious legacy in the Diaspora. The state sees national value in developing Jewish settlement and will take steps to encourage and promote new and existing settlements.

Any honest person will admit that the nation-state law is a clear expression of the political consensus in Israel. Most members of the Zionist parties would certainly sign a declaration like this one, if it wouldn't cause a political scandal. What's more, the vast majority of high school graduates can't understand the objection to it.
EU skips over Israel
The European Union has formulated a plan to establish a transportation infrastructure to connect Gaza to Judea and Samaria without informing or involving elements in Israel.

According to today's report on Reshet Bet as part of the plan it is proposed to build huge infrastructures also including "Area C" - places retained in the Oslo Accords under full Israeli control.

Formulation of the plan in the European Union took 18 months and is scheduled to take 30 years to implement. According to the plan, air- and seaports will be established, plus an extensive network of railways and roads that would connect all parts of Judea and Samaria to Gaza.

Although the plan includes many areas under Israeli control including in East Jerusalem, the EU did not bother to update the Civil Administration or other elements in Israel.

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said the plan was known to him. "I made it clear that Gaza will not connect to Judea and Samaria. All their plans are on paper and are completely unacceptable," Katz said in an interview with Reshet Bet.
Brazil presidential front-runner vows to close Palestinian embassy
Brazil’s front-running presidential candidate has announced he will close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia in addition to moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“Is Palestine a country? Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here,” Jair Bolsonaro, a lawmaker from the Social Liberal Party, declared on Tuesday when the National Congress reopened after a three-week recess. “You do not negotiate with terrorists,” he added.

He particularly slammed the fact that Palestinian Authority diplomatic representation is located less than two miles (3.2 kilometers) from the Planalto Palace, Brazil’s government headquarters.

The right-wing lawmaker is a strong admirer and supporter of Israel. Elections are scheduled to be held in Brazil on October 7.

Brazil recognized Palestine as an independent state in 2010 as part of former far-left President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva’s alignment with extremist governments such as Iran and Libya. At that time, Brazil donated $10 million to the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip and is vowed to Israel’s destruction. Lula’s political heir, Dilma Rousseff, continued the anti-Israel sentiment during her term until she was impeached in 2016.
French President Macron cancels Israel visit
A year ago, Macron said he would visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the spring of 2018 to push for the renewal of Israeli-Palestinians peace talks. The visit was then postponed from the spring to the fall, and has now been cancelled entirely.

Paris did not provide a reason for the cancellation, but it is likely tied to the political crisis Macron is facing at home after his bodyguard was filmed assaulting May Day protesters.

The incident sparked the biggest political crisis of Macron's tenure. Critics say Macron’s office failed to properly punish the head of his security detail or refer him promptly to judicial authorities over the incident. They say Macron’s handling of the case shows he has lost touch with ordinary people since taking office 14 months ago.

Footage showed the bodyguard, Alexandre Benalla, hitting a male protester and dragging away a woman while off duty and wearing a riot helmet and police tags.

“I alone bear responsibility. They can come and get me. I answer to the French people,” Macron told a gathering of members of parliament from his party.
Israel is suspected again of assassinating an enemy’s rocket scientist. Do these killings pay off?
Does the plan work?

Sometimes it backfires. The attempts on Arafat fed his legend and lent him stature among Palestinians. Israeli commandos in 1988 killed Khalil al-Wazir, also known as Abu Jihad, in Tunis in 1988. Abu Jihad, Arafat’s second-in-command, also was among the Palestinian leaders seeking accommodation with Israel. The killing did nothing to stop the first intifada. Israeli leaders believed that Abu Jihad was directing its violence, but it was a homegrown affair.

Other times, when a critical actor is killed, it appears to have results. The 1996 assassination of Ayyash, “The Engineer,” was followed by a rash of bus bombings believed to have been planned before his death – and then several years of relative quiet.

Schanzer said the policy may work in conjunction with an overall strategy. The campaign against Iran’s nuclear scientists, he said, was coupled with cyber warfare that for a time crippled Iran’s uranium enrichment and tough sanctions that slowed its nuclear program.

“Israelis have always used targeted assassination as not the only means but as one element of a broader strategy,” he said.
Russia and Israel reach understanding on Golan border line
Israel and Russia have reached an understanding to ensure the preservation of the 1974 cease-fire line on the Golan Heights, according to Israel’s Ambassador to Russia Gary Koren.

According to a TASS Russian News Agency report, Koren – who met with Russian journalists in Stavropol in southern Russia Monday – said, “we coordinated the arrangement under which Russia pledged to make sure, as it were, that the Syrian Army will not cross the cease-fire line established under the 1974 agreement. It looks like everything is functioning for the time being. I hope it will be so in the future, as well.”

Koren said Israel insisted on the full withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria.

The 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement between Israel and Syria, which followed the Yom Kippur War, separated Israel and Syrian troops and created a 235-km. buffer zone in the Golan Heights. Israel demands the buffer zone be respected, even as it is deeply concerned that Iranian or Shia forces moving south with Syrian President Bashar Assad’s troops may try to violate it.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed during his visit to Moscow in July that respecting the Separation of Forces Agreement was a red line for Israel in Syria.
Israeli UN Envoy Urges New Head of South Lebanon Peacekeeping Force to Push Back Harder Against Hezbollah
Italian Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col replaced Irish Maj. Gen. Michael Beary as the new commander of the UN peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon on Tuesday — a development that was welcomed by a top Israeli diplomat.

“UNIFIL is an important force, with more than 10,000 soldiers,” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said in a statement. “Its more robust mandate is designed to push back against the blatant, unauthorized arms buildup of Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran, in southern Lebanon. With a new commander, there is a new opportunity to fulfill more of this important mission.”

Danon’s office explained: “UNIFIL’s mandate has been to restore peace and security to the Israeli – Lebanese border. Following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, its mandate was expanded to include monitoring the area between the Blue Line and Litani River, and keep it free of armed personnel, other than Lebanese government or UNIFIL forces. Last September, the US and Israel worked together to further expand UNIFIL’s mandate by authorizing patrols with Lebanese forces and requiring reports when peacekeepers run into Hezbollah roadblocks.”

Recent UNIFIL commanders — including Beary, who assumed the position in July 2016 — have all served terms of 2-3 years.
Druze-Israeli advances as Iraqi foe refuses to fight
Israel’s Amit Mdah advanced to the semifinals at the IFMA Youth Muaythai World Championships in Bangkok this week when his Iraqi opponent refused to compete in their quarterfinal match.

Mdah, 17, a resident of the village of Kisra-Sumei in the Western Galilee, holds the European title and won a bronze medal at the World Youth Championships a year ago. This time he was guaranteed a medal after his Iraqi rival Mohammed Jalal did not appear in the battle against him. Before that he won 10-9 against Hamdan Mohammed from the United Arab Emirates.

The protest of the Druze community in the wake of the Nation-State Law occupies one of the main topics of discussion in Israeli society these days. However, Druze athletes continue to represent the country successfully, bring honor, and also suffer from anti-Israeli behavior by competitors from Arab countries.

Mdah, who competes in the under-57 kg category, faced Russian Mohammed Yusuf Momonhomov late Tuesday in the semifinals.

The Israeli delegation to the championships includes eight male athletes and two female athletes, aged 11 to 17. Before the competition, the young athletes were in a training camp in Thailand.
Israel helps PA Arabs make pilgrimage to Mecca
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), headed by Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rokun, prepares every year for the passage of thousands of Arabs from all over Judea and Samaria to Mecca, Saudi Arabia via the Allenby Bridge.

In a post to the Arabic COGAT Facebook page, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun wrote to the Palestinian Authority residents: "We are prepared for a quick and easy passage for all the pilgrims from Judea and Samaria who are observing the holiday. I wish you and the Muslim world a pleasant and happy journey, and a blessed holiday."

Approximately 5,200 PA residents are expected to cross the Allenby Bridge this week to make the pilgrimage to Mecca, which is known as the Hajj. The pilgrimage is being coordinated with the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and the Airports Authority. 88 buses were organized to bring the pilgrims across on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

In addition, a special area was established in the city of Jericho, called "State of Al-Khawaja", to arrange and register residents in advance for the Allenby Bridge buses. From the Allenby Bridge the pilgrims continue on buses through Jordan to Mecca.
Palestinians jailed for trying to rob biblical archaeological site
Three Palestinians were sent to 36 days in prison on Tuesday for damaging and attempting to rob a major archaeological site in the northern West Bank last month.

The men, whose names haven’t been released, were arrested at 1:00 a.m. on July 18 at the location of the ancient town of Sebastia, which contains overlapping layers of history dating back nearly 3,000 years.

They were caught by an inspector for the archaeology division of the Civil Administration, the Israeli body that oversees civilian affairs in the West Bank, while carrying digging equipment and a metal detector. The site, just outside the city of Nablus, was found vandalized, Hebrew-language media reported.

A hilltop capital of biblical kings later ruled by Roman conquerors, crusaders, and Ottomans, Sebastia — also known nowadays as the Samaria National Park — is caught between conflicting Israeli and Palestinian jurisdictions, and the site has been largely neglected by both sides for the past two decades. Beyond the decay, unauthorized diggers and thieves have taken advantage of the lack of oversight to make off with priceless artifacts.
The New Face of Palestinian Protest: Ahed Tamimi
We're all looking for role models, and news we can trust. We deserve to know the full story, so we can make our own decisions. AJ+ interviewed Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi. Here's what they left out. #MonitorTheMedia


Congress Forces Al Jazeera, Other Foreign Media to Disclose Ties
Congress recently approved new legislation that would force foreign-owned media organizations such as Qatar's Al Jazeera to register as a foreign agent under U.S. law.

The legislation, included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, would mandate that foreign-owned media organizations register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, a move that would shine greater sunlight on these organizations' ties to foreign governments.

Al Jazeera in particular has become a poster child for those in Congress backing the legislation. A delegation of lawmakers, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.), have been championing the legislation for months, arguing that Al Jazeera and others should be forced to admit their close ties to foreign governments.

Proponents of the legislation argue that media outlets such as Al Jazeera have tried to hide their agenda behind the guise of objective journalism. Al Jazeera, for instance, recently faced intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill for running a secret, months-long spy operation on American Jewish activists and their allies in Congress on order from the Qatari government.
Iran has only begun to feel the pain of Trump’s sanctions
As the Iranian regime reels under the strain of renewed sanctions, the Trump administration is already preparing the next phase.

We see too little of it in our press, but Iranians are increasingly taking to the streets and the clerics’ hold on power is weakening.

And it’s about to get worse for the regime. A new round of US sanctions, announced in advance, kicked in Monday. It restricts currency transfers and bans trade in gold, silver, aluminum, steel and other metals.

Most of the new sanctions have already been factored in, changing the way the world does business in Iran. European politicians, who’ve sanctified President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal, are calling on companies to stay put and do business in Iran, as the seven-party Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action dictates.

But business is business.

After the nuke deal was signed, France’s Renault was eager to position itself for the day all sanctions would be removed, cutting deals to dominate Iran’s car market. Anticipating Monday’s sanctions, however, Renault announced an end to all its Iran businesses in July — even though it sells no cars in America.
Experts: New U.S. Sanctions on Iran Impose Cost on Regime’s Hostile Behavior
The first round of U.S. sanctions reinstated against Iran this week makes clear to the Islamic Republic the Trump administration's willingness to financially squeeze the regime until it curbs its destabilizing behavior, according to regional experts.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned that firms doing business with Iran would be blocked from the U.S. market as new sanctions hit the country despite appeals from Washington's allies.

The sanctions are part of a steadily increasing pressure campaign implemented after Trump in May decided to withdraw the United States from the Obama-era Iran nuclear accord that sought to limit Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

The administration will ratchet up pressure on Tehran's economy in early November when U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil are due to snapback.

The renewed U.S. sanctions go into effect as protests escalate against Iran's hardline ruling party over its immense military spending, which has crippled an already weak Iranian economy.
Trump's Ambassador To Germany Scores Another Victory Against Iran
U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is quietly convincing German companies to discontinue business with Iran.

Grenell has scored a series of victories in recent days by successfully lobbying against a $400 million payment from the German central bank to the Islamic Republic and convincing car company Daimler to cancel expansion plans in the country.

Many German businesses rushed to do business with Iran after the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015.

The Trump administration, however, has pulled out of the nuclear deal and announced Monday that it would re-impose the same economic sanctions on Iran that the Obama administration removed as part of the deal. The new economic sanctions will limit Iranian ability to use the U.S. dollar, to trade in precious metals, and target its import/export businesses to the United States.

The sanctions also affect any business that wishes do business with U.S. entities.

“The Trump administration intends to fully enforce the sanctions reimposed against Iran, and those who fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences,” the White House warned in a Monday release.
Will US sanctions really stop Iran from backing terror?
Will the economic sanction imposed by Washington on Iran cause it to abandon the path of terror? For the time being, as one expert told Israel Hayom on Tuesday, the answer appears to be no.

"To understand the influence of sanctions on the Iranian regime's behavior, you must first understand the modus operandi of Iranian banks and the Revolutionary Guard Corps,"explained Yossi Mansharof, a researcher of Iran and Shiite militias at the University of Haifa's Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf Studies.

"More than a few Iranian banks were included in the sanctions that were in place before the nuclear deal in 2015, because they were involved in money laundering for the Revolutionary Guards. Over the past six years, several European banks have been fined billions of dollars by the American authorities after admitting to helping the Iranian regime bypass the sanctions and launder billions of dollars," he said.

"The method that keeps recurring in Iran is the use of straw companies, which the U.S. authorities keep trying to expose, just as we saw in the United Arab Emirates recently. The U.S. administration still has its work cut out for it in this department, it appears," Mansharof said.
Yazidi Slavery, Child Trafficking, Death Threats to Journalist: Should Turkey Remain in NATO?
Addressing the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on December 9, 2015, Mirza Ismail, founder and chairman of the Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International, said, in part:

"We Yezidis are desperate for your immediate help and support. During our six-thousand-year history, Yezidis have faced 74 genocides in the Middle East, including the ongoing genocide. Why? Simply because we are not Muslims. We are an ancient and proud people from the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization and the birth place of many of the world's religions. And here we are today, in 2015, on the verge of annihilation. In response to our suffering around the World there is profound, obscene silence. We Yezidis are considered 'Infidels' in the eyes of Muslims, and so they are encouraged to kill, rape, enslave, and convert us."
...
"I am pleading with each and every one of you in the name of humanity to lend us your support at this crucial time to save the indigenous and peaceful peoples of the Middle East."


Three years after this impassioned plea, Yazidis are still being enslaved and sold by ISIS, with Turkish involvement, while the life of the journalist who exposed the crime is threatened. Reuniting the kidnapped Yazidis with their families and bringing the perpetrators to justice should be a priority of civilized governments worldwide, not only to help stop the persecution and enslavement of Yazidis, but also to defeat jihad.

The question is whether NATO member Turkey is a part of the solution or part of the problem. Should Turkey, with the path it is on, be allowed even to remain a member of NATO?
Trump Admin Offers $10 Million Bounty on Top al Qaeda Leaders
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it is offering $10 million for information leading to the location, arrest, or conviction of two top al Qaeda leaders, doubling the bounty from its previous amount of five million dollars.

The bounty was first placed on the al Qaeda leaders in December 2000, but the United States has yet to apprehend or locate the individuals.

"The U.S. Department of State's Rewards for Justice Program is increasing reward offers for information leading to the location, arrest, or conviction of al-Qaida key leaders Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Sayf al-Adl to $10 million," the State Department said in a release. "This represents a doubling of the previous reward offers of $5 million each announced in December 2000."

"Both individuals served as members of al-Qaida's leadership council, and al-Adl also served on the group's military committee," according to the State Department.

The terrorist leaders were initially charged by a federal grand jury in November 1998 for their role in the bombing of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and in Nairobi, Kenya.



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          8/9/2018: WORLD: ASSAD’S WIFE STARTS BREAST CANCER TREATMENT      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Syria’s first lady Asma Assad has begun treatment for breast cancer, the presidency said Wednesday. Such public announcements are uncommon in the Arab world, where cancer is considered a taboo. The presidency posted on its Facebook page a photo of...
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Several families from wartorn countries, including Syria and Yemen, have been flocking to the Shahama centre to rectify their residency status as amnesty permits one-year visa to them. At the Shahama amnesty centre in Abu Dhabi, Gulf News spoke with a...
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Almost 35,000 candidates are to contest in town council elections next month, in Syria’s first local polls since war broke out in 2011, a leading newspaper reported yesterday. “The candidacy committees from the provinces accepted 34,553 candidacy...
          8/9/2018: Region: Idlib assault could force 700,000 to flee — UN      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
An anticipated Syrian regime offensive against rebels in Idlib province could displace more than 700,000 people, far more than were uprooted in a recent battle in the southwest of Syria, a UN-led group of health agencies said in a monthly report. Many...
          8/9/2018: Region: more on gulfnews.com      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

Syria is a moral defeat for the West Al Assad’s mindless lust for power Surrender deals in south a huge gamble Hezbollah role in south exposes limits of US policy
          8/9/2018: Region: Asma begins cancer treatment      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   
Syria’s presidency says Asma Assad, wife of Bashar Al Assad has begun treatment for breast cancer. The presidency posted on its Facebook page yesterday a photo of Al Assad sitting next to his wife in what appeared to be a hospital room with an IV in...
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          The Consequences of Chaos Syrias Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   



The Consequences of Chaos: Syria?s Humanitarian Crisis and the Failure to Protect by Elizabeth G. Ferris, Kemal Kirisci
English | 2016 | ISBN: 08157...

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very best job <a href="http://guanyembenetusser.org/colabora/#duty" rel="nofollow">rxmeds hub order viagra professional online</a> “The United States has quietly been testing the Syrian opposition’s ability to deliver food rations, medical kits and money to rebel-held areas as Washington prepares to send arms to the rebel fighters.”
          This one's different: Iranian people are poised to take their country back      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   


The was the sound of Iranian protesters taking to the streets by the thousands chanting, "DEATH TO THE DICTATOR!" Not death to America and not death to Israel, but death to the dictator. Now, we've seen protests against the Iranian regime in the past. In 2009, during the Obama administration, it seemed like the sounds of regime change were blowing in the wind. But nothing ever materialized. I think dropping sanctions, bailing out the mullahs with billions, might of had just a little bit to do with that.

RELATED: 'Down with Palestine': The people of Iran are protesting in the streets

But something different has been happening over the past week. The protests in 2009 were made up of mostly the youth, but young and old alike are hitting the streets today. "Death to the dictator"?? There's no Bill of Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Saying things like that can mean your own death. But they're doing it anyway. Why are they taking the risk?

Ever since President Trump hinted that he might scrap the nuke deal, the Rial has lost 99% of it's value. It's now being traded on the black market at 112,000 to 1 U.S. Dollar. Iranians are rushing to gold dealers to save what little they have before it all comes crashing down. The demand for gold in Iran has tripled. The price of food has shot up over 50%. Water shortages are breaking out all over the country. Woman continue to be arrested for getting caught outside without a head scarf.

The Iranian people have been pushed to the brink.

The Iranian people have been pushed to the brink.

Yeah, the Iranians are pissed. They're tired of seeing all the sanction money that was freed up after the nuke deal flow to groups like Hezbollah, Hamas and the war in Syria instead of fixing their own economy. A frustrated bus driver in Iran said this via Twitter:

How dare the regime sends money to Hezbollah and Palestine when the country is in trouble. Our revolution's aim wasn't to support dirty Hassan Nasrallah (leader of Hezbollah) while we're being oppressed here. Enough.

The first wave of "snapback" sanctions went into effect yesterday, but even more sanctions targeting the countries oil industry are set to hit in November. Things are going to escalate. Civil unrest is on the rise. The Iranian Regime has been a hostile adversary of the United States since 1979. If the Iranian people successfully take their country back, that could be changing very soon.


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          'Living in a fantasy': A close US ally is investigating everyone named John and trying to arrest US military leaders      Cache   Translate Page   Web Page Cache   

erdogan

  • The Turkish government claims to have new evidence that the US was involved in the 2016 failed coup attempt after discovering a Word document entitled "coup directive," which was authored by someone named John.
  • Ankara is investigating everyone named John who was in country at the time of the coup attempt, and pro-government lawyers have even filed charges against several high-ranking US military officers. 
  • The charges are possibly in response to the Trump administration recently imposing sanctions on two high-level Turkish officials over the detention of American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who Ankara has accused of espionage. 

The Turkish government claims to have new evidence that the US was involved in the 2016 failed coup attempt, according to a Tuesday report from Ahval, an allegation the US State Department called "absurd." 

Turkish investigators claim to have discovered an internal Word document entitled "coup directive," which was authored by someone named John, and last updated about a week before the July 2016 failed coup attempt aimed at overthrowing President Tayyip Erdogan, Ahval reported, citing a pro-Turkish government newspaper called Yeni Safak. 

As such, Ankara is investigating everyone named John who was in the country at the time of coup attempt, including former US ambassador John Bass and Air Force Col. John Walker, who was commander at the US İncirlik Air Base at the time, Ahval reported. 

Ankara claims Walker was likely the author because the document contained a lot of military knowledge, Ahval reported. 

Walker left his post at Incirlik in 2017, and is now a legislative assisstant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford. 

Col John Walker

"Any reports that U.S. government or military personnel had any previous knowledge or involvement in a Turkey coup attempt are baseless and completely false," Col. Patrick S. Ryder, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Business Insider in an email. 

The US State Department rejected Turkey's allegations too.

“We have seen the media reports," a State Department spokesman told Business Insider. "As we have said before, the notion that current or former employees of the United States Government were involved in the failed coup attempt is absurd.”

Ankara says the Word document was discovered in the inbox of an aide to General Mehmet Partigöç who has since been implicated in the coup attempt, Ahval reported. 

"The coup was tragic, but had nothing, repeat, nothing to do with the United States or a dude named John," Aaron Stein, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, told Business Insider in an email. "The factors that led to the coup stems form internal issues exacerbated by weak institutions and coup proofing."

"There are elements in Turkey that insist on living in a fantasy world, where Ankara is under threat, or that dark forces are colluding to bring down the government," Stein said. 

And Turkey's accusations don't stop there. 

Stars and Stripes reported on Wednesday that pro-Turkish government lawyers at the Association for Social Justice and Aid have filed charges against multiple high-ranking US military officers and non-commissioned officers connected to Incirlik Air Base, and are even trying to stop all flights from the base so that they can search the premises.