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February 18, 2019

Feb 18 10:30

Dramatic video shows fireworks explosion at market in Tultepec, Mexico

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oops!

Feb 18 10:27

EU to blacklist eight Russians over Azov Sea stand-off - sources

The European Union will blacklist eight more Russians over a stand-off with Ukraine in the Azov Sea, diplomatic sources said on Friday.

EU foreign ministers will discuss on Monday further EU support for Ukraine, especially the south-eastern regions most affected by the conflict. Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Kiev in 2014 and backed separatist rebels in Donetsk and Luhansk industrial regions.

Last November, the Russian navy captured 24 Ukrainian sailors and their vessels in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black and Azov seas. Moscow has not heeded EU calls to release them.



Emigrate While You Still Can - Finca Bayano In Panama!

Finco Bayano
Feb 18 10:27

Trafigura halts oil trade with Venezuela - source

Global commodities firm Trafigura has decided to stop trading oil with Venezuela due to U.S. sanctions on the OPEC nation’s energy sector, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Feb 18 10:26

Why Kashmir attack could spark a military confrontation in South Asia

The militant attack in India-ruled Kashmir has once again put New Delhi and Islamabad on a war footing. Analysts at the Munich Security Conference say it is a setback to those who wish to see lasting peace in the region.

Feb 18 10:26

What’s Not Being Said About the Venezuela Oil War

So far much of the discussion over what is driving the bizarre Trump Administration intervention into Venezuela centers around the comments of National Security Adviser John Bolton to claim it’s about oil. In a previous analysis we looked at the prospects of the huge Chavez Basin, formerly the Orinoco Basin, said to hold the world’s largest reserves of oil by some definitions. Now it’s becoming clearer that this de facto war is about far more than control of the heavy oil of the Chavez Basin in Venezuela.

Feb 18 10:25

FEDS WANT RESEARCHERS TO USE AI AND GPS TRACKERS TO PREDICT “RISKY” BEHAVIOR

The National Institute for Justice, the research arm of the Department of Justice, has published an advertisement for a grant seeking proposals for projects that deploy artificial intelligence to reduce recidivism among the five million people under the control of parole and probation across the United States. A few of the example projects NIJ highlights sound similar to interventions some advocates of criminal legal system reforms have been suggesting in recent years, for example using risk assessment tools to predict when someone might need services, instead of to make punitive recommendations. Some of the NIJ’s other areas of interest are downright frightening.

One example project highlights the use of artificial intelligence to mine data from GPS shackles people are often required to wear as a condition of their release from incarceration, and to use those data to make predictions about when someone may be engaged in “potentially risky behavior.”



Feb 18 10:24

WORLDWIDE EFFORT TO RESTRICT EVERYONE'S RIGHT TO TRAVEL IS CLOSE TO A REALITY

According to a recently published white paper there is a worldwide effort to restrict the right to travel of everyone. And you will not believe how the U.N. is involved.

A recent article in Papers Please.org warns that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) wants to check every airline passenger's background and send airlines an "Authority to Carry" before a passenger is allowed to board a plane.

Feb 18 10:24

Hezbollah in S. America: Mike Pompeo’s Big Lie

It’s late 2002, early 2003 again. This time, instead of the evil (former CIA asset) Saddam Hussein posing a dire threat to America, it’s Iran and Hezbollah stationed in Venezuela.

Throw in the perennial enemy of a post-colonial Caribbean, Castro’s Cuba, and we have the makings for yet another military intervention on our hands, according to Sec. State Pompeo.

Feb 18 10:23

FIRST US MILITARY PLANES LAND NEAR VENEZUELA BORDER WITH AID IN DEFIANCE OF MADURO

The Pentagon is now publicizing its first military airlift of Venezuelan aid delivered to the Colombian town of Cucuta on Saturday, which sits on the border shared by the two countries, despite embattled President Nicolas Maduro vowing to keep such "unauthorized" aid out by stationing troops along the border.

Washington is using aid delivery to undermine the socialist Maduro government in Caracas, which has blasted US-led attempts to foment coup and fuel unrest.

According to the AP it's certainly not the first shipment of official US humanitarian aid; however, it is the first highly significant and symbolic moment it was brought in on massive US Air Force cargo planes.

04-4134 & two other #USAF C-17As transported over 200 tons of #USAID consisted of nutritional supplements for 3,500 children, and hygiene kits for 25,000 people for 2 months. They flew from Homestead AFB, #Miami, #Florida to Cúcuta, #Colombia close to the border with #Venezuela. pic.twitter.com/5NJvvvNx7d

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oddly enough, the article doesn't at all mention about US sanctions on Venezuela's leaders and businesses, plus the downturn of oil prices, engineered by the Trump Whitehouse, as major causes of hyperinflation, and shortages of food and medicine.

That last paragraph is, perhaps, very telling; if Maduro will not allow the aid in, it has been a deliberately "photo-opped gesture" by the US to exploit how bad the current Maduro government is, by now allowing the aid to get to the people in need in Venezuela.

And why?!? Take a look at the source of the article, not zerohedge.com's utilizing this in their article.

Feb 18 10:23

Syrian Kurds should begin dialog with Damascus: Russia

Russia says Syria’s Kurdish militants should begin dialog with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the United States — hitherto backing them on the ground — is preparing to withdraw from the Arab country.

“If there are no foreign troops on the ground of Syria’s northeastern part, I think that the best solution would be to start up a dialog between the Kurds and Damascus,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday, adding, “We support this dialog between Damascus and the Kurds.”

Most of the Kurdish militants in northern Syria are members of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a US-backed militant group that forms the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF, which has been fighting against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, has set up what is effectively a semi-autonomous administration in northern Syria during the country’s seven-year conflict.



Feb 18 10:22

India on alert for communal strife after Kashmir attack

The Indian government is on alert following a recent deadly attack on Indian forces in Kashmir that has triggered a wave of communal violence against Kashmiris residing in different parts of India.

India’s Interior Ministry on Sunday ordered increased safety measures for Kashmiri civilians following reports of mob attacks on them in various parts of the South Asian country.

The ministry issued an advisory to all states to “ensure their (the Kashmiris’) safety and security and maintain communal harmony.”

Feb 18 10:22

Bolton pledges support for India's 'heavy price' response

US National Security Adviser John Bolton has expressed Washington's support for New Delhi after India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed a strong response to those behind a recent deadly car bomb attack in Kashmir.

In a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, Bolton said the Trump administration supports New Delhi’s right to self-defense against cross-border terrorism, Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

The Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for Thursday’s deadly car bomb attack, which killed at least 44 Indian paramilitary troops in Kashmir.

India accused Pakistan of harboring militants behind the Thursday’s attack, which was the deadliest bombing in three decades of bloodshed in Indian-controlled Kashmir. India says it has incontrovertible evidence of Pakistan’s involvement, a charge Islamabad dismisses.

Feb 18 10:22

Sofas and vinyl flooring are poisoning children: Scientists find high levels of toxins that affect brain development in kids exposed to flame retardants

Fire-resistant foam used in sofas and vinyl flooring are poisoning children, a study warned.

Kids who live in public housing, where those materials are commonplace, have toxin levels in their blood and urine up to 15 times higher than those who aren't exposed.

Researchers warn this is yet another reason driving health disparities between the wealthy and poor: flame retardant chemicals (known as PBDEs) are linked to neurodevelopmental delays, obesity, endocrine and thyroid disruption, cancer and other diseases.

Dr Heather Stapleton of Duke University, who presented here findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference this week, warned that despite attempts to curb these chemicals, they are still pervasive.

What's more, few studies have investigated how or whether these chemicals seep into the bloodstreams of children who are exposed to them.

Feb 18 10:20

Trump demands Europe 'take back' and lock up 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria or he warns the US will be forced to release the terrorists to 'permeate Europe'

President Trump wants America's European allies to put more than 800 ISIS fighters captured in Syria on trial.

'The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial,' the president tweeted late Saturday.

'The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them.'

Trump continued: 'The U.S. does not want to watch as these ISIS fighters permeate Europe, which is where they are expected to go.

'We do so much, and spend so much - Time for others to step up and do the job that they are so capable of doing. We are pulling back after 100% Caliphate victory!'



Feb 18 10:20

California issues warning to avoid skiing over Presidents' Day weekend because there's TOO MUCH snow to keep up with plow demand on dangerous mountain roads

Keen snow sports fans in California and across the West Coast have been ordered to stay home this holiday weekend because ski resorts were taking in too much snow.

Winter weather enveloping California's mountains for a fourth straight day Friday kept skiers from hitting the slopes at the start of the Presidents' Day holiday weekend, with snow so deep that plows could not tackle it and cities scrambled to find places to pile it.

Mammoth Mountain was about to break a more than 30-year record for monthly snowfall and skiers and snowboarders should be able to reach the slopes as long as they have chains or snow tires, resort spokesman Justin Romano said.

Feb 18 10:19

Denmark Rejects US Call to Take Back Daesh Fighters, Germany Notes Legal Issues

A day before US President Donald Trump urged EU allies to take back over 800 Daesh* fighters that had been captured in Syria and put them on trial.

According to the DPA news agency, citing representatives of Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Copenhagen won't take back Daesh fighters to stand trial in the country.

"We are talking about the most dangerous people in the world. We should not take them back", he stressed, adding that Trump's statement was premature, as the situation in Syria is far from stable.

Feb 18 10:19

BEX ALERT - Skripal Under Close Medical Supervision After His Health Worsens - Reports

Russian former intelligence officer Sergei Skripal has suffered deterioration in his health and is being treated by doctors at home amid fears that he may never fully recover from poisoning, the Sunday Times reported citing an intelligence source.

"His health has got worse and he's been receiving medical care at his home. No one has any idea of what will happen to him because there's very little that's known about the impact the nerve agent will have in the long run," the source told the Sunday Times.

Feb 18 10:18

‘Long live Putin!’ Haiti opposition protesters burn US flag, demand Russian intervention

As the poorest Caribbean state descends into chaos caused by the corruption of its elites, protesters on the streets are calling for help from a man who has never set foot in the country – Vladimir Putin.

“Down with Americans, long live Putin!” chanted around 200 demonstrators in the capital Port-au-Prince on Friday, some holding up printouts with the face of the Russian president.

Protesters burned the American flag as criticism of the links between Washington and the unpopular government of President Jovenel Moise. They called Moise, elected in 2016, a US-installed puppet, who is surviving due to US reluctance to exert international pressure.



Feb 18 10:17

The Neocon Revival

The upending of the political landscape by the Trump revolution has affected every political grouping and rearranged our politics in ways that are still revealing themselves. His populist America First views on foreign policy and international trade have split the GOP, opened up growing divisions among the Democrats, and even disrupted the ideological certitude of the libertarians.

There is one ideological group whose entire trajectory and partisan political allegiance has done a complete turnaround, and that is the neoconservatives.

Feb 18 10:17

War With China?

These days, the trade "war" between the Trump administration and China is regularly in the headlines and, sometimes, so are the bases the Chinese are building in the South China Sea, the ships the U.S. Navy is sending ever more provocatively close to them, and the potential clashes that might result. But the global nature of the growing conflict between Washington and Beijing has yet to be fully taken in. As it happens, at this moment, it extends from Greenland (I’m serious!) to Argentina (I’m serious again!). In Greenland, still a self-ruling part of Denmark, a panicked U.S. military and Trump administration recently turned back a Chinese plan to help bankroll and build three airports. In fact, the Pentagon itself actually offered to invest in Greenland’s airport infrastructure.



Feb 18 10:16

Israel to withhold millions of dollars in Palestinian funds

Israel says it will withhold $138m in tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) over payments given to Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis.

The government's security cabinet said on Sunday it was implementing a law passed last year allowing Israel to withhold funds equivalent to those the PA pays in stipends to Palestinians jailed in Israel, their families, and released prisoners.

The money comes from taxes Israel collects on behalf of the PA.

Feb 18 10:15

Record number of reports criticizing Israel said to be released by UN next month

The United Nations Humans Rights Council is expected to release a series of reports critical of Israel next month, including one reportedly accusing the military of war crimes over its response to violent protests by Palestinians on the Gaza border.

According to the pro-Israel watchdog group UN Watch, other reports are set to accuse Israel of alleged human rights violations in the Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War war, and in territories claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, Channel 12 news reported Thursday.

Feb 18 10:15

Nasrallah: Warsaw meet unmasked Israel-Gulf ties, Arab leaders Israel’s ‘tools’

Referencing dispute over IDF readiness for war, Hezbollah chief says Israelis ‘don’t trust’ army; ‘They know we can enter Galilee, they’re not sure they can enter our land’

Feb 18 10:14

Legal challenges to Trump emergency declaration face uphill battle

Democratic lawmakers, states and others mulling legal challenges to President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to obtain funds to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall face an uphill and probably losing battle in a showdown likely to be decided by the conservative-majority Supreme Court, legal experts said.



Owl 1
Feb 18 10:13

Israel’s anti-BDS strategy simply peddles more myths and lies

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs has released a report called Terrorists in Suits: The Ties Between NGOs promoting BDS and Terrorist Organisations. The report has a sense of melodrama, especially its pictures of BDS activists pinned to a noticeboard with red pins connected by red thread, like a scene from a crime drama.

The man behind the report is Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan; he clearly has a wild imagination. Names, places, dates, events, meetings and pictures are all jumbled together to present a scenario which is supposed to deter people from supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and wash away all of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. In doing so, it simply peddles more myths and lies.

Feb 18 10:13

How One of America’s Premier Data Monarchs is Funding a Global Information War and Shaping the Media Landscape

Through his purchase of influence over the daily flow of information to American media consumers, a dizzying array of connections to the national security state, and a media empire that shields him from critical scrutiny, Pierre Omidyar has become one of the world’s most politically sophisticated data monarchs.

Feb 18 10:12

As Mainstream Journalists Acknowledge Douma Attacks Were “Staged,” the “Humanitarian” Syria Regime-Change Network Tries to Save A Sinking Ship

Over the past few days, notable journalists and other figures in mainstream media have acknowledged that the alleged chemical weapons attack that occurred last April in the Damascus suburb of Douma, Syria was likely “staged” by “activist” groups such as the White Helmets. Their comments and investigations have largely vindicated the many journalists and academics who cast aspersions on the precipitous Western media campaign to blame that alleged attack on the Syrian government. Many of the dissenting voices were derided as “conspiracy theorists” or ignored entirely by mainstream sources.

Feb 18 10:12

SAUDI CROWN PRINCE ORDERS 2,100 PAKISTANI PRISONERS 'RELEASED'

More than 2,000 Pakistani workers languishing in Saudi jails will be released, Pakistan's information minister announced on Monday during Saudi Arabian crown prince's high-profile visit to Islamabad.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had "ordered the immediate release of 2,107 Pakistani prisoners", after a request by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry said in a post on Twitter.

Prince Mohammed arrived in Pakistan on Sunday at the beginning of an Asian tour which will include China and is seen as an attempt by him to rebuild his reputation after the murder of Saudi critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday signed investment agreements with Pakistan worth $20bn.

Saudi officials have yet to comment on the Pakistani announcement of a prisoner release.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A reasonably couple of "smooth moves" for the Butcher of Gaza (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) to be making; tying these financial deals to the release of these prisoners.

But I must tell you, honestly; history will not be kind to bin Salman, as the chief Architect of this carnage and genocide in Yemen, aided and abetted by two US Presidents; Obama and Trump, where US troops are working side by side the Saudi and UAE troops, in committing these atrocities.

I would love, at some point, to be a citizen of a country which denounces, and will not participate, in war crimes; unfortunately, given the trajectory of current US foreign policies, that may well not come before the end of my lifetime.



Feb 18 10:04

RUSSIA'S GAZPROMBANK FREEZES ACCOUNTS OF VENEZUELA'S PDVSA: SOURCE

Russian lender Gazprombank has decided to freeze the accounts of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and halted transactions with the firm to reduce the risk of the bank falling under U.S. sanctions, a Gazprombank source told Reuters on Sunday.

While many foreign firms have been cutting their exposure to PDVSA since the sanctions were imposed, the fact that a lender closely aligned with the Russian state is following suit is significant because the Kremlin has been among Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s staunchest supporters.

“PDVSA’s accounts are currently frozen. As you’ll understand, operations cannot be carried out,” the source said. Gazprombank did not reply to a Reuters request for a comment.

PDVSA brandished the story as “fake news” on its Twitter account in capital red letters, but did not reply to a request for comment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a very significant move for the Russian oil lender to make; one has to wonder if they are going to try to get the money to Venezuela, in other ways than pricing it it, and paying for it, in US dollars.

Feb 18 10:04

US mobilizes allies to blame Russia for dismantling INF Treaty - Lavrov

Washington takes unscrupulous steps mobilizing its allies to put the blame for dismantling the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) on Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Munich on Saturday.

"Back in October, US officials told us that President [Donald] Trump announced a withdrawal from the treaty. It is not an invitation for dialogue but a final decision," Lavrov said.

"Afterwards, it has not been very scrupulous to mobilize allies in order to blame us for dismantling this crucial agreement," he said.

Lavrov said that Moscow has no doubts that Washington warned NATO officials against attending a briefing organized by the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministries on the 9M729 cruise missile.

Feb 18 10:03

Two Trump Cabinet Officials Were "Ready To Support" 25th Amendment 'Coup' As Rosenstein Tallied Votes

Two Trump Cabinet officials were "ready to support" a DOJ scheme to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump, according to Bloomberg and Fox News, citing closed-door testimony from the FBI's former top lawyer, James Baker - who said that the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The testimony was delivered last fall to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Fox News has confirmed portions of the transcript. It provides additional insight into discussions that have returned to the spotlight in Washington as fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe revisits the matter during interviews promoting his forthcoming book. -Fox News

While Baker did not identify the two Cabinet officials, he says that McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page approached him to relay their conversations with Rosenstein, including their discussions of the 25th Amendment scheme.

Feb 18 10:02

In "Serious Blow" To US, Britain Concludes Huawei Is "Manageable Risk" To 5G Rollout

Following intense pressure from the US on its European allies to boycott the use of Huawei products in the rollout of next-generation 5G products and shut out the Chinese telecom giant from local markets, Germany was the first nation to rebuke Washington, with Handeslblatt reporting last week that the German government wanted to avoid excluding products offered by Huawei.

Now it's the UK's turn.

In the latest "serious blow" to US efforts to persuade allies to ban the Chinese supplier from high-speed telecommunications systems, the FT reported that the British government has concluded that it can "mitigate the risk from using Huawei equipment in 5G networks."



Feb 18 10:02

Measles Are Back After 900 Dead In Madagascar; Time To Blame Russia

Disinformation campaigns hatched by Russian social-media trolls may be responsible for a 2018 measles outbreak in Europe that killed 72 people and infected over 82,000, according to a new report from the US government-funded RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty.

There were 229,000 reported measles cases worldwide in 2018 according to figures from the World Health Organization - double the number reported in 2017.

And some of that, according to researchers at Duke University in North Carolina, may be due to Russian trolls.

"Are Russian Trolls Saving Measles From Extinction?" reads the article's headline, which then describes how experts are analyzing whether medical disinformation originating from "Russian troll and bot campaigns" is putting lives in danger - noting a World Health Organization warning that "vaccination hesitancy" is now one of the top threats to global health, citing a 30% global rise in measles.

Feb 18 10:01

Russia Touts "Unlimited Range" Of New Nuclear Cruise Missile As INF Unravels

Following the dramatic US withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) within the last month and amidst continuing tit-for-tat accusations between Moscow and Washington since then, which even appears to have imperiled the future of the New START treaty, Russia is aggressively touting its new nuclear cruise missile, the 9M730 Burevestnik (or “Storm Petrel”), which Russian media reports say has entered the final stage of testing and development.

The Kremlin is claiming the nuclear-powered, nuclear-tipped cruise missile has "unlimited" range and advance superior maneuvering capabilities against anti-air defenses. Russian media previously last week reported based on official state sources that the missile’s nuclear power unit was successfully tested in January 2018.

Feb 18 10:01

11-YEAR-OLD BOY VISITED BY COPS AFTER NEIGHBORS REPORTED HIM FOR SELLING HOT CHOCOLATE

Castle Shannon, PA — As the Free Thought Project reported last year, 2018 was the year of the snitches as neighbors turned in fellow neighbors to authorities for selling water, lemonade, or for simply being black at your own apartment complex pool. This see something say something society is the wet dream of the authoritarian and as a recent case of a boy selling hot chocolate in Pennsylvania illustrates, it is showing no signs of slowing.
One would think that in the ostensible land of the free, a little boy selling hot chocolate to willing customers to warm them up on a winter’s day would never be an issue over which people would call the police. However, one would be wrong.

Andrew Donaldson, of Castle Shannon, received a hefty dose of the see something say something state earlier this month when his hot chocolate sales landed him in the cross hairs of police state dependent neighbors.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I really hate how the Entrepreneur-Nazis are turning kids in, for the "crime" of selling cookies, sodas, or hot chocolate.

This is a very good thing for kids to be doing, as it teaches them a little about earning money, and how they intend to spend it.

Many years ago, we had neighbors who had a teenager, whose general thought was, instead of "How do I get what I want from mom and dad?", but "What kind of work do I have to do to save to get what I want?"

And in my world, these parents had taught this teen excellently well, in terms of understanding about getting something you worked hard to purchase by working for it.

Feb 18 09:58

Forgotten “Anniversaries” of U.S. Sponsored Military Coups against Democracy

Some anniversaries are widely observed in the West: Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Holocaust Memorial Day, the September 11 atrocities, and so on. Yet there are other undesirable anniversaries that have been largely disappeared.



Lockerdome
Feb 18 09:58

James Woods? responds to Jussie Smollett

Feb 18 09:56

Snow made for slippery Monday morning commute, more showers expected through the afternoon

Snow mixed with sleet made for a slippery Monday morning commute in some parts of the state.

But the Presidents Day holiday meant less traffic on the roads, as state offices and most schools are closed.

Major roads across most of central Connecticut were reported to be clear during the peak morning hours, and I-84 in Hartford was flowing freely in both directions. But snow flurries and short bouts of freezing rain continued to fall, and state police advised drivers to use caution.

Feb 18 09:55

Traffic in Sierra at standstill following weekend of snow

Traffic in the Sierra Nevada has been at a near-standstill for most of Sunday as weekend travelers attempted to head home amid snow and slush.

Although both Highway 50 and Interstate 80 are open, chain controls are required on Interstate 80 from Colfax to the Nevada state line, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Feb 18 09:55

Oil Company Growth Strategies Are “Value-Destroying”



Feb 18 09:55

Ahead Of Pentagon Syria Exit, Assad Tells US Proxies: Nobody Will Protect You

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad warned on Sunday that the United States would not protect those forces inside Syria currently depending on it, a clear reference to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which control northeastern Syria under Pentagon protection, though without naming the group. This comes after the Trump administration reportedly plans to begin full US troop withdrawal by mid-March, with a complete exit set for April, according to defense officials cited in a prior Wall Street Journal report.

“We say to those groups who are betting on the Americans, the Americans will not protect you… The Americans will put you in their pockets so you can be tools in the barter, and they have started with (it),” the Syrian President said while he was welcoming the heads of local government councils, as cited by Reuters.

Feb 18 09:55

Weiner Goes Free: Stiff Sentence Turns Soft As Ex-Congressman Gets Early Release

After he helped change the course of US history by prompting the FBI to reopen its investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server during the final days of the 2016 campaign, former New York Congressman and ex-husband of Hillary aide Huma Abedin has been released from federal prison a few months ahead of schedule thanks to his 'good behavior' on the inside, according to a TMZ report.

To be sure, Weiner must spend a few more months under federal supervision before he's completely in the clear. Under the terms of his release, Weiner must now spend a few additional months in federal custody, either in a half way house or other supervised pre-release program, before he can lawfully reenter society. Weiner served his time at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Mass., where he received treatment for his "condition" of being a sex offender.

Feb 18 09:54

Pulwama terror attack: India to call for action against Pakistan before FATF, European Commission

India's next diplomatic action against Pakistan would be at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary meeting in Paris on February 17-22.

Pakistan was put on the FATF grey list in June of 2018 and was put on notice to be blacklisted by October 2019 if it didn't curb money laundering and terror financing. If India manages to convince the international financial watchdog on Pakistan's involvement in terrorism then it would lead to massive financial curbs on Pakistan's already dwindling economy.

The review meeting is to take place this coming week in Paris to look at the measures taken by Pakistan to curb money laundering and terror financing.

Coming right after the Pulwama attack by the Jaish-e-Mohammad whose chief Masood Azhar has been proved a safe haven by Pakistan, the Indian delegation will be armed to cut right through any of Islamabad's arguments.

Feb 18 09:53

SEVEN KILLED IN KASHMIR GUN BATTLE DAYS AFTER DEADLY ATTACK

Srinagar, India-administered Kashmir - At least seven people, including two armed rebels and four Indian army soldiers, have been killed in an ongoing gun battle in India-administered Kashmir.

The gun battle on Monday in Pinglan village of Pulwama district comes days after 42 Indian security personnel were killed in a suicide blast - the worst such attack in 30 years of Kashmir conflict, which has raised fears of confrontation with archenemy Pakistan.

A senior Indian army official told Al Jazeera that the operation against the rebels was launched early on Monday following intelligence inputs about their presence in a house in Pinglan village.

"In the encounter, two militants and four army soldiers have been killed. The operation is still in progress," the official said, adding that the identity of the rebels was being ascertained.

"Among the slain soldiers is a top army officer," he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

OK, to Pakistani President Arif Alvi, and Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, please cool your collective jets here. You both know what the Kashmiri people need and want, to prevent this from happening, hopefully ever: the long-promised, but never delivered referendum, to give the Kashmiri people the right to decide if they wish to stay with India; join Pakistan; or become an independent country.

Both of you leaders are Presidents of countries which are members of the UN, where one of the most cherished principals enshrined in their Declaration of Human Rights, is the right to Peaceful Self-determination. The Universal Right of Self-Determination

President Trump, please, you have to work the phones with Indian President Kovind (we have a security agreement with India, as you know) and Chinese President Xi Jinping, please work the phones with Pakistani President Alvi (China has been a very strong builder of defense systems with Pakistan.)

Please, Presidents Trump and Xi: the last thing in the world the world needs right now, is a (literal) explosion of tensions between these two nuclear-powered neighbors.



Feb 18 09:49

DON’T EVEN THINK OF MAKING MY HOUSE YOUR HOME!

Heartbreaking. “Get out of my house!” Palestinian woman after being expelled from her home by Israeli settlers in the Old City in occupied Jerusalem.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 18 09:48

THE REAL ‘OPERATION PROTECTIVE SHIELD’

Palestinians in Hebron are taking new steps for their community’s safety under constant settler attacks.



Feb 18 09:46

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – FEB. 16-18, 2019: FRENCH OFFICER IS PUNISHED FOR REVEALING TRUTH ABOUT CONFLICT

Over the past few days, the military situation has notably escalated in central and western Syria.

On February 15, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) backed up by pro-government militias launched a scale combing operation in the deserts of Damascus, Deir Ezzor, Raqqa and Homs.

The operation covers the desert area between the western Deir Ezzor countryside and the Bishri mount in southern Raqqa; between the historical city of Palmyra in eastern Homs and the Ghurab mount in the Damascus desert; and the northeastern part of the Damascus desert that reaches the Syrian-Iraqi border. This effort is designed to improve the shake security and prevent large attacks by ISIS cells on government-controlled areas.

Feb 18 09:44

Scott Adams: TDS on CNN, With Coffee

There are simple explanations…and extraordinary ones
McCabe opened Presidential investigations,
rejecting simple, likely explanations, for extraordinary ones
CNN Alisyn Camerota says President Trump has no sense of humor
Brian Stelter’s reaction, realizing she’s nuts is pretty funny
President Trump “is humorless”, “humor impaired”? Huh!
Brian Stelter plays compilation clip of FOX people saying “coup!”
Philip Bump says NOT a coup, cause low odds of success
Brain Stelter DOESN’T seem to suffer from TDS
He seems to just be pushing CNN Democrat narratives
President Abe of Japan nominates President Trump for the Nobel
Even CNN has concluded that the Jussie Smollet thing was a hoax
People are influenced by “good stories” and anecdotes
Socialism’s story is that they don’t want 25,000 new jobs
Kamala Harris, there’s nothing bad about Kamala Harris, she’s solid

Feb 18 09:43

The European Investment Bank and the UK’s missing £7.6 billion



Feb 18 09:34

Thanks to New York City Health Officials, New Yorkers Can No Longer Get CBD in Their Coffee

Last week New York City's health department, long the bane of food freedom supporters, banned city restaurants from adding cannabidiol—a compound found in both cannabis and hemp that's commonly known as "CBD"—as an ingredient in food or drinks they sell.
CBD products, purported to offer health benefits to consumers, also offer quite a premium for sellers. A coffee at Bushwick's Caffeine Underground costs $2.50. A CBD-infused coffee—presumably the same coffee with a couple drops of CBD added—will set you back $6.00.

Feb 18 09:33

WATCH: Ocasio-Cortez Doesn't Understand Difference Between Berlin Wall, Border Wall

That Ocasio-Cortez thinks the border wall is "like the Berlin Wall" suggests she knows very little about history and concepts of border security. Former senior official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Matt Mayer explains why comparisons between Trump's wall and the Berlin Wall are nonsensical and insulting for those oppressed in East Germany:

Feb 18 09:31

WATCH: Steve Harvey Says The 'Best Thing You Can Do For Poor People Is Not Be One Of Them.' Gets Condemned As 'Sell Out.'

Over the weekend, TV host and comedian Steve Harvey was condemned as a "sell out" and compared to a "Roots" character for imploring black people not to sabotage their success.



Owl 2
Feb 18 09:29

DARPA THINKS AI COULD HELP TROOPS TELEPATHICALLY CONTROL MACHINES

The Pentagon’s research office is exploring how artificial intelligence can improve technologies that link troops’ brains and bodies to military systems.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently began recruiting teams to research how AI tools could augment and enhance “next-generation neurotechnology.” Through the program, officials ultimately aim to build AI into neural interfaces, a technology that lets people control, feel and interact with remote machines as though they were a part of their own body.

Impossible as they may sound, neural interfaces have already been used to allow people to control prosthetic limbs, translate thoughts into text, and telepathically fly drones. Through the Intelligent Neural Interfaces program, DARPA will explore how AIcan make these systems more durable, efficient and effective.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder about the not-so-great applications of this technology, and how the moral boundaries should be set, to avoid misuse.

Feb 18 09:23

‘Hide your kids, hide your wife’: Anthony Weiner out of prison early on good behavior (5 Pics)

Former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner has been released from federal prison months early after exhibiting good behavior.

Feb 18 09:22

‘Cheating’: Martina Navratilova under fire after saying trans women shouldn’t compete in women’s sports (6 Pics)

The former Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova has been criticised for “disturbing, upsetting, and deeply transphobic” comments after she argued that allowing transgender women to compete in women’s sporting tournaments was “insane and cheating”.



Feb 18 09:22

EBAY FOUNDER PIERRE OMIDYAR IS FUNDING A GLOBAL MEDIA INFORMATION WAR

Inside what amounted to a smoke filled room that was off limits to most Canadian citizens, Ben Scott — a former Obama administration official who also served in Hillary Clinton’s State Department — presided over the discussions. Today, as the director of policy and advocacy for the Omidyar Network, Scott works for one of the most quietly influential billionaires in helping to shape the media landscape and define the craft of journalism itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When Samantha Power starts invoking George Soros in praising another media funder, like Pierre Omidyar, where there is smoke, there is most probably a (dirty, nasty coal) fire.

Feb 18 09:18

V4 summit cancelled amid Polish-Israeli tensions

Poland’s prime minister said on Monday Warsaw was pulling out of a summit in Jerusalem after a senior Israeli politician reportedly claimed that Poles “suckled anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.”

Feb 18 09:18

TRUMP Calls for Investigation into Rigged, Liberal Channels That Constantly Spew Hatred at Republicans

Last night, “Saturday Night Live” opened with another anti-Trump skit with Alec Baldwin impersonating Trump’s Rose Garden presser where he announced he was declaring a national emergency to secure funding for the southern border.

Alec Baldwin called the national emergency “fake” and mocked the drug and opioid crisis gripping the nation due to porous borders.

“You all see why I gotta fake this emergency, right? I have to because I want to. It’s really simple. We have a problem. Drugs are coming into this country through no wall,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin continued: “Wall works, wall makes safe. You don’t have to be smart to understand that, in fact it’s even easier to understand if you’re not that smart.”

The anti-Trump skits by Alec Baldwin are old and tired, but the ‘get Trump’ media won’t stop until the president is removed from office.

Feb 18 09:13

Youtube is Facilitating the Sexual Exploitation of Children, and it's Being Monetized (2019)

Over the past 48 hours I have discovered a wormhole into a soft-core pedophilia ring on Youtube. Youtube’s recommended algorithm is facilitating pedophiles’ ability to connect with each-other, trade contact info, and link to actual child pornography in the comments. I can consistently get access to it from vanilla, never-before-used Youtube accounts via innocuous videos in less than ten minutes, in sometimes less than five clicks.

Feb 18 09:11

FINDING PARENTS' MAGA HATS WILL ONE DAY BE EQUIVALENT OF DISCOVERING THEIR 'KU KLUX KLAN HOOD,' SAYS PROFESSOR

The “Make America Great Again Hats” synonymous with supporters of President Donald Trump will one day carry the same shame as the uniforms worn by the Ku Klux Klan, according to scholar and Washington Post columnist Matt Sears.
In a conversation with Salon published Sunday, the long-time Trump critic said the caps would be a shameful secret for Trump supporters in future that relatives would look down upon.



Owl 3
Feb 18 09:10

California man sentenced to prison for starting wildfire that forced over 7,000 to evacuate

Brandon McGlover, 33, pleaded guilty to two counts of arson to a structure or forest land on Thursday in connection to the Cranston Fire, which unfolded last July in Riverside County. McGlover admitted to setting several structures on fire that day, though he gave no motive. He originally had faced more charges but they were cut during a preliminary hearing, the Press-Enterprise reported.

Feb 18 08:51

Pulwama attack fallout: Kashmiri students in Delhi fear for their security

Several Kashmiri students here said they were in a state of fear after reports of alleged harassment of Kashmiris following the Pulwama terror attack, even as police asserted that security had been enhanced in the national capital and they would ensure the safety of all citizens.

According to media reports, several Kashmiris living outside the state claimed they were harassed and attacked after the terrorist attack in Pulwama district in which 40 CRPF men were killed.

A Kashmiri student from Jamia Millia Islamia, who did not wish to be identified, said, "Just the fact that one is a Kashmiri, irrespective of his ideology or leanings, is enough to put one's life to risk. It is happening across the country. Kashmiri students are being harassed and hounded, be it Dehradun, Ambala or Bangalore. We really fear for our security here too."

Feb 18 08:50

CURFEW IN JAMMU CONTINUES ON 2ND DAY AMID PROTESTS

Indefinite curfew, imposed after incidents of violence in the winter capital during shutdown call on Friday against Pulwama terror attack, continued for the second day as protests spilled over to Jammu West after police used force against those defying curfew in Janipur area on Saturday.

This triggered violent protests and spread to other parts of Jammu West with protesters clashing with police and also resorting to stone-pelting. Police also rounded up over a dozen protesters in this connection. In the resultant violence, over a dozen persons including three police officers viz., SSP Jammu, SDPO City and SDPO Bakshi Nagar also sustained injuries. They were immediately rushed to Government Medical College Hospital, Jammu. Protests continued till late evening.



Taboola
Feb 18 08:50

Pakistan must be accountable for terror attack in Iran: Parl. Speaker Larijani

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says Islamabad should account for a recent bloody terrorist attack in Iran’s southeast as the assault was plotted on and launched from Pakistani soil.

“The Pakistani government should be accountable for this act involving the grouplet orchestrating and conducting the operation from their (the Pakistanis’) territory,” Larijani said during a parliamentary session on Sunday, referring to the terrorist outfit that has claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Wednesday, an explosives-laden car rammed into a bus carrying members of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on a road in Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province, killing 27 IRGC personnel and injuring 13 others.

The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group, which is linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the assault.

Feb 18 08:49

Iran summons Pakistan ambassador over terrorist attack

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to Tehran, expressing the Islamic Republic’s “strong protest” to Islamabad over a deadly terrorist attack that targeted a group of security forces in southeastern Iran.

According to the ministry's press release on Sunday, Pakistani Ambassador Riffat Masood was called in for a diplomatic rebuke over a car bomb attack that targeted members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province on Wednesday.

The attack killed 27 IRGC members and wounded 13 others, and the so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing. Iranian officials say the group plotted the attack in and moved to carry it out from inside Pakistan.

Feb 18 08:48

Indian allegations threat to regional peace, Janjua tells foreign envoys

Pakistan on Sunday continued its diplomatic blitz to foil Indian propaganda on the Pulwama attack and rejected the pattern of ‘baseless allegations’ by its eastern neighbour, terming the aggressive rhetoric ‘counterproductive and a threat to regional peace’.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua took the ambassadors of African countries and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) states into confidence on the Pulwama attack at a special briefing at the Foreign Office, the spokesman said in a tweet.

Feb 18 08:48

India withdraws security of Kashmiri leaders after Pulwama attack

Following the Pulwama deadly attack, the Indian government has withdrawn the security of five Kashmiri leaders and all public facilities extended to them.

A notification of dropping the security cover has also been released by the Indian ministry of interior.

According to the communique, security granted to five Hurriyat leaders – Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Abdul Ghani Butt, Bilal Loon, Hashim Qureshi and Shabbir Shah – has been withdrawn at the same time directives for immediately withdrawing official facilities extended to the leaders has also been issued.

Pakistan strongly rejected allegations levelled by the Modi government and media linking the February 14 suicide attack in occupied Kashmir which killed at least 44 Indian paramilitary forces.

Feb 18 08:47

Post Pulwama attack: India raises import duty to 200% on Pakistani goods

Despite continuing its economic retaliation with Pakistan in the aftermath of the Pulwama incident, India raised the custom duty to 200% on all goods it imports from Pakistan, India Today reported on Saturday.

The decision will significantly hamper Pakistan’s exports to its neighbouring country, which stood at $488.5 million for the financial year 2017-18.

The decision will lead to drastic increase in price of imported goods – fresh fruits, cement, petroleum products and mineral ore.
The development comes after India withdrew its Most favoured Nation status for Pakistan.

Feb 18 08:46

Pulwama attack and finger-pointing at Pakistan

Prussian King Fredrick the great with many accomplished military victories under his belt is said to have commented that “the most experienced in his army was a mule who had participated in every campaign but was none the wiser for that experience.” At times strategic success is not the reward of the winner’s capabilities but incompetence of the losers. India is fast losing Kashmir and despite the writing on the wall none of the military commanders appointed over the years in Occupied Kashmir have been able to tell the policy-makers in Delhi about the futility of their Kashmir policy. State oppression and terrorism has been the name of the game in occupied Kashmir and when one young man rises up to blunt that state oppression being perpetrated on the people of his community in the Indian state doesn’t look inward at its mistakes and follies but outward and at its neighbour — a punching bag that it considers it can utilise to beat its frustrations and divert the world’s attention.

Feb 18 08:45

Disunited America

Prior to the Democrats becoming the anti-American political party of Identity Politics, whites, blacks, and Puerto Ricans could laugh at themselves and at one another. Dean Martin turned a roast, in which good humored fun is poked at a prominent person, into mass entertainment. That blacks were equal opportunity targets was testimony to the success of black entertainers and athletes. In the humorless world of today, these roasts would be considered “hurtful,” “offensive,” and “hate crimes.”

Americans had to be trained to this new mentality. It was done in order to break us apart as a people, and it has succeeded. Recently, in response to overwrought reactions to youthful blackface experiences of current Virginia Democratic politicians, I posted a Dean Martin roast of Sammy Davis Jr. and asked if Davis was a self-hating black for permitting himself to be ridiculed on stage before a large audience.

Feb 18 08:44

Graham: McCabe revelations 'beyond stunning'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday pledged to thoroughly investigate comments from Andrew McCabe after the former FBI deputy director told "60 Minutes" that Justice Department officials discussed a plan to potentially remove President Trump from office.

"We're going to find out what happened here and the only way I know to find out is to call the people in under oath and find out, through questioning, who's telling the truth because the underlying accusation is beyond stunning," Graham said on "Face the Nation."

Graham, the chairman the of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reiterated that he intends to subpoena McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to testify before the panel if they won't agree to do so voluntarily.

The senator downplayed the notion that an investigation into the FBI will further damage the bureau's credibility.

Feb 18 08:43

Cop Charged for Horrifically Torturing Restrained Teen With Taser Walks Free After Mistrial

Two police officers who strapped an 18-year-old in a restraint chair and tortured him with a taser were arrested and charged with multiple crimes last June. The horrifying video was so damning that the normal process of sweeping it under the rug was not an option. Sadly, however, the trial for the cop who did the torturing, just concluded last week and ended in a mistrial.

Last year, former Corporal Mark Bryant was charged with two counts of Excessive Force Under the Color of Law, and two counts of Destruction, Alteration or Falsification of Records in Federal Investigations. Sergeant Gary Ola was also charged with two counts of making false statements to federal investigators for lying to them in August of 2017 and again in May of 2018.

In September 2018, Sgt. Gary Ola accepted a plea agreement for two counts of making false statements to FBI agents in connection with the incident. He has yet to be sentenced.

Feb 18 08:43

Debt Is Back with a Vengeance

Feb 18 08:43

The Tulsi Gabbard Phenomenon as a Diagnostic Tool

First, one might imagine that she would be the dream candidate for the Democratic Party: she is a female, she is not White, she has impeccable “patriotic” credentials, she is obviously both very good looking and very smart, she does not have any skeletons in her past (at least none that we know of for the time being) and she is not associated with the notorious Clinton gang. So what’s there not to like about her if you are a Democrat?

Well, as we all saw, the putatively “liberal” legacy Ziomedia hates Tulsi Gabbard with a passion. Maybe not as much as that legacy Ziomedia hates Trump or Putin, but still – the levels of hostility against her are truly amazing. This may seem bizarre until you realize that, just like Donald Trump, Tulsi Gabbard has said all the right things about Israel, but that this was not nearly “enough” to please the US Ziolobby.

Feb 18 08:35

Ex-FISA court chief defends DOJ, FBI for handling of Carter Page surveillance applications

U.S. District Judge John Bates, who once led the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, defended the Justice Department and embattled intelligence community for how it handled the application process to obtain warrants to spy on onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Bates, who was placed on the FISA court by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and was its presiding judge from 2009 to 2013, said he has seen no evidence lending credibility to Republican concerns that officials misled the court in obtaining a 2016 FISA warrant and three renewals.

Feb 18 08:35

Chris Wallace calls out Limbaugh for being ‘outraged’ when Obama took executive action

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Sunday called out conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh over the difference between his response when President Trump and former President Obama made an executive action.

“I want to ask you about the game you say we play in Washington," Wallace said while on "Fox News Sunday." "Because the fact is that when President Obama took executive actions, you were outraged."

Feb 18 08:34

Here’s Jussie Smollett blaming @realDonaldTrump supporters directly during his GMA interview.

Feb 18 08:34

Political Humor : COMEDY IS THE REAL EMERGENCY

Political Humor : COMEDY IS THE REAL EMERGENCY

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