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Feb 17 12:38

The Disgrace of Flint’s Poison Water

The case of Flint, Michigan, and its lead-poisoned water supply has exposed a U.S political disgrace, treating poor and minority communities with shocking disregard – and showing little interest in punishing the officials responsible, as Marsha Coleman-Adebayo told Dennis J Bernstein.

Feb 17 12:34

Britain Allowed Unqualified Judge to Decide Litvinenko Case. Now Inquiry Report Must Be Recalled

Will Prime Minister David Cameron be able to find a way out of this mess? Sir Robert Owen appears to have lacked the legal qualifications to chair the recently-concluded Inquiry in the Alexander Litvinenko death case. His report released on January 21 sparked international controversy when he concluded the murder was likely ordered by Vladimir Putin himself. Now Britain is faced with deciding what to do with Owen's hopelessly flawed final Inquiry report. (See "Six reasons you can't take the Litvinenko report seriously.") The consequences of this botched report are grave. Tensions have seriously risen between Russia and the UK. Some even plead that more sanctions be imposed upon Russia. That hands Prime Minister David Cameron a hot potato. Will he continue to bluff his way through, contending that Owen's report is legitimate? Or will he do the right thing and recall the bogus document?

Feb 17 12:33

Wrong on Iraq? Not Everyone

***
In September 2002, Scott Ritter stepped in the path of the White House’s PR blitz, challenging the administration and quickly becoming one of very few prominent critics of the looming war. In a Chicago Tribune op-ed (9/10/02), Ritter exposed a deception on the part of Vice President Dick Cheney that should have sent reporters scurrying to catch up. Cheney claimed in an August 2002 speech (8/26/02) that the Iraqi regime had been “very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents,” and continued “to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago.” To back this up, Cheney added, “We’ve gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors, including Saddam’s own son-in-law”—a reference to Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel, the former Iraqi weapons chief and Iraq’s highest ranking defector. (See Extra!, 5-6/03.)

Ritter pointed out that Cheney was omitting an inconvenient part of Kamel’s story:
Throughout his interview with UNSCOM, a UN special commission, Hussein Kamal reiterated his main point—that nothing was left. “All chemical weapons were destroyed,” he said. “I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons—biological, chemical, missile, nuclear—were destroyed.

Feb 17 12:30

17 February 2016, WikiLeaks is releasing the classified report about the first six month of Operation SOPHIA, the EU military intervention against "refugee boats" in Libya and the Mediterranean

The report, dated 29 January 2016, is written by the Operation Commander, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino of the Italian Navy, for the European Union Military Committee and the Political and Security Committee of the EU. It gives refugee flow statistics and outlines the performed and planned operation phases (1, 2A, 2B and 3), the corresponding activities of the joint EU forces operating in the Mediterranean and the future strategies for the operation. One of the main elements within the report is the planned, but still pending transition from Phase 2A (operating in High Seas) to Phase 2B (operating in Libyan Territorial Waters) due to the volatile government situation in Libya, where the building of a 'Government of National Accord' (GNA) is still under way.

Feb 17 12:26

A poster with smoking Obama "the killer" will be removed from the bus stop in Moscow

The inscription on the poster reads: "Smoking kills more people than Obama, although he kills a lot of people. Do not smoke. Don't need to be like Obama." The poster appeared at the bus stop located at the intersection of Suschevsky shaft and Dvintsev streets. Who put it there, is unknown.

Feb 17 12:22

Saakashvili stated about oligarchic coup in Ukraine

The Governor of the Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili said that there was an oligarchic coup in Ukraine, February 16. The former President of Georgia wrote on his page in Facebook. "Yesterday something happened that always inevitably happens when the revolution doesn't follow the reforms — the restoration of the old regime. In the country there was an oligarchic coup. After the failure of the orange revolution came to power Yanukovych, yesterday came Akhmetov (Rinat Akhmetov — one of the richest businessmen of Ukraine) and other oligarchs, by their votes leaving the government, again took control of the situation", — said Saakashvili. According to him, the presidential faction "Block of Petro Poroshenko" should leave parliamentary coalition following the "Batkivshchyna". "Even those members of faction who voted for the resignation of the government, in case of no withdrawal from the coalition take full formal responsibility for yesterday's oligarchic coup", — said Saakashvili.

Feb 17 12:16

Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation

The U.K. GOVERNMENT today announced that it is now illegal for “local [city] councils, public bodies, and even some university student unions … to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products, or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.” Thus, any entities that support or participate in the global boycott of Israeli settlements will face “severe penalties” under the criminal law.

This may sound like an extreme infringement of free speech and political activism — and, of course, it is — but it is far from unusual in the West. The opposite is now true. There is a very coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters literally to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the particular fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment, or BDS — modeled after the 1980s campaign that brought down the Israel-allied apartheid regime in South Africa — is succeeding.

Feb 17 12:14

18 killed in Ankara blast — authorities

A total of 18 people have been killed and 45 have been injured as a result of an explosion near a military dormitory in Ankara, local authorities said in a statement Wednesday.

Feb 17 12:11

Brent oil rose to $34 per barrel

The cost of the oil contracts went to growth, according to data of the Intercontinental exchange ICE. April futures for North sea Brent blend has risen by 5.49 per cent to $34,05 per barrel.

Feb 17 12:06

UK to advance anti-BDS legislation

The UK is reportedly planning to legally challenge any organization which supports a movement to boycott Israel.

Reports say that Cabinet Office Minister Matthew Hancock will announce the new proposed regulations this week during a trip to Israel.

Feb 17 12:00

The Deafness Before the Storm (*Bush Didn't Read The Report)

IT was perhaps the most famous presidential briefing in history.

On Aug. 6, 2001, President George W. Bush received a classified review of the threats posed by Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, Al Qaeda. That morning’s “presidential daily brief” — the top-secret document prepared by America’s intelligence agencies — featured the now-infamous heading: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” A few weeks later, on 9/11, Al Qaeda accomplished that goal.

(*CURRENT: Cheney Campaigning For Jeb
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/cortneyobrien/2016/02/16/cheney-calls-tru...
The former vice president then dismissed several of Trump’s specific notions. He insisted the Bush administration did not lie about believing Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and scoffed at the idea the president failed to act before 9/11. The White House had “no actionable intelligence” at that point to suggest there was a serious threat, he said, adding that, following the attack, Bush put in place surveillance programs that provided important national security information. )

Feb 17 12:00

Chinese Bid for Chicago Exchange Draws Congressional Concern

The planned sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange to a Chinese buyer should be rigorously investigated by U.S. national security officials and blocked if the buyer has close ties to the Chinese government, a group of U.S. lawmakers said. The buyer - Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group - has many of the "traditional opaque qualities" of a Chinese company and is involved in sectors that likely require close ties to the government, 46 members of Congress said in a letter to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. “This proposed acquisition would be the first time a Chinese-owned, possibly state-influenced, firm maintained direct access into the” $21 trillion U.S. equity marketplace, wrote 45 Republicans and one Democrat... The 134-year-old bourse only handles about 0.5 percent of U.S. stock trading. But the deal, if approved, would give Casin Group a foothold into the world’s largest equity market. The exchange, though tiny, can influence the entire American equity market. U.S.

Feb 17 11:51

Regional tensions and falling oil prices deepen crisis of Saudi monarchy

The House of Saud is seeking to impose onto the working class the full cost of its oil policies that led to crude prices sinking to below $30 a barrel in January, its disastrous military intervention in Yemen, and covert wars in Iraq and Syria in support of Islamist extremists.

Feb 17 11:49

The official from NATO accused Russia of unleashing a hybrid war against Latvia

Director of the Center for strategic communication NATO Yanis Sarts has accused Russia of unleashing a hybrid war against Latvia. He said this on Wednesday, 17th February, in the program "Morning panorama" on Latvian television channel LTV1, reports the portal LSM.lv. "The situation has deteriorated. We begin to observe it [hybrid war] not only in Ukraine, but also in the Baltic States, Central Europe and Scandinavia. You need to understand that the hybrid war may lead to real combat," said Sarts. As an example of Russian aggression he has led to "advocacy projects RT and Sputnik". The representative of the Alliance noted that his office will monitor the activities of the "Pro-sites", and the Latvian citizens were advised to ignore them.

Feb 17 11:42

McCullough: ‘Are You Bearish Enough?’

Feb 17 11:42

Prof. says he won't be labeled as something 'violent,' so don't call him white

During the Q&A of a book talk at the University of Virginia, when explaining why he won’t be called white, an American University professor said he won’t be labeled something “violent.” Professor Salvador Vidal-Ortiz was describing a situation in which an African American student called him white, and said “I may be light-skinned and we can have a conversation about that...but I will not be labeled as something that I know is violent, um, while I recognize that for someone who's African American, that's their experience.”

Feb 17 11:41

Start Preparing for the Collapse of the Saudi Kingdom

For half a century the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been the lynchpin of U.S. Mideast policy. A guaranteed supply of oil has bought a guaranteed supply of security. Ignoring autocratic practices and the export of Wahhabi extremism, Washington stubbornly dubs its ally “moderate.” So tight is the trust that U.S. special operators dip into Saudi petrodollars as a counterterrorism slush fund without a second thought. In a sea of chaos, goes the refrain, the kingdom is one state that’s stable.

Feb 17 11:37

FASCINATING Prescott Bush Interview

There is definitely a sharpness and energy gene that wasn't passed along to George H.W., George W. and Jeb, that grandpa had.

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