Aletho News


Current News and Analysis

Saudi airstrike off Hudaydah coast leaves 13 Yemeni fishermen dead

Press TV – August 19, 2018

More than a dozen Yemeni fishermen lost their lives and several others sustained injuries when Saudi fighter jets targeted their fishing boats off the coast of the western province of Hudayadah as the Riyadh regime continues its atrocious military campaign against its crisis-hit southern neighbor.

Yemeni military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity on Sunday, told Yemen’s al-Masirah television network that Saudi warplanes struck two fishing boats in waters off the Seven Brothers Islands, also known as the Sawabi Islands or Seba Islands, in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, killing 13 people and injuring four others.

The sources added that another four Yemeni fishermen remained unaccounted for. […]

A high-ranking UN aid official has warned against the “catastrophic” living conditions in Yemen, stating there is a growing risk of famine and cholera there. … Full article

Israeli navy opens fire at Gaza flotilla

Ma’an – August 19, 2018

GAZA CITY – Israeli naval forces opened fire at dozens of Gaza flotilla boats that set sail on Saturday from the besieged Gaza Strip port in attempt to break the maritime blockade imposed by Israel.

According to local sources, Israeli naval forces opened fire a while after five boats of the Gaza flotilla set sail towards the northern borders of Gaza to break the nearly 12-year siege.

Sources mentioned that the Gaza flotilla consisted of 40 boats, with patients and students on board, carrying Palestinian flags and signs demanding the lift of the siege on Gaza.

The Gaza flotilla was forced to sail back to the Gaza port after shots were fired. … Full article

Imprisoned Palestinian journalist reiterates call for solidarity

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network | August 19, 2018

Imprisoned Palestinian journalist and director of Al-Quds TV Alaa Rimawi said on Sunday, 19 August that the arrests carried out by Israeli occupation forces against Palestinian media and journalists are part of a comprehensive attack on Palestinian media, preventing it from doing its work and minimizing its role in publicizing Palestinian realities.

In a statement released by his family and lawyer, Rimawi said that this agenda was clear during the interrogation sessions he was subjected to personally in the past two days. He also noted the cases of journalist Ali Dar Ali, arrested by occupation forces, and the administrative detention of journalist Mohammed Muna, saying that these attacks reflected the same purpose.

Rimawi said in his statement that the occupation considers terms like “martyr,” “occupation,” “steadfastness,” “confrontation” and “resistance” to be “inciting” content. He also noted that the arrests of journalists is meant to keep the situation in Palestine from being covered in the media. “The occupation is carrying out a policy of intimidation with its police and intelligence services. This is clear and obvious, bringing forward the names of journalists to continue these detentions, a threat against every free Palestinian journalists.” … Full article

Palestinian father, 2 children injured after Israeli settler attack

Ma’an – August 19, 2018

Israeli settlers on Sunday attacked a Palestinian-owned vehicle in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, injuring three Palestinians, including two children.

A Ma’an reporter said that Israeli settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, attacked a vehicle with stones as it passed on the main road, south of Nablus.

The attacked vehicle belonged to Palestinian resident, Munther Abdelhafez Mousa, 43, who was driving it at the time of the attack, with his two children in the back seat.

Mousa told Ma’an “When I was returning from Ramallah towards Tulkarem, my two children and I were attacked by at least 15 masked Israeli settlers, who blocked the road in front of us and surrounded the vehicle, which prevented us from moving.”

Mousa said that Israeli settlers began throwing stones and empty glass bottles at the vehicle, which led to his injury and to the injuries of his two children, before being able to leave the area with great difficulty.

Mousa’s son, Tareq, 13, was hit by a large stone, while his 4-year-old son, Muhammad, was injured due to shrapnel from the glass bottles. … Full article

Afghan president announces ceasefire with Taliban

Press TV – August 19, 2018

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced a ceasefire agreement with the Taliban militant group to mark Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, an important festival on the Islamic calendar.

Ghani made the announcement on Sunday in a ceremony celebrating 99 years of independence from the British rule.

“The conditional ceasefire will start tomorrow and it will continue as long as the Taliban preserves and respects it,” the Afghan president stated.

“We call on the leadership of the Taliban to welcome the wishes of Afghans for a long-lasting and real peace.”

A senior official in Ghani’s office said the “conditional” ceasefire would run for three months. It would only cover the Taliban, the official added, not other groups including the Daesh Takfiri terrorists. Both the Taliban and Daesh are present in Afghanistan.

Reacting to the announcement, Taliban sources said their leaders had also provisionally agreed to a four-day truce during the annual feast of sacrifice. The militant group also said it would free hundreds of prisoners. … Full article

Syria’s Disappeared: The Story of Adra

By David Macilwain | American Herald Tribune | August 19, 2018

The question of “Syria’s Disappeared” just won’t go away! Faced with the dreadful prospect of President Assad “remaining in power” following the begrudging admission of defeat by Syria’s enemies, supporters of the failed “revolution” are digging in with their accusations of war crimes and torture by the Syrian government.

The resurrected story is the same, with a few embellishments – the demon Assad and his minions have abducted thousands of innocent people that they didn’t like, and tortured and starved them to death – but then oddly and rather morbidly cataloged and photographed every corpse. Showing the depth of their psychopathology, they have then left these detailed records in a place where they might be found, by Caesar of all people, and exposed to the world to see.

This story has been around so long that it starts to look suspicious; it was Hillary Clinton who foresaw the opportunity to demonize the Syrian government at the same time she was masterminding the shipping of weapons and fighters to Syria from Benghazi. Clinton set up the “Syria Justice and Accountability Centre” in mid-2012, which later became the quango known as the Commission for International Justice and Accountability, operated by Canadian lawyer and war-tribunal veteran Bill Wiley. … continue

Trump Regime Continues Supporting ISIS

By Stephen LENDMAN | August 18, 2018

US support for ISIS is an open dirty secret – undiscussed by media scoundrels, pretending it’s not so.

Washington actively arms, funds, trains, and directs ISIS and other terrorists – backing the scourge they pretend to oppose.

Obama and Trump’s vow to degrade and destroy ISIS was and remains a bald-faced lie, using these and other cutthroat killers as proxy fighters in Syria and other countries where they’re deployed – their presence unjustifiably justifying illegal US occupation of northeast and southwest Syrian territory. … continue

The 10 Main Holes in the Official Narrative on the Salisbury Poisonings: #1 – The Motive

By Rob Slane | The Blog Mire | August 18, 2018

When I began writing about the Skripal case, I was moved to do so by three main considerations.

Firstly, I really am passionate for the truth, and whatever the truth happens to be in this case, I strongly desire it to be made manifest. It was clear to me fairly early on that this was not happening.

Secondly, I am also very passionate about concepts such as the rule of law, innocent until proven guilty, and the apparently quaint notion that investigations should precede verdicts, rather than the other way around. And so when I saw accusations being made before the investigation had hardly begun, verdicts being reached before the facts were established, I was appalled — appalled that this was happening in what we British pride ourselves is the Mother of Parliaments, and equally appalled that this meant the investigation was inevitably prejudiced and – pardon the expression – poisoned from the off.

Thirdly, the incident happened to have taken place pretty much on my doorstep, which made it of even more interest to me.

Nothing I have seen in the intervening time has persuaded me that my initial impressions were wrong. In fact, the whiff of rodent I first detected has only become stronger as time has gone on and the case has become — frankly — farcical. Not only that, but the reaction to the case has been simply incredible. For instance, the U.S. expelled 60 diplomats back in March, and more recently they have effectively declared economic war on the Russian Federation – all in response to unproven and inconsistent assertions of a botched assassination attempt against an old spy in a quiet Wiltshire City. Such a response ought to raise the suspicions of any sentient being that all is not what it appears.

I still do not have any clear idea of what happened on that day, but what I am certain of is that the official narrative is not only untrue, but it is manifestly inconceivable that it could be true. There are simply too many inconsistencies, too many holes and far too many unexplained events for it to be true. And whilst part of me would dearly love to leave this wretched case behind for a while, whilst it is still ongoing, and especially as it is now being used to push us even closer to the brink of war (economic warfare is often a prelude to military warfare), I find that hard to do.

What I would therefore like to do in a series of 10 short pieces over the next couple of weeks or so, is attempt to expose some of the very many holes in the official narrative. … continue

US Dems to Propose Constitutional Amendment to Block Trump From Revoking Clearances

Sputnik – 18.08.2018

WASHINGTON – A new US constitutional amendment will be proposed in Congress next week that if passed would prevent President Donald Trump from revoking security clearances at his own discretion, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said in a statement.

“I will be introducing an amendment next week to block the President from punishing and intimidating his critics by arbitrarily revoking security clearances. Stay tuned,” Warner said in a Twitter post on Friday. … Full article

North Korea slams Trump’s opponents for hampering peace efforts, denuclearization

RT | August 18, 2018

North Korea lashed out at Donald Trump’s rivals for “a deadlock” in bilateral relations, calling upon the US leader to act in a “bold” manner, in a statement that differs dramatically from the North’s stance on the US last year.

In a lengthy editorial, Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling party, praised US President Donald Trump for seeking to improve relations between Washington and Pyongyang. “However, he faces too many opponents,” it said.

According to the paper, Democrats and even some Republicans are hampering Trump’s peace efforts and the media is undermining his policies. Bureaucrats and presidential aides are “speaking and moving in contradiction to the president’s will” and are “distorting facts and covering up his eyes and ears in order to mislead him to a wrong decision.”

The editorial says that the political opponents of the US president are “raising their voice, dismissing the Singapore joint statement and boycotting a declaration of an end to the war.” But what it thinks will end the “current deadlock in the DPRK-US relations” is “President Trump’s bold decision.” … Full article

Conspiracy Theorists Proven Right as TSA Body Scanners Rolled Out at Subway Stations

By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | August 18, 2018

Los Angeles, CA — For years, those who have been paying attention to the ever-expanding police state that is the United States, have been warning of the slippery slope of TSA expansion. For years, these same people warned that TSA would soon be present at bus stations, malls, and subways. And now, this has begun to happen.

Indeed, the Free Thought Project predicted this years ago when several U.S. senators from both sides of the aisle expressed their desire to make travelers lives’ a veritable hell of red tape and insidious surveillance by increasing putative ‘security’ for rail lines, highways, and marine routes by adding presence and screening procedures at Megabus depots, Amtrak stations, and more. Now, it is finally here.

According to a press release from the TSA, they have “partnered with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) to deploy a new advanced portable passenger screening technology that will help detect weapon and explosive device security threats on the county’s transit system.”

The Los Angeles Metro system becomes the first transportation agency in the United States, according to TSA, to purchase such “an advanced, high-tech security device” — ironically from the agency responsible for strip searching babies, removing colostomy bags, beating up blind cancer patients, and fondling your genitalia, all in the name of security. … continue

The back story of Passages, Museum of the Bible’s program to take Christian college students to Israel

If Americans Knew | July 13, 2018

Passages is a program that takes Christian college students to Israel to make them a “voice for Israel.”

Students never visit the West Bank and Gaza.

The program, which promotes Christian Zionism, was suggested by Israeli government officials.

A major backer is hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. … continue

Illegal Colonizers Cut Dozens Of Olive Trees Near Jenin

IMEMC News – August 18, 2018

A group of illegal Israeli colonizers cut dozens of Palestinian olive trees in ‘Arraba town, south of Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank on Saturday at dawn.

Media sources said the assailants invaded an orchard, owned by a local resident identified as Nathmi Dheidi, near the illegal Dothan colony, which was built on Palestinian lands.

They added that the colonizers cut dozens of olive trees, which were planted approximately four years ago.

Nathmi said that attack was not the first, as the colonists previously targeted his land, and several other orchards and farmlands in the area. … Full article

Israel turns West Bank into toxic waste dump

MEMO |August 18, 2018

The Israeli occupation has turned the occupied Palestinian West Bank into a massive landfill for dangerous and toxic wastes since 1967, the Anadolu Agency revealed yesterday.

Palestinian experts and officials said that 60 per cent of Israel’s waste ends up in the occupied West Bank.

They stressed that this puts the life of Palestinians at stake, as well as damaging the soil and poisoning the groundwater.

According to Palestinian experts, Israeli disposal of its wastes is a clear violation of international laws related to environmental protection.

US envoy to Israel: ‘No need’ to evacuate illegal settlements

Speaking to Anadolu, head of the Palestinian Environment Authority Adala Al-Atira said: “There are 98 Israeli landfills across the occupied West Bank.”

This is in addition to the scores of landfill sites which are used by the illegal settlements but have not been officially recognised or allocated.

Norwegian Activist Shot as Israeli Forces Subdue Protest East of Qalqilia

IMEMC News & Agencies – August 18, 2018

A Norwegian activist, Saturday, was shot and injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet as Israeli forces quelled the weekly and peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, to the east of Qalqilia, said WAFA correspondence.

Confrontations reportedly broke out between demonstrators who also rallied to protest Israel’s closure of the main road that connects the village of Kufr Qaddoum with the city of Nablus, since 2003.

Subsequently, Israeli forces cracked down on the peaceful rally, using excessive force against demonstrators.

A forty five-year-old Norwegian activist was struck in the abdomen area with a rubber-coated steel bullet. Her medical status remains unknown until the moment. … Full article

Saudi writer critical of UAE’s regional policies sentenced to 5 years in prison

Press TV – August 18, 2018

Saudi authorities have handed down prison sentence to a writer in the conservative oil-rich kingdom as part of a widening crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman against Muslim preachers, members of the press and intellectuals.

The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that Mohammed al-Hudhaif was sentenced to five years in jail after being found guilty of “ insulting a friendly country.”

The post added that Saudi officials passed the ruling against Hudhaif at the end of a “secret trial” in late May.

The writer had reportedly published posts on his Twitter page, warning about the threats the neighboring United Arab Emirates poses to the Riyadh regime, and the fiendish plans that Emirati officials have for the Middle East region. … continue

ISIS given ‘breathing space’ in parts of Syria under US-backed forces’ control

RT | August 18, 2018

Islamic State managed to regain access to Syrian oil fields and make profits from selling oil, a new UN report reveals. While the UN did not point fingers, the IS reemergence seems to occur in areas held by the US-backed forces.

“Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, having been defeated militarily in Iraq and most of the Syrian Arab Republic during 2017, rallied in early 2018. This was the result of a loss of momentum by forces fighting it in the east of the Syrian Arab Republic,” the recent report from the UN Security Council’s Sanctions Monitoring Team reads. The document is dated July 27, but was only released to the public this week.

The slow-down gave IS “breathing space to prepare for the next phase of its evolution into a global covert network.” As of June 2018, the terrorist group has been controlling “small pockets of territory in the Syrian Arab Republic on the Iraqi border,” effectively carrying on with its quasi-state ways. … continue

Syria Lashes out at Riyadh “Compliance with Washington at Expense of Saudi People”

Al-Manar | August 18, 2018

Syria on Friday denounced Saudi financial support to the US-led international coalition’s role in northern Syria, stressing that such move indicates Riyadh’s compliance with the US administration at the expense of the Saudi people.

Syrian foreign ministry slammed Saudi authorities as “plotters against the interests of the Arab nation,” stressing that the Saudi support is in defiance of the UN Security Council resolutions related to the crisis in Syria.

US State Department announced earlier on Thursday, that Riyadh was offering a $100 million contribution “for ongoing, Coalition-supported stabilization efforts in areas liberated from ISIS in Syria,” referring to the Takfiri ISIL group. … continue

Jews, Logic and Corbyn

By Gilad Atzmomn | August 18, 2018

According to the Transitive Axiom if A=B and B=C then A = C (If any two items are equal to the same third item then the two are equal to each other).

I mention the Transitive Axiom because it is a straightforward way to understand that if Corbyn (A) = existential threat to Jews (B) and Hitler (C) = existential threat to Jews (B) then Corbyn (A) = Hitler (C).

Every day British Jewish community leaders tell us that it will pose an “existential threat” to British Jews if Corbyn ends up in 10 Downing Street. It seems some British Jewish leaders are either delusional or stupid enough to believe that Corbyn and Hitler are one and the same. A few weeks ago, the three main British Jewish papers joined forces to deliver this humorous message in a single voice: ‘Corbyn poses an existential threat to our community.’

Today, Jonathan Goldstein, head of the Jewish Leadership Council repeated the same message in an interview with the Times of Israel. “We are nervous about this man (Corbyn) becoming prime minister. We see the possibility of a Labour government led by this group as an existential threat to our community. These are unprecedented times.” … continue

Corbyn’s Labour Party is Being Made to Fail: by Design

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | August 17, 2018

The Labour party, relentlessly battered by an organised campaign of smears of its leader, Jeremy Corbyn – first for being anti-semitic, and now for honouring Palestinian terrorists – is reportedly about to adopt the four additional working “examples” of anti-semitism drafted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Labour initially rejected these examples – stoking yet more condemnation from Israel’s lobbyists and the British corporate media – because it justifiably feared, as have prominent legal experts, that accepting them would severely curb the freedom to criticise Israel.

The media’s ever-more outlandish slurs against Corbyn and the Labour party’s imminent capitulation on the IHRA’s full definition of anti-semitism are not unrelated events. The former was designed to bring about the latter.

According to a report in the Guardian this week, senior party figures are agitating for the rapid adoption of the full IHRA definition, ideally before the party conference next month, and say Corbyn has effectively surrendered to the pressure. An MP who supports Corbyn told the paper Corbyn would “just have to take one for the team”. … continue

Israeli settlers destroy 200 olive trees in Nablus-area village

Ma’an – August 17, 2018

NABLUS – Israeli settlers destroyed two hundred olive trees in the al-Lubban al-Sharqiya village in southern Nablus of the northern West Bank before dawn on Friday.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Eli settlement completely destroyed some two hundred 10-year-old olive trees, in the Wadi Ali area of the village, belonging to a Palestinian identified as Nael Awayseh.

Daghlas said that Palestinian owners of the olive-tree field discovered the destroyed trees on Friday morning after Israeli settlers had carried out the attack overnight.

Israeli settlers damage 40 Palestinian vehicles in Nablus

Ma’an – August 17, 2018

NABLUS – Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian house, punctured and damaged vehicles in the northern West Bank district of Nablus late Thursday.

The attacks came after an Israeli settlers was killed by a Palestinian driver in a car accident, initially thought to be a vehicular attack, near Nablus, late Thursday night.

The Palestinian driver, 60, turned himself in to the Palestinian liaison, shortly after the accident, saying that he had fled the site of the accident out of fear.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli settlers damaged some 40 Palestinian vehicles by throwing rocks and empty glass bottles towards vehicles using the Nablus-Tulkarem road (illegal Yitzhar settlement road), Huwwara and Zaatara checkpoints in the area and the near the illegal Israeli settlement of Eli.

Israeli settlers also burned down an excavator belonging to a Palestinian, identified as Muhammad Issa Makhlouf, after they had raided a stone-factory in the Urif village.

In the Jalud village in Nablus, dozens of Israeli settlers from the illegal Ahiya settlement attacked the eastern part of the village and attempted to set a Palestinian house on fire before locals prevented them. … Full article

Two Palestinians killed, dozens injured by Israeli gunfire in Gaza

Palestine Information Center – August 17, 2018

GAZA – Two Palestinian citizens were killed and dozens injured when the Israeli occupation forces opened fire at the peaceful Palestinians taking part in the protests of the 21st Friday of the Great March of Return.

Gaza Ministry of Health announced that Kareem Abu Fatayer, 30, and Sa’di Muammar, 26, were killed, while 270 protesters were injured, 60 of whom by live ammunition.

The Higher National Committee for the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege affirmed that the Palestinian people will never give up their right to return and establish their independent state.

The Committee stressed that the protests will continue until Gaza siege is lifted and the suffering of the Palestinian people living in the seaside area is ended.

Since the start of the Great March of Return protests in Gaza, 158 Palestinians have been killed and over 17,000 injured by the Israeli soldiers who deliberately use lethal force against unarmed protesters.

Israel extends detention of Palestinian woman on day of release

Ma’an – August 17, 2018

HEBRON – The Israeli authorities renewed, on Friday morning, the administrative detention of Palestinian prisoner Fidaa Muhammad Ikhlayyil, 21, from Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank district of Hebron.

Ikhlayyil’s family said that they were awaiting Fidaa’s release via an Israeli military checkpoint near Tulkarem City in the northern West Bank as she ends her administrative detention sentence on Friday.

An Israeli army officer informed the family that their daughter would not released as her detention has been extended.

Ikhlayyil, a university student, was detained by Israeli forces six months ago and charged with incitement against Israel via her social media pages. … Full article

Facebook removes pro-Palestinian Occupy London page

RT | August 17, 2018

A Facebook page containing pro-Palestinian posts has been taken down by the social media giant. The latest in a string of pages removed by Facebook, it has renewed claims of “censorship” against the company.

The closure of the Occupy London page, which has garnered more than 150k followers since its opening in 2011, follows the “continual removal of posts related to Palestine”, an Occupy London spokesperson told The Canary.

They added that it is not the first time the social network attempted to “censor” its content.

“It feels like censorship. For months, we faced removal of posts related to Palestine. Perhaps once every few weeks or so, a post would be taken down and admins for the page were frozen out of their personal accounts. Then, today, Facebook unpublished the entire page.” … continue

Why we urgently need alternative news sources

By Kathryn Shihadah | Palestine Home | August 17, 2018

Israel has discerning taste in news: it prefers headlines that make Palestinians sound like instigators and terrorists – and when they don’t, a few well-placed phone calls or tweets will usually do the trick. Mainstream media lives in Israel’s pocket. Alternative news sources are the lifeblood of truth, especially when it comes to the Israel/Palestine issue. … continue

The UK’s Prime Minister-in-Waiting Must Zap the Circling Sharks

Nice-guy Jeremy Corbyn needs to get mean

By Stuart Littlewood | American Herald Tribune | August 17, 2018

“Don’t argue, do as we say!” Confronted with that attitude many of us would simply slam the door. Like me, you’re probably sick to death with the unedifying spectacle of Britain’s Labour Party being bullied by the Jewish Leadership Council, the Board of Deputies of British Jews and a handful of Labour MPs to adopt the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism in full, with not one jot or tittle left out no matter how silly, and to make it a cornerstone of the party’s code of conduct. … continue

What Do The Winners In Syria Want?

ORIENTAL REVIEW – 17/08/2018

After the liberation of the provinces of Daraa and Quneitra, the Syrian civil war entered a new phase. The available land that was up for grabs by any new liberator — without the need for negotiations with outside actors — was shrinking (one section of the desert under ISIL control does not count – it will soon be cleared out). Only Idlib is left, which is controlled (albeit only in spots and to a limited extent) by Turkey, as well as the environs of al-Tanf and the Kurdish regions located within the American protectorate.  And their liberation must be preceded by diplomatic agreements with the protector states. … continue

False Western Narratives have Deepened Russia-West Estrangement

By Tony Kevin | 21st Century Wire | August 17, 2018

We have a situation now in which two major world governments, UK and Russia, both nuclear powers and permanent members of the UNSC, are upholding entirely opposed and contradictory narratives on two issues – the alleged Salisbury/Amesbury Novichuk poisonings, and the alleged nerve gas attacks by Assad Government forces on 7 April in Douma, Syria (on basis of false White Helmets-staged evidence) . The latter allegation led to a US/UK bombing attack on Syrian Air Force bases.

On both issues, the US and French governments – also UNSC members and nuclear powers – have in solidarity supported UK government- sourced narratives , though in the former case there has been no UK judicial process, and in the latter case OPCW inspectors have found no physical evidence of use of nerve agents in Douma , and nor do local people’s accounts support the allegations. … continue

Totally Irrusianal

By Paul Edwards | CounterPunch | August 17, 2018

Enough with accusations. Let’s assume the worst. Or maybe you think of it as the best. Let’s stipulate that Trump, never mind how, is the helpless tool of evil Putin. Putin posted social media attack rants to sow confusion and doubt in American minds about their country, and ordered the DNC hacking to expose and discredit Hillary on Wikileaks and get his puppet elected. What follows? What was his grand purpose, the endgame? … continue

Assessing US Marines Deployment to Norway: No Big Deal or Serious Threat to Russia?

By Arkady SAVITSKY | Strategic Culture Foundation | 17.08.2018

Norway has abandoned its traditional policy of “no foreign forces on our national soil.” On Aug. 15, the Norwegian defense ministry reported that the US will more than double (from 330 to more than 700) the number of Marines stationed in that country, in line with plans first outlined in June. The deployments to Norway are expected to last at least five years, compared with the former posting that ran for six months after the initial contingent arrived in 2017 and was then extended last June. A new military base at Setermoen will accommodate the US personnel this fall. The United States has expressed interest in building infrastructure to host up to four US fighter jets at a base 65 kilometers south of Oslo, as part of the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI).

The reinforcement comes ahead of a large-scale exercise dubbed Trident Juncture 18 — the biggest NATO maneuver in decades, involving 40,000 soldiers, 130 aircraft, and 70 vessels from more than 30 nations. That training event will be held from October to November in central and eastern Norway, the North Atlantic, and the Baltic Sea. Iceland, Sweden, and Finland will also take part. … continue

US violated international law over Russian diplomatic missions, Moscow tells Washington

RT | August 17, 2018

Washington has violated international law with respect to Russian diplomatic missions in the US, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a protest note filed to DC.

The ministry expressed “protest at the continued violation of international law by the US with regard to” Russian diplomatic missions and consulates in the US, according to a statement on its website.

The complaint concerns Russian diplomatic properties in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as in the states of Maryland and New York.Moscow said that the “negative consequences” undermine not only US-Russian relations, but also “the principles of the sovereignty of states and international cooperation.”

Moscow said that it has a right to take “additional countermeasures” against US diplomatic property on Russian soil if the US “continues violations” against its facilities. … continue

Baghdad grapples with ‘curse’ of US sanctions on Iran

By Omar al-Jaffal | Asia Times | August 17, 2018

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has raised the level of uncertainty over how Iraq will handle long-expected US sanctions on Iran.

In the span of less than a week, Abadi went from pledging to abide by the sanctions the day after they were imposed, to backtracking on his statement.

“I said yes, we will abide … but abide when it comes to dollar transactions,” Abadi told reporters Monday. The confusion for Iraqi citizens and political parties is even greater for the Central Bank of Iraq.

“Dealing in dollars with Iran has been banned for a very long time,” the bank’s director general of financial operations, Mahmoud Dagher, told the media. “Neither the bank nor the banking system deals with Iran in dollars when it comes to foreign trade.”

Iran is not only a neighbor to Iraq, with a land border of more than 1,000 kilometers. It dominates the Iraqi market and political scene. … continue

Turkish State Media Exposes The American Empire & Its Media

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 08/13/2018

Amid growing diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and Turkey, Turkish TV station ‘A Haber’ on Saturday presented a detailed segment on The American Empire and its Media, based on an infographic tweeted out earlier this year by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and showing the surprisingly close interrelations between U.S. mainstream media and key foreign policy institutions.

This anti-American propaganda (if that is what one calls a foreign nation daring to expose the truth about America), comes in the wake of various speeches and after Erdogan wrote a Friday New York Times op-ed cataloging his grievances and threatening to walk away from the decades-old alliance. … continue

CNN Español uses photo of pro-government rally in report about protest against Nicaraguan president

RT | August 17, 2018

CNN’s Spanish-language site used an easily-identifiable photograph of a pro-government rally in a report detailing a protest against Nicaragua’s president, sparking accusations of propaganda peddling and sloppy journalism.

CNN Español tweeted out a video report on August 15 about Nicaraguans “returning to the streets to express their rejection of [President] Daniel Ortega’s government,” accompanied by a photograph of a large pro-government rally that took place several days prior. … continue

Dishonest Daily Beast Russiagate Story Debunked by Whistle Blower Bill Binney

US Senate Intel Chairman to Former CIA Chief: Put Up or Shut Up About Collusion

Sputnik – 17.08.2018

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) had some choice words for security credential-deprived former CIA Director John Brennan. In a statement on Thursday, Burr essentially told Brennan to put up or shut up on the topic of Trump-Russia collusion.

“Russian denials are, in a word, hogwash,” Brennan wrote on Thursday in the New York Times’ opinion section. “Mr. Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.”

The former top brass at the CIA had his security clearance revoked by President Trump on Wednesday over what the White House called “risks posed by his erratic conduct and behavior.”

Burr fired back swiftly, saying, “Director Brennan’s recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power.” If Brennan “has some other personal knowledge of or evidence of collusion, it should be disclosed to the Special Counsel, not The New York Times,” he said.

Burr wondered whether the former chief spy’s assertion was based on intelligence he received while still working at the CIA. If so, “Why didn’t he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017?” the senator wondered. … continue