Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Current News and Analysis

YEMEN: U.S Involvement in UAE Controlled Torture and Detention Centres

By Vanessa Beeley | 21st Century Wire | June 21, 2018

Yesterday, reports flooded corporate media in the West of the torture sites and prisons in the south of Yemen. Previous reports had also highlighted potential U.S involvement in the detention centres, with U.S forces allegedy working as interrogators in these dens of suffering for the Yemeni people.

The Legal Centre for Rights and Development in Yemen and ARWA Rights have been documenting the hideous crimes committed in these makeshift prisons and torture chambers for some time. According to Mohammed Al Wazir of Arwa Rights… continue

UK Worried NATO to be Hurt if Trump Meets Putin Before Bloc’s Summit – Reports

Sputnik – 21.06.2018

US President Donald Trump may sit down for talks with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during his trip to Europe next month.

The British government fears that the two presidents could meet before NATO’s upcoming summit in Brussels and Trump’s official visit to London.

“It’s unclear if this meeting is after or before the NATO and UK visit. Obviously after would be better for us,” the Times quoted a Whitehall source as saying.

“It adds another dynamic to an already colorful week,” the official added.

According to the newspaper, London is alarmed that the possible talks between the US and Russian presidents could have an impact on Trump’s commitment to NATO’s “shared goals” and the outcome of his July 13 visit to Britain.

The Times also quoted a Western diplomatic source as saying that if Trump and Putin meet before the July 11 NATO summit in Brussels, this would be viewed as a highly negative development. … Full article

Cuba Denuclearized in 1962. Why Continue the Embargo?

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | June 20, 2018

In a time in which President Trump is saying that the U.S. government will lift economic sanctions against North Korea if it “denuclearizes,” why not lift the decades-old U.S. economic embargo against Cuba? After all, Cuba “denuclearized” back in 1962. Why is the U.S. government still punishing the people of Cuba with its brutal economic embargo?

In fact, the continued existence of the Cuban embargo might well cause North Korea to ask: If we really do denuclearize, how can we be assured that U.S. officials will really lift their sanctions on North Korea given the continuation of their brutal embargo against Cuba after it denuclearized more than 50 years ago? … continue

Here’s Why Pro-Migrant Protesters Changed US Policy While Anti-War Protesters Didn’t End America’s Recent Wars

By Adam Garrie | EurasiaFuture | June 20, 2018

Donald Trump has just signed an executive order reversing the Clinton era policy of separating children from their illegal migrant parents at the southern border of the United States. While this policy has been in operation since the 1990s, it was only in the last month that it caught the attention of American media and the political class.

Ultimately, the issue is one for the leaders of the US to decide and under immense media and political pressure, the US President has taken the matter into his own hands and changed a policy based entirely on a public pressure campaign rather than his own apparent line of thinking which favours an increasingly tough border policy.

What this proves is that on issues effecting the well being of humans who happen not to be US citizens, public pressure campaigns can in fact get policies changed, especially in an election year. When one thinks that George W. Bush illegally invaded Iraq just over a year before facing re-election while Tony Blair did the same only two short years before facing the UK electorate, it beggars belief that anti-war campaigns have been so ineffective at reversing policies that slaughter millions, destroy entire regions and all the while unleashing the most barbaric forms of terrorism in places where there once was little or none. … continue

US’ Bombing Spree in Afghanistan Reaches Record Levels

Sputnik – 21.06.2018

The United States’ military’s air assault campaign in Afghanistan is reaching heights not seen since at least 2009 – as far back as available data goes – according to a new report from Air Force Central Command.

The uptick in payloads delivered comes 17 years since the US invaded the country in an effort to oust the Taliban from power. Just last November, America’s top general in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, said that the war was in a “stalemate.”

As of May 2018, the US has already dropped 2,339 weapons from the Afghan skies since the start of the year. May saw the deployment of some 591 munitions in Operation Freedom Sentinel, more than any month since October 2017. … Full article

The Persistent Myth of U.S. Precision Bombing

By Nicolas J S Davies | Consortium News | June 20, 2018

U.S. media routinely repeat Pentagon talking points about the accuracy of U.S. bombing, but how precise are these attacks, asks Nicholas J.S. Davies. – Read article

Trump withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council is business as usual for US

By John Laughland | RT | June 20, 2018

Unlike other decisions taken by Donald Trump the announcement that the US is leaving the UN Human Rights Council has a lot of background in the policies adopted by previous administrations, many of which also despised the body.

Trump has gone a little further than his predecessors but his attitude is not fundamentally different from theirs.

Not only has the US had a long-running dispute with the UN in general, over its budget contribution and the body’s alleged hostility towards Israel, it has also sought to undermine the role of the Human Rights Council in particular, long before Trump was elected. A former US representative to the UN founded the NGO UN Watch in 1993 to campaign against the UN’s perceived anti-Israeli bias.

In 2004, even before the Human Rights Council was created in 2006, the USA sponsored the creation of a “democracy caucus” within the UN whose goal was to increase the influence of the US and its allies in the organization, on the basis that countries deemed democratic should have greater rights.

The potential for abuse of this principle was both enormous and obvious. Yet it reflected the decision taken by the Clinton administration in 1999 to arrogate to the US and its allies, especially NATO, the right to adjudicate and enforce human rights around the world. As the British Prime Minister Tony Blair explained at the time, the 78-day NATO attack against Yugoslavia was designed to establish this as a new principle of international relations. In its new strategic concept promulgated at the height of the bombing of a small Balkan country by the most powerful military alliance in the history of the world, NATO announced that “the abuse of human rights” was a security threat to which it had the right to react. … continue

Russia welcomes US pullout from UNHRC, says council can work better now

Press TV – June 20, 2018

Russia has welcomed the United States’ pullout from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying the body has lost nothing and can operate more freely now.

“I cannot say that the council lost anything,” Russia’s permanent representative at the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva, Gennady Gatilov, said Wednesday.

“Moreover, I hope that in the wake of the United States’ walkout there will be less politicization, double standards and confrontation,” he added.

The comments came a day after US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Washington’s withdrawal over what they called the body’s entrenched bias against Israel. … Full article

Israel welcomes US withdrawal from Human Rights Council

Palestine Information Center – June 20, 2018

Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the US administration’s withdrawal from membership of the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday over what it labeled as a bias against Israel and a lack of reform.

In a statement released by his office, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the US move, branding the council “a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organization that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.” … Full article

Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian car, injuring 27-year-old man

Ma’an – June 20, 2018

BETHLEHEM – Israeli forces shot and wounded a Palestinian man on Wednesday after they opened fire on his car near the village of Umm Salmuna in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem.

Locals identified the man as Ahmad Nasser Thawabta, 27, from the Bethlehem-area town of Beit Fajjar.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Thawabta was shot in the back by Israeli forces after they opened fire on his car. He was immediately transferred to a hospital in Hebron for medical treatment. … Full article

Israel demolishes Palestinian house in O. Jerusalem

Palestine Information Center – June 20, 2018

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM – Israeli bulldozers demolished a Palestinian-owned house in the village of Qalandia, to the north of the occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

The local journalist Mahmoud Awadallah reported that Israeli forces, accompanied by two bulldozers, raided the village and proceeded to demolish the two-room house.

Nearby trees were also uprooted during the demolition process, he added.

The house was demolished despite an Israeli court ruling banning its demolition, Awadallah underlined.

20 Palestinian buildings in the village are also threatened with demolition for being allegedly built without Israeli permit.

Army To Demolish Wells And A Shed Near Bethlehem

IMEMC News – June 20, 2018

Israeli soldiers delivered demolition orders targeting seven wells and a shed, Wednesday, in Teqoua’ town, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.

The water wells, built on private Palestinian lands, are owned by Ahmad Khalaf Jibreel, Ibrahim Mohammad Jibreel, and Salem Za’al Jibreel, Atiya Mousa Jibreel, Salam Abu Mfarreh, Ali Mahmoud Khatib and Ali Yousef Nuwwara.

Also, the soldiers delivered another demolition order targeting a shed, owned by Monir Mahmoud Suleiman.

Israeli court fails to rule on whether ‘enhanced interrogation’ is torture

RT | June 20, 2018

An Israeli court has failed to decide if so-called ‘enhanced interrogation’ used by Israeli security services constitutes torture, but threw out a confession by a Jewish minor, made under duress, in a Palestinian firebombing case.

The two young Jewish Israeli suspects are charged with launching Molotov cocktails at the home of the Palestinian Dawabsha family in 2015.

The attack in the West Bank town of Duma killed a toddler and his parents.For months the police and the security agency Shin Bet made no apparent progress in resolving the case but later arrested Amiram Ben-Uliel, who is alleged to have prepared and thrown the bombs, and an unnamed minor who allegedly assisted him in planning the arson.

The Central District Court in Lod in Central Israel rejected a confession made by the minor but abstained from condemning Shin Bet of physically abusing him. … Full article

Sinn Féin calls on Irish gov’t to cut ties with Israel

Palestine Information Center – June 20, 2018

BELFAST – Sinn Féin, the Irish Republican Party, has renewed its call on the government to expel the Israeli ambassador to Ireland and boycott Israel over its persistence in committing crimes and violations against the Palestinian people.

This came in a statement released by Sinn Féin during its annual conference, which kicked off a few days ago.

The Irish party expressed solidarity with the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle for freedom and the establishment of their independent state.

It also called for executing decisions taken by Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate) with regard to recognizing the state of Palestine.

U.S. News Media Can’t Talk About Adelson Foreign Policy

By Eli Clifton | LobeLog | June 19, 2018

Over the past month, two mainstream news outlets have done in-depth reporting on the grip that Sheldon Adelson, President Donald Trump’s and the GOP’s biggest donor, holds over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. LobeLog has closely followed this important story, so it’s heartening to see The Guardian and CBC highlighting the apparent capture of U.S. foreign-policy decision-making by a billionaire donor.

But there’s a noticeable gap in the coverage of this topic. U.S. news outlets, which routinely “follow the money” when it comes to domestic issues, are almost completely avoiding any reporting on the clear link between Adelson’s campaign contributions and the administration’s pursuit of policies that hew closely to positions espoused by the billionaire casino magnate.

Adelson’s influence over the Trump administration’s foreign policy is hard to overlook. The Las Vegas-based billionaire, and currently the fourteenth wealthiest American, is outspoken about his political views. He has suggested using nuclear weapons against Iran, declared the “purpose of the existence of Palestinians is to destroy Israel,” promoted John Bolton for a senior foreign-policy post, directly lobbied Trump about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Newt Gingrich, himself a recipient of Adelson’s financial support during his failed 2012 presidential big, said that his benefactor’s “central value” is Israel. … continue

South Korea wants railroad link to Russia through North Korea

RT | June 20, 2018

Seoul, Moscow and Pyongyang can implement several major trilateral infrastructure and energy projects if stability is reached on the Korean peninsula, according to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

One such project could be a railway that will be able deliver goods from Russia to South Korea through North Korea. “Once the Trans-Korean Main Line is built, it may be connected to the Trans-Siberian Railway. In this case, it will be possible to deliver goods from South Korea to Europe, which would be economically beneficial not only to South and North Korea but to Russia as well,” Moon Jae-in said in an interview with Russian media ahead of his state visit to Moscow.

A gas pipeline coming from Russia to North Korea to be extended to the South is another possibility, he said. “We can also build a gas pipeline via North Korea, so that not only South Korea will receive Russian gas but we will also be able to deliver it to Japan,” the South Korean president said.

The project to unite the Korean Peninsula with a gas pipeline has been discussed for a long time, but official talks started in 2011. The negotiations were frozen after relations between Seoul and Pyongyang deteriorated. Last week, Russian energy major Gazprom announced it resumed talks with Seoul over the construction of a gas pipeline connecting Russia with North and South Korea.

The countries could also connect their electricity grids, Moon Jae-in said. “We can also establish a powerline that would allow us to receive electricity from Russia. It could also be delivered not only to South and North Korea but also to Japan.”

After the IG Report, Let’s Kill the FBI While We Can

It’s time for this intrusive, politicized, and overly powerful agency to be dumped.

By J.D. Tuccille | Reason | June 19, 2018

If you hoped for a scathing and yet inconclusive report that would satisfy absolutely none of the partisan players claiming the FBI played favorites in the 2016 presidential election, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz dropped exactly that last week. Basically, the IG found no evidence that the FBI intentionally acted to affect the outcome of the election, but that its staff and leadership behaved like rogue, politicized clowns.

And if that’s all we can agree upon, perhaps it’s enough to pull the plug on this excessively powerful internal security force that’s been playing at politics since its founding. … continue

The Deep State “Informants” Used Against the Trump Campaign Were Agent Provacateurs

By Mark F. McCarty | Medium | June 3, 2018

Claims that the Deep State employed “spies” against the Trump campaign seem to be off-base — they were employing agent provocateurs, whose intent was to provoke Trump associates into behavior that, if it couldn’t be construed as illegal, could be used to obtain warrants on them to justify further surveillance and to excuse the surveillance already conducted illegally. – Read full article

Immigration Divides Europe and the German Left

Consortium News | June 19, 2018

A battle between regulated immigration and a utopian vision in line with international finance is splitting the German Left Party, giving an opening to the right, as Diana Johnstone explains. – Read article

Ex-British soldier to face manslaughter charge over Troubles checkpoint killing

RT | June 19, 2018

A former British soldier has been informed that he will stand trial over the death of a Catholic man in Northern Ireland in 1988.

Victim, Aidan McAnespie, 23, was shot dead after being hit by one of three bullets fired from a machine gun in Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, while he was on his way to a local Gaelic football match.

Named as David Jonathan Holden, 48, in a letter by the solicitors representing the deceased’s family, the former Grenadier Guardsman is believed to be currently living in England. His first court appearance is expected to take place within the next three months.

Holden had been initially charged with manslaughter immediately after the killing, however, charges were dropped in 1990. He was subsequently fined for negligent discharge of his weapon and medically discharged from the Army, saying that having wet hands during the incident had caused his weapon to accidentally misfire.

The family of the deceased, however, have maintained that prior to his killing, McAnaspie was subject to a campaign of sustained harassment by the Army. … continue

Palestinians in Hebron say Israeli forces strip-searched them on their way home

Ma’an – June 19, 2018

HEBRON – Israeli forces reportedly strip searched Palestinians as they were on their way to their homes in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Monday.

Local activists told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers stationed at a checkpoint in the neighborhood forced residents to remove some pieces of their clothing in a “provocative and humiliating way” before allowing them entry.

According to witnesses, dozens of Palestinians reportedly gathered around the checkpoint to argue with the soldiers over the invasive searches, at which point the soldiers closed the checkpoint temporarily, preventing residents from reaching their homes.

Tel Rumeida has long been a flashpoint for tensions between Palestinians and Israeli settlers and military, and is located next to an illegal Israeli settlement. … Full article

UK vows to vote against Palestine at UN Human Rights Council

MEMO | June 19, 2018

The UK has joined the US in condemning an alleged anti-Israel bias at the UN, pledging to vote against issues on Palestine brought by the Human Rights Council.

Foreign Minister Boris Johnson yesterday urged the council to reform its treatment of Israel, objecting to the permanent Agenda Item 7 which deals with Israeli abuses in the Palestinian territories.

“We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Johnson said.

Whilst some European states and Australia have also criticised Item 7 in the past, the Trump administration has raised the prospect of the US withdrawing from the council unless it is scrapped.

Last week, US diplomats told reporters on condition of anonymity that it appeared more a matter of when, not if, the pull out threatened last year by the US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, will happen. With some believing it could happen as early as this week.

“As we have said numerous times, the UN Human Rights Council must be reformed to ensure it has the ability to realise its important mission,” the US State Department said on Friday.

The US has already pledged to leave the UN’s cultural arm UNESCO in protest of its recent resolutions recognising Palestinian heritage that they deemed “anti-Semitic”. … Full article

Israeli settlers raze Palestinian lands in al-Khalil

Palestine Information Center – June 19, 2018

AL-KHALIL – A group of Israeli settlers on Tuesday razed a large tract of Palestinian farmlands, east of Yatta town, in the southern West Bank province of al-Khalil.

Local coordinator of the anti-wall and anti-settlements committee, Rateb Jabour, said that settlers from Israel’s illegal settlement of Maon bulldozed dozens of dunums of farmlands under military protection.

The targeted lands belong to the Morr, Abu Bbeita and Moghannam families, he added.

The attack mainly aims to expand the illegal settlements of Maon and Havat Maon, according to Jabour.

He concluded that settlers have been stepping up efforts to destroy Palestinian farmlands in the area to expand nearby settlements, after Israeli authorities have issued new settlement plans in the area.

Millions Lack Food, Housing, and Healthcare, but Democrats join GOP to spend $716 Billion on Endless War and Empire

By Jake Johnson | Common Dreams | June 19, 2018

In a vote that further “entrenches endless war and bloated Pentagon spending” and places greater nuclear capacity in the hands of President Donald Trump, 38 Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) joined nearly every Senate Republican on Monday to pass a $716 billion defense bill that boosts military spending by over $80 billion and authorizes another $21.6 billion for nuclear weapons programs.

“We cannot spend more on our military than the next 10 nations combined while millions of Americans do not have food and housing and healthcare…That is why I voted against spending $716 billion on the military today.”

But Democrats and Republicans decided to join hands once more late Monday—in an overwhelming 85-10 vote—to affirm that militarism and massive handouts to defense contractors top education, healthcare, and anti-hunger programs on the list of congressional priorities. … Full article

Venezuela To Not Participate in Guyana-led Process at ICJ

teleSUR | June 18, 2018

Venezuela expressed its decision to not participate in the procedure that the government of Guyana introduced before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in relation to the territorial dispute over the Essequibo, its Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday.

“The Venezuelan delegation has informed the president of the court, through a letter signed by the President of the Republic, Nicolás Maduro Moros, of its sovereign decision not to participate in the procedure that Guyana intends to initiate, since the Court manifestly lacks jurisdiction over an action unilaterally proposed by the neighboring country, which does not have the consent of Venezuela, “the statement said.

The decision was made after a meeting took place at The Hague between the Venezuelan delegation led by Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, accompanied by Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, along with President of the ICJ Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf.

Venezuela has claimed the region part of its territory for hundreds of years, but an agreement signed in 1966 by the United Kingdom, which was Guyana’s then-colonizer, granted authority of the area to Guyana. Upon receiving independence, Guyana continued to claim the region, sparking a diplomatic conflict over the territory.

The dispute reemerged when Exxon Mobil Co. found massive oil reserves in the territory, and threw its weight behind Guyana, awarding contracts to begin drilling.

Trump holds the clock on North Korea while Putin plans his moves

By M.K. Bhadrakumar | Asia Times | June 19, 2018

The argument that China is being “marginalized” by Washington while it works bilaterally with Pyongyang on the profound security issues on the Korean Peninsula has been completely discredited with the surprising news that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is back in China on a two-day visit that began today.

The Singapore summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim seems set to produce untold surprises in the future. Kim is indeed acting shrewdly by anchoring his dealings with Trump on his pivotal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping. No amount of wishful thinking can obfuscate this geopolitical reality. … continue

Unprecedented Israeli Strikes Target Iraqi Shia Militias In Syria

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 06/18/2018

A day after a mysterious airstrike close to the Iraq-Syria border reportedly killed over 30 Syrian government soldiers and Iraqi paramilitary forces backed by Iran, a US official has told CNN the attack was carried out by Israel and not by the US coalition.

Syrian state media blamed the strike on the US-led coalition — though in the immediate aftermath any level of confirmation or evidence was hard to come by. The claims prompted the US coalition spokesman to issue a formal denial, calling Syria’s accusation “misinformation” as US-backed SDF forces are only operating east of the Euphrates, and not near Abu Kamal, which lies west, according to the statement.

If confirmed it would mark the first time in the war that Iraq’s paramilitary forces have been targeted by Israel. The Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMU, or PMF) have increasingly coordinated with the Syrian Army as well as pro-Syrian irregular Shia fighters during anti-ISIS operations along Syria’s eastern border of late. … continue

IDF Videos Aimed Squarely at Spurring Arab-on-Arab Hate and Sectarianism

By Whitney Webb | Mint Press News | June 11, 2018

GAZA – A new video released by an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) spokesman has unnerved many in the global Muslim community for its use of sectarian rhetoric and slurs targeting Shia Muslims that are often used by leaders of extremist Wahhabi terror groups.

The video, released on social media on Thursday and already with more than 20,000 views, shows IDF Major Avichay Adraee asserting that Palestinian resistance group Hamas is “imitating Iran’s mullahs” — thereby making the group “officially Shiites,” even though Hamas is nominally Sunni. … continue

Palestinian youth shot, killed by Israeli forces in eastern Gaza

Ma’an – June 18, 2018

GAZA CITY – Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian youth in eastern Gaza City on Monday noon.

Spokesperson of the Gaza Ministry of Health identified the youth as Sabri Ahmad Abu Khader, 24, adding that he was shot and injured at the eastern borders of the city and was then transferred to the al-Shifa Hospital for treatment where his injury was first reported as critical before he succumbed to his wounds.

Several youths had arrived on Monday morning to the return camp in eastern Gaza City to protest as part of the “Great March of Return” before Israeli forces deployed at the border opened fire at them. … Full article

France prevents Gaza-bound flotilla from docking in Seine

Press TV – June 18, 2018

Police in France have prevented two boats from a Gaza Strip-bound flotilla from docking in Seine River, despite subjecting the vessels to extensive searches in advance.

The boats and two other vessels are part of the Freedom Flotilla, which is to set sail for Gaza in the hope of breaking Israel’s siege of the coastal enclave.

The river police confronted the vessels on Sunday as dozens of pro-Palestinian activists were celebrating the flotilla’s imminent departure and chanting “Stop the massacre of Palestinians.”

The honorary president of the France-Palestine Solidarity Association (AFPS) Taoufiq Tahani confirmed that the boats had undergone a thorough inspection.

“We were unfortunately surprised and didn’t know that Israeli waters now begin in the Seine (river) in Paris. That’s unimaginable,” he said sarcastically.

The flotilla’s vessels are to meet in the Mediterranean before attempting to approach the Gaza. … Full article

Western Media Whitewash Yemen Genocide

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 18.06.2018

… As the horror of Hodeida unfolds, Western media are reporting with a strained effort to whitewash the criminal role of the American, British and French governments in supporting the offensive. Western media confine their focus narrowly on the humanitarian plight of Hodeida’s inhabitants and the wider Yemeni population. But the media are careful to omit the relevant context, which is that the offensive on Hodeida would not be possible without the crucial military support of Western governments. If the Western public were properly informed, the uproar would be an embarrassing problem for Western governments and their servile news media.

What is notable in the Western media reportage is the ubiquitous descriptor when referring to the Houthi rebels. Invariably, they are described as “Iran-backed”. That label is used to implicitly “justify” the Saudi and Emirati siege of Hodeida “because” the operation is said to be part of a “proxy war against Iran”. The BBC, France 24, CNN, Deutsche Welle, New York Times and Washington Post are among media outlets habitually practicing this misinformation on Yemen. … Read full article

American Pravda: The JFK Assassination, Part I – What Happened?

By Ron Unz • Unz Review • June 18, 2018

… Our reality is shaped by the media, but what the media presents is often determined by complex forces rather than by the factual evidence in front of their eyes. And the lessons of the JFK assassination may provide some important insights into this situation.

A president was dead and soon afterward his supposed lone assassin suffered the same fate, producing a tidy story with a convenient endpoint. Raising doubts or focusing on contrary evidence might open doors better kept shut, perhaps endangering national unity or even risking nuclear war if the trail seemed to lead overseas. The highest law enforcement officer in the country was the slain president’s own brother, and since he seemed to fully accept that simple framework, what responsible journalist or editor would be willing to go against it? What American center of power or influence had any strong interest in opposing that official narrative?

Certainly there was immediate and total skepticism overseas, with few foreign leaders ever believing the story, and figures such as Nikita Khrushchev, Charles DeGaulle, and Fidel Castro all immediately concluded that a political plot had been responsible for Kennedy’s elimination. Mainstream media outlets in France and the rest of Western Europe were equally skeptical of the “lone gunman theory,” and some of the most important early criticism of U.S. government claims was produced by Thomas Burnett, an expatriate American writing for one of the largest French newsweeklies. But in pre-Internet days, only the tiniest sliver of the American public had regular access to such foreign publications, and their impact upon domestic opinion would have been nil. … Read full article

Seoul Hopes for Announcement of Formal End of Korean War in 2018

Sputnik – 18.06.2018

The South Korean government has set a goal to achieve the formal end of the Korean War that took place in 1950-1953 before the end of the year, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Monday.

“The goal of our government is to strive for [a formal end of the war] this year,” Kang said, as quoted by the Yonhap news agency. … Full article

Seoul, Pyongyang Agree to Compete Together in 2018 Asian Games – Reports

Sputnik – 18.06.2018

North and South Korea have agreed to form joint teams for some competitions within the upcoming Asian Games, and march together under the unification flag during the opening and closing ceremonies of the tournament, the Yonhap news agency reported on Monday.

During their Monday’s talks in the truce village of Panmunjom, the representatives of the two Koreas also agreed to hold a friendly basketball game in Pyongyang on July 4, in line with the idea Kim voiced during the summit, the agency reported, citing the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Earlier in the day, representatives of both states held talks on the issue of jointly participating in the Asian Games and other sporting events in line with the landmark Panmunjom Peace Declaration, signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their April 27 summit.

The 2018 Asian Games will be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang between August 18 and September 2.

The agreement to jointly compete in the games is the most recent episode of rapprochement between the two states. In February, the teams from North and South Korea marched together during the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang and competed together in women’s hockey.

Which Door Has Opened? Kim Jong-un, Donald Trump, and the Singapore Summit

By Maximilian C. Forte | Zero Anthropology | June 17, 2018

Both leaders arrived in Singapore, with significant excitement greeting them. Trump, arriving from a bitter G7 meeting, after which he attacked Justin Trudeau personally, flew into Singapore on Sunday, June 10, as did Kim Jong-un, who took serious precautions in his travel arrangements. By this point Trump had already significantly lowered expectations, saying that it would just be a meeting where the two leaders got to start a dialogue: “at least we’ll have met each other, we’ll have seen each other; hopefully, we’ll have liked each other. We’ll start that process….But I think it will take a little bit of time”. The lowered expectations might have been well advised. The usual appeal to authority that is the now customary wail of panic-striken, discredited elites, was evidenced by the scorn heaped on the work of Dennis Rodman, for not being a “professional”—when his work was fundamental to laying the groundwork for the peace talks. Others, with a longer and more considered view of history, pointed out that, “The history of U.S. foreign policy is littered with unsuccessful presidential summits, even when they have been preceded by months of careful preparation and infused by a coherent strategy and clear objectives set by a well-informed and experienced president”. … continue

US Media, Democrats, Bolton Form Unholy Alliance to Fight Trump-Kim Nuclear Deal

Sputnik -June 18, 2018

WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s own National Security Adviser John Bolton, the Democratic Party and the US mainstream media were all trying to derail the US president’s new agreement with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, analysts told Sputnik.

On June 12, Trump and Kim met on the Singaporean island of Sentosa and signed a document showing their commitment to establish new bilateral relations and build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula. Trump also agreed to halt US-South Korea military exercises near the Korean peninsula, while Kim reiterated his country’s commitment to denuclearization.

The Democratic Party in the United States and the media establishment that supported them were cooperating closely to try and discredit Trump’s peace initiative in Korea, University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said. … continue

Real and Fake Threats to U.S. Vital Interests

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald tribune | June 18, 2018

There has been considerable chatter inside the Washington Beltway about the meaning of President Donald Trump’s recent forays into international trade at the G-7 meeting in Canada and his nuclear disarmament tete-a-tete with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Depending on where one sits on the ideological spectrum G-7 is being viewed either as a calculated and largely ignorant insult to America’s closest allies or as a long overdue accounting for trade and defense imbalances that have severely damaged the U.S. economy. The most vitriolic analysis came from Republicans like Senator John McCain who accused Trump of betraying America’s allies while also aiding its enemies. McCain was referring in part to the president’s eminently reasonable suggestions that Moscow be allowed to rejoin the G-7 and that it would be beneficial to get together personally with Russian President Vladimir Putin. … continue

Former Israeli spy chief: Iran’s energy sector, ‘next 9/11 in cyber’

Press TV – June 18, 2018

Former chief of an Israeli spy service unit has said that the first cyber target in any future conflict with Iran should be its energy infrastructure.

Speaking at a major cyber conference in Israel, former Unit 8200 chief Ehud Schnerosen referred to the energy sector as a “major pillar economy, state’s cardiovascular system.”

“We should not attack water, food, healthcare on ethical grounds, and should not attack banks because of the potential butterfly effect,” he said. “The next 9/11 in cyber will be energy sector.” … continue