Aletho News


Robots Are Taking Our Fake News Jobs!

Corbett • 11/08/2019

You’ve heard that the independent media (i.e. the media that actually challenges the establishment narratives) is full of Russian bots, and you probably know that this is neo-McCarthyist hooey. But did you know that most of the major newswires and online news outlets are already publishing bot-generated content? Well they are. So what does it mean that the establishment fake news is coming from the hand of bots? Find out in this edition of The Corbett Report.

Watch this video on BitChute / DTube / Minds.comYouTube or Download the mp4


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November 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

De Facto Collapse of Case Against Free Joseon?

By Konstantin Asmolov – New Eastern Outlook – 08.11.2019

After the first suspects in the case involving an attack on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid were identified, the author hoped that this would set the wheels in motion. However, since spring 2019 there have not been any news reports about it, and the ones published have been disappointing.

The only person, arrested in connection with the case in April 2019, was Christopher Ahn, a 38-year-old American of Korean descent and a former marine. He was released on $1.3 million bail, and was meant to wear an ankle bracelet and remain at an “undisclosed location”, which he was allowed to leave only to go to a medical clinic or to church.

We would like to remind our readers that Christopher Ahn and the others accused of the attack on the DPRK Embassy, had taken diplomatic personnel hostage, and had beaten up and handcuffed embassy staff before taking a civil servant of the highest rank to the basement and urging him to defect from North Korea. The robbers escaped from the building in embassy vehicles, having taken two thumb drives, two computers and two hard drives with them. They later shared the contents of these devices with the FBI under mutually agreed terms of confidentiality.

Some of the staff were tortured. Hence, in accordance with Spanish laws, the attackers face a 10-year sentence for the crime of robbery by violence, intimidation or threat, for torture and for being a member of a criminal organization. Their involvement was proven by evidence collected by the police at the scene of the crime, medical reports, footage from surveillance cameras and statements given by the staff of the DPRK Embassy.

According to Linkedin, Christopher Ahn, currently employed by Digital Strategy & Marketing Consulting, served in the US marines for 6 years. His responsibilities included monitoring prisoners in American jails in Fallujah and taking part in other intelligence missions.

Officially, Christopher Ahn was meant to remain under house arrest until further progress in the investigation was made and his potential extradition to Spain. However, Magistrate Judge Jean Rosenbluth said that Ahn’s family and friends risked losing the money paid as bail if the suspect escaped. And while making her decision public, she said the following phrase, which could appear to have a dual meaning to any conspiracy theorist: “I have spent a lot of time reading about you and I trust that you will do the right thing.” Jean Rosenbluth also added that she had seen evidence from US authorities suggesting that the DPRK government posed a risk to Christopher Ahn’s life. And although it is unusual to release someone who faces extradition on bail, her order to do so stated: “The Court could find no other case in which most of the evidence came from representatives of a government with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations.”

The leader of Free Joseon, Adrian Hong, is still on the run as he “fears for his safety.” The U.S. Marshals Service believes that he could be armed and dangerous. When law enforcement agents came to arrest him, he was not in his apartment. And his lawyer stated that he did not know where his client was at the time. In fact, CNN has publicized a video which shows six police officers entering the flat and shouting “Police!” before conducting the search. Was this a covert warning by chance?

In addition, U.S. citizen Samuel Ryu and South Korean Wooram Lee, whose whereabouts are unknown, are also involved in the case.

However, another individual is of even greater interest. According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Judge José de la Mata, of Spain’s High Court, issued the fifth international arrest warrant against Charles Ryu (or Cheol Ryu), a high-profile North Korean defector who was only recently identified as linked with the raid on the embassy.

24-year-old Charles Ryu is a U.S. citizen and well-known activist, who, according to NK News, earlier worked for the nonprofit organization Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). Cheol Ryu became a more public figure in 2018, when he began to tell media outlets about his escape from the DPRK as a child and his new life in the United States. An active social media user, Cheol Ryu visited South Korea in January 2019, and in March of the same year, he began a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for a documentary about his experiences. He has said that he escaped from North Korea twice, when he was 14 and 16 years of age, and that his mother had died of starvation when he was 11. For nine months of his life (probably after his first failed attempt to escape), Cheol Ryu was held in a North Korean detention center, where he was “ordered to carry out forced labor and later worked in a coal mine.”

After his escape, he settled in the United States and later on became a U.S. citizen. NK News reported that LiNK CEO Hannah Song made the following statement about Cheol Ryu (who finished his internship with the organization in November 2018): “While working with us, he was a genuinely passionate advocate for the North Korean people. It appears that he was contacted by Adrian Hong and, unbeknownst to our organization, recruited to be involved in Free Joseon’s activities after leaving LiNK.”

United States Department of Justice official “declined to comment when asked for more details about Ryu’s case, or whether the U.S. would comply with Spain’s requests for his extradition.” However, there are rumors that Cheol Ryu was identified as a suspect when he was caught on camera entering the embassy, and that a number of appeals made by Free Joseon were written by him.

In the meantime, Free Joseon, which portrays itself as “government-in-exile” for North Korea, continues to publicize various appeals from time to time. They are then re-stated by lawyer Lee Wolosky: “It is completely unprecedented, and extremely sad and unfortunate, that the Department of Justice is — for the first time ever — executing arrest warrants against U.S. citizens based on criminal complaints of North Korea, and based on the accounts of North Korean witnesses who we know not to be credible.” He has also said that it was dangerous to release any information about the organization because then Pyongyang death squads would use this against it. There are also appeals to Washington to decline the extradition request from the Spanish government as there is a possibility that Madrid would hand over the suspects to the DPRK, where they would be executed.

Lee Wolosky openly refers to his clients as heroes, who deserve “much better treatment” and Free Joseon as the “magnet for defectors, who contact them in a variety of ways in all places around the globe”.

“Let these men go back to serving their country, the United States, and to work toward a free and democratic North Korea as they have been doing. Let them go back to their families and let them go back to their service,” the lawyer has said.

Christopher Ahn’s other lawyer Naeun Rim said in an interview: “This case continues to unnecessarily endanger the life of an American veteran based on the statements of North Korean officials who lack all credibility.” Moreover, he believes that if his client was to go to Spain, he would be within reach of North Korean authorities. In an interview with CNN Naeun Rim said: “There are people on the ground who are connected to the North Korean government, they can reach out to people in Spain if they want to commit a crime or harm somebody.” And since DPRK agents are most likely “in touch with people in the underworld, in Spain,” they “would have no trouble finding their way into a Spanish jail if Mr. Ahn were to be detained there”.

Hence, although the investigation revealed some interesting information, the case has essentially collapsed. After all, the suspects in this case are being sought by authorities but not very actively or they were released on bail and, in fact, disappeared. U.S. Department of Justice and Department of State have refused to comment on the case.

The reason for this behavior is clear, neither the anti-North Korean lobby nor the law enforcement agencies view these people as criminals. And this means that these anti-DPRK terrorists could still stage a provocation of equal magnitude to the raid on the embassy or the murder of Kim Jong-nam that, in the author’s opinion, they are responsible for.

Konstantin Asmolov, Ph.D, is aChief Research Fellow of the Center for Korean Studies, Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences.

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Subjugation - Torture | , | Leave a comment

Iran is winning strategic struggle for influence, even as US cripples its economy

By Darius Shahtahmasebi | RT | November 8, 2019

A new report has confirmed what some analysts have been saying for some time: that Iran is winning the regional struggle for strategic influence.

The 217-page report, published by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), is entitled “Iran’s Networks of Influence in the Middle East” and details Tehran’s use of proxy forces and networks throughout the region and the effects and benefits of its “minimum output” foreign policy strategy.

It is probably worth mentioning at this point that H.R. McMaster, Trump’s former national security adviser, was once an employee of the IISS. As was James Steinberg, a former US deputy secretary of state. Furthermore, at the end of 2016, the Guardian revealed that the organization had received £25 million ($32 million) from the Bahraini royal family (apparently almost half of its total income has come from Bahrain). Iran and Bahrain aren’t exactly close friends.

Notwithstanding the potential motives and bias of the IISS, the report definitely arrives at some interesting conclusions.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has tipped the balance of effective force in the Middle East in its favor,” the report explains.

But here’s the crazy part. Iran is, and has been for years, completely pummeled to the ground by US-imposed sanctions. Many commentators have for some time now been predicting an impending collapse of the Iranian economy.

On top of that, and likely because of this fact, Iran’s military budget has consistently been low (especially when compared to the United States or any of Washington’s major allied powers in the region). This flies completely in the face of allegations that Iran is a regional aggressor and the number-one state sponsor of terrorism (with what money?), but don’t let this get in the way of a good story.

According to the US Defense Department’s annual review of the country, “Iran’s military doctrine is defensive. It is designed to deter an attack, survive an initial strike, retaliate against an aggressor, and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities while avoiding any concessions that challenge its core interests.”

In other words, despite being under the constant threat of war, whether from the US, Israel or Saudi Arabia, Iran is not looking for a fight. It maintains a much lower military expenditure than Saudi Arabia, Israel, and especially Washington, yet as the recent IISS report notes, it has emerged from the rubble of a war-torn Middle East region as a victor.

As Foreign Affairs (the Council on Foreign Relations’ magazine) explained in a recent article:

“Iran now enters its second year under maximum pressure strikingly confident in its economic stability and regional position.”

It is likely with this newfound confidence that Iran is beginning to dictate some shots of its own to the international community, particularly when it comes to the future of uranium enrichment. Foreign Affairs also explains that Iran has essentially weathered the storm of US sanctions and come up trumps all on its lonesome. Many of the people predicted to come to Tehran’s aid during the United States’ maximum pressure campaign have been nowhere to be seen.

According to the IISS report, Iran has been winning the regional geopolitical struggle for influence by developing asymmetric warfare, such as swarm tactics, drones and cyber-attacks. It has relied upon the Quds arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to increase its operations throughout the Middle East, as well as to provide training, support and weapons to other actors allied to Tehran. The report also notes Iran’s relationship with Hezbollah, its role in the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, as well as its role (supposedly) in Yemen.

As my Kung Fu instructor once told me, you serve yourself in a confrontation best by using minimum output for maximum gain. Winning the lottery doesn’t entail that you then go to a casino and put all your money down on your first gamble. Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have to expend it.

In comparison, Saudi Arabia has expended time, effort, billions of dollars and the lives of many innocent civilians waging a genocidal war in Yemen – and it’s still losing. As Bloomberg once explained:

“Saudi Arabia has better weapons than its enemies in Yemen, no surprise in a war that pits one of the richest Arab countries against the poorest. And still the Saudis are struggling to impose their will.”

Not only is it losing a war, it’s also losing an economic battle. At the beginning of the conflict, Reuters estimated that the war would cost Saudi Arabia approximately $175 million per month. However, even by the end of the first year of the war, the kingdom had to increase its defense spending by $5.3 billion. This trend has continued right throughout the conflict. At the end of 2016, Saudi Arabia had to announce a projected increase of 6.7 percent in defense spending for 2017, bringing its total budget to around $50.8 billion.

If the IISS report’s findings are correct, there may be a deep lesson in here for the US and its allies. Perhaps it’s not that Iran has emerged victorious despite the fact it has not spent billions of dollars invading other nations at any one time; but because it hasn’t been.

At the end of the day, how much influence can you exert when you forcibly invade, occupy and kill those countries you seek to influence?

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 2 Comments

Why the Only Thing Democrats Will Succeed in Impeaching Is Their Own Integrity

By Daniel Lazare | Strategic Culture Foundation | November 8, 2019

Last week’s impeachment headlines show why. If all you read is the New York Times, you’d think that the dump-Trump movement was going swimmingly. On Tuesday, Oct. 29, it announced that Congressman Adam Schiff, the Democrat leading the impeachment charge, had landed a key witness, a decorated army officer willing to testify that Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “so damaging to American interests that he reported it to a superior.” Two days later, the Times dropped another bombshell, the news that neocon regime-change advocate John Bolton, furious at Trump for firing him as national security adviser two months ago, might testify as well.

“Many Democrats regard Mr. Bolton as the perfect witness,” it said, “a respected conservative national security hawk who was nonetheless incensed by the how the president and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, and who broke sharply with the president upon his departure from the White House.”

Finally, another epic disclosure came on Friday. Yet another National Security Council official, the Times said, had “confirmed a key episode at the center of the impeachment inquiry, testifying that a top diplomat working with President Trump told him that a package of military assistance for Ukraine would not be released until the country committed to investigations the president sought.”

Wow! Two star witnesses plus confirmation, even if only second hand, that the president was guilty of a quid pro quo. Send up the flares — impeachment was on the way.

Except that it wasn’t. The Times was only telling half the story while trying desperately to keep the other half, far less favorable to the Democrats, under wraps.

Take the Oct. 29 article announcing Schiff dramatic new witness, a National Security Council staffer named Alexander S. Vindman. Deep inside was a curious tidbit:

“Because he emigrated from Ukraine along with his family when he was a child and is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, Ukrainian officials sought advice from him about how to deal with [Trump attorney Rudy] Giuliani, though they typically communicated in English.”

The Times began to hem and haw as soon as conservatives seized on the item. “We have a US national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest,” laughed Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “And, usually, they spoke in English. Isn’t that kind of an interesting angle on this story?” When rightwing internet activist Jack Posobiec tweeted that Vindman was trying “to counter President Trump’s foreign policy goals” and then cited the Times as the source, the paper declared huffily that, “in fact, the Times reported no such thing.”

But it did. Indeed, a subsequent Times piece was even more explicit. “During a May meeting in Ukraine to mark Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration,” it said, “the colonel advised him to try to avoid becoming ensnared in politics in the United States” by stonewalling Trump’s request for an investigation into corruption and Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.

If this wasn’t counseling a foreign government about how to counter White House policy, then what is? As the always provocative Moon of Alabama website pointed out, Vindman’s statement to Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee, conveniently leaked to the press, was revealing in other ways as well.

“[A] strong and independent Ukraine,” it said, “is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.… The US government policy community’s view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.” But, it continued, “outside influencers [are] promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency.”

References to a US government policy community should have raised all sorts of alarms. After all, what is such a community and who on earth appointed it? Who gets to decide what the consensus view is? How do we know outside influencers are promoting a false narrative – because the consensus says so?

What Vindman doesn’t understand is that in order to set policy, you’ve got to get elected, something Trump is – if only by the Electoral College – and something that self-appointed foreign-policy experts are not. Trump can seek policy advice from whatever source he wants, and it’s not up to some NSC flunky to tell him otherwise.

The other big news that the Times managed to ignore last week was the disclosure that the whistleblower who kicked off the furor over the Trump-Zelensky phone call is a 33-year-old CIA agent named Eric Chiaramella, an Obama holdover who advised Joe Biden on the Ukraine and who worked with a Democratic operative named Alexandra Chalupa, whose job was to meet with Ukrainian officials and dig up dirt on Trump.

Paul Sperry’s report in – which Chiaramella’s attorneys have so far failed to deny – is a big deal because of what it says about the infighting between Trump and Obama loyalists that is now tearing Washington apart. Chiaramella also turns out to be a member of Washington’s self-appointed policy community who thinks that Trump’s job is to do as he’s told. As an unnamed White House official told Sperry:

“My recollection of Eric is that he was very smart and very passionate, particularly about Ukraine and Russia. That was his thing – Ukraine. He didn’t exactly hide his passion with respect to what he thought was the right thing to do with Ukraine and Russia, and his views were at odds with the president’s policies.”

So Chiaramella reported his findings to Adam Schiff, who agreed right off the bat to prosecute the president for daring to set a new course. This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame.

Of course, the Times is to blame as well. It twisted the news so as to cheer on such misbegotten policies just as it cheered on the twin invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq a dozen years or so earlier. This is why it’s furious with Trump for holding Democrats to account and why it now fills its pages with endless blather about quid pro quo’s just as it once did about Russian collusion.

But it won’t work. The only thing Democrats will succeed in impeaching is their own integrity.

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , | 3 Comments

New START Treaty Extension is Only Way to Avoid Further Erosion of Arms Control – Moscow

Sputnik – 08.11.2019

MOSCOW – Extension of the Russian-US Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) is the only way to avoid further erosion of arms control and prevent strategic stability degradation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday, accusing Washington of ignoring Moscow’s concerns.

“We are extremely concerned over the situation around the future of the New START treaty, which expires in February 2021. This is the last instrument in control over the strategic offensive arms of our two countries. We have repeatedly expressed a readiness to address issues related to its possible extension.”

Under the current circumstances, the extension of the New START treaty seems to be the only way to prevent a complete degradation of strategic stability and avoid erosion of control and limitation mechanism in the area of nuclear arms and missiles, as well as win time to continue to study and work on approaches, including on new arms and technologies, and consider methods of their control”, Ryabkov said at the Moscow Non-Proliferation Conference.

While repeatedly raising this issue, the United States has avoided any substantive discussion, the diplomat noted.

“Besides this, Washington clearly ignores our concerns related to the US’ adherence to its commitments under the treaty and refuses to clarify its plans regarding the treaty’s extension”, Ryabkov added.

The diplomat stressed that the US has also suggested that the treaty should cover Russia’s new armaments.

“This is impossible without significant adjustments to the treaty’s text”, Ryabkov emphasised.

In the meantime, China has commented on a previous offer by the US to start trilateral talks on armament issues between Washington, Moscow and Beijing, stating it has no such plans, but noting that nuclear arms might be reduced to a reasonable extent.

The New START is the last remaining arms control accord in force between Moscow and Washington after the suspension of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The New START agreement stipulates that the number of strategic nuclear missiles launchers must be cut in half and limits the number of deployed strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550. It is set to expire in February 2021, and Washington has so far not announced plans to extend the accord.

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | Leave a comment

Norway Opens Up for Nuclear-Powered Allied Submarines’ Port Calls Despite Local Resistance

Sputnik – 08.11.2019

According to local media, the presence of international submarines in Norwegian waters has tripled. In 2018 alone, 27 port calls by US and UK nuclear-powered submarines were registered in Norway.

Soon, nuclear-powered submarines will become commonplace near the centre of Norway’s largest Arctic city of Tromso, Norwegian Defence Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen confirmed to the military newspaper Forsvarets Forum.

According to the minister, work is currently underway to prepare for port calls by allied nuclear-powered vessels at the Grotsund industrial port in Tonsnes. No exact time frame has been given, but it is assumed that the work will be completed over the next few months.

This means that warships of all calibre calling in for maintenance, logistics, or to rest their crews may become a common sight for the inhabitants of Tromso.

“Grotsund industrial port has been chosen as a port of call in Northern Norway because of a suitable dock and and good infrastructure in the area. This will be a permanent offering to our allies”, Bakke-Jensen said, describing the arrival of nuclear-powered submarines as part of the allied activity in Norway and surrounding areas.

Bakke-Jensen estimated the future number of calls at four to five a year. According to him, this will not entail any change in policy or approach to dealing with allied activity. This implies that Norway’s time-tested Bratelli Doctrine of 1975 that explicitly prohibits the arrival of foreign warships with nuclear weapons on board will stand.

“The Bratteli Doctrine has been established as Norwegian policy for over 40 years and has served Norway well”, the minister said.

However, these calls are not without controversy, and the project has met local opposition, among others from the Tromso Municipal Council. Local politicians and activists question the safety measures and are concerned over the consequences if anything goes wrong.

Bakke-Jensen stressed that regional actors have always been involved in the plans. He stressed that no call will be granted unless the Directorate of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety is sure that security is adequately safeguarded, and alleged that no accidents with western nuclear-powered vessels have occurred.

Meanwhile, the presence of international submarines in the waters outside of Norway has tripled, according to the daily newspaper Aftenposten. In 2018 alone, 27 port calls by US and UK nuclear-powered submarines were registered in Norway.

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | | Leave a comment

Inconvenient Truths

Alarming things we have learned under Trump, but not always about him.

By Stephen F. Cohen | The Nation | November 6, 2019

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump’s life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

§ The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core “Russiagate” allegation that “Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election” on Trump’s behalf—an “attack” so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no “attack” in 2016, only, as I have previously explained, ritualistic “meddling” of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other’s elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been “attacked by a hostile” entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party’s discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising.

§ We have also learned that the heads of America’s intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation “Intelgate,” and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book. Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

§ We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream “free press” cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media—leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular—chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr’s critics accuse him of fabricating a “conspiracy theory” on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of “collusion” between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was—or should have been—discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

§ And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia’s new “hyper-sonic” missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the “Putin puppet” and “Kremlin stooge” accusations still being directed at him? … continue

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Russophobia | | 1 Comment

Who Will Guard the Guards? Facebook Launches Programme to Stop Misinformation and Election Meddling

Sputnik – November 8, 2019

The company was repeatedly accused of not investing enough time and effort to stop the flow of fake news and prevent meddling during the 2016 presidential elections. At the same time, numerous media and politicians have raised concerns that new policies, meant to fight against misinformation could be used to suppress “unwanted” opinions.

Facebook has activated its project aimed at shielding the next presidential elections in the United States from meddling via the internet, the tech giant announced late Thursday.

“Today, we’re launching Facebook Protect to further secure the accounts of elected officials, candidates, their staff and others who may be particularly vulnerable to targeting by hackers and foreign adversaries. As we’ve seen in past elections, they can be targets of malicious activity”, the official statement read.

The corporation attempted to stop the spread of misinformation, noting that beginning next month, Instagram will make “accounts that repeatedly post misinformation harder to find”, while Facebook will filter them to exclude fakes from the news feed.

The system will also label “content across Facebook and Instagram that has been rated false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker”, Facebook added, without providing details on the said organisation or how the process will work.

According to the company, the new system will also let Facebook and Instagram users protect themselves from hacking and cyberattacks by using two-factor authentication.

“Participants will be required to turn on two-factor authentication, and their accounts will be monitored for hacking, such as login attempts from unusual locations or unverified devices. And, if we discover an attack against one account, we can review and protect other accounts affiliated with that same organisation that are enrolled in our programme”, Facebook stated.

The statement also echoes the opinion of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who claimed in October that Russia and Iran attempted to hack the 2016 elections – which Moscow and Tehran have repeatedly denied over the past three years, stressing there is no evidence to support the allegations.

Washington has even imposed sanctions against Russia over its alleged meddling in American elections in 2016 and 2018, while investigators were searching for possible connections between the Kremlin and US President Donald Trump or his campaign. However, after a two-year probe, Special Counsel Robert Mueller stated there was no evidence of such collusion.

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 1 Comment

‘Russiagate’ may be over in the US, but in the UK it’s just beginning

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee during a much-anticipated hearing about Russian interference into the 2016 election – EPA/JONATHAN ERNST / POOL
By Johanna Ross | November 8, 2019

‘It’s only a matter of time’ it occurred to me as I cast a glance over Dominic Cummings’ profile on Wikipedia a couple of months’ back. The mere mention that Cummings, Boris Johnson’s trusted advisor had spent several years in Russia, spoke Russian and enjoyed a bit of Dostoevsky was surely more than enough ammunition for the UK opposition, given the way ‘Russia’ has become almost a dirty word in itself over the last few years in the British and US political discourse. There was a half-hearted attempt to link Boris Johnson to Russian money in the Tory leadership race, but it didn’t gain much traction. But now with the Brexit election campaign kicking off, the gloves are off and we can only expect that every possible method of undermining each other will be used by the Conservatives and Labour parties alike.

We have perhaps not seen quite the hysteria over supposed Russian interference in elections here in the UK, as was in the US, but there were rumours of it after the vote to Leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. The general rule of thumb seems to be that if the result is not what the establishment wants or expects, then surely Russia must be to blame. After all, what could the alternative explanation be? That politicians are out of touch with the electorate? Surely not. This time, no sooner has the general election campaign begun, than the ‘Russia’ word has been used already to smear the Conservatives. The party has been accused by former attorney general Dominic Grieve of suppressing a parliamentary report into Russian interference in UK politics which it is said is being held up only by the PM’s office. Apparently the report normally takes 10 days to be cleared, but Johnson’s team has said it won’t be revealed until after the December election. Speculation is rife therefore about the contents of the report and how damaging they are to the Tory party. It has already been reported that the report details substantial donations made to the party by ‘Russians’.

This is where things get a bit ridiculous. For now the approach seems to be rather 2 + 2 = 5. Russians = Russian state sponsored interference. Anything remotely linked to Russia is automatically, thanks to the mainstream media and strategies used by UK foreign office initiatives such as the ‘Integrity Initiative’, branded as subversive and not to be trusted. Anti-Semitism is not to be tolerated at any cost within political parties but anti-Russian sentiments are, it seems, wholly acceptable.

There is an important aspect of Russian donations to the Conservative party which seems to escape most people. Most of the Russians in the UK, unlike other immigrants like the Polish community, are wealthy individuals who, like most affluent people, want to ensure that they retain their riches. The Conservative party is the very political party that represents their values and unlike Labour, does not threaten to raise taxes on their businesses. Any decision therefore by Russian businessmen to support the Tories ought to be taken at face value and not judged in the way that donations by other nationalities are also not judged. And yet, for political reasons, it seems that any possibility of linking politicians to ‘the Russian enemy’ will be utilised in what has become a very dirty game in recent years.

For once, you may say, it’s not Jeremy Corbyn who is being branded a ‘Soviet sleeper’ or ‘Putin propagandist’. Instead of Corbyn’s face being plastered over backgrounds of Red Square in a Russian-style hat in the media, it’s now Boris Johnson. While Labour has faced the brunt of such smear campaigns since Corbyn came to power, now it’s the Tories’ turn – they deserve it, you could say. But the reality is that, as the Russiagate saga proved in the US, with desperate attempts by the Democrats to link Donald Trump to Russia, it is a fruitless exercise in terms of influencing public opinion but on the other hand, greatly harms our relationship with Russia.

Coming back to Dominic Cummings, and already UK Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry has written to the government asking questions about the time Cummings spent in Russia from 1994 to 1997 after he graduated, and whether he has been through appropriate ‘security checks’. It’s as if now, any individual spending time in Russia has automatically been up to mischief, regardless of how long ago it was. Thornberry was apparently approached by an ‘official-level whistleblower’ who raised ‘serious concerns’ about just what Cummings was up to back then. Well anyone who knows anything about Russia knows that in the 90s it was a dynamic and rather anarchic place, but a great place for business opportunities. A quick scan of Wikipedia suggests business ventures was exactly what Cummings was engaged in there, and I’m sure he had a fun time of it. But it was a very different place to Russia today, and to imply that just because he lived in Russia over twenty years ago he shouldn’t be trusted is quite frankly ridiculous.

But this is where we’re at now in politics. It’s been a while since UK politics was sensible. Now in the Brexit era, anything goes and Russia remains an easy scapegoat. And nothing one sees or hears suggests this is likely to change in the near future…

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Russophobia | | Leave a comment

‘Ideal’ science-based sustainable diet too expensive for every 5th person on Earth – study

RT | November 8, 2019

A scientifically “ideal” diet designed for maximum nutrition and environmental sustainability would be unaffordable for over 20 percent of the world’s population, a new study found.

Published in the Lancet journal in January, the specially tailored “planetary diet” was created with not only health but the environment in mind, looking to feed a population of 10 billion by 2050 while reducing diet-related disease and ecological damage. The meal plan called on the world’s eaters to double their consumption of fruits, vegetables and nuts, while largely doing away with the meats and sugars that now dominate the Western diet.

However, the special diet would cost an average of $2.84 per day for each individual, according to a new Lancet Global Health study conducted by the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. That accounts for nearly 90 percent of the daily per capita budget for those living in many poorer countries, making the diet too expensive for at least 1.6 billion people, most located in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The true number of people unable to afford the diet may be even greater than the Lancet study suggests if other expenses are considered in addition to food.

“The actual number must be higher, since people need to spend at least some money on other things such as housing and clothing, as well as education, healthcare and transportation,” Will Masters, a senior author of the study, told Reuters.

After signaling some approval for the meal plan, the World Health Organization abruptly reversed course earlier this year on the heels of criticism from Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy’s representative to international organizations in Geneva. Cornado warned the diet would bring serious economic disruptions, wipe out traditional dishes and cultural heritage, and said the plan risked “the total elimination of consumers’ freedom of choice.”

Given its cost, the “planetary diet” is an unlikely end-all be-all for the problems surrounding the world’s food supply, but the issues it sought to address are far from trivial. The recent Lancet study noted that more than 2.5 billion people suffer some form of malnutrition worldwide, with another 2 billion overweight or obese, adding that current food production methods also “pose risks to the health of the planet.”

November 8, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Economics, Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science | Leave a comment