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Wednesday January 18th, 2017

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Home Front: Politix: The Real Reason John Lewis and Company Boycott the Inauguration
Posted by g(r)omgoru 01/18/2017  02:28 0 Comments 236 words Read the whole thing on page 4
When people "act out," it's often because a particularly raw nerve has been touched, some basic fear triggered.

And acting out is clearly what John Lewis and the umpteen (as of now 58) other Democrats are doing in refusing to attend the inauguration (Lewis apparently not for the first time). They claim this is because Donald Trump is a racist, sexist, etc., etc., anathema to everything an "inclusive" America should be, and therefore unfit for the office. Not only that, Vladimir Putin put him there.

But that's the surface of what's really upsetting them, what the shrinks call the "presenting complaint." Deep down it's something else, something far more potent.

They're afraid Donald Trump might actually succeed.


...The liberal-progressivism espoused by Lewis and those following him has been a failure for decades in many areas, but especially for large numbers of African-Americans. Nothing has demonstrated this more clearly than the Obama administration during which we have seen a rise in unchecked violence, largely black-on-black, in many African-American communities (notably Chicago and Baltimore), substantially diminished labor participation rates, particularly among the young, the tragic continued disappearance of the black middle class family, and the rise of what are essentially reactionary, separatist groups like Black Lives Matter. MLK's dream of integration inherent in the civil rights movement of Lewis' time has been and is being trampled.


Home Front: Culture Wars: CIA Director Bemoans Growing Up ‘A White Male from New Jersey'
Posted by Besoeker 01/18/2017  02:24 2 Comments 208 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[Daily Caller] Director John Brennan said growing up a "white male from New Jersey" led him to his strong promotion of gay rights in the Central Intelligence Agency, which included his wearing a rainbow lanyard around Langley to show he is an LGBTQ ally.

In his final interview as head of the CIA, Brennan told the Wall Street Journal that he hopes his legacy is the "way he fought to nurture a workforce that reflected America’s diversity."

During his tenure he has put particular emphasis on promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers. He was the first CIA director to attend an annual social gathering of LGBTQ employees and has been known to wear a rainbow lanyard around the office as a symbol of solidarity.

For Mr. Brennan, who said his perspective was informed by growing up "a white male from New Jersey," diversity of backgrounds leads to better analysis, which in his estimation can prevent intelligence disasters. "I just think that having those varied perspectives really adds great color and dimension and diversity to how we look at problems," he said. "It gets us away from groupthink."
#1: I don't recommend moving to Russia. It didn't work out well for the late Guy Burgess.

By the way, you don't suppose eight years of aggressive LGBT recruitment might have possibly created a cadre of anti-Trump employees willing to leak fake news do you ?

Fake news about Trump, blaming (gay intolerant) Russia. Two birds, one stone.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 02:33 ||Comments

#2: This is not satire, is it?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-18 04:54 ||Comments



Home Front: Culture Wars: Why Political Correctness Is War By Other Means
Posted by g(r)omgoru 01/18/2017  02:20 0 Comments 125 words Read the whole thing on page 4
h/t Instapundit
Political correctness was not such a bad idea in the beginning. Western societies have become terribly complex, and a healthy control of language can curb the rise of conflict--although often all it takes is a touch of politeness. This is the great lesson from sixteenth-century European wars of religion: some actions and words must be left outside the public space.

Five centuries later things have escalated, and PC is now a nightmare. It does not only define some areas where it now seems impossible to say anything (for example the so-called "safe spaces" of U.S. universities) but also fails in its basic function: instead of appeasing, it provides new and endless reasons for conflict.


Home Front: Politix: 19 Years Ago Today, Drudge Broke That Bill Clinton DID Have Sexual Relations With That Woman
Posted by Besoeker 01/18/2017  02:15 1 Comments 45 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[Daily Caller] The Drudge Report became the go-to source for conservative news on January 17, 1998 after linking a certain saxophone playing president to a certain White House intern.

#1: I once registered and voted as a Democrat. The 2 events that completely changed my thinking were:

1. The entire Democratic party pretending that "Every man of power cheats on his wife--its completely normal."

&

2. 9/11, when the Democratically-driven press fell all over themselves urging people like me not to "jump to conclusions" about the animals that committed the act (and those that sponsored it).

I've never voted for another Democrat once the 2nd of those events took place.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 02:37 ||Comments



Home Front: Politix: Limbaugh on Trump Falling Approval Rating: ‘Fake News, Fake Polls'
Posted by Besoeker 01/18/2017  02:09 0 Comments 252 words Read the whole thing on page 4
Not unlike the recent presidential election polls.
[Breitbart] Tuesday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh dismissed polling that showed President-elect Donald Trump’s approval ratings slumping in the lead up to inauguration.

Limbaugh, reacting to CNN "New Day" anchor Alisyn Camerota’s question to a guest about how to explain the polling, declared the polls to be "fake news" and "fake polls."

"I’ll explain it to you Alisyn: fake news, fake polls," Limbaugh said. "It’s simple -- fake news, fake polls. Don’t doubt me on this folks. Lowest approval rating, for a year and a half, the nation loved Donald Trump. People just couldn’t get enough of him and they elected him president. And in less than eight weeks, massive regret, massive buyer’s remorse. People that voted for Trump are saying, ’Man, if we had known what we’ve seen the last eight weeks, there’s no way we would have voted Trump even though the last eight weeks is exactly what we loved for a year and a half.’ Trump is Trump, every day. Doesn’t matter before the election, after the election. But now they don’t. Now they’re scared. Now they’re worried."

Limbaugh deemed it as an effort by the media and the Democrats to put themselves in a better position.

Related article at The Daily Caller.


Home Front: Culture Wars: Brave Sir Roger Goodell Runs From Patriots AFC Champ. Game
Posted by Raj 01/18/2017  01:45 1 Comments 164 words Read the whole thing on page 4
OK, give me one here, mods. This is one more reason people hate the NFL, a chickenshit commissioner. Way to go, Brave Sir Robin....
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be at the Georgia Dome for a second consecutive week, as he'll attend the Packers-Falcons NFC championship game Sunday instead of the AFC championship game at Gillette Stadium, according to multiple reports.

Many believed Goodell had cornered himself into attending the Patriots-Steelers game, considering it would seem odd to visit the same stadium two weeks in a row. But Goodell apparently doesn't care about public perception, because he's skipping out on the Patriots again.

Fans in Foxborough, Mass., obviously have taken notice to Goodell's ducking Patriots games ever since Deflategate began. He hasn't been at Gillette since the 2014 playoffs, and many believe it's because he's scared to attend, considering how much New England fans hate him.
#1: I'm a lifelong Miami Dolphins fan. As such, I find it almost impossible to root for the Patriots.

Without out of the way, there was ZERO reason for Goodell and company to do what they did over allegedly deflated footballs. What they did was petty, unsubstantiated by anyone who understands air pressure, and worthy of scorn. IF the Patriots win the Super Bowl, I *relish* the moment when that over-paid jackass Goodell is forced to hand them the trophy. Truth is supposed to matter.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 02:17 ||Comments



Israel-Palestine-Jordan: Israel raises height of fence on Egypt border
Posted by trailing wife 01/18/2017  00:00 1 Comments 385 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[IsraelTimes] Barrier and other measures slash rate of illegal migration; only 11 successful attempts to cross the fence in 2016.
It also incidentally keeps Ansar Bayt al Maqdis and other nefarious groups from running amok among the juices.
Israel said Tuesday it has finished raising the height of an electronic fence along part of its border with Egypt to shut down irregular migration routes.

The 242 kilometre (250 mile) barrier, stretching from the Gazoo Strip to the Israeli Red Sea resort of Eilat, was completed in 2014.

The Israeli government hoped it would tackle illegal migration, drug and weapons trafficking and infiltration by terrorists.

It slashed the number of African migrants colonists arriving in Israel, which had been running at a rate of hundreds every month, though at least 213 still managed to breach the fence in 2015, the Defense Ministry said.

That prompted authorities to raise its height from five to eight metres (15 to 25 feet) along a 17-kilometre (10-mile) stretch, it said.

That, plus additional detection devices, had "significantly curbed the flow of illegal infiltration into Israel, with only 11 successful attempts to cross the fence throughout 2016," it said.

The United Nations
...a formerly good idea gone bad...
says Israel hosts 53,000 refugees and asylum seekers including 36,000 Eritrea
...is run by the People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), with about the amounts of democracy and justice you'd expect from a party with that name. National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled; none have ever been held in the country. The president, Isaias Afewerki, has been in office since independence in 1993 and will probably die there of old age...
ns and 14,000 Sudanese.

Most reached the country via Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

Israel rarely grants them refugee status.
#1: Why can't we build a fence like this? Obama told me this would be bad, and we couldn't do it.

(sarc, AlanC!)
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 00:23 ||Comments



Israel-Palestine-Jordan: IDF: Palestinian tries to stab soldier in West Bank, is shot dead; another wannabe stabber arrested in Jerusalem
Posted by trailing wife 01/18/2017  00:00 1 Comments 198 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[IsraelTimes] A Paleostinian man was rubbed out Tuesday as he tried to stab soldiers manning a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Tulkarem, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

There were no reports of injures among the security forces.

"An assailant armed with a knife attempted to stab an IDF soldier at a crossing adjacent to Tulkarem," the IDF said. "Responding to the imminent threat forces fired towards the attacker, resulting in his death."

The incident came shortly after Israel Police revealed they thwarted a planned stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Monday. A Paleostinian who did not have a permit to be in Israel was incarcerated
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
as he rode a bus in East Jerusalem. He admitted during questioning that he intended to reach the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem where he planned to stab security forces at the site.
#1: Sucks to be you, Palestinian Man!
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 00:20 ||Comments



Home Front: Culture Wars: World Class Butthurt From The American Media
Posted by Raj 01/18/2017  00:00 5 Comments 335 words Read the whole thing on page 4
If it were up to me, I'd drop nuclear bombs on all Ivy League campuses and be done with this pretension. Then again, that's why I'm not running for office.
An open letter to Trump from the US press corps

Dear Mr. President Elect:

In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps.

It will come as no surprise to you that we see the relationship as strained. Reports over the last few days that your press secretary is considering pulling news media offices out of the White House are the latest in a pattern of behavior that has persisted throughout the campaign: You’ve banned news organizations from covering you. You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, none of which has materialized. You’ve avoided the press when you could and flouted the norms of pool reporting and regular press conferences. You’ve ridiculed a reporter who wrote something you didn’t like because he has a disability.

All of this, of course, is your choice and, in a way, your right (professional journalists, everyone! - ed). While the Constitution protects the freedom of the press, it doesn’t dictate how the president must honor that; regular press conferences aren’t enshrined in the document.

My 'open letter' to the CJR - you self-important cocksuckers have earned every fucking ounce of this, and then some. This is long overdue payback, and you damn well know it - stop insulting our intelligence once again and pretending otherwise. I look forward to your continued demise over the next four to eight years. Rot in hell, assholes.
#1: But you are not the press. Not in the consitutional sense of the word. You are the Propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2017-01-18 00:10 ||Comments

#2: Dear US Press Corps,
Thank you for your recently sent open letter explaining your position with respect to this upcoming administration. Yes, there is a very real strained relationship between some of you and me as a candidate and now as President elect. Yes there is freedom of the press, but some of you equate freedom with licence. For every bit comes an equal amount of responsibility. In this you have failed and betrayed the trust of the people of this great country.

When I have a press conference I expect basic decorum as respect for the Office of the President and respect for my boss, the American People. You will behave as Ladies and Gentlemen or you will be shown the door. This is how we will do business from now on.

A number of you have betrayed the trust of the public and STILL DO NOT GET IT. I owe you nothing and nothing you will get. Those of you can FOAD. You in this catagory are beyond redemption and will be ignored. For the rest of you I look forward to an honest businesslike relationship as we move ahead.

Sincerely,
President-Elect Donald J. Trump

Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2017-01-18 00:53 ||Comments

#3: A more authentic response, AP, would (IMO) be: "Kish mir in tuches".
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-18 01:54 ||Comments

#4: I'd prefer something more authentically Vulgar American - 'OK, right after you eat the peanuts out of my shit'.

After all, according to these clowns, Trump is vulgar; might as well play to type...
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 02:01 ||Comments

#5: authentically Vulgar American eh?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-18 02:13 ||Comments



Home Front: Culture Wars: Greenfield: Fall of the Fake News Crusade
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 446 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[SultanKnish] The Fake News crusade began with BuzzFeed, more than any other member of the media, and it deservedly ends there. It began with BuzzFeed faking news to kick off a crusade against Fake News.

The fake news that BuzzFeed faked was about the threat of Fake News. The numbers were wrong. But that didn’t stop BuzzFeed from warning that what it called Fake News was beating real news. And that’s probably true. BuzzFeed’s discredited Trump dossier story outperformed the NBC story discrediting it.

The Fake News meme was already fading even before BuzzFeed dragged CNN down with it. The Washington Post’s media columnist, Margaret Sullivan, had claimed that the term was “tainted” and needed to be retired; much like her paper. Sullivan warned that non-liberals were using it to attack the media. There was a complaint from the New York Times that conservatives had “appropriated” the term. Meanwhile Sullivan had cited claims about Fake News from BuzzFeed arguing that “something has to happen”. On the panel with Sullivan was the CEO of The Onion: a real fake news organization.

After BuzzFeed’s big fail, the exodus from the USS Fake News is happening faster than rats diving into the icy waters around the Titanic. Seth Meyers, one of those fake news talk show hosts, like Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert or John Oliver, whom lefties prefer to get their real news from, dubbed it “busted”.

“Today, Trump called these new reports ‘fake news,’ so despite an incredibly short run, I think it is time to retire that term,” Meyers whined. Trump and conservatives had rudely moved into a gated media community and, as with the arrival of the first black family on the block, it was time to move on.

There are complaints that conservatives are using “Fake News” incorrectly as if it’s some sort of technical term that requires years of study to properly deploy at a graduate seminar. Sullivan claimed that, “Fake news is a very narrow thing.”

How narrow? So narrow that it can’t possibly be applied to the media. Only people the media hates.

The Post’s Callum Borchers claimed that Brian Williams’ lies and Dan Rather’s Microsoft Word letter from the seventies weren’t really Fake News. In an attack on Fake News, Post columnist Petula Dvorak injected her own fake news by blaming Sarah Palin for the Giffords shooting. But that’s not Fake News because the media says so. Now stop calling it that or the media will take its smear and go home.
Much more at the link


Africa Horn: LNA airstrikes hit Derna
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 336 words Read the whole thing on page 1
After a lull of several months, aircraft belonging to the Libyan National Army (LNA) once again attacked Derna this evening. Several sites belonging to the powerful local Abu Sleem brigade are said to have been hit, mainly weapons depots. Casualties are unknown although the LNA claims to have killed two members of the brigade and wounded another.

The attack follows the appointment announced earlier in the day of Brigadier Salim Al-Rafadi as the new head of the Omar Mukhtar Operations Room. It is in charge of LNA moves to capture Derna from local Islamists.

Yesterday, in what may have been a related incident, at least one boat that was reportedly attempting to deliver supplies to Derna was hit outside the port by a navy craft manned by the LNA. Video footage has been published on social media showing a man firing a rocket-propelled grenade at another vessel although there is no independent confirmation that it is of the incident. There are some reports claiming that, in fact, four vessels were involved, that they came from Misrata, that two were hit and two escaped.

It is not known if Rafadi’s appointment and then today’s airstrikes were in response to the boat story or were planned in advance.

He is the fourth head of the operations room is just over a year. He replaces Brigadier Yousef Al-Mabrouk Al-Mansuri, appointed by Hafter in the last attempt to make the operations room more effective. That was just last August.

The Abu Sleem brigade is the main force in the strongly Islamist Derna Shura Council of Mujahideen (DSCM) which has held the town since it ejected forces of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in June 2015. Derna remains the last key centre in eastern Libya the LNA has been unable to take. This is despite last year’s deluge of air strikes (which the head of the UN special envoy Martin Kobler condemned as possible war crimes) and a blockade of the area.


Home Front: Politix: Appointing Ben Rhodes to Holocaust Memorial Council is massive Obama middle finger of triumph
Posted by Frank G 01/18/2017  00:00 7 Comments 303 words Read the whole thing on page 4
Hat tip to Legal Insurrection
Obama is ending his presidency not only with a flurry of commutations, but also with appointments to various commissions and governmental entities.

One of those entities is the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, to which Obama just appointed Ben Rhodes. The Jerusalem Post reports:

"With only three days left in office, US President Barack Obama announced several key administration posts on Wednesday, including the placement of Benjamin Rhodes, one of his top foreign policy advisers, on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

The council is comprised of 55 members appointed by the president. Its primary task is to fund-raise for the nation's Holocaust Museum and its various projects….

Rhodes, 40, is Jewish. He has worked with Obama since 2007."

Who is Ben Rhodes?

He's the Obama communications operative who admitted to deceiving the American public and manipulating the media in support of the Iran Nuclear Deal. (He also ran the Benghazi disinformation campaign.)

David Gerstman wrote a devastating takedown of the deal and Rhode's deception last May, Grand Deception: How Obama and Ben Rhodes Lied Us Into the Iran nuke deal.
Ben Rhodes is evil. What's being done is that Champ is moving people into "senior executive service" positions -- supposed to be apolitical, they're at the top of the civil service food-chain and even harder to get rid of than your average GS-11. They get a cushy sinecure where they don't do anything useful, they can't be fired, and they meddle as they please. And you just try getting rid of the Holocaust Museum Commission or whatever.
#1: I think we need a law that any appointments, pardons, regulations, or the like made in the last 90 days of the president's time in office are subject to review and approval by the next president.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2017-01-18 00:18 ||Comments

#2: counsel has 65 members - Bernie Sanders and Al Franken are on the counsel now

they get paid for attending meetings and get travel expenses - not a lucrative position

Rhodes, if he attends meetings, will likely get an earful from some of the people on the counsel who are Islamorealists
Posted by: lord garth|| 2017-01-18 00:28 ||Comments

#3: Rhodes, if he attends meetings, will likely get an earful from some of the people on the counsel who are Islamorealists

Getting beatings would be ideal...
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 00:40 ||Comments

#4: Why does the term 'blanket party' come to mind.

Odd how the mind follows some wierd thoughs sometimes...
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2017-01-18 01:15 ||Comments

#5: BenRhodes is evil. What's being done is that Champ is moving people into "senior executive service" positions -- supposed to be apolitical, they're at the top of the civil service food-chain and even harder to get rid of than your average GS-11.

It's called... 'burrowing.'

Wiki: Burrowing is a slang term used in the United States to describe the practice in which political appointees are given civil service protection. Except for judges, political appointees are subject to losing their jobs when a new administration takes power. On the other hand, career government officials are protected from losing their jobs when a new administration takes over. Burrowing is therefore the practice of reassigning people who do not have civil service protection into jobs that have civil service protection.

From his new position at the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Rhodes will soon (within a year I believe - someone korrect me if I am wrong) be able to transfer to any position in the government.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 01:27 ||Comments

#6: Come on - I'm sure a 'man' of his talents could make much more money in the dreaded private sector, right?

(enough /sarc for ya, AlanC?)
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 01:43 ||Comments

#7: Adding insult to injury, Barack?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-18 02:06 ||Comments



Africa Subsaharan: Airstrike kills dozens of refugees in Nigeria
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 67 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[al-Manar] Dozens of people were killed on Tuesday when an air force jet bombarded a camp for those made homeless by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria, medical charity MSF and a local resident said.

“A military jet mistakenly bombarded Rann,” in Borno state, Abba Abiso told AFP, adding that “at least 25 people were killed and many more injured”. MSF said its teams “have seen 120 wounded and 50 dead”.


Afghanistan: 20 more residences destroyed by ISIS in Nangarhar
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 128 words Read the whole thing on page 1
Daesh militants struck again on Sunday night and set fire to at least 20 houses in the Kot district, local officials said.

This comes after members of the group burned down at least 65 houses in the same district last week.

On Monday, Nangarhar provincial officials said Daesh militants once again caused huge losses to locals after setting at least 20 homes alight.

Kot district governor Sayed Rahman confirmed the incident and said that Daesh militants torched houses in Khorgi area of Kot district.
Rahman said that the houses were empty at the time and no one was harmed in the incident.

Rahman has however raised concern over the security of the Kot district and said if security is not dealt with the situation will deteriorate and Daesh activity will increase.


Terror Networks: The Beatings Will Continue: Iraqi Edition
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 816 words Read the whole thing on page 1


ISIS kills mom, child escaping Mosul

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Islamic State militants have killed a mother and her child early Tuesday upon their attempt to escape group-held territory to others controlled by security forces in Mosul.

Hussein Hajem, Mosul’s mayor, told Sputnik News that a large number of civilians started to flee IS-held areas in eastern Mosul, hoisting white flags and heading towards Iraqi government troops, but were met with shooting by militants using light weapons.

The shooting, Hajem said, killed one woman, her child and an elderly man.

In western Mosul, a local source told Shafaaq news website that IS militants began to forcibly recruit civilians to fight on the extremist group’s side, taking their family members as hostages to ensure abidance.

“The group has taken children hostages aged between 5 and 8 to unknown destinations,” according to the source. “They invaded the residences of seven families who had declined to fight on IS’s side and arrested some family members”.

Islamic State has been reportedly receding in personnel and influence in Mosul over the past two weeks as Iraqi government troops, backed by U.S.-led international air forces and popular militias, continue daily successful advances to retake Iraq’s second largest city from the militant group.

Iraqi generals say they became in control over the eastern section of the city since operations launched in October, and plan to move to recapture IS western bastions after liberating that region.

The conflict in Mosul has forced 178.000 civilians to flee to refugee camps, but many were occasionally targeted by militants upon escaping.

2 die in ISIS bomb attack in Kirkuk

Kirkuk (IraqiNews.com) Two civilians died and seven others were wounded on Tuesday when an explosive device planted by Islamic State militants exploded in families escaping areas held by the group in Kirkuk.

The device exploded at families escaping Hawija, an IS stronghold in Kirkuk that has been in the group’s grip since it emerged in 2014 to proclaim the establishment of a self-styled “Islamic Caliphate”.

Three-months old battles between Islamic State militants and Iraqi security forces seeking to retake areas occupied by the group have forced at least 178.000 civilians to flee homes in Mosul and Kirkuk. Aid groups and human rights organizations have decried the death of many of the refugees who were deliberately targeted 9by the extremist group. The United Nations had predicted one million people to be displaced as result of operations in Mosul, where government forces had only recapture a half of the city and hope to liberate the remaining densely-populated parts.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hussein al-Deleimi, a security adviser to the governor of Anbar, told Anadolu Agency that 33 families arrived in the province from Mosul after fleeing Islamic State-held regions. He said security forces screened the arrivals thoroughly to ensure that no militant elements were included.

2 journalists wounded in ISIS drone attack in Mosul

[ARA News] Erbil – Two journalists on assignment for the U.S.-funded Arabic TV station Al-Hurra Iraq have been injured by an ISIS drone attack in eastern Mosul, showing the increased risks involved in covering Mosul.

Al Hurra reporter Abdul Hamid Zebari, a Kurd, and assistant cameraman Yasir Salim were injured in the attack on Monday and transported to a hospital for surgery in Erbil.

ISIS is using small drones with small munitions, similar to grenades, in Mosul that indiscriminately kill and injure civilians on the ground, the US-led coalition said.

“The ISIS drones have evolved over time,” the US commander Colonel Brett Sylvia previously said in a press conference. “It is a capability that they have had for pretty much the duration of the time that we’ve been here. It’s, you know, commercial off-the-shelf, you know, just UAVs that — that they purchase.”

“As we’ve made our way into Mosul now, what we’ve seen is that they [ISIS] use the smaller drones, the quad copters things, with a much shorter ability to project them out,” he added.

According to a research by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), at least on journalist has been killed and more than a dozen injured since the Mosul offensive began in October 2016.

“In addition to physical dangers, organizations, managers and independent journalists covering Mosul should now be considering the possible effects of psychological injury, including acute traumatic stress and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” the CPJ advised in a Safety Advisory for journalists covering the Mosul offensive.

“This could be affecting journalists who have been exposed to near-death situations and who have witnessed traumatic incidents on the job, particularly if they have been covering the Mosul offensive for a protracted period,” the CPJ added.


Iraq: Mosul Offensive News
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 1 Comments 1042 words Read the whole thing on page 1


Iraqi forces capture 3 districts

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi joint forces recaptured on Tuesday three more neighborhoods in eastern Mosul as operations to retake that region from Islamic State militants approach an end.

Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Join Operations Command’s operations in Nineveh, said in a statement that army forces recaptured Bab al-Shams, Ninawa al-Sharqiya and Souq al-Aghnam (cattle market) area in eastern Mosul.

Meanwhile, All Iraq News website quoted Sami al-Aredi, a senior commander of the army’s Counter-Terrorism Forces, as saying that the force invaded al-Mohandessin district, expecting to take full control of it within hours.

Iraqi forces, backed by US-led advisers and fighter jets, as well as popular militias, launched operations to retake Mosul last October. The conflict has forced nearly 178.000 civilians to flee homes.

Iraqi generals said recently they became in control over 90 percent of the city’s eastern section and hope to move later to recapture the IS-held west. The forces recently recaptured IS’s most outstanding bastion in the east of the city, the Mosul University campus, and had reached the eastern bank of the Tigris River, which cuts the city into two halves. Only a few districts remain in IS militants hold.

The victories come amid increasing reports of crumbling in the Islamic State ranks, with divisions, infighting and accusations of treason traded among militants.

Conflict in Mosul has forced 178.000 civilians to flee homes in the city to refugee camps, but many of those are targeted by militants upon their escape.

Iraqi forces penetrate ISIS held district in Mosul

(Reuters) Iraqi special forces pushed into a pocket of Islamic State-held territory in eastern Mosul on Tuesday, the military said, seeking to recapture the remaining districts under the group’s control east of the Tigris river.

The militants have been driven out of most eastern districts in their Iraqi stronghold in a 3-month-old U.S.-backed campaign. Iraqi troops have seized large areas along the river, which bisects Mosul from north to south.

Capture of the entire east bank, which military officials say is imminent, will allow the army, special forces and elite police units to begin attacks on the city’s west, still fully held by Islamic State.

A military statement said Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS) forces had pushed into the Eastern Nineveh and Souq al-Ghanam districts, which are flanked by areas held by Iraqi troops.

A second statement said the CTS had also seized al-Muhandiseen district, nearly 3 miles further northwest, which lies a short distance from the river.

CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told state television that more than 60 neighborhoods in eastern Mosul – out of a total of around 80 – had been recaptured since the start of the offensive in October.

Advances have gathered pace in the new year thanks to improved battle tactics and better coordination between different military branches, U.S. and Iraqi military officials say.

Further south, elite rapid response units of the Iraqi federal police have secured much of the eastern bank of the Tigris.

A spokesman for the rapid response forces, Lieutenant-Colonel Abdel Amir al-Mohammedawi, said some Islamic State fighters had fled by boat across the river during the military’s recent advances, taking civilians as human shields so forces could not fire at them.

“They fled the eastern bank for the west, and took women and children,” he told Reuters.

Islamic State has fought from among crowded residential areas and Reuters witnesses have seen its fighters shoot at civilians in areas they have been driven out of, in apparent efforts to slow the advance of Iraqi forces.

Several thousand civilians have been killed or wounded in fighting since October.

Advances slowed towards the end of last year as the military sought to avoid hitting civilians, Iraqi military officials say.

Iraqi spec op capture 2 more districts in Mosul

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) We Are Coming Nineveh Operations Command announced on Tuesday liberating the areas of al-Numaniyah and al-Atshana, as well as storming al-Jazair neighborhood in eastern Mosul.

Commander of Operations, Lt. Gen. Abdel Amir Yarallah, said in a press statement, “Forces from the Counter-Terrorism Service liberated, today, the areas of al-Numaniyah and al-Atshana in eastern Mosul, as well as raising Iraqi flag over their buildings, after inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.”

“The security forces are advancing to storm al-Jazair neighborhood,” Yarallah added.

Earlier today, We Are Coming Nineveh Operations Command announced liberating the neighborhood of Ninewa al-Sharkiyah, Souq al-Aghnam (Cattles market), Bab al-Shams area and al-Mohandessein neighborhood in eastern Mosul.

Iraqi security forces capture 3 districts, Grand Mosque

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Nineveh Operations Command announced on Tuesday liberating three districts in eastern Mosul, as well as recapturing the Great Mosque in central the city.

Commander of Operations, Lt. Gen. Abdel Amir Yarallah, said in a press statement, “Iraqi Counter-Terrorism forces managed, at noon today, to liberate the neighborhoods of al-Jazair, al-Darkezliyah and al-Zera’I in eastern Mosul, and raised Iraqi flag over their buildings.”

“The Counter-Terrorism forces also recaptured the Great Mosque in central Mosul, after inflicting heavy human and material losses on the terrorists,” Yarallah added.

Nineveh Province is witnessing extensive military operations since October 2016, to retake the city of Mosul that was captured by the Islamic State in June 2014.

Iraqi spec ops forces capture districts near Choser River

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) We Are Coming Nineveh Operations Command announced on Tuesday liberating the areas of al-Suez and Sanharib in eastern Mosul, while permanently stationed near Choser River.

Commander of Operations Lt. Gen. Abdel Amir Yarallah said, “Forces from the Counter-Terrorism Service managed, at noon today, to liberate the areas of al-Suez and Sanharib,” pointing out that, “The security forces permanently stationed near Choser River in eastern Mosul.”

“The security forces liberated all targeted areas and neighborhoods in the axis,” Yarallah added.

Nineveh Province is witnessing extensive military operations since October 2016, to retake the city of Mosul that was captured by the Islamic State in June 2014.
#1: I speed scan the headlines and this one I always misread as "Mostly Offensive News" and I have to stop to slowly re-read it.
Maybe one day Fred will stick that in there.
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839|| 2017-01-18 00:27 ||Comments



Iraq: Anbar Antics
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 163 words Read the whole thing on page 1


Iraqi militia capture 3 ISIS Bad Guys near Ramadi
"Trying to stay at a Ramadi Inn"
Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Forces from al-Hashd’s tribal fighters captured three members of the Islamic State while trying to sneak into the city of Ramadi, an official source told Alsumaria on Tuesday.

The source said, “Forces from the 9th regiment of al-Hashd al-Ashaeri in Anbar managed, today, to capture three members of the Islamic State, while trying to sneak into the city of Ramadi.”

“The captured members were coming from the city of Qaim, and they were arrested in one of al-Hashd al-Ashaeri’s checkpoints in al-Ta’mim area, in western Ramadi,” the source added.

Noteworthy, security forces and tribal fighters are completely controlling Ramadi, after liberating it from the Islamic State’s grip.


Iraq: Baghdad Bomb and Bullet Bulletin: 1 dead
Posted by badanov 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 402 words Read the whole thing on page 1


1 dead in roadside bomb attack in Nahrawan

Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi joint forces recaptured on Tuesday three more neighborhoods in eastern Mosul as operations to retake that region from Islamic State militants approach an end.

Abdul-Amir Yarallah, commander of the Join Operations Command’s operations in Nineveh, said in a statement that army forces recaptured Bab al-Shams, Ninawa al-Sharqiya and Souq al-Aghnam (cattle market) area in eastern Mosul.

Meanwhile, All Iraq News website quoted Sami al-Aredi, a senior commander of the army’s Counter-Terrorism Forces, as saying that the force invaded al-Mohandessin district, expecting to take full control of it within hours.

Iraqi forces, backed by US-led advisers and fighter jets, as well as popular militias, launched operations to retake Mosul last October. The conflict has forced nearly 178.000 civilians to flee homes.

Iraqi generals said recently they became in control over 90 percent of the city’s eastern section and hope to move later to recapture the IS-held west. The forces recently recaptured IS’s most outstanding bastion in the east of the city, the Mosul University campus, and had reached the eastern bank of the Tigris River, which cuts the city into two halves. Only a few districts remain in IS militants hold.

The victories come amid increasing reports of crumbling in the Islamic State ranks, with divisions, infighting and accusations of treason traded among militants.

Conflict in Mosul has forced 178.000 civilians to flee homes in the city to refugee camps, but many of those are targeted by militants upon their escape.

Imam survives small arms attack in Baghdad

Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) A police source revealed that the preacher of al-Imam al-A’zam Mosque survived an assassination attempt, north of Baghdad, Alsumaria News reported on Tuesday.

The source said, “The preacher of al-Imam al-A’zam Mosque, Sheikh Abdel Sattar Abdel Jabbar, survived an assassination attempt by unidentified gunmen driving a SUV near al-Muthanna Bridge, north of Baghdad.”

“The Imam was not hurt, but the gunmen succeeded to flee to an unknown destination,” the source added on condition of anonymity.

Earlier today, a bomb blast in al-Nahrawan area, southeast of Baghdad, left four casualties, while another blast in al-Rashidiyah area, in northern Baghdad, left five casualties.


Home Front: WoT: Ft Lauderdale shooter 'visited jihadi chat rooms and practiced at the gun range months before murderous rampage'
Posted by trailing wife 01/18/2017  00:00 2 Comments 79 words Read the whole thing on page 2
  • Esteban Santiago talked to jihadists on 'the deep web', a court heard Tuesday

  • Prosecutors said he admitted it to FBI after first saying he was mind controlled

  • He had also been practicing at an Alaska gun range before shooting, they said

  • Santiago was in a detainment hearing; he is being held in solitary, without bail

  • His arraignment is scheduled for January 30; he is currently on suicide watch
#1: FBI needs to investigate Anchorage mosque he attended
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2017-01-18 00:29 ||Comments

#2: "Muslim". Come on, say it outloud. I know you can!
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 02:22 ||Comments



Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Kurdish-led SDF repel aggressive ISIS attack
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 463 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[RUDAW.NET] Intensive festivities between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and ISIS Lions of Islam took place early Tuesday morning west of Raqqa, the SDF and a Syria watchdog reported.

The festivities took place in al-Suwaydiyat al-Kabirah, west of Raqqa, close to the strategic Tabqa Dam, the primary target for the current phase of the Kurdish-led operation to isolate Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Lions of Islam in northern Syria.

The SDF reported that ISIS Lions of Islam launched an aggressive pre-dawn attack on their forces and the fighting continued until 10 o’clock this morning, local time, when the Lions of Islam were defeated. The SDF claimed that they killed 15 ISIS Lions of Islam in the festivities.

The SDF did not provide any figures for casualties among their own ranks.

The coalition forces carried out Arclight airstrikes against the ISIS krazed killers, the SDF and the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The Observatory reported that the SDF initially attacked ISIS positions around midnight on Monday as they attempted to advance in the area. The conflict monitor reported casualties but did not give details.

The festivities come a day after the SDF announced that in the ongoing second phase of the military offensive to isolate Raqqa, they have liberated an area of 2480 square kilometers; that includes 196 villages and Jaabar citadel.

"With this, an area of 3200 square kilometers has been fully liberated since the beginning of the operation," Cihan Sheikh Ahmed, spokesperson for the operation, said at a presser on Monday. "It includes 236 villages, and tens of hamlets. This means that Raqqa has been encircled from both north and west."

The SDF have imposed a crescent-shaped siege on Raqqa Province as they continue to push south and east.


Iraq: Iraqi forces control all five bridges in Mosul, ISIS 'nearly defeated’ in east
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 624 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[RUDAW.NET] Iraqi forces have taken control of all the five bridges on the eastern bank of Tigris river Tuesday evening, Rudaw’s correspondent near the fifth bridge reported.

They have also controlled Zaraei district, on the edge of Tigris river, Lt. Gen. Abdulwahab al-Saadi from Iraq’s Golden Brigade told Rudaw TV Tuesday evening.

Advancing Iraqi forces have raised the country's flag over the third bridge in northeast djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
earlier in the day, while liberating the nearby Muhandiseen district, which was under siege for two days.

The elite Counter Terrorism Forces (ICTS) liberated Nineveh Sharqiyah, Niemanyah, and Atshaniyah districts in eastern Mosul on Tuesday morning, close to the now-ruined Jonah's Tomb which was retaken on Monday following fierce fighting with tens of ISIS forces of Evil putting up strong resistance.

Muhandiseen district, where ICTS forces launched a two-day assault on ISIS in the area, was one of the few remaining districts still held by the bully boy group on the east side of Tigris river, which bisects the city in two the east and west, the latter still under full ISIS control.

Maan Saad, an ICTS commander, earlier on Tuesday told Rudaw TV in Mosul that ISIS is defeated in nearly all of the eastern half of the city, with only about six districts remaining under the bad boys’ control. That was before the liberation of Niemaniyah, Atshaniya, and Zaraei.

"On the eastern bank not much is left," Saad said. "Within the scope of the Counter-Terrorism Forces, there are three districts out of control, and the forces are heading towards the liberation and cleaning of these areas. But from the northern front, there are also no more than three districts out of control, and the forces there too are heading towards the liberation and cleaning of these districts. Following this, there will be full control of the eastern bank."

In northern Mosul, the Iraqi army has taken control of Kanadi installation and the former military base of the second division of the Iraqi army, Iraq’s Joint Operations command announced Tuesday afternoon.

Iraqi forces have already announced the full liberation of the city’s southeastern and eastern districts that number more than 60 neighbourhoods since the launch of the Mosul operation more than three months ago.

On Monday, with the support of global coalition forces, the Iraqi army liberated Kanadi ‐ different from Kanadi installation ‐ and Qairawan, in the north of the city. While the ICTS, advancing from the northeast and southeast, took control of Shurta and Jammasa district, the Cultural Compound, and Nabi Yunis ‐ the tomb of Prophet Jonah.

Rudaw’s Sidad Lashkri in Mosul reported that the few remaining buildings within Mosul University were cleared of ISIS on Tuesday, including the colleges of art, law, and primary education, after Iraqi forces announced the campus’ liberation on the weekend.

Fighting is ongoing in the parkland area of Ghabat district on the Tigris River, Ghabat meaning forest. It is a large wooded area where it is believed forces of Evil are hiding out.

Rudaw’s cameras captured plumes of smoke rising from burned-out buildings in the Ghabat area


The Grand Turk: Rudaw video shows the home of suspect in Istanbul nightclub massacre
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 392 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[RUDAW.NET] Rudaw Media Network video documents the house of the suspected New Year’s Eve Istanbul nightclub shooter which left 39 people dead and 69 maimed, after the suspect was caught Monday night by the Turkish police.

From inside the suspect’s house, Rudaw’s Rawin Sterk said, "The Turkish police had rented an apartment next to the attacker’s apartment before he was placed in durance vile
Drop the heater, Studs, or you're hist'try!
last night.

"The police were watching him for several days and they wanted to arrest all those who were with him."

The Turkish police declared they had arrested the suspect, identified as Abdulkadir Masharipov, in Istanbul's Esenyurt district during a massive police operation late Monday. Additionally, police detained four other people, including a man of Kyrgyz origin and three women from Egypt, Senegal
... a nation of about 14 million on the west coast of Africa bordering Mauretania to the north, Mali to the east, and a pair of Guineas to the south, one of them Bissau. It is 90 percent Mohammedan and has more than 80 political parties. Its primary purpose seems to be absorbing refugees...
and Somalia.

Masharipov is an Uzbek national, who Turkish officials have linked to ISIS and claimed he received training in Afghanistan.

Rudaw cameras captured Masharipov’s house that consists of two rooms and a hall.

"The apartment is so dirty and it is said that it was rented by an Iraqi person," a downstairs neighbor told Rudaw. "The attacker had rented the apartment three months ago."

Three Kurdish youth were among the dozens of people who were killed in the armed attack which ISIS grabbed credit for on Istanbul’s Reina nightclub.

As many as 700 people were inside the nightclub when the attack began.


Home Front: Politix: North Dakota may eliminate penalties for running down protesters who block the freeway
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 01/18/2017  00:00 4 Comments 185 words Read the whole thing on page 3
...Accidentally, of course.

From WPTV

Protesters may want to think twice about blocking roads in North Dakota. Republican lawmakers in the state introduced a bill last week in the legislature that would not hold motorists liable for negligently running over someone obstructing a roadway.
We'll call it the "Instapundit Law"...
The bill was introduced in response to a year of protests over a proposed pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. "A driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages," the bill reads. "A driver of a motor vehicle who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway is not guilty of an offense."

Lawmakers told the Bismarck Tribune that the bill is needed after protesters blocked traffic during oil pipeline protests."
#1: So "Deathrace 2000" becomes real! Where do I sign up?
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839|| 2017-01-18 00:31 ||Comments

#2: They should make it legal to do this on purpose. I remember the assholes that did this in Somerville & Milton on I-93 just about two years ago this month. Those sons of bitches completely fucking skated. I now carry around a 40 ounce bottle of Pine-Sol that is filled with bong water, ammonia, and filtered Bud Light, if you catch my drift. It'll be poured over in its entirety on the nearest dumb fucker that does this again if I'm ever stuck in it. My only regret is not eating a pound of asparagus before I pissed into the bottle and not getting more bong water from my tenants. I could, of course, recalibrate, or add a second bottle...
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 00:31 ||Comments

#3: One other thing - note that from the link above, how many of these 'Black Lives Matter' folks are ALL pasty white trustafarians who blocked an ambulance en route to Mass. General and almost cost him his life. They didn't express a fucking ounce of regret.
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 00:35 ||Comments

#4: Hey! At *least* make the protester's estate pay for the damage to the vehicle...
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2017-01-18 01:12 ||Comments



Home Front: Culture Wars: Now People Are Identifying as Mermaids
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 01/18/2017  00:00 3 Comments 266 words Read the whole thing on page 3
Full link at the Daily Mail.
Excerpt: "Environmental policy student
Surprise!
Tessie was inspired to become a sea cow mermaid ever since she attended a magical mermaid school in the exotic Philippines three years ago. Once she slides her tail on and becomes Mermaid Essie, she says her worries disappear and the magical feeling of invincibility and power arises.
And as a person of mer, she voted for Hillary...
The 24-year-old said: ’I have a lot of body insecurities,
Nothing a little silicone can't, apparently, fix.
Those aren't the only insecurities you have, sweetie...
I think a lot of people do. When I am in my tail I don’t feel insecure anymore.
"It's just like last year when I was a unicorn!"
Because it suddenly doesn’t matter what size I am because I am a mermaid and that is what people really focus on.’
WARNING: Photo can't be unseen.
Especially that of the "mer-person". Honest. We're warning you. Don't go there.
If only she were four. It would be really sweet on a four year old.
#1: My first impression is that she's a beluga.
Posted by: AlmostAnonymous5839|| 2017-01-18 00:33 ||Comments

#2: She looks like a man - that figures.
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 00:37 ||Comments

#3: I think I'll identify as a greek god...
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2017-01-18 01:14 ||Comments



Home Front: WoT: Top-Level Intel Officers' War Against Donald Trump Is Bad For The Country
Posted by Blossom Unains5562 01/18/2017  00:00 3 Comments 517 words Read the whole thing on page 4
Excerpt:
Trump Knows Top Brass Are Leaking
In his press conference last week, a reporter asked Trump, "But why did you spend weeks undermining U.S. intelligence community before simply getting the facts and then making a public statement?"

Trump responded by talking about how he knows how political some intelligence officials are and also how bad they are at their main job of keeping secrets. Here’s what he said:

Well, I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are -- these are classified and certified meetings and reports.

I’ll tell you what does happen. I have many meetings with intelligence. And every time I meet, people are reading about it. Somebody’s leaking it out. So, there’s -- maybe it’s my office. Maybe in my office because I have a lot of people, a lot of great people. Maybe it’s them. And what I did is I said I won’t tell anybody. I’m going to have a meeting and I won’t tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence.

And what happened is I had my meeting. Nobody knew, not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years, she didn’t know -- I didn’t tell her. Nobody knew. The meeting was had, the meeting was over, they left. And immediately the word got out that I had a meeting.

So, I don’t want that -- I don’t want that. It’s very unfair to the country. It’s very unfair to our country; what’s happened.

Yes, our president-elect ran a successful sting operation to learn where leaks were coming from. This wasn’t even big news in America, though it did attract notice at foreign media outlets.

This weekend, Trump responded to CIA Director John Brennan’s emotional interview against Trump on Fox News Sunday by reminding Brennan of various intelligence failures during the Obama administration and asking if he was "the leaker of Fake News."

Clapper and Brennan are high-profile political opponents of Trump. Both have denied being leakers. Technically, Clapper said he does "not believe the leaks came from within the IC," meaning "intelligence community." Then again, knowledgeable observers say that at least one of these two men appears credited or uncredited in most stories related to the leaks.

Clapper is also known for lying to Congress about whether he was spying on them and lying under oath about whether intelligence agencies were collecting any kind of data on hundreds of millions of Americans. He said they weren’t. They were.

The bottom line is that these leaks are almost certainly coming from a very small pool of Obama political appointees at intelligence agencies."
Lengthy piece. Bring a glass of wine and settle in to some interesting stuff.
#1: Excellent chronology and synopsis. Obviously the master 'regime changers' are not at all happy with the 'regime change' at hand.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 01:18 ||Comments

#2: CIA, etc. are about to get gutted; you could say some heads are gonna roll...
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 01:25 ||Comments

#3: Anyone else see similar efforts aimed at Trump, or is it just me ?
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 01:55 ||Comments



Home Front: WoT: Obama Commutes Bulk of Chelsea Manning’s Sentence
Posted by Bright Pebbles 01/18/2017  00:00 6 Comments 400 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[NYTIMES] President B.O. on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning
...formerly Bradley Manning before he decided to become a girl. He, or she or whatever it was, was a misfit Army intel analyst who decided to leak all the secrets he could lay hands on. Currently doing 35 years in Leavenworth and writing editorials for the New York Times....
, the army intelligence analyst convicted of an enormous 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted the administration and made WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures, famous.
First president we've ever had who was demonstrably on the other side.
The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning, who twice tried to kill herself last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the men’s military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been tossed in the slammer
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

The act of clemency could be seen as a reversal, at least in part, of the B.O. regime’s unprecedented criminal crackdown on leaking: The administration has brought charges in about nine cases, about twice as many as under all previous presidents combined.

At the same time that Mr. Obama commuted the sentence of Ms. Manning, a low-ranking enlisted soldier at the time of her leaks, he also granted a pardon to Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and one of the highest-ranking officials ensnared in the leak crackdown.

#1: sending military secrets to Russia - not that bad

sending DNC email to wikileaks - bad, terrible, horrible
Posted by: lord garth|| 2017-01-18 00:19 ||Comments

#2: The decision by Mr. Obama rescued Ms. Manning...

I don't care what name he prefers to go by, he's not "Ms. Manning". Its long past time that we call out such outright lies.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 00:31 ||Comments

#3: All a giant hoax to insulate this POS from prosecution and life imprisonment. If he is a victim of evil nature (Gaia),.... 'then you must acquit.'
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 01:51 ||Comments

#4: A trannie with chassis enchanting
(uncanny!) may channel Miss Channing,
May bitchily banter
With Bette (supplant her!)...
Just don't make us buy his dismanning.
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2017-01-18 02:10 ||Comments

#5: "And" to taste.
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2017-01-18 02:13 ||Comments

#6: A succinct response might be "And this...is why you got President Trump."

The Democratic Party overplayed its hand--they actually thought that Americans no longer wished to protect their country.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 02:29 ||Comments



Syria-Lebanon-Iran: US: Airdrops increase for anti-ISIS forces near Raqqa
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 411 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[RUDAW.NET] The US air force is increasing airdrops of weapons, ammunition and other equipment to opposition forces who are closing in on ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa in Syria, a US official announced.

"Our expanded precision airdrop capability is helping ground forces take the offensive to (ISIS) and efforts to retake Raqqa," said Gen. Carlton Everhart, commander of the Air Mobility Command, which is headquartered from Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, US.

Carlton’s statements were made to USA Today and reported on Tuesday. The US air force reported 16 air drops in Syria in 2016 with six coming in December.

It was not immediately clear if the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was the only group receiving the supplies, which USA today reported as ranging "from small ammunition to vehicles."

The US has utilized airdrops to supply its allies on the ground since the 2014 battle for Kobane, when it was criticized for some drops missing their intended marks and finding their way into the hands of ISIS fighters.

Everhart explained that GPS technology allows his airmen to guide their payloads "within 10 or 15 meters of the mark."

Intensive fighting between the SDF and ISIS in al-Suwaydiyat al-Kabirah, west of Raqqa, and coalition Arclight airstrikes against ISIS early Tuesday morning were reported by the SDF and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Kurdish-led SDF have imposed a partial, crescent-shaped siege on Raqqa Province, as they have pushed south and east, in the fifth week of the second phase of the Wrath of Euphrates campaign.

Nuhran Abdi, a SDF commander urged the coalition on Monday to increase support for ground forces.

"We are suffering indeed with regard to weapons. Especially armored vehicles... The global coalition support is not enough, and remains short in supply," he said.

The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
, Iran, and Russia are set to broker peace talks in Astana on Jan. 23 between the Syrian government and opposition factions, although previous ceasefire deals have excluded ISIS. Russia and Russia have expressed interest in the US participating in the discussions, but Iran has not.


India-Pakistan: Stalemate on military courts persists as second govt, opposition meeting ends
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 340 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[DAWN] The federal government on Tuesday failed to secure the consent of opposition parties on the issue of extension of military courts.

The special powers given to the Army to establish tribunals to try civilians on terrorism charges had ended earlier this month on the expiry of the mandated period.

The military courts had been established through a constitutional amendment following the attack on the Army Public School in Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
This was the government's second in-camera consultation with parliamentary leaders on the issue. The meeting, held at the parliament house, was chaired by Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq. The first meeting in this regard had also concluded without a consensus.

Federal Law and Justice Minister Zahid Hamid briefed the meeting on the performance of the military courts till their disbandment.

Following the meeting, PTI leader Shah Mehmood Wormtongue Qureshi told media that opposition parties had demanded that the government call an in-camera session of the parliament in which representatives from security institutions should brief the house.

He said that the Tuesday meeting had given birth to several more questions, and added that opposition parties now seek an explanation from the government on the issue.

Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah said that the opposition asked for explanation on issues pertaining to the military courts.



India-Pakistan: Tayyaba torture case: DNA report identifies parents
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 256 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[DAWN] Executive Director Pims Dr. Altaf on Tuesday said that DNA samples have confirmed that the couple which came forth initially to claim Taiba as their daughter are the biological parents.

"DNA samples have established that Taiba is daughter of Mohammad Azam and Nusrat Bibi of Jaranwala," said Altaf.

The couple from Jaranwala were the first to claim Taiba as their daughter, with four other couples making the same claim.

The DNA test was conducted more than a week ago following court orders, Taiba herself had also identified Azam and Nusrat as her parents.

The report will be submitted in court during the next hearing, which is scheduled for January 18. Tayabba is being kept at Pakistain Sweet Home as per court orders.

Initially a police report claimed that Taiba's injuries were caused by falling down the stairs. However,
there's more than one way to stuff a chicken...
when the Islamabad High Court took notice of the issue and ordered an inquiry, the girl told Assistant Commissioner Nisha Ishtiaq that she had been tortured by ADSJ Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife.

Subsequently, the judge and his wife managed to obtain bail and a couple claiming to be the girl’s family arrived from Jaranwala and submitted affidavits saying they did not want to file a complaint against the judge and his wife.



India-Pakistan: Staged encounters
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 455 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] It seems that there has been a slight change in the dynamics of the quintessential ’police encounter’. It is no longer the coppers who are ’forced’ to fire upon their fleeing captives. Of late, the dirty job of killing a suspect has been passed on to ’accomplices’. In a ’shoot-out’ between criminals and police, many of the former, it seems, are killed by bullets fired by their own side. This version has been lately repeated to explain the killing on Sunday in Gujrat of four men who were introduced to the world only a day earlier as suspects in the alleged gang rape of two Lady Health Workers. It should best be left to the people to find traces of ’genuineness’ and ’truth’ in the story. The apprehension that it could end up the way it did was raised on Saturday. The coppers concerned had then told the media that the men who had allegedly been involved in the gang rape last month had been traced. Journalists on the beat for long enough know that quite often this is a sign of someone nearby mulling how to quickly dispose of the suspected criminals. It is understood that all the police need is a positive identification by the complainant to ’make sure’ that they have picked up the right person for the punishment -- quite often death in a staged encounter.

The strongest supporters of this attempt at parallel justice are, of course, the coppers themselves, even when, by supporting an encounter, they end up exposing themselves as betraying the judicial system. Indeed, police officials blame the judiciary just as the judges hold the law enforcers responsible for the low conviction rate that is presented as justification for even the most obvious of encounters. But there are an increasing number of desperate souls wanting justice who stand by the act. They are the ones advocating all manner of arbitrary punishment to be meted out without a fair trial which recognises an accused person’s right to defence. It is a sad reflection of just how brutalised Pak society has become that, today, the staged police encounter does not quite draw the same kind of condemnation it once did. Deaths of suspects in police shoot-outs are an acceptable part of routine life today. The approval leaves the police even more prone to abusing their authority. The trend must be checked immediately.



India-Pakistan: Benazir’s assassination
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 867 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] THE status of investigations and trials related to the liquidation of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto
... 11th Prime Minister of Pakistain in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996. She was the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, founder of the Pakistain People's Party, who was murdered at the instigation of General Ayub Khan. She was murdered in her turn by person or persons unknown while campaigning in late 2007. Suspects include, to note just a few, Baitullah Mehsud, General Pervez Musharraf, the ISI, al-Qaeda in Pakistain, and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, who shows remarkably little curiosity about who done her in...
nine years ago can perhaps be summed up by this: the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights has referred the matter to the National Commission on Human Rights -- and demanded that the NCHR submit its report in two weeks. Perhaps the senators can be lauded for doing whatever little they can to draw attention to the lingering resolution of one of the most traumatic episodes in the country’s history. But what the Senate committee may have inadvertently highlighted is the utter helplessness of public officials and the disregard of the state when it comes to bringing to justice those responsible for the liquidation of an iconic woman and a two-time prime minister of the country.

Consider the role played by the PPP itself in the current impasse. Less than a month ago, as the PPP chairman and co-chairman, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari respectively, gathered near the mausoleum of Ms Bhutto to commemorate her ninth death anniversary, there was nary a word mentioned by either party leader -- or, indeed, anyone else in the party -- about the stalled investigations and prosecutions. Instead, Mr Zardari chose to make himself the centre of attention once again by announcing a perplexing run for parliament. But the problem goes deeper than that. Ever since manoeuvring retired Gen Pervez Perv Musharraf
... former dictator of Pakistain, who was less dictatorial and corrupt than any Pak civilian government to date ...
out of the presidency, the PPP has sought to focus blame for the liquidation on the former dictator -- a political strategy that may be rooted in a factual reality, but not something that the party has appeared particularly committed to helping prove. Meanwhile,
...back at the bunker, his Excellency called the chief of staff and complained that the artillery was keeping him awake...
the five individuals in jug and accused of involvement in or having knowledge of the plot to kill Ms Bhutto have largely been disregarded by the PPP. The party leadership’s contention that low-level figures involved in the liquidation plot are mere pawns, and therefore of little relevance, may be partly true, but laying bare the full spectrum of involvement in a crime that shook the nation ought to be a permanent priority of the PPP.

Perhaps, though, no explanation of the PPP’s apparent disinterest in concluding what has sadly become a saga of trials related to Ms Bhutto’s liquidation can be complete without an examination of the state’s utter disregard for solving what remains a national mystery. The Constitution was amended, military courts were created and more than 150 so-called jet-black turbans sentenced to death by those courts -- many for high-profile attacks against military targets. But the interest in identifying and prosecuting the cabal involved in Ms Bhutto’s liquidation is nil. Why? The long, bitter political history stretching from the liquidation of the country’s first prime minister to the elimination of arguably its most famous prime minister needs legal and political closure.



Home Front: WoT: Maverick in the White House
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 668 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] THE world holds its breath as Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
is installed this week as the most controversial president in American history. Unprecedented uncertainty grips Washington as questions are raised if he can be fully trusted. His election has left the country far more polarised than before.

Hundreds and thousands of women are expected to march to Washington in protest a day after Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States. Not an auspicious beginning for a man occupying the world’s most powerful position. "What we’re looking at, all too obviously, is an American kakistocracy -- rule by the worst," writes Paul Krugman, a Nobel laureate. He goes on to say that "Mr Trump must not be treated with personal deference simply because of the position he has managed to seize".
I suspect Professor Krugman's name is not on any White House invitation or consultation lists. But Mr. Trump clearly prefers to hear from those who know what they're talking about.
Surely, given an incoming president of questionable moral and political credentials, the US is heading towards uncharted waters. There are already talks about how to restrain him even before his installation. He is at loggerheads with his country’s security establishment and intelligence agencies that he compares with the Nazis.

Admiration for Russian president Vladimir Putin
...Second and fourth President and sixth of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from polonium poisoning. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead...
and the allegation that Moscow influenced the outcome of the presidential election have reinforced distrust of the new president. A recently leaked intelligence dossier, though unverified, alleges that Russia might have compromised Trump by filming him frolicking with sex workers in a Moscow hotel; this has made the new president a ’security risk’ in the view of many US officials.

This suspicion was illustrated by a report published in Israeli newspapers where American officials have warned Israel ’to be careful’ about sharing classified information with the Trump administration for fear that it could be given to Russia. That makes one wonder about the credibility of a leader carrying such a huge baggage of scepticism. Never before has an American president faced such scrutiny over his ability to deal with critical national security matters.

Trump’s odd views on the conduct of US foreign policy are a major cause of apprehension among world leaders. He is determined to build a wall on the border with Mexico to stop the entry of illegal immigrants colonists and make Mexico pay for it too. But most alarming is his decision to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem, thus deviating from Washington’s long-standing policy.



India-Pakistan: Show your faces...
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 1 Comments 179 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] LAST week, officials from Morocco’s interior ministry took to the markets. There they visited some merchants and handed them a letter. "We notice that you sell the burqa," the letter noted, before asking the merchants to get rid of the existing stock within 48 hours and to not sell it in future.

The ban on the sale and manufacture does not apply to the headscarf or hijab or even to the niqab, which covers half a woman’s face leaving the eyes exposed. It only applies to the full burqa that covers the entire face and permits vision through a mesh at the front.

The new restrictions were touted as part of Morocco’s fight against religious extremism, noting that while the hijab is common in the country, the full burqa was the import of bad boy religious groups whose activities the Moroccan government was trying to curb.
#1: I go out of my way to stare at the handful of "walking bags" that appear in my neck of the woods. I point them out to the retailers that allow them inside, and make a point of either poking jokes about them and/or making it clear I don't feel safe around them. Fuck them. I don't walk in their presence in full disguise, and I sure don't feel comfortable with them walking around me in such a concealing costume.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 00:48 ||Comments



Home Front: WoT: Bye bye, Barack
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 4 Comments 258 words Read the whole thing on page 4
They're all enjoying feeling so very superior at the moment, ignoring as hard as they can the damage President Obama has done to them over the past eight years.
[DAWN] BARACK Obama entered the White House eight years ago with an inbuilt advantage. His predecessor was George W. Bush. On any number of levels, both international and domestic, the incoming incumbent could hardly have done worse.

He leaves the presidential residence this week with another huge circumstantial plus: the identity of his successor more or less guarantees that Obama will be missed even by many of those who are unwilling to admit it right now. On the other hand, though, would it be entirely inappropriate to view Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
as very much a part of Obama’s legacy? Is he not a crude symptom of the B.O. regime’s inadequacies, particularly on the domestic front?
#1: The borderline racist Tea Party...

Oh BULLSHIT. Why do any of us allow this ridiculous nonsense to go unchallenged?
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 00:37 ||Comments

#2: Eight long years. Eight very long years. The Greek columns of Obama are etched in my memory. Only a few hours left remaining. I hope and pray I will live to see it.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 02:03 ||Comments

#3:
Posted by: junkiron|| 2017-01-18 02:33 ||Comments

#4:
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-18 03:02 ||Comments



India-Pakistan: Modi tells Pakistan to 'walk away from terror' if it wants dialogue with India
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 164 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[DAWN] Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked Pakistain to "walk away from terror" if it wants to establish amicable relations with India, The Indian Express reported.

Modi was speaking at the inauguration of the second edition of the Raisina Dialogue, an annual conference held in New Delhi, envisioned to be India's flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics.

In his speech, he said if Pakistain wants to build a relationship with India and have a dialogue, it must distance itself from "terror activities".

"Those in our neighbours who support violence, hatred and export terror stand isolated and ignored," Modi said.

The Indian premier said he extended an invitation to all members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Pakistain, around the time he assumed office.

"I had also travelled to Lahore but India alone cannot walk the path of peace," the Indian premier added.



India-Pakistan: Changing ties
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 689 words Read the whole thing on page 4
[DAWN] THE Indo-US strategic partnership has been a source of constant tension in Pak-US ties in recent years. The US has pursued ’de-hyphenation’ ie dealing with Islamabad and New Delhi relatively independently of each other. Central to this has been its hands-off approach on contentious Pak-India issues.

Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
has excited the Pak policy space by hinting at his willingness to reconsider the US line. Pak officials in touch with Washington have been trying to determine if Trump will actually consider a more proactive effort to improve Pak-India ties.

While there’s no definitive answer, one can point to factors that will influence the Trump White House’s final policy. President B.O.’s experience is a starting point. Candidate Obama was explicit in promising a regional approach to South Asia during the 2008 campaign. His reasoning confirmed an appreciation of the link between Pak-India tensions and their fallout on Afghanistan: to solve Afghanistan, one needs improvement on the Pak-India front. The Indians shot down his idea and US policy recoiled to its de-hyphenation default.

The Trump administration will confront the same set of challenges -- and more.

First, the Washington policy establishment is even more solidly committed to opposing US involvement in Pak-India issues than it was eight years ago. I have challenged the wisdom of this stance given that it contradicts US interest in South Asia. But few accept the proposition. Still, some in Pakistain hope that the Trump team may be less worried about defying Washington’s establishment. Perhaps. But a new administration with multiple policy positions seemingly at odds with this establishment would have to pick its battles carefully. Non-priorities like Pak-India may be ones to sacrifice.

Second, Trump’s position on China will complicate things. If Sino-US competition accentuates, India will be even more important as a counterweight to Beijing. India’s leverage over the US would increase, and it will demand that Washington put Pak-India back in cold storage. Pakistain’s backing of China would strengthen India’s case.

Third, Afghanistan will influence Washington’s approach. A tougher US line on the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network is on the cards. Pakistain’s likely resistance to fresh US demands to ’do more’ would imply added tensions in ties, creating more space for critical voices in Washington to oppose US engagement on Pak-India issues.

Fourth, Pakistain continues to be its own worst enemy. The state’s policies on anti-India bully boy outfits can’t win it any champions. The world cannot be expected to reach but the most sceptical conclusion when it sees leaders of anti-India outfits floating around freely and when it finds the Pak state trying to avoid sincerely prosecuting those charged with committing terrorism in India. Perhaps nothing has aided India’s global push to isolate Pakistain more than the latter’s mishandling of the Mumbai trials.

Finally, any US leader must ask: what is the probability of success? Washington’s bureaucracy is hesitant to put the US president out on such issues without a real possibility of success. The prognosis for Kashmire is anything but. Indeed, it is no coincidence that while Pakistain’s position articulates the need for US involvement, it explains little on how this would lead to a realistic resolution. Even the most committed Trump White House won’t want to set itself up to fail.


Afghanistan: Kandahar bombing likely plotted in Quetta: officials
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 329 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Afghan security officials are saying that the deadly Kandahar bombing was likely planned in Quetta city of Pakistain.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security
...the Afghan national intel agency...
(NDS) officials have said preliminary reports indicate the attack was plotted in Quetta city.

NDS front man Abdul Hassib Sediqi quoted in a report by RFE/RL said initial findings indicate the attack was plotted in Mawlavi Ahmad Kandahar seminary in Quetta.

In the meantime, the officials are saying that thorough investigations are underway regarding the incident.

The investigations are being conducted by three different delegations, including a delegation of the UAE officials.

The Taliban group rejected responsibility behind the attack and blamed the Afghan officials for the incident.

At least 12 people including the deputy provincial governor and five UAE diplomats bit the dust in the attack and several others including the UAE ambassador and Kandahar governor were maimed.

The cousin of the former Afghanistan's Caped President also departed this vale of tears he sustained in the attack as he was receiving treatment in India.

Hashim Khan Karzai was a local trader and had attended the meeting in governor’s guesthouse when he sustained injuries from the kaboom.



Afghanistan: Taliban’s explosives factory discovered in Balkh province
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 157 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Afghan cops discovered an explosives factory of the Taliban group in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan.

The Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of Security
...the Afghan national intel agency...
(NDS), said the factory was used to produce Improvised Explosive Device, suicide kaboom vests, magnetic bombs, and remotely controlled bombs.

NDS further added that the intelligence operatives confiscated 395 remote controls used in mines, 15 time bombs, 800 electric capsules, and some other equipment and explosives used in Improvised Explosive Device.



The Grand Turk: Istanbul nightclub attack suspect trained in Afghanistan
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 418 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The main suspect involved in a deadly attack on a nightclub in Istanbul had received training in Afghanistan, it has been reported.

The city’s governor Vasip Sahin informed regarding the latest development after the apprehension of the suspect who was earlier identified as AbdulKadir Mashripov.

The suspect was tossed in the calaboose
Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
during an operation late on Monday night with the security sources saying Mashripov is a member of the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) also known as ISIS.

The sources further added that Mashripov was captured during a police operation on a residence in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district.

The incident in Reina nightclub took place on the new year’s eve when the attacker started indiscriminate firing, leaving at least 39 people dead.

A police officer was also among those killed and around 69 others sustained injuries in the attack.

This comes as the Afghan officials have long been expressing concerns that the foreign Lions of Islam have shifted to Afghanistan operating under the so-called ISIS Khurasan Caliphate in the remote parts of the country.

The officials had earlier said that the foreign Lions of Islam included Pak fighter and residents of the Central Asian states as they eye to benefit from the opium trade in the country and subsequently expand their foothold in the region.



Afghanistan: Teenage girl raped and murdered in North of Afghanistan
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 152 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] A teenage girl was raped and murdered in the northern Faryab province of Afghanistan, local officials said Tuesday.

The incident took place in Bal Cheragh district of Faryab, involving two men who repeatedly raped the girl and strangled her to death.

Provincial governor’s front man Abdul Karim Yuresh confirmed the incident and said the victim has been identified as 16-year-old Haiza.

Yuresh further added that one suspect has been placed in durance vile
Please don't kill me!
in connection to the rape and murder of the girl.



Terror Networks: Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham launches surprise offensive in northern Aleppo
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 293 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[ALMASDARNEWS] The jihadist rebels of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
...formerly al-Nusra, the current false nose and mustache of al-Qaeda in the Levant...
(formerly al-Nusra
...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ...
Front) launched a surprise offensive in the northern outskits of Aleppo City on Monday, targeting the Syrian Arab Army's positions near the al-Malaah Farms.

Jabhat Fateh al-Sham began the attack by storming the Syrian Arab Army's checkpoints near the western part of the al-Malaah Farms; this resulted in a series of festivities that lasted for only two hours on Monday.

According to a military source in Aleppo, the Syrian Arab Army foiled the jihadist offensive, killing a dozen enemy combatants that tried to infiltrate their points in the al-Malaah area.

The military source added that the Lions of Islam used the current ceasefire in the Aleppo Governorate to build-up their forces around Haritan's eastern perimeter; this is where they attacked from.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Rebel fighters surrender to Syrian Army in Qalamoun Mountains
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 257 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[ALMASDARNEWS] A group of rebels from the towns of al-Rahaybeh and Mo'adhamiyah al-Qalamoun surrendered themselves and their weapons to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on Monday as part of a reconciliation agreement.

According to an al-Masdar correspondent in Damascus, the rebels that surrendered on Monday will be eligible for amnesty, per the amnesty decree set forth by the Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
The Scourge of Hama...
These two towns in the eastern Qalamoun have not been fully reconciled, as a number of jihadist rebels from Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
...formerly al-Nusra, the current false nose and mustache of al-Qaeda in the Levant...
(formerly al-Nusra
...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ...
Front) remain inside.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Russian jets nonstop bombing ISIS in Deir Ezzor
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 593 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[ALMASDARNEWS] The Russian Air Force has conducted nonstop Arclight airstrikes over the Deir Ezzor Governorate today, hitting several Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
targets around this desert province in eastern Syria.

Russian jets began launching Arclight airstrikes immediately over Deir Ezzor after the Islamic State snuffies seized the provincial cemetery and Jirayah village yesterday afternoon.

With the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) pinned down at the military airport, the Russian Air Force has been providing them with necessary air cover to drive back the Islamic State snuffies and recover lost points.

According to a military source in Damascus, the Russian Air Force has conducted over 85 Arclight airstrikes today, with most of the attacks taking place in the western countryside of the province.

The Russian Air Force is still conducting Arclight airstrikes at this moment, destroying a number of Islamic State vehicles, while also forestalling the terrorist group's progress near the quiet provincial capital.

Syrian Army attempts to lift the siege on Deir Ezzor Airport

[ALMASDARNEWS] The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has launched a powerful attack this evening to recapture the Deir Ezzor Cemetery, Jirayah village, and Harabish District from the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
terrorists.

Backed by Syrian and Russian Arclight airstrikes, the Qassem Group of the Elite Republican Guard forces stormed the Deir Ezzor Cemetery's eastern perimeter, where they were met with strong resistance from the Islamic State snuffies entrenched around this site.

If the Syrian Arab Army is successful in recapturing the Deir Ezzor Cemetery from the Islamic State terrorists, then the air force will once again be able to land helicopters at the military airport.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: US Air Force kills high ranking Al-Qaeda leader in Syria
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 256 words Read the whole thing on page 1
A US coalition drone Arclight airstrike has exterminated a Fateh al-Sham
...formerly al-Nusra, the current false nose and mustache of al-Qaeda in the Levant...
(formerly the al-Nusra
...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ...
Front) commander.

The targeted commander was identified as Abou Ibrahim al-Tunisi and was pulverized around Aqirybat town, in northern Idlib countryside.

Before waging his jihad in Syria, he was the assistant of the current leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, Ayman al-Zawahri.

In recent times, the US-led coalition has been targeting Fateh al-Sham leaders in Idlib province.

The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights has claimed that over 50 jihadists in Idlib province have been wiped out by dronezaps or IED's in the month of January alone.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Palmyra Front: Pro-Government Counter-Offensive
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 81 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[ALMASDARNEWS] A large scale pro-government counter-offensive on the Palmyra Front appears to be taking place. The end-goal of this offensive is undoubtedly the re-capture of the ancient city of Palmyra and its surrounding oil and gas fields by the Syrian government from ISIS terrorists.

Some of the most high-quality formations of the Syrian Arab Army's order of battle have been identified as taking part in the offensive.

Other pro-government combatant parties such as Hezbollah are also taking part in the offensive.


Arabia: Saudi naval boat massacres 10 Yemeni civilians with rocket barrage
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 174 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[ALMASDARNEWS] A Saudi naval vessel has fired a barrage of rockets at a village in Madbanah district in Ta'izz province, resulting in the deaths of at least 10 people, Saba News Agency reported.

The indiscriminate attack also resulted in dozens of people being injured.

Meanwhile,
...back at the barn, Bossy was furiously chewing her cud and thinking...
in the province of Hudaydah, a Saudi jet conducted an Arclight airstrike against a truck traveling along a road in the al-Khawkhah district, killing a civilian.

Additionally, five people were killed and two others injured when Saudi fighter jets pounded a market in the Haydan district of the northwestern province of Sa’ada, PressTV reported.


Africa North: Egyptian police clash with people celebrating on sovereignty decision on disputed islands
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 229 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[ALMASDARNEWS] Scuffles have erupted between Egyptian police and protesters celebrating a top court’s final ruling against the government’s decision to transfer illusory sovereignty of two strategic Red Sea islands to Soddy Arabia
...a kingdom taking up the bulk of the Arabian peninsula. Its primary economic activity involves exporting oil and soaking Islamic rubes on the annual hajj pilgrimage. The country supports a large number of princes in whatcha might call princely splendor. When the oil runs out the rest of the world is going to kick sand in the Soddy national face...
, PressTV reported.

On Monday, the Supreme Administrative Court announced that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir are Egyptian and illusory sovereignty not handed over to the Saudi regime, sparking celebrations even in the court room.

The celebrations then spread into the streets with Cairo.

They however turned violent when people celebrating scuffled with police, resulting in the arrest of several people.

It is not known yet what led to the scuffles at this moment.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: US wanted to use ISIS, Jabhat Al-Nusra to overthrow Assad: Lavrov
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 485 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[ALMASDARNEWS] The United States wanted to use the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
and Jabhat al-Nusra
...formally Jabhat an-Nusrah li-Ahli al-Sham (Support Front for the People of the Levant), also known as al-Qaeda in the Levant. They aim to establish a pan-Arab caliphate. Not the same one as the Islamic State, though .. ...
terrorist groupings (outlawed in Russia) to overthrow Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Supressor of the Damascenes...
, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sad at an annual presser on Tuesday.

"There are a lot of examples showing that the Americans and their allies sneakily wanted to use al-Nusra and the IS to weaken and finally overthrow the Assad regime," Lavrov said.

"That is why, they were quite reserved in implementing their stated goal of fighting against terrorism," the Russian foreign minister said.

Similarly to how al-Qaeda emerged when the Americans supported mujahideen in the 1980s, the IS came into existence after Iraq’s occupation in 2003, Lavrov said.

"Exactly in the same way, Jabhat al-Nusra, which is one of Al Qaeda offshoots, is the most vicious, the cruelest and the most merciless terrorist force in the Syrian crisis now," he added.

As the Russian foreign minister said, "it was only after the Russian air task force started to operate in Syria in September last year at the request of President Assad that the US-led coalition that had existed for a year by that time started in earnest at least somehow to bomb IS positions and deliver strikes against its infrastructure, including oilfields, which the IS used for its own financing through smuggling," the Russian foreign minister said.



Syria-Lebanon-Iran: Iran: Syria winning war because of cooperation between Damascus and Tehran
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 141 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[ALMASDARNEWS] Iran’s First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri has said on Tuesday at a presser with Syria’s Prime Minister Imad Khamis, that Syria is winning the war with solid victories because of the close coordination between Damascus and Tehran.

Khamis traveled to Tehran at the head of a delegation.

"It is certain that Syria’s victories are owed to the gallantry and steadfastness of the Syrian people, army, the fighters of the resistance axis, and also the result of coordination on the field as well as political coordination between the country and Iran," the Iranian official said.

"As the government and people of Iran, we have supported and assisted the Syrian people and legitimate government" in the face of terrorism, he added.



The Grand Turk: Istanbul nightclub attacker: details mount
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 165 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Hurriyet Daily News] Police in Istanbul apprehended late on Jan. 16 a gunman who killed 39 people in a terror attack on the city’s glamorous Reina nightclub in the Ortaköy neighborhood early on Jan. 1, as details over the course of his 16 days on the run came to light.

Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin and Istanbul Police Chief Mustafa Caliskan announced on Jan. 17 that the attacker identified as Abdulkadir Masharipov and four other suspects were detained in a police operation in the Esenyurt district.

"The killer and perpetrator of this atrocious attack was apprehended in an operation conducted in the Esenyurt district tonight. The perpetrator is Abdulkadir Masharipov. His codename is Ebu Muhammed Horasani Abdulkavi. He was born in Uzbekistan in 1983. He was trained in Afghanistan and he is a well-trained terrorist who speaks four languages. It is believed that he came to our country in January 2016," Sahin said Jan. 17.


Iraq: Iraqi artist recreates ancient monuments
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 716 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Hurriyet Daily News] As Iraqi forces fight to retake the northern city of djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
from the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an artist in nearby Arbil is chiseling at clay in a tiny, unheated studio to recreate historic Assyrian monuments destroyed by the group.

Ninos Thabet, an 18-year-old Christian who studied art at Mosul University, is creating miniature replicas of statues jihadists destroyed when they overran the 3,000-year-old Assyrian city of Nimrud, south of Mosul, two years ago.

Once the capital of an empire stretching across the ancient Middle East, Nimrud was one of the several historic sites that ISIS looted and ransacked when they seized large swathes of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014.

The statues included winged bulls with human faces, known as lamassu, and a bronze head of King Sargon of Akkad.

"Seeing the antiquities of your country, a civilization that is thousands of years old, destroyed within minutes is very painful. It was difficult seeing such a setback to our culture and history," he said.

ISIS, whose ultra-hardline doctrine deems pre-Islamic religious heritage idolatrous, released video footage last year showing its Death Eaters bulldozing, drilling and blowing up murals and statues at Nimrud.

"I wanted to send a message to the world saying, ’We ... want to rebuild our civilization and to continue to grow artistically,’" he said.

Iraqi forces pushing through eastern Mosul took control over the weekend of Mosul University, once a premier institution in the Middle East that became a strategic site for the krazed killers, as part of a three-month, U.S.-led offensive to recapture the entire city, ISIS’s last major stronghold in the country. Western Mosul remains under ISIS control.

Thabet fled with his family from the Christian town of Qaraqosh, east of Mosul, to the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital Arbil when ISIS took over. He says art brought him comfort while he was away from his home and friends.

Since leaving his home, he has created more than 50 statues and figures. Some of them have been displayed in exhibits and museums, and others he sold to collectors.

Iraqi troops pushed ISIS from Nimrud in November, giving officials a clearer idea of the scale of the damage.

During a visit days later, Rooters found shattered remains of intricate carvings lying broken in the dust. A ziggurat, or terraced pyramid, had been reduced to a pile of dirt, apparently flattened by bulldozers.

Nimrud was excavated in the 19th century by British archaeologist Austen Layard. Fellow archaeologist Max Mallowan and his wife, and crime writer Agatha Christie, worked at Nimrud in the 1950s. Christie’s experiences in Iraq formed the background to several of her novels.


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-: Catalhöyuk figurines symbolize ‘elderly women, not Cybele’
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 1 Comments 374 words Read the whole thing on page 3


[Hurriyet Daily News] Two plump woman figurines unearthed in the 9,000-year-old Neolithic settlement of Catalhöyuk represent elderly women, not the Anatolian mother goddess Cybele as was earlier believed, according to an expert.


Looks like a much later edition of the Venus of Willendorf, which is about 21,000 years older.
"These figurines symbolize old women that have high status in the society instead of goddesses," excavation supervisor Professor Ian Hodder of Stanford University said about the figurines that have distinctive bellies, breasts and hips.

After Catalhöyuk’s discovery in 1958 in the Central Anatolian province of Konya by James Mellaart, the ancient settlement was excavated in 1961, 1963 and 1965. After a long break, excavation works restarted in 1993 under the supervision of Hodder.

Hodder said there were interesting findings in this year’s excavation. In a report on the diggings, Hodder said there were two figurines that have distinctive bellies, breasts and thighs discovered on a grave in close proximity to the east walls.

"We think that the figurine was placed there intentionally," Hodder said.

"This marble figurine was discovered next to an obsidian knife. After a few days, another figurine made of limestone was discovered. The second figurine has a piece of galena that is shiny and reflective and two beads around its head. It also has two tiny holes like it was carried around like a pendant," Hodder said.

Hodder said the places the figurines were discovered were intentionally chosen and were very significant.

"The places the figurines were discovered and their burial with objects like obsidian and galena is not common. This makes us think that the figurines were buried there to replace the bodies," he added.

Hodder said when the figurines were discovered, the media introduced the figurines as Mother Goddess Cybele. "Researchers Lynn Meskell, Carolyn Nakamura and Lindsay Der have proven that the distinctive bellies, breasts and thighs of the figurines indicate that these figurines symbolized elderly women who had prestige and social status."
#1: "These figurines, buried with rubies
And ashes of old Turkish doobies,"
Claims one manly digger,
With scholarly rigour,
"Bear antediluvian moobies!"
Posted by: Zenobia Floger6220|| 2017-01-18 02:37 ||Comments



Europe: Top German court refuses to outlaw far-right NPD party
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 578 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Hurriyet Daily News] Germany’s Constitutional Court on Jan. 17 said the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) resembled Adolf Hitler
...late Fuehrer of Germany, founder of the Third Reich, currently communing with his pals Himmler and Heydrich. He is reincarnated every few days as a politician somebody doesn't like...
’s Nazi party, but ruled against banning it because it presented no threat to democracy.

Germany’s intelligence agency described the NPD as racist and anti-Semitic and the attempt by the country’s 16 federal states to outlaw the party came amid rising support for right-wing groups stoked by popular resentment over the influx of migrants colonists.

While the court said the party’s aims violated the constitution, it ruled that there was insufficient evidence it would wield power. Under German law there must be hard proof that a party puts democracy at risk for it to be banned.

"The NPD intends to replace the existing constitutional system with an authoritarian national state that adheres to the idea of an ethnically defined ’people’s community’," the court said in its ruling, according to Rooters.

"However,
it was a brave man who first ate an oyster...
currently there is a lack of specific and weighty indications suggesting that this endeavor will be successful."

The tough conditions for banning a political party is in part a legacy of the crushing of dissent in the Nazi era and communist East Germany.

The case marks the second failed attempt
Curses! Foiled again!
to outlaw the NPD of Germany, with the latest launched by the Bundesrat upper house of parliament which represents Germany’s 16 states.

Chancellor Angela Merkel
...current chancellor of Germany and the impetus behind Germany's remarkably ill-starred immigration program. Merkel used to be referred to by Germans as Mom...
’s government supported the case, although the executive did not formally join the high-stakes legal maneuver.

The Bundesrat had launched the challenge in 2013, as the country was reeling in shock over the 2011 discovery of a murderous group calling itself the National Socialist Underground.

Racist killings by the group had prompted Germany to crack down against right-wing extremism.

But since then, the NPD has lost its remaining seats in state parliaments, retaining just one representative, Udo Voigt, in the European Parliament.

It has also lost ground to the anti-euro fringe party Alternative for Germany (AfD), which has morphed into an anti-immigration force railing against the mass arrivals of refugees in 2015.


Syria-Lebanon-Iran: 20 ISIL militants killed in northern Syria: Turkish military
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 427 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Hurriyet Daily News] At least 20 Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) Death Eaters have been killed in northern Syria over the last 24 hours as part of the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation, according to a Turkish General Staff statement early on Jan. 17.

The military stated that Turkish jets conducted air operations against 10 ISIS targets, including sniper positions and a mortar factory in al-Bab.

Free Syrian Army
... the more palatable version of the Syrian insurgency, heavily influenced by the Moslem Brüderbund...
(FSA) special task forces also hit 106 ISIS targets over the past 24 hours with Turkish army support, it added.

The Turkish army is supporting FSA fighters in their fight to liberate al-Bab from the jihadist group. Jan. 17 marks the 147th day since the city was surrounded in order to liberate it.

The operation is part of the Turkish-led Euphrates Shield operation, which began in late August 2016 to improve security, support coalition forces, and eliminate the terror threat along The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
’s border using FSA fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.

In total, 43 landmines and 2,941 improvised explosives have been defused since the start of the operation on Aug. 24, 2016.


The Grand Turk: Hrant Dink murder was deliberately permitted, says former police intelligence branch head
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 525 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Hurriyet Daily News] Ali Fuat Yilmazer, the former head of The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
’s police intelligence branch, has given his testimony in the 31st hearing into the 2007 killing of Armenian-origin Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, saying the killing was "deliberately not prevented" and security authorities in Istanbul and Trabzon were responsible.

"This murder was made possible on purpose and Dink was the victim of the killing. The police are guilty of misconduct on duty. The state did not carry out its duty," said Yilmazer.

"In terms of numbers, there is an organizational connection behind this murder. Most importantly it has coordination within the state. The mechanisms within the state did not move to protect Dink," he added.
Yilmazer also said the earlier investigation into the killing "were closer to justice" and those placed in durance vile
Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages!
had been "silenced."

Noting that the killing was planned in the Black Sea province of Trabzon before being committed in Istanbul, Yilmazer said Dink was murdered due to lack of measures that should have been taken in Istanbul. He said officials in Istanbul had a duty to take Dink under protection like Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish novelist who was given security protection and who was tried under the notorious Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code against "insulting Turkishness." Dink was also convicted of the offense before his death.

In his testimony, Yilmazer denied claims that he was the instigator of the murder, saying he had "no connection" with the Trabzon authorities and in fact he had never even been to the Black Sea province. He also alleged that Engin Dinc, former Trabzon police intelligence branch chief, had such connections as he had spoken with the gendarmerie on the issue.

Dink, 52, was rubbed out with two bullets to the head in broad daylight outside the offices of the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos in central Istanbul.

Trabzon-based Ogun Samast, then a 17-year-old jobless high-school dropout, confessed to the murder and was sentenced to almost 23 years in jail in 2011.

But the case grew into a wider scandal after it emerged that security forces had been aware of a plot to kill Dink but failed to act.

Relatives and followers of the case have long claimed government officials, police, military personnel and members of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) played a role in Dink’s murder by neglecting their duty to protect the journalist.


The Grand Turk: Prosecutor seeks up to 142 years in prison for Demirtas
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 555 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Hurriyet Daily News] Indictments regarding the tossed in the clink
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
co-leaders of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) have been completed, with the prosecutor seeking up to 142 years in jail for Selahattin Demirtas and up to 83 years in jail for Figen Yuksekdag.

Among the charges directed to Demirtas are "managing a terrorist organization," "making terrorist propaganda," "inciting people to violence and hatred," and "praising crime and the criminal," for which the prosecutor demands a prison sentence of between 43 years and 142 years.

Yuksekdag is charged with "opposing the meeting and rally law," "inciting people to violence and hatred" and "provoking people to commit crimes," for which the prosecutor demands a prison sentence of between 30 years and 83 years.

Meanwhile,
...back at the Alamo, Davy was counting their remaining cannon balls and not liking the results...
the lawyer of Ahmet Turk, the ousted and tossed in the clink
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
mayor of the southeastern province of Mardin, has said his health is in a poor condition and "the public is waiting for him to be released."

"Turk’s health condition is poor. It’s not right for him to be transferred to a prison in [the eastern province of] Elazig at a time when the public is waiting for him to be released," lawyer Erdal Kuzu told the Dogan News Agency, referring to Turk’s transfer to Elazig from Istanbul’s Silivri prison.

Kuzu said Turk had been expecting to be transferred to a jail in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir.

"Ahmet Turk learned that he was being transferred to Elazig on the plane as he was expecting to be transferred to Diyarbakir D Type prison," he added.

"He is uncomfortable with being on the agenda with his health problems. But due to his deteriorating health conditions it is a risk for him to travel. He needs to be released as soon as possible," Kuzu said.

Kuzu also said he had met the tossed in the clink
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
co-mayor of Diyarbakir, Firat Anli, who was also transferred to Elazig from Kandira prison. Kuzu said Turk’s application to stay in the same cell as Anli had been rejected.


The Grand Turk: Erdogan to banks: Ease loans or you’ll face us
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 4 Comments 675 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[Hurriyet Daily News] Turkish President Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan the First
... Turkey's version of Mohammed Morsi but they voted him back in so they deserve him...
called on the financial sector on Jan. 17 to open the taps of credit or face a reckoning.

"Unless those who control the finance sector open the credit taps to entrepreneurs and investors, they will face us," he said in Ankara, adding that loans should be offered at lower interest rates.

"When the credit taps open with lower rates in a more decent manner, the investors will become more competitive," he said.

"In such a climate, it would be easier for The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
to climb," said Erdogan.

Erdogan favors low interest rates to spur growth, a philosophy that has put him at odds with international investors who say Turkey’s Central Bank needs to aggressively hike rates to stave off inflation.

"When some people call for you to keep your money in banks, what does it mean? It means give your money to the owners of the financial institutions and give them an opportunity to make a big haul without making any investments," he said.

Erdogan also said the Turkish economy has been "under attack" since 2013.

"I describe those who ruthlessly use the money as economic terrorists, as there is no other way," he added.

"Who can deny that the latest fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates are not based on any rational reasons and that the main point is to slow down the economy?" Erdogan said.

"There are some people who are uncomfortable with my words. I am in charge. I have to say it. The people have asked me to protect their rights, and I have to do this to the end," he added.

According to Erdogan, there is an economic message behind all terror attacks.

"If Istanbul, our most significant brand, is attacked by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party one day and by the DAESH another day, can we ignore the hidden motivation which aims at slowing down the economy? One kilo of tomatoes rises to 7-8 liras in the market...This is too high," he said, adding that the all these issues were discussed in a meeting with top economy officials late on Jan. 16.

"We need to find a solution to all these problems," he added.

Erdogan also said he talked to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin
...Second and fourth President and sixth of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from polonium poisoning. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead...
, to boost trade ties.

"We want to sell tomatoes and grapes to Russia. We want to boost our ties with Russia and increase our exports there. They should also import our products on a lira basis. In such a way, we can get rid of forex pressure," he added.
#1: Maduro II
Posted by: Alaska Paul|| 2017-01-18 00:26 ||Comments

#2: I had the same thought AP. Another Venezuela in the making.
Posted by: phil_b|| 2017-01-18 00:50 ||Comments

#3: A falling Turkish lira, government-mandated loans (without government guaranteed backing) - what could possibly go wrong?
Posted by: Raj|| 2017-01-18 01:13 ||Comments

#4: Maduro, shmaduro - ever heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-18 01:50 ||Comments



Iraq: Iraq provided intel on ISIL members entering Turkey
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 537 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Hurriyet Daily News] Iraq has provided information to The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire....
regarding Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) members that crossed into Turkey or who have been trying to do so, Iraq’s ambassador to Ankara has said.

"The available information suggests that a significant number of them have already crossed the border to Turkey. Others are trying to do so. Many of them are from Tel Afar and djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
or from other towns around. We have provided this information to Turkey," Ambassador Hashim al-Allawi told the Hurriyet Daily News.

"It’s important that the two sides cooperate and share information when it comes to separating genuine citizens that have been forced to leave their hometowns and from ISIS [members] that left towns and villages because of military operations. They could pose a threat to the national security of Turkey, as well as the national security of Iraq," the ambassador stated.

It is a serious issue since "we are taking about thousands of DEASH" members, al-Allawi said, using an Arabic abbreviation for ISIS.

On the sidelines of a high-level cooperation council meeting on Jan. 7, the heads of intelligence chiefs "have discussed these issues in detail and there is an agreement to cooperate," he said.

The issue was also discussed when a Turkish delegation went to Arbil, as part of Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s visit to Iraq earlier in the month, he said.

"I was with them. There was a joint meeting between the Turkish delegation and the Iraqi Kurdistan delegation. One of the key issues that two sides discussed was security cooperation," said al-Allawi.

Approached by the Daily News, a Turkish official said that during the meetings in Baghdad, two sides agreed to develop bilateral relations, enhance cooperation primarily in the struggle against terror and exchange the names of terrorists.


Europe: Hungary set to turn screws on Soros-backed NGOs
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 1 Comments 626 words Read the whole thing on page 3
[YAHOO] Hungarian NGOs have long felt the heat under strongman Prime Minister Viktor Orban -- but they now fear that, emboldened by Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
's victory, the right-wing premier will turn the screws even tighter.

First in line may be groups backed by Hungarian-born billionaire financier George Soros, whose foundation once funded the Oxford studies of a young Orban more than 25 years ago.

Last week the deputy head of Orban's ruling party Fidesz, in power since 2010, said that non-governmental organizations should be "cleaned out of here".

Szilard Nemeth said that criticism of government policies by "fake" civil organizations set up to "influence politics" by Soros and others was "impermissible".

The remarks triggered alarm among beleaguered NGOs, many of which -- in the absence of a credible political opposition -- have long attacked Orban's sweeping revamp of state institutions and hardline anti-immigration stance.

"This is a new level of NGO-bashing," said Marta Pardavi, co-head of the Hungarian branch of the Helsinki Committee, a human rights
When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much...
group that provides free advice to asylum-seekers.

Nemeth name-checked the body as potential targets along with civil rights group TASZ and corruption watchdog Transparency International.

"The notion that we should be swept away like rubbish or have no right to comment on politics shows their arrogant intolerance of different views," Pardavi told AFP.

Her office, staffed by some two dozen lawyers, heaves with case files as well as reports that have slammed Orban's anti-migration policies.

She freely admits that her organization relies on foreign funding to continue operating. But "otherwise it's not possible to do human rights advocacy work in Hungary," she says.

Mirroring pressure in Russia under President Vladimir Putin
...Second and fourth President and sixth of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from polonium poisoning. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead...
, scrutiny of foreign-funded NGOs has been cranked up since Orban was re-elected in 2014.

Dozens of groups supported by Norway were investigated by government auditors over alleged financial irregularities.

None were found, and the purge prompted US President Barack Obama
That’s just how white folks will do you....
to warn Hungary against a "clampdown" on civil society.

#1: Go, go Magyars!
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-18 01:51 ||Comments



Science : US plane is spotted in a mock dogfight with a Russian jet above the top secret Area 51 base
Posted by Bright Pebbles 01/18/2017  00:00 2 Comments 0 words Read the whole thing on page 3


Southeast Asia: Abu Sayyaf bomb kills 12-year-old girl
Posted by ryuge 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 265 words Read the whole thing on page 1
[Gulf Today] A 12-year-old girl was killed and her mother seriously injured when a roadside bomb believed to have been planted by the Abu Sayyaf exploded in Mindanao. Police said the victims were gathering root crops in a village along the road in Lamitan City, Basilan when the bomb exploded on Sunday afternoon.

Police blamed the Abu Sayyaf for the blast, saying it was intended to divert the intensified search and destroy operation launched against them in the mountains in Lamitan's neighboring town of Sumisip.

Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte confirmed the arrest in Malaysia of the son of a Maguindanao lawmaker for his alleged involvement in the bombing of a popular night market in Davao City, Duterte's hometown last September. He identified the suspect as Datu Mohammad Abduljabbar Sema, who has been detained by Malaysian authorities since last November for his alleged link to the Davao City bombing that killed 15 people and injured more than 60 others.

Sema is the son of Muslimin Sema, the head of a faction of the divided Moro National Liberation Front as well as the former mayor of Cotabato City, and Congresswoman Bi Sandra Sema of Maguindanao.

With Sema's arrest, Duterte said all suspects have been accounted for in the bombing blamed on members of the Matute Group which has pledged allegiance to the Daesh.

Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense said the government has requested Malaysia to extradite Sema back to the Philippines so he could face trial.


Southeast Asia: Muslim leader linked to insurgency mourned in southern Thailand
Posted by ryuge 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 306 words Read the whole thing on page 2
[Nikkei Asian Review] Muslims in southern Thailand are bidding farewell to a prominent Muslim leader accused by police of leading a separatist movement intent on creating a homeland for ethnic Malays in the region. Local media quoted Sapae-ing Basor's family members as saying he had passed away on January 10 while living in exile in Malaysia.

About 2,500 people gathered on Monday morning at the school in southern Yala province where Sapae-ing served as principal until he fled the country in December 2004. Sapae-ing had been charged with treason by police over his alleged involvement in a series of attacks on police and military facilities in the region.

Sapae-ing, who was educated in Saudi Arabia, commanded respect from Thai authorities as well as admiration from local Muslim communities. "He was the most selfless person we ever knew. He always placed the needs and dignity of his community before him," said one cadre from the Barisan Revolusi Nasional, a key southern insurgent group that surfaced in the early 1960s.

Since its inception, the BRN has looked to post-colonial Indonesia for inspiration, while relying on a network of traditional Islamic schools in the southern Thai region as its support base.

Thai police have maintained that Sapae-ing is the overall leader of the BRN, and at one time they placed a 10 million baht reward on his head. The reward system for the region was dropped by the military government that assumed power in 2006.

A senior BRN source said the movement would continue its fight against the Thai government, noting that Sapae-ing's death would not affect the group's military operations. Thai security officials and BRN rebels said that his death would not have a significant impact on stalled peace talks between the Thai government and Mara Patani, an umbrella organization of southern rebel groups.


-Land of the Free: Bikers for Trump in Florida heading out to Washington DC for the Inauguration
Posted by Bright Pebbles 01/18/2017  00:00 0 Comments 0 words Read the whole thing on page 6


Government: Trump eyes 10% spending cuts, 20% slash of federal workers
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 4 Comments 267 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[WASHINGTONEXAMINER] Making good on a promise to slash government, President-elect Trump has asked his incoming team to pursue spending and staffing cuts.

Insiders said that the spending reductions in some departments could go as high as 10 percent and staff cuts to 20 percent, numbers that would rock Washington if he follows through.
Northern Virginia would become a ghost town. And you might even be able to find a seat on a Metra train...
At least two so-called "landing teams" in Cabinet agencies have relayed the call for cuts as part of their marching orders to shrink the flab in government.

The cuts would target discretionary spending, not mandated programs such as Medicare or Social Security, the sources said.

The spending reductions are expected to be used to help pay for Trump's plan to boost the Pentagon's budget, tax cuts and some pet projects, potentially including the anti-immigration wall on the nation's southern border.

The teams also are looking at staffing cuts over four years through attrition, a hiring freeze and reorganization.

The plan is winning cheers in conservative, anti-tax and anti-spending corners in Washington that have long sought massive cuts in the bureaucracy.

Presidents rarely cut spending, choosing freezes instead. In the meantime, federal spending has reached historic levels. Trump has picked a budget hawk, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, to head the Office of Management and Budget, a clear sign that spending cuts are a top priority.
#1: I'd like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) specifically targetted. I'd like every single participant in "mission creep", like pretending that "disease control" includes bullshit political items like guns and the consumption of salt in the diet, to be put on notice that they're now required to demonstrate what REAL "disease control" contributions they've made to the agency. If they have none, boot them. And start high on the organization chart, and only move downward to the point where anyone is making executive decisions.
Posted by: Crusader|| 2017-01-18 00:44 ||Comments

#2: Just mow down the top 3 management levels at all the various agencies - Trump appointees exempt.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2017-01-18 01:18 ||Comments

#3: Initiate an immediate Federal hiring freeze. Boomer and near-boomers are now retiring in record numbers. A 20% slash of federal workers employees should be accomplished quite easily. Some additional tips follow:

Pass a law to make 'burrowing' illegal, and make it 6 months retroactive.

Eliminate an entire federal agency by merging it's responsibilities with another.

Declare the federal gov't a 'Right to Work' organization. Declare the AFGE (federal employees union) unconstitutional and disband it immediately.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 01:41 ||Comments

#4: Get rid of Education, Energy and Environment departments.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-18 03:07 ||Comments



-Land of the Free: Ads in two dozen cities offer protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural
Posted by Fred 01/18/2017  00:00 3 Comments 315 words Read the whole thing on page 6
[WASHINGTONTIMES] Donald Trump
...New York real estate developer, described by Dems as illiterate, racist, misogynistic, and what ever other unpleasant descriptions they can think of, elected by the rest of us as 45th President of the United States...
may have a point about paid protesters: Job ads running in more than 20 cities offer $2,500 per month for agitators to demonstrate at this week’s presidential inauguration events.

Demand Protest, a the Socialist paradise of San Francisco
...where God struck dead Anton LaVey, home of the Sydney Ducks, ruled by Vigilance Committee from 1859 through 1867, reliably and volubly Democrat since 1964...
company that bills itself as the "largest private grassroots support organization in the United States," posted identical ads Jan. 12 in multiple cities on Backpage.com seeking "operatives."

"Get paid fighting against Trump!" says the ad.

"We pay people already politically motivated to fight for the things they believe. You were going to take action anyways, why not do so with us!" the ad continues. "We are currently seeking operatives to help send a strong message at upcoming inauguration protests."

The job offers a monthly retainer of $2,500 plus "our standard per-event pay of $50/hr, as long as you participate in at least 6 events a year," as well as health, vision and dental insurance for full-time operatives.

Mr. Trump has complained about paid activists both before and after the 2016 presidential campaign, but if anti-Trump advocacy groups are juicing their crowds with hired help, nobody’s admitting it.
#1: Undercover police or FBI should immediately solicit recruitment. Funding sources should be easy enough to identify from the inside.
Posted by: Besoeker|| 2017-01-18 02:06 ||Comments

#2: Is 2500$ really worth meeting some cops frustrated by being forbidden to do their job for the last 8 years?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2017-01-18 02:18 ||Comments

#3: Now if everybody applied for this, and then just sat there and didn't participate, who would know? They'd still have to pay you.
Posted by: gorb|| 2017-01-18 03:08 ||Comments