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Snowden asks Putin about Russian surveillance


Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden joined a public question-and-answer session with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow via video.

Snowden asked Putin if Russia had similar surveillance programs as the United States--referring to the mass collection and storage of data from individuals around the world.

"Mr. Snowden, you are a former agent, a spy, I used to be working for an intelligence service, we are going to talk one professional language," Putin began, via a translator.

Putin explained that any intelligence operations were strictly regulated by Russian law, and required court permission to spy on an individual.

"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law, it cannot exist," he said. "But we do not have a mass scale uncontrollable efforts like that, I hope we won't do that and we don't have as much money as they have in the States, and we don't have these technical devices that they have in the States."

Putin said that Russian special forces did use surveillance to thwart terrorists and criminals, but that it was regulated.

"Our special services, thank God, are strictly controlled by the society and by the law and regulated by the law," he concluded.

Comment: In his recent article on the Boston Marathon bombing inspectors' general report, journalist Russ Baker makes some interesting speculations about Russian spying, and their possible motives for warning the U.S. about Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Just how much does Russia know about covert U.S. operations and the FBI and CIA's role in using patsies for false-flag terror?

Binoculars

Was CIA director in Kiev to locate missing Greystone mercenaries?

brennan cia ukraine
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov revealed that CIA director John Brennan was in Kiev last weekend. One of his advisors told the newspaper Vzgliad that Brennan had not come to oversee the "anti-terrorist" operations conducted by the Ukrainian authorities, but to seek information and rescue twenty Greystone Ltd mercenaries of whom there has been no news.

The coup government in Kiev and its Western allies refer to the democratic political opposition as "terrorists".

Hundreds of mercenaries working for Greystone Ltd (a subsidiary of Academi, formerly Blackwater) have been present in the country since at least March 4 [1], operating within the regular Ukraine special forces.

After initially denying it, the White House acknowledged that Mr. Brennan had in fact visited Kiev over the weekend.
Display

How the U.S. government and allies use social media to bring down governments and alter public opinion

© Globalresearch.ca
The U.S. government's latest attempt to topple Cuba using social media is just the tip of the iceberg, but what's really interesting is how connects to the Ukrainian crisis.

On April 2nd the Associated Press released an report exposing how the U.S. government recently attempted to topple the Cuban government yet again. This time the plot hinged on the creation of a communications network called "ZunZuneo" which was essentially a primitive version of Twitter.
X

Thousands still missing from Lebanon's civil war

© Independent
Fading Faces: Portraits of some of the thousands who have gone missing in Lebanon
Wadad Halwani's husband was taken just as the family was about to eat lunch in September 1982. Secret police came to their house in Beirut and said they needed to question her husband, Adnan, about a traffic accident. She had no idea it would be the last time she saw him.

Nearly 32 years later, she is still fighting to know what happened. "It's not just about the disappearance of my husband. It's an issue that touches about 17,000 people and their relatives," she said, citing the estimated number of people who went missing during Lebanon's civil war. "It's a national cause."

Later that year, Mrs Halwani co-founded the Committee of the Families of the Missing and Disappeared in Lebanon and has constantly lobbyied the government for answers. Since 2005, a group of women have camped out in a park below Lebanon's parliament. The women carry pictures of their loved ones; their protest tent is a sea of missing faces.
People

Planning to do away with the Queen, but cheering for Prince George?

© CNN
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, join Girl Guides after planting a tree Thursday, April 17, in Winmalee, Australia, an area heavily affected by recent bush fires. The duke and duchess are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia with their son, 8-month-old Prince George.
Despite the excitement over the royal tour of New Zealand and Australia, the commonly held view of politicians in both countries appears to be that the writing is on the wall for the reach of Britain's monarchy to its far-flung South Pacific realms.

The Queen's official representative in Australia last year expressed support for replacing the monarch with an elected head of state, while New Zealand's ex-foreign minister and former head of the Commonwealth has said the country is "inching towards republicanism."

But how inevitable is it really that Australia and New Zealand will abandon their monarch to become republics?

Despite the view of the political classes in both countries, republicanism seems to be in reversal.
Dollar

How U.S. financial geo-economic warfare against Russia and other malcontents effectively amounts to a suicide bomb: Are Western elites THAT insane?

The US Treasury faces a more formidable prey with Russia, the world's biggest producer of energy with a $2 trillion economy, superb scientists and a first-strike nuclear arsenal

The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot.

The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century.

"It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies' financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness," says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11.

"The new geo-economic game may be more efficient and subtle than past geopolitical competitions, but it is no less ruthless and destructive," he writes in his book Treasury's War: the Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.

Bear this in mind as Washington tightens the noose on Vladimir Putin's Russia, slowly shutting off market access for Russian banks, companies and state bodies with $714bn of dollar debt (Sberbank data).

Comment: And as it was in days of old, so it will be in the West today. As the American scholar David Hackett Fischer wrote in The Great Wave,
"The Greeks called it hubris, and thought that it always ended in the intervention of the goddess Nemesis..."


Quenelle - Golden

The banality of The Guardian of Judea

© VT
The once well-respected Guardian has been reduced in recent years into a lame Zionist mouthpiece - a light Jewish Chronicle for Gentiles' consumption. Last week, the paper launched an attack on Martin Heidegger, the 20th century's most influential philosopher.

"Heidegger's 'black notebooks' reveal antisemitism at core of his philosophy" the paper's headline read. But what does that mean? Was Heidegger really a Jew hater? Did he oppose people for being ethnically or 'racially' Jewish or was he, instead, critical of Jewish politics, culture, ideology and spirit?

According to the 'progressive' British Guardian, the newly published Black Notebooks reveals that Heidegger saw 'world Judaism' as the driver of "dehumanising modernity".

Needless to mention that we didn't need a 'new publication' to assert that this was Heidegger's view of Jewish culture and politics. The German thinker, like many of his contemporaries, saw "Jerusalem" as a suppressive and corrupted spiritual, cultural and intellectual influence as opposed to "Athens", which portrayed in his eyes, the birth of humanism, universalism, aesthetics, ethics and pluralism.
Satellite

Is "divorce" between Russian and U.S. space agencies possible? Only to the destruction of the U.S.

© NASA
NASA's withdrawal from communication with Russia would cause damage, first of all, to the US itself and its space programs. If someone may probably win anything from this withdrawal, this would be only a bunch of certain American private companies.

At present, these companies are adhering to all kinds of rhetoric around "the Crimean issue" for trying to convince the US Congress to allocate more sums on NASA's needs - which, in the end, would mean that this money will be allocated on these companies' projects.

It looks like the US is using the threat of stopping cooperation in the sphere of space exploration with Russia as a means for punishing Russia for what the US is depicting as Russia's "annexation" of the Crimean Peninsula (it reality, it was a free-will wish of Crimea's residents for the peninsula to become a part of Russia).
Star of David

Oz's ex foreign minister 'frustrated' by Israeli lobby

© AAP
Former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has suggested Prime Minister Julia Gillard's dogged support of Israel was due to the "subcontracting" of Australian foreign policy to Jewish donors, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

In his upcoming book "Diary of a Foreign Minister," Carr claims the "extreme right-wing" pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne wielded "extraordinary influence" on Gillard. The book includes private text messages between the two - published without Gillard's consent - which detail the pair's disagreement on Australia's support (or lack thereof) for the November 2012 United Nations vote concerning Palestinian observer status.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to promote his new book, Carr claimed the pro-Israel lobby in Melbourne wielded "extraordinary influence" on Gillard and her office, negatively interfering with Australian foreign policy.
Bullseye

Insatiable, greedy billionaires have turned the American dream into oligarchic nightmare

© Raw Story
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) asked Thursday whether the U.S. was evolving into an oligarchy during a speech on the Senate floor.

The senator said recent Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance law would further tip the economic and political balance toward the very wealthiest Americans.

"We are moving toward a situation where people such as the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson have so much money it would hardly matter to them to write a check for more than both Obama and Romney spent in the last presidential election," Sanders said. "They could write out a check for $2 billion, and it would be insignificant - a fraction of their increase in wealth over a one-year period."
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