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Cell Phone

Rand Paul blocks extension of Patriot Act, future of illegal NSA spying on Americans in limbo

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© NSA.gov
Utah Data Center.
While an extension of the Patriot Act, that landmark bill which ushered in the America's Big Brother, "turnkey totalitarian state" (previewed here long before Edward Snowden's shocking revelations), is just a matter of time, supporters of the Fourth Amendment scored a brief victory last night when following yet another marathon 10 hour filibuster...

... and refusal to play by the script by Rand Paul, the Senate failed to extend the Patriot Act, leaving the future of America's "war against terrorists" but really against "enemies domestic", i.e., anyone who uses email, has a cell phone or in any other electronic way communicates with others, in limbo.

Comment: This is a small victory. Hope it holds.


Nuke

Be very afraid: Islamic State says could obtain nuclear bomb in less than 12 months

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© Sputnik/ Mihail Mokrushin
The Islamic State jihadist group (ISIL) could obtain a nuclear weapon within 12 month, according to the latest issue of the ISIL's propaganda magazine Dabiq.

"The Islamic State has billions of dollars in the bank, so they call on their wilayah in Pakistan to purchase a nuclear device through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials in the region," the article, attributed to British photojournalist John Cantlie held hostage by the ISIL for over two years, said.

Once the ISIL buys the bomb in Pakistan, according to the article, it would transport it through Lybia and Nigeria to the West.

Comment: Another reason added to the long list of fears to take away any freedoms left.


TV

South Front Ukraine Crisis News 22-5-2015: Kiev STILL shelling civilians in E. Ukraine

Last night, maintenance party 28 of Kiev's forces started advancement in settlement Mariinka around the city Donetsk. Also, pro-Kiev militant attacked in the sector of Donetsk airport. City Donetsk, settlement Shirokino and town Gorlovka were hard shelled by artillery of Ukraine's forces. Witnesses report about causalities among civilians there. Furthermore, Kiev's military hit passenger-train around town Yasinovataya yesterday. 22 train carriages were burned. Meanwhile, according to Novorossian warriors' reports Kiev are concentrating military equipment including battle tanks, armored vehicles and artillery around town Dzerjinsk and settlement Shirokino.

Ukraine's parliament on Thursday backed a decree allowing the country to rescind its commitments outlined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Social Charter. The decree was passed at second reading by 249 votes in the Verkhovna Rada, 23 more than the minimum required. Thus, now Kiev government forces and pro-Kiev militants won't violate Ukrainian law when they torture civilians and prisoners of war. Though, when is it stopped them?


Comment: Foreign Policy Diary 'Macedonia Crisis':




Star of David

What a surprise: US blocks nuclear disarmament document over Israel

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© Reuters / Desmond Boylan
A deactivated Soviet-era SS-4 medium range nuclear capable ballistic missile is displayed at La Cabana fortress in Havana.
Washington has blocked the final document of a UN conference that reviewed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, accusing Egypt of manipulating the gathering to target Israel. Moscow has slammed the US for rendering the four-week meeting futile.

The 9th international conference was held in New York from April 27 until May 22. A total of 162 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) participant states were in attendance. These conferences are held every five years to assess the worldwide disarmament process.

The blocked document included a plan to establish a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East. To do this, Egypt, who first proposed such a zone in 1980, suggested a regional UN conference on banning weapons of mass destruction. The gathering would have no pre-determined agenda and would go ahead with or without the presence of Israel.

Comment: Washington's "longstanding policies" obviously don't include peace.


Attention

South Front: 21-5-2015 Ukraine Crisis News

The Ukrainian forces have shelled the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic 33 times over the last 24 hours, DPR defense ministry said on Wednesday. According to the DPR defense ministry, the Kiev forces shelled Donetsk (Kievsky district and the airport), Gorlovka, Zhabichevo, Nizhnee Lozovoye, Shirokino, Kalinovka, Ozeryanovka and Belaya Kamenka.

The Donetsk People's Republic has returned to Kiev 550 prisoners since the commission on prisoners of war was launched in August 2014, Liliya Rodionova from the commission told the Donetsk news agency on Wednesday. "The Ukrainian side, for its part, has returned to us 564 prisoners, less than 200 of them being militias," she said. She also said those returned to Kiev had been seized in combat, while most of those released and returned to the republic were civilians. The "all for all" prisoner swap is one of the key points in the Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements, signed in Minsk on February 12.

A protest against the construction of a new shopping mall in Kiev turned into a violent confrontation when a melee broke out among two camps of protesters and police. Fifteen police officers were reported injured in the incident. Activist campaigning against construction of a new mall, 'Le Boulevard,' near Kiev's "Osokorky" metro station tried to demolish a fence surrounding the construction site late on Tuesday, succeeding in inflicting much damage to the property. They were confronted by an unknown group of men wearing camouflage and masked in balaclavas. Local media outlets branded these as 'titushki' - Ukrainian slang for hired thugs. However, for independent observers 'titushki' look similar to 'democratic activists of Euromaidan'. Thus, one pro-maidan group clashed with another pro-maidan group in order to defend economic interests of their owners.

Russia will take retaliatory measures to protect itself if Ukraine decides to station US anti-missile defense systems in its territory. "In case there are missile defense systems stationed in Ukraine, Russia will have to take retaliatory measures to ensure its own safety," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday. He was commenting on a recent statement by Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine Aleksandr Turchinov, which claimed that Ukraine want to station components of an anti-missile defense system in Ukraine. The statement also calls for additional international sanctions against Russia, including blocking the Bosphorus strait from Russian navy vessels and shutting Russia off from the international SWIFT financial transfer system.


Alarm Clock

Secret Pentagon report reveals West saw ISIS as strategic asset

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A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

The document reveals that in coordination with the Gulf states and Turkey, the West intentionally sponsored violent Islamist groups to destabilize Assad, despite anticipating that doing so could lead to the emergence of an 'Islamic State' in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the 'Islamic State' as a direct consequence of the strategy, but described this outcome as a strategic opportunity to "isolate the Syrian regime."

Eye 1

FBI forced to admit Patriot Act powers led to exactly zero major terrorism cases cracked

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FBI agents can't point to any major terrorism cases they've cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department's inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.

The FBI did finally come up with procedures to try to minimize the information it was gathering on nontargets, but it took far too long, Mr. Horowitz said in the 77-page report, which comes just as Congress is trying to decide whether to extend, rewrite or entirely nix Section 215.

Backers say the Patriot Act powers are critical and must be kept intact, particularly with the spread of the threat from terrorists. But opponents have doubted the efficacy of Section 215, particularly when it's used to justify bulk data collection such as in the case of the National Security Agency's phone metadata program, revealed in leaks from former government contractor Edward Snowden.

The new report adds ammunition to those opponents, with the inspector general concluding that no major cases have been broken by use of the Patriot Act's records-snooping provisions.

Comment: It can safely be said that the Patriot Act was never created to stop terrorism. Since elements of the U.S. government actively participate in the creation of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram along with countless others, the fearmongering politicians and law enforcement stooges aren't concerned about saving lives. They are assisting in the continuation of a non-stop surveillance state in the U.S. That is what the Patriot Act was established for, and in that respect it has been immensely successful, to the detriment of anyone who wishes for freedom and liberty in the U.S.


X

Russia won't lift the food embargo until EU shows it will play nice

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© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia will decide on lifting food embargo, which bans imports from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow, taking into account both the European Union's actions and Russia's national interests.


Russia will decide on lifting food embargo, which bans imports from countries that imposed sanctions on Moscow, taking into account both the European Union's actions and Russia's national interests, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday.

"We will make these decisions, if you will forgive me my pompous expression, going by our national interests," Medvedev told a Russian television channel.

Comment: The EU was willing to go along with the Ukrainian crisis, and all that followed from it. Russia bit back, and knows better than to let go before a lesson has been learned. Check out:


Quenelle - Golden

BRICS nations to kick Washington out of South America

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© Reuters / Sergio Moraes
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (R) and Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner arrive to the official photo session for the BRICS summit
It started in April with a rash of deals between Argentina and Russia during President Cristina Kirchner's visit to Moscow.

And it continues with a $53 billion investment bang as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits Brazil during the first stop of yet another South American commercial offensive - complete with a sweet metaphor: Li riding on a made in China subway train that will ply a new metro line in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Olympics.

Where is the US in all this? Nowhere; little by little, yet inexorably, BRICS members China - and in a smaller measure, Russia - have been no less than restructuring commerce and infrastructure all across Latin America.

Comment: Washington continues to lose its grip on the world. The War on Terror, the market manipulations, financial warfare, and various color revolutions have been the "fun and games" for the psychopathic elite who thought they could control the world through chaos and deception. The delusions are nearly over, and the waves of chaos that Washington unleashed on the world are coming back home in a pretty big way. Check out:


Bad Guys

'US hunt for Russians': Moscow warns citizens traveling abroad

© Reuters/Jenevieve Robbins
Russia has urged its citizens to weigh all the risks before traveling abroad, warning that the US is on a global "hunt" for Russian nationals, according to the latest statement published by the Foreign Ministry.

Russian citizens abroad face a very "real" threat of being detained or arrested by US law enforcement and special services, especially when traveling to countries that have extradition treaties with Washington, the ministry said on its website.

There have been over a dozen cases demonstrating just that, the statement added. "The American authorities continue the unacceptable practice of 'hunting' for Russians all over the world, ignoring the norms of international laws and twisting the arms of other states."

American forces have in effect kidnapped Russians from other countries, the statement said, citing the case of Roman Seleznyov, who was abducted by American agents in the Maldives, and then forcibly transported to the US in July 2014. He is still being held in custody, awaiting trial.

"By believing that it is allowed to do all it wants, Washington goes as far as kidnapping our citizens," the ministry said.

Those who get detained by US services face prejudicial justice, including threats demanding confessions, despite lack of any evidence. Even if the American authorities fail to secure a confession, the detainees are slapped with huge prison terms, the ministry said.

Examples of such cases include Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko.