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Megaphone

Russian MP: U.S. criticism of Bolotnaya case hypocritical in light of Ferguson police shooting

© AFP Photo / Michael B. Thomas
Law enforcement officers watch on during a protest on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri on August 18, 2014.
A Russian ruling party MP has reacted to Washington's criticism of the sentences given to participants of 2012 Moscow riots, saying that under similar circumstances the US police would use lethal force against protesters.

Alyona Arshinova of the United Russia parliamentary caucus emphasized that the sentences in the so called Bolotnaya Square case had been given only to those who had attacked law enforcement officers, and US laws provide that police can use firearms in such circumstances.

"US law enforcers can use firearms even in less straightforward situations. One example of this was the tragedy in the town of Ferguson." The lawmaker told the RIA Novosti news agency on Tuesday.

Arshinova's reaction was prompted by US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf who on Monday started her press briefing with a statement that the US was "deeply concerned" about the sentences handed down to four Russians who had been found guilty of attacking police and participating in mass riots in Moscow in May 2012. The US officials called the whole Bolotnaya Square process "politically minded" and added that it had been "marked by a lack of due process," without going into details.

MP Arshinova said the State Department officials should "start looking for the plank in their own eye."
Bulb

Latvia warns Europe to stop sanctions against Russia before it runs world economy into the ground

© Reuters / Ints Kalnins
The "right steps" politicians in the West and Russia are now taking against each other are very similar to what was happening before World War I, Latvian MEP Andrejs Mamikinsh warned EC President Jose Manuel Barroso in a letter Tuesday.

It's crucial to stop reciprocal sanctions before they throw people into poverty and ruin the economies altogether, the European Parliament member wrote.

"In 2014 exactly 100 years have passed since the beginning of World War I that killed millions of people and left Europe in ruins. On the eve of that war similar processes occurred when countries took "the right" steps against each other and eventually were not able to stop. It is doubtful that in the end of that war anyone remembered for what good intentions it had started," Mamikinsh wrote in his letter.

These would be ordinary people, not politicians, who'll be hit first and hardest by a so called "risky poker" played by politicians in the West and Russia, the Latvian MEP, added.

Latvia is expected to suffer the most from the tit for tat sanctions imposed by the West and Russia, Mamikinsh said.

Further escalation of a "sanctions war" would erode about 10 percent of Latvian GDP, which means thousands of people could be left out of work with shrinking living standards.
Eye 2

British government lobbied U.S. politicians to hide their involvement in CIA torture and rendition program

© AFP Photo / Osman Orsal
Newly-released data reveals Britain’s US ambassador engaged in at least 21 separate meetings with members of the US Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) prior to its publication of a report on CIA rendtion.
Records published under Britain's Freedom of Information (FOI) Act have compounded concerns that the UK government lobbied US officials to keep Britain's role in CIA torture and rendition out of a soon-to-be published Senate report.

Newly-released data reveals Britain's ambassador to the US, Peter Westmacott, engaged in at least 21 separate meetings with members of the US Senate's Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) prior to its publication of this report, heightening existing allegations that the British government may be seeking to sanitize the document.

Westmacott met with key Democrats and Republicans on the SSCI throughout the body's investigation of the CIA program, records obtained by the UK legal charity Reprieve reveal.

Of particular note are two separate meetings with Senator Feinstein in the immediate aftermath of the US government's decision to publish what is expected to be a damning report on CIA torture, interrogation and rendition.
War Whore

Kurdish and Iraq forces retake key weapon Mosul Dam from Islamic State militants

© AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye
A general view shows the Mosul dam on the Tigris River around 50 kilometres north of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul.
Reports indicate that Kurdish and Iraqi forces have all but taken back the key Mosul Dam from Islamic State militants. However it is rigged with explosives which, together with other issues, could lead to hundreds of thousands killed in just days.

Two major problems are the deliberate setting of booby traps by the militants, who took the dam in early August, and the already extremely dangerous, under-maintained state of the Tigris River dam itself.

The dam, the largest in Iraq, could be used as "a weapon of mass destruction," experts have warned, alluding to its capacity to hold back 11-12 billion cubic meters of water, as well as to produce 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

In essence, the dam can either deprive half a million people of energy and water, or simply drown them.

A 2006 US Army Corps of Engineers report obtained by the Washington Post said the dam, which blocks the Tigris, could wipe out whole cities, and was considered to be "the most dangerous dam in the world."
Cheesecake

Senior aide to Obama tweets: 'Perry indictment looks pretty sketchy'

© Breitbart
Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry was indicted by a grand jury Friday for using his budget powers to force the removal of a District Attorney arrested last year in a humiliating and very public drunk driving incident.

Saturday morning, however, Perry finds himself with the unlikeliest of defenders. Using his Twitter account, David Axelrod, a senior aide and confidante to President Obama, wrote: "Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy."
Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy.
- David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 16, 2014
Even Ben White of the left-wing Politico came to Perry's defense. The left-wing economics writer tweeted Saturday, "It seems quite perverse to indict a governor for exercising his clearly delineated constitutional authority[.]"
It seems quite perverse to indict a governor for exercising his clearly delineated constitutional authority.
- Ben White (@morningmoneyben) August 16, 2014
Travis County grand jurors charged Perry, an almost certain 2016 presidential contender, with two felonies: abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. The charges are the result of Perry using his veto power to eliminate a $7.5 million appropriation for the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, after the Democrat refused to resign.
Brick Wall

Son of Russian MP to remain in custody in Seattle until hacking trial

© AFP/HO
Undated family photo taken in Sochi shows Roman Seleznev (C), the son of a Russian lawmaker from the Liberal-Democratic Party (LDPR), posing with his partner Anna Otisko (R) and their daughter.
A US federal judge in Seattle has refused to release on a $1 million bond Russian citizen Roman Seleznyov, who is accused of hacking credit cards' data. A son of a prominent Russian lawmaker, Seleznyov will remain in custody until trial.

Roman Seleznyov, 30, appeared in US District Court in Seattle on Friday to face hacking charges after he was indicted in 2011. The son of Russian MP Valery Seleznyov is accused of being involved in bank fraud, obtaining information from protected computerized cash registers, aggravated identity theft, trafficking in unauthorized access devices and possessing hundreds of thousands of stolen credit card numbers.

A grand jury in Washington State has heard claims that Seleznyov sold the data online for at least $2 million.

Seleznyov has pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which potentially could be punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.

He is also wanted in Nevada on similar, though unrelated charges.
2 + 2 = 4

Kiev refuses to talk; situation around missing Russian journalist Stenin "unprecedented"

© RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov
Flash mob #Free Andrew in support of the Russia Today photographer Andrey Stenin who disappeared in Ukraine two weeks ago.
With over two weeks since his disappearance in eastern Ukraine, the whereabouts of Russian photojournalist Andrey Stenin remain unknown. His colleagues suggest that he may soon be freed as part of a large exchange of captives.

Stenin's employers at Rossiya Segodnya news agency (formerly RIA Novosti), said that they have so far failed to get any information on their journalist from the Kiev authorities.

Comment: For more information, see:
- International journalist organizations urge release of Russian photographer abducted in Ukraine
- Ukraine Interior Minister asks to be left alone over missing Russian journalist

Gear

What, no Russians with weapons...again? No ammunition moved through Russia-Ukraine border - OSCE monitors

© AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic
This file photo shows ukrainian soldiers stand guard near the convoy of the OSCE (the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) at a check-point in the village of Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine.
OSCE observers stationed at two Russian border checkpoints, the Ukrainian counterparts of which are controlled by the Ukrainian military, have not witnessed any movements of weapons across the border.

The monitors did witness young people "dressed in military style" moving across the border into Ukraine, Paul Picard, acting chief observer of the OSCE Mission, told journalists. However, all of them were unarmed.

There were also no instances of military vehicles crossing the border in some two weeks which the observers spent at Gukovo and Donetsk checkpoints, he added.

He added that the OSCE did its part in assisting the international effort to check a Russian humanitarian aid convoy before it would be allowed into Ukraine, but said the organization has little impact here, because the progress with the convoy depends on Russian and Ukrainian authorities and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Magnify

Western propaganda exposed by OSCE: No weapons seen crossing Russian-Ukrainian border

OSCE head Paul Picard
© RIA Novosti. Maksim Blinov
OSCE head Paul Picard says mission has not seen any weapons crossing between the countries on Russian-Ukrainian border
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Special Monitoring Mission working on the Russian-Ukrainian border has not seen any weapons crossing between the countries, an OSCE spokesman working on the Russian side of the border said Tuesday.

"We have not seen any weapons. There was a question of whether we saw military vehicles crossing the border. Yesterday at two [border crossing] points we didn't see any military vehicles crossing the border," Paul Picard said at a briefing.

On August 15, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko claimed Ukrainian artillery destroyed Russian military hardware that had allegedly crossed into Ukraine at night.

The announcement came soon after a number of foreign news agencies reported that a convoy of military vehicles with Russian license plates crossed into Ukraine via the Izvarino border checkpoint.

The Russian Defense Ministry refuted the allegations, calling the claims a 'fantasy' that is not worth discussing. The Russian Border Guard Service also stressed that the reports are not based on reality and explained that cross-border regions were indeed being patrolled by mobile teams of border guards, but only on the Russian side of the border.

On August 17, the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) working in Ukraine under the auspice of the OSCE also could not confirm the reports of Russian military convoys crossing the Ukrainian border.

On August 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow supports the idea of equipping the OSCE monitoring mission with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to improve monitoring of the border

Kiev launched a special operation in eastern Ukraine in mid-April to suppress independence supporters who refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new authorities. Moscow has repeatedly urged Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop the punitive operation and seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Comment: The West is not interested in reality, but wishes to portray Russia as an evil aggressor at all cost. The damage has already been done as the soundbytes have have been circulated non-stop in the Western media to the unthinking masses.

Hearts

17 more Ukrainian soldiers lay down arms, enter Russia for food and shelter

ukrainian troops
© Reuters / Gleb Garanich
Kiev massacres civilians. Russia provides humanitarian aid, and even protects 'enemy' soldiers who have had enough of the senseless fighting.
Seventeen Ukrainian soldiers crossed into Russia's southern Rostov region on Saturday and laid down their arms after fleeing the fighting, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said.

"It happened this morning," Nikolay Sinitsyn, the official regional representative of the FSB, told RT. "They were provided with food, and they're safe here. We're carrying out a probe."

"Whoever wants to stay, can do so - after the probe," Sinitsyn said.

On Sunday morning, all the Ukrainian soldiers returned to their country.

According to the soldiers, they made the decision to cross into Russia after their group came under fire in a forest and they had no weapons left to shoot back with.

"We came under mortar shelling," one of the 17 Ukrainian servicemen told Russia's NTV channel. "We were in the forest - out of weapons, out of everything," the man, wearing a black mask hiding his face, said. "The chief told us to get out of the place. So, we got out."

Comment: The numbers of defections are likely much higher than officially acknowledged, as are the number of military deaths. The Kiev regime has been tight-lipped about the true number of casualties and defections. If such figures were publicized, it would show how unpopular the so-called anti-terrorist operation really is within their own ranks. The U.S. image makers rely on this sort of obfuscation, after all, so they can continue their official support for their puppet regime. Meanwhile, Russia is acting like the gentleman in this conflict. In their position, Kiev or U.S. would probably just execute 'enemies' lacking proper equipment and clear orders...

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