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Iran and Russia: 1.2B euro rail deal signed

The deal envisage electrifying 495 kilometers of railway in northern Iran.
Iran and Russia have signed an agreement worth $1.2B euros to electrify a train line, linking north-central Iran to the northeastern border with Turkmenistan, an official says. The agreement signed between Russian Railways and the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (RAI) envisages constructing power stations and overhead power lines along the Garmsar-Sari-Gorgan-Inche Burun route in Iran.

"The implementation of the contract will improve the capacity of passenger trains and raise transit to 8 million tons," said RAI Managing Director Mohsen Poursaeed-Aqaei who signed the document. The train line, among the first in Iran with a history of 80 years, extends to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan and links the Central Asia to the Persian Gulf and beyond.

The project will be financed by the Russian government and will be implemented in 36 months, which includes manufacturing all electric locomotives inside Iran, electrifying 495 kilometers of railway and building 32 stations and 95 tunnels.

"With the implementation of this contract, besides the electrification of the line, tunnels on the way will be enlarged, enabling Russian and other transit wagons to ply conveniently on it," Poursaeed-Aqaei said. "Overall, we will witness the establishment of an electrified and modern train line in the country's north," he added.

The signing came as President Vladimir Putin visited Tehran on Monday to attend a summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

Comment: This is what friendly countries do. Some countries need to take lessons.


Turkish embassy in Moscow pelted as angry crowds protest Su-24 downing

© Evgeny Odinokov / Sputnik
Protesters gather near Turkish Embassy in Moscow.
The Turkish embassy in Moscow was pelted with various objects on Wednesday in a furious protest over the downing of the Russian bomber over Syria. Numerous images and videos on social media show broken glass and stained walls.

Several police cordons are seen in images near the embassy. Users on social media wrote that law enforcers have been trying to shield the entrances to the building from protesters.


Payback? 5 reported injured after gas explosions rock Ankara's industrial zone

© Umit Bektas / Reuters
FILE PHOTO: Police officers stand guard in Ankara, Turkey
Multiple explosions have been heard in Turkish capital Ankara, causing panic and prompting police to investigate the matter. It has been revealed that gas explosions took place at the city's Ozpetek Industrial Complex, the local media reported.

There are reports of 5 people being injured as result of the incident, which occurred at 12:20pm local time, according to Turkish website T24.


Protests erupt as Chicago police release video in Laquan McDonald shooting

© Screenshot via Youtube/DNAinfo Chicago
The Chicago Police Department has released video footage of the officer-involved shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was struck 16 times during a confrontation with officers.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel urged calm as City Hall got set to release police dash cam footage from the shooting incident, which occurred in October 2014. During the incident, 37-year-old Jason Van Dyke, a white officer, shot and killed McDonald, an African-American teen.

Warning: The footage has been described as graphic.

From the black and white dash cam video, which features no audio, viewers can see the back of McDonald jaywalking along the middle of the road at 5:18, with his arm outstretched and holding a small knife. A police vehicle is seen approaching him to the left of the screen, and two officers get out with guns drawn.

As McDonald moves away from the officers, his body becomes the only one in the video frame. He can then be seen twisting around and falling to the ground. A puff of smoke lifts from his body as a bullet appears to strike. Without audio, there is no way of knowing what, if anything, was said. There is no way of knowing how many shots were fired simply from viewing the video. McDonald appears to move his arms several times.

At 5:45, another puff of smoke is seen leaving his body. At 5.51, a police officer comes into the frame to kick the knife out of McDonald's hand. Another police vehicle drives up and at this point, because of the vehicle lights, what appear to be pools of water around the body, possibly blood, can be seen. Prosecutors said Officer Jason Van Dyke opened fire from about 15 feet and kept shooting after the teen fell to the ground.

Comment: Considering how many times Van Dyke shot this man, the 'I feared for my life' defense is complete nonsense. The City didn't charge this officer because he executed a man 15 feet away that was no actual threat. They filed charges to minimize the backlash and anger from a community that has EVERY right to protest how they are being treating. Cops have been getting away with state sanctioned terrorism for far too long. March on Chicago!


How dangerous is the USA? Extremely Dangerous!

Armed with weapons of mass destruction and a history of committing some of the worst crimes to humanity, how far will the USA go to maintain economic, political and military dominance? See the following video and transcript:

Comment: American exceptionalism has very disturbing and deadly implications...


The triumph of materialism: The average American will spend 830 dollars on Christmas in 2015

The insanity of materialism
Has there ever been a major holiday more focused on materialism than the modern American Christmas? This year, Americans are planning to spend an average of 830 dollars on Christmas gifts, which represents a jump of 110 dollars over the average of 720 dollars last year.

But have our incomes gone up accordingly? Of course not.

In fact, real median household income in the United States has been experiencing a steady long-term decline. So in order to fund all of our Christmas spending, we have got to go into even more debt. We love to pull out our credit cards and spend money that we do not have on lots of cheap, useless stuff made on the other side of the world by workers making slave labor wages.

We do the same thing year after year, and most of us have grown accustomed to the endless cycle of growing debt. In fact, one Pew survey found that approximately 70 percent of all Americans believe that "debt is a necessity in their lives". But then we have to work our fingers to the bone to try to make the payments on all of that debt, not realizing that debt systematically impoverishes us.

It may be hard to believe, but if you have a single dollar in your pocket and no debt, you have a greater net worth than 25 percent of all Americans. I know that sounds crazy, but it is true.

Comment: Let's face it, anything beyond small amounts of debt is effectively a form of slavery ... debt slavery.

Star of David

Bay Area activists stage citizen's arrest of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely at West Coast Ha'aretz conference

© Screenshot: Bay Area Activists #ArrestTzipi
Bay Area activists pulled off an awesome action yesterday at Ha'aretz's Zionism 3.0: Israel's Place in Tomorrow's World conference in Palo Alto, California. As Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was introduced and stepped up to the podium a clear voice rang out:
"Tzipi Hotovely this is a citizens' arrest! We charge you with inciting colonial violence"

Comment: Bravo for these protesters. Keep it going!

Bad Guys

Prominent Israeli settler runs over, shoots and kills 16-year-old Palestinian girl in Nablus

© Ma'an News Agency
A prominent Israeli settler ran over a 16-year-old Palestinian girl and then shot her dead, saying that he believed she intended to carry out a stabbing attack at Huwarra checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, Israeli media reported.

The Palestinian military liaison office identified the teenager as Ashraqat Taha Ahmad Qatanani from Nablus, and said they had notified her family of their daughter's death. Israeli news site Ynet identified the man who ran over and shot Qatanani as Gershon Mesika, the former head of the "Samaria regional council," which represents Israel's illegal settlements in the northern West Bank.

After running the girl over with his car and landing in a ditch, Mesika reportedly got out of his car and opened fire on the girl, alongside Israeli forces who also opened fire, Israeli media reported. An Israeli army spokesperson did not immediately respond when asked for comment. No Israelis were reported injured in the alleged attack.

Comment: Israel's killing machine continues on. What a sick bastard!

© Ma'an News Agency
A knife photographed at the scene - how convenient!
The girl's death was the second violent incident in 24 hours. On Saturday evening, a Palestinian, identified as Muhammad Shaker al-Tarda,18, stabbed and wounded four Israelis, including a 13-year-old girl, in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, before being arrested hours later, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said at the time that an Israeli man was seriously wounded and two women and a 13-year-old girl moderately wounded in what he described as a "confirmed terrorist attack," which took place on the city's King David Street. Shortly afterwards, Israeli police said that a mob of Israeli civilians violently beat and bound the hands of a Palestinian Bedouin man they incorrectly believed was the attacker.

The four Israelis and the Bedouin were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. Two days earlier, four Israelis and one Palestinian were killed in two separate attacks in Tel Aviv and the illegal settlement bloc of Gush Etzion in the southern West Bank. The Palestinian attackers were afterwards arrested.

Comment: See also:


Tunisia bus explosion: Bomb kills 12 Tunisian presidential guard in 'act of terror'

© DrFO.Jr.Tn/Creative Commons
Mohamed V Avenue in Tunis where a bus exploded.
At least 12 people have died after a bus carrying the Tunisian presidential guard exploded on a main road in Tunis.

The blast occurred on Mohamed V Avenue, at the heart of the Tunisian capital, according to a spokesman for the North African country's Interior Ministry.

The spokesman had previously said that six people had died, but later updated the death toll to 12.

Interior Ministry spokesman Walid Louguini said at least 12 were killed and 16 wounded in what the government considers a "terrorist act."


Police State America: Cops have killed over 1000 people in 2015

© AP
A protestor stands in front of riot Police Monday, April 27, 2015, following the funeral of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
Police have killed over 1,000 people in 2015, and about 20 percent of those killed were completely unarmed.

As of Monday evening, U.S. police had killed 1,024 people since the start of the year, according to The Counted, a continuously updated database of U.S. police killings maintained by The Guardian. Of the total, 203 victims of police were unarmed.

In November alone police killed 10 unarmed males, including Jamar Clark, the 24-year-old man whose death led to in ongoing protests in Minneapolis, and Jeremy Mardis, a six-year-old who was shot by police in Louisiana during a chase. (Body camera footage showed that the two officers involved in Mardis' death fired recklessly into the car driven by Chris Few, the boy's father, who was also injured in the incident. The two officers have been arrested.)

Despite claims America's police forces need to be highly armed in order to defend themselves against a "war on cops," just 34 police were fatally shot and three others died of assault in the line of duty so far this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks police deaths in the United States.

Comment: The war on cops is a fraud. The amount of police officers who prey on citizens is unprecedented.