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Russia to veto UNSC resolution imposing sanctions on Syria - envoy

© EPA/JUSTIN LANE
Russia will veto the UN Security Council's draft resolution imposing sanctions on Syria over alleged chemical attacks Damascus is blamed for, Russia's Deputy Permanent Represented to the UN Vladimir Safronkov told reporters on Friday after the UN Security Council's closed session.

"I clearly defined my position to the partners, saying that given it (the draft resolution) will be submitted for voting we will veto it, and they know about it," Safronkov said, noting the draft resolution "prejudges results of the investigation" conducted by experts of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The draft resolution is one-sided and "based on insufficient evidence," he said.

Radar

US geopolitical game in South China Sea 'not only aimed at pressuring Beijing'

© Flickr/ U.S. Naval Forces Central Command
The temperatures are rising in the South China Sea over the recent deployment of a US naval group and further reports that China "has nearly finished" buildings "that could house missiles." Political analysts suggest that it's the US' geopolitical game in the region, aimed at pressuring not only China but the ASEAN countries as well.

On Saturday, the US navy strike group led by the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson and consisting of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108), and aircraft from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) began what the US Navy called "routine operations" in the South China Sea.

Camcorder

Drone captures endless lines of coal cars held up by blockade of rebel E. Ukraine

© Ruptly
Drone footage has captured seemingly endless lines of railway cars loaded with coal stuck near Yasynuvata village in Ukraine's Donetsk Region due to a blockade of rebel-held Donbass by pro-Kiev activists.

The rail tracks were cordoned off a month ago by nationalist MPs and activists, including former members of voluntary paramilitary battalions, which took part in a crackdown on rebels, in parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.

The blockade organizers claimed on social media that they have stopped around 74,000 cargo cars from crossing the disengagement line between Kiev-controlled and rebel-held parts of Ukraine.

Attention

White House bars CNN, NYT, others from media briefing

Just a few hours after Trump warned during his CPAC speech that "we're gonna do something about the media", he did just that after the White House barred a number of news outlets from covering Sean Spicer's Q&A session on Friday afternoon. Spicer decided to hold an off-camera "gaggle" with reporters inside his West Wing office instead of the traditional on-camera briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room according to press reports.

Among the outlets not permitted to cover the gaggle were various news organizations that Trump has singled out in the past including CNN, The NYT, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.

Several non mainstream outlets were allowed into Spicer's office, including Breitbart, the Washington Times and One America News Network. Several other major news organizations were also let in to cover the gaggle. That group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Reuters and Bloomberg, however AP and Time have boycotted the event.

Beaker

Amnesty fake report 'Human Slaughterhouse' invents Assad war crimes to undermine Syria peace talks

"We must now seriously entertain the possibility that the war in Syria has involved similar, if not greater, levels of manipulation and propaganda than that which occurred in the case of the 2003 Iraq War."

Professor Piers Robinson, Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism at the University of Sheffield.
Amnesty International, which provided false justification for the wars against Iraq and Libya, is now seeking to add Syria to its bow with the release of a sensational new report: "Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison."

The harrowing report alleges that between 5,000 and 13,000 prisoners in Saydnaya, Syria, were hanged after sham trials lasting 1 to 3 minutes, tortured, then denied food, water and medicine. Is it all, or even partly, true?

Amnesty has proven a partisan source over the course of the war in Syria - parochial in its condemnation of the Syrian government and routinely calling for it to be "held to account".

MIB

Spiegel reports German intel service spied on foreign media including BBC and Reuters for years

© Ralf-Udo Thiele / www.globallookpress.com
Germany's Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has snooped on western news media outlets and international news agencies for years, German Der Spiegel weekly reports, citing the papers linked to a parliamentary investigation. The BND refuses to comment.

The BND has spied upon more than 50 phone and fax numbers as well as e-mail addresses of journalists and editorial offices of various news media outlets around the world since 1999, Der Spiegel says, citing the documents of the German parliament's commission investigating the US surveillance in Germany and the US cooperation with local intelligence.

According to the papers reportedly seen by Der Spiegel, the list of surveillance targets included particularly more than a dozen contacts of BBC journalists in Afghanistan as well as the BBC central office in London and the office of the BBC World Service.

SOTT Logo S

The Fourth Turning and Steve Bannon Pt. 1: Why He's Wrong, Even Though He's Right

If you've been following the lamestream fakenews media, you've probably heard about Steve Bannon's "obsession" with the "dark theory" about an imminent "fourth turning" in America. Bannon is Trump's chief strategist, so the idea is that he's whispering in Trump's ear and making his own agenda reality. If that's the case, it'll help to understand what Bannon may be whispering. See SOTT.net editor Andres Perezalonso's piece, Trump, Bannon and the danger of self-fulfilling prophecies, for some of that. Here I want to dig into this "fourth turning" I've been hearing so much about lately.

The idea comes from a book of the same name by historian/economist/demographer Neil Howe and author William Strauss. Their overall theory is called "generational theory", and Bannon is a proponent of their work. So let's see what they have to say.

Howe did an interview with Erico Matias Tavares of Sinclair & Co. back in July of 2015. In it he explains that a "turning" is a unit of history, roughly that of a social generation, i.e. around 20 years or so. Each generation interacts with the ones before it, and the ones that come after, so the cycle is tied to the biological life cycles of the people living in them - the character of their parents, how they're raised, how they react to the older generation, how they influence the world once they themselves become parents and leaders, rinse and repeat. Each generation is a product of the last, but also reacts against it in significant ways, setting a culture on a slightly new, or radically new, path.

Hourglass

Fidel Castro's comments on Israel's 'macabre genocide' of the Palestinians should be heeded

© Ninian Reid/flickr/cc
"The danger always lay in the example Castro set, which exposed the possibility of challenging the pernicious self-declared U.S. monopoly over human existence—and for which he merits remembrance as a hero." -Belén Fernández
Of all the comments penned about Israel's atrocities inflicted on the people of Gaza, Fidel Castro's reflection published in Granma, the newsletter of the Cuban Communist Party, is of utmost significance. Weaving an account of imperial violence as a force necessitating resistance, the legendary Castro's discussion of Palestine and the genocide inflicted upon Palestinians should be read with particular attention within the internationalist context that has, historically, formed part of the Cuban revolution since his memorable speech, History will absolve me. Not only read, but heeded.

Reflecting upon the widespread horror that engulfed the world in relation to the Nazi persecution of Jews, among other minority groups, Fidel wrote:
"Why does this government believe that the world will be insensitive to the macabre genocide which today is being perpetrated against the Palestinian people? Perhaps it is expected that the complicity of the US Empire in this shameful massacre will be ignored?"
Cuban collaboration with the Palestinian resistance dates back to June 18, 1959, when revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara visited Gaza only a few months after the triumph of the Cuban revolution. In later years, Cuba supported Palestinian armed resistance, forming particular alliances with Fatah under Yasser Arafat, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Following this, the Caribbean country severed all diplomatic ties with Israel.

Comment: As a powerful and global symbol of resistance, Fidel Castro protected Cuba for decades against the hegemonic machinations of the USA. As painful as it is to see the Palestinian toll in the face of its will to survive, he is right in his reasoning that to give up, at any stage, no matter the violence, is to resign to a swift and complete extermination...something Israel is only too willing to accommodate.


Binoculars

Russia creates elite Syrian Army unit to hunt down ISIS

© Al Masdar News
The Syrian Arab Army has consistently struggled to hold and successfully defend territories that they have recaptured from ISIS and other "moderate rebels". Palmyra is a recent and extremely embarrassing example. Luckily, Moscow has found a remedy to this irksome problem.

Our friends at Al Masdar News scored this exclusive story about the formation of a new elite Syrian Army unit:
The Russian military has formed a new Syrian Arab Army (SAA) unit to fight the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization in Syria's vast desert terrain.

Known as the "ISIS Hunters," the Syrian Arab Army unit was funded and trained by Russian Special Forces in Latakia before being deployed to the volatile Palmyra front in the eastern countryside of the Homs Governorate. These Russian-trained soldiers are specialized in defending and protecting government facilities in desolate areas around the country.

The ISIS Hunters will be tasked with protecting the liberated gas and oil fields in western Palmyra, along with the weapons storage facilities near the T-4 Military Airport. According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Arab Army's Russian advisers want to make sure the government forces do not lose anymore ground they have liberated from the Islamic State (e.g. Palmyra).

Attention

The Deep State psychopaths want to keep America drugged

© Drugs.com
As was predicted in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, the Elite have a vested interest in keeping their subjugated populace drugged to the maximum extent possible so that they do not ever wake from their stupor in order to challenge their soft (and sometimes overt) tyranny over them.

Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley, and published in 1932. Set in London in the year AD 2540 (632 A.F.—"After Ford"—in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that combine profoundly to change society.

The "World State" was built upon the principles of Henry Ford's assembly line: mass production, homogeneity, predictability, and consumption of disposable consumer goods. While the World State lacks any supernatural-based religions, Ford himself is revered as the creator of their society but not as a deity, and characters celebrate Ford Day and swear oaths by his name (e.g., "By Ford!"). In this sense, some fragments of traditional religion are present, such as Christian crosses, which had their tops cut off to be changed to a "T".

From birth, members of every class are indoctrinated by recorded voices repeating slogans while they sleep (called "hypnopædia" in the book) to believe their own class is superior, but that the other classes perform needed functions. Any residual unhappiness is resolved by an antidepressant and hallucinogenic drug called "soma."

This is why the Oligarchy/Plutocracy supports a vibrant pharmaceutical industry, consisting predominantly of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-human emotion drugs.