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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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Trump speech at CPAC focuses on #fakenews and keeping campaign promises

© Nicholas Kamm / AFP
US President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
President Donald Trump intends to keep his promises to the American people, from securing the border and fighting terrorism, to rebuilding US industry and the country's military, he told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland.

On media

"The media didn't think we would win. The pundits didn't think we'd win. The consultants that sucked up all that money... didn't think we would win. But they all underestimated the power of the people. And the people proved them all wrong," Trump said, to cheers from the crowd.

"I'm not against the media," Trump said, explaining what he meant when he called some media "enemies of the people" in a tweet. "I am against only the fake news media or the press. Fake," he stressed.

"I'm against the people who make up sources and make up stories," he said, while urging the media to stop quoting unnamed sources and cite people by name.

Star of David

EU delegation again denied entry into Gaza by Israeli authorities

© APAIMAGES PHOTO /Issam rimawi
A European parliament delegation that attempted to enter the besieged Gaza Strip to assess the residual damage of Israel's 2014 military offensive was denied entry by Israeli authorities today.

According to a statement released by the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Palestine, Israeli authorities told the group that their entry was denied owing to the fact that only humanitarian workers and diplomats accredited by the Israeli government or the Palestinian Authority (PA) are allowed access to Gaza, which has been under an Israeli military blockade for a decade.

Heading to Gaza:
  • Four members of the European Parliament
  • Margrete Auken (Denmark)
  • Brando Benifei (Italy)
  • Ivo Vajgl (Slovenia)
  • Angela Vallina (Spain)
The statement noted that the delegation has been denied entry since 2011.

Map

Erdogan adviser says Turkey does not want 'to gain control' over Syria

© Nazeer al-Khatib / AFP
Turkish-backed Syrian rebels walk in the northwestern border town of al-Bab on February 23, 2017.
Taking control over Syria is not a goal of the Turkish government, Ilnur Cevik, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told RT's SophieCo show, adding that Turkey's real aim is to defeat Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL).

Turkey "doesn't want to gain any control on Syria. It wants to finish off Daesh, the so called 'Islamic State' militants. It wants to wipe them out," Cevik said ahead of his visit to Moscow on February 26, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.

He went on to say that "when we finish off Daesh, if the area is properly secured and we know that they will never come back, Turkey will not remain in that country."

Light Sabers

China blasts US aggression and threats in South China Sea dispute

© Diana Quinlan / U.S. Navy / Handout via Reuters
Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) in the South China Sea
Washington's attempts to militarize the South China Sea and "tame the Chinese dragon" would see Beijing deploying weapons systems in the contested area, a state-run newspaper wrote in an op-ed addressed to the US military brass.

The article comes on the heels of heightened tensions between the two world powers in the South China Sea, a strategic region that houses important maritime routes and rich natural resources.

"Aren't US carrier groups' constant patrols in the South China Sea the most prominent militarization in the waters? Aren't the public statements made by the US military, that all its moves were done to warn China, direct military threats?" the Global Times state-run daily wrote.

While saying Washington hopes Beijing "would grin and bear it," the newspaper added: "the South China Sea is quiet now," mentioning bilateral talks with neighboring Vietnam and the Philippines intended to mend ties.

Attention

'Extrajudicial execution': UN slams 1.5yr sentence for manslaughter of wounded Palestinian, "unacceptable" and "excessively lenient"

© Debbie Hill / Reuters
Israeli soldier Elor Azaria
The 18-month sentence handed down by a military court to an Israeli soldier who shot a wounded Palestinian man dead last year was "unacceptable" and "excessively lenient," the UN human rights office has said.

"We are deeply disturbed at the lenient sentence given by the Tel Aviv Military Court earlier this week to an Israeli soldier convicted of unlawfully killing a wounded Palestinian," UN human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said.

IDF Sergeant Elor Azaria's act was "an apparent extrajudicial execution of an unarmed man, who clearly posed no imminent threat," Shamdasani added, as cited by Reuters.

In March of 2016, the soldier shot Abdel Fattah al-Sharif Elor, a Palestinian knife attacker, in the head after he had already been incapacitated.

Comment: See also:


Info

Putin says sending Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier group to Syria's shores was his own idea

© Michael Klimentyev / Sputnik
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the idea to send a Russian aircraft carrier group to Syria was his own, adding that Russia does not intend to interfere in Syria's internal affairs, but wants to deal with the terrorists.

Russia's aircraft carrier group from the Northern Fleet inflicted significant damage to extremist groups in Syria, Putin said at a meeting with the officers who distinguished themselves during the operation in the Mediterranean near Syria's shores.

"You have fulfilled all the tasks that were given to you and inflicted significant damage to the international terrorist groups by hitting their bases, ammunition storages, equipment, and infrastructure," he said.

Comment: The aircraft carrier deployment was also a great opportunity as a training mission to work out bugs:
Most of the media has singled out for attention President Putin's claim the decision to send the Admiral Kuznetsov to join the fight in Syria originated with him.

Whilst that is no doubt true, Putin does not say that he took this decision entirely unprompted; nor does he say that he did not consult widely before making the decision, or that the naval staff opposed it.

What is actually more interesting is what President Putin had to say about the reasons why the Admiral Kuznetsov was sent to the coast of Syria
When I was formulating this task to the Minister and the Chief of the General Staff, I proceeded from several considerations. First, the aircraft carrier has been in the Armed Forces since 1991, and has always pursued, it seems, tasks related to training and demonstration. For this reason, the industry was instructed with the task to properly prepare it and to create a corresponding aviation wing. That is how the final version of the MiG-29 appeared.

You spoke about the difficulties you encountered as you carried out the combat mission. I thought that those difficulties would arise, and that you would have to overcome them. And you have done all that.

The task was difficult and complex. I am glad that you coped with all of its elements, and this is undoubtedly a good step towards the development of the Russian Navy in all its parts.
As it happens - and as Putin hints in his comments to the carrier's officers - the Admiral Kuznetsov did experience multiple teething problems during its deployment. Two aircraft - a MiG-29 and an SU-33 - were both lost because of problems with arrestor cables, and it seems that during the deployment some of the carrier's aircraft had to be redeployed to Khmeimim air base and actually carried out many of their sorties against the Jihadis fighters from there.

The point is that by deploying the carrier for the first time operationally the Russians have now identified these problems, and can put them right.



Star of David

A brief history of Israeli spying in the US

NOTE: This video was produced for BoilingFrogsPost.com on April 11, 2012. It is being made available in its entirety here for the first time.


Bad Guys

Iraqi popular forces commander claims US forces trying to evacuate ISIL commanders from Tal Afar

© Ali Hashi/reuters
Commander of Asa'eb al-Haq Movement affiliated to Iraqi popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi said that the US forces have been trying hard to evacuate ISIL commanders from the besieged city of Tal Afar West of Mosul.

After photos surfaced in the media displaying US forces assisting ISIL terrorists, Javad al-Talaybawi said that the Americans are planning to take ISIL commanders away from Tal Afar that is under the Iraqi forces' siege.

In the meantime, member of Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Commission Iskandar Watut called for a probe into photos and footages displaying US planes airdropping aid packages over ISIL-held regions.

Watut further added that we have witnessed several times that US planes dropped packages of food stuff, arms and other necessary items over ISIL-held regions, and called on Iraq's air defense to watch out for the US-led coalition planes.

Star of David

An 'ominous' move: Israel denies visa to 'hostile' Human Rights Watch

© Pixabay
Israel has refused to issue visas to staff from Human Rights Watch (HRW), one of the world's most renowned human rights NGOs, accusing the group of having an "extreme, hostile and anti-Israel agenda" - a move the organization has described as "ominous," and a sign the state "has no appetite" for serious scrutiny of its human rights record.

The policy was revealed when authorities turned down a visa for HRW's new Israel and Palestine director Omar Shakir, a US citizen, at the request of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a letter, rejecting Shakir's application, Israel accused HRW of being "engaged in politics in the service of Palestinian propaganda, while falsely raising the banner of 'human rights.' "

Comment: Not to say Israel is correct but Human Rights Watch does seem to have an agenda:


Ice Cube

Emergency Arctic facility receives 50k seed deposits at 'Doomsday vault'

© christophurous / Instagram
The seeds are protected for hundreds of years at the facility.
Hidden away in a 'seedy' part of the Arctic, an international transaction of huge importance occurred on Wednesday. No money was moved, instead there was a massive haul of seeds for storage in a vault designed to protect them in case of global catastrophe.

The recent deposit to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault consisted of 50,000 seeds from several countries around the world including the US, Britain, and Pakistan. The area was chosen due to its lack of tectonic activity and permafrost, allowing for efficient storage of the seeds in temperatures below freezing.