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Thu, 25 May 2017
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'Back to normal': Syrian authorities returning fighter jets and military personnel to Sha'irat Airbase attacked by US

© Sputnik/ Mikhail Voskresenskiy
Syrian Air Forces resume flights from Ash Sha'irat air base
The Syrian military have started to move fighter jets and military personnel back to the Sha'irat Airbase in Homs over a month after the United States carried out a strike against it.

"They will be flying out of there again soon," the NBC News channel reported, citing an unnamed defense official.

According to the sources, the Syrian government managed to repair some of the infrastructure of the airfield and already began moving the Su-22s and the MiG-23s back to the airfield.

Comment: See also:

Eye 1

Anti-conspiracy bill advances in Japan despite surveillance fears

© Franck Robichon/European Pressphoto Agency
A protest against the anti-conspiracy bill in Tokyo last week. Critics say the legislation could erode privacy and free speech.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan won a crucial vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday on an anti-conspiracy bill that he said was needed to fight terrorism but that critics feared could give the authorities broad surveillance powers over citizens.

With protesters gathered outside the country's lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, Mr. Abe's party and its allies approved a bill that would make it a crime to conspire with others to commit terrorism and a raft of other crimes.

Speaking before the vote, Hiroshi Hiraguchi, a member of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, expressed condolences for the victims of a suicide bombing that killed 22 people at a concert in Britain on Monday. He said that the bill was needed to help Japan fulfill "the grave responsibility" of hosting the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Mr. Abe's party called for the vote even as a United Nations expert on human rights accused the government of rushing the measure without sufficient debate on appropriate safeguards for privacy and free speech.

Snakes in Suits

Macron prepares his assault on the French working-class

© Inconnu
Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing a historic assault on jobs, wages and labor legislation, to be rammed through by presidential decree in the face of overwhelming public opposition.

Details of Macron's plans emerged Monday in the run-up to his meetings Tuesday with trade union and business representatives at the Elysée Palace.

After next month's legislative elections, Macron will demand an enabling act from parliament authorizing the president to decree changes in French labor law. "The reform of the Labor Code has been well planned," incoming Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told the Journal du Dimanche. "We will now discuss it to enrich it and explain it. This means discussions with the trade unions, which are indispensable, and a parliamentary discussion which will take place during the vote on the enabling act that will allow the government to impose decrees in a context defined by the parliament."

Philippe said that he and Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud would work closely with the trade unions and meet bilaterally with each of the major union confederations. "But once the discussion has taken place," he added, "we will have to act fast. We cannot wait two years to finish the job. Emmanuel Macron has heard the anger of the French people. He also knows how urgent it is to transform the country."

Comment: France's new president is a creation of the globalist financial elite


Britain has a real choice on June 8 and the Establishment is terrified

For the first time in a quarter of a century, the British electorate has an opportunity to make a clean break with the banker-friendly neoliberal policies which have dominated politics since the era of Margaret Thatcher and which have led to a major redistribution of wealth away from the majority to the super-rich.

Well, we can't say we haven't got a choice.

Labour's manifesto, while still being nowhere as left-wing as the ones the pipe-puffing Harold Wilson won two elections on in 1974, nevertheless returns the party emphatically to the territory it occupied before the grinning faux-progressive Tony Blair came along in the mid-90s and turned Labour into a more socially liberal version of the Tories. There's pledges to renationalize Britain's railways — easily the most expensive in Europe — set up a publicly owned energy supplier and take water in England back into public ownership.

The rich will pay more tax, zero hours contracts will be outlawed and tuition fees will be scrapped. If it's an exaggeration to call the manifesto socialist, then its certainly social democratic and offers hope of a better future for millions of ordinary Britons who have seen their living standards fall dramatically in recent years. By contrast the Tories have lurched still further to the hard right and their elite-friendly agenda could not be clearer.

Comment: Political Timing of Manchester Terror Attack is Suspicious


Following Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel, Iran's only option is to look to China and Russia

The extraordinary hostility towards Iran from the US and Saudi Arabia, creating the possibility of an attack on Iran and ending all question of the imminent lifting of sanctions, shows that Iran has no alternative other than to forge close links with China and Russia and the Eurasian institutions if its to ensure its security and its economic future.

US President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, his agreement to supply Saudi Arabia with $300 billion worth of US arms, his implacably hostile rhetoric towards Iran, and the openly expressed intentions of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to launch a pre-emptive war against Iran, clarify policy options for Iran's leadership and people.

It is now clear that the option of a rapprochement between Iran and the West does not exist whilst Iran remains an Islamic Republic.


Putin begins talks with visiting Philippine leader

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte.
The Philippine leader had to curtail his visit to Russia over the situation in the southern province of Mindanao, where a state of martial law was imposed earlier on Tuesday

Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun talks with visiting President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte. The talks are being held in Moscow.

The Russian delegation includes Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov. Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin. The Philippine delegation includes Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Chramm Cayetano, Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go.


White House: US and Saudi Arabia say it's necessary to maintain Syria whole and united

© Mandel Ngan / AFP
The Syrian conflict must be solved through political means with the country's unity and territorial integrity maintained, the US and Saudi Arabia has said in a joint statement released by the White House on Tuesday.

Washington and Riyadh "emphasized the importance of reaching a permanent solution to the conflict in Syria based on the Geneva declaration and Security Council resolution 2254, in order to maintain the unity and integrity of Syrian territory," the statement read.

The announcement, which summed up the discussions of US President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia last weekend, said that after the end of hostilities, Syria must become "a country that represents the entire spectrum of the Syrian community and free from sectarian discrimination."

Comment: A lot of nice sounding words but it is doubtful their actions will match.


AG Jeff Sessions redefines 'sanctuary cities' to comply with courts

© Mike Blake / Reuters
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has offered a more narrow definition of "sanctuary jurisdiction," in order to circumvent the court rulings declaring one of President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration unconstitutional.

In a memo released Monday, Sessions offered a more tapered definition of what constitutes a "sanctuary jurisdiction," saying that the term will only refer to "sanctuary cities" and "sanctuary states" which "willfully refuse to comply" with specific federal immigration laws.

"Federal law provides a process for foreign citizens to lawfully enter the country. Circumventing that process and crossing our borders unlawfully is a federal crime," Sessions wrote. "It is the role of federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, to enforce our immigration laws, prosecute violations, and secure our borders."


Libya: Massacre at Brak al-Shatti airbase may trigger larger civil war

Egypt, the UN and Arab governments try to mediate between the two governments in Libya. A massacre at an air base interrupted the process and threatens to intensify the civil war.

Nobody has their eye on Libya with all "western" media preoccupied with DC machinations, Russiaphobia and the first overseas trip of President Trump.

What about the implosion we are on the brink of seeing in Libya following the murder of all LNA Air Force personnel at the Brak al-Shati AFB?

The death toll in the attack of a Libyan National Army airbase, in south Libya, rose to over 140, a spokesman for Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar said on Sunday.

Remarkably it was the militia (called 'the third force') of the UN unelected Government of National Accord (GNA) under Faez Serraj that attacked and executed the unarmed men in the Brak al-Shati Air base. There were allegedly foreigners among the attackers possibly aligned with al-Qaeda.

Snakes in Suits

Ex-CIA chief Brennan tells Congress 'I don't know' if there was Trump-Russia collusion

© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
While arguing that Russia "brazenly interfered" in the 2016 US presidential election, former CIA Director John Brennan admitted there were "unresolved questions" in his mind as to whether any Trump campaign officials actually colluded with Moscow.

Brennan was summoned to testify on Tuesday before the House Select Committee on Intelligence as part of the probe into allegations made by Democrats and the Obama administration that Russia somehow influenced the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election.

"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about, because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals," Brennan told lawmakers. "It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals."