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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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US experts confirm Russian prankster trolled NATO chief Stoltenberg

© Francois Lenoir / Reuters
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
Russian pranksters who called Jens Stoltenberg in early February, one of them introducing himself as Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko, did indeed reach the NATO Secretary General, Life.ru reported, citing US experts.

After Life.ru initially published the conversation, NATO accused them of disinformation, the Russian tabloid says. It then decided to contact an American investigative agency to prove the authenticity of the recording.

Life.ru gave VIP Protective Services Inc., a company that employs former agents from FBI, CIA and a number of European agencies, their recordings that featured a conversation between the pranksters and, allegedly, NATO chief Stoltenberg.

The phone talk in question happened earlier this month, when prankster Lexus, who works in tandem with another man known as Vovan, introduced himself as Poroshenko and asked the supposed Jens Stoltenberg whether Ukraine could become a NATO member within the next two years, "as advised by American partners."

Comment: See also:


Rocket

China warns US and S. Korea of 'consequences' over THAAD land swap deal

© Reuters
A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor
China announced that Washington and Seoul will face "consequences" over a land swap deal which will allow the US to host its THAAD missile defense system on South Korean soil - a move which Beijing claims will undermine its own ballistic capabilities.

The agreement, which involves a land swap between Seoul and retail giant Lotte, was approved on Monday.

"We received a message that the board approved the exchange of land for THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) deployment," the South Korean Defense Ministry said in a statement, as quoted by AFP.

Comment: US may mobilize THAAD missile defense system to S. Korea in June over China's objections


Che Guevara

Irish sympathy for Palestine forged by mutual struggle for statehood

© Ammar Awad / Reuters
Palestinians walk past a post office building in East Jerusalem
The Irish and the Palestinian people share a common bond that stretches back in history many centuries - in the case of the Palestinians to Biblical times - and that is their long-fought struggle to acquire a national homeland against insuperable odds.

What distinguishes the two groups, however, is that the Irish succeeded in fulfilling the dream of obtaining statehood, while the Palestinians remain stuck in limbo.

The Irish achieved statehood status in 1922 following the Irish War of Independence and the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty (the struggle over Northern Ireland, however, continued up until the Good Friday Agreements in 1998). By comparison, the Palestinians have sat through countless peace talks, following battered roadmaps to nowhere, while the dream of a homeland always remains just beyond their grasp.

Now, with Donald Trump in the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have little to fear about getting an Obama-style scolding over the settlement construction in contested territories, which has increased dramatically of late.

It was on Obama's watch, it should be remembered, that the US abstained from voting in December on a UN resolution that calls Israel "settlement building" in East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank a "flagrant violation under international law."

A veto by the US - or any of the five permanent members of the council- would have stopped the resolution.

Comment:


Info

Poland and Hungary join together to challenge EU bureaucracy

The rifts within the EU continue to widen as Poland and Hungary join together in opposition to the EU bureaucracy.

Soon after Poland's ultra-conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power in October 2015, the Polish parliament passed a law allowing the government to appoint the judges of its choosing to the highest court and not recognize those chosen by its predecessor, the liberal Civic Platform party.

The crisis began in 2015 when Civic Platform, the party then in power, improperly nominated two judges to the constitutional court. When the PiS won October's elections, it refused to recognize them and also blocked three other judges who had been properly selected by parliament. PiS also wants the court to hear cases in chronological order, rather than setting its own priorities for tackling its caseload. The Polish government believes it is unfair that a constitutional court with a majority of judges appointed under the previous parliament should be able to scupper flagship policies for which PiS secured a mandate in democratic elections in 2015.

Arrow Down

Trump in a trap: Giant US fiscal bloodbath coming over debt ceiling

Former Reagan Administration White House Budget Director David Stockman says financial pain is a mathematical certainty. Stockman explains, "I think we are likely to have more of a fiscal bloodbath rather than fiscal stimulus. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, not only did the public vote the establishment out, they left on his doorstep the inheritance of 30 years of debt build-up and a fiscal policy that's been really reckless in the extreme. People would like to think he's the second coming of Ronald Reagan and we are going to have morning in America. Unfortunately, I don't think it looks that promising because Trump is inheriting a mess that pales into insignificance what we had to deal with in January of 1981 when I joined the Reagan White House as Budget Director."


Light Saber

Pizzagate turned PedoGate Leads to Momentum Surge in Busting Global Child Sex Trafficking Rings

This article will examine the current status of the so called "Pizzagate" scandal. But from here on out this presentation will refer to it as PedoGate for several reasons. Pedogate involves global child sex trafficking networks that have been operating over a lengthy period of time, far beyond the WikiLeaks release of the John Podesta emails and his obsession over "pizza," and incriminating contents found on disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner's laptop leading up to last November's election. PedoGate also extends far beyond the so called Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in Northwest DC that was last year's epicenter of alleged child sex crime activity resulting from an intensive online investigation linking Comet to the Podesta brothers, the Clintons, Obama and George Soros. And though virtually every business on that entire DC block located so close to the White House may well be [or have been] involved in a major Washington child trafficking sex ring based on substantive circumstantial evidence uncovered, PedoGate addresses the growing global epidemicof children being abducted from their hometowns and moved across both state and international borders for the purpose of sexual exploitation as victims of pedophilia, pornography, Satanic ritual abuse and even sacrificial murder.

With the internet age, 76% of pedophile sex with underage girls starts out as online contact. Of the estimated up to 800,000 victims of human trafficking each year, 76% are women and girls and 27% are children. When internally trafficked victims are included, the numbers jump to 2-4 million annually raped, beaten and tortured. Half of the worldwide trafficked humans within a country are children. In the global commercial sex trade, 2 million children are being exploited. Worldwide human trafficking has skyrocketed since 2012 with over 20.9 million victims.

At $32 billion a year, profit from human trafficking has even surpassed the total global illegal arms sales. Up to 300,000 US children are lured annually into the commercial sex trade. Of those exploited children, 14,500 to 17,500 are trafficked into America from other countries. The average age is 11-14 and the average lifespan of child trafficking is only 7 years with death caused by attack, abuse, overdose, HIV/STD's, malnutrition and suicide. Clearly, sexually exploited children have reached the global crisis stage.

Bug

Netanyahu pursued for graft: Israeli Police wanted to question Kerry but was blocked by Attorney General


Netanyahu seen with buddy Arnon Milchan
Questioning former Obama officials on the case surrounding Netanyahu's relationship with Hollywood tycoon Arnon Milchan was too sensitive, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit told Israel's Justice Ministry.

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit objected to having police question former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro in the investigation known as Case 1000, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suspected of methodically accepting gifts from tycoon Arnon Milchan.

Police have been investigating the suspicion that Netanyahu used his influence with senior U.S. administration officials to remove restrictions on the length of Milchan's visa to the United States, which is where he conducts most of his business.

The limitation was imposed after Milchan revealed in an interview he had aided Israel's nuclear program.

Mendelblit told Justice Ministry officials that taking testimony from senior people in the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, who had tense relations with Netanyahu, was very sensitive and might not even be necessary for building a case.

Comment: Why might Bibi have been working so hard to help his pal maintain a US visa? Maybe Milchan's status as a "former" Mossad agent has something to do with it:


Info

Woodward: Press 'shouldn't whine,' not in 'media's interest' to have 'war' with Trump

On Friday's broadcast of MSNBC's "Hardball," Washington Post Associate Editor and infamous Watergate reporter Bob Woodward stated the press "shouldn't whine, and if we sound like we are an interest group only concerned with ourselves, it doesn't work with the public. At the same time, we need to continue the in-depth inquiries, the investigations." He further argued it's not in the interest of either the Trump White House or the media to war with each other.

Sheeple

Declassified Army paper: Australia only joined 2003 Iraq war to boost ties with Bush

© Momammed Ameen / Reuters
FILE PHOTO: An Australian soldier in Iraqi town of Samawa
The Australian government joined the widely unpopular Iraq War in 2003 - deploying troops, warships, and combat aircraft - solely to boost its relationship with George W. Bush's White House, a declassified Australian army paper has revealed.

A report, written by Dr. Albert Palazzo of the Australian Army's Directorate of Army Research and Analysis (DARA) between 2008 and 2011, was accessed by Fairfax Media and cited by the Sydney Morning Herald. DARA is a branch of the Australian Army Headquarters and serves as the Army's think tank

The 572-page declassified document provides enough evidence to prove that then Prime Minister John Howard joined former US President George W. Bush in invading Iraq only to strengthen Canberra's ties with Washington.

Attention

West Mosul trap: Iraqi forces retake 2 districts, up to 800,000 civilians caught in battle zone

© Alaa Al-Marjani / Reuters
Displaced Iraqis in western Mosul, Iraq February 26, 2017.
Iraqi police commandos have captured two neighborhoods in west Mosul on Sunday amid fierce clashes with Islamic State militants. The advance is ongoing amid UN concerns that the assault could force up to 400,000 civilians to flee, if they manage it.

RUPTLY's new footage from Mosul shows displaced residents from the western Maamoun district arriving at the government-controlled al-Jadaa camp in Mosul, Sunday, as Iraqi forces push deeper into the city.

About 1,000 civilians, predominantly women and children, left Mosul on Saturday and were taken to humanitarian camps located to the south of the city, according to Reuters.