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Sun, 20 Aug 2017
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Trump's attacks could leave him without friends if impeachment comes

© Jonathan Ernst
President Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks on Republican senators, an approach he may regret if he is someday impeached and the Senate has to weigh charges against him stemming from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

More than half of the 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which would be central to any proceeding to remove Trump from office, have tangled with the Republican president, including on Thursday when he fired off early-morning tweets.

In one Twitter series, Trump called Senator Lindsey Graham "publicity seeking" and said he "just can't forget his election trouncing" in the 2016 presidential race. Trump also assailed Senator Jeff Flake, another Republican critic, as "a non-factor in the Senate," adding, "He's toxic."

Flake and Graham are members of the Judiciary Committee, whose Chairman Chuck Grassley has urged Trump to tone it down.

"He should be 100 percent sticking to ideas and forget about personalities," Grassley said on Friday when pressed on whether Trump might find himself without the friends in Congress he would need to defend himself in an impeachment proceeding.


Charlottesville: Don't Take the Bait

Over-dramatize much?
The 'white supremacy' march and car attack on antifa counterprotestors at Charlottesville last week has been presented by the mainstream media as clear evidence of the endemic racism in America, particularly among Conservatives and those who voted for or support Donald Trump. There's a serious problem of racism and discrimination in America today, against Blacks, Latinos, homosexuals and transgenders, or so we're told. Something has to be done, therefore, and everyone should get behind these 'minorities' and their fight for 'equal rights'.

In this hystericized atmosphere, supposed 'representatives' of just about every other minority you can think of have jumped on the victimhood bandwagon. If you're a member of a minority and feel that you're being discriminated against, then you're actively encouraged to get out and protest about it. If you're a member of a minority group and don't feel like you're being discriminated against, then you've probably internalized and accepted the discrimination, and need to wake up and start protesting.

What all of this reveals is not so much that discrimination is rife in the USA today, but that victim-hood promises all sorts of unearned privileges and even power, so you'd be a fool not to get some while the getting is good.


Russian airstrikes hit retreating ISIS vehicles in Aqerbat, Syria

© Минобороны России / YouTube
Aerial footage released by the Russian Defense Ministry shows combat aircraft hitting Islamic State vehicles as they tried to retreat from Aqerbat, Syria. A large group of the militants in the area has been encircled by the Syrian Army.

The airstrikes targeted military vehicles used by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

According to the Defense Ministry, Syrian government forces have surrounded the militants near the town of Aqerbat. The Islamists are trying to escape to Deir ez-Zor, the last stronghold controlled by the terrorist group.

"Following successful operations by Syrian troops, the last supply route used by the militants to deliver weapons, ammunition and material in the vicinity of Aqerbat is now within reach of the Syrian military's firepower," the ministry said.

Comment: More from South Front:


Grandparents sue the Albuquerque P.D. for failing to prevent their granddaughter's tragic death

Victoria Martens
The grandparents of a 10-year-old girl sued Albuquerque this week, accusing it of failing to investigate the child's mother, her boyfriend and his cousin, who are charged with first-degree murder: physically and sexually assaulting the girl until she died.

Victoria Martens, a fourth-grader, died on Aug. 26, 2016, after being raped, suffocated, stabbed and dismembered by her mother, Michelle Martens, and two friends: Martens' boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales, and Gonzales' cousin, Jessica Kelley, according to criminal charges against the three.

They also are accused of wrapping Victoria's mutilated body in a towel and burning it in a bathtub at Martens' Albuquerque apartment. Police arrived after receiving multiple 911 calls from neighbors who heard screaming.

Martens and her boyfriend approached a neighbor for help after accusing Kelley of beating them with an iron.

All three have been charged with first-degree murder, child abuse, kidnapping, tampering with evidence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Gold Bar

Digital gold: Blockchain technology behind bitcoin could replace physical gold trading

© Artur Cupak / Global Look Press
The bitcoin revolution has caught the attention of traditional banks and hedge funds. Financial companies are working on a platform that will use blockchain technology to verify and record transactions in gold trading.

Exchange owner CME Group, TradeWind Markets, and financial technology firm Paxos are working to make the $27 billion-a-day gold market digital.

The companies say it will add more transparency and security to the gold market.

"Digital gold would take market share away from other gold instruments: futures, physical gold bullion, gold ETFs," Ebele Kemery, head of energy investing at JPMorgan Asset Management told Bloomberg.

Wall Street

Bitcoin unsecured corporate bond in Japan wants to bring cryptocurrency into 'world of high finance'

© Global Look Press
Japanese financial information provider Fisco has announced the offering of unsecured corporate bonds denominated in bitcoins. The step could potentially boost the firm's business when the digital currency is legally accepted as a financial asset.

The Tokyo-based company issued a three-year bond worth 200 bitcoins to another firm in the Fisco group. The obligation pays a three percent coupon and returns the 200 bitcoins to the holder on its maturity on August 10, 2022.

The corporation plans to test the bonds' potential to become an effective instrument for fundraising, according to Masayuki Tashiro, chief product officer of Fisco, as quoted by Bloomberg.

The current status of a bitcoin bond is unclear, as only obligations issued in traditional currencies such as yen and US dollars are recognized as corporeal bonds by Japanese law.


Three interpretations of the Kurdish threat to keep America in Syria for 'decades'

Are the Kurds bluffing or do they know something no one else does?

The leading spokesman of the Syrian SDF, a militant organization led by the Kurdish YPG which is classified as a terrorist group by Turkey, has stated that the US is set to occupy Syria for decades to come.

Talal Silo has said that the Kurdish fighters in Syria have reached an agreement that would imply a de-facto Kurdish entity in Syria would form under the auspices of US military occupation of the territory which is recognized by every major international body, including the United Nations as Syrian territory.

The United States has yet to comment on the remarks and for good reason. The remarks open up a Pandora's Box of problems for all those impacted, including Washington.

Arrow Down

Catalyzing revolution: WaPo encourages leftists to engage in violence and rioting as a means of precipitating change

As extremism begins to grip American society on both sides of the ideological line, it's worth noting that the mass media has been a catalyst for the sharpening of radical divide across the United States. Not since the Civil Rights-era has there been such a distinctly divided American nation. The Washington Post is right in the middle.

The violence witnessed in Charlottesville was indicative of a larger ideological battle that has, until recently, largely been played out in mass and social media, as the non-stop barrage of race-baiting news only serves to capitalize on the strife for clicks - ie increased revenue - at the expense of maintaining a civil society.

One can pinpoint the drastic recent sharpening of ideological divisions in the US to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In many ways, Brown's murder was a catalyst to the divisive nature of American society that we are seeing play out in the streets today.


Kurdish militia allies say US will remain in Syria for decades after ISIS defeated

© Rodi Said / Reuters
Smoke rises from Raqqa city, Syria July 28, 2017.
One of Washington's main allies in their fight against Islamic State in Syria says US forces will remain in the country's north long after the jihadists are defeated. Enduring ties with the Kurdish dominated region is said to be a goal of the US.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed alliance of militias dominated by the Kurdish YPG, also known as the People's Protection Unit, are under the impression that the US has a "strategic interest" in staying in the region, SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters.

"They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas (of Syria) and the US administration," Silo said.

Washington has supported the YPG, a homegrown defense force in the Kurdish area of Syria, with equipment and airstrikes. However, the YPG is closely linked to the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK, which is deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, another US ally.


Trump fires chief strategist Steve Bannon - reports

© Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters
Former Breitbart executive Steve Bannon is the latest casualty of White House power struggles. US President Donald Trump has fired his chief strategist at the urging of his newly appointed chief of staff, retired General John Kelly, multiple news outlets reported.

Bannon joined the Trump presidential campaign as chief executive in August 2016, and went on to become President Trump's "chief strategist," a position created specifically for him, while former GOP chairman Reince Priebus was appointed chief of staff.