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Mon, 24 Apr 2017
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Syrian Army discovers Turkish 'flour' bags packed with C4 explosives

© Qumhanih News
Turkish humanitarian aid - bags of 'flour' filled with C4
Turkey has been caught before using humanitarian pretexts to smuggle weapons into Syria

After overrunning Al Qaeda positions in Hama on Friday, the Syrian Army captured some intriguing spoils of war: Turkish flour bags full of explosives.

While it's unclear whether the bags were emptied of their original contents before being stuffed with C4, unfortunately Turkey has a well-documented habit of using humanitarian assistance as a pretext for smuggling weapons into Syria.

Rocket

UN report: Risk of nuclear weapon detonation event at its highest level since the end of the Cold War

© Wikipedia
Minuteman III launch
The threat of a "nuclear weapon detonation event," be it accidental or deliberate, is now the highest it's been since the end of the Cold War, 26 years ago, a UN agency has warned, saying the risk is rising as relations between nuclear powers deteriorate.

With over 15,000 nuclear weapons possessed by nine states, the world now appears "full of potential for catastrophe," warns a comprehensive study from the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).

"The threat of a nuclear weapon detonation event in 2017 is arguably at its highest in the 26 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union," said the research paper composed by several reputed scholars and disarmament experts.

Nuclear deterrence was, and still is, the backbone of the military strategies of many world powers. Overall, nine states - the US, Russia, China, the UK, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel - possess more than 15,000 warheads, and global investment in the modernization and development of new, more capable and mobile nuclear weapons continues to rise.

Comment: The US, at least, is preparing for a nuclear event: False flag alert: Operation Gotham Shield will simulate nuke detonation over Manhattan


Play

James Corbett on India and Pakistan joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

© russiancouncil.ru
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization are preparing the ground for India and Pakistan to join the group as full members. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov is hailing this "historic" move that will turn the organization into a truly global force. So what is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and what does this latest move mean? Luckily, James has the answers!


Comment: The Eyeopener Report Corbett mentions in the above update:




Info

Wait, what? French politician Girard blames Putin for Paris terror attack

© AP Photo/ Kamil Zihnioglu
French politician and head of the 4th District of Paris Christophe Girard published and immediately deleted a post on his Twitter, in which he hinted that Russian President Vladimir Putin could somehow have been involved in the recent terror attack on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

The post said: "The terrorist attack in France a few days before the election! How strange! Ask, for example, a few questions to Mr. Putin."

The sentence was almost immediately deleted, but some Twitter users managed to make a screen shot and immediately responded to the move: "There is no point in deleting your tweets, we've seen them."

Chess

Pence calls on China to pressure for peaceful & nuke-free Korean peninsula

© KCNA / Reuters
Military vehicles carry missiles during a military parade in North Korea
It is possible for the Korean peninsula to be nuclear-free and for current tensions to be eased peacefully if China exerts pressure on the North, along with US allies in the region, US Vice President Mike Pence said.

"We truly believe that, as our allies in the region and China bring that pressure to bear, there is a chance that we can achieve a historic objective of a nuclear-free Korean peninsula by peaceful means," Pence said at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney, as cited by Reuters.

Die

All in play as France prepares to tear up the political playbook

The dice have been rolled and it looks like French electors may buck the political narrative.

The Decline of the West; the destiny of Western civilization; the unraveling of the EU; the future of democracy itself. All stops are pulled when it comes to how the French presidential elections will shape the geopolitics of a young and turbulent 21st century.

And it's about to come down to the fate of three men and one woman - not exactly rising to the occasion, rather overwhelmed by it.

The run-up to the first round this coming Sunday turned out to be an immensely entertaining Gallic House of Cards.

Comment: For more on the French election, see Joe Quinn's interview on PressTV: Joe Quinn on PressTV: Paris Terror Attack - Just In Time For Election


Blackbox

Would China strike North Korea?

© AP Photo/ Alex Brandon
China's military were reportedly put on high alert this week, with US officials saying that Beijing is preparing to respond to any potential situation in North Korea.

The "extraordinary" mobilization of bomber aircraft was reportedly acknowledged by China's foreign ministry, giving no further details.

The general assumption is that China is taking a defensive position in case the US administration of President Donald Trump follows through on its repeated threats of carrying out pre-emptive strikes on North Korea's nuclear facilities.

Traditionally an ally of the communist government in Pyongyang, Beijing is widely assumed to be protecting its junior partner by flexing a deterrence force against the US. China has openly urged the US to not take unilateral military action against North Korea over the latter's controversial nuclear program.

Biohazard

UN commission on Syria not ruling out various sources of 'chemical agent release'

© Mohamed al-Bakour / AFP
The UN commission investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria says it cannot yet say for certainty what the source of the gas allegedly used in Idlib really was. The body says the release of gas coincided with airstrikes in the area.

Citing eyewitnesses, experts and studied data, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic said on Friday that "nerve gas" was released in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in April.

"Between 6:40 and 7:00am on April 4, a series of airstrikes [hit] the town of Khan Shaykhun. This is a consensus. These airstrikes coincided with the release of a chemical agent, likely sarin or a sarin-like [substance]," the commission's chair, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, told journalists during a Friday press briefing. Pinheiro was presenting preliminary results of the investigation in the chemical incident at a closed UN Security Council meeting.

However, the commission has neither been able to confirm who exactly was behind the alleged chemical attack, nor "what Air Forces were able to do that" as regards to the airstrikes.

Info

Russia supports the Great Libyan tribes

The Misurata militas are the most hated group in Libya. These militias residing in the city of Misurata in Libya are the criminals that joined hands with Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama to create the lies that started the false flag revolution that destroyed Libya. This group of terrorists (full of mercenaries) have changed their names a number of times, attempting to hide their criminal past and paint a new face to try and gain acceptance as leaders in Libya - they have failed miserably as all Libyans know these terrorists and have lived with their illegal acts for 6 years now.

This group who originally named themselves "Libya Dawn", are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths by torture in their secret prisons where they still hold men, women and children to this day. They are the same group that used Sarin gas against the city of Bani Walid because this city would not capitulate to their criminal demands. They are the armed gangs that walk through the streets of Tripoli and Sirte, holding people at gun point, stealing and raping without conscience. They are the same group that destroyed the Tripoli International Airport. They are the same group that robbed all the banks in Libya to the tune of 600 million dollars and continue to do so to this day.

The list of their crimes grows daily. The truth is they are slowly losing their hold on Libya because their benefactors (Clinton/Obama) are not in power any longer (they are still receiving support from Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Sudan and the Mitigia airport in Tripoli).

Eye 1

US offers to help fund Mexico's opioid eradication efforts ‒ report

© Damir Sagolj / Reuters
As its opioid epidemic grows into a full-blown crisis, the US has offered to work with Mexico to eradicate its poppy fields. Additionally, President Donald Trump has agreed to provide nearly $500 million for states to deal with the opioid epidemic.

The US offered to send money to help Mexico in their fight against heroin, William Brownfield of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), part of the State Department, told Reuters in an interview published Friday.

"We would be prepared to support [opium eradication efforts] should we reach a basic agreement in terms of how they would do more and better eradication in the future," Brownfield said.

"That is on the table, but I don't want you to conclude that it's a done deal, because we still have to work through the details," he added.

Comment: See also: Did Trump's new drug and human-trafficking policies prompt the CIA to move against him?