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Sat, 30 Jul 2016
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Sensible request: Russia calls for consolidation of intel data on terrorism, avoidance of politicization

© Igor Ageyenko / Sputnik
To counteract terrorism more effectively, countries should consolidate their databases on terrorists into one, the chief of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) suggested following an international meeting of security chiefs in St. Petersburg.

"Almost every security service and law enforcement body possesses vast troves of information. However, these are isolated databases that have to be consolidated into one," FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said, referring to European Interpol's and EU crime databases in particular.

Russia has been leading the effort, setting an example by encouraging other countries to sign into an "open" section of its security database that contains information on terrorists and terrorist organizations, Bortnikov, said, adding that "at present, 30 secret services from 24 countries have joined the open section of the data bank."

The other, "closed" section of the database contains the classified information of Russia's secret services.

Bad Guys

Problem-reaction-solution: 'Lone wolf' attacks boost backing for mass surveillance in UK

© Inconnu
A leading lawyer has told Sputnik that the latest spate of "lone wolf" terror attacks in Europe have given a strong impetus to proponents of allowing security services access to the bulk collection of communications data.

Ever since the revelations by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden that Britain's spy agency GCHQ and the US National Security Agency (NSA) of mass collection of communications data, the issue of privacy has dogged governments across the globe.

In Britain, the government was forced to introduce new legislation — the Investigatory Powers Bill, known as the Snoopers' Charter — which will allow police and the security services to require communications services providers (CSPs) to retain bulk data on phone calls, emails, social media and other communications for up to a year, so that they can have access to them for counterterrorism investigations.

​Many privacy groups have criticized the move, claiming that the bulk collection of data is in breach of human rights and that innocent people would be subject to trawling by the security services. However, the latest lone wolf attacks in France and Germany have given proponents of the bill a boost.

Comment: Unfortunately Dr. Lowe does not put two and two together here - terrorism is meant to bolster the national security state. The national security state is not in the business of 'stopping terror attacks.' The fact that time after time Western intelligence has been well aware of terrorist plots and let them proceed is evidence enough of that, let alone the fact that British intelligence is only keeping tight wraps on one out of 2K terrorists they're aware of. Clearly terrorism is a useful creature for these agencies, keeping people and governments in line.

Further reading: Latest terror attacks prove that US has turned Europe into a time bomb


Evil Rays

Media study finds BBC, other MSM guilty of 'clear & consistent bias' against Corbyn

© Neil Hall / Reuters
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
British news channels are blatantly biased against Jeremy Corbyn, giving far more airtime to commentators who openly criticize the Labour Party leader than those who support him, a second study of the phenomenon shows.

New research by the Media Reform Coalition and Birkbeck University of London shows there has been a "clear and consistent bias" both online and on television against Corbyn since the coup against his leadership was launched after the EU referendum.

Similar conclusions were drawn earlier in July by a similar London School of Economics (LSE) study.

Birkbeck academics studied news reports published in the wake of the June 23 vote, when a series of shadow cabinet members resigned en masse in the hope of forcing Corbyn to stand down.

Outlets, including the BBC, were found to have given Corbyn opponents double the airtime afforded to Corbynistas.

Comment: The MSM has always been the lackeys of those in power. Those in power know that controlling the narrative (or deleting large parts of it) is the key to maintaining that power.


Handcuffs

Russian prosecutors promise to extradite over 570 high-profile suspects to foreign nations

© Natalia Seliverstova / Sputnik
The Prosecutor General's Office of Russian Federation on Petrovka Street, Moscow.
Russian prosecutors have completed probes into thousands of cases against foreign citizens and decided to hand over 570 people suspected of committing serious crimes to the countries seeking their extradition.

"Decisions have been made to hand over 570 persons in total," reads the address released by the Prosecutor General's Office on Friday. The document also states that foreign countries have satisfied some of Russia's extradition requests, but does not mention any particular details.

The same report reads that the agency had satisfied over 3,500 requests for legal aid, both from Russian citizens and foreigners.

Newspaper

US intel head Clapper calls for end to 'hyperventilation' over Russia's alleged role in DNC hack

© Joshua Roberts / Reuters
The Director of National Intelligence says Washington is still unsure of who might be behind the latest WikiLeaks release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, while urging that an end be put to the "reactionary mode" blaming it all on Russia.

"We don't know enough to ascribe motivation regardless of who it might have been," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said speaking at Aspen's Security Forum in Colorado, when asked if the media was getting ahead of themselves in fingering the perpetrator of the hack.

Some 30,000 Democratic National Committee emails were released by WikiLeaks last Friday, exposing the Democratic National Committee's bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Comment: Too bad the same couldn't be said about US foreign policy towards Russia.

Snowden claims that the NSA must know who was behind the hack. So why not say, if they 'know' it's Russia? Because it wasn't Russia (at least, not the Russian government/intel community).


Question

Turkey's Justice Minister: Opposition leader Fetullah Gulen may have left US

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday he has received exclusive information regarding the departure of Fetullah Gulen from his residency in the United States.

According to the some sources the Turkish opposition leader is believed to have fled to a third country and among his possible destinations are Australia, Mexico, Canada, South Africa or Egypt, Al Masdar reported.

Gulen has been accused by the Turkish regime of orchestrating the July 15th military coup to overthrow the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Prior to the July 15th coup, the Gulen Movement was labeled a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, resulting in its ban all around the country.

Comment: Mexico and Egypt have not received a formal asylum application from Gulen:
Mexico has received no formal request from Turkey in relation to the search of US-based dissident Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen who is accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup attempt, a source in the Mexican Foreign Ministry told Sputnik.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail has denied receiving asylum application from Gulen so far.



Map

US military giving back 17% of occupied Okinawa land to Japan

© Tim Kelly / Reuters
Citizens of Okinawa in Japan could be having their wishes fulfilled - at least 17 percent fulfilled, as that is the amount of land the United States military plans to transfer back to the island from its control, amid growing problems with its public image.

Several murders and a drunken joyride that made headlines have only added to the growing feeling of discontent amongst the locals about the US' regional presence. The military bases have long been blamed for noise and air pollution, and many locals also see them as an uneasy legacy of post-WWII American occupation.

The handover is the biggest such move since 1972, when the formal occupation by US forces ended. It comes amid a rise in anti-American sentiment following a series of cases involving the US military, particularly the murder of a young Japanese woman by a civilian contractor.

Quenelle

Russia and China to hold joint naval drills in South China Sea

China and Russia will hold naval drills in the South China Sea in September, the Chinese Defense Ministry told during a news conference on July 28.

"This is a routine exercise between the two armed forces, aimed at strengthening the developing China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership," Reuters quoted the words of China's Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, who also added that the exercise is "not directed against third parties."

"These drills are not targeted against any specific country. The main thing is to develop a common military response with our close neighbor against any threat," Russian Deputy Commander Sergey Vertepa said, speaking of the exercises in August, 2015.

Comment: Further reading: Pepe Escobar: The real secret of the South China Sea


Crusader

Someone is playing us: NATO's war on Russia

For 17 months, since the Minsk Agreements were signed in February 2015 to try to bring peace to the eastern Ukraine the Kiev regime, and its neo-Nazi and NATO allies, have been preparing for a new offensive against the east Ukraine republics. On July 22nd the Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin stated in a letter to the UN Security Council that "a relapse of large-scale military operations in eastern Ukraine may bury the process of peace settlement there." He then called on Kiev's allies to pressure Kiev to back off its war preparations which include the continuous shelling of civilian areas by Ukraine heavy and medium artillery and constant probing attacks by Ukraine and foreign units over the past spring and summer months.

The commander of the Donetsk Republic forces stated in a communiqué on July 22 that the region along the contact line between the two sides was shelled 3,566 times in one week alone ending on the date of the communiqué and confirmed the information set out in Churkin's letter and reports of the Organisation For Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) that the Kiev regime had transferred more heavy artillery, mortars, tanks, multiple rocket launchers to the front.

The shelling has destroyed civilian housing, a water treatment plant and other infrastructure with the clear objective of forcing out the residents and to prepare the ground for a large scale offensive. Ambassador Churkin added that not only were regular Kiev forces massing in the east but they had also deployed the new-Nazi Azov and Donbas "volunteer" battalions, and that Kiev has begun a wide ranging seizure of land in the neutral zone and the towns located there.

Cow Skull

Night of the Hollow Men: Notes on watching the Democratic Convention

  • Since my co-editor Joshua Frank prefers to go surfing rather than do his reportorial duty and watch the DNC Convention from gavel-to-gavel, he's telling me that I have to write another account of tonight's proceedings. I'm not sure I'm up to it 'frankly.' What would Hunter Thompson do? Oh, yes, he would get his body and mind in fighting form by having breakfast. I guess I'll follow the good Doctor's example: "Four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crêpes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon, or corned-beef hash with diced chilies, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning, and something like a slice of key lime pie, two margaritas and six lines of the best cocaine for dessert." All to be consumed while naked. Snarf! Sniff! Belch! ALRIGHT! I'm primed. Bring on Biden!
  • Margie Kidder was one of Hunter Thompson's best friends. I asked her if this menu remotely resembled his real appetites. Margie told me that she and Hunter were together during the 1984 Democratic Convention in San Francisco, where his main obsession was in scoring some cocaine to get him juiced for covering the tedium of the convention.
"Here's what Hunter would do," Margie told me. "He believed firmly in getting your cocaine first, which at that convention involved spending a lot of time with a gay friend of mine he referred to in his writing as "the bowl of fruit". Then you got your drinks lined up and we would sit and watch the TV in the press room. I kept insisting in going out onto the floor to interview what often turned out to be ex-lovers of mine, who I couldn't really quote for obvious reasons. He was disgusted with me. At one point, back at the St Francis hotel, Hunter screamed down the hall at me "You are a political neophyte! You are a dangerous woman!" Then he went off to a party at Ann Getty's house or apartment and called her a fascist dyke and punched a hole in her living room wall and Pat Caddell (the Democratiic pollster) and I had to race over with my trans driver Greta and our 1960s Cadillac convertible loaned to me by the gay community and rescue Hunter from the well-dressed and horrified Democrats. Sen Patrick Leahy thought he was funny. Few other Democrats did. But then Leahy often rode around with us in that Cadillac.
  • Terry McAuliffe, the Clinton's former BFF (second now to Elizabeth Warren), mentor to Tim Kaine in the art of political grifting and current governor of Virginia, has an ego the size of Trump Tower. McAuliffe knows all of the Clintons secrets. He knows what they think and how they deal. McAuliffe gave an early morning interview to Politico, where he confided to the reporter that Hillary was only pretending to oppose the TPP to neuter one of Bernie Sanders's main campaign themes. The governor assured the reporter that after the election Hillary would once again support the job-killing trade pact with a few cosmetic adjustments. The McAuliffe Leak exposed the worst kept secret in Washington. Bill O'Reilly did his best last night to calm a perplexed nation, still reeling from Michelle Obama's allegation, which had not been vetted by the Texas School Book Commission, that slaves had built the White House. Yes, it's true, O'Reilly told his anxious viewers, but relax the slave construction workers were, in fact, "well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government." With these ameliorating words from a professional historian, Fox Nation slept soundly.

Comment: More of Jeffrey Sinclair's commentary on the DNC:

Humiliation games and cognitive dissonance at the Democratic National Convention