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Zakharova: IPC's suspension of Russian para athletes decision is filthy and inhumane

© Dmitry Serebryakov/TASS
The International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) decision to ban Russian Para athletes from the forthcoming Paralympic Games is overwhelmingly filthy and inhumane, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday. "Paralympians are not disables persons who do sport out of despair. Paralympians are athletes who have proved that there is no such thing as despair," she noted.

"The decision to bar the entire Russian Paralympic team from the Paralympic Games is strikingly filthy and inhumane," she wrote on her Facebook account. "It is a betrayal of those high human rights standards the modern world is resting on."

The IPC ruled on Sunday to suspend RPC's (Russian Paralympic Committee) membership and bar the Russian team from the Paralympic Games in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro. Russian Minister of Sport Vitaly Mutko told TASS Russia will challenge this decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Comment: See also:

Snakes in Suits

High Court rules: 130K new Labour members allowed vote in leadership ballot, NEC will appeal

© Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters
Ban or Banner?
Labour Party members who joined after January 12 have won the right to vote in the approaching leadership contest, but the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) has vowed to appeal the High Court ruling. A High Court judge said the NEC had committed a "breach of contract" by restricting those eligible to vote in the leadership election. The original ban affected an estimated 130,000 new party members, who had joined Labour after the "freeze date" on January 12 this year.

Now, the victory of five new members - Christine Evangelou, Hannah Fordham, Rev Edward Leir, Chris Granger and a minor named only as "FM" - could open the door to the thousands who felt unfairly excluded from the contest between challenger Owen Smith and incumbent Jeremy Corbyn.

The five members' solicitor Kate Harrison told the press the court's decision, including the rule to let minors vote in the election, is a triumph for democracy. "This case was about the right to vote under the Labour Party constitution, under which all members are equal and valued," she said. "This is a good day for democracy, a good day for my clients who are proud to be members of the party that stands for social justice, and a good day for the Labour Party."

Many believe the court ruling will give Corbyn an advantage, as the bulk of new members are understood to be supporters of the Labour leader. Evangelou, a fitness instructor from north London, said she believes new members like herself want to work with Corbyn and "take the party back to its roots."

Comment: Hope votes. Will political posturing and shenanigans reverse this small, but significant gain?


In the land of the free - When the police become judge, jury and executioner

© A Government of Wolves
Any police officer who shoots to kill is playing with fire.

In that split second of deciding whether to shoot and where to aim, that officer has appointed himself judge, jury and executioner over a fellow citizen. And when an officer fires a killing shot at a fellow citizen not once or twice but three and four and five times, he is no longer a guardian of the people but is acting as a paid assassin. In so doing, he has short-circuited a legal system that was long ago established to protect against such abuses by government agents.

These are hard words, I know, but hard times call for straight talking.

We've been dancing around the issue of police shootings for too long now, but we're about to crash headlong into some harsh realities if we don't do something to ward off disaster.

You'd better get ready.

It's easy to get outraged when police wrongfully shoot children, old people and unarmed citizens watering their lawns or tending to autistic patients. It's harder to rouse the public's ire when the people getting shot and killed by police are suspected of criminal activities or armed with guns and knives. Yet both scenarios should be equally reprehensible to anyone who values human life, due process and the rule of law.

For instance, Paul O'Neal was shot in the back and killed by police as he fled after allegedly sideswiping a police car during a chase. The 18-year-old was suspected of stealing a car.

© A Government of Wolves
Korryn Gaines was shot and killed—and her 5-year-old son was shot—by police after Gaines resisted arrest for a traffic warrant and allegedly threatened to shoot police. Police first shot at Gaines and then opened fire when she reportedly shot back at them.

Loreal Tsingine was shot and killed by a police officer after she approached him holding a small pair of medical scissors. The 27-year-old Native American woman was suspected of shoplifting.

None of these individuals will ever have the chance to stand trial, be found guilty or serve a sentence for their alleged crimes because a police officer—in a split second—had already tried them, found them guilty and sentenced them to death.

In every one of these scenarios, police could have resorted to less lethal tactics.

They could have attempted to de-escalate and defuse the situation.

They could have acted with reason and calculation instead of reacting with a killer instinct.

That police instead chose to fatally resolve these encounters by using their guns on fellow citizens speaks volumes about what is wrong with policing in America today, where police officers are being dressed in the trappings of war, drilled in the deadly art of combat, and trained to look upon "every individual they interact with as an armed threat and every situation as a deadly force encounter in the making."

Brick Wall

Turkey working with Europe to help lift U.S.-imposed sanctions on Sudan

© AFP 2016/Ashraf Shazly

Ankara and several European countries are seeking to find a way to ease Washington's sanctions on Sudan as they hurt economic relations with the African country, Turkey's ambassador said.

KHARTOUM — Turkey and a number of European countries are discussing ways to ease US economic sanctions against Sudan in order to open the country for investment, Turkish Ambassador to Sudan Cemalettin Aydin told Sputnik Monday.

"One of the reasons behind the lack of Turkish investments in Sudan is linked to the difficulties caused by the US embargo. We are talking with a range of European countries, also suffering from this, about convincing the United States to ease the pressure on Sudan," Aydin said.

Comment: When will the countries of the world impose sanctions on the U.S. for supporting terrorism?!?


Putin mending relationship with Erdogan a nightmare for the West

© Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin
Turkey is moving eastwards and may unleash a security nightmare scenario for both Europe, the US and NATO. Thus, the summit between presidents Erdogan and Putin in St. Petersburg on Tuesday has been called historic in advance, Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet pointed out.

Russian-Turkish relations are clearly entering a new phase. The chill in the Russian-Turkish relations seems to be gradually being replaced with a thaw, as the two countries' presidents are all set for a face-to-face meeting.

"This will be a historic visit, a new beginning. The talks with my friend Vladimir open a new page in our bilateral relations," president Erdogan said prior the meeting with Putin.

The agenda focuses on re-establishing political and economic relations, as well as finding a solution to the Syrian crisis. Russia is determined to continue its support to the democratically elected Syrian president. Today, Erdogan no longer seems to mind this idea.


If the fact that Neocons are now behind Hillary Clinton confuses you, read this

What's a Neocon to do?

Bill Kristol is downright despondent after his failed search for an alternative to Donald Trump. Max Boot is indignant about his "stupid" party's willingness to ride a bragging bull into a delicate China policy shop. And the leading light of the first family of military interventionism — Robert Kagan — is actually lining up Neoconservatives behind the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.

At the same time, the Democrats have become the party of bare-knuckled, full-throated American Exceptionalism. That transformation was announced with a vein-popping zeal by retired general and wannabe motivation screamer John Allen at the Democratic convention in the City of Brotherly Love. During his "speech," a few plaintive protests of "no more war" were actually drowned-out by Democrats chanting "USA-USA-USA!"

This is the same Democratic Party often criticized by Kagan & Co. as the purveyors of timidity, flaccidity, and moral perfidy. It's not that Democrats haven't dropped bombs, dealt arms, and overturned regimes. They have. And they've even got the Peace Prize-winning Obama-dropper to prove it. But unlike enthusiastically belligerent Republicans, the Dems are supposed to be the party that does it, but doesn't really like to do it.

But now, they've got Hillary Clinton. And she's weaponized the State Department. She really likes regime change. And her nominating convention not only embraced the military, but it sanctified the very Gold Star families that Neocon-style interventionism creates. It certainly created the pain of the Khan family who lost their son in the illegal war in Iraq. But the Dems didn't mention that sad fact as they grabbed the flag away from the Republicans.


Washington smackdown: Turkey turns to Moscow for help

© Unknown
Has Erdogan realized that it is a dead end cozying up to the 'Empire of chaos' and that Russia represents a real alternative?
"Turkey is slowly leaving the Atlantic system. That is the reason behind this coup. That is the reason why NATO is panicking. This is much broader and much bigger than Erdogan. This is a tectonic movement. This will affect Turkish-Syrian relations, Turkish-Chinese relations, Turkish-Russian relations and Turkish-Iranian relations. This will change the world."

— Yunus Soner, Deputy Chairman Turkish Patriotic Party
"It is becoming clear that the attempted putsch was not just the work of a small clique of dissatisfied officers inside the armed forces; it was rather the product of a vast conspiracy to take over the Turkish state that was decades in the making and might well have succeeded."

— Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch
On August 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Saint Petersburg The two leaders will discuss political developments following the recent coup-attempt in Turkey, tourism, and the launching of Turkstream, the natural gas pipeline that will transform Turkey into southern Europe's biggest energy hub.. They are also expected to explore options for ending the fighting in Syria. Putin will insist that Erdogan make a concerted effort to stop Islamic militants from crossing back-and-forth into Syria, while Erdogan will demand that Putin do everything in his power to prevent the emergence of an independent Kurdish state on Turkey's southern border. The meeting will end with the typical smiles and handshakes accompanied by a joint statement pledging to work together peacefully to resolve regional issues and to put an end to the proxy war that has left Syria in tatters.


ISIS publishes trophy photos of latest batch of captured US weapons

Over the weekend, militants linked to Islamic State released photos that purport to show weapons and equipment that belonged to American soldiers and were captured by the group in eastern Afghanistan.

The photos, which came to light on Saturday, show an American portable rocket launcher, radio, grenades and other gear not commonly used by Afghan troops, as well as close up views of identification cards for a U.S. Army soldier, Specialist Ryan Larson. In an emailed statement, Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland, the deputy chief of staff for the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan, said the soldier had not been captured and is currently with his unit.

However, contrary to report that the soldier may have been captured by ISIS, the U.S. military command in Kabul denied any such suggestion, saying he "has been accounted for and remains in a duty status within his unit." American special operations troops have been fighting alongside Afghan forces in a renewed offensive against militants who claim allegiance to Islamic State in Nangarhar Province, which borders Pakistan.

Snakes in Suits

Soros-funded lawyer trying to protect key Democratic demographics by challenging voter ID laws

© Reuters
Billionaire George Soros and US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton
The Democratic Party is fighting to protect what it calls the "Obama coalition" of African-Americans, Latinos, and young people by trying to overturn certain voter legislation, with the help of billionaire George Soros.

Marc Elias, described by the Washington Post (WAPO) as a "Democratic superlawyer," has been bringing a number of cases to battleground states where Republicans have tweaked laws to supposedly work in their favor.

For the 2016 election, 15 states introduced new voting restrictions, ranging from strict photo ID requirements to early and same-day voting limits.

At the same time, however, both Democrats and Republicans continue to oppose laws that could reform the system and open it up to more independents and candidates from other parties.

Elias, who rose to prominence in 2008 representing Minnesota Senator Al Franken in a recount which lasted eight months, approached Soros with proposals to challenge voting restrictions in states around the country, WAPO reports.

Light Saber

Assange promises to release 'damning emails' connecting Killary with alleged ISIS-dealing company LaFarge - enough to indict

The Wikileaks project has always been more like opposition research than even-handed reporting. Assange's goal is to find dirt in the servers of powerful individuals or organizations he sees as corrupt or dangerous, and bring them down by exposing it. As he memorably told Der Spiegel in 2010, "I enjoy crushing bastards."

Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange promised to release more damning emails about the Clinton Foundation, and warned he has enough evidence on Hillary Clinton making secret deals with an alleged Islamic State sponsor for the FBI to indict her.

Asked by British journalist Afshin Rattansi on Saturday if he had "the email which will put Hillary Clinton behind bars," Assange claimed to have 350 emails on a French transnational concrete company named Le Farge that allegedly paid ISIS to do business in regions controlled by the terror group.

The report, by British political blog The Canary, showed the Clinton Foundation accepted upwards of $100,000 from the ISIS sponsoring company.