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Vladimir Putin hints at Dominique Strauss-Kahn conspiracy

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© Unknown
Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, has hinted that Dominique Strauss-Kahn may be the victim of a conspiracy to force him from the head of the IMF.

Mr Putin said that he finds it hard to believe that the sex charges against the Frenchman are true and that he may have fallen victim to a shadowy plot to discredit him.

"It is hard for me to evaluate the real political underlying reasons and I do not even want to get into that subject, but I cannot believe that everything is as it seems and how it was initially presented," he said. "It does not sit right in my head."

Mr Strauss-Kahn was arrested at JFK airport in New York on May 14 for allegedly sexually assaulting a hotel chambermaid.

Mr Putin's public support for Mr Strauss-Kahn comes days after a French politician alleged that the former IMF chief had said before his arrest that he thought Mr Putin was actively plotting his downfall.

Laptop

Canada Dirty Trick Warning: Brampton Man Sues Government Alleging CSIS Harassed Him

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Ayad Mejid of Brampton, Ont. is suing the Canadian government, alleging the country's spy agency waged a smear campaign against him.
A Brampton man is suing the Canadian government alleging Canada's spy agency launched a smear campaign against him, painting him as a terrorist and pedophile because he refused to be an informant.

The recently filed $10-million lawsuit comes after child pornography charges against Ayad Mejid, 48, were dropped when a Superior Court judge ruled his Charter rights were violated by agents with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

In October, Justice Jane Kelly ruled Mejid was threatened and intimidated into handing over his laptop to CSIS to prove he wasn't the online jihadist they suspected. Instead, the agency says it found images of child pornography - evidence deemed inadmissible because it was obtained under the guise of national security, which constituted a "flagrant abuse" of his Charter rights.

Smoking

Israel moves toward smoking bans in public venues

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© Associated Press
About a quarter of Israelis smoke, according to recent Health Ministry report; new legislation would see ban at transportation platforms and limited smoking areas in other public spaces.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet approved Sunday a series of amendments and new regulations aimed at stepping up efforts to curb smoking in the country, in honor of the upcoming international no-smoking day.

The government rejected, however, a proposal to increase taxes on cigarettes by up to 10 percent.

The Health Ministry is expected to bring the approved legislation changes to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation next month.

Sheriff

Terrorist 'Pre-Crime' Detector Field Tested in United States

Minority Report
© 20TH CENTURY FOX / DREAMWORKS
In Minority Report, Chief John Anderton (Tom Cruise) prevented crimes by seeing into the future.
Screening system aims to pinpoint passengers with malicious intentions.

Planning a sojourn in the northeastern United States? You could soon be taking part in a novel security programme that can supposedly 'sense' whether you are planning to commit a crime.

Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST), a US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) programme designed to spot people who are intending to commit a terrorist act, has in the past few months completed its first round of field tests at an undisclosed location in the northeast, Nature has learned.

Like a lie detector, FAST measures a variety of physiological indicators, ranging from heart rate to the steadiness of a person's gaze, to judge a subject's state of mind. But there are major differences from the polygraph. FAST relies on non-contact sensors, so it can measure indicators as someone walks through a corridor at an airport, and it does not depend on active questioning of the subject.

Chess

US, Pakistan Near Open War; Chinese Ultimatum Warns Washington Against Attack

China has officially put the United States on notice that Washington's planned attack on Pakistan will be interpreted as an act of aggression against Beijing. This blunt warning represents the first known strategic ultimatum received by the United States in half a century, going back to Soviet warnings during the Berlin crisis of 1958-1961, and indicates the grave danger of general war growing out of the US-Pakistan confrontation.

"Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China"

Responding to reports that China has asked the US to respect Pakistan's sovereignty in the aftermath of the Bin Laden operation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu used a May 19 press briefing to state Beijing's categorical demand that the "sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected." According to Pakistani diplomatic sources cited by the Times of India, China has "warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China." This ultimatum was reportedly delivered at the May 9 China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, where the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Prime Minister Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo. Chinese warnings are implicitly backed up by that nation's nuclear missiles, including an estimated 66 ICBMs, some capable of striking the United States, plus 118 intermediate-range missiles, 36 submarine-launched missiles, and numerous shorter-range systems.

Support from China is seen by regional observers as critically important for Pakistan, which is otherwise caught in a pincers between the US and India: "If US and Indian pressure continues, Pakistan can say 'China is behind us. Don't think we are isolated, we have a potential superpower with us,'" Talat Masood, a political analyst and retired Pakistani general, told AFP.1

Propaganda

Conspiracy Theories Multiply in Pakistan as Post-bin Laden Violence Roils Country

Facing a surge in violence after the killing of Osama bin Laden, Pakistanis are taking comfort in conspiracy theories that allege Indian or American agents - not fellow Muslim countrymen - are behind the attacks, especially last week's brazen assault on a naval base.

Lawmakers, media pundits, retired generals and even government officials often hint at suspicions of a "foreign hand" in the violence, despite there being no evidence and often explicit claims of responsibility by militant groups like the Pakistani Taliban.

Aired on television talk shows and in newspapers, conspiracy theories are everywhere - underscoring the challenges facing the United States as it seeks to convince Pakistan's overwhelmingly anti-American population that it faces a shared enemy in the Taliban.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton fought back Friday against the stories flying around.

"America cannot and should not solve Pakistan's problems, that is up to Pakistan," she told reporters. "But in solving its problems, Pakistan should understand that anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make problems disappear."

While tales of malign intervention by foreign powers exist in other developing countries, in Pakistan they come with a heavy price. They confuse the country as to who it is fighting and complicate efforts to defeat militants and counter their extremist ideology.

Vader

The Anglo-American Military Axis: West Backs Holy Alliance For Control Of Arab World And Persian Gulf

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Axis of Evil
The standard-bearers of Anglo-American imperialism in the current epoch, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, met in London on May 25 to discuss the world's two ongoing wars of aggression, those in Afghanistan and Libya, both under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dominated by Washington and London.

As well as joining a barbecue for American and British troops in the prime minister's haunts, in the gardens of Number 10 Downing Street, the two potentates called for continuing to bomb Libya back to the Paleolithic Age.

Displaying what passes for sophisticated humor in the contemporary deadened age, Cameron told the press, "It was...probably the first time in history, as we stood behind that barbecue, that I can say a British prime minister has given an American president a bit of a grilling."

Correspondents chuckled as Libyan, Afghan and Pakistani civilians writhe in their death throes from the bombs and Hellfire missiles delivered by Cameron's and Obama's warplanes.

Waxing as reflective as he is capable of doing, the British prime minister added: "Barack and I came of age in the 1980s and '90s. We saw the end of the Cold War and the victory over communism. We saw the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein and the world coming together to liberate that country. Throughout it all, we saw presidents and prime ministers standing together for freedom."

Handcuffs

The Patriot Act: When Truth Becomes Treason

Susan Lindauer Extreme Prejudice
© Unknown
Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq, by Susan Lindauer
Many Americans believe they understand the dangers of the Patriot Act, which Congress has vowed to extend 4 more years in a vote later this week. Trust me when I say, Americans are not nearly frightened enough.

Ever wonder why the facts about 9/11 never got exposed? Why Americans don't fathom the leadership fraud surrounding the War on Terror? Why Americans don't know the 9/11 investigation failed? Why the "Iraqi Peace Option" draws a blank? Somebody has known the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden--- or his grave--for the past 10 years. But nobody's talking.

In significant part, that's because of the Patriot Act--- a law that equates free speech with sedition. It's got a big agenda, with 7,000 pages of Machiavellian code designed to interrupt individual questioning of government policy. In this brave new world, free speech under the Bill of Rights effectively has been declared a threat to government controls for maintaining "stability". And the Patriot Act has become the premiere weapon to attack whistleblowers and dissidents who challenge the comfort of political leaders hiding inconvenient truths from the public. It's all the rage on Capitol Hill, as leaders strive to score TV ratings, while demagoguing their "outstanding leadership performance" on everything from national security to environmental policy.

Eye 2

Suicide bomber kills Afghan police chief, German troops

Afghan suicide bomb
© Agence France-Presse
Afghan policemen stand in front of the damaged governor's office after a suicide bombing in Takhar province of Afghanistan. The police commander for northern Afghanistan and two German soldiers were among six people killed Saturday in a suicide bombing at a provincial governor's office, officials said.
The police commander for northern Afghanistan and two German soldiers were among six people killed Saturday in a suicide bombing at a provincial governor's office, officials said.

The attacker struck in Taloqan, capital of Takhar province, soon after a meeting regarding security had finished. The Taliban claimed responsibility in what was their latest example of high-profile target selection.

The slain police chief, General Mohammed Daoud Daoud, was a key figure in Afghanistan's recent history. A former military commander of Ahmad Shah Massoud's Northern Alliance, he oversaw the siege of Kunduz, the final major battle of the US-led invasion that followed the September 11 attacks in 2001.

A former deputy interior minister, when he was the country's top counter-narcotics official, Daoud had accused the Taliban of profiting from the opium trade by forging an alliance with drug smugglers and taxing farmers.

He also served at one point as governor of Takhar, reportedly at the request of the British, who considered him the corruption-plagued nation's cleanest governor.

The commander of NATO forces for northern Afghanistan, German general Markus Kneip, survived Saturday's attack, suffering slight injuries, defence minister Thomas de Maiziere, who confirmed the two fatalities, told reporters in Berlin.

Three other German troops were wounded, he said.

Comment: "Yes, we'd love to leave Afghanistan, but gosh darn it, how can we when things like this happen?"

Ever notice how when there is grumbling about how it's time to get out of Afganistan or Iraq, the "terrorist activity" ramps up? Expect to hear mealy-mouthed work-arounds in the near future as to why the US will be leaving, without really leaving. Afghanistan is a key strategic location for the West, plus it has too much oil, mineral and drug wealth for the PTB to ever actually let go of it.


Bizarro Earth

Obama Seeks Polish Help on Arab Uprisings

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© The Associated Press / Charles Dharapak
President Barack Obama walks with Gen. Wieslaw Grudzinski, Commander of the Warsaw Garrison, after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw, Poland, Friday, May 27, 2011.
Seeking ways to support Arab uprisings, President Barack Obama is asking Polish leaders to use the lessons they learned during the fall of communism to aid fledgling democratic movements in the Middle East and North Africa.

Obama will meet Saturday with Poland's political leaders, as well as a democracy-building team that recently returned from Tunisia, where popular uprisings led to the overthrow of a longtime autocrat and sparked the protest movements that have swept throughout the region.

The president's overnight visit to Poland, his first stop here since taking office, caps a six-day European tour that has also taken him to Ireland, England and France. The whole trip has played out against the backdrop of the Arab rebellions, and Obama has made no efforts to underestimate the potential global impact of a democratic revolution in the Middle East and North Africa.

In the Polish capital, Obama is making a direct comparison between Poland's overthrow of its communist regime and the movements happening in the Arab world.