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Sat, 01 Oct 2016
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Helicopter crashes during South Korean display of 'military might'

© US Navy / AFP
The South Korean military has apparently lost a helicopter during a surprise exercise with US warships in the East China Sea staged as the latest show of military might and readiness to counter "North Korea's unprovoked acts of aggression."

One of South Korea's helicopters taking part in the snap exercise sent out a distress signal and reportedly crashed into the sea at around 12:00 GMT on Monday, AFP reports, citing the Defense Ministry in Seoul. Search efforts are continuing to locate the three crew members who were onboard.

The drills were the first joint exercise by South Korean and American navies staged on top of routine exercises by the allies, Yonhap news agency reported.

Comment: For more info on the rising tension between North Korea and the rest of the world, see the articles below:


Questions remain if Clinton failed to complete security training on handling top-secret information

© Brian Snyder / Reuters
Hillary Clinton allegedly failed to complete top-level security training for handling the State Department's sensitive information upon beginning her tenure, newly released documents suggest.

The State Department released "in parts" 46 pages of internal papers, complying with yet another court order, this time stemming from a Freedom of Information Act request from the Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF). It demanded the Obama administration present proof that the former Secretary of State, accused of mishandling top-secret information, and her senior staff underwent mandatory security training.

The first batch of documents, which the Daily Caller received late on Tuesday, indeed contained copies of papers, signed by Clinton's chief of staff Cheryl Mills and deputy chief Huma Abedin, showing that they both completed the course officially know as "Special Compartmented Information," or SCI.


Former CIA contractor: 'US has always been the main sponsor of Daesh', Russia the only answer

© Khalil Ashawi / Reuters
The US claim that Russian troops will go home in body bags if Moscow doesn't end its Aleppo offensive is absurd, former CIA contractor Steven Kelley told RT. He said Russia is the only answer to defeating ISIS. Other experts also weigh in on the subject.

When asked about State Department spokesperson John Kirby's warning that Russia "will continue to send troops home in body bags" if it doesn't put an end to the offensive, Kelley said Washington is pretending to be fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) when it isn't doing so at all.

"The US has always been the main sponsor and creator of Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS), so this charade that they are having anything to do with fighting Daesh in Syria is completely a farce, and I think the rest of the world is smart enough to realize that everything that comes out of the mouth of John Kirby or any of the State Department personnel is complete and utter balderdash," Kelley said.


Kashmir nuclear hot spot: Pakistan says 2 soldiers killed in what India calls 'surgical strikes' on militants

© Bharatiya Janata Party / YouTube
India claims it carried out surgical strikes against Pakistani-based militants across the de facto border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir - a claim which Islamabad denies, accusing India of firing across the border and killing two soldiers.

Referring to the alleged strikes, India's Director General of Military Operations Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh said in a Thursday statement that "some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launchpads along the Line of Control."

"The Indian Army conducted surgical strikes last night at these launchpads. Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them."

"The operations aimed at neutralizing the terrorists have since ceased," he told a press conference in the Indian capital New Delhi, as quoted by AFP.

Comment: One of the world's longest conflict sees no end in sight: World's longest conflict of Kashmir: 'We the people' should stand up

Arrow Down

Unconstitutional stop-and-frisk 'an important tool when used right', FBI director tells Congress

© Eric Thayer / Reuters
A woman is taken into custody by the police following a protest against stop-and-frisk in New York June 17, 2012.
Days after Republican presidential nominee praised the controversial ‒ and unconstitutional ‒ police tactic of stop-and-frisk, the nation's top cop also came out in favor of it. On Capitol Hill, FBI Director James Comey called it "an important tool."

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for a hearing on FBI oversight, Comey told lawmakers that stop-and-frisk is "an important tool when used right. What makes the difference between right and wrong is what's the nature of the conversation with the person you stopped."

Police officers "who search citizens without stating the reason should explain after the encounter why they decided to do so,"he added.


Russia's real opposition: The future of the Communist and LDPR parties

© Kremlin
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
In aftermath of United Russia's overwhelming victory Russia's parliamentary opposition parties - the Communists, Zhirinovsky's LDPR and A Just Russia - discuss their future and whether to split or unite with each other.

In the aftermath of Russia's election, United Russia have been quietly patting themselves on the back as Putin has made it clear that the victorious party must not take its votes for granted. Simultaneously, a war of words has erupted between the leaders of the three other parties who secured seats in the Duma.

The most interesting remarks come from Sergey Mironov who appeared to suggest the eventual abolition of his own party, A Fair (Just) Russia.

Mironov is clearly unhappy with the results as his party took the biggest electoral plunge of the four main parties in the Duma. To rectify this, he has suggested the creation of a two party state, one which would merge United Russia and the LDPR to form a large conservative bloc whilst his party would seek to merge with the Communist Party of the Russian Federation to for a leftist coalition.

Comment: Further reading: Russia isn't trying to influence the US presidential election, but can the US say the same about Russian elections?

Георгиевская ленточка

Russia and Syria - partners in 'protecting humanity from the terrorist threat'

© Dmitry Vinogradov/Sputnik
In the year that's passed since the outset of the Russian military campaign in Syria, Russia has achieved at least two goals. Terrorist forces have sustained significant losses, while the Syrian Army has regained ground and launched offensives.

Cooperation between the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian military has proven the efficiency of combat activity coordinated by a foreign air force and a national army, Former Syrian Information Minister Mehdi Dakhlalla said.

According to him, the cooperation resulted in the destruction of over 1,000 of the most dangerous Daesh and al-Nusra Front militants.



"Stop Trump!", "Stop Clinton!!": Stop the mad talk about who's better than the other!!!

That's the real issue this time," he said. "Beating Nixon. It's hard to even guess how much damage those bastards will do if they get in for another four years."

The argument was familiar, I had even made it myself, here and there, but I was beginning to sense something very depressing about it. How many more of these goddamn elections are we going to have to write off as lame, but "regrettably necessary" holding actions? And how many more of these stinking double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote for something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?

Now with another one of these big bogus showdowns looming down on us, I can already pick up the stench of another bummer. I understand, along with a lot of other people, that the big thing this year is Beating Nixon. But that was also the big thing, as I recall, twelve years ago in 1960 - and as far as I can tell, we've gone from bad to worse to rotten since then, and the outlook is for more of the same.

—Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72
Another bummer indeed. It's been nearly four and a half decades since His Majesty, Dr. Gonzo, wrote those words...and my oh my has the rot turned putrid, the stench overwhelming.

Were it only the fact that a corporate imperialist sociopath and a raving pseudo-fascist gasbag are competing to become the Murderer-in-Chief, one could simply retreat to the friendly confines of the Hobson's Choice Inn. There, among the carpets and curtains carrying the stains of elections past, one would watch the political circus in peace while doing the work of organizing against both Tweedle Bum and Tweedle Bummer.

Comment: Thank you for the wonderful rant, Eric Draitser! And though we here at SOTT.net don't advocate the taking of a "drink/smoke/snort" of something nice and strong to help us deal with this horror show, rest assured, we sure can appreciate the sentiment.


British man to be made example of in U.K. court on Ukraine terrorism charges

© Cavendish Press
Benjamin Stimson
British prosecutors have charged a man with terrorism offenses related to the war between Russia-backed separatists and Kyiv's forces in eastern Ukraine.

Benjamin Stimson, 41, faces what are believed to be Britain's first terrorism charges involving offenses allegedly committed in the conflict, which erupted shortly after Russia forcibly annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.

Comment: That is an outright lie. The people of Crimea had voted for independence from the Ukraine in a legal referendum in which the majority chose to rejoin with Russia by an overwhelming vote. The claim that Russia 'annexed' Crimea is mainly western propaganda aimed at demonizing Russia.

Police in Manchester said in a statement on September 28 that Stimson was charged with two offenses: the intention of committing acts of terrorism and engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to this intention, and the intention of committing acts of terrorism and assisting acts of terrorism.

Comment: If what he asserts is true, and he was on the side of the separatists, then he would have indeed been protecting civilians. The actual terrorists are the Ukrainian forces, who are guilty of human rights crimes as noted in this UN report, and those that support them.

Snakes in Suits

FBI warns 'Terrorist diaspora like we've never seen' in US as ISIS loses ground overseas

As it loses territory in Iraq and Syria, the terror group Islamic State will inspire more attacks in the West over the next two years as the organization's vengeful Western fighters return home from the Middle East, according to top FBI officials.

Comment: More proof that these militants are foreign fighters and have no business in Syria, Iraq, or any other country.

Top officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, including Director James Comey, have voiced public concerns that - as the US, Iraq, and other nations successfully wrest control of territory away from Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL), people inspired or affiliated with the Islamic extremist terror group will return to the US and other spots around the globe, ready to retaliate.

"There will be a terrorist diaspora sometime in the next two to five years like we've never seen before," Comey said Tuesday during a hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Comment: Some nice spin here! Ya see! Since Russia is depriving ISIS of ground in the Middle East, they're gonna attack the US more! Damn you Russia! Can't you just let ISIS have Syria!!?

US threatens Russia: 'Extremists' in Syria will exploit vacuum, attack Russian interests and cities