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Fri, 27 Jan 2023
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Assad: Syria at war as battle reaches capital

Assad
© REUTERS/SANA/Handout
Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks to the new government in Damascus in this handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency (SANA) June 26, 2012.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared on Tuesday that his country was at war and ordered his new government to spare no effort to achieve victory, as the worst fighting of the 16-month conflict reached the outskirts of the capital.

Video published by activists recorded heavy gunfire and explosions in suburbs of Damascus. A trail of fresh blood on a sidewalk in the suburb of Qudsiya led into a building where one casualty was taken. A naked man writhed in pain, his body pierced by shrapnel.

Syria's state news agency SANA said "armed terrorist groups" had blocked the old road from Damascus to Beirut.

The declaration that Syria is at war marks a change of rhetoric from Assad, who had long dismissed the uprising against him as the work of scattered militants funded from abroad.

"We live in a real state of war from all angles," Assad told a cabinet he appointed on Tuesday in a speech broadcast on state television.

"When we are in a war, all policies and all sides and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war."

The rambling speech - Assad also commented on subjects as far afield as the benefits of renewable energy - left little room for compromise. He denounced the West, which "takes and never gives, and this has been proven at every stage".

Monkey Wrench

Senate Rejects Sanders' Food Labeling Amendment

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© cen.acs.org
The Senate today rejected an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to let states require clear labels on any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients.

The vote on the amendment to the farm bill was 26 to 73.

"This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate. It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country. While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what's in the food that they eat."

In the past year, 36 bills dealing with the labeling of genetically engineered foods have been introduced in Vermont, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia.

Bad Guys

Drones vulnerable to 'terrorist' hijacking

A small surveillance drone flies over an Austin stadium, diligently following a series of GPS waypoints that have been programmed into its flight computer. By all appearances, the mission is routine.

Suddenly, the drone veers dramatically off course, careering eastward from its intended flight path. A few moments later, it is clear something is seriously wrong as the drone makes a hard right turn, streaking toward the south. Then, as if some phantom has given the drone a self-destruct order, it hurtles toward the ground. Just a few feet from certain catastrophe, a safety pilot with a radio control saves the drone from crashing into the field.

From the sidelines, there are smiles all around over this near-disaster. Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas at Austin's Radionavigation Laboratory have just completed a successful experiment: illuminating a gaping hole in the government's plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones.

They could be turned into weapons.

Comment: Yeah, right. It just means that they can get the drones to do their dirty work and blame it on 'terrorists'.


Dominoes

Turkey's PM Erdoğan threatens to strike back at Syria

Turkish PM also warns that armed forces will respond to any Syrian encroachment on the border


Dollar

More Icelandic bankers arrested

Iceland's special prosecutor into the banking crisis has confirmed that raids have taken place today and that arrests have been made. The Central Bank of Iceland is among the institutions under investigation.

Special Prosecutor, Olafur Thor Hauksson told Visir.is that house searches are taking place in at least three places today as part of investigations into the central bank, MP Bank and Straumur Bank.

Stefan Johann Stefansson at the central bank confirmed that agents were in the building conducting searches; and it has also been confirmed that searches are underway at MP Bank and ALMC (formerly Straumur).

An ALMC spokesman said that the premises are indeed being searched and that the bank's staff members are doing their best to help.

In other news, four people have so far been arrested today in connection with the special prosecutor's investigation into Landsbanki.

One of the arrested parties is Jon Thorsteinn Oddleifsson, former Landsbanki treasury boss; and it is not yet known who the other three are.

According to Visir.is sources, the arrests concern a brand new section of the wider case against the bank and are not directly connected to searches and arrests made last week.

Attention

Turkey Warns UN Over Syrian 'Threat to Security'

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© Reuters
Rescue teams from Turkey and Syria are still searching for the wreckage of the plane
Nato has begun meeting in special session after Syria shot down a Turkish plane - an act condemned by Turkey as a "serious threat" to regional peace.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Turkey described the incident as a "hostile act by the Syrian authorities against Turkey's national security".

Syria insists the F-4 Phantom jet was shot down inside Syrian airspace.

Meanwhile, Syrian opposition activists have reported fighting near Republican Guard positions in suburbs of Damascus.

There were clashes in Qadsaya and al-Hama, around 8km (5mi) from the centre of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP news agency. The British-based organisation also said that security forces had entered the Barzeh area of the city.

Several casualties were reported in Qadsaya, according to the Local Co-ordination Committees.

International media cannot report freely in Syria and it is impossible to verify the reports.

Bizarro Earth

And Then There Were Five: Cyprus Seeks EU Aid

Demetris Christofias
© Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias
Nicosia/Athens - A fifth euro-zone country turned to Brussels for emergency funding on Monday when Cyprus announced it was seeking a lifeline for its banks and its budget, hours after Spain submitted a formal request to bail out its banks.

Global share prices and the euro slid as investors bet that European leaders - due to meet this week for the 20th time since the currency zone's debt crisis hit Greece in 2010 - would fail to come up with radical measures to back up weak countries.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel dashed any hope that Berlin would allow joint bonds issued by the euro zone or other measures sought by partners.

Cyprus joins Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain in seeking EU rescue funds, meaning more than a quarter of the 17 euro zone members are now in the bloc's emergency ward. Italy's funding costs have soared too, which means it could be next.

Spain formally submitted its request for up to 100 billion euros of funds to bail out its banks, agreed on June 9.

Moody's Investors Service cut the ratings of 28 out of 33 rated Spanish banks by one to four notches in a decision announced late Monday afternoon in New York. Those downgrades followed a cut of Spain's sovereign rating to just above junk status earlier this month.

Heart - Black

Trailer Park Evicted to Make Room for Fracking

Residents and volunteers form a barricade at Riverdale Mobile Homes Park
© Wendy Lynne Lee/Raging Chicken Press
Residents and volunteers form a barricade at Riverdale Mobile Homes Park in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania.
When the 32 families of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, found out that they were losing their homes to the state's latest fracking operation, the news didn't come from their landlord, or an eviction notice in the mail - they read about it in their morning paper.

The February 18 article, published in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, nonchalantly detailed the approval of three natural gas projects in Lycoming County, PA, including a water withdrawal station that would pipe millions of gallons of water from the Susquehanna River to fracking stations in the mountains further north. The article noted that an "added benefit" of the plans was "the removal of mobile homes," which were located in a potential flood plain.

Later that afternoon, Riverdale's landlord came by and confirmed what residents had already read in the paper: The property had been sold to Aqua America, a water company dedicated to fracking. The full magnitude of the blow came days later, when the eviction notices arrived, informing the residents that they had until May 1 to relocate so that work on the site could begin in June. Each family was offered $2,500 if they got off the property by April 1; $1,500 if they moved by May 1; and zero compensation after that. It wasn't nearly enough; lawyers for Riverdale residents later estimated that the cost of moving each trailer was, on average, between $8,000 to $10,000.

Dollar

Global Elite Blame Financial Crisis of 2008 to Usher in One World Currency

one world currency
© Unknown
The efforts of the Global Elite are to enable an environmentally-based economy within a one world government. This includes replacing the currency and economic structures in place.

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) has announced that they will stop printing pennies. The RCM have unveiled a digital RFID-chip based currency that can be loaded up, stored and spent in-store and online.

The RCM calls this currency MintChip; which will be a virtual payment method accessible through microchips, microSD cards and USB sticks.

This RFID-chip currency is collaboration with the US corporations and research and development outfits. Ian Bennett, president and CEO of the Mint explains:
As part of its research and development efforts, the Mint has developed MintChip, which could be characterized as an evolution of physical money, with the added benefits of being electronic.
The MintChip is still under development, with patents pending and prototypes being studied. The creation and perfection of the technology must be useable with American markets.

Bomb

Iraq Bomb Kills Young Soccer Players

Image
© unknown
Nine young soccer players and fans have been killed in a bomb explosion near a pitch in southern Iraq.

The deadly bombing is the latest in a wave of attacks that have raised fears of a return to widespread sectarian violence.

The explosion was in a predominantly Shiite Muslim area of the city of Hilla, 100 kilometres south of Baghdad.

The bomb was attached to a minibus, and exploded near a field where two youth teams had just finished a game, according to police and hospital sources.

Officials say the dead and injured soccer players and fans were aged between 15 and 20.

Comment: More work from al-CIA-duh, taking the lives of innocents. For background on what terrorism really is, please read the SOTT Focus: The British Empire - A Lesson In State Terrorism by Joe Quinn.