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Fri, 22 Feb 2019
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Twenty things you probably didn't know about Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris

© Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
A trip through the life and career of the California senator as she gears up for a probable presidential run

1. As both a district attorney and state attorney general, Harris pushed for a new statewide law that lets prosecutors charge parents with misdemeanors if their children are chronically truant. "We are putting parents on notice," she declared. "If you fail in your responsibility to your kids, we are going to work to make sure you face the full force and consequences of the law."

2. Harris strongly supports "familial DNA searching,ˮ in which police take DNA samples from crime scenes and compare them to existing databases to look for not just any direct matches in criminal databases, but any familial matches. Police have gradually expanded the practice's reach, from checking DNA collected against existing samples of convicted criminals to checking them against samples in the databases of genealogy web sites and genetic-testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com. California allows the collection and preservation of DNA samples from anyone who is arrested, even if they're not charged with a crime.


Caving under MSM pressure? Tulsi Gabbard's interview on The View shows her backtracking on Syria

Tulsi Gabbard
© Reuters / Brian Snyder
Tulsi Gabbard
US Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is being accused of "flip-flopping" on her Syria stance and "caving" to mainstream media pressure after a combative interview on The View.

Questioned aggressively by panelist Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late Senator John McCain, Gabbard said there was "no disputing the fact" that Syrian President Bashar Assad is a "brutal dictator" who "used chemical weapons against his people."

Comment: What we don't know is what kind of pressure - aside from the predictable criticism from mainstream news - has been brought to bear on Gabbard that would cause her to make some of these recent statements. Still, it seems she was able to make a few good points in defense of her correct stance on US foreign policy in the face of the idiotic show hosts on The View. See also:


Here we go again: EU claims Russia is a threat to Europe's 'free and fair parliamentary elections'

Putin EU
The Council of the European Union described Russia as a "threat to the EU's free and fair parliamentary elections" to be held in May, citing the country's alleged "disinformation strategies".

"The sources and phenomena of disinformation can be identified inside and outside the Union and come from a range of state and non-state actors. In this regard, efforts must target evil actors, including Russian sources," said the Council European Union of the document which presented the official conclusions of the bloc on the subject.

The Council accused Russian sources of increasingly using disinformation strategies and suggested that any action against them should be guided by analyzes of threats and intelligence assessments.

Comment: And once again: Where is the evidence for such allegations?!? Answer: There is none. Which only goes to show that Russia's government has become the West's favorite whipping boy and scapegoat for when things "go wrong" according to the elite neo-liberal political class who want to maintain and/or increase their grip on power.

Evil Rays

"Not an atomic bomb": Huawei founder thanks Trump for helping to 'promote' 5G technology

Ren Zhengfei
© Reuters / Bobby Yip
The founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei has thanked the Trump administration for helping him to "promote" 5G technology in advance of an expected ban on the company operating in the US over concerns about "national security."

During an interview on CBS This Morning, Ren Zhengfei said, with a hint of sarcasm, that US officials who have been sounding warnings about 5G were "great figures" because it was helping to spread the word about the technology.

Zhengfei said that until now, 5G was not widely known about. "But now, these great figures are all talking about 5G... and we're becoming more influential and getting more contracts," he said.

"Please tell them - I'm actually thanking them for promoting us," he told host Bianna Golodrgya.

Comment: He has a point; if the US establishment wants to shut you down, chances are you've got something worthwhile, and that applies to China's mobile phones as it does to Russia's S-400s. Although what Mr Zhengfei may not be aware of the danger to health that 5G does pose: For more on China, the Huawei case, and the US' possible motivations, see:


Why S-300s in Syria Are Not Being Used Against Israeli Aircraft

s-300 syria
There has been considerable speculation in recent months concerning reasons why the S-300 air defense systems supplied to the Syrian Arab Army by the Russian Federation have yet to fire a shot in anger at Israeli aircraft encroaching on its airspace and launching ordnance against a variety of targets on Syria's territory. This video attempts to explore a reasonably complete range of explanations. On the one hand, the S-300 batteries in Syria operate under a handicap of operational and political restrictions. However, it would be a mistake to believe that just because missiles are not being launched, that the weapons in question are ineffective.

Comment: Until Israel can no longer rely on Uncle Sam to protect its aggressive designs on its neighbors, Israel will continue to act with near-impunity. Russia seems to be trying to convince Israel that - being closer, more disciplined, and thus more effective - it is a more reliable 'big power partner' than the US, but it will not have escaped Israeli attention that this option, while offering better security, necessitates a drastic haircut on its belligerent interference in neighboring countries.

The other major consideration Putin must balance 'in Syria' is domestic policy. As is becoming transparently obvious - that is to say, it's moved from Internet 'conspiracy theory' to being blasted all over the evening mainstreamnews - in Western capitals these days, 'Israel' is a strange country with unusual capabilities for getting its way:

No Entry

Venezuela closes border with Brazil, may do the same at Colombia border - President Maduro

The road BR-174 Venezuela
© Mauro Pimentel / AFP
The road BR-174, which links the border cities of Santa Elena de Uiaren in Venezuela and Pacaraima in Brazil.
Starting Thursday evening, Venezuela is closing its border with Brazil, President Nicolas Maduro has announced. He added the same measure may apply to the border with Colombia, though he does not want to order it.

The Venezuelan military was ordered to enforce the travel ban in airspace and on the sea until further notice, Maduro said during a televised address from a military headquarters.

Speaking about possible cut of border travel with Colombia, Maduro said he didn't want to take such a decision but was considering it.

Comment: US air freight company caught smuggling weapons into Venezuela is linked to CIA 'black site' renditions

Arrow Up

Iran hacks and controls US drones, shows footage from missions as proof

drone iran us

Screen grab from a video published by FARS News
A senior Iranian commander claimed his country has managed to take control of several US drones. As proof of Tehran's claim, it has released some footage, apparently taken from the drones' cameras.

"Seven to eight drones that had constant flights over Syria and Iraq were brought under our control and their intel was monitored by us and we could gain their first-hand intel," Iran's FARS news agency quoted Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh.

The general heads the air force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Iran's powerful quasi-military force.

Comment: It's highly likely because Iran has already reverse-engineered US drones, and they've done it before. This is yet another report which demonstrates that regardless of how many billions the US spends on its military tech, further impoverishing its people, it's almost always doomed to failure: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Israeli-French Deception Downs Russian Spy Plane Off Syria, US Escalates 'Regime Change' Against Iran

Snakes in Suits

Jimmy Dore: 'Silicon Valley bureaucrats now decide who gets freedom of speech'

© Illustration by Alex Castro / Th
The US government tries to control political narratives on social media, encouraging Silicon Valley giants' censorship in exchange for good graces, a top US social commenter said, after Facebook closed some RT-linked pages.

"The ultimate goal of all this Russiagating that is happening in the United States is to expand the security state's control over social media," popular social and political commenter -and stand-up comedian- Jimmy Dore told RT, after Facebook unexpectedly suspended pages belonging to Maffick Media - a company 51 percent owned by RT's video agency Ruptly.

"They are working in conjunction with the state, with the government," Dore speculated, noting that the banned RT- linked content did not violate any of the rules of the platform, despite Facebook's claim that the blocked pages failed to disclose their funding. Dore believes that Mark Zuckerberg's company has overstepped a line when it comes to censorship.


Democrats will attack Trump no matter what Mueller report says

trump and mueller
The Mueller report will be the starting pistol for an all-out assault on President Trump by Democrats in Congress.

There have been strong indications that Mueller could wrap up his investigation as early next week. Republicans predict that Mueller will not find any evidence he colluded with Russia, and Justice Department policy is that a sitting president cannot be indicted.

But even if the Mueller report turns out to be far from the smoking gun Democrats have yearned for, they are now in control of the House of Representatives and show no signs of letting up.

No Entry

Study finds that Euroskeptics could paralyze Brussels after May elections

© Reuters / Phil Noble
Anti-EU parties are set to gain a third of European parliamentary votes in May, a new study says. Analysts warn it may bring down the whole political system in Europe, leaving Brussels powerless.

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) report describes the vote as "the most consequential parliamentary vote in the EU's history" and says it is even possible for Euroskeptic parties to gain more than 30 percent of the EP's seats "if their popularity continues to grow or if some of the fringe members of the mainstream join them."

The report argues that if such a situation occurs, the EU could find itself "living on borrowed time" and outlines ways that various anti-EU parties could align with each other to garner more power in Brussels.