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Sun, 25 Sep 2016
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Snakes in Suits

Not getting the message: EU rules out TTIP deal with US under Obama, seeks to salvage Canada deal

© Eric Vidal / Reuters
Thousands of people demonstrate against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in the centre of Brussels, Belgium September 20, 2016.
France and Austria have demanded the suspension of controversial TTIP negotiations until a new president takes over the White House. However, a similar deal with Canada is slowly moving forward despite protests.

EU ministers and the European Commission agreed on Friday, that the negotiations between Brussels and Washington on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are unlikely to end before US President Barack Obama's term expires in January next year.

"It is not realistic to reach the final agreement by the end of the Obama administration," trade minister of Slovakia, Peter Ziga, told EurActiv.com. Slovakia currently holds the EU's six-month rotating presidency.

Comment: All these trade deals are ugly: The three ugly sisters of transatlantic trade: TTIP, CETA & TISA


Treasure Chest

US House Panel determines $1 trillion needed to reboot military

© Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes
Brian Jenkins, senior advisor to the Rand Corporation's president, gives his assessment on how the United States is doing in its fight against Islamic State terrorism, Sept. 21, 2016.
The ongoing fight in Congress over an $18-billion hike in military spending for 2017 has stalled the budget, but it might be small potatoes.

The price tag to rehabilitate the military after about 15 years of war and relentless overseas operations would be about $1 trillion over a decade, according to the Republican-led House Armed Services Committee.

The committee is spearheading the $18-billion annual increase for more equipment, training and troops. But it is facing a tough political fight with the Senate and Democrats, who oppose busting defense spending caps and raiding the Islamic State war fund to pay for the hike.

A $1 trillion increase would require obliterating spending limits passed by Congress and doling out an average of an additional $100 billion each year on the military through 2027.

Comment: Maybe if the US could keep track of what it spends: Mainstream media silent as Pentagon announces $6.5 TRILLION in unaccountable expenditures


Info

Venezuela brands US 'biggest exporter of violence in the world'

© Marko Djurica / Reuters
Latin American nations accused the US of "neo-colonialism" at the UN General Assembly, with Venezuela going as far as calling Washington "the biggest exporter of violence in the world," while also arguing for the removal of stumbling blocks to development.

Ecuador and Nicaragua joined Venezuela in their condemnation of the US at the 71st UN General Assembly in New York.

The mood was largely centered around the economic exploitation of countries in the south by the developed north. The United States, with its history of fomenting unrest and regime change in Latin America - took center stage.

Comment: Bolivia's president Evo Morales also joined in: Evo Morales denounces Israel, US and capitalism at UN General Assembly


Che Guevara

Coup fails: Corbyn wins leadership challenge vote by landslide


Britain's Putin?
Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to "wipe the slate clean" after winning a convincing victory in Labour's bitter leadership battle, securing 62% of the vote.

Speaking after the result was declared in Liverpool, Corbyn thanked his rival, Owen Smith, and urged the "Labour family" to unite after the summer-long contest.

"We have much more in common than that which divides us," he said. "Let's wipe that slate clean from today and get on with the work we've got to do as a party together."

Corbyn secured 61.8% of the vote to Smith's 38.2%. The victory strengthens his hold on a party that has expanded dramatically since the 2015 general election and now has more than 500,000 members. In last year's contest, he won 59.5% of the vote.


Comment: So more Labour party members voted for him this time than a year ago, when he won by an all-time greatest margin. Many new members (who joined because they see that Corbyn is a real person) were prevented from voting in 'take 2' because they were 'too new to the party'. But this gerrymandering obviously wasn't enough for the Establishment to 'get their man in'.

The British Security State has a serious problem, and it knows it: Corbyn would win a national election by a landslide. So it is going through the full array of dirty tricks in a desperate effort to depose him before he wins. Of course, if that fails, they can always try rigging the vote, but they better hope they get that right after the 'Brexit' fiasco.


Blue Planet

Jeremy Corbyn: The new political victory of a thoroughly decent man - and what it means

Whilst the war in Syria, Brexit and the American election have been the biggest news items of the summer, there's been an election in Britain that ought to raise a combination of hope, fear and eyebrows. The Labour party have spent the last few months tearing themselves to bits over the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn was elected to lead the party last year due to the overwhelming support of ordinary party members. The party establishment did not like this one bit. In the aftermath of Brexit and frankly to serve as a distraction from the publication of the Chilcot Report in which Tony Blair was condemned by the very establishment from which he used to hold power, Labour members of Parliament decided to challenge Corbyn to a leadership election, expressing a lack of confidence in his leadership. Initial challenger Angela Eagle failed to land and dropped out of the race early on leaving Corbyn to battle Owen Smith, a man so obscure, he once looked in the mirror and didn't' see his own reflection. Corbyn has just re-won his leadership by a bigger margin than he did last year. But who is Jeremy Corbyn?

Jeremy Corbyn is unique in the world of electoral politics. He is for all intents and purposes, a highly consistent man, a principled man, an ideologically unambiguous man, an honest man and a decent man. He entered Parliament in 1983 and made a career as a member of the Bennite left wing of the Labour party. His positions are that of classic left-wing Labourism: he is anti-war, he is pro nationalization of industries, generally in favor of wealth distribution and an expansion of public services. Like his policies or hate them, he's never hidden them. Jeremy Corbyn does what he says on the tin.

Bad Guys

"How is this not classified?" FBI files show Obama knew about and used Hillary's email server with pseudonym

© New Yorker
FBI documents pertaining to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server show not only did President Obama know about her use of the server, he used a pseudonym to communicate with her — and at least one of those email exchanges wound up on the controversial server.

On Friday, the FBI released 189 pages of heavily-redacted notes from interviews with Clinton's aides, State Department employees, and even the Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar, better known as 'Guccifer.'

As Zero Hedge noted, much of the information has previously been made public, but — even with the agency's pronounced use of white highlighter — there are some revealing details from the interviews.

Particularly, the interview with one of Clinton's closest aides, Huma Abedin.

In the agency's notes, Abedin explained that although she, herself, did not know the President's email address, she believed the then-secretary of state did — and she also recounted that when Clinton "changed her primary email address they had to notify the White House so" her emails wouldn't be rejected by Obama's secure server.

Abedin was then shown an email exchange between Clinton sent by someone whose name she did not recognize. Dated June 28, 2012, with the subject line "Re: Congratulations!" the FBI then told Abedin the name was believed to be a pseudonym used by the president. Shocked, before requesting she be provided with a personal copy, she exclaimed,

Comment: Yeah, sure! The President learns things from watching the "news" like everyone else.


Handcuffs

Arrests follow alleged failed coup in Lugansk People's Republic


LPR General Prosecutor Rakhno announcing investigation and arrest results at a press conference
The LPR head's advisor, Gennady Tsypkalov, upon being arrested on charges of attempting a coup d'etat in the republic, has committed suicide. The deputy corps commander, LPR People's Militia Colonel Kiselev, and several officers of the LPR's People's Militia, politicans, and civil officials, have also been arrested.

This was announced today by the head of the Department on Supervising the Observance of Laws in the Military Sphere, LPR, General Prosecutor Sergey Rakhno.

Earlier, Rakhno reported that the LPR's General Prosecutor's Office had launched a criminal case on the attempted seizure of power in the republic. In connection with the coup attempt, the head of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky, called on the republic's citizens to be vigilant and not succumb to Kiev's provocations in trying to destabilize the situation in the LPR from within.

Comment: The alleged thwarted coup was announced by LPR head Igor Plotnitsky on September 20, citing internal enemies and their foreign patrons ("perhaps even in the Russian Federation"), the goal being facilitating entry into the LPR by the Ukrainian army. This follows the August 6th assassination attempt on Plotnitsky. Many in Lugansk doubt the government's narrative, pointing out the level of infighting among LPR leadership and security services. Plotnitsky and his government do not enjoy nearly the level of popularity and support as DPR's Zakharchenko. Living conditions are worse in LPR, and corruption is still a problem, so there is cause for unrest and motive for a coup.

DPR's Zakharchenko confirms his government sent the Sparta battalion, led by "Motorola", to LPR, to aid in preventing the coup.


Megaphone

Evo Morales denounces Israel, US and capitalism at UN General Assembly

© EFE
Evo Morales did not hold back at the UN. After calling Israel "warmongers," he had a couple things to say about the US and capitalism.

"The greatest objective of mankind in this century should be to eradicate imperialism and capitalism as models for society."

Evo Morales AYMA, President of Bolivia, said that, according to United Nations data, 94 per cent of global wealth was concentrated in the hands of 20 per cent of the world's population, a reality that was "the true face of capitalism".

He added that 2016 had been the hottest year on record, every year was hotter than the one before it and Bolivia was suffering from one of the worst droughts in its history. He called for States to remain alert to prevent the "barbarism of the capitalism", which would transform the Paris Agreement into one used for blackmail.

Snakes in Suits

Canadian analyst: Syrian Army was winning in Aleppo hence the US 'resorted to ceasefire'

© Sputnik/ Morad Saeed
Syria, with Russia's aerial support has been winning in Aleppo and thus it was the US who needed the ceasefire, however Washington was never sincere about the deal and simply used it to re-arm the militants, Canada-based award-winning author, sociologist and geopolitical analyst Mahdi Nazemroaya told Radio Sputnik.

The truce which was brokered by the US and Russia is now effectively at an end with the US being to blame, not Russia or Syria, Nazemroaya told Radio Sputnik. It was the US that attacked Syrian land forces, killing over 60 Syrian soldiers and injuring many more, the geopolitical analyst said.

The attacks appeared deliberate and were followed by an offensive by Daesh [Islamic State/ISIL] which was left unhindered.

The US Air Force did not even respond to the Daesh offensive, he noted, instead attacking the Syrians.

Question

Incompetence all around: Killery staffer left sensitive documents in hotel room

The FBI investigation looking into Hillary Clinton's breaches of professional conduct has made public another violation, which culminated in "verbal security counselling," after an aide to the secretary of state left sensitive documents at a Moscow hotel.

Amidst another 189 pages of various interviews looking into Hillary Clinton's use of her private email account during her work as secretary of state in 2009-2013, the FBI published an incident with Monica Hanley, one of the former aides who was closely involved into the scandal.

According to earlier reports, Hanley bought multiple BlackBerry smartphones for Clinton from AT&T stores located in the Washington, DC, area, which were potentially used to send work emails and which the FBI now cannot find.

Comment: GOP lawmaker Chaffetz complains Clinton staffers handed immunity deals 'like candy' by FBI