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Fri, 20 Oct 2017
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What kind of future awaits the Arab NATO?

The political instability that we're observing in various parts of the world accompanied by the burning desire that certain international players share to obtain ever greater profits by selling all sorts of weapons to no matter who have been widely discussed by the majority of media sources around the world recently. At that point, the West seems determined to create as many military alliances as it can, since once such a alliance is created this step is usually followed by a major increase in arms sales.

Thus, the European Commission has recently gave way to the military lobby by starting the review of the European defense doctrine by 2025, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports. The document offers various courses of action for the EU in its military activities and one of them goes way too far. In particular, it not just proposes the EU to assume the right to create no-fly zones and conduct naval operations in the territorial waters of other states, but proposes to introduce retaliatory measures against cyber attacks along with the closer integration of the EU armies.

Arrow Down

'1 down, 216 to go': Republican congresswoman and Trump supporter receives threatening email following Virginia shooting

© Getty
Claudia Tenney
A Republican congresswoman and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump has received a threatening email following the shooting in Alexandria, Virginia which targeted House majority whip Steve Scalise and fellow lawmakers.

"One down, 216 to go," reads the email sent to freshman Republican Claudia Tenney. The subject line apparently referred to the number of House seats required to have a majority in a vote, according to Politico.
"Did you NOT expect this? When you take away ordinary peoples [sic] very lives in order to pay off the wealthiest among us, your own lives are forfeit. Certainly, your souls and morality were lost long before. Good riddance," the message said.
It is not yet known who sent the chilling email, which came just hours after the Wednesday shooting at a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.

Comment: Shooter targets Republican congressmen at Alexandria baseball practice, 5 injured - UPDATES


Eye 1

Germany to fingerprint 6yo asylum-seekers and monitor messenger apps over terrorism fears

© Ralph Orlowski / Reuters
The interior ministers of German states agreed that it may be necessary to fingerprint the children of asylum-seekers even as young as six, to combat radicalization. They also greenlighted the potential monitoring of messenger apps.

The nationwide decrease in the age from which fingerprinting children would be legal in Germany, was one of the measures taken this week at the Interior Ministers' Conference (IMK) in Dresden, which ended on Wednesday. Previously, children under 14 were not be allowed to undergo the procedure, but the ministers have now agreed to lower the limit to six.

The measure was strongly advocated by Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann ahead of the meeting.
"In Bavaria, we have abolished the age limit for surveillance," he said in an interview earlier this month. "Normally, the domestic intelligence agency in Bavaria would not place children under surveillance. But if there is concrete evidence that a 12-year-old is with an Islamist group, we have to be able to monitor them, too."

Attention

UK govt confirms Brexit negotiations will start on Monday

© Global Look Press
Britain has announced that Brexit negotiations will begin on June 19, despite earlier speculation they could be delayed, as Prime Minister Theresa May is still scrambling to prop up her minority government.

Britain's Brexit minister David Davis and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will start talks over Britain's departure from the EU on Monday, Britain's Department for Exiting the European Union said on Thursday.
"David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday, 19 June," the department said in a statement.

Star of David

Is Michael Foster a chameleon? Don't count on it

The utterly repellent Michael Foster who has spent the last 2 years waging a relentless campaign against Jeremy Corbyn has now apparently become a Corbyn supporter. Foster now admits that he was "wrong on Corbyn." The Jewish Labour donor used the notorious Zionist Times of Israel to "tip his hat to the leader's success"
In a spectacular admission that portrays total cultural and political detachment Foster says, "I was wrong on that his brand of leadership and socialism would not appeal."
The same character who a year ago professed that he despised Corbyn and labelled his supporters "Sturm Abteilung" (Nazi stormtroopers) has conveniently changed his spots.

Network

BBC report reveals arms giant BAE sold powerful mass surveillance equipment to oppressive regimes

© Silas Stein / Global Look Press
Global arms firm BAE Systems sold powerful mass surveillance equipment to six Middle Eastern nations with repressive human rights records, investigators claim, while warning that the technology could be used to track and hack dissidents.

The BBC report appears to show that the powerful and invasive hacking technology, which was made by a Danish firm that was bought by BAE in 2011, was sold to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Oman, as well as North African states Morocco and Algeria.

The technology, known as Evident, can be used to track individuals using their mobile phones and is said to be capable of boring through sophisticated encryption.

Propaganda

Anonymous sources: Mueller investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice

© Larry Downing / Reuters
If Trump wasn't under investigation before for colluding with Russian spies to steal the election from Hillary Clinton, it seems that he may be now for claims that he intentionally obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey just over a month ago...at least according to more anonymous sources from the Washington Post which have proven themselves to be slightly less than completely 'accurate' several times in the recent past.

Comment: From RT:
The White House is now referring all inquiries into the Russia investigation to Marc Kasowitz, Trump's personal lawyer. A spokesperson for Kasowitz issued a statement after the Post reported on Mueller's new investigation, slamming the FBI for releasing information about the ongoing investigation.

"The FBI leak of information regarding the President is outrageous, inexcusable and illegal," said Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Kasowitz.
"Outrageous, inexcusable, illegal." That's a great motto for the U.S. deep state if there ever was one!


Radar

Russian MoD confirms US deployment of long-range rocket launchers to At Tanf

© Getty Images
US-made HIMARS (High Mobility Advanced Rocket System).
The US has moved HIMARS long-range rocket launchers from Jordan to its base in At Tanf in Syria, Russia's Defense Ministry confirmed, adding that the hardware could be used against Syrian government forces.

The Russian military stated that the combat range of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) "can't support the US-controlled units of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa."
"At the same time, the forces of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition have on several occasions hit Syrian government troops who are fighting against Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] near the Jordanian border. Therefore, it's not hard to imagine that such strikes on the Syrian military may be continued in the future, but this time with the use of HIMARS," the statement added.

Comment: For updates on Syria, see the South Front video:




Caesar

Putting Putin's "soft authoritarianism" in perspective: Containing and balancing Russia's multifarious forces

© Showtime

Comment: In Oliver Stone's Putin Interviews, Stone poses a question to Putin about the perception that Russia is not a democracy, but an authoritarian state. RBTH summarizes Putin's answer, where he compared the development of political systems to the development of an organism:
Concerning democracy, Putin said Russia is different from Western countries, which have century-old traditions of power changes. For hundreds of years Russia was ruled by an absolute monarchy, then for several decades it was ruled by Communists, and only in the 1990s did freedom finally arrive. "Certainly it cannot be expected that we would instantly have the same democratic model as in the U.S., Germany, or France," Putin admitted. "Societies must develop stage by stage, gradually."
Putin basically agreed that Russia was not democratic in the same ways as certain Western nations. The Russian president constitutionally has much more power than the American president. For example, Putin directly appoints regional governors, whereas in the U.S. state leaders are elected. But as Putin points out, Russia is not the U.S., and its democracy is only in its infancy - just over 2 decades. Keep all that in mind while reading the following account of the balancing act Putin must perform in ruling Russia.


As noted numerous times, Putin is not an all-powerful dictator. He is a soft authoritarian leader riding a relatively unstable or metastable 'sistema', state and society. One of his oft-discussed roles is as arbiter between institutions and elite clans seeking access to the state resource feeding trough. Another less discussed role is to balance various ideological orientations and political parties ranging across the entire political spectrum, state and society, allowing each to participate in Russia's political life within limits he largely sets. Some forces are allowed access to elements of power to one extent or another; others are kept at various distances from power centers and economic and financial resources controlled by the state, depending on their perceived controllability and potential to seriously weaken the regime should they defect to the opposition and thereby potentially threaten Putin's carefully balanced system. To be sure, when necessary Putin represses, but this must be done by carefully calibrating the extent to which he can repress and not provoke significant backlash.

Pistol

America has now been struck by radicalised liberal anti-Trump terrorism

The ongoing information war against Donald Trump and his non-existent ties to Russia has become far more serious after today. The crisis now has physical victims, even though many see slain DNC worker Seth Rich as the first casualty of America's internal Cold War.

Today a lone-wolf terrorist gunman who openly spoke of the need to "destroy" Donald Trump ended up shooting five people at a local baseball game. The apparent primary target of the terrorist attack was House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Republican.

The terrorist, a 65 year old US citizen called James Hodgkinson died in a local hospital after being neutralised by police.

James Hodgkinson was known as a man with strong views, something which in and of itself hardly ever leads to violence.

However, his hatred ended up turning into threats on social media.

Comment: