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India snubs Pakistan by refusing to attend key regional summit in Islamabad

© epa
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had originally been scheduled to attend the eight-nation SAARC summit in Islamabad
India has said it will not attend a key regional summit in Pakistan, amid tensions between the archrivals.

India's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on September 27 that it would not participate due to "increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of member states by one country."

The statement did not name Pakistan, but New Delhi has accused Pakistan-based militants of launching a deadly assault on an army base in India-controlled Kashmir this month that killed 18 soldiers.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scheduled to attend the eight-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Islamabad. Other member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Islamabad remained committed to peace.

The SAARC was founded in 1985 to promote economic cooperation in the region, but tensions between India and Pakistan have often blocked its progress.

Comment: There certainly appears to be growing tensions between the two countries of late, with both countries seemingly building their militaries up for some form of confrontation:


Snakes in Suits

'Experts' fail to debunk Todenhöfer's al-Qaeda commander interview

© Frederic Todenhöfer
The Todenhöfer interview with an al-Qaeda commander (video) has al-Qaeda promoters on the edge. They now try to come up with all kind of nonsense to explain that the interview is a "hoax".

One "Syrian activist", Mohamed Al Neser, started a chain with a curious claim against the veracity of the interview by looking at this picture taken during the interview by Jörg Todenhöfer's son Frederick.
Mohamed Al Neser @M_Alneser

Nice try Todenhöfer but "AlQaeda" commander with golden ring is 8th wonder

11:44 AM - 26 Sep 2016
Oh, really? Osama Bin Laden was the 8th world-wonder?

Comment: More articles on this interview:


Magnify

Russian Foreign Ministry: MH17 investigators allowed Ukraine to fabricate evidence and denied Moscow role in inquiry

© Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters
A screen shows the specifications of the "Orlan-10" unmanned aerial vehicle (L) and the "Buk" missile system during a news conference, dedicated to the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane operating flight MH17, in Moscow, Russia, September 26, 2016
The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that investigators probing the MH17 crash allowed Ukraine to fabricate evidence, turning the case to its advantage, while denying Moscow any comprehensive role in the inquiry.

"Russia suggested working together from the start and relying on the facts only," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement for the media on Wednesday, commenting on the findings in the criminal probe into the MH17 crash by a Dutch-led team of international investigators.

"Instead of [working together], international investigators suspended Moscow from comprehensive participation in the investigative process, allowing our efforts only a minor role. It sounds like a bad joke, but at the same time they made Ukraine a full member of the JIT [Joint Investigation Team], giving it the opportunity to forge evidence and turn the case to its advantage," Zakharova added.

Rocket

Almaz-Antey press conference: JIT report ignored technical details which showed missile was fired from Kiev-controlled area


Buk missile producer Almaz-Antey holds a press conference on September 28, 2016
Buk missile producer Almaz-Antey has said that three of its experiments showed flight MH17 was downed from Kiev-controlled territory. The body adds that international investigators lack technical proof for their theory presented on Wednesday.

According to Mikhail Malyshevsky, an adviser to the chief designer of Almaz-Antey, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was brought down from the village of Zaroshenskoye, which was controlled by the Ukrainian Army at the time of the crash.

"To date, we conducted three experiments that confirm the version that the Malaysian Boeing was shot down by a missile from the direction of the village of Zaroshenskoye," Malyshevsky said on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) issued its report claiming that MH17 was downed by a 9M38-series Buk missile launched from the rebel-held area near the village of Pervomaiskoye in eastern Ukraine. The probe also claimed that the Buk system in question was brought into Ukraine from Russia, and after the launch was subsequently returned to Russian territory.

Attention

Obama administration to pay $500mn settlement to 17 Native American tribes, long-standing disputes over mismanagement of tribal lands

© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama smiles as he is honored in a blanketing ceremony before speaking at the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington September 26, 2016.
Washington will pay 17 Native American tribes a total of $492.8 million to settle long-standing disputes over mismanagement of tribal lands by the Department of the Interior. The settlement comes amid ongoing protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Federal authorities manage almost 100,000 leases on nearly 56 million acres of trust lands on behalf of Native American tribes, including oil and gas extraction rights, timber harvesting, grazing, farming and housing. Additionally, the government manages about 2,500 trust accounts for more than 250 tribes. More than 100 tribes have sued the government, claiming the government mismanaged their lands and money.

Comment: History of uranium pollution:
  • In December 1995 and January 1996, U.S. Marine Corps Harrier aircraft training near Okinawa, Japan fired about 1,520 DU - depleted uranium - rounds. The Japanese government was not notified for almost a year.
  • In February 1999, two U.S. Marine Corps Aircraft expended 263 DU rounds at the U.S. Navy firing range in Vieques, Puerto Rico, which is not licensed for DU munitions. This "accidental" release was only discovered through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Military Toxics Project.
  • In January 2003, the Navy admitted routinely firing DU from its Phalanx guns in prime fishing waters off the coast of Washington state since 1977.
The people of Iraq (1991), Bosnia (1994-1995), Kosovo (1999), Afghanistan (2001-2003), Libya (2011) and Syria (2013) experienced uranium exposure first-hand:

Immediate battlefield exposures of combat and cleanup personnel to "depleted" uranium are only the tip of the toxic and radioactive iceberg. Continuing environmental exposures present a much longer-term danger to civilians in post-conflict areas. The Royal Society (the British national academy of sciences) recently concluded that because DU may move into the environment - especially water sources - over many decades, "contaminated land might be a concern for hundreds of years" and "contamination of water supplies or other sensitive components of the environment... might only become apparent after a number of years or more likely decades."

Firing of DU munitions can immediately contaminate air, soil, and water with ingestible particles of toxic and radioactive "depleted" uranium.(Read more in the original publication: "The depleted uranium fact sheet".)

See also:
  • Navajo Nation sues EPA over toxic gold mine spill which turned Animas River yellow



Gem

Russia offers Cuba 55 bilateral cooperation projects worth $4 billion

© ITAR-TASS/V.Shirokov
Russia has offered Cuba 55 bilateral cooperation projects with a total value of about $4 billion, Russia's Deputy Minister of Economics Nikolai Podguzov told TASS on Monday.

"Cuba was offered 55 projects to be implemented in 2016-2020, totaling almost $4 bln," the Russian deputy minister said after a meeting of the working group for trade and economic cooperation and priority projects of the Russian-Cuban Intergovernmental commission for trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation, which was held in Cuba's capital of Havana.

Comment: The US could learn a thing or two from Russia on how to build rather than destroy: US renews sanctions and keeps blockade on Cuba despite UN vote


Black Magic

The debacle that was the Clinton-Trump debate

The first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was a political and cultural abomination. It demonstrated, in both style and substance, the thoroughgoing decay of American capitalist society over many decades.

It says a great deal about the US political system that, out of 330 million people in America, the choice for president has been narrowed down to these two individuals, both members of the financial aristocracy—they last met face-to-face when the Clintons attended Trump's third wedding in 2005—and both deeply and deservedly hated by a large majority of the population.

Comment: It really doesn't matter who wins the election. Since policy is really dictated by those who control the money, it's unlikely that neither Trump nor Hillary will be able to do anything they "promise" unless they are allowed to do so by them. It's more than likely nothing promised will be delivered and decline of America will continue as usual.


Footprints

Thierry Meyssan: Why the Syrian cease-fire has failed


Ukraine President Petro Porochenko visiting the Security Council on 21 September.
The Western public was enthusiastic about the US - Russia agreement for a cease-fire in Syria, and believed that it could bring peace. This shows that they have no memory of how the war was started, and no understanding of the goals it is meant to pursue. Explanations...

The cease-fire in Syria lasted no longer than the week of Eïd. There have been many cease-fires since the signature of the peace treaty between the United States and Russia. This one lasted no longer than the current peace or the previous cease-fires.

Let's review the facts - on 12 December 2003, President George W. Bush signed a declaration of war against Syria, the Syrian Accountability Act. After a series of attempts to open hostilities (the Arab League summit of 2004, the assassination of Rafic Hariri in 2005, the war against Lebanon in 2006, the creation of the Islamic Salvation Front in 2007, etc.), US special forces took the offensive at the beginning of 2011, organising a hoax intended to make people believe that this was an interior Syrian «revolution». After two vetos by Russia and China in the Security Council, the United States finally accepted a peace treaty in Geneva which they signed, in the absence of the Syrian delegation, on 30 June 2012.
First remark
Those who pretend that the current conflict is not an exterior aggression, but a «civil war», can not explain the consequences of the declaration of war against Syria by President Bush in 2003, nor why the peace treaty of 2012 was signed by the major powers in the absence of any Syrian representative.
Since the signature of the peace treaty, four years ago, the war has started again, despite multiple attempts to find a solution, negotiated alone by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian opposite number, Sergey Lavrov.

Comment: See also: SOTT News Snapshot: Syria ceasefire failure is entirely the U.S.'s fault


Info

'My God, where are you?': Duterte promotes death penalty as certain means of serving justice

© Ted Aljibe / AFP
The Philippines' president said that growing influence of atheism and agnosticism leads to people disrespecting laws and committing heinous crimes. And "if there is no God," capital punishment is the only way to make sure justice is served.

President Rodrigo Duterte has condoned the restoration of the death penalty in the Philippines "because the fear is not there" anymore. According to him, the previous presidents had given in to the pressure of the "bleeding hearts" and the Catholic Church who had been against the death penalty "because only God can kill".

"The problem with that is, I ask you, 'what if there is no God?'" Duterte said to reporters at the presidential palace in Manila.

"When a one-year-old, an 18-month-old baby is taken from the mother's arms, brought under a Jeep and raped, and killed, where is God? And in Syria women and children, who don't want to have sex with ISIS, they are burned. So where's God? My God, where are you?" he addressed the creator directly.

Previously, Duterte promised to personally deal with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists by eating them alive in public.

MIB

Kurdish trade unionist 'assassinated' in London cafe, ordered by Turkish spies

© Andy Clark / Reuters
Declassified documents reveal how Turkish spies ordered the assassination of a Kurdish trade unionist in a London cafe, a British newspaper has reported, renewing fears of Ankara's alleged black ops across Europe.

No one was charged with the murder of Mehmet Kaygisiz, 33, who was shot in the back of the head in 1994 while playing backgammon in a north London cafe.

Police at the time thought the crime was related to extortion rackets or growing animosity between Turks and Kurds in London as the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) guerrilla war intensified in Turkey's southeast.

But evidence has now emerged linking Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to the killing, according to an investigation by the Times.