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Thu, 25 May 2017
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Manchester attacker linked to Libyan terrorists harbored by UK govt for decades

UK Proscribed terrorist organization, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), maintains large presence in Manchester area and is now being linked to recent blast.

As suspected and as was the case in virtually all recent terror attacks carried out in Europe - including both in France and Belgium - the suspect involved in the recent Manchester blast which killed 22 and injured scores more was previously known to British security and intelligence agencies.

The Telegraph in its article, "Salman Abedi named as the Manchester suicide bomber - what we know about him," would report:
Salman Abedi, 22, who was reportedly known to the security services, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week.
While initial reports attempted to craft a narrative focused on a "lone wolf" attacker who organized and executed the blast himself, the nature of the improvised explosive device used and the details of the attack revealed what was certainly an operation carried out by someone who either acquired militant experience through direct contact with a terrorist organization, or was directed by a terrorist organization with extensive experience.

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'Not if, but when': US intel chief warns Kurdish secession from Iraq imminent

© Imad Aqrawi / AFP
Young Kurdish Iraqis carry the flag of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.
Iraqi Kurdistan's independence from Baghdad appears to be only a matter of time, presenting a tremendous challenge to Iraq's future, according to the head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency.

"Kurdish independence is on a trajectory where it is probably not if, but when. And it will complicate the situation unless there's an agreement in Baghdad," Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), told a Senate hearing, according to Reuters.

Kurd militias are essential to the US-led coalition's campaign to defeat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq. The Kurds are also taking part in the battle of Mosul, where Iraqi forces are trying to force IS militants from their major stronghold.

Eye 1

Obama NSA secretly conducted illegal searches on Americans for years

© Circa
The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.

More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA's so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.


Moscow suspects 'deliberate provocation' in Libya massacre to disrupt the peace process

© Reuters
Russia has condemned the recent spike of violence in Libya where over 140 troops and civilians were reportedly slaughtered in an attack on the Brak Al-Shati airbase. Moscow called it a "deliberate provocation" intended to disrupt the peace process.

"Moscow is very concerned about the recent outbreak of violence in Libya," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

On May 18, 141 people were killed after clashes broke out at the Brak al-Shati airbase between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and a rival Third Force militia loyal to the UN-backed government.


'Don't f**k with me about ISIS': Duterte slams world leaders in anti-ISIS pledge

© Romeo Ranoco / Reuters
Rodrigo Duterte warned that the Philippines could "implode" if the ongoing Islamist insurgency is not quashed immediately. "I am willing to gamble with martial law. And I will put a stop to it," he added.

In a press conference Wednesday Duterte made an emphatic statement to world leaders who have accused the Philippines president of human rights abuses while dealing with the recent Islamist insurrection in the south of the country.

"Don't f**k with me about ISIS," Duterte stated, leaving no doubts as to his plans for the Islamic State-affiliated militias who have besieged the southern city of Marawi.


'We need modern weapons': Duterte meets Putin but cuts trip short over Philippines terrorist crisis

© Maxim Shemetov / Reuters
The Philippines wants modern Russian weapons to combat ISIS-linked terrorists, the country's president Rodrigo Duterte told his Russian counterpart after declaring martial law for 60 days in the South and cutting short his trip to Moscow to deal with the crisis.

The meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Duterte was scheduled for Thursday but was brought forward to Tuesday evening after the Philippines president declared martial law and was forced to return home. The declaration followed a shootout between government troops and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) aligned militants in the southern city of Marawi.

"I came [to Moscow] to secure your support and to confirm our friendship," the Philippines President said as he met Putin.


'Back to normal': Syrian authorities returning fighter jets and military personnel to Sha'irat Airbase attacked by US

© Sputnik/ Mikhail Voskresenskiy
Syrian Air Forces resume flights from Ash Sha'irat air base
The Syrian military have started to move fighter jets and military personnel back to the Sha'irat Airbase in Homs over a month after the United States carried out a strike against it.

"They will be flying out of there again soon," the NBC News channel reported, citing an unnamed defense official.

According to the sources, the Syrian government managed to repair some of the infrastructure of the airfield and already began moving the Su-22s and the MiG-23s back to the airfield.

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Eye 1

Anti-conspiracy bill advances in Japan despite surveillance fears

© Franck Robichon/European Pressphoto Agency
A protest against the anti-conspiracy bill in Tokyo last week. Critics say the legislation could erode privacy and free speech.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan won a crucial vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday on an anti-conspiracy bill that he said was needed to fight terrorism but that critics feared could give the authorities broad surveillance powers over citizens.

With protesters gathered outside the country's lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, Mr. Abe's party and its allies approved a bill that would make it a crime to conspire with others to commit terrorism and a raft of other crimes.

Speaking before the vote, Hiroshi Hiraguchi, a member of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, expressed condolences for the victims of a suicide bombing that killed 22 people at a concert in Britain on Monday. He said that the bill was needed to help Japan fulfill "the grave responsibility" of hosting the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Mr. Abe's party called for the vote even as a United Nations expert on human rights accused the government of rushing the measure without sufficient debate on appropriate safeguards for privacy and free speech.

Snakes in Suits

Macron prepares his assault on the French working-class

© Inconnu
Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron is preparing a historic assault on jobs, wages and labor legislation, to be rammed through by presidential decree in the face of overwhelming public opposition.

Details of Macron's plans emerged Monday in the run-up to his meetings Tuesday with trade union and business representatives at the Elysée Palace.

After next month's legislative elections, Macron will demand an enabling act from parliament authorizing the president to decree changes in French labor law. "The reform of the Labor Code has been well planned," incoming Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told the Journal du Dimanche. "We will now discuss it to enrich it and explain it. This means discussions with the trade unions, which are indispensable, and a parliamentary discussion which will take place during the vote on the enabling act that will allow the government to impose decrees in a context defined by the parliament."

Philippe said that he and Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud would work closely with the trade unions and meet bilaterally with each of the major union confederations. "But once the discussion has taken place," he added, "we will have to act fast. We cannot wait two years to finish the job. Emmanuel Macron has heard the anger of the French people. He also knows how urgent it is to transform the country."

Comment: France's new president is a creation of the globalist financial elite


Britain has a real choice on June 8 and the Establishment is terrified

For the first time in a quarter of a century, the British electorate has an opportunity to make a clean break with the banker-friendly neoliberal policies which have dominated politics since the era of Margaret Thatcher and which have led to a major redistribution of wealth away from the majority to the super-rich.

Well, we can't say we haven't got a choice.

Labour's manifesto, while still being nowhere as left-wing as the ones the pipe-puffing Harold Wilson won two elections on in 1974, nevertheless returns the party emphatically to the territory it occupied before the grinning faux-progressive Tony Blair came along in the mid-90s and turned Labour into a more socially liberal version of the Tories. There's pledges to renationalize Britain's railways — easily the most expensive in Europe — set up a publicly owned energy supplier and take water in England back into public ownership.

The rich will pay more tax, zero hours contracts will be outlawed and tuition fees will be scrapped. If it's an exaggeration to call the manifesto socialist, then its certainly social democratic and offers hope of a better future for millions of ordinary Britons who have seen their living standards fall dramatically in recent years. By contrast the Tories have lurched still further to the hard right and their elite-friendly agenda could not be clearer.

Comment: Political Timing of Manchester Terror Attack is Suspicious