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Tue, 27 Jun 2017
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Snakes in Suits

Aleksey Navalny stages illegal rally, gets arrested in Moscow

© Evgenya Novozhenina / Sputnik
Lawyer and politician Alexei Navalny
Failing to attract attention to his legal rally, he decided to stage an illegal one.

Aleksey Navalny is a generally unpopular political agitator in Russia whose ambitions to achieve a position of power far outweigh any personal credibility let alone realistic plans for government.

One of the many reasons he remains deeply unpopular in Russia is because he has tried to import the most vile style of European far-right nationalism to a country that has a much broader and deeper patriotic definition of nation than the kinds of ethno-nationalism that have plagued Europe for centuries.

Comment: RT reports more from the Moscow Prosecutor's Office:
Moscow Prosecutor's Office, in a separate statement issued on Monday night, confirmed that it had warned Navalny against breaking the law and urging people to participate in an illegal march.

"We are warning that any attempts to hold an unsanctioned event Tverskaya Street in Moscow will be a direct violation of the law," the statement read.

"Law enforcement agencies will be compelled to take all necessary measures to prevent provocations, riots, or any actions violating public security, creating conditions threatening the lives and health of citizens."

The anti-corruption activist claimed they had to cancel the rally due to the failure to find suitable stage and sound technicians. So instead of holding a substandard demonstration, Navalny covertly urged his supporters to hijack the national holiday festivities in central Moscow.

Quenelle - Golden

Ignore the fake news: It wasn't 'just the youth' who voted for Corbyn

© Peter Nicholls / Reuters
Claims that Jeremy Corbyn owes his electoral success exclusively to young people on the turnout and voting figures cannot be true. His support is broad based, which puts him in a strong position to become Prime Minister when the next election happens.

One particular claim which is being almost universally made about the British election is that Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party supposedly owes its unexpectedly strong result to a tidal wave of support from young voters who supposedly put aside their usual apathy and voted for Labour and Corbyn in overwhelming numbers.

There has not yet been a proper breakdown of the voting in the election. However I have to say that based on the evidence we currently have this looks to me most unlikely to be true.

Comment: Further reading:


Puerto Ricans vote 'Yes' to join the US amid record low referendum turnout

© Alvin Baez / Reuters
With a record low turnout of 23 percent, Puerto Ricans have voted to join the US as the Union's 51 State. The US Congress will now have to decide whether it wants to expand the nation's borders and accept the poverty stricken Caribbean island into the Union.

Some 97.18 percent of the people who voted in Sunday's non-binding referendum said they want to become part of the United States, the State Elections Commission (CEE) commission announced.

Only 1.5 percent of voters said they would choose independence, while 1.32 percent said they want to remain a self-governing territory within the US commonwealth.


Poll suggests nearly half of Americans 'trust Comey over Trump'

© Reuters
A poll conducted following former FBI chief James Comey's testimony has shown that Americans find the fired intelligence official more trustworthy than President Trump. The latter, however, has slammed some of Comey's actions as being "cowardly."

Forty-six percent of US citizens aged 18 and over think Comey is "more honest and trustworthy" than US President Donald Trump, who is trusted by 26 percent of the respondents, a recent Huffington Post/YouGov poll has shown. Almost a third of the 1,000 people interviewed said they are "not sure" which of the two they trust more.

Trump's favorability rating also appeared not to be too favorable for him, as 43 percent of those asked find the president "very unfavorable." In regard to Comey, respondents appeared to be less decisive, with 12 percent having a "very favorable" opinion of the former official, and 16 percent - "very unfavorable." Thirty-two percent said they were not sure how to reply.

Comment: The 'Fake News Media' has gone into overdrive pushing a version of reality in which Trump is an alleged racist, Russian puppet, new Hitler, tyrant etc and everyone else is his alleged 'victim'. The reality is, as Coleen Rowley writes for Counterpunch:
Neither Comey nor Mueller — who are reported to be "joined at the hip" — deserve their current lionization among politicians and mainstream media. Instead of Jimmy Stewart-like "G-men" with reputations for principled integrity, the two close confidants and collaborators merely proved themselves, along with former CIA Director George "Slam Dunk" Tenet, reliably politicized sycophants, enmeshing themselves in a series of wrongful abuses of power along with official incompetence.
As usual, the victims of these political games are the American people, pitted against one another by an establishment that consists almost entirely of 'politicized sycophants' who know no bounds when it comes to opportunism, ruthlessness and deceit.


2017 has seen more than 1,770 migrants perish crossing the Mediterranean

© Yannis Behrakis / Reuters
More than 2,500 migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast in the past 48 hours while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in "flimsy dinghies," the UN refugee agency has said. At least eight people have died and dozens are feared missing.

"Eight corpses have been recovered so far and at least 52 people are feared missing from two incidents involving large numbers of people on flimsy dinghies off the coast of Libya on Saturday," Director of Europe Bureau of the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) Vincent Cochetel said in a statement, citing the Italian Coast Guard.

In all, over a dozen search-and-rescue operations, coordinated by the Italian Coast Guard, were launched over the weekend. The rescued migrants are expected to be disembarked in Italy over the next few days, the agency added.


ISIS will remain a danger even after the liberation of Syria and Iraq

Despite the ongoing military operations in Syria and Iraq, which daily engage vast territories under the control of the "Islamic State" (ISIS), the latter has been able to hit distant targets in the Islamic world, in Europe and in Asia. Despite the loss of territories, the world is facing - and will continue so to do - an ideology adopted and incarnated by an organization that has succeeded in attracting young men and women, provoked their emotion, brought out their hate and anger, and shaken the stability of established geographical boundaries. Many are the reasons, but the world does not want to pay attention to particular ones because they make it an accomplice in the spread of this ideology and its consequences, capable of hitting all societies regardless of any differences.

According to unofficial estimates, 40,000 to 50,000 men and women joined the ranks of ISIS, including some 5,000 to 6,000 from Europe, more than 10,000 from Russia, the Caucasus and thousands from the Maghreb, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the United States and even the Maldives. This is in addition to the tens of thousands of fighters who have joined it from Iraq (the cradle country) and Syria (the country of geographical extension). The organization reached around 100,000 fighters, being able to control vast territories in both Syria and Iraq, and has sustained dozens of battles on several fronts for four consecutive years of continuous war.

Comment: As long as there are Western intelligence agencies and State-funded organizations in the Middle East who are interested in paying and providing all manner of support to ISIS and other groups, we will still have ISIS. Yes, there are societal reasons for the head-choppers to have come into being, but one wonders what other lifestyle or pursuits many in ISIS would have pursued if they weren't given the "reasons" and the means "to do something".


Cop charged with misconduct for severely beating teenaged joy-rider

Officer Joseph Reiman, 31, with the Carteret police department, has been arrested and charged with assault after a 16-year-old teenager testified the officer beat him mercilessly, even after he'd surrendered and submitted to the officer.

Prosecutors decided to charge the officer after the dashcam footage matched the unnamed teenager's allegations. His name and age are being withheld as he's a minor, but the boy agreed to be photographed.

Inside the hospital, photos were taken. They reveal he had swollen lips, eyes swollen shut, and multiple cuts and bruises. His eyes, days later, reveal he'd gotten black eyes as well.

He says Reiman hit him in the face at least a dozen times. The officer, whose brother Daniel Reiman is the Burrough's mayor, has also been charged with three counts of official misconduct, for failing to activate his body camera and for failing to use "reasonable discretion or restraint" in the amount of force used on the teenager.


Congo: Over 900 inmates escape from prison after militant attack

© Kenny Katombe / Reuters
At least 930 prisoners escaped and 11 people were killed during a militant attack on a prison in the central Democratic Republic of Congo.

The attack occurred on Sunday in Congo's northeastern town of Beni, according to the provincial governor Julien Paluku. Out of 966 prisoners, only 36 remained in jail after the attack, which claimed the lives of 11 people, including eight prison guards, the governor said.

The attackers used heavy weapons in order to overrun the prison security. The assailants have not yet been identified, as there are multiple militant groups reportedly operating in the area.


No justice: Cop paid $140k to return to work after murdering man on video for illegally camping

© The Free Thought Project
The same police officer who was charged with murder in the execution-style shooting that killed a homeless man in 2014, for illegal camping, has returned to work with a settlement agreement that includes over $140,00.

Dominique Perez went from facing second-degree murder charges, to returning to the Albuquerque Police Department with an extra $143,159 in back wages and benefits, all thanks to a mistrial, and a severely broken justice system.

The Albuquerque Police Department released a statement, announcing Perez's return, and noting that while he will not be allowed to be on patrol or respond to calls for one year, he will be on an administrative assignment with the department's tactical unit.


First images of fake suicide belts worn by London attackers

© news.met.police.uk
London police have released the first pictures of the fake suicide belts worn by the London Bridge attackers. The belts, all attached to the men at the moment when they were shot dead, looked genuine, police said.

All three of the suspects wore the leather belts, the London Metropolitan police said in a statement released on Sunday.

Each belt had three disposable water bottles "covered in masking tape attached to the belt," the statement added.
"I have not seen this tactic in the UK before where terrorists create maximum fear by strapping fake explosives to themselves," Commander Dean Haydon, who is leading the investigation said, adding that "anyone who saw them on the night would have thought they were genuine."