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Fri, 26 May 2017
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Social media reveals chaos in Philippines Marawi as ISIS battle government forces

© Romeo Ranoco / Reuters
A government troop gestures to people evacuating Marawi city, southern Philippines May 24, 2017.
Photographs and videos shared across social media platforms are revealing utter chaos in the Philippines city of Marawi as government forces and militants linked to Islamic State battle for control.

Marawi, which is colloquially known as the 'Islamic city' is the focal point of a dramatic outbreak of violence on the archipelago's southern island of Mindanao.

Heavily armed insurgents laid siege to a prison, seized hostages in a church and paraded through the streets in Marawi in a show of force.

The crisis spurred Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to invoke martial law on the entire island of Mindanao and the city was subject to a blackout Tuesday as government forces engaged with militants and snipers patrolled the streets.

Comment: After a year or two of the Philippines President dissing the West and turning towards Russia and China, "ISIS" militants launch a large scale attack on government forces....how very coincidental.


TV

Fox's Tucker Carlson makes ratings hay ridiculing #Russiagate hysteria

© Fox News
Carlson pummeling a hapless Russiagate truther last night
Russia truthers get daily shellackings on Fox's top shows

Much of the alternative media is in chicken-little mode, moaning and groaning about the special counsel development - with ominous talk of a 'soft-coup' underway, worries of impeachment, etc.

Funny, you wouldn't get that impression watching Fox's most important news slot, Tucker Carlson's 8pm news and political analysis show.

It has almost become a daily ritual, where he laughs at and ridicules the baloney coming from the 'Russiagate' conspiracy theory.

Carlson's is the biggest and most influential news show in America. His colleague Sean Hannity, who comes on at 10, is the second, and Hannity is no less scathing about the Russiagate story.

Attention

Troops deployed, ministries evacuated after violent protesters smash Brazil govt buildings

© Paulo Whitaker / Reuters
Riot police officers clash with demonstrators in Brasilia, Brazil, May 24, 2017
Brazilian government ministries have been evacuated amid massive protests in the country's capital, Brasilia. Demonstrators reportedly attacked and even "plundered" some ministerial buildings. Police responded with tear gas and stun grenades.

Some 35,000 people have taken to the streets of Brasilia to express their discontent with the current Brazilian leadership and to demand early presidential elections, Globo reported.

Protesters are marching to the presidential palace to demand an end to austerity reforms, AFP reports, with chants of "Out with Temer!" filling the air.

Police stopped their advance by using tear gas but the protesters retaliated by throwing stones at the officers.

Pirates

Manchester mosque set on fire - possible 'retaliation' for concert bombing

© Tell Mama UK / Facebook
The door of an Islamic center in Oldham, outside Manchester, was set alight in an arson attack hours following the suicide bombing at the nearby Manchester Arena in which 22 people died.

"Last night at around 2am somebody has started a fire through our letterbox. The door is completely burnt down. Very soon after a member of the public was walking past and called the fire brigade. Thankfully nobody was inside at the time," Mohammad Saddiq, the imam of the Qasmia Zahidia Islamic Centre told the Daily Mail. "We have no idea why somebody would target us. We are a religious and educational center. I've been involved her for three years and never dealt with anything like this."

Police are currently examining CCTV footage from the arson site but Saddiq believes the attack may have been a response to what the government believes was a terrorist act perpetrated by UK-born Muslim man Salman Abedi, 22.


Comment: The psychos responsible for UK foreign policy must be delighted. The psychos in ISIS must be delighted. What people don't seem to realize is that ISIS and other similar groups thrive on this kind of violent, polarizing response (assuming it is what it appears to be). And they deliberately try to provoke it. People also don't seem to realize that western "deep states" also thrive on it, using heightened public outcry to justify foreign interventions. The solution? Don't fall for either side. A united front of Muslims and non-Muslims against jihadism and western "democracy-promotion" is possible. Both sides just need to get over themselves in order to see it.

See also: Crowds flee Ariana Grande concert in Manchester following reports of explosion; at least 22 killed and 59 injured - UPDATES


Clipboard

Duma approves unified blacklist of persons who commit or are connected with corruption crimes

© Valeriy Melnikov / Sputnik
Awaiting trial, former Governor of Kirov Region, Nikita Belykh seen in custody at Moscow's Basmanny Court for accepting a bribe.
Russia's Lower House has approved a bill that would create a nationwide registry containing the names of civil servants who were fired due to "loss of trust" connected with corruption. The bill passed its second reading without discussion, with 415 of 450 Lower House MPs supporting it and no one voting against it, RBC's news site reported on Wednesday.

The bill was prepared and drafted by the Russian Labor Ministry in early 2015 and received approval from the government in August of 2016. The current version would require Russian state agencies to create and maintain a nationwide list of officials fired over corruption scandals or crimes, presumably making it more difficult for them to get a new job. The new rules would apply to civil servants at the federal and municipal levels, military personnel, law enforcement agents, state corporations, and other state organizations, such as the Central Bank.

The main purpose of the list is to prevent anyone fired for corruption from ever taking an official post or place in a government agency or corporation.

Comment: Dishonor and Disincentives: A universal blacklist approach to decreasing 'repeat' and 'criminally upgrading' offenders.


USA

Poll finds two-thirds of American voters believe mainstream media publishes fake news

© Sputnik/ Vladimir Astapkovich
A majority of US voters across the ideological spectrum believe the traditional news media reports a lot of fake news, according to a poll by Harvard University and Harris Polling on Wednesday.

"Sixty-five percent of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media," a news report explaining the poll revealed. "That number includes 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats."

The Hill, which had exclusive access to the poll, reported that many conservatives believe media outlets have loosened reporting standards on President Donald Trump to include material from anonymous sources that would not be reported about a more traditional Republican or Democratic presidential administration,

Bomb

Police confirmed two people dead, after suspected suicide bombings at Jakarta bus station

© Darren Whiteside / Reuters
Police guard at scene of an explosion in Jakarta, Indonesia May 24, 2017
Fatalities and multiple injuries have been reported following what Indonesian police say are two apparent suicide blasts at Kampung Melayu bus station in eastern Jakarta.

Police say that two people have been confirmed dead, including one suicide bomber, Reuters reports.

A senior official said that the attackers specifically targeted a police checkpoint located outside the station terminal, which mostly serves as a hub for vans and small buses.

Elshinta Radio reported that the explosions occurred five to 10 minutes apart in a crowded area, causing extensive damage. Photos from the scene appear to show dismembered limbs and a severed head.

Red Flag

Programmer denied prize money in UK military competition due to his Russian citizenship

© Vladimir Iglovikov / Facebook
Russian programmer Vladimir Iglovikov
A Russian programmer says, despite his success in a challenge held by the British military, he feels discouraged because the rules were changed to exclude people from countries deemed unworthy by Transparency International.

The Data Science Challenge is a regular competition held by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), an agency within the British Ministry of Defence, and sponsored by the UK's intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6. The aim of the challenge is to foster expertise in processing data for the military and security fields.

So far two rounds of the competition have been held, and Vladimir Iglovikov took part in both. He says he and his colleague took third place in the first challenge and received their prize money in full.

TIglovikov came second in the second challenge, but this time the rules were different. They said monetary prizes would not be paid to bank accounts or individuals living in country's with a score of 37 or less on Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014.

Dominoes

Venezuelans are the top nationality seeking asylum status in the US

© Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters
Opposition supporters clash with riot security forces in Caracas, Venezuela, May 18, 2017

Comment: Readers should keep in mind that the main reason that so many Venezuelans are seeking a new country to live in is because of the US Deep State's destabilization efforts in Venezuela and throughout Latin America. If the CIA could leave foreign governments and countries alone, the people living in those countries would have much better lives.


For the first time, the number of Venezuelans requesting asylum status in the US have surpassed applicants from China, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. Venezuelan applications are expected to continue rising after a 160 percent increase in just one year.

In fiscal year 2016, Venezuelans seeking asylum in the US shot up 160 percent compared to the previous year, jumping from 5,605 to more than 14,700, CNN reported Tuesday.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services data reportedly shows citizens of Venezuela will likely continue driving up the record number of asylum applications.

Nearly 50 people have died during three months of protests against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro amid an economic crisis and subsequent turmoil.

The Venezuelan government blames foreign influence and international media coverage for fanning the flames of crisis in the country.

Bulb

Baltimore police create online submission form for victims of sexual abuse after revelations from Netflix documentary 'The Keepers'

© Charles Platiau / Reuters
Baltimore police have created an online submission form for people to report sex offenses related to a Netflix documentary series "The Keepers" which deals with widespread sexual abuse at Archbishop Keough High School in the 1960s and 70s.

The seven-part documentary series, which premiered on Friday, also covers the unsolved murder of one of the teachers, Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik.

On Tuesday, Baltimore Police made the online submission form available for those who would want to report any instances of sexual abuse related to the series.

"We have been contacted by victims from the past who want to report the sex offenses that occurred to them. The murder investigation related to this Netflix series was handled by the Baltimore County Police Department," the website reads.