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Fri, 27 Apr 2018
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Russia dispatches more Pantsir-S air defense systems to Syria

Pantsir-S systems
© IMAGE SOURCE: Ilya Pitalev/RIA
Pantsir-S systems
Russia delivered a new batch of Pantsir-S air defense systems to the Syrian port Tartus last week, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on April 26 citing a military diplomatic source.

Kommersant's source did not provide details on the destination of the delivered air defense systems. However, according to some Syrian pro-government sources, the systems will be delivered to the Syrian Air Defense Forces (SADF).

The Pantsir-S is a surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system. It is already in service with the Syrian military. On April 16, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed that the SADF successfully used Pantsir-S systems when it was repelling the April 14 missile strike on the country by the US-led bloc. According to the statement, the Pantsir-S systems fired 25 missiles hitting 23 targets.

Comment: See also: Russian MoD: Pantsir-S1 repelling US strikes on Syria showed 100% effectiveness


MSNBC host Joy Reid stripped of LGBTQ award after more homophobic posts uncovered

Joy Reid

MSNBC host Joy Reid is stripped of an award from a prominent LGBTQ group following the discovery of more anti-gay blog posts.
Months after homophobic posts emerged from MSNBC host Joy Reid's former blog, new details prompted LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG National to rescind an award it had given the journalist.

Reid admitted in December to writing blog posts attacking Charlie Crist roughly a decade ago, accusing him of being a closeted homosexual. She has since apologized to the public and to Crist directly.

But last week, additional excerpts were reportedly unearthed from the same now-defunct blog written by Reid, saying "most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing," and that "gay men tend to be attracted to very young, post-pubescent types."

In response, PFLAG's president, Jean Hodges, issued the following statement: "PFLAG National - the nation's first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, their families, and allies - has rescinded its Straight for Equality in Media award to political analyst Joy Reid."

Comment: If all else fails, blame hackers - it's surprising that she didn't name Russia: MSNBC Russiagater host says Wayback Machine 'hackers' made her blog look homophobic


'You've lost the plot': Nigel Farage blasts American universities after seeing tweet about 'cry closet' for students to sit when feeling overwhelmed

crying woman
© Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry/OJO Images Ltd/ Getty
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has accused America's higher education of "losing the plot" after one of its universities set up a "cry closet" for students to lock themselves in when feeling anxious.

The closet - which has gone viral on social media - was introduced by the University of Utah after being designed by student artist Nemo Miller. It is supposed to be a safe place for students to "take a break" when they are feeling overwhelmed during the exam session.

A sign pinned to the door of the closet reads: "A safe place for stressed out students otherwise known as the Cry Closet. This space is meant to provide a place for students studying for finals to take a short 10-minute break."

Comment: Keep in mind, on the bottom of the poster description the 'cry closet' is listed as an art project. So it might not be 100% serious, but it's surely not a far cry from 'safe spaces' and all the other libtard nonsense that exists at Western universities to protect the fragile feelings of college students.

Bad Guys

Dangerous potentials: Syrian story far from over

US missile strikes on Syria
Recent events in Syria make it clear that the withdrawal the anti-war Right desires isn't right around the corner.

While doomsday predictions have proven to be far too pessimistic, the recent strikes in Syria show that a US withdrawal isn't happening any time soon. The strikes were limited in scope and effectiveness, meaning that the immediate ramifications are only minor. However, lobbing over 100 missiles at a sovereign nation is not something to merely shrug off -- the strike represents a marked increase of Western involvement in a volatile regional conflict that has the potential to spiral out of control.

The war-mongering elite have shown that they are completely brazen and have no problem pushing for war again and again regardless of a reasonable casus belli. Every time Trump gives in to them, they grow bolder. A dangerous precedent has been set. Anti-Assad actors (Islamists and Israelis) know that unconfirmed stories of chemical weapons attacks will get Trump to launch missiles on their behalf. At a time when the US should be deescalating and withdrawing from the Middle East, it is reaffirming its status as the protector of Israel and Sunni Islamists.

Mr. Potato

Could "Russiagate" get any sillier? Apparently, yes

© unknown
April 20 is cannabis culture's high holiday, and the Democratic National Committee celebrated it with fervor this year: Blaze up, get silly, file a bizarre lawsuit accusing the Russian government, Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, and transparency activist group WikiLeaks of conspiring to steal an election.

The suit confirms that after more than a year, special counsel Robert Mueller still hasn't amassed the evidence required for a successful criminal prosecution, requiring proof "beyond a reasonable doubt." A civil suit lowers that bar to "a preponderance of the evidence."

But even that's a long shot. The only credible evidence produced so far implicates only the Trump campaign, not the other two defendants, and only to the same extent that it likewise implicates the Clinton campaign.

Comment: Suing Trump just puts him in his element. What a show it will be!

Trump team responds to ridiculous DNC lawsuit - Warns of "aggressive discovery phase - everything will be on the table"


Irony: NY Times forced to issue lengthy correction in article about fake news on Facebook

new york times building
© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
The New York Times was forced to issue a lengthy correction after it published a false statement in an article about "fake news" on Facebook.

In an article about Facebook's Head of News Partnerships Campbell Brown, NYT journalist Nellie Bowles originally wrote that news about the Palestinian Authority paying rewards to the families of jihadists who die fighting Israel was "an example of the sort of far-right conspiracy theories that have plagued Facebook."

The Palestinian Authority does in fact pay a stipend to the families of dead or captured jihadists, under the Palestinian Authority Martyrs Fund. The fund was introduced by Fatah in 1964, and is now administered by the Palestinian Liberation Organization.

"This financial reward clearly demonstrates the PA's institutional commitment to sponsoring terror against Israel," read a study from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.


Obnoxious ex-Port Authority commissioner and Clinton minion threatens cop in attempt to get her kid out of a traffic stop

traffic stop port authority rank
© Tenafly Police Departmant
A New Jersey police department has released a video showing a former commissioner of a powerful government agency trying to use her position to threaten officers who pulled over her daughter’s friend during a traffic stop on Easter weekend
'You may shut the f*** up': Shocking video shows a Port Authority commissioner and ex-Clinton aide flashing her golden badge during a traffic stop and telling cops they had 'ruined her holiday' by pulling her daughter's friend over

A New Jersey police department has released a video showing a former Port Authority commissioner and ex-Hillary Clinton aide trying to use her position to threaten officers who pulled over her daughter's friend during a traffic stop on Easter weekend.

The remarkable video released by the Tenafly Police Department shows Caren Z. Turner, 60, a Democratic Party lobbyist, flash her badge and boast of her connections to the chief of police and the local mayor while berating two officers who pulled over a car whose Nevada registration had expired.

She also tells officers: 'You may shut the f*** up'.

The car was driven by a male friend of her daughter, who was a passenger in the back seat.

Comment: Politico follows up:
Until her resignation, Turner had chaired the board's ethics committee. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed her to the role last year. A public relations professional, her appointment was championed by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat.

When police pulled over the Toyota Corolla with Nevada plates that Saturday afternoon, they discovered the car's registration was out of date and the driver didn't have a current insurance card. The car would have to be impounded, Savitsky informed the driver, who handled the news calmly.

Then Turner arrived.

"She immediately walked up to PO Casper and I and began attempting to hand me a business card identifying herself as 'the commissioner of the Port Authority,'" wrote Savitsky, referring to his fellow officer. "She also exhibited a full-size gold badge in a badge wallet that had the same printed on it. She then began a line of questioning in a demanding nature."

In the video, she can be heard identifying herself as "the commissioner of the Port Authority." She said that meant that she was "heading up over 4,000 police officers" apparently referring to the Port Authority Police Department. According to the Port Authority, the agency employs about 1,600 police officers.

She demanded that the police explain to her the reason for the police stop and took affront when the police told her they were under no obligation to, since the four people in the car were adults.

An attorney for Turner didn't immediately provide additional comment.

"The video speaks for itself," Port Authority spokesman Ben Branham said. "The conduct was indefensible. The board takes its recently adopted Code of Ethics for commissioners extremely seriously and was preparing to form a special committee to review the findings of the inspector general investigation and take action at this Thursday's board meeting. Commissioner Turner's resignation was appropriate given her outrageous conduct."

Red Flag

Fmr NBC correspondent Ashleigh Banfield was 'banished' from media for telling press corps to cover Iraq War objectively

ashleigh banfield

Ashleigh Banfield
CourtTV's Ashleigh Banfield talks with mediabistro.com for our So What Do You Do? series. Part of it is excerpted below. TVNewser contributor Diane Clehane asked the former MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent about her undoing at the network:
In the months following 9/11 you were being touted as one of NBC's rising stars. The New York Post even mentioned you as possible successor to Katie Couric. Then, just as quickly, it seemed as if you dropped out of sight. What happened?

The Iraq war started to develop and I gave a very controversial speech at Kansas State [University] about the press's responsibility in covering international affairs. I sent out a cautionary note to all my colleagues covering this conflict and chastened the press corps not to wave the banner and cover warfare in a jingoistic way. It didn't sit well with my employers at NBC - who are no longer there. I think they overacted. I was banished. I sat in the outfield for a long time.

When did you officially leave NBC?

I left in 2004 - a few months after my contract expired. I was very much in the warehouse while my contract petered out.

Looking back on that time, what were the biggest lessons you learned?

On one hand you could say, "Keep your mouth shut while our nation is embroiled in war," but I don't think that was a responsible way to behave. If I have been fortunate enough to have risen to level in this business where people would actually listen to me, then I think I have a duty to convey all truths that I encounter. I felt it was my duty at the time. I was a war correspondent who had seen that the hearts and minds of the Arab world were not that easy to win.


From Luxembourg to Seattle: How Amazon's tax avoidance schemes grew an empire

The retail giant's critics say contrived financial arrangements are at the heart of its success

Amazon Luxenbourg HQ
© Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Amazon’s European headquarters in Luxembourg.
When Jeff Bezos was looking for a home for his fledgling online bookseller, amazon.com, in 1994, his first choice is said to have been a Native American reservation. The location would have presented generous tax breaks if the state of California had not intervened and halted the plan.

Next stop was Seattle, which Bezos said he selected because Washington state had - among other things - a smallish population. At the time only those retailers with a physical presence in a state paid sales taxes, so a home state with a small population meant the lowest possible sales tax burden. Sales made into other more populous states would not be taxed.

It was a strategic decision that would characterise Amazon's attitude towards paying tax over the next two decades. Its critics allege that it owes its position as the world's largest online retailer in part to its use of contrived and artificial tax arrangements that - while legal - endow it with competitive advantages no bricks-and-mortar retailer could ever hope to enjoy.

The company deployed the strategy in Luxembourg, the tiny European country that became, in the words of the Tax Justice Network, "the Death Star of financial secrecy" in a national bid to attract capital through tax competition.

Comment: See also:

Eye 2

Fmr boss of disgraced physician Larry Nassar faces charges he paid female students for nude medical exams

William Strampel
© Rebecca Cook / Reuters
William Strampel (L) is arraigned by video for 'Criminal Sexual Conduct' involving medical students, by Judge Richard D. Ball, in 54B District Court in East Lansing, Michigan, U.S., March 27, 2018
The former boss of disgraced USA gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar faces new allegations of sexual misconduct, after two women claimed they were paid money for modeling nude at medical practice exams.

Dr. William Strampel, who served as dean of Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine between 2002 and 2017, was arrested in March on allegations of molesting and harassing female students.

Five women had already accused Strampel of sexual assault, and two more came forward this week, claiming to have been sexually harassed by the ex-dean while serving as models during nude medical exams. The new allegations were indicated in a court motion filed Wednesday by Attorney General Bill Schuette's office.

Strampel "acted with a sexual intent as a motive when he demeaned, degraded, propositioned and assaulted the victims," the document states.