Erdogan: "We will take no step back, we spoke about this with our Russian friends; we have an agreement."
Russian friends? It's so quiet in the White House that you can almost hear the balance of power shifting.
"The BSF has fired over 9,000 rounds of mortar shells across the International Border (IB) in Jammu in the past four days as part of 'pinpointed' retaliatory action against Pakistan's unprovoked firing, destroying firing positions and fuel dumps of the Pakistan Rangers at multiple places, officials said on Monday"
"Between Dec. 9, 2005 and Dec. 9, 2013, Sears Canada paid $3.4 billion in dividends to shareholders, including $2 billion in 2005, $377 million in 2010, $102 million in 2012 and $509 million in 2013."
"Turkish troops, accompanied by pro-Turkey rebels from the Free Syrian Army, have already advanced some 5km (3 miles) into Syrian territory, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. No further details about the 30km security zone were given."
Syria: The perfect destination for a family vacation.
"Gunmen raided the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul killing at least 18 people during a 12-hour standoff with security forces that ended Sunday, Afghan authorities said"
"The group based in the Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan, and known for its high-profile attacks on Western targets in Afghanistan"
"The move is expected to affect Germany's weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, which totalled almost 450 million euro ($550m) in the third fiscal quarter of 2017, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle."
"Economists say that as many as 40 percent of the loans carried on the books of Iranian banks may be delinquent... In December, a lawmaker, Mahmoud Sadeghi, released a document listing the Top 20 debtors who had failed to meet payment deadlines for Sarmayeh Bank, which is co-owned by a pension fund for teachers. The loans totaled $1.9 billion, and almost all appeared to be held by well-known insiders."
"The NSA told U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White in a filing on Thursday night and another little-noticed submission last year that the agency did not preserve the content of internet communications intercepted between 2001 and 2007 under the program Bush ordered. To make matters worse, backup tapes that might have mitigated the failure were erased in 2009, 2011 and 2016, the NSA said."
"In Cincinnati, Black Lives Matter activists said on their website, the march was not welcoming to minorities and was 'a poorly veiled campaign to elect more Democrats to 'resist Trump.''"
"On Saturday, the Turkish army announced that a new air and ground campaign, dubbed 'Olive Branch', had launched at 14:00 GMT, targeting the Kurdish YPG (Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units) and Islamic State (IS) group jihadists... Pro-Turkey rebels, known as the Free Syrian Army, also began moving into the area"
"The administration officials said human rights and regional security concerns would remain part of the formula for arms sales decisions. But they said such reviews would now afford greater weight than before to whether a deal would be good for the U.S. economy and strengthen America's defense industrial base, in which case red tape would be cut accordingly"
"Today, I signed into law S. 139, 'FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017' (the 'Act'). The Act reauthorizes Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act until December 31, 2023"
After all the leaks, establishment lawmakers like Dianne Feinstein didn't feel threatened enough to make significant changes. Instead they bowed down to the Deep State. Voters must remember this betrayal come election day.
"The authorities in Sudan arrested seven journalists as they covered economic protests there this week, including reporters for Reuters and Agence France-Presse"
In Turkey there are roughly 150 journalists in jail.
"In an analysis where the effects of the recent El Niño and La Niña patterns were statistically removed from the record, 2017 would have been the warmest year on record."
"The bombardment from Turkish territory began at around midnight and continued into Friday morning"
"The 'border security force' (BSF) moniker helps to conceal the fact that Washington has armed and trained a mainly-Kurdish proxy-army to pursue Washington's strategic objectives in Syria"
"As early as Operation Iraqi Freedom, analysts were using speaker recognition to verify that audio which 'appeared to be of deposed leader Saddam Hussein was indeed his, contrary to prevalent beliefs.'"
"Unauthorized disclosure that includes not simply disclosure but also the 'confirmation' or 'acknowledgement' of classified information to an unauthorized person... the DNI may prohibit the IC Inspector General from investigating a leak"
NATSEC is the ultimate apologia, it can excuse any legal or ethical violation from scrutiny.
"The station is part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, a nonprofit broadcasting organization funded by Congress and based in Prague, Czech Republic. Started during the Cold War as an alternative to pro-Soviet propaganda [CIA spin-off]"
Power on display as establishment Democrats bow down. This legislation ripped through congress. A telltale sign that American elites want to entrench their power structures.
"A double suicide bombing at a market in Nigeria's northern city of Maiduguri killed at least 12 people and wounded 48 others on Wednesday"
"Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said any incursion into Afrin would be considered an act of aggression."
"The Assad regime controls about half of Syria’s territory and its population... A total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad... U.S. disengagement from Syria would provide Iran the opportunity to further strengthen its position in Syria"
The "Assad Must Go" refreain continues in the background...
"BP has signed an initial agreement with the Iraqi government to ramp up production from the giant Kirkuk oilfield in Iraqi Kurdistan, which was reclaimed by Baghdad late last year."
Argues for lower yield nukes and nuclear cruise missiles. To convince other nations that our leaders aren't scared to use them (as if that were a problem). Also, hints at cyber ops: "attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure." And Russia's doomsday torpedo is officially confirmed.
Additional commentary here.
Over a dozen Democrats cross the line. YOU FEINSTEIN!
"Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm on Tuesday saying North Korea appeared to have launched a missile and urging people to take shelter, but it managed to correct the error within minutes."
Good thing the North Koreans didn't interpret this as a prextext for a first strike by the United States.
"With little to show for the $823 million appropriated to the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, a temporary organization tasked from 2010 through 2014... only $70 million worth successfully provided the deliverables they were obligated to by contract, roughly 8.5% of the total appropriated amount to the agency"
Damning hundreds of millions to an awful fate.
"Carillion ran into trouble after losing money on big public sector contracts and running up huge debts of around £1.5bn... Its biggest problems were cost overruns on three UK public sector construction projects"
"Monday's attacks were carried out by two suicide bombers, who detonated their belts in a crowd of workers at the Al Tayaran Square in central Baghdad"
"Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to 'strangle' a planned 30,000-strong U.S.-backed force in Syria 'before it’s even born,' as Washington's backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies"
"North Korean leaders could have misread the Hawaiian warning as cover for an attack, much as the Soviets had done in 1983. American officials have been warning for weeks that they might attack North Korea. Though some analysts consider this a likely bluff, officials in Pyongyang have little room for error."
"North Korea is far more vulnerable than the Soviet Union was to a nuclear strike, giving its officers an even narrower window to judge events and even greater incentive to fire first. And, unlike the Soviets, who maintained global watch systems and spy networks, North Korea operates in relative blindness."
Remember, oligarchy is bipartisan.
While Turkey hammers YPG forces in Afrin.
"Pakistan has already limited much of the intelligence it shared with the US over the last two decades."
"Pakistan's intelligence service went 'all-in' against certain terrorists, like Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban, while continuing to support the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqanis, and anti-India jihadis."
"Trump prevailed because his campaign carefully targeted key states with late infusions of big money from private equity, casinos, and other far right contributors, a remarkable wave of donations from small donors, and substantial infusions from the candidate himself"
"Police and hospital officials say the Saturday blast struck a northern Baghdad neighborhood targeting a police checkpoint on a busy street, and that a number of policemen were among the wounded."
"Turkish troops entered Idlib three months ago after an agreement with Russia and Iran for the three countries to try to reduce fighting between pro-Syrian government forces and rebel fighters in the largest remaining insurgent-held part of Syria."
"BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL"
"The sanctions Trump had to waive Friday dealt with Iran's central bank. These penalties largely cut Iran out of the international financial system, until they were suspended by Obama under the nuclear deal. Trump is also waiving other U.S. penalties covered by the agreement, including on Iran’s oil and gas sectors, which were up for renewal next week. Trump will next have to deal with these decisions in mid-May."
"The United Nations panel's report did not say Iran had supplied missiles to the Houthis. But by failing to keep such weapons out of Yemen, the report said, 'the Islamic Republic of Iran is in noncompliance' with Resolution 2216, adopted nearly three years ago after the war between the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government in Yemen had begun."
"If Kim concluded that war were imminent, or that it had already begun, he would have no choice but to launch a devastating retaliatory response in hopes that it raises the stakes of conflict enough to cause the United States to back off"
"If Kim recognizes a limited attack as being limited, then he's less likely to launch nuclear strikes but much more likely to launch a retaliatory campaign of violence at a time and place of his choosing"
"Many of the young technocrats have found themselves in a daily struggle against long-entrenched patronage systems. And they have proved vulnerable in part because Mr. Ghani has been unable to manage the country's elite power brokers [warlords], who have a deep interest in keeping the patronage status quo, and has failed to create a political consensus for the reforms he wants."
"The crown of the world's biggest oil importer now sits firmly atop China after the nation's shipments surpassed the U.S. on an annual basis for the first time ever. What's more, it's also one of the largest buyers of American crude."
"The report is expected to amount to a blacklist of Russia's elite. It was mandated by a law President Donald Trump reluctantly signed in August intended to penalize the Kremlin for its alleged meddling in the 2016 election."
"Frank Olson didn't die because he was an experimental guinea pig who'd experienced a bad trip. He died because of concerns he would divulge information concerning a highly classified CIA interrogation program called Artichoke and concerning the use of biological weapons by the United States in the Korean War."
"So, Mr Hersh, I challenge you to tell us the truth about Frank Olson's murder by the CIA, about germ warfare in Korea and the other dark secrets that led to his elimination by the CIA."
"When the call came in, staffers quickly remotely logged off every computer in the Montreal office, making it practically impossible for the authorities to retrieve the company records they’d obtained a warrant to collect"
"The legislation [S. 139, Rapid DNA Act of 2017], which passed 256-164 and split party lines." (Note, Nancy Pelosi voted in favor)
Business as usual, spy power being flexed from off stage... Leidos Holdings, Booz Allen Hamilton, CSRA, SAIC, and CACI Internationa.
"They were arrested on Dec. 12, almost immediately after being given unidentified documents by members of the police. Before their arrest, the journalists had been investigating the existence of a mass grave in Rakhine State"
"A total of 21 people were arrested on suspicion of being in the U.S. illegally as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents served inspection notices at convenience stores in 17 states and the District of Columbia."
"Some 100,000 Syrian civilians have been displaced by a government offensive on the country's largest remaining rebel stronghold, the United Nations says"
"A provincial health official says an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition has struck a market in northern Yemen, killing 11 people, including an 11-year-old boy."
"The latest Israeli air strikes and the angry Syrian response show that both sides are muscle-flexing. But, while the Israelis have an interest in preventing Hezbollah acquiring a substantial arsenal of long-range missiles that could reach far into Israel, neither side has an interest in going to war"
The cardinal sin of any country is failure to submit to U.S. foreign policy.
"The firm, Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China."
"Robert E. Murray, the head of Murray Energy, presented President Trump with a wish list of environmental rollbacks just weeks after the inauguration. Nearly a year later, the White House and federal agencies have completed or are on track to fulfill most of the 14 detailed requests."
Hey, we know who calls the shots around here...
"A federal court on Tuesday ruled that Republicans in North Carolina unconstitutionally gerrymandered congressional districts in 2016 to ensure Republican 'domination of the state's congressional delegation.'"
"A U.S. spy satellite that was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX rocket on Sunday failed to reach orbit and is assumed to be a total loss, two U.S. officials briefed on the mission said on Monday"
"These dismal trends persisted throughout 2017, as the Afghan opium harvest nearly doubled to 9,000 tonnes, well above the previous peak of 8,200 tonnes in 2007"
"When, however, a country's most significant commodity is illegal, then political loyalties naturally shift to the economic networks that move that product safely and secretly from fields to foreign markets, providing protection, finance and employment at every stage."
"An analysis by FAIR has found that the leading liberal cable network did not run a single segment devoted specifically to Yemen in the second half of 2017."
This outlet focuses on the drama and ignores the hands.
"Last year, the U.S. experienced 16 weather and climate disasters each with losses exceeding $1 billion, totaling approximately $306 billion — a new U.S. record"
"The Swiss National Bank expects an annual profit of 54 billion Swiss francs ($55.25 billion) for 2017, the central bank said on Tuesday, the biggest profit in its 110-year history."
Bigger than Apple, Microsoft, JP Morgan, Chase...
"Presidents have rarely attended the forum in Davos, in part out of a concern that it would send the wrong message to be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s richest individuals."
Because American politics is the domain of billionaires, not citizens.
"Pakistan believes it has effectively bribed the international community with the specter that any instability could result in terrorists getting their hands on Pakistani nuclear technology, fissile materials, or a weapon."
"Mexico's crisis manifests as violence, but it is rooted in the corruption and weakness of the state."
"Any Mexican city, he said, is policed by multiple forces. Some report to the mayor, some to the governor and some to the federal government. And any one of those political actors can derail progress through corruption, cronyism or simple neglect."
"People who are infuriated by profound gaps in wealth and opportunity have pinned their hopes on nationalist, nostalgic leaders, who encourage them to visualize threats from the outside world."
U.S. globalists pearl clutch about China: "man, I miss the Cold War..."
"Syrian regime and Russian airstrikes in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus have killed at least 17 civilians, a war monitor has said."
"Foreign governments almost never succeed in recruiting North Korean scientists as sources because they are rarely allowed to go abroad. The North also appears to have figured out the patterns of some American spy satellites. And while documents released by Edward J. Snowden showed the National Security Agency had penetrated North Korea, it is unclear whether its cybersnooping gleaned anything useful in a nation with minimal computer networking."
"'Like all our Arab brothers,' Egypt would denounce the decision in public"
"But strife with Israel was not in Egypt’s national interest, Captain Kholi said. He told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision, they should persuade their viewers to accept it"
"You also will say that Tamim and Qatar have secret ties to Israel."
"Shrinking household wealth; soaring middle-class debt; wage growth that can't keep pace with the rising costs of housing, health care, and higher education; job growth concentrated in part-time positions; widespread retirement insecurity; and more wealth-less households than America has seen for 56 years."
"At least 10 hospitals in rebel-held areas of Syria have suffered direct air or artillery attacks over the past 10 days, aid workers say."
"In past cases when relations frayed and Pakistan blocked American access to its supply routes, the United States military relied on a more expensive alternative that connects Baltic and Caspian ports through Russia and Central Asian countries."
"Russia is concerned about the rise of an Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, most of whose fighters are from the tribal areas of Pakistan, while China fears that an unstable Afghanistan provides sanctuary to its Uighur insurgency."
"This includes the suspension of $255m due to Pakistan for military equipment and training under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) fund, and $700m under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) - paid to Pakistan for conducting operations against militant groups."
"Inter-Korean dialogue to take place at Panmunjeom next week after Trump and Moon agree to delay military exercises until after Olympic Games"
"The third special investigations division of Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, under chief prosecutor Yang Seok-jo, said on Jan. 4 that Park had received a total of 3.65 billion won (US$3.44 million) in tribute payments from the NIS."
Shorrock: "Imagine the outrage here if the CIA secretly gave a president $3 million for a political slush fund to use against political enemies."
"The Costs of War Project identifies no less than 76 countries, 39% of those on the planet, as involved in that global conflict. That means places like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya where U.S. drone or other air strikes are the norm and U.S. ground troops (often Special Operations forces) have been either directly or indirectly engaged in combat"
"In a striking about-face, the Interior Department announced yesterday that it wants to allow drilling in nearly all U.S. waters, the single largest expansion of offshore oil and gas leasing ever proposed by the federal government."
"At least 11 people were killed and 25 others were wounded in the latest violent act to rock the Afghan capital."
"Iraq's Shiite majority also see the PMF's 150,000 fighters as their saviors. Several militia commanders plan to run against Abadi in parliamentary elections in May and some have warned they will resist attempts to dismantle them."
"The move appears to be a gamble by Martin's defense that the government will conclude that a trial on the remaining charges is unnecessary, particularly given the possibility that it will disclose sensitive details about the capabilities of the NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies."
How long have the NSA and CIA been using this in the cloud? How many other undiscovered "bugs" exist to be leveraged on behalf of full spectrum dominance?
"He was baffled when the right-wing billionaire Robert Mercer, a Ted Cruz backer whom Trump barely knew, offered him an infusion of $5 million. When Mercer and his daughter Rebekah presented their plan to take over the campaign and install their lieutenants, Steve Bannon and Conway, Trump didn’t resist."
"The candidate who billed himself as a billionaire — ten times over — refused to invest his own money in it"
"The ban will go into effect in the coming days, and it is likely to have the secondary effect of cracking down on leaks, a top priority for White House chief of staff John Kelly."
"Based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen."
"In the single biggest loss of military hardware for Russia since it launched air strikes in Syria in autumn 2015, more than 10 servicemen were wounded in the attack by 'radical Islamists', the report said. "
"For seventy years, North Korea has baited America with threats of mayhem, and, for seventy years, American Presidents, with rare exceptions, understood that squabbling with a pariah state whose economy is smaller than that of Rhode Island would diminish their own stature and America's standing."
"When I called the CIA for comment, then-CIA Director George Tenet called me back personally to ask me not to run the story... set me on a collision course with the editors at the New York Times, who were still quite willing to cooperate with the government."
"The editors were not only giving banner headlines to stories asserting that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, they were also demanding that I help match stories from other publications about Iraq's purported WMD programs"
"Rice stared straight at me. I had received information so sensitive that I had an obligation to forget about the story, destroy my notes, and never make another phone call to discuss the matter with anyone, she said. She told Abramson and me that the New York Times should never publish the story."
"For months, I had secretly lived with the fear of being fired for insubordination; now I was being honored for the same thing, by the same people"
"Sales of weapons and military services by the world's largest 100 corporate military purveyors in 2016 (the latest year for which figures are available) rose to $375 billion. U.S. corporations increased their share of that total to almost 58 percent"
"The United States spends almost twice as much on health care, as a percentage of its economy, as other advanced industrialized countries — totaling $3.3 trillion, or 17.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2016"
"The lowest wage workers in 18 states will get a boost in their paychecks starting on New Year's Day"
"The Times will hold itself to the highest standards of independence, rigor and fairness — because we believe trust is the most precious asset we have."
Rigor? "We have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been."
Fairness? "In any normal election year, we'd compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton..."
"Yemeni witnesses and security officials say Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have killed at least 23 people in the port city of Hodeida."
Patrick Cockburn: "Oil money can achieve only so much: it can buy expensive modern weapons, but it cannot win wars as we are seeing in Yemen. It can buy allies but they do just as little as they can for their pay and their loyalty ends just as soon as the money runs out."
"Some armed protesters tried to take control of some police stations and military bases but they met strong resistance from security forces"
"Perhaps Landler missed the part where the US runs offshore penal colonies for untried political prisoners, and a decade-long drone war that's killed thousands—both entirely outside the scope of international law. Or the time the US invaded and destroyed Iraq without any international authorization, killing hundreds of thousands."
"And this is just in the past 15 years. Landler, even more laughably, starts the clock in 1947, which would include dozens of non-'liberal,' non-'rules-based' coups, invasions, bombing campaigns, assassinations, extrajudicial murders and so forth. The number of actions carried out by the US not sanctioned by even the thinnest pretext of 'international order' is too long to list."
Editor and owner delusions on full display.
"Why do they want to get rid of cash? They want to drive everybody into an incarcerated penitentiary that is surrounded by mobile payments, credit cards, credit scores, credit ratings, debit cards, constant debt, invasion of privacy, and the ability to assess penalties, charges and unwanted purchases because they control people’s money."