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Focus: The House GOP Border Tax Plan (Part 4) - Feb 13, 2017


The New York Fed explains why a border tax won’t help the U.S. economy, Ideas that sound good on paper can end up working very differently in practice - WSJ


Fed economists criticize House GOP border tax, arguing that it would raise prices for American consumers and businesses - CNN


New York Fed economists' blog post: Why the proposed border tax adjustment is unlikely to promote U.S. exports - Liberty Street Economics


White House denies Axios report that chief economic adviser Cohn said Trump administration does not support the GOP border adjustment tax - Newsmax


White House statement denying Axios report on Cohn's comments on border adjuststment tax - Axios


VIDEO: Original Axios report: Cohn says no go on House GOP border tax version - CNBC


'We understand the concerns' of retailers, small businesses worried about border adjusted tax: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin - CNBC


Sean Spicer & taxes: Press secretary doesn’t understand border adjustment tax - National Review


How a U.S. "border tax" could hit your wallet (Page 1-5) - CBS News


How a border tax could hit car buyers - Car and Driver


American-made companies worried about proposed border tax - Chicago Tribune


JCPenney CEO says he's confident Congress understands concerns about how a border adjusted tax will be regressive and will hurt low income consumers - CNBC


VIDEO: Hewlett Packard Meg Whitman on border adjustment tax: 'It actually lowers the number of jobs for many, many companies' - CNBC


VIDEO: Pernod Ricard CFO says he’s not in favor of border tax - Bloomberg


Border tax adjustments: an unnecessary gamble - Mercatus Center


Regressive and loophole-ridden: Issues with the House GOP border adjustment tax proposal - ITEP Reports


Is that the border-adjustment tax compatible with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules? - Tax Reform and Transition


The border adjustment tax creates more problems than it solves - Tax Justice Blog

 

Alchemy is difficult and dangerous: The border adjusted tax distorts terms of trade with unknown consequences in pursuit of something that looks nice only in spreadsheets - jpmorganinstitutional.com


Don't ruin a chance for tax reform with “border adjustments" - Foundation for Economic Education


How ‘border adjustment’ poisons tax reform - WSJ


Why the GOP should abandon the border adjustment tax, Instead Republicans should go bold and propose a tax cut - POLITICO


Why a border tax is a tax on Middle America - Morning Consult


The introduction of a border tax adjustment (BTA) to the U.S. corporate tax code would be disruptive to currency markets, global trade, and global supply chains - CNBC


VIDEO: Gluskin Sheff economist gives thumbs down to border tax - Bloomberg


Paul Ryan and Donald Trump support 2 different policies they both call a “border tax” - Vox


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Syria and Turkey - Feb 22, 2017


Extensive efforts to solve the knots for the official launch of the fourth round of Syria peace talks at Geneva - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT


Syrian opposition says direct negotiations with Damascus regime necessary to reach political solution in Geneva talks - ARA News


De Mistura: Intra-Syria talks in Geneva impossible without ceasefire holding - Tasnim News Agency


Russia asks Syria to halt bombing during UN peace talks - AFP


Lavrov: Russia waiting for US to provide ‘details’ on proposed safe zones in Syria, they should be agreed with Damascus - RT News


Full text of the a new Syrian draft Constitution, proposed by Russia and presented to opposition leaders - Sputnik


More U.S. troops may be needed against ISIS in Syria, a top general says - The New York Times


Exclusive: CIA-backed aid for Syrian rebels frozen after Islamist attack: sources - Reuters


Kurdish-Arab alliance pushes into Deir ez-Zor, expels ISIS from several villages - ARA News


Manbij Military Council: We will fight Turkish army if they attack Manbij - freerepublic.com


US coalition continues to assist SDF-led Manbij Military Council north Syria - ARA News


McCain meets Erdogan, calls for the formation of a US-Turkish partnership to solve the Syrian crisis - Middle East Monitor


Statement of SASC Chairman John McCain on meeting with Turkish President Erdogan - United States Senator John McCain


Trump critic McCain meets Saudi king - DAWN.COM


Saudi Arabia 'ready to send ground troops' to Syria - alaraby.co.uk


Dem senator asks for 'top to bottom' review of Syria policy - TheHill


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Multiple sites seized from ISIS as the Turkish Army reaches Al-Bab city centre - almasdarnews.com


Turkey Defense Minister: ‘100 Daesh fighters’ left in Syria’s Al-Bab, half of the town in the hands of Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels - Arab News


VIDEO: Al Bab street war: Turkish Forces and Syrian rebels attack ISIS - YouTube


Turkish Defense Minister to US: Act over Syria’s Manbij or we’ll reconsider a military operation there - Hurriyet


'Turkey will not seek permission to address threats’ whether in Al-Bab, Aleppo, Raqqa in Syria or Tal Afar, Sinjar in Iraq: Presidency spokesman - aa.com


Seizing control of Syria's Al-Bab important to push for Raqqa: Turkish official - US News


Turkey wants to see FSA replace SDF in Raqqa battle - Rudaw


Claim that PYD only effective force against Daesh collapsed, says Ankara - Daily Sabah


Turkey: Send US Special Forces to northern Syria to back Syrian opposition forces - Middle East Monitor


VIDEO: Turkey's Erdogan says aims safe zone in Syria after Raqqa operation - YouTube


Turkey failed to deliver a Syrian force to take Raqqa: analysis - ARA News


Regional rivals Iran, Turkey trade barbs over Syria - AFP


Erdoğan fans an Islamic nationalism in bid to build Ottoman-style influence - Christian Science Monitor


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: The House GOP Border Tax Plan (Part 3) - Feb 21, 2017


CEOs of 16 U.S. companies urge Congress to pass border tax - Reuters


Text of U.S. companies’ letter to Congress on the border tax - American Made Coalition


Americans for Affordable Products coalition responds to American Made Coalition press call on the border tax - AAP

 

Americans for Affordable Products calls on Sens. Tim Scott, Lindsey Graham to oppose border adjustment tax: Press event set for 11:00 am on Feb 23 - AAP


Graham: Ryan tax plan won’t get 10 votes in the Senate - TheHill


Koch-backed group American for Prosperity squares off against Paul Ryan on import tax - Bloomberg


Tim Phillips, Americans for Prosperity president: 'Border adjustment' a 'devastating tax increase' - Washington Times


Walmart warns against House GOP's proposed border tax - Business Insider


Retail has good reason to hate a border tax - Bloomberg


Border tax could wipe out retail earnings by 50% or more, analyst says - CNBC


IHA urges Congress to stop border adjustment tax - Giftware News


The president of a housewares and cleaning products company: Border tax will cripple companies like mine - TheHill


Bespoke Bikes threatened as border-tax plan hangs over factory - Bloomberg


Rep. Ro Khanna op-ed: Border tax is reverse redistribution - TheHill


Robert Reich op-ed: The Republican tax sham - The Huffington Post


Paul Ryan’s border adjustment tax mistake - National Review


A bad way to pay for Trump's corporate-tax cuts - Bloomberg View


Border adjustment tax just complicates tax code even more - MacIver Institute


Border tax debate pits theory against the real world - stltoday.com


EU denies plan to challenge GOP border tax - The Times


China to respond if U.S. introduces border adjustment tax: minister - Xinhua


The planned US border tax would most likely violate WTO rules - Inter Press Service


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Syria and Turkey - Feb 18, 2017


US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces inch closer to IS ‘capital’ Raqqa - AP


Syrian Democratic Forces liberate villages in the Raqqa campaign - ANHA


Syrian Democratic Forces liberate two more Raqqa villages from IS - milletpress.com


Syrian Democratic Forces liberate prison on the outskirts of Raqqa city - almasdarnews.com


Islamic State fortifies Raqqa with barricades, landmines, booby-trapped explosives and suicide bombers - alaraby.co.uk


Islamic State 'bureaucrats' fleeing Raqqa stronghold in Syria - Reuters


Russian strategic bombers hit ISIS in Raqqa in coordination with Pentagon via ‘deconfliction line’ (VIDEO) - RT News


Syrian Kurds will fight Turkish forces if they advance towards Raqqa: Kurdish leader - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Kurds pledge to fight Turkey to retain Syria's Manbij - Al Jazeera


SDF Commander: We promise our people to liberate Raqqa very soon - anfenglish.com


Coalition general says SDF forces most likely to take Raqqa from ISIS, not Turkey - ARA News


Next phase of SDF Raqqa operation sees alliance with Deir Ezzor Military Council - Rudaw


Wrath of Euphrates campaign statement on the Raqqa - Deir Ezzor connection - ypgrojava.org


US Airforce propels the Syrian Democratic Forces to capture three villages from ISIS in the northern Deir Ezzor countryside - almasdarnews.com


Kurdish forces overrun two more ISIS-held villages north of Deir Ezzor - almasdarnews.com


Kurds call on Russia to defend Syria's federalization on international level - Sputnik


Russia pushes hard to include Syria’s Kurds in Geneva talks - Rudaw


After a month of military operations, regime forces advance over IS in 50 areas - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

 

Syrian Coalition spokeperson: Assad cannot have a role in Syria, Geneva talks should discuss political transition - etilaf.org


Isis’ ‘business model’ failing as group haemorrhages millions while losing territory across Syria and Iraq: Report - The Independent


ICSR/EY Report key findings: "Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic State’s Financial Fortunes" - ICSR


REPORT: "Caliphate in Decline: An Estimate of Islamic State’s Financial Fortunes" - ICSR


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Turkey sets out Raqqa operation plans to U.S.: report - Reuters


Turkish PM: If the Trump administration opts for the YPG and PYD in the Raqqa operation 'there will be serious problems in relations with the U.S.' - Hurriyet


Turkey threatens to move on Kurdish-held stronghold Manbij in Syria - Middle East Monitor


Erdogan interview: We will eradicate terrorism with GCC support - Saudi Gazette


Turkey says almost taken Syria's Bab, war monitor says the jihadists still control 90 percent of the town and that shelling and air strikes killed dozens of civilians - Reuters

 

Turkish forces lose ground as ISIL's mounts counter-offensive in Al-Bab - almasdarnews.com


Syria government and monitoring group blast Turkey over civilian deaths - The Washington Post


Casualties by the Turkish forces in al-Bab city - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


Syria calls on Turkey to withdraw troops from Syria, close border - CCTV News

 

No breakthroughs at second round of Syrian peace talks in Astana - rferl.org


Trump: Gulf states will pay for safe zones in Syria - The Daily Caller

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russia and NATO - Feb 16, 2016

 

Putin accuses NATO of trying to embroil Russia in confrontation  - TASS


Putin pledges to strengthen Russia’s Federal Security Service - TASS


Putin: 'Ukraine government is clearly not ready for a peaceful solution...openly speak about organization of sabotage and terrorism' - Donbass International


Putin urges 'restoring dialogue' between Russia, US intel - AFP


VIDEO: Putin urges 'restoring dialogue' between Russia, US intel - YouTube


VIDEO: Vladimir Putin’s full statement at the annual meeting of the FSB - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin’s full statement at the annual meeting of the FSB - President of Russia


Moscow vows to take measures in response to NATO buildup in Black Sea - Sputnik


Russia may lose interest in dialogue with NATO if it yields no results: NATO envoy - APA


Russia demands Pentagon explanation of Mattis’s ‘position of strength' comments - newsweek.com

 

Out of question: 'Crimea cannot be subject of bargaining between Russia and US': Official - Sputnik


POLL: Over 80% of Russians have positive attitude toward President Putin - Sputnik


Kremlin aide says no agreement yet on Putin-Trump meeting: Ifax - Reuters


Russian fighter jets 'buzz' US warship in Black Sea, photos show - CNN.com


Russia shows off menacing amphibious vehicle after NATO deploys troops - Express.co.uk


The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was followed by more than 50 NATO ships on its way to Syria and back - Sputnik


Russia deploys cruise missile in violation of arms treaty: report - TheHill


Russian spy ship now off Virginia coast - ABC News


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Defense ministers at NATO meeting pledge to counter Russia, sign letters of intent spurring additional actions - ibtimes.com


NATO European allies to jointly buy planes, set up new elite HQ - US News


NATO to boost naval presence in Black Sea - Yahoo News


VIDEO: NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Meetings of Defence Ministers - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: NATO Secretary General, Press Conference at Meetings of Defence Ministers - NATO


NATO Secretary General: alliance remains committed to Georgia - Agenda.ge


Press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg following the meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission at the level of Defence Ministers - NATO


NATO to stay "strongly committed" to Ukraine: Stoltenberg - Unian


Stoltenberg unfazed by poll showing waning Ukrainian support for NATO - KyivPost


Ukraine turns a blind eye to ultrarightist militia - The Washington Post


Ukraine publishers speak out against ban on Russian books - The Guardian


500 US troops arrive in Romanian Black Sea port to bolster defense - AP


Ships from 4 NATO countries conduct naval drills in Black Sea - RT News


Get Ready, Russia: Britain is sending warships to the Black Sea - The National Interest Blog

 

NATO ships merge into group to exercise anti-submarine tasks amid drills in the Black Sea - Sputnik

 

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Trump warns of the dangers of a “nuclear holocaust” while addressing the need for a positive relationship with Russia - POLITICO


VIDEO: Trump raises spectre of 'nuclear holocaust' amid questioning over Russia - YouTube


Mattis tells NATO: 'We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level (with Russia.) But our political leaders will engage and try to find common ground' - UPI.com


Mattis rejects Putin’s proposal to share intelligence - New York Post


Trump’s retreat from realism accelerates: The case of Crimea - Cato @ Liberty


An open letter to Trump and Putin: The world needs Nuclear Zero - TheHill


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Syria - Feb 15, 2017


Pentagon might propose sending ground troops to Syria - CNNPolitics.com


VIDEO: Pentagon considering proposing troops in Syria - CNN Video


The United States confirms use of depleted uranium in Syria, the toxic material has been accused of causing cancer and birth defects - Foreign Policy


Tillerson, Dunford to meet with Russian counterpart - KBZK.com


Russian top diplomat says broad anti-terrorist front forming in Syria - TASS


Anti-Assad states to meet amid concerns over US policy on Syria - The Guardian


Stoltenberg rules out NATO's involvement in combat operations against IS in Syria - TASS


Turkish FM rules out engaging with Assad for solution to the conflict, defends Ankara's calls for safe zones in Syria - qatar-tribune.com


The positions of Saudi Arabia and Turkey are “absolutely identical” on Syria: Saudi foreign minister - Middle East Monitor


Qatar's ties with Turkey at new heights - The Peninsula Qatar


Syria talks in Kazakh capital Astana delayed, delegations downgraded - Reuters


Cease-fire brokered by Turkey and Russia frays in Syria’s south as rebels launch new offensive in Daraa - The Washington Post


Russian strikes target rebels at southern Syria border crossing, moderate Islamists and al-Qaeda fighters cooperate in attempt to expand into Daraa - Antiwar.com


The truce of the Caesar (Putin) and Sultan (Erdogan) ends the 46 day with growing breaches within the ceasefire areas - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


Prominent FSA rebel spokesman assassinated in Daraa province, he was scheduled to attend the Syria peace talks in Astana - almasdarnews.com


ISIS fights back in al-Bab against Syria regime troops and Turkish-led forces - ARA News


The Syria regime forces are about 5 km northwest of Deir Hafer town after controlling 9 villages in the road between it and al-Bab area - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


Contrary to Turkish optimism, an arduous battle against a ‘dug-in’ Islamic State in al-Bab - Syria Direct


Jordan commander: IS expands hold in border camp for Syrians - AP

 

Ahrar al-Sham claims 955 of its members defected during infighting w. AQ/JFS in Syria - Charles Lister on Twitter


Hizbollah boosted by battleground successes in Syria conflict - FT.com


Libyan National Army troops may be trained in Syria by Russia - Stratfor


U.N. warns of catastrophic dam failure in Syria battle - Reuters


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Syrian Kurdish groups expect U.S. support, will fight any Turkish advance - Reuters


Turkey unwelcome: Syrian Kurds ready to defend territories liberated from Daesh, including the city of Manbij - Sputnik


Syrian Kurds want Turkish 'occupants' to stay away from liberating Raqqa - ekurd


Turkey warns US defense secretary over PKK/PYD in Syria - aa.com


YPG entrance into Raqqa a threat against Turkey’s security: deputy PM - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Turkish soldiers, Syrian Kurds exchange fire as Islamic State battle rages on - Breitbart


Uninvited Syrian PYD Kurds 'not expecting much' from Astana talks, not to recognize unattended conferences’ decisions - ekurd


Syrian PYD Kurds reportedly not invited to Geneva IV peace talks: PYD chief Muslim - ekurd


Asya Abdullah: We will not recognise a Syrian constitution drafted without Kurds - Kom News


Interview with co-chair of Syria Democratic Council Ilham Ahmad - ekurd


Any Syria settlement meetings excluding Kurds doomed to fail: Turkish HDP Party - Sputnik


Pan-Kurdish conference takes place in Russia - ekurd


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: The House GOP Border Tax Plan (Part 2) - Feb 13, 2017


EU and trade partners readying WTO challenge to GOP border tax, say plan ‘definitely not compatible’ with global trade rules - Financial Times


VIDEO: Economist Chad Bown explains why the GOP border tax could lead to $385bn retaliation by US trading partners under WTO rules - YouTube


The GOP border tax threatening to split corporate America, Will Trump back the radical reform that pits importers against exporters? - Financial Times


A border tax could turn the Trump dream into a nightmare - Financial Times


Border tax could upend global markets, but investors shy away from any bets - WSJ


House tax chief Brady : Lawmakers coming around on border adjustability - Washington Examiner


US border tax plan could harm developing nations, destabilise world economy - The Straits Times


‘Trump’s border tax devastating for India’ - Business Line


Border tax didn't come up in Trudeau's meeting with Trump, Canada's finance minister says - CNBC


U.S. border adjusted tax could raise vehicle prices by hundreds, thousands - autonews.com


Proposed border tax would hurt low-income car buyers most, study finds - NESN.com


Automakers enlist dealers in border tax fight - autonews.com


U.S. refiners give mixed reviews of GOP-backed border tax, concerns that it could upend the energy ecosystem and consumers most likely to get hit with gas up 30-40 cents - Oil & Gas 360


Financial Industry worried about effects of border adjustment tax plan - Morning Consult


VIDEO: Border adjustment tax clearly bad for retail: Leonhardt - Yahoo Finance


Solomon retail chief: How a border tax will threaten retail M&A - CNBC


These 21 companies support GOP proposed border adjustment tax, over 100 companies have come out against - Fortune.com


US exporters may not benefit from border adjustment tax, companies that run negative tax liabilities would be entitled only to a carry-forward and not a refund - Global Trade Magazine


The real dangers of border adjusted tax for fashion, it could cripple any American fashion brand reliant upon importing goods and services from abroad - BoF


Italian fashion industry hopes to avert additional US border tax - AP


GOP senator Perdue: Reject border tax proposal - TheHill


Letter of Senator David Perdue (R–Georgia) concerning tax reform - Forbes


GOP stalwart Steve Forbes blasts Republicans on ‘crazy' border tax's $1 Trillion cost to consumers - NBC News


VIDEO: Steve Forbes: 'Crazy' border tax punishes American consumers - CNBC


The border-adjusted tax plan is bad for America - The National Interest


Paul Ryan’s border adjustment tax vs. Donald Trump’s targeted tariffs - americanthinker.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Focus: Turkey and Syria - Feb 12, 2017


Erdogan says Turkish troops inside Syria's al-Bab, end goal is Raqqa and clearing the area of both Islamic State and Kurdish YPG - Middle East Eye


The 'Islamic State' still in control over most of al-Bab city and repels 2 violent attacks on Bzaah and Qabasin - Syrian Observatory For Human Rights


VIDEO: Turkey sets sights on ISIS capital Raqqa - YouTube


Erdogan: 'Next step is to establish a no-fly zone, then they [the Syrians] will be able to establish their national army' - Middle East Observer


Russia deescalated clash between pro-Syrian government,Turkish-backed forces in Al Bab - Rudaw


Turkey bombs Kurdish villages northwest Syria - ARA News

 

Turkey aims to strengthen ties with Gulf as Erdoğan starts 3-day visit in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar - Daily Sabah


VIDEO: President Erdogan visits the Gulf region - YouTube

 

Turkey's ties with Saudi Arabia strategically important: Erdogan - KUNA


Riyadh, Ankara on same page on Mideast: Saudi envoy - Daily Sabah


Turkey referendum on boosting presidential powers set for April 16, opponents fear a lurch towards authoritarianism - France 24


Turkey pressures media ahead of Erdogan referendum, the opposition says the space for debate is already being squeezed - DW.COM


Turkish officials demand Gulen extradition, end of support to Syrian Kurds during Pompeo visit - Breibart


Turkey demands extradition of Gulen supporters from 16 countries - Sofia News Agency

 

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Syrian Democratic Forces seize more ground east Raqqa amid ISIS retreat - ARA News


Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces: 124 ISIS militants killed, 98 villages captured east of Raqqa - ARA News


Syrian Democratic Forces: Raqqa’s Arab tribes support us in fight against IS - Kurdpress News Aganecy


All-Arab force to enter Raqqa once liberated: Syrian Democratic Forces commander - Rudaw


PYD delegation meets with Syrian government representatives, discuss attempts to prevent the Turkish-led Euphrates Shield operation in northern Syria - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Moscow mediates talks between Assad & Syrian Kurds: Russian FM - RT News


Kurdish towns reconcile with Syrian government in Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


YPG has been using US anti-tank missiles for a year: Report - Daily Sabah


Tensions between Kurdish rivals in Syria continue, three KNC officials arrested by the PYD - ARA News


KNC officials to join Syria peace talks in Geneva, PYD excluded - ARA News


Russia pushes hard to include Syria’s Kurds in Geneva talks - Rudaw


Moscow to host pan-Kurdish conference on 15 February with the participation of Kurds from Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria - ARA News

 

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Assad says US troops welcome in Syria to fight ‘terrorism' - ABC News


Assad: Trump's plan for safe zones in Syria 'not a realistic idea’ (VIDEO) - TheHill


VIDEO: Defiant Assad tells Amnesty International torture and mass hanging report is 'fake news’ - Yahoo News


Hearsay extrapolated: Amnesty claims mass executions In Syria, provides zero proof - M of A


Amnesty International’s kangaroo report on Syria - theduran.com


Amnesty Internation report on Syria: a response from a Syrian dissident (former political prisoner living in Europe) - The Angry Arab News Service


Saydnaya report: Amnesty hired special effects experts to fabricate 'evidence' - Centre for Research on Globalization


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russia - Feb 9, 2017


Putin calls snap Russia air-raid drill involving 45,000 troops and 150 aircraft this week, 'for a time of war and...to repel aggression' - Independent


S-400 air defense units of Russia's Aerospace Force go on combat alert in snap check - TASS


Moscow air defense spots notional enemy’s strategic bombers in snap check - TASS


NATO buildup in E. Europe and Germany threat to Russian security, increases risk of incidents: Moscow - RT News


Russia says Romania's stance on EU sanctions and decision to host elements of a Nato missile defence system made it a 'clear threat' - Telegraph


U.S. forces arrive in Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania - UPI.com


Baltic states seek more NATO help ahead of a large Russian military exercise planned for September - Reuters


NATO war with Russia: US troops, helicopters deployed to Germany - ibtimes.com


Navy kicks off NATO drills on the Black Sea, Putin's doorstep - navytimes.com


NATO activities in Black Sea region fight against non-existent threats: Moscow - Sputnik


NATO backs Ukraine as clashes surge: deputy chief - AFP


Top House Armed Services Dem to Trump: Give Ukraine weapons - The Daily Caller


Ukraine's domestic conflict no platform for Russia-US deal: Kremlin - Sputnik


Russia's Baltic Sea pipeline scares the life out of Ukraine - Forbes


Is Europe caving to Russia on pipeline politics? - Foreign Policy


Putin ratifies deal to build Turkish stream gas pipeline to southern Europe - rferl.org


Senators urge Trump to get tough on Russia, introduce bill to prevent the President from easing sanctions without congressional approval - CNNPolitics.com


Text of The Russia Sanctions Review Act of 2017 - huffingtonpost.com


Dem pushing House vote on Trump’s alleged business conflicts, Russia ties - TheHill


Moscow readies a new, hard-line ambassador for Washington - Foreign Policy

 

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Russian foreign ministry says ready to cooperate with NATO in Afghanistan: TASS - Reuters


Russia to host conference on Afghanistan, to push for talks with the Taliban and contain 'spillover effects' of Islamic State trying to get a foothold - VOA


Top American commander: Russia 'legitimizing' Taliban to undermine US, NATO - TheHill


General requests thousands more troops to break Afghanistan ‘stalemate' - NPR


Russia sends Syria its largest missile delivery to date, US officials say - Fox News


Former NATO general warns against Russia partnership in Syria - Stripes


Russian diplomat slams as provocation Amnesty International’s report on Syria, stating that thousands were hanged in secret at Saydnaya - TASS


We don't view PKK or YPG as terrorists, Russia says: Report - hurriyetdailynews.com


Russia disagrees with Trump labeling Iran ‘number one terrorist state’ - RT News


Russia promises Israel to keep weapons out of Hezbollah's hands - ynetnews.com


EU reaches out to Russia to broker deal with Libyan general Haftar - The Guardian


French report: What's behind Russia ramping up its military presence in the Mediterranean - Sputnik


Putin expected to take part in Silk Road Summit in Beijing in May - Sputnik


China’s president plans to visit Russia in midyear - TASS


Multiple Russia-China ministerial meetings planned for this year - Sputnik


Ambassador says Trump's administration not going to affect Russia-China relations - TASS


POLL: Half of Russians consider China Moscow's strategic, economic partner - Sputnik


Russia warns other States against interfering in South China Sea dispute: Envoy - Sputnik


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Focus: The Yemen Raid (Part 2) - Feb 5, 2017

 

The Yemen raid was a tragedy, and not by accident. Mistakes were made during the conception, planning, decision making and execution of the mission. Trump was ill-advised and, I guess, deeply regrets to have approved the mission. Civilians, including children, were killed and an American soldier died. It was also costly because multiple units were deployed; Harrier jets, Apache helicopter gunships and drones were involved, and a a $70 million MV-22 Osprey destroyed. The fact that an estimated 14 Al Qaeda members were killed does not make a difference. 


The core question is: Do this kind of raids prove effective in defeating Al Qaeda in Yemen? The International Crisis Group says no: "The raid ignores the local political context, to the detriment of an effective counter-terrorism strategy. The tribesmen targeted had links to AQAP/AAS, yet many, if not most of them, were motivated less by AQAP’s international agenda, including targeting the West, and more by a local power struggle." Through the use of social policies Al Qaeda in Yemen has embedded with local tribes who are armed, well-organized and able to collect intelligence and detect drone activities. The US commando found itself surrounded and shot by all sides, to extricate itself called aerial support which, according to the Pentagon, triggered civilian casualties. Raids are perceived by the locals as an unwanted foreign military interference and "the high number of civilian casualties ... are deeply inflammatory and breed anti-American resentment across the Yemeni political spectrum that works to the advantage of AQAP,”


An effective strategy to defeat Al Qaeda in Yemen must address the internal civil war which created a power vacuum. US should stop siding with the Saudi who are conducting an indiscriminate bombing campaign destroying residential areas, hospitals and crowded places. US should act as a neutral peacemaker promoting a negotiated political settlement of the dispute between the Hadi government and the Huthi/Saleh alliance. It is worth to revisit the "Kerry plan” which called for the formation of a national unity government and offered security guarantees to both parties. The conflict will not be resolved by a military victory. It’s the art of diplomacy.


In audio recording Al Qaeda leader in Yemen labels Donald Trump a ‘fool’, says US raids failed - Reuters


AUDIO (Arabic): New message from leader of Al Qaeda‘s Yemen branch in response to the US raid - jihadology.net


Al Qaeda’s propaganda arm releases a statement condemning the recent American counterterrorism operation in Yemen - Long War Journal


Text of the Al Qaeda statement on the US raid  - Long War Journal


Al Qaeda urges followers to hit back at U.S. following Yemen raid, Militants launch attacks on government-held territory - WSJ


A deadly U.S. raid in Yemen reveals strength of al-Qaeda affiliate - The Washington Post


Locals recount what happened the night the U.S. commando raid - LA Times


Deadly U.S. raid may bolster Yemen's al Qaeda: International Crisis Group - Reuters


Military strikes are no simple answer to al-Qaeda’s rise in Yemen - International Crisis Group


REPORT: Yemen’s al-Qaeda: Expanding the base - International Crisis Group


Saudi failures spurred Al Qaeda in Yemen to sharpen its battle tactics - warisboring.com


Yemen Al-Qaeda flays ‘deviant’ Daesh rivals - Arab News


REPORT: Fighting the Long War: The Evolution of al-Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula - Combating Terrorism Center at West Point


ARCHIVE: Al Qaeda winning hearts and minds over ISIS in Yemen with social services - ibtimes.com


ARCHIVE: Al-Qaeda still making big money from Yemen oil - Breibart


ARCHIVE: AQAP in Southern Yemen: Learning, adapting and growing - Jamestown


ARCHIVE: Obama administration's $1 billion arms deal aids Saudi brutality in Yemen, lawmakers say - Washington Times


ARCHIVE: Attack may push U.S. to reconsider support of Saudi Arabia-led air war in Yemen - LA Times


ARCHIVE: America should quit Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen: The senseless killing must stop - Forbes


Focus: The Yemen Raid - Feb 3, 2017


'Almost everything went wrong': Inside the Navy SEAL raid in Yemen targeting al Qaeda - NBC News


SEALs knew ‘they were screwed from beginning' In Yemen raid, went into battle anyway - The Daily Caller


SEAL Team 6 raid in Yemen raises questions, The first is: What was the rush to mount the raid? - CNN.com


How Donald Trump's first military action went from the Obama White House to deadly raid - CNNPolitics.com


What happened behind the scenes before the Yemen raid? We can’t be sure, but it was not a normal vetting process - Slate


The Yemen raid—What was normal and abnormal about the process with lessons for the future - Just Security


Trump’s first counterterrorism operations and the prior interagency review process - Just Security


Raid in Yemen: Risky from the start and costly in the end - NYTimes.com


VIDEO: What went wrong in the deadly raid on al-Qaida in Yemen? Interview with Sanger of The New York Times and Atwood, director of International Crisis Group - PBS NewsHour


A timeline of events on how the controversial Navy SEAL raid on Yemen was planned and carried out - The Washington Post


House Dem wants briefing on Yemen raid - POLITICO

 

VIDEO: Former Obama official says: Spicer SEAL raid story 'B.S.', Obama administration did not approved the Jan. 28 raid on al Qaeda in Yemen - WSJ


US defends release of 10-year-old video seized in Yemen raid - ABC News


Al Qaida takes three Yemen towns days after US raid - GulfNews.com


Yemen is the first battleground in Trump’s confrontation with Iran - Foreign Policy


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russia and Ukraine - Feb 2, 2017


Putin says the Ukrainian authorities triggered the current surge of tensions in Donbass - TASS


VIDEO: Putin says Ukraine escalated conflict in Donbass - RT News


Ukrainian paramilitary supported by army attacked rebels in East: Peskov, citing Kremlin data - RT News


Foreign Ministry statement on the rapidly deteriorating situation in Donbass - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


Russia UN ambassador Churkin: Kiev trying to find military solution to Donbass conflict - Sputnik


VIDEO: Statement of Russia UN Ambassador Churkin: Violations of the Minsk agreement by Ukraine - YouTube


Recordings of surveillance cameras clearly indicate that clashes were triggered by fire from positions held by the Kiev government troops, Russia's UN ambassador says - TASS


Ukrainian army concentrated troops near Avdiivka for offensive: Separatists - Sputnik


Ukrainian Defense Ministry admits it conducts offensive operations in Donbass, refrains from commenting on the question about the pullback of heavy weapons - TASS


Russia diplomat says OSCE monitors turn blind eye on Ukrainian tanks in Donbass - TASS


VIDEO: BBC reporter films Kiev tanks in residential area on E. Ukraine frontline - RT News


Why Avdiivka is the most vulnerable spot for the Russian-separatist army in Ukraine, The new Ukrainian army positions allow to take the main road under fire control - Euromaidan Press


POLL: Only 14% of Ukrainians trust Poroshenko, 9% the government and 5% the parliament - TASS


POLL (Results): Trust to Ukraine Social Institutions - Kiev International Institute of Sociology


Kiev should give up on the Donbass, As conflict rages again, Ukraine needs to understand that winning the war would be more trouble than it's worth - Foreign Policy


Anxious Ukraine risks escalation in ‘creeping offensive', observers say the Ukrainians appear to be trying to create new facts on the ground - rferl.org


Is Ukraine sabotaging Trump's detente with Russia? It’s hard to see what Putin gains from new fighting, on the other hand Poroshenko has everything to gain - Huffington Post

 

------------------------------------------------------

 

US administration flirts with softer stance on Russia's conduct in Ukraine - Military.com


State Dept statement on cease-fire violations in Eastern Ukraine - state.gov


US Ambassador Nikki Haley condemns Russia's 'aggressive actions' in Ukraine - AFP


McCain to Trump: Send weapons to Ukraine - TheHill


EU's Tusk says fighting must stop in Ukraine, points to 'Russia's aggression' - rferl.org


Chief Monitor of the OSCE Mission to Ukraine Ambassador Apakan calls for immediate cessation of violence in the Avdiivka-Yasynuvata-Donetsk airport area - OSCE


NATO Scraps Ukraine meeting fearing escalation with Russia - themoscowtimes.com


Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko, to call for referendum on joining NATO - UPI.com


Berlin authorities suspect that Poroshenko bears responsibility for the deteriorating situation in the east of Ukraine, German Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper wrote - Sputnik


Hungary’s prime minister Orban meets Putin, urges the European Union to repair relations with the Kremlin and lift sanctions - irishtimes.com


POLL: Putin has better reputation in Hungary than Merkel or Trump, survey finds - Hungary Today


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Donald Trump and Trade - Feb 1, 2017


NAFTA negotiation may start in May after 90 days consultation with businesses: Mexico - Yahoo7 Finance


Mexico says it will negotiate NAFTA changes but won't accept import quotas or new tariff barriers - Fox News


Mexico's Pena Nieto, Canada's Trudeau spoke Monday: Mexico govt - Reuters


Mexico turning its focus on trade with the rest of the world, from Latin America to Europe and Asia: Foreign Affairs Secretary - mexiconewsdaily.com


EU, Mexico pick up trade talk pace as Trump touts tariffs - TheStreet


Mexico seeks to bolster ties with China, attract investment - CCTV News


China-Mexico tie-up to invest $200 mln in Mexican auto plant - Reuters


Trump backlash turns Mexicans against NAFTA - Bloomberg


VIDEO: Why Mexicans think NAFTA should be scrapped entirely - Bloomberg


'Viva Mexico!': Trump wall awakens Mexican patriotism - Yahoo News


Gloom descends on Monterrey, Mexico’s NAFTA capital - WSJ


POLL: Over two-thirds of Mexicans agree with Peña Nieto’s decision to cancel visit with Trump - The Huffington Post


Report: In a 'humiliating' and 'threatening’ tone during a phone call, Trump lambasted Mexico's president and threatened to use military force against the drug trade - Yahoo Finance


U.S., Mexican officials meet in Mexico, discuss security: sources - Reuters


Mexico may halt fight against drugs on US border: former foreign affairs sec - RT America


US State Dept to hire security companies to protect U.S. personnel working at the embassy in Mexico City - TMZ


Fear of Trump move drives remittances to Mexico to record, The increase brings 2016 transfers to $27 billion - Bloomberg


Mexico will send $50 Million to help victims of Trump's deportation agenda - Konbini


Think tank Center for American Progress: Trump's 'vilification' of Mexico will harm US - TheHill


REPORT: Preserving and Strengthening the U.S.-Mexico Relationship – Center for American Progress


----------------------------------------------------

 

Trump, trade adviser signal displeasure with U.S. 'strong dollar' policy, say Germany, Japan and China engaged in devaluing their currencies - Reuters


Merkel pushes back at Trump team’s accusations on German trade - Bloomberg 


Merkel's spokesman says Germany says it's working at troubled Trump ties - Reuters


German foreign minister heads to Washington amid growing U.S. critiques - Yahoo Finance


German economy minister: Trump′s protectionism a threat to Germany′s economy - DW.COM


Germany's Martin Schulz calls Trump 'un-American' and warns against lifting Russia sanctions - The Independent


Trump protectionism will hurt Germany badly: BDI industry body - Reuters


BMW says will stick to investment plans for Mexico despite Trump threats - Reuters


EU chair Tusk labels Trump a 'threat' as Europeans debate U.S. ties - Reuters


Japan policymakers reject Trump devaluation claims - Reuters


Japan PM: Car trade imbalance not Japan’s fault - The News Wheel


Auto trade key in Abe-Trump talks - The Japan News


Japan eyes U.S. job, investment initiative ahead of Abe-Trump summit - Reuters


With NAFTA under threat, Japanese automakers in Mexico wary of Trump's trade stance - The Japan Times


Report: 3.4 million jobs lost to China - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


REPORT: Growth in U.S.–China trade deficit between 2001 and 2015 cost 3.4 million jobs: Here’s how to rebalance trade and rebuild American manufacturing - Economic Policy Institute


Quebec wants a seat at NAFTA negotiating table - Montreal Gazette

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: The House GOP border tax plan - Jan 29, 2017


Note: The Trump's tariff on Mexican imports should not be confused with the GOP border adjustment tax. While the first aims to save American jobs, the second will hurt the consumers by considerably hiking prices on most, if not all, goods.


Koch Network ready for a fight on the House GOP border adjustment tax - National Review


Letter to the House tax-writing committee on the border adjusted tax - Americans for Prosperity


Koch political network to spend $300M to $400M over 2 years to influence public policy - Fortune.com


Corporate America split over radical Republican import tax plan - FT.com


Exporters forming coalition to support House GOP border tax - TheHill


Small businesses uneasy over border-adjustment tax plan, owners say they may have to raise prices and lay off workers but exporters expect to benefit - WSJ


New border tax proposed by GOP could hike prices on cars, clothes, electronics, gas and more - USA TODAY


Here's how Under Armour can be impacted by the proposed ‘border adjustment tax' - forbes.com


Boeing may have negative tax bill under GOP tax reform, Treasury might write checks to the company - IBD


Border tax ideas roil oil markets, favor Gulf Coast refiners - Reuters


Chevron's CEO, echoing Trump, calls GOP border tax 'complicated' - NBC


GOP border tax may hurt more than Mexico as Asia exports at risk. Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea may be hurt the most - Bloomberg,


Steve Forbes hits GOP border tax in WSJ ad - newsmax.com


Steve Forbes' letter to Congressional Republicans on the border adjustment tax - TPA


Steve Forbes' letter to President Trump: Don't let Congressional Republicans wreck your tax plan - forbes.com


U.S. House tax chief: lower tax rates vulnerable without border adjustment - Business Insider


An analysis of the House GOP tax plan - Tax Policy Center


Opinion: Let's bury the idea of a border adjustment tax - IBD


Opinion: Trump right to question GOP tax plan - TheHill


GOP border adjusted taxes and Trump's ‘big border tax' are not the same: Here are four reasons why - forbes.com


Text of the House GOP tax plan: Better way forward on tax reform - House Ways and Means Committee


President Trump announces Manufacturing Jobs Initiative - whitehouse.gov


Dana exec tapped for President’s jobs council - The Blade


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: NAFTA - Jan 24, 2017


Pressured by Trump, Mexico ready to discuss NAFTA rules of origins in U.S. talks - Reuters


Mexico President demands North America stay free-trade zone, announces 10 objectives in talks with U.S. - Bloomberg


VIDEO (Spanish): Las 10 claves de Peña Nieto para negociar con Trump - Univision


Economy minister: Mexico may leave NAFTA if renegotiation unfavorable, 'It's impossible to sell it here at home if there aren't clear benefits for Mexico' - Reuters


Economy minister: Mexico set to 'mirror' policy on any U.S. trade tax change, 'If there is any action that punishes imports to the North American market' - Reuters


Mexico warns US it will not conduct negotiations unless Trump abandons plans to make it pay for border wall construction - Sott.net


Interview with Economy minister Guajardo: Sin beneficios claros ‘no tiene sentido quedarnos’ en el TLC (VIDEO, Spanish)- Televisa News


Interview (Spanish): Habrá “medidas espejo” contra Trump, dice la Secretaría de Economía Guajardo - El Universal


RADIO (Spanish): Todo listo para reunión con el equipo de Donald Trump: Guajardo interview - YouTube


Mexico’s potential weapons if Trump declares war on NAFTA - The New York Times


Trudeau braces for Trump NAFTA gambit with oil-patch huddle - Bloomberg


Trump aide reassures Canada on trade talks, isolating Mexico - Bloomberg


Canada not the focus of Trump's NAFTA talk, Canada ambassador says  - CBC News


Canada to Mexico on NAFTA: you might be on your own - Reuters


Trump-friendly lawmaker: Forget NAFTA, let’s do one-on-one deal with Canada (a country that is not Mexico) - Financial Post

 

NAFTA: GOP leaders fire warning shot to Trump - CNNPolitics.com


President Trump can levy tariffs without Congress - CNN


----------------------------------------------------

 

Trump meets labor unions leaders: 'We're going to stop the ridiculous trade deals' - LifeZette


AFL-CIO praises President Trump’s move to withdraw from TPP, renegotiate NAFTA - Breibart


Machinists Union ‘heartened' by announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing from the TPP and is seeking to reopen NAFTA - Business Wire


United Steelworkers USW commends Trump decision to withdraw from the TPP; anticipates further action - Yahoo News


Teamsters: Withdrawal from TPP and renegotiating NAFTA the right choice for U.S. trade policy - Teamsters


With new NAFTA terms, Trump wants ‘yuge' min.-wage hike in Mexico - IBD


REPORT: Looking for Local Labor Market Effects of NAFTA - Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press Journals


REPORT: NAFTA and the Gender Wage Gap - University of Michigan


How a Trump tariff could sideswipe US auto industry - AP


Reopening NAFTA could revive debate over what makes a car 'American' - Fox Business


Latest data on automobile manufacturing and trade with Mexico - FXS


The Center for Automotive Research report says Trump trade policies will kill 31,000 car jobs 'If the U.S. were to enact a 35 percent tariff on light vehicles imported from Mexico' - Yahoo Finance


REPORT: NAFTA trade benefits to the automotive industry and potential consequences of withdrawal from the agreement - Center for Automotive Research


Trump move on TPP and NAFTA dismays agricultural groups - agrinews-pubs.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Donald Trump and Trade - Jan 21, 2017


Trump trade strategy starts with quitting Asia pact TPP, renegotiating NAFTA: White House - Reuters


White House website gives priorites on economy and trade, Trump seeks 4% annual GDP growth and 25 million jobs over 10 years - Bloomberg


White House website: Trade deals working for all Americans - whitehouse.gov


Republican senator's bill aims to reel in Trump's trade power, will require him to go through Congress to use tariffs or quit NAFTA - CNN


How Trump's trade advisers are planning to shake up China - forbes.com


Trump team: We don't want a trade war with China, just better deals - cnbc.com


Trump team backs call for crackdown on China over semiconductors - ft.com


China says can resolve trade disputes with new U.S. government - Reuters


U.S.-trained official may shape China’s response to Trump on trade - The New York Times


Asian media decry isolationist Trump, fear economic, diplomatic turmoil - Reuters


North Asia will be hit the hardest from Trump’s trade barriers: Goldman Sachs - cnbc.com


What's at stake for U.S. in a trade war with China - CNN


China is preparing to retaliate against Donald Trump’s tough trade stance, warns American Chamber of Commerce - Financial Post


Apple, GM, Boeing are China's top hostages in a Trump trade war - IBD


Chinese paper says Boeing, US agriculture at risk in Trump trade war - VOA


Trump to receive Mexican president on January 31: White House - AFP


Mexico announces high-level meetings with Trump team - TheHill


Mexico says it is willing to negotiate with Trump, including border wall - BNN

 

How Trump could change U.S. auto manufacturing, by renegotiating or quitting NAFTA - CBS News


America's original NAFTA negotiator says Trump can improve deal - Chicago Tribune


Europe expresses concern, hope on Trump’s approach to trade, Officials warn that promises to restrict international trade would be damaging if enacted - WSJ


Merkel vows compromise with U.S. on trade, military spending - Reuters


U.S. under Trump must abide by trade deals: German Finance Minister - Reuters


Donald Trump plans new deal for Britain as Theresa May becomes first foreign leader to meet new president since inauguration - Telegraph


Boris Johnson warns Donald Trump deal must 'work for UK' - Daily Mail Online


--------------------------------------------------

 

Davos’ elite fear Trump presidency might usher in end of globalization and free trade - AP


Chinese leader warns against trade wars in dig at Trump at Davos - France 24


'Don't damage trade', emerging market leaders tell Trump from Davos - Reuters


The world should be wary of stumbling into trade wars that would destroy jobs, World Trade Organization Director-General says at Davos - Reuters


Trump fear and loathing in Davos – POLITICO


Davos elites see an ‘abyss’: The populist surge upending the status quo - The New York Times


Davos elite seeks fixes to defend the system from populists - Bloomberg


Obscene: Just eight men own half the world's wealth, reveals Oxfam report at Davos - Business Standard News


Davos elite fret about inequality over vintage wine and canapés - The New York Times


Editorial: An odd moment for Davos - The New York Times


I saw enough at Davos to convince me that the global elite isn't interested in ending inequality - The Independent


Davos man has no clothes - Foreign Policy


At Davos Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says the US wasted trillions on warfare instead of investing in infrastructure - cnbc.com


Pharma CEOs, blasted by Donald Trump for 'getting away with murder' on drug prices, put a brave face in Davos - Reuters


George Soros calls Donald Trump a 'would-be dictator' who 'is going to fail' - cnbc.com


VIDEO: Davos interview with Lawrence Summers on the risks of Trump - Bloomberg


Davos elites are increasingly stressed about robots taking your job - Fortune.com


Society is 'on a collision course' with driverless cars, Davos leaders warned - Daily Mail Online


The Global Risks Report 2017 - World Economic Forum, Davos


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Islamic State - Jan 18, 2017

 

Note: The Islamic State has launched an offensive against the besieged Syrian government held areas in Deir Ezzor. The situation is very critical with looming mass killings and starvation. Could this be a test of a new U.S.-Russia military cooperation in the fight against terrorism? Deir Ezzor is strategically important: it is a major Islamic State supply route from Syria to Iraq and it is closed to key oilfields.


Islamic State surrounds government held military airport in Deir ez-Zor, cutting off food supplies for the civilians - The Guardian


Fears of mass killings as IS advances in Syria's on government-held areas of Deir Ezzor - AFP


Syrian soldiers battle in last stand against ISIS at Deir Ezzor - Lima Charlie News


Syrian helicopters land in Deir Ezzor for first time since ISIS offensive, bringing in fresh reinforcements and carrying away injured soldiers - almasdarnews.com


Unprecedented Russian airstrikes as ISIS threatens to take Deir ez-Zor. Encircled Syrian city hangs by a thread - russia-insider.com


High-ranking Syrian general arrives in Deir Ezzor - almasdarnews.com


VIDEO: War reports from Deir ez-Zor - YouTube


PHOTOS: ISIS Attacks Syrian army at power plant near Deir ez-Zor - Heavy.com


Russian media: US gave ISIS escape route from Mosul to Syria; now civilians are paying the price in Deir ez-Zor - RT Op-Edge

 

U.S. increasing airdrops of supplies to Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces battling ISIS in Syria - militarytimes.com


U.S. officials say sizable Arab force identified for Raqqa campaign - WSJ


Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces repel aggressive ISIS attack west of Raqqa - Rudaw


Syrian Kurdish PYD to open representative office in Washington - Kurdpress News Aganecy


Syrian Kurds make precondition for talking with Assad government - kurdpress.com


U.S. carries out strikes near Syria's al-Bab after Turkish criticism - Reuters


Russia says teams up with Turkey for first time to bomb ISIS militants in al Bab - Reuters


Islamist Syrian rebel group says it won't attend peace talks in Kazakhstan - Reuters


Pentagon readies more aggressive ISIS proposals for Trump - CNNPolitics.com

 

Nation’s top general says he has ISIS war options ready for Trump - Foreign Policy


Gabbard takes secret trip to Syria, in December she introduced legislation to stop the administration from “directly or indirectly” arming terrorists including ISIS and al Qaeda - POLITICO

 

---------------------------------------------

 

Iraq has retaken east Mosul from Isis, says army general - The Guardian


Iraqi forces preparing to capture west Mosul, say it will be easier - UPI.com


Iraqi forces say IS destroyed historic Tomb of Jonah in Mosul - VOA


VIDEO: The ruined shrine of Prophet Jonah in Mosul - kurdistan24.net


How the U.S. military sees the anti-ISIS fight, A dispatch from Iraq - The Atlantic


Islamic State lost almost a quarter of its territory in 2016, IHS Markit says - Yahoo News


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Libya - Jan 17, 2017


Russia turns to Libya with show of support for eastern commander Haftar - Reuters


Russians will arm Libyan general Haftar in challenge to West, according to his aides - The Times & The Sunday Times


Libyan army commander Haftar signs $2 billion arms deal with Russia despite UN sanctions, according to Libya Express - defenseworld.net


RAI TV reports that Haftar signed an agreement whereby Russia would build two military bases near Tobruk and Benghazi - Al Jazeera


Moscow is preparing to send military experts to train forces loyal to Haftar, according to Radio France International  - alaraby.co.uk


VIDEO: Libyan Commander Haftar visits Russian aircraft carrier for anti-terrorism briefing - YouTube


Russia, Egypt pushing for Haftar-Sarraj Libya meeting in Cairo - alaraby.co.uk


Beida (Tobruk) government accuses Italy of violating Libyan sovereignty, 'An Italian military vessel loaded with soldiers and ammunition has entered Libyan territorial waters' - libyaherald.com


LNA rejects Italian offer of humanitarian aid for east until it removes all the troops from Libya - libyaherald.com


British Ambassador to Libya arrives in Tobruk to meet HoR Speaker - Libyan Express


Algeria continues Libya peace efforts with visit of pro-LNA HoR group - libyaherald.com


In interview UN envoy Kobler highlights 2017 decisive for Lybian stability - China.org.cn


Head of UN Special Mission to Libya Kobler meets Egypt's army chief of staff for the 2nd. time in a month - Middle East Observer


'Meeting with Kobler, a waste of time’: Haftar - The North Africa Post


Obama gives Trump renewed Libya emergency powers - libyaherald.com


TSG IntelBrief: The Trump administration and the prospects for Libya - The Soufan Group


Libya turns into an arena for conflict between Russia and the West - Middle East Monitor

 

---------------------------------------------------------

 

Libya forces loyal to Haftar retake Benghazi district from jihadists - AFP


Libyan National Army faces snipers and IEDs as its squeezes Ganfouda enclave - libyaherald.com


New LNA air strikes on Derna Islamists after Hafter appoints another new head of operations - libyaherald.com


PHOTOS: Images show the Libyan National Army's fight against jihadists - Daily Mail Online


Erik Prince’s mercenaries bomb Libya flying aircrafts of UAE who supports the Tobruk government - warisboring.com


Nephew of Muslim Brotherhood’s Ali Salabi killed in Benghazi fighting against the Libyan National Army - libyaherald.com


Areas of western Tripoli blocked for the third day as a local militia continues to try to force the release of their commander - libyaherald.com


Armed groups rival of Libya's UN-backed government tries to seize ministry buildings in Tripoli - Reuters


Libya oil output rebounds to about 700,000 barrels a day with power returning at fields - Bloomberg


Libya ramps up oil production, threatening OPEC plans - WSJ


NOC to sue Petroleum Facilities Guards for blocking key Al-Zawiya gas pipeline, Al-Feel oilfield at Attorney General's office - The Libya Observer


Eastern NOC claims oil deals with Russia, China independently of the Tripoli-based organisation - Libya Business News


Amid tensions PC/GNA demands Central Bank of Libya to release agreed 2017 first quarter budget - libyaherald.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russia - Jan 16, 2017


Note: Kudos to Trump for his farsighted peaceful proposal to lift anti-Russian sanctions in exchange for nuclear arms reductions. Another common ground for cooperation could be the Arctic region.


Trump offers to Russia an end to sanctions for nuclear arms cut: 'I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially' - Reuters


Trump: 'NATO is very important to me' but it is obsolete because designed many years ago, countries aren’t paying and it didn’t deal with terrorism - Washington Examiner


Donald Trump avoids saying who he trusts more — Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, 'I start off trusting both — but let’s see how long that lasts' - Independent


Kremlin says judgement on Trump’s remarks about sanctions only possible after inauguration - TASS


Senator: Russia won’t trade security for lifting of sanctions, 'one of the main obstacles is the implementation of the US global missile defense plans' - RT


Kremlin agrees with Trump that NATO is 'vestige of past', according to the spokesman 'confrontation is the systemic goal of NATO' - TASS


Hollande on Trump's NATO remarks: Europe needs no policy advice from abroad - Sputnik


Merkel to Trump: Europe's destiny is ‘in our own hands' - VOA


German official says McCain told him he did not expect Trump to reverse the deployment of 4,000 U.S. troops to Poland. - AOL News


Don't add Montenegro to ‘obsolete' NATO: Senate shouldn't sacrifice U.S. security for Balkan mouse - Forbes


Army minister accuses Corbyn of siding with Russia against Nato after the Labour leader said 'I want to see a de-escalation, ultimately a de-militarisation...between both sides' - The Guardian


Inside Ike Eisenhower’s farewell warning: The military industrial complex - The Daily Beast

 

-------------------------------------------

 

Hundreds of U.S. Marines land in Norway, irking Russia - Reuters


US Marine force in Norway to eye Arctic and beyond - Stripes


Russian media: US Marines land in Norway, signaling departure from post-WW2 commitment to Russia - RT News


With about a third of its territory located north of the Arctic Circle, Russia is interested in developing projects in the region - Sputnik


Russia, Norway to sign final pact on disputed Arctic shelf exploration in April - Sputnik


Foreign Ministry in Oslo confirms possible political participation at Putin’s Arctic conference in Arkhangelsk in March - The Independent Barents Observer


Russia expands its presence in the Arctic, in the past two years it has opened six military bases - Russia Beyond The Headlines


Russia's nuclear-powered ice-breaker in the race to control the Arctic - Daily Mail Online


Russia deploys Arctic radar array on Wrangel Island - RT News


Russian Arctic ports have best year ever - The Independent Barents Observer


Siberian scientists to study Arctic 'anchor points' for development of Northern Sea Route - TASS


REPORT: Russia’s Arctic Obsession - Financial Times


US Navy Arctic drones: Ice melting too fast as competition with Russia intensifies - Scout


Experts from Russia and North America identify possible trends for the future of Arctic affairs and bilateral U.S.-Russian relations in the region - Russia Direct


International cooperation robust in the Arctic - Global Trade Magazine


Strategic thinking in the Russian Arctic: When threats become opportunities (1) - Red (Team) Analysis


Strategic Thinking in the Russian Arctic: When threats become opportunities (2) - Red (Team) Analysis

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: The Trump Dossier - Jan 13, 2017


Note: Why the intelligence community included a two page summary of the ‘Trump dossier’ in the presidential and congressional briefing? The Trump dossier is unsubstantiated, contains falsities, outlandish claims, inaccuracies and typos. Veteran intelligence officials call it a complete fraud which 'violated basic standards for intelligence reporting.’ A disinformation analyst at the US Navy’s call it a forgeryMedia critics call it dodgy. In a statement intelligence chief James Clapper wrote that ‘the IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.’ Does this pile of garbage really affect national security? The Telegraph reports that the alleged author of the Trump dossier Christopher Steele had contact with the FBI in July 2017 to discuss the content of it. The intelligence agencies had ample time to verify the veracity of the dossier, make an analysis and reach final conclusions. Why they did not make an investigation if they felt that the dossier was worth of it. By enclosing the summary of the dossier in the presidential briefing the intelligence community publicized it and validated it even if they had not reached any judgement about it. The New York Times states that 'putting the summary in a report that went to multiple people in Congress and the executive branch made it very likely that it would be leaked.’ Below are analyses of the Trump dossier published in the media.


Intel vets say Trump ‘dossier' is a ‘complete fraud' - The Daily Caller


‘Forgery!’ Donald Trump spy file is ‘bogus,’ security expert claims - radaronline.com


The Trump dossier is fake — and here are the reasons why. 'A sad state of affairs where an anonymous report, full of bizarre statements, captures the attention of the world media' - Forbes


Spy fiction or malware? A closer look at a ‘dodgy’ Russia dossier on Trump – World Tribune


Credibility of Donald Trump 'dirty dossier' is undermined by basic errors, claims former British spy - Daily Mail Online


VIDEO: Former UK Security Minister raises doubts over Trump dossier - Daily Mail Online


Michael Cohen, an attorney for the president-elect, denies allegations contained in a dossier published by BuzzFeed News: 'It Is fake news meant to malign Mr. Trump' - The Atlantic


Russian tech expert named in Trump report says US intelligence never contacted him about the accusations, which he says are false - McClatchy DC


Russians named in Trump dossier dismiss claims, They were incredulous over allegations of ties to Kremlin-led efforts to interfere with U.S. elections - WSJ


UK spy ‘gathered' Trump intel without going to Russia - The Daily Caller


Theresa May says Trump dossier author has not worked for Britain for years - Reuters


Chris Steele’s friends describe a 007 figure but MI6 call him ‘an idiot’ - Support


Alleged Trump dossier author Christopher Steele met the FBI to discuss the background to the file he had compiled - The Telegraph 


Democrats accuse FBI director of stonewalling on Trump-Russia ties, as more call for him to step down - The Washington Post


US intel sources warn Israel against sharing secrets with Trump administration, fear will be leaked to Russia—and from Russia to its close ally Iran - Ynetnews News


Spy agencies around the world are digging into Trump’s Moscow ties - BuzzFeed News


REPORT: Full text of the Trump dossier - BuzzFeed News


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Focus: Syria - Jan 11, 2017


US State Dept: Syrian Kurds a force on the ground and must be in peace talk ‘at some point’ - Rudaw


VIDEO: US State Dept spokesman: Syrian Kurds a force on the ground and must be in peace talk ‘at some point’ - YouTube


No room for ‘terrorist’ Kurdish YPG at Syria talks, says Turkish deputy PM - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey expects US solidarity on terrorist YPG, FETO: FM - aa.com


Turkish foreign minister Cavusoglu op-ed: Turkey deserves better from the United States - The Washington Post


Turkey's war on Syrian Kurds under scrutiny, The Turkish Army announces the death of 291 YPG fighters during military operations in northern Syria - ARA 


Kurdish PYD ready to table proposals for Constitution referendum talks in Astana peace talks - Sputnik


Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF): We are not PKK - Rudaw


Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) statement confirming that it has no affiliation or ties to PKK - U.S. Central Command on Twitter


Interview with Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim - ekurd


Two Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fronts meet northwest of Raqqa, continue push for city - Rudaw


ISIS counter-attacks against US-backed YPG forces near Raqqa - southfront.org


Kurds arrest ISIS supporters northeast Syria - ARA News


Syrian Kurdish-led forces seize historic castle from Islamic State less than 20 miles from Raqqa - ekurd


I Fought ISIS with the Kurds in Syria. This is what it was like - The Tower


4-year-old among 3 child soldiers in new Isis video showing execution of alleged Kurdish YPG spies in Syria - ibtimes.co.uk


Syrian women speak of ISIS atrocities in Manbij - ARA News


US special forces raid ISIS stronghold in Deir el-Ezor near Raqqa, reportedly killing dozen - CBS News


French Security Council calls liberation of Syria's Raqqa national priority - Sputnik


---------------------------------------------------

 

Tillerson: US must prioritize defeating Daesh (ISIS) in Syria before dealing with Assad - Sputnik


VIDEO: Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson at confirmation hearing: 'Syrian Kurds... have been our greatest allies’ in the fight against ISIS - YouTube


French presidential hopeful Fillon considers dialogue with Assad to resolve Syria crisis - Sputnik


Iraq PM Al-Abadi sends message to Assad about the war on terrorism - AWD News


Assad says Syria not putting conditions on peace talks, asked if that included his position as president Assad said ‘yes' but any new constitution must be put to a referendum - CBC


Assad willing to grant amnesty to armed groups, adding that 'this is the maximum that one can offer' - almasdarnews.com


Improved U.S.-Russia ties positive for Syria, Assad says - Bloomberg


Assad welcomes French presidential candidate Fillon’s views on Syria - France 24


VIDEO: Bashar al-Assad answers French media questions - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Bashar al-Assad answers French media questions - Syrian Arab News Agency


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: The Pentagon - Jan 10, 2017

 

F-35 needs rigorous Trump team review, Pentagon tester says citing its 'well-documented deficiencies in critical combat capabilities’ - Bloomberg


DOT&E FY2016 Annual Report: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - DOT&E


F-35 delayed — again — despite CEO's promise to Trump - Washington Examiner


Letter of Sen. McCain to Lockheed Martin CEO on the new F-35 delay - mccain.senate.gov


The most expensive F-35 variant has hit another major snag that could take years to fix, due to its nose gear during catapult-assisted takeoffs - SFGate


The Navy's F-35 may need a new landing gear - popularmechanics.com


Recent F-35 fire unrelated to previous problems: General - Defensetech


Cancel plans to purchase additional F-35 joint strike fighters and instead purchase F-16s and F/A-18s - Congressional Budget Office


Trump should cancel the failed F-35 fighter jet program, it 'showcases all that is wrong about our military's vendor-dominated, crony-capitalist procurement system’ - National Review


Blog: It's past time to kill the F-35, Stairway Press has just published a book about it - AmericanThinker


Could Trump really replace the F-35 with a Super Hornet? - popularmechanics.com


'One our adversaries should fear': US Air Force General Pleus describes how the F-35 is above and beyond the competition - Business Insider


Super Hornet ‘not interchangable' with F-35, says US Air Force Secretary - defensenews.com


F-35 pilot: 'Preposterous' to think an F-18 could do the the F-35's job - Business Insider


F-35 pilot: The common conception of dogfighting is way off, and the F-35 can excel at it - Business Insider


U.S. Air Force pilot: F-35 could beat Russia's stealth PAK-FA or China's J-31 in a fight - The National Interest Blog


This is how the F-35 is being tested against Russian and Chinese air defenses - wearethemighty.com


The F-35 Stealth Fighter has a super gun that can fire an insane 3,300 round per minute - The National Interest Blog


Marine Corps deploys first F-35 squadron to Japan: 'A true force multiplier' - Washington Times


Marine Corps F-35B integrates with NIFC-CA - Intercepts cruise missile target - Scout


Lockheed Martin's F-35: The U.S. Navy's secret missile defense system? - The National Interest Blog


America's military has a big problem: It's dead broke - The National Interest


Appeals court rules no transparency on Pentagon's top contractors - yahoo.com


Restoring America’s defenses: A Memo to the President-elect by Director of Central Intelligence (nominee) Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence (nominee) Coates - American Spectator


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)


Focus: Russia - Jan 8, 2017


McCain, Graham call for greater sanctions against Russia, say Trump in conflict with congressional Republicans if he doesn't get tougher on Putin - USAToday


McCain, Graham still have questions about Tillerson - POLITICO


Senator Menendez raises concerns on secretary of state nominee Tillerson over Russia, says he remains open to his nomination - dailyprogress.com


VIDEO: Full Interview: Lindsey Graham and John McCain On NBC's 'Meet The Press' - YouTube


McConnell: Trump's Russia hopes will quickly be dashed - Washington Examiner


VIDEO: McConnell predicts Trump's hope of better U.S.-Russia relationship will be 'will be dashed pretty quickly' - YouTube


House Intel Chair Nunes and committee's ranking Democrat Schiff: US friendship with Russia may not be possible - newsmax.com


VIDEO: Devin Nunes full Interview on 'Fox News Sunday' - YouTube


Pentagon chief Carter: We shouldn't 'limit ourselves' in response to Russia, 'I don’t think it should be a military, or purely military response' - TheHill


Pentagon chief Carter: Russian efforts in fight against ISIS 'virtually zero' - TheHill


VIDEO: Ash Carter interview On NBC's 'Meet The Press' - YouTube


Obama worried some citizens have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Democrats, says 'Putin is not on our team' - Orlando Sentinel


VIDEO: Obama on  ABC’s 'This Week’ says he didn't underestimate Putin but did misjudged Russia’s ability to tamper in the American electoral process YouTube


Reince Priebus says Trump accepts Russia is to blame for election-season hacking - slate.com


VIDEO: Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus says President elect Donald Trump accepts that Russia were behind the election hacking campaign - YouTube


Daniel Ellsberg hopes Trump, Putin can avoid doomsday scenario - San Francisco Chronicle


Russia election hack update: WikiLeaks will respond to CIA report Monday - ibtimes.com


 

----------------------------------------------------------

 

Note: Senators McCain, Graham and Klobuchar trip to Ukraine, the Baltics states and Georgia during the New Year 2017 holidays.

 

U.S. Senators vow no 'Faustian bargain' with Russia, pledge to target Putin ‘harder' - rferl.org


VIDEO: Interview with senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Aimee Klobuchar - YouTube


US senators McCain and Graham praise frontline Ukrainian marines in the Donetsk region, slam Putin – POLITICO


VIDEO: Sen. McCain in Donetsk region, Ukraine: Putin, we will defeat you in 2017 - YouTube


VIDEO: Poroshenko gives John McCain and US senators tour of Donetsk frontline on NYE - YouTube


VIDEO: Poroshenko awards Orders of Ukraine to US Senators McCain and Graham - YouTube

 

McCain calls for permanent US troops in Baltics - AFP


VIDEO: Senator McCain wants permanent US military presence in the Baltics - YouTube


US Senator McCain meets Lithuanian Prime Minister, reaffirms NATO support - Sputnik


John McCain reaffirms U.S. security guarantee against Russia during visit to Georgia - Democracy & Freedom Watch


VIDEO: U.S. Senator McCain visits Georgia's breakaway region frontier on the border to South Ossetia - rferl.org


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: NATO and Russia - Jan 6, 2016

 

Hundreds of U.S. tanks, trucks and other military equipment arrive in Germany to be deployed in eastern Europe as part of a NATO buildup - Reuters


Fort Carson: About 4,400 soldiers in the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team deploys to Europe for Operation Atlantic Resolve - TheDenverChannel.com


VIDEO: US military shipment arrives in Germany, ahead of NATO exercises - YouTube


New nuclear-armed subs get Pentagon OK before Obama leaves White House, a potential $126 billion project that the Navy calls its top priority - Bloomberg


NATO and Russia in game of cat and mouse in Baltic skies - AFP


NATO: Russian aircraft intercepted 110 times above Baltic in 2016 - newsweek.com


Germany continues augmenting Baltic air policing - NATO HQ Aircom


US sends elite commandos to reassure Baltic states while NATO beefs up defenses - Daily Mail Online


This is how NATO members are preparing for a possible Russian aggression in Baltic Sea - ibtimes.com


Defense minister: Turkey ‘can end US use of (Incirlik) base if interests hurt’, row between Ankara and Washington over relations with the Syrian Kurdish party PYD - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey Defense Ministry report reveals İncirlik Air Base links to putschist F-16 pilots - Daily Sabah


ISIS jihadist admits: 'We want to attack Incirlik airbase' - pjmedia.com


In Turkey, US hand is seen provoking nearly every crisis - The Boston Globe


---------------------------------------------

 

Senators finalizing new Russia sanctions for next week, in response to hacking as well as ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria - TheHill


AUDIO: Senator Cardin details bill on Russian sanctions - WBAL Radio 1090 AM


Key Senate Republicans hesitant about Russia sanctions - Washington Examiner


Kerry: 'Very dangerous' for Trump to reverse sanctions on Russia - TheHill


Report: Anti-Russian sanctions annihilated 400,000 jobs in Europe - Fort Russ


Russia begins withdrawal from Syria, The Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier naval group will be the first to leave the conflict area: official - TheHill


New satellite evidence of Russian Iskander M Missile deployment in Syria - Defense Update


Duterte hopes Russia will become Philippines' ally and protector - Reuters


Philippines’ Duterte open to Russian navy joint drill - newsweek.com


VIDEO: Duterte tours Russian warship: Come to Philippines more often - YouTube


Russian warship visit to Philippines part of broader pivot to Asia: analyst - ABS-CBN News


Russia's economy may be weak but its military is on a spending spree - afr.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russian Hacking - Jan 2, 2017


According to both private cybersecurity firms and US intelligence agencies, there is no doubt that Russian group "Fancy Bear" (also known as Sofacy, APT 28, Sednit, Tsar Team or other names) hacked the Democratic party. Is Fancy Bear an agent of the Russian military intelligence service? I believe it is. Fancy Bear is well known by the cybersecurity experts and has been studied in the past at length. Since 2007, targets of Fancy Bear’s hacking have been Georgia and the Caucasus, Eastern European governments and militaries, Ukraine, US, Germany, UK, NATO, OSCE, Soros, etc. Lately it hacked the World Anti-Doping Agency in response to the WADA's recommendation to ban all Russian athletes from the Olympic games in Brazil. While China hacking conducts intellectual property theft, cybersecurity firm FireEye found that Fancy Bear 'has been targeting privileged information related to governments, militaries and security organizations that would likely benefit the Russian government.’ Another cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike states that Fancy Bear’s profile "closely mirrors the strategic interests of the Russian government."


During the years Fancy Bear’ hacking activity has grown in size, sophistication and scope. FireEye reports that Fancy Bear has continuously evolved its malware "using flexible and lasting platforms indicative of plans for long-term use and sophisticated coding practices;" it also uses obfuscation techniques to hide or disguise the code's true purpose and to prevent it from being detected. CrowdStrike has shown that Fancy Bear has the ability to run multiple and extensive intrusion operations concurrently; while it was hacking US political organizations was at the same time involved targeting European military organizations. CrowdStrike on Fancy Bear and another Russian hacking group "Cozy Bear": "Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none and the extensive usage of 'living-off-the-land' techniques enables them to easily bypass many security solutions they encounter. In particular, we identified advanced methods consistent with nation-state level capabilities including deliberate targeting and 'access management' tradecraft — both groups were constantly going back into the environment to change out their implants, modify persistent methods, move to new Command & Control channels and perform other tasks to try to stay ahead of being detected." This is not lone wolf or kiddie stuff. This level of activity requires a complex structure that only the Russian government can provide. The New York Times reports that Russian officials recruit programmers "placing prominent ads on social media sites, offering jobs to college students and professional coders.” Fancy Bear developers use the Russian language and operate during business hours consistent with the time zone of Russia’s major cities.


Also Cozy Bear was involved in the hacking of the Democratic party. Recently, after the American presidential elections, it attacked several Russia-focused think tanks in Washington DC who advise the US government. Crowdstrike said Cozy Bear has also been in the past behind attacks against the White House, State Department and Joint Chiefs of Staff. For convenience, here I only focus on Fancy Bear. Enclosed is publicly available documentation. Additional classified material may be in the hand of the US intelligence agencies.


In September 2015 Obama signed an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping in which both countries agreed not to hack the other’s private sector firms. After that there was a dramatic drop in Chinese state-sponsored hacking; around 90 percent of the cyber attacks disappeared in 2016. CrowdStrikes calls those Chinese hacking statistics "the biggest accomplishment we’ve had in the cyber domain in the last 30 years." Hopefully Trump will be able to do the same with Putin cutting down the Russian hacking. To this end, opening a friendly dialogue and establishing cooperation with Moscow will certainly help. Russians feel threatened by the West and their fears are the root causes of their cyberspionage surge.


REPORT: Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee - CrowdStrike 


Findings from analysis of DNC intrusion malware - Threat Geek


Russian-linked group leaks US lawmakers’ phone numbers, emails - Nextgov.com


ThreatConnect follows Guccifer 2.0 to Russian VPN Service - ThreatConnect


Faketivists: Fancy Bears in disguise - ThreatConnect Blog


How hackers broke into John Podesta and Colin Powell’s Gmail accounts - Motherboard


Threat Group-4127 (Fancy Bear) targets Google accounts - SecureWorks


Russian hackers of DNC said to nab secrets from top NATO general, Soros - Bloomberg


Can a BEAR fit down a rabbit hole? Nexus between attacks against US State Election Boards and spearphishing campaign against Turkish, Ukrainian governments - ThreatConnect


Fancy Bears possibly involved in the hacking of OSCE which is monitoring a ceasefire between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists - softpedia.com


Fancy Bear tracks Ukraine troop movements via trojanized app - Infosecurity Magazine


Fancy Bear hack of Ukrainian artillery fighters shows future of war - Motherboard


REPORT: Danger Close: Fancy Bear Tracking of Ukrainian Field Artillery Units - CrowdStrike


Russian 'Fancy Bear' hackers targeted BBC election broadcasts and government departments - Daily Mail Online


Experts: Same Russians hacked World Anti-Doping Agency, Democrats - NBC News


REPORT: ThreatConnect Identifies FANCY BEAR World Anti-Doping Agency Breach - ThreatConnect


Fancy Bear hackers use a new Mac Trojan against aerospace industry – Cyber Defense Magazine


Fancy Bear goes all out to beat Adobe, MSFT zero-day patches - Ars Technica


-------------------------------------------------------------------------


FBI-DHS report provides insight into Russian malicious cyber activity - eweek.com


REPORT: GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity - us-cert.gov


Critiques of the DHS/FBI’s GRIZZLY STEPPE Report – Robert M. Lee


Meet Fancy Bear, the Russian group hacking the US election - BuzzFeed News


All signs point to Russia being behind the DNC hack - Motherboard


Russian government likely to be behind APT 28 (Fancy Bear): Bitdefender - scmagazineuk.com


REPORT: APT28 (Fancy Bear) Under the Scope: A Journey into Exfiltrating Intelligence and Government Information - bitdefender.com


APT28: A Window into Russia's cyber espionage operations? APT28 is most likely sponsored by the Russian government based on numerous factors - FireEye Inc


How Russia recruited elite hackers for its cyberwar - The New York Times


Obama curbed Chinese hacking, but Russia wont be so easy - WIRED


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Syria - Dec 29, 2016

 

Syrian government and rebels sign cease-fire deal, says Russia - LA Times


VIDEO (English subs): Putin: Syria ceasefire agreement reached, readiness to start peace talks - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Shoigu and Lavrov brief Putin on agreements between the Syrian government and the opposition on a ceasefire and peace talks - Kremlin


Russia to cut military presence in Syria: Putin - TASS


Syria ceasefire deal — the draft text - TRT World


List of armed formations, which joined the ceasefire in the Syrian Arab Republic on December 30, 2016 - Russia Ministry of Defence


POLL: Putin’s approval rating hits 2016 record-high of nearly 87 percent - TASS


Lavrov hopes Trump administration will join efforts on Syria peace talks - TASS


Lavrov says Egypt could join Syria talks in Astana, while Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Iraq could join them at subsequent stages - TASS


Two parallel talks on Syria settlement might be held in Astana - Sputnik


Press release regarding the announcement of country-wide ceasefire between the warring parties in Syria - Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Assad believes agreements on Syria lay grounds for stabilization 'for first time ever’ - TASS


Syrian foreign minister sees 'real chance' for political settlement - Reuters


Press Release: Syrian Coalition calls for full implementation of the Russian-Turkish ceasefire agreement - etilaf.org


FSA says Syria ceasefire agreed, reveals details - orient-news.net

 

Syrian rebel group Ahrar al-Sham says has 'reservations' about Syria agreement, and was not among the groups that had signed it - Reuters


"Nor did Nour al-Din Zinki sign the agreement” - Sami on Twitter


Turkey says Lebanon's Hezbollah should leave Syria - The Times of Israel


"Hezbollah says fighters from the party will remain in #Syria indefinitely, despite Turkey's demands that the group withdraw” - Zeina Khodr on Twitter

 

----------------------------------------------

 

US State Dept 'welcomes' Syria cease-fire, sees it as 'a positive development' - Washington Examiner


Graham fears Syria truce a ‘capitulation’ to Russia, Iran - TheHill


"#Putin declares ceasefire in #Syria to make way for talks. Make a desert, call it peace - John McCain on Twitter

 

US supplies weapons to YPG terrorists in Syria, period, Turkey FM says - Daily Sabah


Erdogan to US: 'We are your NATO ally. How on earth can you support terrorist organizations and not us?' - aa.com


The truth regarding misinformation in Turkish media concerning United States and Coalition operations against ISIL in Syria - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey

 

ISIS 'war committee' member killed in coalition airstrike, US official tweets that Kurdish-Arab SDF have so far cleared 1,900 square kilometres in their campaign to isolate Raqqa - Rudaw


Kurdish PYD says not invited to join Syrian ceasefire deal - Sputnik


Syrian Kurdish groups, allies say approve blueprint for federal system - Reuters


Syrian Kurdistan drops Rojava (Western Kurdistan) word in its draft constitution - Rudaw


Kurds and Damascus meet over the status of the Kurdish-administrated entities in the north of the country - Rudaw


Syrian Democratic Front (not to be confused with the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces) unites internal opposition groups - Sputnik


"Of 111,000 displaced fr east Aleppo, 74,951 or 2/3 went to Gov-controlled areas, & 36,086 to reb areas” - Joshua Landis on Twitter


MAP: "As a ceasefire is announced, @ReutersGraphics maps estimated Syrian civil war fatalities - Reuters Top News on Twitter



To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russia and Syria - Dec 27, 2016


FM spokesperson: US defense bill 'directly threatens' security of Russian military in Syria, delivering more weapons to rebels including portable anti-aircraft missiles - RT


U.S. says not providing portable anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian rebels - Reuters


Russia: US defense bill to create problems for the Trump administration, 'as well as to force it to adopt an anti-Russia policy' - TheHill


Russia Foreign Ministry: Washington seeks to disrupt nuclear parity with Moscow - TASS


Comment by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova on new US National Defence Authorisation Act - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


Boris Johnson called 'undiplomatic and unprofessional' by Russia over Syria comments - Mirror Online


Moscow would welcome Henry Kissinger’s expertise in Russia-US relations: Kremlin - RT News


American officials: US, Russian militaries sharing more information on Syria, with both sides trading information in real time and even outlining some of their strategic objectives - AP


John McCain op-ed: We have a stake in Syria, yet we have done nothing - Chicago Tribune


McCain: NATO key to stopping 'Russian misbehavior' - TheHill


Obama administration is close to announcing measures to punish Russia for election interference - The Washington Post


Intelligence agencies sued for records on Russian election interference - TheHill


--------------------------------------------------

 

Russia says will boost cooperation with Turkey, Iran on Syria: Interfax - Reuters


Kazakh leader says ready to host Russia, Iran, Turkey for Syria talks - rferl.org


Turkey says Saudis, Qatar should attend Syria peace talks - Bloomberg


Erdogan accuses West of 'supporting all the terror groups -- the YPG, PYD but also including Daesh (IS)', breaking promises in Syria - AFP


U.S. calls 'ludicrous' Turkey's claims coalition supported terrorists in Syria - Reuters


Putin orders expansion of Russia’s naval base in Tartus, Syria - Countercurrents


Iran considers letting Russia use its Hamadan base - Al Arabiya English


Russian troops in Aleppo report finding mass graves with tortured and mutilated bodies - AP


First photos of Russian military police in Syria's Aleppo - southfront.org


Iran says could send military advisors to Syria's Aleppo if needed: RIA - Reuters


Massive battle brewing in western Palmyra as Syrian Army mobilizes 7000 soldiers to fight ISIS - almasdarnews.com


Unknown special forces eliminate leaders of militant groups in Syria - southfront.org

 

Saudi Arabian king launches fundraising campaign for Syria, donates millions - ibtimes.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Turkey and Syria - Dec 26, 2016


All-out Turkey offensive to liberate al-Bab nears end as focus turns toward next target Manbij - Daily Sabah


US led int'l coalition refusing air support in al-Bab anti-Daesh op. unacceptable, Turkey spox Kalın says - Daily Sabah


Turkey moves tanks and guns to Syria border, eyes Raqqa if Trump agrees to block Kurdish forces from participating - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Erdogan says 'Turkey will never allow the formation of a new [Kurdish] state in northern Syria’, wants role in Raqqa ‘because Turkey is a global power' - Breibart


President Tayyip Erdoğan to ask Donald Trump to impose no-fly zone over Syria - The Independent

 

Qatar, Turkey hold talks on Syria crisis - gulf-times.com


Turkish military, Free Syrian Army shell Kurdish villages on Afrin canton situated between al-Bab and Manbij - Sputnik


Kurdish YPG reports ongoing attacks by Turkish army near Kobanê with heavy weapons - ANF 


Kurdish YPG militia says to leave Manbij, it finished training local security units in Manbij which it captured from Islamic State - Kurdpress News Aganecy


U.S. does not support connecting Kurdish cantons in Syrian Kurdistan: Ambassador to Ankara - ekurd


Russia met 24 Syrian Kurdish parties: Russian general - Kurdpress News Aganecy


US backed Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces 5km from strategic Tabqa dam west of Raqqa - Rudaw


Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces say make gains in Raqqa province, have liberated 97 villages from ISIS in the past 10 days - VOA


Kurdish female fighters playing key role in battle for Raqqa - ARA News


US-Led coalition bracing for bombing raids against Daesh in Syria's Raqqa, 'We will be stepping up the training for Syrian Democratic Forces’ - Sputnik

 

ISIS jihadists burn four men to death on charges of supporting Kurdish forces - ARA News


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russia - Dec 23, 2016


Putin says he wants no nuclear arms race, seeks to improve armaments piercing NATO missile defenses deployed near Russia borders - New York Times


Putin: Systems overcoming anti-missile defense more effective than missile shield itself - TASS


VIDEO: Putin says Russia's nukes can pierce any defense system - YouTube


Putin ‘gives signal' to Trump about consequences of US exit from ABM Treaty that barred the parties from deploying anti-ballistic missile systems - Sputnik


Defense Ministry reveals Russian army's plans for upcoming year - TASS


Russia Defense Minister: Instead of uniting against terrorism, NATO declares Russia main threat and increases its military potential near our borders’ - TASS


TRANSCRIPT: Expanded meeting of the Defence Ministry Board • President of Russia


Russian forces receive 139 new aircraft, 4 missile regiments reequipped: Shoigu - Sputnik


Two Russian army formations rearmed with Iskander tactical missiles in 2016 - TASS


Four new Russian missile forces with Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems on combat duty: Minister - Sputnik


Russia to float out 2 nuclear submarines in 2017 - TASS


Russian Black Sea fleet to receive 3 Submarines, 2 Frigates in 2017: Commander - Sputnik


Russian Navy to receive 2 new Arctic bases: Northern Fleet Commander - Sputnik


Russian MoD to receive advanced electronic warfare system in 2017: UIMC - Sputnik


Russian scientists working on new hypersonic aircraft to break through missile defense systems: RIA Nostosti - Sputnik


Production of the hypersonic missile is expected to be launched in 2017 - Sputnik


US Air Force report: Hypersonic missiles From China, Russia pose growing danger - freebeacon.com


Russian Army to get weapons to fight mini-drone swarms in two years - TASS


Russian defense contractor to start working on 3rd generation doomsday planes, expected to be used in case of a nuclear war if ground command centers were destroyed - TASS


Russia tested over 160 new weapons in Syrian operation: defense minister - RT News


Snap combat drills demonstrate rapid development capabilities of Russian Army: Putin - Sputnik

 

Serbia to receive 6 fighter jets, 30 tanks, 30 combat vehicles From Russia - Sputnik


Russian defense minister proposes holding joint drills with Serbia annually - TASS

 

---------------------------------------------

 

Putin says will gladly visit US if Trump invites him, agrees with Trump Russia-US relations ‘worse than ever' - TASS


Putin sees no big news in Trump’s statements on bolstering US nuclear potential - TASS


Trump: I got a 'very nice letter' from Putin about improving relations - CNBC


Putin’s letter to Trump - Google Drive


Putin says Western sanctions hampering cooperation on counter-terrorism - Reuters


US Commerce Dept adds 23 Russian entities to sanctions list - Sputnik


Putin sees hope for economy in wage growth, easing recession - Bloomberg


Labor productivity in Russia’s defense industry ‘rockets’: Putin - Sputnik


POLL: Over 60% of Russians trust President Putin - Sputnik


VIDEO: Putin holds annual Q&A marathon, (Starts at 11:20 min) - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference • President of Russia


Did Putin get Botox plastic surgery? He looks younger - Mediaite


Cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike finds evidence that Russian military unit was behind DNC hack, links DNC malware to one in an app used by the Ukrainian army - Washington Post


Interview with CrowdStrike chief on the new evidence of Russian role in DNC hack - PBS NewsHour


Report: Use of Fancy Bear Android Malware in Tracking of Ukrainian Field Artillery Units - Crowdstrike


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Focus: Russia - Dec 21, 2016


Russia, Iran, Turkey say ready to broker Syria deal, adopt the ‘Moscow Declaration' which set out the principles - Reuters


Moscow Declaration: Joint statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on agreed steps to revitalize the political process to end the Syrian conflict - Russian Foreign Ministry


Russian, Iranian and Turkish FMs hold joint press conference on Syria - Sputnik


VIDEO (English): Russian, Iranian and Turkish FM's full joint press conference after meeting on Syria - YouTube


Telephone conversation between Putin and Egypt President el-Sisi, The two discussed the situation in the Middle East, including settlement of the crises in Syria and Libya - President of Russia


U.S. plays down absence from Moscow talks on Syria, says not 'sidelined' - Reuters


Russia-Iran-Turkey statement useful for resumption of Syria talks in Geneva: UN - Sputnik


Syrian opposition delegation’s chief negotiator Alloush: ‘Moscow Declaration’ is a crime; must get ready for post-Aleppo battles - Al Arabiya 


John Bolton on the US exclusion from the Russia-Turkey-Iran talks on Syria: 'We’ve got to strengthen ties, if we can, with all of the Gulf nations, the six oil producing monarchies' - Hugh Hewitt Show


Iranian security chief says Iran, Russia share military base In Syria – World Tribune


Hezbollah fighting in Syria with U.S. weapons supplied to Lebanese army, IDF says - Haaretz.com


Former Nusra Front claims responsibility for Russian Ambassador's assassination - Sputnik


Ambassador shooting: Russia pushes back on Turkey's Gulenist claim - CNN.com

 

----------------------------------------------

 

U.S. sanctions more companies, people over Russia actions in Ukraine - Reuters


Statement: Treasury sanctions individuals and entities in connection with Russia's occupation of Crimea and the conflict in Ukraine - treasury.gov


US State Department hopes Trump would see wisdom in keeping sanctions on Russia - Sputnik


VIDEO: State Dept says new sanctions were prompted by the Russian annexation of Crimea and support for militias in eastern Ukraine - NYTimes.com


EU decision on extending anti-Russia sanctions takes effect - Sputnik


Moscow to take adequate measures over US expansion of anti-Russian sanctions - TASS

 

Kremlin calls US-Russian ties 'frozen on practically all levels', unsure about Trump - AP


State Department rejects Russia's claim that dialogue has ended - Washington Examiner


POLL: Most economists say U.S. to ease sanctions over next 12 months - Bloomberg


Report: Russians regularly shelled Eastern Ukraine in 2014 - ABC News


U.S.-supplied drones disappoint Ukraine at the front lines, proven ineffective against jamming and hacking by Russia and the separatists - Reuters


Sources: Russia tests anti-satellite weapon - CNNPolitics.com


Russia missing from Trump’s top defense priorities, according to DoD memo - Foreign Policy


Text of DoD memo on Trump’s top defense priorities - Foreign Policy

 

Senate Dems plan proxy war against Trump with Tillerson confirmation - newsmax.com


POLL: Only one-third of Americans say Russia influenced 2016 election - POLITICO


To contact Bartolo email peaceloverblog[at]yahoo[dot]com (replacing [at] with @, [dot] with .)

Speaking Events

March 27-April 6 Events Everywhere

 

April 4: Remembering Past Wars . . . and Preventing the Next: An event to mark 100 years since the United States entered World War I, and 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous speech against war. A new movement to end all war is growing. 6-8 p.m. at 5th and K Busboys and Poets, Washington, D.C.
 

 

April 7-9: Huntsville, Alabama: 25th Annual Space Organizing Conference & Protest

 

April 22: David Swanson speaking in Burlington, Vermont

 

June 16-18: David Swanson and many others speaking at United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) annual conference in Richmond, Va.



August 2-6: Peace and Democracy Conference at Democracy Convention in Minneapolis, Minn.



Find more events here.

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