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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


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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


 

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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


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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


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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

 

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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


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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

 

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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 .)

Focus: The Pentagon - Dec 20, 2016


McCain slams $13B in Pentagon spending in latest waste report - TheHill


REPORT: America’s Most Wasted - mccain.senate.gov


General fires back at Trump: F-35 ‘not out of control’ (just needs another half billion to finish flight testing) - Defense One


F-35 chief: Loose bracket sparked fire on Marine Corps plane - defensenews.com


F-35's $400K helmet still blinds pilots on night flights - DoD Buzz


The F-35: What’s left to fix? - Aviation Week


Expert: Military becomes overly dependent on expensive weapons systems at the expense of lower-cost, perhaps more effective alternative, F-35 costs $40,000 per hour to fly - Bloomberg


F-16 designer: Applauds Trump, says each F-35 ‘harms American air power’ - Sputnik


VIDEO: F-35 pilot interview; Why did F35 lost to F16 - YouTube


Despite problems, F-35’s first test pilot still believes in the stealth fighter - Fresno Bee


Northrop's new combat drone could outclass Boeing F/A-18, Lockheed F-35 -- The Motley Fool


Unilateral negotiations still in play for F-35 contract with Lockheed Martin  - flightglobal.com


Lockheed Martin wins contract for F-35 logistics - Pacific Coast Business Times


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

 

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James: F-35s likely heading to Europe in Summer 2017 to help NATO deter Russian aggression - Breaking Defense


The F-35 gets a big win as Israel scores $38 Billion in US military aid - The Fiscal Times


Is the F-35 deal a dud for Israel? - israelrising.com


New photos of Russian T-50 stealth fighter: Sputnik says 'the T-50 have superior maneuverability compared to the F-35, travels at a 30% higher speed with a range over 2,000 miles farther’ - CNN


US senior defense analyst says the Russia new stealth fighter T-50 'will lose every engagement' against U.S. F-35 and F-22 stealth fighters - daytondailynews.com


F-35 meet Russia’s stealth fighter T-50 - JewishPress.com


America’s F-35 fighter jet vs China’s J-20: A comparison - Business Insider


China’s J-20 ‘stealth’ fighter is inferior to the US F-35, lets slip Chinese expert - Chinatopix


Special battle of stealth fighters: F-35 vs China J-31 & Russia T-50 - Scout


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


Focus: Russia and NATO - Dec 19, 2016


NATO and Russia talk at the Council meeting, but remain divided on Ukraine - Reuters


Statement by the NATO Secretary General following a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council - NATO


VIDEO: NATO Secretary General statement following NATO-Russia Council - YouTube


Ahead of talks US ambassador to NATO Lute accuses Russia of being 'a source of instability and uncertainty’ - RT


VIDEO: US ambassador to NATO Lute accuses Russia of becoming 'a source of instability and uncertainty' - YouTube


4000 American elite troops arrive to Eastern Europe in January, the biggest deployment in the past 20 years and will cost some USD 3.4 billion - Romania Insider


U.S. army returns 1,600 tanks to Europe as NATO eyes assertive Russia, a Dutch installation to house this 'strategically prepositioned critical war stock’ (VIDEO) - NBC


British Government extends military training for Ukrainian troops 'in face of a more belligerent Russia' - The Independent


European defense budgets climb as NATO countries step up spending - NBC


Stoltenberg: NATO is considering strengthening its presence in the Black Sea - UAWire


Romania boosts NATO role as Black Sea tension rises - irishtimes.com


Lavrov: Kyiv's initiative of patrolling Black Sea jointly with NATO provocative - KyivPost


Russia will respond if NATO establishes military group in Black Sea: Foreign Ministry - Sputnik


Russia to 'expand mobile nuclear missile patrols' near European borders to respond to Nato 'threats' in 2017 - The Independent


Serbia to get Russian fighter jets to counter NATO threat - ABC News


Kremlin hails Kissinger for Putin comments stating the Russian President was an effective advocate for his nation's interest - US News


VIDEO: Henry Kissinger on Russia hacking & Putin - CBS News

 

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


UN approves sending monitors to Aleppo as evacuations resume - ABC News


Security Council Resolution 2328: Demanding immediate, unhindered access for observation of monitoring civilian evacuations from Aleppo - ReliefWeb


Russia, Iran and Turkey to hold Syria talks in Moscow on Tuesday - Reuters


Putin tells Rouhani he wants Syria conflict resolved soon: Kremlin - Reuters


Gunman kills Russian ambassador to Turkey, shouts 'God is great' - usatoday.com


VIDEO: Footage of Russian ambassador assassinated in Turkey - YouTube


Putin calls ambassador murder provocation aimed at derailing Syria negotiations - Sputnik


VIDEO: Putin comments on ambassador assassination in Ankara - YouTube

 

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

 

Focus: The European Union - Dec 15, 2016

 

Note: I am a believer in the European Union. I think that it is an historical development, a political experiment to be replicated regionally in other parts of the world. Nowadays it is suffering difficulties like any emerging reality but it will ultimately succeed. As the 2016 has been a crisis year for the EU, the 2017 may set a relaunch of the initiative with new elections and changes looming.


EU agrees to extend Russia sanctions until mid-2017 over the turmoil in Ukraine - Reuters


EU fatigue over Russia sanctions shows as Putin reset looms - Bloomberg


Why the EU sanctions against Russia won’t last - Sputnik


Medvedev says EU food embargo remains in response to anti-Russian sanctions - RT Business

 

Federica Mogherini, top EU diplomat, says bloc is prepared for Trump - WSJ


EU foreign policy chief Mogherini speaks on Trump, Russia, Iran deal, Syria - WSJ


Kremlin: Russia not interested in ‘friendship’ with EU against U.S., In WSJ interview foreign policy chief Mogherini said the EU could 'line up with Russia’ to counter some policies of Trump - TASS


Ukraine will not join EU, Dutch are promised: Association deal not conferring to Ukraine candidate status, guarantees for military or financial assistance, or a right for its citizens work within EU - The Guardian


European Council conclusions on Ukraine, 15 December 2016 - EU Consilium


European Parliament votes for mechanism suspending visa-free travels for third countries, brings Georgia and Ukraine closer to visa-free EU travel - rferl.org


Visa-free regime for Ukraine? 'Another kind of danger Europe will have to face': The inflow of Ukrainian migrants to Europe will be a serious challenge to the European labor market - Sputnik


Kiev continues policy of economic and cultural detachment of Donbass from Ukraine: Russian envoy - TASS


Turkey will have backup plans if EU visa deal falls through, Erdogan says - Reuters


Turkey’s relationship with the EU is worse than ever - VICE News

 

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

 

EU leaders plan military overhaul after pressure from Trump - WSJ


Europe’s defense spending and cooperation between their armed forces to rise as global threats proliferate - Bloomberg


EU investment bank to fund defense research: EU summit draft - Business Insider


EU Council draft summit conclusions - EurActiv.com


Website of the European Council, 15/12/2016 - EU Consilium

 

NATO to hold talks with Russia Monday: Stoltenberg - AFP

 

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

 

Brexit: EU leaders to discuss UK's exit without Theresa May - BBC News


European Union's Brexit plans LEAKED: Shock report shows Brussels bigwigs will play hardball - Daily Express


UK confident of negotiating Brexit within two years: May's spokesman - Reuters


UK faces Brexit settlement bill of up to £50bn, Sky sources say - Sky News


Brexit trade deal could take 10 years, says UK's ambassador - BBC News


VIDEO: 'Lonely Theresa May' video at EU summit is Brexit in a nutshell, Footage of PM looking forlorn as EU leaders chat - The Guardian


Lloyd's of London plots EU shift to ward off Brexit threat - Telegraph


Greece snubs lenders approving Christmas bonus to pensioners as Europe divided, lenders suspend a deal to offer Greece short-term debt relief - Yahoo Finance


IMF and EU policymakers take Greece bailout spat online - ft.com


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

Focus: Aleppo - Dec 14, 2016


Confusion over Aleppo evacuation as rebels say deal back on, however Syria's government source says ‘there is no agreement, the negotiations are ongoing' - France 24


Syrian rebels shell besieged villages in Idlib province which Damascus ally Iran is demanding to be evacuated before a ceasefire deal - Reuters


UN body says Aleppo rebels may be blocking civilians from fleeing Aleppo and using them as human shields - AFP


Russian Defense Ministry reports more than 360 gunmen lay down arms in Aleppo - TASS


Russian FM minister calls on the US to influence the units of the militant opposition backed by Washington - TASS


Damascus in close contact on military planning with Moscow and Tehran - TASS


Syrian leader Assad's Shi'ite allies helped him win in Aleppo - Reuters


Western media disinformation: Unverified Aleppo “on the spot” executions - Centre for Research on Globalization


U.S. may target heavy weapons seized by Islamic State in Palmyra, US general warns - Reuters

 

ISIS video claims to show abandoned Russian base in Palmyra with significant weaponry left behind - The Guardian


VIDEO: Abandoned Russian military base in Palmyra - YouTube


Obama waives restrictions on military support to foreign forces 'to combat terrorism in Syria' - ibtimes.com

 

Weapons can end up with terrorists now US military aid restrictions to Syria lifted: Kremlin - RT News


No complete confidence US arm supplies to Syria ‘can’t change hands’: State Dept - RT America


Interview with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on the bill to halt U.S. arms supplies to 'individuals and groups who are working directly with al-Qaida, ISIS ...and other terrorist groups' - NPR


Press Release: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduces legislation to stop arming terrorists - Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard


VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduces bill to stop arming terrorists - YouTube

 

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

 

Aleppo: US ambassador Samantha Power blasts Assad, Russia, Iran over Syria atrocities at UN Security Council meeting - Haaretz


Russia ambassador Churkin to Samantha Power: You are not Mother Theresa, remember the role of US and allies in the creation of ISIS as a result of intervention in Iraq and Syria - RT


VIDEO: Ambassador Samantha Power's attack on Syria, Russia and Iran over deaths in Aleppo - YouTube


VIDEO: Russia’s UN Ambassador Churkin responds to Samantha Power on Syria - YouTube


VIDEO (Full statements): US Ambassador Power and Russia Ambassador Churkin at UN Security Council meeting on Aleppo - YouTube


Syria Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari: The Syrian government is innocent of the U.S. and western accusations that it has committed crimes in Aleppo - SANA


VIDEO: Syria Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari statement at the UN Security Council on Aleppo - YouTube


Senators McCain and Graham: Aleppo a ‘testament to our moral failure, everlasting shame' - Newsmax


New York Times editorial: Aleppo’s destroyers: Assad, Putin, Iran - The New York Times


Germany blames Russia over Syria, says sanctions still on table - sg.news


Russian Defense Ministry calls criticism over Aleppo ‘Russophobic hot air’ - themoscowtimes.com


Syria's Assad: Trump can be our natural ally to fight terrorism - Reuters


Assad: All Western aid for Syria sent to terrorist groups, not civilians - Sputnik


VIDEO (Full interview): Assad: West is telling Russia that Syrian Army went too far in defeating terrorists  - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Assad full interview - Syrian Arab News Agency


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

Focus: Russia - Dec 13, 2016

 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker to launch new Russia hacking inquiry, It will be the third Senate committee to dig into the issue - CNN


House Intelligence Committee Chair Nunes won't start new probe into Russian hacking - TPM


House Intel Committee Chairman Nunes: CIA report on Russia meddling conflicts with DNI testimony - Fox News


Devin Nunes’ letter to DNI James Clapper on the CIA's assessment that Russia sought to tilt the presidential election toward Trump - POLITICO


Congress can’t decide how to probe charges Russia aimed to help Trump - The Washington Post


Obama doubles down on Trump, blames Russia for hacking - New York Post


Top intel office not on same page as CIA regarding Russia hack assessment - Fox News


40 Electoral College members demand briefing on Russian interference, all are Democrats except one Republican - TheHill


Kremlin calls talk of Russian interference in U.S. elections ‘absolute nonsense’  - The Washington Post

 

CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that first publicly linked the hacking to Russian intelligence, says cyberattack waged on Clinton campaign just days before vote - Yahoo News


Did the Russians “hack” the election? A look at the established facts - Ars Technica


Vladimir Putin "ready" to meet Donald Trump "any moment" but likely after innauguration - CBS News


‘West has been blaming Russia for everything, now there’s backlash’: Gorbachev - RT News


VIDEO: Gorbachev: "World needs Russia & the U.S. to cooperate" - CBS News


Excerpts from AP interview with Mikhail Gorbachev - US News


Syria rebels reach evacuation deal with government in Aleppo, fighters would be evacuated on buses - Al Jazeera


State Dept. unaware of Russia, Turkey deal on Syria cease-fire and a safe passage for rebel fighters looking to leave Aleppo - Washington Examiner


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

 

Moscow sees Rex Tillerson as chance to end sanctions, reboot U.S. ties - WSJ


Priebus: Trump won't rule out lifting Russia sanctions - POLITICO


Tillerson visited White House often over Russia sanctions, advocated against them - Bloomberg


Exxon would win if Tillerson works to lift Russia sanctions - CNN


McCain again voices concerns about Tillerson's ties to Putin - TheHill


EU leaders to discuss extending sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, Merkel and Hollande back extending them - Reuters


Kremlin comments on Merkel, Hollande offer to extend sanctions against Russia: they lead to a deadlock, cannot facilitate solutions to any problems - TASS


Austrian Vice Chancellor repeats call for phasing out of anti-Russia sanctions - Sputnik


EU officials look into Rosneft sale for possible sanctions breach - Reuters


Japan says 'no deal' with Russia that undermines G7 sanctions - SMC


Russia's Putin says Western sanctions an obstacle to talks with Japan: media - Reuters


Putin: Disruptions of EU gas supplies via Ukraine possible - The New York Times


Sweden won't block Nord Stream harbor deals, but raises defense concerns - Reuters


Iran, Russia sign major deal on development of oil, gas fields - Tasnim News Agency


Russia's Rosneft takes part of Egyptian gas field for $1.6B - ABC News


Russia's biggest oil producer rises from slump, looks to 2017 - TheStreet


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

Focus: The Pentagon - Dec 12, 2016


Trump targets F-35 program in latest dig on defense spending, The pilot's helmet alone could cost around $400,000 - WSJ


Government-spending watchdogs praise Trump for taking aim at F-35, the ‘plane that ate the Pentagon’ - newsweek.com


Trump floats lifetime ban on defense firms hiring military procurement officials, Met with deep skepticism within the U.S. defense establishment - Reuters


Trump attack on Lockheed Martin foreshadows war on defense industry, transition spokesman says 'we look to come up with better deals' - Reuters


Lockheed Martin says company already cut F-35 costs - Reuters


Lockheed shares fall after Trump tweets about F-35 jet costs - CBS News


Defense ETFs are under fire from Trump - ETF Trends


Defense experts warn of 'disaster' for Britain after Donald Trump suggests undoing 'out of control' F-35 fighter jet project - Telegraph


F-35 jets bound for Israel grounded due to their inability to take off in bad weather - CNNPolitics.com


'F-35s will help U.S. and Israel air forces operate more jointly and more effectively. Together, we will dominate the skies' - U.S. Dept of Defense on Twitter


Misleading F-35 answers drafted by Pentagon, testing chief says - Bloomberg


Oversight panel demands answers on Pentagon waste report - TheHill


Letter of House Oversight Committee members to Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Pentagon waste report - oversight.house.gov


U.S. GAO Report: Defense Business Transformation: DOD Should Improve Its Planning with and Performance Monitoring of the Military Departments - U.S. GAO


Congress creates new DoD Chief Management Officer, whose primary job will be overseeing and reforming DoD headquarters functions - FederalNewsRadio.com


Final NDAA trims civilian and military jobs in DoD - FederalNewsRadio.com


DoD stuck with too many acquisition reforms and not enough staff - FederalNewsRadio.com


Pentagon taking a more serious look at off-the-shelf technology, Buy technology that is already available rather than spend money a new one - nationaldefensemagazine.org


Washington Post editorial: The Pentagon can’t afford to sweep spending under the rug - The Washington Post


Senate passes annual defense policy bill, sending it to Obama for his signature - The Boston Globe


Ashton Carter essay: The Pentagon must think outside of its five-sided box - The National Interest


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

Focus: Donald Trump and Russia - Dec 11, 2016


Trump says Secretary of State candidate Tillerson’s ties with Russia is a ‘great advantage...he knows many of the players, and he knows them well' - New York Post


VIDEO: Chris Wallace asks Donald Trump: Why pick business exec Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State? - YouTube


GOP senators challenge Trump on Secretary of State prospect Tillerson's Russia ties - Fox News


McCain: Tillerson ties to Putin a 'matter of concern', the Russian president 'is a thug, bully and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying' - TheHill


VIDEO: Interview with Sen. John McCain on Russia (Tillerson question at 5:55 min) - YouTube


Democratic Sen. Menendez Statement: ‘Reports that Rex Tillerson could be nominated to be our nation's top diplomat is alarming and absurd' - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez


Democratic Sen. Casey: Trump's potential Tillerson nomination raises 'serious questions about whether the incoming Administration will adequately stand up to Russia’s aggression' - The Morning Call


Statement of DNC Communications Director Adam Hodge (bottom of page): 'Trump's outrageous pick of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State...another victory for Vladimir Putin' - bustle.com


Behind the deep ties between Exxon's Rex Tillerson and Russia - CNN


What the Chinese think about Exxon's Rex Tillerson - Yahoo Finance

 

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

 

Trump: Claims of Russian interference in 2016 race 'ridiculous,' Dems making excuses - Fox News


Senate Republicans join Democrats in calling for probe of Russian electioneering hacks - CBS News


McCain, Graham, Schumer, Reed joint statement on reports that Russia interfered with the 2016 election - United States Commitee on Armed Services


Trump, CIA on collision course over Russia’s role in U.S. election - The Washington Post


FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s evidence in 2016 hacks of American elections - The Washington Post


New York Times editorial: Russia’s hand in America’s election - The New York Times


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


Focus: Russia and NATO - Dec 9, 2016

 

U.S. Senators urge Trump to take tough line on Russia - Reuters


Full text of the senators’ letter calling on pres.-elect Trump to stand against Russian aggression, support NATO, Ukrainian sovereignty - Rob Portman


Congress reassures Baltic representatives on NATO commitment - defensenews.com


Republicans ready to launch wide-ranging probe of Russia alleged meddling in the U.S. elections and its potential cyberthreats to the military - Chicago Tribune


Obama orders 'full review' of possible Russian hacking in US election - The Guardian


Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House - The Washington Post


EU, NATO cement 'transatlantic bond' before Trump takes office - Reuters


Joint press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini - NATO


European Defence Action Plan: Towards a European Defence Fund - European Commission


Opinion: US should redesign NATO and let Europe lead its defense - US News


NATO chief urges West to keep pressuring Russia over Ukraine - AP


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


NATO troops are to be put on heightened alert amid mounting tensions with Russia - Daily Mail Online


Pentagon awards $350Mln contract to integrate joint planning systems for NATO members - Sputnik


Montenegro's accession to NATO faces hurdle, White House and Pentagon support the Balkan state gaining membership but the Senate has yet to approve it and Trump could oppose it - The Guardian


Lavrov: NATO trying to drag Montenegro into alliance before Obama leaves office - TASS

 

Opinion: Lame duck Senate shouldn't ratify NATO's inclusion of corrupt, military midget Montenegro - Forbes


ARCHIVE: NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark overruled in Kosovo, General Jackson rejected his order saying: 'No, I'm not going to do that. It's not worth starting World War III' - New York Times


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

 

Satellite images suggest that Russia appears to be preparing to permanently base its nuclear capable Iskander missile system in Kaliningrad - NPR


Russia’s buildup in Kaliningrad to test Donald Trump on NATO, U.S. calls Moscow’s moves to reinforce its territory between Poland and Lithuania ‘destabilizing’ - WSJ


Inside Russia's stronghold of Kaliningrad 'where World War Three could start' - Daily Mail Online


Russian Foreign Ministry refutes claims on militarization of Kaliningrad exclave - Sputnik


Putin sends a squadron of Russia’s new Su-35S fighter jets to the Finnish border - Daily Mail Online


Russia tests nuclear-capable drone sub that poses a major strategic threat to U.S. ports and harbors - Washington Free Beacon


Russia announces new drone sub that can mimic any other submersible vessel potentially fooling the enemy - SOFREP


US Navy searching for Russian submarines feared to have been sent after NATO warships - Daily Mail Online


Russian ambassador to Swedish television: ‘We have no plans whatsoever to invade Sweden’ - The Washington Post


Trump has Goldman Sachs rethinking Russia - Forbes


One-time Trump adviser Page sees business opportunities in Russia - Reuters


Vladimir Putin advised Oliver Stone on Snowden film - TV3 Xposé


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


Focus: Aleppo - Dec 8, 2016

 

Obama and other Western leaders condemn Russia’s role in Aleppo’s ‘humanitarian disaster’, appeal for an immediate ceasefire - windsorstar.com


'No progress' as Kerry, Lavrov meet on Syria: US - AFP


VIDEO: US envoy to UN Samantha Power says Russia 'has walked away from diplomacy' on Syria - France 24


U.N.'s Egeland says U.S. and Russia 'poles apart' on Aleppo - Reuters


VIDEO: Statement of Jan Egeland, Special Advisor to Special Envoy for Syria - UN Web TV


Lavrov: Russia, US military experts, diplomats to meet in Geneva on Dec. 10 to discuss withdrawal of all militants from Aleppo - TASS


Lavrov regrets Obama administration continues unfriendly steps against Russia - TASS


Lavrov says US voiced regret over shelling of Russian hospital in Aleppo but somewhat hazily - TASS


Russian naval task force enters port of Tartus. What does this mean? - southfront.org


Agreement on Russian permanent naval base in Syria's Tartus is on final stage - southfront.org


Russian Special Forces actively participate in military operations in Syria, contributing to elimination of leaders of militants: Reports - southfront.org


Russia deploys military police to Syria - southfront.org


VIDEO: Russia deploys military police to Syria - YouTube


A rising star in the Russian military killed in Aleppo - The Daily Beast


Turkey sending 300 troops to reinforce Syria operation: state media - Reuters


Turkish border guards kill three Syrian Kurdish civilians - kurdistan24.net

 

Turkey launches humanitarian campaign for besieged Aleppo - hurriyetdailynews.com


Iranian-made drone involved in attack on Turkish soldiers in Syria on Nov 24 - hurriyetdailynews.com


50 Iranian students killed over the last three months in Syria, they volunteered to protect Shia shrines – Middle East Monitor


Up to 1,750 ISIS jihadists have returned to Europe, some with 'specific missions’ to carry out attacks, EU report warns - Daily Mail Online


Obama admits he underestimated Islamic State, says 'not on my intelligence radar screen' - Washington Examiner

 

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

 

Syrian army's Aleppo advance slows but victory in sight - Reuters


Syrian Army fully control 50 neighborhoods in the eastern part of Aleppo that account for 70 percent of the territory - southfront.org


Ignoring last distress call from east Aleppo Assad vows to press on, says Aleppo victory will not end the country’s war - CBS


Lebanon cannot disassociate itself from the Syrian conflict, Al Assad warns - GulfNews.com


Full interview with President Assad: Failure of Western states and Turkey in the battle of Aleppo means transformation of the course of the war in Syria - SANA


Lavrov: Combat operations by the Syrian army have been suspended in eastern Aleppo because there is a large operation underway to evacuate civilians - Sky News


Govt forces liberate key district in Aleppo city, Al-Nusra (Al-Qaeda) requests safe passage - southfront.org


Kurdish forces liberate six districts of Aleppo from al-Nusra Front terrorists - Sputnik


Turkey says Syrian Kurdish YPG working with Assad's forces north of Aleppo - Reuters


Assad supporters see domino effect in Aleppo government win - Fox News


Rebels seek ceasefire with Syrian army closer to retaking Aleppo - Reuters


Syrian rebels pin hopes on Trump, hope that his hostility to Iran will offset his desire to improve relations with Russia - WSJ

 

Islamic State makes advances towards Palmyra killing atleast 34 Syrian soldiers: monitor - Reuters


MAP: Military situation in area of Palmyra on December 8, 2016 - southfront.org


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


Focus: The Pentagon - Dec 6, 2016


Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste, almost a quarter of its $580 billion budget spent on overhead and office operations - Washington Post

 

REPORT: The Defense Business Board’s 2015 study on how the Pentagon could save $125 billion - Washington Post


Congress wants hearing on Pentagon wasteful spending charges - TheHill


Chaffetz: Congress will ‘absolutely’ look at $125B in waste at Pentagon - TheHill


Pentagon plays down report on cost-cutting study, says it lacked 'specific, actionable recommendations appropriate to the department' - AP


Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work: 'There is this meme that we’re some bloated giant organization, though there is a little bit of truth in that … I think it vastly overstates what’s really going on' - Daily Caller


Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work’s response to The Washington Post - Washington Post


Defense Business Board recommends a 'disciplined effort to rein in costs and overhead’ at the Pentagon and warns against marginal piecemeal cuts, change must come as a result of 'major surgery’ - (ASMC)


REPORT: Focusing a Transition, Challenges Facing the New Administration: A report by the Defense Business Board - FederalNewsRadio.com


VIDEO: Defense Business Board's Bayer on transition priorities for the Trump administration - Defense & Aerospace Report


Donald Trump Pentagon pick Mattis made nearly $1,000,000 on board of defense contractor - ibtimes.com


ARCHIVE: Auditor finds U.S. Army fudged its accounts by trillions of dollars, it lacked receipts and invoices to support those numbers or simply made them up - Reuters


ARCHIVE: Donald Trump denounces wasteful Pentagon spending, vows great defense w/no additional spending - Reason.com

 

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

 

Citing high cost, Trump says Boeing’s contract to build Air Force One should be canceled - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Trump accuses Boeing of doing a little bit of a number with new Air Force One - YouTube


Boeing said to offer talks on Air Force One after Trump tweets - Bloomberg Politics


White House: New Air Force One will benefit future presidents - TheHill


Pentagon chief arms buyer 'hopeful' that Lockheed F-35 block buy will proceed, it covers purchases of more than 400 aircraft - Reuters


F-35 crisis as Pentagon’s top weapon testing official warns plan to put unfinished $400bn fighters into service puts pilots at 'significant risk' - Daily Mail Online


Congress calls for a war games 'flyoff' between 40 year old A-10 and new F-35 jets - Daily Mail Online


Air Force grounds ‘combat ready’ F-35 over coolant line flaw - Bloomberg Politics


Yet another F-35 fighter catches fire, The incident did at least two million dollars in damage - popularmechanics.com


When pork flies: The F-35, the Pentagon’s $1.1 trillion flying money pit, is (sort of) ready for duty - Salon.com


The Pentagon is planning a new super rival to the troubled F-35 - The Fiscal Times

 

House lawmakers push for more F-35 funding in FY17 budget - defensenews.com


ARCHIVE: Flawed F-35 is too big to kill, it counts 1,300 suppliers in 45 states supporting 133,000 jobs - Bloomberg


Pentagon's top tester: Littoral ships 'have a near-zero chance of completing a 30-day mission' - Washington Examiner


Acquisition Chief: Littoral Combat Ship program ‘broke' the Navy, is costing taxpayers billions more than budgeted - Military.com


VIDEO: Congressional hearing focuses Navy's use of Littoral Combat Ships - C-SPAN.org


Navy's troubled Littoral Combat Ship at crossroads, GAO says - Stripes


REPORT: Littoral Combat Ship and Frigate: Congress Faced with Critical Acquisition Decisions - U.S. GAO


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


Focus: Libya - Dec 5, 2016


IS loses Libya bastion Sirte in major blow to jihadists, almost seven months of fighting have left nearly 700 GNA fighters dead and 3,000 wounded - yahoo.com


US forces conduct 22 airstrikes against Daesh near Libya’s Sirte - Sputnik


With fall of Sirte IS down but not out in Libya, the group is likely to maintain a clandestine presence - Daily Mail Online


As fall of Sirte nears, female suicide bombers attack - US News


Abused, pregnant and behind bars: Women raped by IS are being held as suspects by forces of UN-backed government - Middle East Eye


Libyan forces capture 32 IS militants as they comb through last holdout in Sirte - Libyan Express


Last week Libya’s Tripoli saw worst militias clashes in 2 years - Inquirer News


Brigades from Al-Bunyan Al-Marsoos operation denounce murder and kidnap in Tripoli - The Libya Observer


Tripoli clashes halted after clashing armed groups reached ceasefire - The Libya Observer


Op-Ed: Mediation stops Tripoli militia clashes only temporarily - digitaljournal.com


UN envoy Martin Kobler: Extremely alarmed by fighting in Tripoli, calls for calm - Libya - ReliefWeb


US urges armed groups to cease fighting in Libyan capital immediately - Sputnik

 

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

 

Official: Haftar’s Libyan Army declares state of emergency, government institutions except for the house of representatives will suspend activities - Sputnik


Al-Gotrani proposes transitional government led by Haftar, Presidential Council shuns commenting - The Libya Observer


International community must be in contact with Beida (Tobruk) government if Libya’s problems are to be solved says its foreign minister Mohamed Dayri - libyaherald.com


Haftar's Libyan National Army forces threaten to bomb Canadian ship delivering aid to Islamist held area - digitaljournal.com


UN envoy Martin Kobler departs Tobruk after being prevented from going into city by protesters - The Libya Observer


Libya outgoing ambassador Dabbashi bows out of UN with bitter attack on UNSMIL chief Martin Kobler - libyaherald.com


Interview with UN envoy Kobler on Libya - libyaherald.com


Kerry and Gentiloni confirm working with regional states that have influence on the two main sides in Lybia: Egypt, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia - libyaherald.com


Chairs the U.S. House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: 'the status quo in Libya is unsustainable’ - Sunshine State News


Moscow wants Hafter involved in political process but will not give him arms, says it has political and economic interests in Libya 'but not military interests' - libyaherald.com


Will Egypt intervene in Libya? - Libya Prospect


A shift on policy towards Libya? On abandoning efforts to create a Libyan unity government and instead lending support to the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar - atlanticcouncil.org


Libya sticks to plans to boost output by 50 per cent after OPEC deal - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide


Libyan oil has to be depoliticized and demilitarized: NOC chairman Sanalla - libyaherald.com


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

Focus: Aleppo - Dec 4, 2016


Syrian army nears Aleppo's Old City, rebels tell U.S. they won't leave - Reuters


Syrian army regains control of access to Aleppo airport - SBS News


MAP: Syrian Army captures 60% of rebel-held Aleppo in the space of a week - almasdarnews.com


Syrian army tells rebels in Aleppo to leave or die - Fox News


Russia seeks full withdrawal of Aleppo rebels - Reuters


Syrian rebel commander recently appointed head of new military alliance 'Aleppo Army' seriously wounded, rebels say - Reuters


Over 2,500 Syrian militants granted amnesty over past week: Russia Reconciliation Center - RT News


Reconciliation agreements signed with 6 Syrian settlements, including two in Hama, two in Latakia, one in Damascus and one in Homs: Russian Defense Ministry - TASS


Syrian Army General Command calls on residents of Aleppo’s secured northeastern neighborhoods to return to their homes - Syrian TV


First buses home for Aleppo residents, traveled directly from the government-held west to recently recaptured neighborhoods in the east - THE DAILY STAR


VIDEO: Buses take residents back to their abandoned east Aleppo homes - YouTube


Russia delivers over 150 tonnes of aid to Aleppo residents - Sputnik


Syrian Army squeezes rebels in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, as Russia prepares massive aerial campaign - almasdarnews.com


Syrian Army 5th Corps is new Shiite foreign legion: Israeli intelligence source - debka.com

 

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

 

Kerry: Assad is part of the transition. Ultimately, there is an election and the people of Syria make a decision about the future leadership - Sputnik


VIDEO: Kerry (at 2:20 min): Assad is part of the transition - socialfeed.info


EU offers cash to Assad regime for Syria peace deal, said to have accepted that previous western demands that Assad step down are unrealistic - The Times


Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles - al-monitor.com


Syria provisions in the FY2017 Defense Bill: House Bill, Senate Bill, Final Bill - al-monitor.com


Rep. Gabbard votes against Defense Bill: It contains the same deeply concerning and dangerous Syria train and equip measures including the transfer of Manpads - Hawaii 24/7


Media silent as House quietly passes possible no-fly zone over Syria - Freedom Outpost


Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2016: Assessment of potential effectiveness of and requirements for the establishment of safe zones or a no-fly zone in Syria - Congress.gov


US and UK explore possibility of aid airdrops to besieged rebel-held eastern Aleppo - The Guardian


Fearing abandonment by Trump, CIA-backed rebels in Syria mull alternatives - The Washington Post


All the rebel forces active in Aleppo have merged into a newly-formed military alliance 'Army of Aleppo' - almasdarnews.com


Lavrov: Creation of 'Army of Aleppo' could just be rebranding of al-Nusra Front - Tasnim News Agency


Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra) bomb Kurdish district amid mounting violence in Syria's Aleppo - ARA News


Aleppo: Fateh al-Sham (formerly al-Nusra) raids Islam Army's bastion in Kalaseh neighborhood, Aleppo - ZAMAN ALWSL


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


Focus: Trump's Carrier Deal - Dec 2, 2016


Trump warns of 'consequences' for companies leaving US, says firms can move from state to state but leaving the country will be 'very, very difficult' - Sky News


Trump defends direct negotiations with companies to keep jobs in U.S., says 'we’re going to have a lot of phone calls'  - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Donald Trump Carrier plant full speech in Indiana - YouTube


TRANSCRIPT: Donald Trump’s remarks at Carrier plant in Indiana - TIME


Several companies this year have announced plans to lay off workers and move production abroad, among them Caterpillar, Rexnord, Manitowoc and CTS - WSJ


Ford open to making deals with Trump on keeping jobs, CEO Says - Bloomberg


Trump’s Carrier talks up the ante for Ford, Auto maker is well on its way to spending $1.6 billion to build a new factory in Mexico - WSJ


Ford to be first automaker to import cars made in India to US - Sputnik


Trump Carrier deal worry US defense firms that may lose their contracts with the federal government because of outsourcing jobs abroad - CNBC


Donald Trump offers Apple’s Tim Cook incentives to make iPhone in U.S.: Tax cuts and less regulations - iTech Post


How much would the iPhone cost if manufactured in the U.S.? - valuewalk.com


Trump strikes deal with Carrier, Ford, what about Oreo? - Fox Business


State, local officials see pluses and minuses of Trump’s Carrier deal, While cheering effort to keep jobs some see increased competition between states - WSJ


Trump's Commerce pick: NAFTA likely starting point on Day 1 - CNN

 

‘Modernize’ NAFTA, Mexico’s new ambassador to US says in Tucson - Tucson Business News


As Trump prepares for office, concerns about Chinese trade intensify - The Washington Post


New York Times editorial: The Carrier deal on its own doesn’t offer a template to protect millions of workers whose futures are threatened by offshoring or technological change - The New York Times


Wall Street Journal editorial: Trump’s Carrier shakedown, Workers don’t prosper when politicians force companies to make noneconomic decisions. - WSJ


Bloomberg editorial: Trump’s Carrier victory is the economy's loss - Bloomberg View


Lawrence H. Summers: Trump’s Carrier deal could permanently damage American capitalism - The Washington Post


Conservatives are worried Trump's Carrier deal could set a bad precedent, 'American presidents aren’t supposed to interfere on behalf of individual companies' - Business Insider


Americans, not Mexicans, should worry about Trump, billionaire Slim says - Bloomberg


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


Focus: Iran - Nov 30, 2016


Pressure mounts on Trump to keep the Iran nuclear deal, Foreign policy luminaries warn that scrapping the accord would create a huge mess - The Huffington Post


CIA's Brennan says tearing up Iran deal would be ‘folly’, because it would make it more likely that Iran and others in the region would acquire nuclear weapons - Reuters


Theresa May's officials to discuss Iran nuclear deal with Trump's camp: 'We firmly support the agreement...make sure that it is properly implemented' - Independent


No New Talks between Iran, US on JCPOA: FM spokesman - Tasnim News Agency


Iran will increase enrichment to 190k SWU if JCPOA breached: MP - campaigniran.org


Washington Post editorial: Trump shouldn’t rip up the Iran deal - The Washington Post


Alan M. Dershowitz: Don’t rip up the Iran deal, enforce it - The Boston Globe


Ellen Laipson: Will the Iran nuclear deal survive under Trump?, The costs of reverting to a confrontational approach to Iran would include more regional instability - worldpoliticsreview


Aaron Arnold: How Trump can strengthen US leverage against Iran, Scrapping the nuclear deal will backfire - thediplomat.com


Former IAEA Director: 'Very dishonest' to claim Iran violated the nuclear deal (VIDEO) - therealnews.com


Iran, Russia stress completion of 2 nuclear units in Bushehr - Mehr News Agency


Russia gets permission to use Iran's Hamadan air base for Syria airstrikes - UPI.com


Weapons seizures show Iran ‘arms pipeline’ to Yemen’s Houthi rebels - The National

 

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

 

Senate to vote on Iran sanctions bill - Washington Examiner


Iran ready to respond to US if sanctions renewed: Nuclear official - payvand.com


Iran's Khamenei slams Rouhani for being 'too open' toward West - Jerusalem Post


Democratic Senators fire back at Iran for retaliation threat over sanctions renewal - The Weekly Standard


Kerry urges Senate Democrats to back off Iran sanctions renewal - al-monitor.com


Reimposing sanctions on Iran would be difficult for the US - The National


The Iran Sanctions Extension Act: Enforcement overkill, international changes to monitoring Iran's nuclear program have made congressional action unnecessary - JURIST


U.S. grants second Airbus license to sell planes to Iran, after the House passed a bill to block the sale including also planes from Boeing - Reuters


Editorial: Congress shouldn’t kill Boeing’s sale to Iran Air - HeraldNet.com


OPEC Agrees first oil cuts in eight years, The deal overcame disagreements between the group’s three largest producers -- Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq - Bloomberg


Asia's October imports of Iranian oil more than double from year ago - Reuters


Scrapping the Iran deal: What it would mean for oil markets - Global Trade Magazine


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

Focus: Russia - Nov 29, 2016


Note: The next US Secretary of State should be one who has a deep knowledge of Russia, willing to engage in friendly talks with Moscow and build a partnership to foster world peace and security. In my opinion Russia is right in Syria, Ukraine and with regard to NATO.


11 NATO states take part in massive ‘Iron Sword’ drills in Lithuania - RT News


New Cold War: US Marines' war games on Norway-Russia border - CNN.com


VIDEO: US Marines in Lithuania - Exercise Iron Sword 16 - YouTube


German president visits NATO command center, reassures eastern members of Berlin's commitments, questions Trump campaign comments - DW.COM


Britain expects Donald Trump to 'stand up' to Russia and not treat it 'as any kind of equal partner’, UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon warns - telegraph.co.uk


Britain to send troops to Poland as NATO deployment against ‘increasing Russian aggressiveness’ - news.com.au


NATO should be acting as a bridge between Baltics & Russia, defuse tension: UK Tory MP - RT UK


France says lifting sanctions on Russia would be counterproductive - Reuters


Italian minister would welcome more openness to Russia from U.S. - Reuters


Peace talks in Minsk end without agreement, both Ukraine and Russia hardened their positions and there was no political agreement on holding local elections in Donbass - Reuters


Russian Senator warns Ukraine against missile-firing exercise in Crimea airspace - TASS


Does NATO need Montenegro? How does this tiny Balkan nation contribute to NATO’s collective security? The short answer is: It doesn’t. - The National Interest


Arms expert Joe Cirincione op-ed: Trump should halt US missile-defense plans in Europe - Defense One


GOP supporters of better Cuba relations warn Trump not to let Russia, China step in. - McClatchy DC


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

 

Russia fully deploys 2 new divisions near Western border - The Washington Post


Russia to deploy S-400 and nuclear-capable Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad as "countermeasures" to NATO expansion - CBS News


Putin's robo-tank: New weapon is deployed to the Polish border to protect Russia's missile launchers from attack - Daily Mail Online


Moscow offered NATO to hold consultations on military flights over Baltic sea but the bloc refused - Sputnik


NATO drills in Georgia negatively affect regional safety: Russia Foreign Ministry - Sputnik


No sign of NATO giving up myth of 'Russian threat' in policymaking: Envoy - Sputnik


Russian diplomat says spending so much time on Russia-NATO Council agenda is pointless - TASS


Russia, Uzbekistan sign treaty on military-technical cooperation - TASS


Armenia is literally joining forces with Russia - Foreign Policy


Russia eyes supplying military hardware to the Philippines - ABC News


Philippines foreign affairs secretary: Duterte to visit Russia in 2017 - CNN Philippines


Libyan commander Haftar visits Russia to ask for help: 'We hope we will eliminate terrorism with your help in the nearest future' - Reuters


Russian top diplomat Lavrov praises Libyan army for its role in protecting state’s independence - TASS


VIDEO (Russian/Arabic): Lavrov and Libyan Marshal Haftar laud strong bilateral ties - YouTube


Putin orders mobile hospitals to be sent to residents of Aleppo, Syria - RT News


Russia to send 100,000 tons of wheat in humanitarian aid to Syria - THE DAILY STAR


Turkey entered Syria to end al-Assad’s rule: President Erdoğan - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkish parliament endorse ratification of the Turkish-Russian stream pipeline deal - Sputnik


Turkish premier to visit Russia on December 6-7 - TASS


Are relations between Pakistan and Russia beginning to thaw? - Daily Mail Online


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


Focus: Aleppo - Nov 28, 2016


Syrian government drives rebels from northeast Aleppo, part of the area taken over by U.S.-backed Kurdish YPG - Reuters


Syrian forces capture major Aleppo neighborhood in blow to rebels, also reclaim a vital water pumping station - LA Times


Syrian Army & Kurdish YPG wave flags in Aleppo, government forces and Kurds have joint-control in Bustan al-Basha, al-Halek and Ayn al-Tell (PHOTO) - south front.org


MAP: 40% of rebel-held area captured by the Syrian army in Aleppo - Twitter


Fuel reserve in Syria's rebel-held east Aleppo exhausted: civil defense - Reuters


VIDEO: Thousands flee east Aleppo for Kurdish-controlled district on north edge of city - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Syrian rebels fire at civilians fleeing Aleppo's Al-Sakhour district - YouTube


PHOTO: Over 4000 civilians from Eastern Aleppo have arrived to the housing units prepared for them by the Syrian government in Western Aleppo today - Twitter


Russian carrier’s jets move to land base in Syria as Aleppo begins to fall - The Drive


Putin discusses with Russian Security Council Syrian Army’s advance in Aleppo eastern neighborhoods – Al-Manar TV Lebanon


Large build-up of Hezbollah, Iraqi forces in southern Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Senior pro-Assad Palestinian paramilitary commander killed by rebel forces in Aleppo - almasdarnews.com


Truth and lies: the Twitter battle for Aleppo - Al Bawaba


Assad’s also winning in Damascus, taking several villages and suburbs in the last week alone - The Daily Beast

 

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

 

White House criticizes the Russians for supporting the Syrian government’s actions in Aleppo, says solutions are ‘frustratingly out of reach’ - freebeacon.com


VIDEO: White House criticizes the Russians for supporting the Syrian government’s actions in Aleppo, says solutions are ‘frustratingly out of reach' - YouTube


Inside Kerry’s race to stop the siege of Aleppo, to strike a deal with Russia in exchange for separating Syrian rebels from Nusra Front - Washington Post


Kerry making ‘unbelievable effort’ to save Syrian rebels from Trump, Russia confirms - RT News


Donald Trump presidency: A Russia reset? Maybe not yet, Officials in Congress and the Pentagon are ready to block any attempt to appease Putin - POLITICO


Qatar says will arm Syrian rebels even if Trump ends U.S. role, hits out at Egypt for siding with Assad - Reuters


Syria denounces Qatar for saying it will continue to back rebels: 'the Qatari regime is one of the sources of extremism, terrorism and takfiri thought' - Reuters


Saudi Arabia tells Egypt to dismiss its foreign minister after he claimed that Saudi Wahhabism is the source of terrorism – Middle East Monitor


Iran may seek naval bases in Yemen or Syria: chief of staff - Reuters


Putin and Rouhani agree to coordinate steps on oil market and interaction for Syria - TASS


France FM deeply concerned about Aleppo, urges 'Friends of Syria' meeting - Mo4ch News


Germany wary of French presidential candidate Fillon's cosy attitude to Russia - digitaljournal.com


4 ISIS fighters killed in first ever direct clashes with Israeli Defense Forces - ibtimes.co.in


Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel won't allow ISIS to open 'a front of terror' on the Golan - Jerusalem Post


ISIS files seized in Syria reveal terror plots against Europe - The Times

 

Daesh uses ‘chemical gas’ against Syrian rebels: Turkish media - Reuters


Russia looks into possible chains supplying toxic chemical substances to Syrian rebels from third countries - TASS


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


Focus: Cuba - Nov 27, 2016

 

I hope that Trump will reject regime change policies advocated by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio regarding Cuba. It seems that they have not learned the tragic lessons of history: Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. Cubans are poor but at least they are alive. The country’s literacy rate is at 100% and life expectancy parallels first world nations. There may be some limited food shortages but not famine. The two senators oppose the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations which is a most positive legacy of Obama. At stake it is not only the normalization of the relations between US and Cuba opening economic and diplomatic ties with Havana. More important at stake it is the relations between US and Latin America where the left is influential whether it governs in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, El Salvador and Nicaragua or is the opposition such as in Argentina or Brazil.

 

Note on the Secretary of State candidates: I hope that Trump will launch a new era in US foreign policy by selecting a Secretary of State that will chart a real new course. In my opinion Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are not a good fit. Least of all, war-hawks John Bolton and David Petraeus. 

 

Cruz, Rubio want Trump to dial back U.S.-Cuba relations, say Obama's recent ties with the island should be reevaluated - POLITICO


VIDEO: Ted Cruz: U.S. foreign policy -- not just to Cuba -- should no longer be a policy of weakness, but instead using U.S. strength to force and press for change - YouTube


Ted Cruz op-ed: Change can come to Cuba, but only if America prevents Fidel’s successor from playing the same old tricks - National Review


Marco Rubio: Donald Trump's Cuba policy should 'pave the way' for democracy - CNNPolitics.com


VIDEO: Sen. Rubio calls for "democratic opening" in Cuba - YouTube


Rubio Statement: History will remember Fidel Castro as an evil, murderous dictator - U.S. Senator for Florida, Marco Rubio


Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz slam politicians for praising Fidel Castro, go after Trudeau and Obama - inquisitr.com


Statement by President Obama on the passing of Fidel Castro - whitehouse.gov


U.S. State Dept reaffirms its support for deepening engagement with Cuba - Business Standard News


President-Elect Trump statement on the passing of Fidel Castro - Capitol Hill Cubans


Priebus: Trump will void Cuba deal unless Castro regime moves to concessions - Fox News


VIDEO: Priebus: Trump will void Cuba deal unless Castro regime moves to concessions - YouTube


VIDEO: Sanders on Cuba: "Of Course their economy is terrible," but they have health care and education - RealClearPolitics


Trudeau defends comments on death of Fidel Castro, He referred to him as a 'legendary revolutionary' who made significant improvements to the education and health-care systems - coastreporter.net


Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro - Prime Minister of Canada


Cuba embargo must be lifted immediately after death of 'great figure' Fidel Castro, says French president - The Independent


On Fidel's death, Cuba and Puerto Rico, two paths intertwined - NBC News


Cuba's most prominent dissident group called off its weekly protest march for the first time in 13 years to avoid creating tensions: 'We respect the mourning of others' - Reuters


Castro's legacy and the envy of many nations: social care in Cuba, The country's literacy rate is at 100% and life expectancy parallels first world nations - The Guardian


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


Focus: Turkey, Egypt and Syria - Nov 25, 2016

 

Turkey's push for Syrian town al-Bab complicates anti-IS fight, causing frictions with other players in the country's war - AP


Turkish-Kurdish tensions threaten anti-IS campaign in Syria - alaraby.co.uk


Turkey-led forces advance against Kurdish YPG, seize 2 villages near al-Bab - southfront.org


Syrian army & Kurdish YPG launch joint advance to build a buffer zone west of al-Bab preventing the Turkish military's expansion - southfront.org


Turkey's military engages in armed clashes with the Syrian army in Lattakia province and near the strategic town of Al-Bab - theduran.com


Syrian army less than two miles away from al-Bab city seized by Daesh: Al-Mayadeen TV channel - Sputnik


Syria regime set “red line” around Al-Bab: pro-Assad daily - NOW


Turkey plans military base in Syria's north, Kurdish-led forces say - ekurd


US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces destroy three Turkish military vehicles in northern Syria - ARA News


Five Turkish soldiers killed in Syria in 24 hours, bringing to 17 the total number - hurriyetdailynews.com


Turkey blames Syrian government for deadly attack which killed three Turkish soldiers - Middle East Eye


Turkish top general visits troops injured in northern Syria - alaraby.co.uk


Turkey will not march to Aleppo: Turkish PM - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Erdogan, Putin discuss Syria as Turkish-backed rebels push to al-Bab - Reuters

 

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

 

Egypt President Sisi turns its back on Saudi: 'There should be international support for the Libyan, Iraqi and Syrian national armies to ensure security in their countries’ - Morning Star


VIDEO (English Subs): President Sisi says Egypt’s priority is to support Syrian Army against terrorists - YouTube


Al-Sisi sent Egyptian troops, including 18 pilots, to fight in Syria in support of Assad regime: Al-Safir newspaper - Middle East Observer


Egypt, Jordan conclude Aqaba 2016 anti-terrorism military exercises which began early this month in southern Jordan - Ahram Online


Egypt's support to Haftar's army in Libya is a national priority: President al-Sisi - The North Africa Post


Egypt to expand Russian industrial zone in Suez - RT Business


Sisi expresses support for Trump's proposed Muslim registry - alaraby.co.uk


Washington Post editorial: A bad bet on Egypt’s strongman Sisi - The Washington Post


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


Focus: Secretary of State Candidate Dana Rohrabacher - Nov 24, 2016


Note: Dana Rohrabacher is my pick among the current Secretary of State Candidates.


Dana Rohrabacher op-ed: Why is America restarting the cold war with Russia? This is belligerent nonsense, a stunning and total failure of vision - National Interest


VIDEO: Rep. Rohrabacher opposes the new cold war on Russia and the 'Ukraine Support Bill', Mar 2014 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher: Russia and the US need to work together to defeat the radical Islamic terrorism, Apr 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Dana Rohrabacher grills U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power on Ukraine, Jun 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Rep. Rohrabacher questions administration on TPP trade deal, Jun 2015 - YouTube


VIDEO: Senator Rohrabacher: Assad was never a threat to United States, Feb 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Dana Rohrabacher questions Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the genocide of Christians in the Middle East, Feb 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Subcommittee Chairman Rohrabacher's opening statements on Turkey’s democratic decline, Jul 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Rohrabacher at House Foreign Relations Committee on the Gulen movement and the July coup attempt in Turkey, Oct 2016 - YouTube


VIDEO: Congressman Rohrabacher on basic human rights violations in Turkey, Nov 2016 - YouTube


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

 

 

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