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A program to take over human communications?: The Drones of Facebook (and the NSA)

By Alfredo Lopez

 

"Connectivity," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a CNN interview last year, "is a human right."

"Our Energy Moment": The Blue Engine Behind Fracked Gas Exports PR Blitz

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Behind nearly every major corporate policy push there's an accompanying well-coordinated public relations and propaganda campaign. As it turns out, the oil and gas industry's push to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) obtained via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") plays the same game.

Talk Nation Radio: Rick Rozoff on Ukraine and NATO at 65

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-rick-rozoff

Rick Rozoff is the manager of Stop NATO at http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com He discusses the Ukrainian crisis and the state of NATO at age 65.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

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Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

"Our Energy Moment": The Blue Engine Behind Fracked Gas Exports PR Blitz

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Behind nearly every major corporate policy push there's an accompanying well-coordinated public relations and propaganda campaign. As it turns out, the oil and gas industry's push to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) obtained via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") plays the same game.

Egypt News - Apr 2, 2014

 

Clashes continue at several Egyptian universities between police and students protesting ex-army chief al-Sisi's presidency bid - Ahram Online


VIDEO: Egypt: Clashes between students and police in four cities - euronews


VIDEO: Clashes in Egypt between protestors and police left 1 student dead on Sunday - YouTube


Riot police storm al-Azhar University in Cairo - Islamic News Daily


Al-Azhar university expels 25 student 'rioters' - Ahram Online

 

Ain Shams University students dispersed outside Egypt Defense Ministry - turkishpress.com

 

Egypt group calls for joint protest to release detainees - Ahram Online

 

VIDEO (and transcript): Egyptian Activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah on Prison and Regime's "War on a Whole Generation” - truth-out.org

 

Egypt prosecution says Islamist protesters killed journalist - Al Arabiya News

 

Who killed Mary Sameh George? Some in the Coptic Christian community have told the press they believe George was targeted by Islamists because she was Christian - Cairo Post

 

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VIDEO: Egypt denies bail to Al Jazeera journalists - YouTube


Al Jazeera journalists accused of terrorism by Egyptian authorities in court cages (PHOTOS) - Mail Online


3 Jailed Al Jazeera Journalists Deny Ties to Brotherhood in Egypt - NYTimes.com


Journalists 'systematically targeted' in Egypt: Reporters Without Borders - Ahram Online


Jailed Brotherhood leader scoffs at Egypt courts, demands judges not to be politicized - abcnews.go.com


Defence for Badie, 50 Brotherhood leaders withdraw from 'Plan Rabaa' trial - Ahram Online


Was Mohammed Morsi Really an Autocrat? To answer this question, we scored Morsi’s year in office according to the Polity IV index - The Atlantic

 

27 military and 339 criminal trials since Egypt's coup, more than 10,000 political opponents have faced charges - middleeastmonitor.com

 

Egyptian detainee 'tortured and raped’, Activists say numerous political prisoners have been severely abused in custody - Al Jazeera English

 

Farmer who used donkey to depict Egypt's Sisi gets six-month sentence - latimes.com

 

PHOTO: Donkey depicting Egypt's Sisi - 4.bp.blogspot.com

 

Two Islamist Protesters Sentenced to Death for Throwing Teens off a Rooftop - Egyptian Streets

 

VIDEO ARCHIVE: Teens Pushed Off Roof in Egypt by Islamist Protesters - YouTube

 

33 Islamists jailed for 6 years over Egypt protests, found guilty of violent acts during clashes between Islamist demonstrators and opponents of Morsi - thedailystar.net

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Mandela Legacy Strained: Poverty and Corruption Stalk South Africa's Presidential Election

By Linn Washington Jr.

 

Shenid Bhayroo was one of the thousand-plus journalists that traveled to South Africa in December 2013 to cover the death of iconic South African leader Nelson Mandela, the former political prisoner and first black president of the southern-most nation on the African continent.

Most of those journalists representing nations worldwide covering the memorial activities for Mandela, reporting on the ‘mood’ in that country, missed the mood Bhayroo saw among many South Africans.

AP Re-Used Three-Year-Old Article on Torture Report

The Associated Press is denying claims by two of its writers that cost-savings was a motivation.  Rather, says editor Richard Giardino, an error resulted in the accidental re-publication last week of an article on a Senate committee report on torture, an article that had originally been published in 2011.

In defense of the wire service, Giardino noted in a 2,000-word explanation, that "while the article may have been dated, it ran in dozens of newspapers without anyone noticing." In fact, wrote Giardino, were it not for a couple of bloggers, the incident "might have passed unnoticed."

I think he has a point.  Over the past eight years, there have been 73 separate moments in which major news stories have reported widely across the U.S. media that it has for the first time become clear that former President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney, or their subordinates ordered the commission of torture.  That count does not include several interviews, and memoirs, in which Bush and Cheney have openly admitted to the crime, bragged about it, or professed the sentiment that they "would do it again."

While torture has been a violation of international law and U.S. treaty obligations, and a felony under U.S. law, since before George W. Bush moved into the White House, indictments have not been forthcoming.  Instead, a series of investigations and reports, and censorship thereof, have generated stories around the possibility that individuals might have done what we've already seen them confess to on camera.

Questioned on CBS Evening News on Monday, Giardino became agitated. "Look," he said, "if we just put out the sort of fact-based news that bloggers say they want, we'd be describing top authorities in this country as routine violators of the law.  We have to find a balance between straight-forward reporting and the understanding that we aren't locking up presidents and CIA directors because the investigations are ongoing.  And when the investigations are ongoing for years and years and years, then breaking the same news more than once is actually more accurate than inventing new details that haven't taken place."

During the past eight years, thousands of U.S. news reports have discussed the possibility of criminalizing torture, without noting that it already is criminal.  Frank Cretino, associate editor of the Washington Post, defends this record, saying, "The fact that torture is already banned does not negate the act of banning it, particularly as most people do not know it is already banned.  Of course, we could so inform our readers, but that would be like noting that politicians take bribes, or indicating wherever relevant that our owner makes more money from the CIA than from our paper, or recognizing that torture is just one aspect of a collection of actions made criminal by the illegality of the wars they are part of, or pointing out to people that the date is April 1 at the beginning of a story."

Turkey/Syria News - Apr 1, 2014

 

Erdogan targets enemies after poll triumph - Reuters


VIDEO: Erdogan: 'They will pay for this' - Stuff.co.nz


FULL TEXT: Turkish PM Erdoğan's post-election 'balcony speech' - hurriyetdailynews.com


EXCERPTS: How Erdogan’s jubilant victory speech targeted his two biggest enemies - washingtonpost.com


PM Erdoğan delivers victory speech with corruption suspects - Today's Zaman


Polls Boost Turkish Leader's Presidential Hopes - ABC News


Opposition says election victory will not acquit PM, AK Party of corruption - CİHAN

 

Erdogan's critics fear crackdown after Turks deliver his party a victory - Yahoo News

 

Erdoğan sues Today's Zaman editor-in-chief, four others - CİHAN

 

Opposition vows to resist Erdoğan's witch hunt in post-election era - CİHAN

 

Turkey: Erdogan critic fears returning home - The National

 

Turkey Faces More Strife After Erdogan’s Election Win - The Daily Beast

 

VIDEO: Ankara after the election, protestors chanting: "Thief Tayyip Erdogan" - Vine

 

Femen activists stage anti-Erdogan protest at Istanbul polling station - The Ugly Truth

 

VIDEO: FEMEN unleash their breasts against Erdogan - YouTube

 

Report: Graft probe suspect Zarrab flees overseas - Today's Zaman

 

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Turkey is at war with Syria, Erdogan says in post-election speech - CI˙HAN


Border province punishes Turkey's policy on Syria in polls - Reuters


Syria: Turkey Sending Foreign Fighters to Latakia - ABC News


According to villagers, thousands of fighters coming from Turkey crossed the border at five different points to launch the attack on Kassab - Al-Monitor


U.S. reacts to Syrian rebel occupation of Kassab, Entire population flees country’s only Armenian-majority town - Armenian Reporter


In Los Angeles hundreds Protest Turkey’s Role in Kassab Attacks  - Asbarez Armenian News

 

Celebrity Kim Kardashian tweets appeal on Kessab events - ARMENPRESS

 

Report: Syria deploys anti-aircraft missile batteries along Turkish border - JPost

 

Syrian army retakes key post in Latakia - Oman Observer

 

Turkish military fires into Syria after rocket hits mosque - Reuters

 

Erdoğan, again, quick to attribute Syria audio link to Hizmet with no proof - CİHAN

 

Relevant countries tipped off MIT about ISIS terrorists, daily claims - CI˙HAN

 

Who’s smuggling antiquities from Syria to Turkey by air? - conflict antiquities

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Ukraine News - Mar 31, 2014

 

US, Russia talks fail to end Ukraine deadlock - Boston Herald


Russia urges West to back 'federal' solution for Ukraine - Yahoo News


VIDEO (and transcript): Interview with Lavrov on Ukraine - RT News


Kerry Says Federalization of Ukraine as Proposed by Russia Is up to Ukrainians, they have to agree to a road ahead - MSNBC


VIDEO: Kerry: No decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine - YouTube


Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry: Federalization is the complete capitulation of Ukraine, its dismemberment and destruction of its statehood - Euromaidan PR


Kharkov, Odessa, Donetsk regions demand autonomy for southeastern Ukraine: Russian media - The Voice of Russia

 

In A Divided Donetsk, Russians And Ukrainians Vie For Support (AUDIO) - NPR

 

VIDEO: Ukraine: Donetsk divided as pro-Russia activists push for referendum - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Loyalties divided in Ukraine's Odessa - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Odessa - Ukraine! No war! No russian occupation! 1000m flag! - YouTube

 

VIDEO: Pro Russia protesters take over Ukraine's Lugansk city - YouTube

 

Senate Intel chair: Crimea’s gone - CNN.com Blogs

 

Crimean Tatars, opposed to Russian occupation of Crimea, plan to declare autonomous territory within Crimea - UPI.com

 

VIDEO: Abduction of Crimean Tatar Reshat Akhmetov caught on camera, He was found dead on March 15, 2014 - Twitter / Euromaidan

 

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Russia says it has “no intention” of invading Ukraine - CBS News


Tour of Ukraine-Russia Border Finds No Signs of Military Buildup - NBC News.com


Kerry: Ukraine progress must include pullback of Russian forces currently massing on border and creating fear, intimidation - usatoday.com


Final US Congressional Approval Expected for 1 Billion Ukraine Aid (VIDEO) - VOA


U.S. sends top NATO general back to Europe over Ukraine crisis - Reuters

 

US ships 300,000 MREs to Ukraine military - TheHill

 

Ukraine crisis prompts new look at US defense cuts - Bloomberg

 

White House Fact Sheet: NATO-Related Military Buildup In Europe After The Ukraine Crisis - Liberty RoundTable

 

Putin submits proposals on denouncing some Russia-Ukraine agreements on Black Sea Fleet - ITAR-TASS

 

After Crimea, Moldova too fears unwanted events on road to EU - Reuters

 

US vows $10m Moldova to boarder security with Ukraine - brecorder.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Listen to Connect The Dots

Monday morning  at 7-8AM  tune in (KPFK 90.7 fm) 

                                  or log on: http://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=ctd

Lila Garrett’s  CONNECT THE DOTS.  Guests include:

 

Three leaders in the fight to save our democracy:

 

David Swanson in a short powerful rant on the new movement of we-the-people between April 4th and July 4th

 

Alan Grayson, got more progressive amendments passed last year than any other Congressperson. His reelection is heavily targeted by the Koch Bros. as his actions  to protect everything from Soc Sec to an end to drone warfare continues.

 

Robert Weissman President of Public Citizen, leader in the fight to stop the 1% & the Supreme Ct. from highjacking our elections by repealing Citizens United in which the Supreme Ct. gave corporations the right to buy our elections with unlimited funds.  And now in the  McCutchen Decision  the Supreme Ct is considering giving mega wealthy individuals the same right.  

 

Lila Garrett (Host of CONNECT THE DOTS)

KPFK 90.7 FM in LA; 98.7 Santa Barbara; 93.7 San Diego;

99.5 China Lake

Airs Mondays from 7AM to 8AM.

Link to my program page

http://www.kpfk.org/index.php/programs/67-connect-the-dots-with-lila-garrett

Link to my podcasts

http://archive.kpfk.org/index.php?shokey=ctd

Each show is online for three months.

Jason is back: more stories from TSA hell

Our whistleblower buddy Jason Harrington has written another exposé. We were the first site in the blabbosphere to publicize Harrington’s TSA tell-all blog, calledTaking Sense Away. That was two years ago. And we wrote about him several times thereafter.

Egypt News - Mar 29

 

Protests After El-Sissi Announces Candidacy: Five killed as Egypt police, Islamists clash - Yahoo News


Journalist shot dead covering clashes in Egypt - Committee to Protect Journalists


VIDEO: The moment of journalist Mayada Ashraf died caught on camera - YouTube


VIDEO: Protests in Cairo after Sissi announces candidacy - One News Page


VIDEO: Brotherhood supporters clash with police in Cairo - YouTube


El-Sisi's supporters plan last-minute demos in his support - Ahram Online

 

VIDEO: A Show of Support for El-Sissi in Tahrir Square - YouTube

 

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Egypt detainees 'routinely tortured’ (VIDEOS) - BBC News


VIDEO: 'Beatings and abuse' claims in Egypt custody - BBC News


Arab Organization for Human rights (AOHR): Systematic torture and arbitrary arrests of children in Egypt since the July 3 military coup - Muslim Mirror

 

VIDEO: Egypt: Activists claim mistreatment of young men and women in custody - YouTube

 

"Freedom for The Brave": 25 Jan detainees to report torture to Egypt's prosecutor-general - Ahram Online

 

April 6 launch campaign to revoke protest law - Ahram Online

 

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Egypt's political forces react to El-Sisi's candidacy - Ahram Online


Who opposes Sisi for president? - Cairo Post


POLL:  51% of Egyptians said they will vote for el-Sissi while 45% didn’t decide yet  - baseera.com.eg


Sisi's Egypt presidency bid ignites war on Twitter - turkishpress.com


VIDEO: Egypt: al-Sisi presidential bid prompts joy and concern - YouTube


VIDEO: Will the Upcoming Egypt Elections Be Fair? - WSJ.com


Egypt’s Christians Place Their Faith in Al-Sisi’s Presidential Bid - TIME.com

 

The Copts Choice: Where Do Coptic Christians Stand On Egyptian Politics? - Persecution News

 

Egypt's Workers Pose Challenge to President-to-Be Sisi - WSJ.com

 

Washington not backing any Egyptian candidate - Arab News

 

Egypt: Al-Sisi's run for President: Bonapartism and Gulf Oil Money - Informed Comment

 

Will UAE Aid Empower Egypt's Military?

 

Egypt’s Gen. El-Sisi runs for president, sets up 10,000-strong crack force to defend his regime - DEBKAfile

 

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Al Jazeera Journalists Are On Trial in Egypt for Doing Their Jobs - The Daily Beast


Al Jazeera Journo Abdullah El-Shamy Goes On Hunger Strike In Egyptian Jail - The Daily Beast


Media crackdown more severe for Egyptian journalists - Al-Monitor


Egypt has no evidence against us, says detained al-Jazeera journalist - The Guardian

 

VIDEO: Jazeera Journalists detained in Egypt - CNN

 

VIDEO: Jazeera journalist Greste remains behind bars in Egypt - YouTube

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

BP Lake Michigan Oil Spill: Did Tar Sands Spill into the Great Lake?

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

Is it conventional crude or tar sands? That is the question. And it's one with high stakes, to boot. 

The BP Whiting refinery in Indiana spilled between 470 and 1228 gallons of oil (or is it tar sands?) into Lake Michigan on March 24 and four days later no one really knows for sure what type of crude it was. Most signs, however, point to tar sands. 

Lies About Rwanda Mean More Wars If Not Corrected

Urge the ending of war these days and you'll very quickly hear two words: "Hitler" and "Rwanda."  While World War II killed some 70 million people, it's the killing of some 6 to 10 million (depending on who's included) that carries the name Holocaust. Never mind that the United States and its allies refused to help those people before the war or to halt the war to save them or to prioritize helping them when the war ended -- or even to refrain from letting the Pentagon hire some of their killers. Never mind that saving the Jews didn't become a purpose for WWII until long after the war was over.  Propose eliminating war from the world and your ears will ring with the name that Hillary Clinton calls Vladimir Putin and that John Kerry calls Bashar al Assad.

Get past Hitler, and shouts of "We must prevent another Rwanda!" will stop you in your tracks, unless your education has overcome a nearly universal myth that runs as follows.  In 1994, a bunch of irrational Africans in Rwanda developed a plan to eliminate a tribal minority and carried out their plan to the extent of slaughtering over a million people from that tribe -- for purely irrational motivations of tribal hatred.  The U.S. government had been busy doing good deeds elsewhere and not paying enough attention until it was too late.  The United Nations knew what was happening but refused to act, due to its being a large bureaucracy inhabited by weak-willed non-Americans.  But, thanks to U.S. efforts, the criminals were prosecuted, refugees were allowed to return, and democracy and European enlightenment were brought belatedly to the dark valleys of Rwanda.

Something like this myth is in the minds of those who shout for attacks on Libya or Syria or the Ukraine under the banner of "Not another Rwanda!"  The thinking would be hopelessly sloppy even if based on facts.  The idea that SOMETHING was needed in Rwanda morphs into the idea that heavy bombing was needed in Rwanda which slides effortlessly into the idea that heavy bombing is needed in Libya.  The result is the destruction of Libya.  But the argument is not for those who pay attention to what was happening in and around Rwanda before or since 1994.  It's a momentary argument meant to apply only to a moment.  Never mind why Gadaffi was transformed from a Western ally into a Western enemy, and never mind what the war left behind.  Pay no attention to how World War I was ended and how many wise observers predicted World War II at that time.  The point is that a Rwanda was going to happen in Libya (unless you look at the facts too closely) and it did not happen.  Case closed.  Next victim.

Edward Herman highly recommends a book by Robin Philpot called Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa: From Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction, and so do I.  Philpot opens with U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's comment that "the genocide in Rwanda was one hundred percent the responsibility of the Americans!"  How could that be?  Americans are not to blame for how things are in backward parts of the world prior to their "interventions."  Surely Mr. double Boutros has got his chronology wrong.  Too much time spent in those U.N. offices with foreign bureaucrats no doubt.  And yet, the facts -- not disputed claims but universally agreed upon facts that are simply deemphasized by many -- say otherwise.

The United States backed an invasion of Rwanda on October 1, 1990, by a Ugandan army led by U.S.-trained killers, and supported their attack on Rwanda for three-and-a-half years.  The Rwandan government, in response, did not follow the model of the U.S. internment of Japanese during World War II, or of U.S. treatment of Muslims for the past 12 years.  Nor did it fabricate the idea of traitors in its midst, as the invading army in fact had 36 active cells of collaborators in Rwanda.  But the Rwandan government did arrest 8,000 people and hold them for a few days to six-months.  Africa Watch (later Human Rights Watch/Africa) declared this a serious violation of human rights, but had nothing to say about the invasion and war.  Alison Des Forges of Africa Watch explained that good human rights groups "do not examine the issue of who makes war.  We see war as an evil and we try to prevent the existence of war from being an excuse for massive human rights violations."

The war killed many people, whether or not those killings qualified as human rights violations.  People fled the invaders, creating a huge refugee crisis, ruined agriculture, wrecked economy, and shattered society.  The United States and the West armed the warmakers and applied additional pressure through the World Bank, IMF, and USAID.  And among the results of the war was increased hostility between Hutus and Tutsis.  Eventually the government would topple.  First would come the mass slaughter known as the Rwandan Genocide.  And before that would come the murder of two presidents.  At that point, in April 1994, Rwanda was in chaos almost on the level of post-liberation Iraq or Libya. 

One way to have prevented the slaughter would have been to not support the war.  Another way to have prevented the slaughter would have been to not support the assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994.  The evidence points strongly to the U.S.-backed and U.S.-trained war-maker Paul Kagame -- now president of Rwanda -- as the guilty party.  While there is no dispute that the presidents' plane was shot down, human rights groups and international bodies have simply referred in passing to a "plane crash" and refused to investigate. 

A third way to have prevented the slaughter, which began immediately upon news of the presidents' assassinations, might have been to send in U.N. peacekeepers (not the same thing as Hellfire missiles, be it noted), but that was not what Washington wanted, and the U.S. government worked against it.  What the Clinton administration was after was putting Kagame in power.  Thus the resistance to calling the slaughter a "genocide" (and sending in the U.N.) until blaming that crime on the Hutu-dominated government became seen as useful.  The evidence assembled by Philpot suggests that the "genocide" was not so much planned as erupted following the shooting down of the plane, was politically motivated rather than simply ethnic, and was not nearly as one-sided as generally assumed.

Moreover, the killing of civilians in Rwanda has continued ever since, although the killing has been much more heavy in neighboring Congo, where Kagame's government took the war -- with U.S. aid and weapons and troops --  and bombed refugee camps killing some million people.  The excuse for going into the Congo has been the hunt for Rwandan war criminals.  The real motivation has been Western control and profits.  War in the Congo has continued to this day, leaving some 6 million dead -- the worst killing since the 70 million of WWII.  And yet nobody ever says "We must prevent another Congo!"

Clueless or Callous?: Philly's DA Professes Dubious Expertise on Prejudice

By Linn Washington Jr.


Philadelphia’s District Attorney, Rufus Seth Williams, the first African-American in Pennsylvania to hold a powerful top prosecutor post, persistently projects himself as an expert on racism.

Commendably Williams has acknowledged the corrosive impact of racism within the criminal justice system.

BP Doubles Initial Size Estimate of Lake Michigan Oil Spill

Three days after spilling crude oil into Lake Michigan, BP has doubled its spill estimate to between 470 and 1228 gallons. The leak happened at its refinery in Whiting, Ind.

Although some of the oil has been cleaned up, it's unclear how much is left in the lake, a drinking water source for about seven million Chicagoans.

Clump of oil on the sand; Photo Credit: U.S. EPA

Turkey News - Mar 28

 

Turkey bans YouTube after Syria security talk leaked - THE DAILY STAR


TRANSCRIPT PART 1: Turkey Intelligence Chief and FM discuss to stage a clash in Syria or a missile attack on Turkey soil as a pretext for military response - GMT


TRANSCRIPT PART 2 - Turkish Intelligence delivered 2,000 truckloads of weapons to the Syrian insurgents and sent a general to help them - Pastebin.com


AUDIO PART 1 (Turkish): Syria talks between Turkey FM, Intelligence Chief, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary and Deputy Chief of General Staff - YouTube


AUDIO PART 2 (Turkish): Syria talks between Turkey FM, Intelligence Chief, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary and Deputy Chief of General Staff - YouTube


Ankara on alert after spying on security meeting leaked - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Press Release Regarding the Illegal Exposure of Certain Audio Records with Regard to the Tomb of Süleymanşah Memorial Outpost - Rep. of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

Turkish opposition reacts to leak on alleged Syria incursion by Turkish military - Today's Zaman

 

Turkey says Syrian air defences put Turkish jets under radar lock - Reuters

 

Turkey vowed 'any measures' against Syria threats - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

NATO source: We doubt there was any threat: It looks like Turkey took down the Syrian jet to help the radical groups - Twitter / potifar66

 

Leaks shows Iran-backed terrorist cell infiltrated Turkish gov't at highest level, Interior Minister, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief and Deputy Prime Minister are all involved with the Tawhid-Salam network - Today's Zaman

 

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Turkish Court Overturns the Government’s Ban on Twitter - NYTimes.com


Twitter fights Turkey ban with lawsuit over political freedom of speech - PCWorld


AUDIO: New leak: Reza Zarrab makes some distressed calls because 2 ministers out of 10 wouldn't take his bribes - Twitter / 06JAnk


Social media group volunteers to monitor election polls - Today's Zaman


Fuat Avni: the reason Erdoğan banned Twitter? - Today's Zaman

 

Two more Bugün TV news programs penalized by election board - Today's Zaman

 

AK Party mayor in Bolu shuts down dailies, backtracks under pressure - CİHAN

 

Turkish courts release eight journalists in two days - Committee to Protect Journalists

 

Police officer warns prosecutor of fabricated Hizmet evidence - Today's Zaman

 

VIDEO: Turkish PM Erdoğan hailed as 'sultan,' greeted with Ottoman army band - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

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Probe under way after 10-year-old hit by gas canister in Diyarbakır - Today's Zaman


Grieving mothers of victims killed in protests speak out in new video - Today's Zaman


VIDEO (Turkish): Grieving mothers of victims killed in protests speak out in new video - Radikal


Audio hinting Erdoğan behind Baykal sex tape draws massive reaction - CİHAN

 

'I saw Erdoğan watching that sex tape' - hurriyetdailynews.com

 

Probe into Baykal's sex tape stalled with frequent prosecutor changes - Today's Zaman

 

AUDIO: New leak purports to show Erdogan behind Baykal sex tape which forced ex-CHP leader's resignation in 2010 - vimeo.com

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Here Comes Ukrainian Hemp

So the United States wants to buy hemp from the Ukraine. I suppose we should be happy. Anytime the U.S. government gives a country money that is not earmarked for weapons, we probably shouldn't too closely examine the unelected neo-liberals and neo-Nazis handling the cash.  Nobody pays attention to the Saudi government or the oil, wars, and terrorism it provides in exchange for U.S. largesse.

Of course if the hemp buy is part of a larger package deal that impoverishes the Ukraine for the benefit of Western plutocrats, gets NATO's nose under the door, threatens Russia, and encourages the NED to hire the companies that name paint colors in hopes of finding unique names for all the revolutions it's going to plan next, we may want to oppose the whole package.

But isn't the precedent of connecting U.S. foreign policy in any way to a substance that benefits, rather than destroys, the environment of potentially great value?  While buying hemp abroad might be a move against permitting the production of hemp at home, won't it just further fuel the argument that it's insane to make U.S. companies import a raw material that they could much more cheaply grow (while creating jobs, restoring soil, slowing climate change, and garnering some 478 other benefits of hemp)?

Or is insanity just not that big a concern? Jon Walker has a book out called After Legalization.  And there's a book called Hemp Bound by Doug Fine.  These guys are convinced that marijuana and hemp are both about to be legalized in the United States.  One of their arguments is that doing so has majority support  -- and support, they stress, from across the political spectrum (Fine can't quote anybody without emphasizing that the person is NOT A HIPPIE).  "Since when do 80% of Americans agree on anything, as they do that the drug war is a failure?" asks Fine.

Well, let me count the ways.  I've been referring for years to this fine collection of polls: http://YesMagazine.org/purpleagenda In fact, 80% in the U.S. believe their government is broken, and I suspect they do so in part because so often their government ignores the will of 80% of the country, be it on ceasing to threaten Iran, investing more in green energy or education, or holding bankers to the rule of law.  Eighty percent and more usually support restoring money to the minimum wage, as it continues to plummet.  Ninety percent want higher fuel efficiency standards.  Eighty percent would ban weapons in space, enforce laws against torture, strengthen the United Nations, reduce the power and influence of big corporations, restore voting rights for ex-felons, create a justice system that does rehabilitation, allow immigrants to apply for citizenship, etc., etc.  Never mind the countless sane and important policies supported by 75% or 68% or 52% -- which damn well ought to be enough once in a while but almost never is.

Walker says the difference is that pot doesn't have any enemies.  Fine writes as if he expects no enemies either.  And yet, Fine refers repeatedly to the great damage hemp will do to oil companies and even to the war machine.  Now, I don't know to what extent there's truth behind the supposition that major corporate interests favored the banning of marijuana and hemp, as they had favored the banning of alcohol (they certainly benefitted from its being banned and remaining banned), but we know the oil companies killed public transit and the electric car and the Gulf of Mexico. These are not lightweights when it comes to amoral short-term struggles.  And you can add to them the petrochemical, plastics, timber, alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical drug companies, as well as the herbicide companies (hemp doesn't require any), the agribusinesses currently subsidized, and -- last but not least -- the urine testing, property seizure, police and prison industries -- including the prison guard unions.  Oh and let's not neglect the State Department that wants to buy hemp from abroad as carrots for austerity schemes, and the foreign nations from whom the hemp is bought.  Who in their right mind would put sanity up against that whole crowd? I'm not even counting people too ignorant to distinguish hemp from marijuana, or who think marijuana kills you, or whom Jesus told pot comes from the devil.

Of course, I hope we will legalize hemp immediately (I mean nationally, I'm aware of the steps many states are taking). It's just going to require a great deal of effort, I'm afraid.

Then there's another worry.  Will marijuana and hemp be legalized but monopolized, corporatized, and Wal-Martized? Walker says pot won't be because nobody would buy it.  Fine says the same of hemp, and that the U.S. should ban GMO hemp from the start, as Canada has done -- as if banning GMO anything in the U.S. were as easy as passing a billion-dollar subsidy for a space weapon that threatens Iran, weakens the U.N., makes us dumber, and damages the atmosphere.  For hemp to sell, Fine writes, it has to keep a positive image that includes "a quest for world peace" -- which I take to mean more quoting Nobel laureates on packaging than funding the peace movement.  But who's going to know it's GMO if labeling on such points is banned?

Legalization is entirely doable, and the pressures in its favor are indeed likely to grow, but it's going to require huge public pressure.  Where books like Walker's and Fine's are most helpful is informing that little snippet of the public that reads books of the incredible benefits to be gained.  Hemp is apparently the healthiest food on earth, both for feeding people and for feeding farm animals whom people eat or from which people eat the eggs or drink the milk.  The same crop of hemp can, if all goes well, produce material stronger than steel or softer than cotton.  And the same crop can, in theory, produce a third thing at the same time, from yet another part of the plant: fuel.  You can build your tractor out of hemp, fuel it with hemp, and use it to harvest hemp -- hemp that is busy restoring your soil, preventing erosion, and surviving the drought and climate change.  You can do this while eating and drinking hemp and wearing clothes made of hemp and washed with hemp in your house also made of hemp and lime -- a house that sucks carbon out of the atmosphere. (The list of products and benefits is endless.  One that Fine cites is body armor, although how that fits into the quest for world peace is not clear.)

I'm not a fan of devoting acres needed for food production to fuel production, but a crop that produces both fuel and food (and building materials) -- if it really can do all that at once -- might alter the calculation.  Biofuel aside, hemp has more than enough benefits to start investing in it right now, if sanity were on the table.  Take the U.S. troops stationed in 175 countries and reduce that total by 5 countries per year.  Instead, buy those countries' hemp AND invest billions in our own (hire the former troops to grow it).  It's win-win-win, except for whichever profiteers have their interests in the wrong place.  Watch out for them.

 

What are they hiding?: Some Serious Problems with the FBI’s Killing of a Witness in Florida

By Dave Lindorff


In the voluminous report issued by Florida State’s Attorney Jeff Ashton’s Office on the killing in Orlando last May 22 of a witness/suspect under interrogation by the FBI -- an investigation that concluded that the shooting was “justified” -- there is not a single mention of the bruise and contusion on the left side of Todashev’s head.


The Time For Obama To Pardon Snowden Is Now

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Now that President Obama is proposing that the NSA end its bulk collection of data, it is time that Obama take this narrative to the next logical conclusion and offer a full and unconditional pardon to Edward Snowden.

Egypt News - Mar 27


U.S. Warns Against Executing Brotherhood Members, It may affect the aid that Washington provides to Cairo - Israel National News


John Kerry Press Statement: Mass Trials and Sentencing in Egypt - state.gov


UN: Death penalty against 529 individuals in Egypt breaches international human rights law - middleeastmonitor.com


VIDEO: Rupert Colville, the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: UN condemns Egyptian mass death sentences - YouTube


HRW, Amnesty condemn Egypt death sentences - Cairo Post


Defendants were falsely recorded as present and lawyers barred from Minya courtroom ahead of mass death sentences: Defence - Ahram Online


Most Minya Convicts Not Brotherhood Members: Lawyer - haberler.com


Egyptian doctor faces life on the run after mass death sentences - Reuters


VIDEO: Egypt: Reactions in Minya to the Death Sentences in Brotherhood Mass Trial - YouTube


Students in Egypt protest mass death sentences - Yahoo News


VIDEO: Egypt unrest: one killed during clashes in Cairo after mass death sentence - YouTube


VIDEO: Clashes erupt in Alexandria, Egypt after mass death sentence - YouTube


Brotherhood head, 682 others tried in Egypt after mass death sentence - Reuters


Egypt: Proceedings go ahead despite lawyers’ boycott - The Scotsman


VIDEO: Egypt lawyers boycott new mass trial of Islamists after 528 sentenced to death - One News Page


Egypt prosecutor orders other mass trials of 919 Islamists - Washington Times


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Top general Abdel Fatah al-Sissi to run for president in Egypt - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Egypt: Al-Sisi announces presidential bid as fresh unrest hits Cairo - euronews


Egyptian sources: Sisi is urgently seeking completion of new arms deal with Russia - JPost


Egypt facing an arms supply problem, considering importing weapons from Russia: Interior minister - Ahram Online


Egypt mulls economic cooperation, free trade zone with Russia's customs union - THE DAILY STAR


Russian industrial zone to be established in Egypt - Daily News Egypt


Egypt says eyes Russian liquefied gas: Minister - Daily News Egypt


VIDEO ARCHIVE: Russia’s Putin gives supports to Sisi's bid for Egypt presidency in February - YouTube


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com


Admiral Dennis Blair: "We Sent Troops to Middle East...Because of Oil-Based Importance of Region"

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

At the just-completed U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing titled, "The Geopolitical Potential of the U.S. Energy Boom," Admiral Dennis Blair — former Director of National Intelligence, President and CEO of Institute for Defense Analyses and Commander in Chief of U.S. Pacific Command — admitted what's still considered conspiratorial to some.

Put tersely: the U.S. and allied forces launched the ongoing occupation in Iraq and occupy large swaths of the Middle East to secure the flow of oil to the U.S. and its global allies, explained Blair. 

Help Our Friend John Judge

Many of you know the dedicated peace and justice activist John Judge. He has had a stroke and is in the hospital in need of help.

1)  You can send him a card at COPA's address (P.O. Box 772, Washington, DC, 20044), or at George Washington University Hospital, Room 461, 900 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC, 20037. 
 
2)  You can donate to help us pay his rent and expenses, or to help us pay for additional therapy, by sending a check to COPA's post office address above.  The check should be made payable to Marilyn Tenenoff, since John can't sign his name. 
 
3)  You can follow this link to and contribute to John Judge's Recovery online:  http://www.gofundme.com/7c7h2g

What Do World's Two Biggest Dangers Have in Common?

Anyone who cares about our natural environment should be marking with great sadness the centenary of World War I. Beyond the incredible destruction in European battlefields, the intense harvesting of forests, and the new focus on the fossil fuels of the Middle East, the Great War was the Chemists' War. Poison gas became a weapon -- one that would be used against many forms of life.

Insecticides were developed alongside nerve gases and from byproducts of explosives.  World War II -- the sequel made almost inevitable by the manner of ending the first one -- produced, among other things, nuclear bombs, DDT, and a common language for discussing both -- not to mention airplanes for delivering both.

War propagandists made killing easier by depicting foreign people as bugs. Insecticide marketers made buying their poisons patriotic by using war language to describe the "annihilation" of "invading" insects (never mind who was actually here first). DDT was made available for public purchase five days before the U.S. dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.  On the first anniversary of the bomb, a full-page photograph of a mushroom cloud appeared in an advertisement for DDT.

War and environmental destruction don't just overlap in how they're thought and talked about.  They don't just promote each other through mutually reinforcing notions of machismo and domination.  The connection is much deeper and more direct. War and preparations for war, including weapons testing, are themselves among the greatest destroyers of our environment.  The U.S. military is a leading consumer of fossil fuels. From March 2003 to December 2007 the war on Iraq alone released more CO2 than 60% of all nations.

Rarely do we appreciate the extent to which wars are fought for control over resources the consumption of which will destroy us.  Even more rarely do we appreciate the extent to which that consumption is driven by wars.  The Confederate Army marched up toward Gettysburg in search of food to fuel itself.  (Sherman burned the South, as he killed the Buffalo, to cause starvation -- while the North exploited its land to fuel the war.)  The British Navy sought control of oil first as a fuel for the ships of the British Navy, not for some other purpose.  The Nazis went east, among several other reasons, for forests with which to fuel their war.  The deforestation of the tropics that took off during World War II only accelerated during the permanent state of war that followed.

Wars in recent years have rendered large areas uninhabitable and generated tens of millions of refugees. Perhaps the most deadly weapons left behind by wars are land mines and cluster bombs. Tens of millions of them are estimated to be lying around on the earth. The Soviet and U.S. occupations of Afghanistan have destroyed or damaged thousands of villages and sources of water. The Taliban has illegally traded timber to Pakistan, resulting in significant deforestation. U.S. bombs and refugees in need of firewood have added to the damage. Afghanistan's forests are almost gone. Most of the migratory birds that used to pass through Afghanistan no longer do so. Its air and water have been poisoned with explosives and rocket propellants.

The United States fights its wars and even tests its weapons far from its shores, but remains pockmarked by environmental disaster areas and superfund sites created by its military.  The environmental crisis has taken on enormous proportions, dramatically overshadowing the manufactured dangers that lie in Hillary Clinton's contention that Vladimir Putin is a new Hitler or the common pretense in Washington, D.C., that Iran is building nukes or that killing people with drones is making us safer rather than more hated. And yet, each year, the EPA spends $622 million trying to figure out how to produce power without oil, while the military spends hundreds of billions of dollars burning oil in wars fought to control the oil supplies. The million dollars spent to keep each soldier in a foreign occupation for a year could create 20 green energy jobs at $50,000 each. The $1 trillion spent by the United States on militarism each year, and the $1 trillion spent by the rest of the world combined, could fund a conversion to sustainable living beyond most of our wildest dreams. Even 10% of it could.

When World War I ended, not only did a huge peace movement develop, but it was allied with a wildlife conservation  movement.  These days, those two movements appear divided and conquered.  Once in a blue moon their paths cross, as environmental groups are persuaded to oppose a particular seizure of land or military base construction, as has happened in recent months with the movements to prevent the U.S. and South Korea from building a huge naval base on Jeju Island, and to prevent the U.S. Marine Corps from turning Pagan Island in the Northern Marianas into a bombing range.  But try asking a well-funded environmental group to push for a transfer of public resources from militarism to clean energy or conservation and you might as well be trying to tackle a cloud of poison gas.

I'm pleased to be part of a movement just begun at WorldBeyondWar.org, already with people taking part in 57 nations, that seeks to replace our massive investment in war with a massive investment in actual defense of the earth.  I have a suspicion that big environmental organizations would find great support for this plan were they to survey their members.

Follow the Money: Three Energy Export Congressional Hearings, Climate Undiscussed

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

In light of ongoing geopolitical tensions in Russia, Ukraine and hotly contested Crimea, three (yes, three!) U.S. Congressional Committees held hearings this week on the U.S. using its newfangled oil and gas bounty as a blunt tool to fend off Russian dominance of the global gas market.

U.S. Sen Mary Landrieu at the U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; Photo Credit:  U.S. Sen. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

Though 14 combined witnesses testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Power and U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, not a single environmental voice received an invitation. Climate change and environmental concerns were only voiced by two witnesses. 

Using the ongoing regional tumult as a rationale to discuss exports of U.S. oil and gas obtained mainly via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), the lack of discussion on climate change doesn't mean the issue isn't important to national security types.

Indeed, the Pentagon's recently published Quadrennial Defense Review coins climate change a "threat force multiplier" that could lead to resource scarcity and resource wars. Though directly related to rampant resource extraction and global oil and gas marketing, with fracking's accompanying climate change and ecological impacts, "threat force multiplication" impacts of climate change went undiscussed. 

With another LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminal approved by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Coos Bay, Ore., to non-Free Trade Agreement countries on March 24 (the seventh so far, with two dozen still pending), the heat is on to export U.S. fracked oil and gas to the global market.   

So, why wasn't the LNG climate trump card discussed in a loud and clear way? Well, just consider the source: ten of the witnesses had ties in one way or another to the oil and gas industry.

There Is A Deeper Wave Than This

A wave of action is coming on April 4th, the date they killed MLK, the date Cindy Sheehan lost her son, the date cherry blossoms and resisters to fascism begin to show after an endless winter of many, many years.  Take a look at https://waveofaction.org

Electing a different president six years ago was not a partial step, a failed attempt, a warm-up round. It was a halftime show of circus clowns and cheerleaders.  The partial step, the failed attempt, the warm up, the ground work, the base of experience and training and testing was Occupy.

And what's happened since?  We've learned more about how close Occupy came to shifting the balance. We've learned more about how scared the bankers and the warmongers and their servants in the unconstitutional police-state acronym crowd were (the FBI-DHS-CIA-NSA-SOBs).  We've learned about the plans in Houston to murder Occupiers.  We've learned about the infiltration, the instigation, the expropriation.  We've looked back at the counterproductive results of tolerating a bit of violence on the side of justice and peace.  We've marveled at the mistake of calling violence inclusiveness and tolerance.  We've wondered at the humor, heroism, and effectiveness of nonviolent creative action.

The movement has grown, indoors, online, and off the radar.  It's developed strategies for taking on debt and homelessness and war.  Awareness has grown, education has spread, and ideas have sunk in. People now know that we can't lift up the poor without pulling down the plutocrats.  It's understood that we can have democracy or billionaires, not both.  The notion of shifting priorities is even making headway; behind the screaming of "no cuts!" and "less spending!" there's a steady, rising voice -- ebbing and flowing like the ocean -- insisting that we can move the money from the military and the oil corporations and the bankers to green energy and schools and trains and parks and actual aid to everyone on earth, with plenty of tax cuts to spare. 

"The country is broke" is understood as a lie on the scale of "the Defense Department makes us safer" or "the marketplace benefits us all" or "this weather is part of normal cycles" or "the corporate media is independent of the government" or "the government is independent of the corporations." 

When public pressure stopped missiles into Syria in September the educational work of years and years was paying off.  When public pressure helped stop new sanctions and war momentum against Iran in February, a new pattern was developing.  When Obama began this week at least pretending to turn against the NSA he'd been defending for months, a crack opened up in a wall of unaccountable abuses.  Opportunities are opening up all around us. Students are taking on Israeli crimes.  Towns are taking on fossil fuel fanaticism.  Parents on taking on corporate-educationism. 

A new Occupy should have crowds of DiFi masks (the one person Senator Dianne Feinstein objects to spying on). A new Occupy should hold joint events in the United States and Russia demanding peace from both governments, nuclear disarmament, and investment of those nuclear dollars in defense against real threats, like climate change, disease, and guns. 

Things are not getting better.  The earth is dying.  Weapons sales are skyrocketing.  Russia and China are being groomed as new enemies.  Real healthcare reform remains almost incomprehensible to millions who need it.  Pay Day loans are growing at the rate that prison terms for profiteers ought to be.  But resistance to the downward slide is growing as well.  Whistleblowers are appearing. Courage is catching and spreading.  States are setting up conversion and transition plans.  Obamahopium is wearing off without Hillareoin taking hold.

If there was ever a moment to put survival and well-being ahead of politeness and obedience, this is that moment.  The weather is right.  The climate is right.  The experience is fresh, but the participants rested.  April 4th is opening day.  Will you throw out the first pitch in your town? Will you do it now? Will you re-occupy everything and never give it back? Find an event, create an event, or enliven an event near you or far from you: https://waveofaction.org

This is not for show this time.  This is not to send a message.  This is not to make a few friends.  This is to make millions of friends.  This is to change the course of our culture.  This is the big leagues.  Rest up.  Get ready.  Know your power.

http://youtu.be/uXZistami3c

Syria/Turkey News - Mar 26, 2014

 

Clashes spread near Syria's border with Turkey - Yahoo News


Kessab Targeted by Al-Qaeda Front Groups in Cross-Border Attack from Turkey, The majority of the Armenian population evacuated - Armenian Weekly


Armenian Homes in Kessab Looted, Occupied - Asbarez Armenian News


Fundraising organized to help Kessab residents in Syria - aysor.am


Armenian President Sargsyan makes press statement on Kessab in The Hague - Panorama


Armenian deputies head to Syria - ARMENPRESS

 

VIDEO: Syrian rebels seize Armenian town Kessab near Turkey - Al Jazeera

 

VIDEO: Al Jazeera TV interviewing a Chechnyan commander of the attack on Kessab-Latakia - LiveLeak.com

 

VIDEO: Raw Video of Heavy Clashes In Latakia Region On The Border With Turkey  - YouTube

 

Syria rebels claim capture of Samra coastal village in Assad heartland - AFP

 

VIDEO: Syria rebels claim capture of Samra coastal village in Assad heartland - YouTube

 

Bashar al-Assad's home village under threat from Syrian opposition forces - theguardian.com

 

Jabhat al-Nusra, Chechen Factions, Capture Assad Positions At Tell Shuwehneh, Aleppo (VIDEO) - chechensinsyria.com

 

Syrian troops thwart attack on key military site in Latakia - Yahoo News

 

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US Armenian group says Turkey assisting rebels in Kessab - Today's Zaman


ANCA Demands White House and Congressional Action to stop Turkey facilitating rebel attacks on Kessab, Text of letter to Obama - Armenian Weekly


Armenian Bar Association Calls on Obama to Intervene on Behalf of Syrian-Armenians - Hetq


VIDEO: Video shows that Turkey permits terrorists enter Syria’s Armenian-populated Kessab - YouTube


PHOTO: Turkish Intelligence allegedly carrying wounded terrorists in Kessab - islamicinvitationturkey.com

 

Tensions running high on Turkey-Syria border, Turkey military reports a dozen incidents involving its aircraft and Syrian anti-aircraft defences on Monday alone - ZAMAN ALWSL

 

Syrian missile systems lock onto five Turkish jets as clashes rage across border - hurriyetdailynews

 

Syrian Army downed aTurkish Spy Blimp above Syria’s Kessab (PHOTO) - islamicinvitationturkey.com

 

UN urges Turkey, Syria to refrain from further military actions - Today's Zaman

 

Interview (Arabic) with Alawite militia leader Mihrac Ural, Discusses Turkey role in Kessab attack & denies responsibility for Bayda massacre - AlakhbarNews

 

Turkey Vows Action to Defend Tomb in Syria From Al-Qaeda - Bloomberg

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle@gmail.com

Florida State’s Attorney takes a dive on FBI slaying probe Two Law Enforcement Officers, Two Stories of a Witness Killing: Who’

By Dave Lindorff

 

The Florida State’s Attorney for the Orlando region, Jeffrey Ashton, today released his conclusion at the end of a 10-month investigation into the FBI slaying of Ibragim Todashev, a suspected witness in the Boston bombing case, saying that he will not be prosecuting the agent. Ashton ruled that the killing, in which the agent, at the end of a nearly 5-hour May 21 interrogation in Todashev’s Orlando apartment, fired seven bullets into Todashev, killing him justifiably, after being attacked.


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