Sunday, April 19, 2015

FBI Examiners Gave 'Flawed Testimony'

FBI Examiners Gave 'Flawed Testimony'

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A leading U.S. newspaper says the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department have "formally acknowledged" that almost all of the examiners "in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony " against criminal defendants for more than a two-decade period before 2000. The Washington Post reported Saturday that according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Innocence Project, that  26 of the 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory's microscopic hair comparison unit "overstated forensic matches" to favor prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far. The NACDL and the Innocence Project are working with the government in what The Post described as "the country's largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence." The reviewed cases included 32 defendants who were sentenced to death.  Fourteen of them have either been executed or died in prison, the two groups said. Defendants and prosecutors across the United States are being notified about the findings so they can determine whether they have grounds for appeals. The FBI and the Justice Department said in a statement they "are committed to ensuring that affected defendants are notified of past errors and that justice is done in every instance." Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project, said the FBI's use of microscopic hair analysis to incriminate defendants was "a complete disaster."   He called for "an exhaustive investigation" into how this happened and why it was not stopped sooner. Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from the northeastern state of Connecticut, told The Washington Post "these findings are appalling and chilling in their indictment of our criminal justice system."

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Yemen Rejects Iranian Peace Plan

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A Yemeni government spokesman dismissed the Iranian initiative as "only a political maneuver."

В ДНР заявили о гибели в "иловайском котле" более 900 украинских военных - Интерфакс

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Комсомольская Правда в Украине

В ДНР заявили о гибели в "иловайском котле" более 900 украинских военных
Интерфакс
Москва. 19 апреля. INTERFAX.RU - В окружении под Иловайском погибло более 900 украинских военных, заявила в воскресенье представитель Комиссии самопровозглашенной Донецкой народной республики по делам военнопленных Лилия Родионова. "Главный военный прокурор ...
ДНР: Киев занижает данные о потерях под ИловайскомВести.Ru
Ополченцы передали Киеву тела 11 военных, погибших под ДебальцевоКомсомольская правда
ДНР: Под Иловайском погибли более 900 силовиковВзгляд
Московский комсомолец -РИА Новости -Коммерсантъ
Все похожие статьи: 49 »

Iran Guard Says Military Sites Not Open To Inspections

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A senior commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says the country's military sites would not be open to foreign inspection under any nuclear agreement with world powers.

В деле об узурпации власти Януковичем появятся новые громкие имена, - СБУ - РБК Украина

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РБК Украина

В деле об узурпации власти Януковичем появятся новые громкие имена, - СБУ
РБК Украина
В уголовном производстве по факту узурпации власти экс-президентом Украины Виктором Януковичем и судьями Конституционного суда могут появиться неожиданные громкие фамилии. Об этом в эфире "5 канала" заявил руководитель Главного следственного управления СБУ ...
В СБУ сообщили о 30 находящихся под следствием в России украинцахРБК
Около 30 украинцев удерживаются в РФ правоохранителями – СБУИнтерфакс - Украина
СБУ держит под стражей 170 человек, причастных к терроризмуДиалог.UA - Всегда два мнения
ИА "Репортер" -Новый Регион
Все похожие статьи: 176 »

Норвегия потребовала разъяснений России по визиту Рогозина на Шпицберген - РБК

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РБК

Норвегия потребовала разъяснений России по визиту Рогозина на Шпицберген
РБК
Норвегия обратилась к российским властям за разъяснением по поводу посещения Дмитрием Рогозиным архипелага Шпицберген. Российский вице-премьер включен в черный список Осло. Ответ Рогозина: «После драки кулаками не машут». Вице-премьер РФ Дмитрий Рогозин.
Рогозин отреагировал на недовольство норвежского МИДРИА Новости
Норвегия требует разъяснений: почему Рогозин посетил архипелаг с особым международным статусомПравда.Ру
Норвегия попросила Москву объяснить визит Рогозина в АрктикуLenta.ru
Вести.Ru -Комсомольская правда -Радиостанция ЭХО МОСКВЫ
Все похожие статьи: 61 »
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Kremlin’s Five Top Lies Last Week about Ukraine

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Paul Goble

 

            Staunton, April 19 – As it has taken to doing, Kyiv’s “Delovaya stolitsa” newspaper publishes today a list of “the top five propagandistic myths, fakes and stupidities of the Kremlin” for the past week.  Obviously, given the barrage of Moscow’s lies about Ukraine, these lists are highly selective, but they are also extremely instructive.

 

            This week’s “TOP-5” list, compiled by Dmitry Bukovsky, contains the following items (dsnews.ua/politics/top-5-propagandistskih-mifov-feykov-i-glupostey-kremlya-19042015100000):

 

  1. Aleksandr Zakharchenko, the Moscow-installed leader of the self-proclaimed DNR, repeated his claim that his “’forces’” are about to attack the Ukrainian city of Mariupol and said they would take it “without serious resistance” (bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-15/gunfire-in-donetsk-republic-as-leader-refuses-unity-with-ukraine). The DNR head has made this threat before, and his “’forces’” have found it hard to advance anywhere. They would certainly face resistance in Mariupol. The only reason this is a matter of concern is that it was reported by a Western news agency in an uncritical way.
     
  2. The Moscow newspaper “Gazeta” reported that Greece’s defense minister had told journalists that “the Greek population in Crimea had been subject to attacks by the fascist government of Ukraine, and the presence of Russian forces became a defense for Greek families” (gazeta.ru/politics/2015/04/17_a_6643361.shtml).  The Greek embassy in Kyiv says the minister never said that and that in any case there were no such problems. What is disturbing is that this made-up statement was carried by a ordinarily much-respected Moscow paper and may be taken on faith by its readers in Russia and elsewhere.
     
  3. Igor Martynov, who heads the Russian occupation office in Donetsk, says that he plans to restore that “’capital of ‘the DNR’ to is former status as ‘the city of a million roses,’” something that he almost certainly cannot afford to do and a step that could only be taken if the regime shifted funds away from the people for this stunt (nahnews.org/206595-vlasti-donecka-zaseyut-gorod-millionami-roz/?utm_source=novoross&utm_medium=vk&utm_campaign=novoross).  “The separatists have money,” Bukovsky says, “but not for the support of the poor.”
     
  4. Despite claims by DNR officials, there have been no pitched battles between units of the Armed forces of Ukraine and Ukrainian “’volunteer’ punitive battalions,”  a claim pro-Moscow groups have put out in the past in the hopes of provoking them or leading Kyiv to disarm and disband these units (voicesevas.ru/news/yugo-vostok/12286-nacgvardiya-otstrelivaet-ukrainskih-dobrovolcev.html).
     
  5. And in a theme that Soviet and now Russian propagandists have not been able to resist, the ‘Russian Force” website has claimed that “’four American soldiers raped two [Ukrainian] underage girls” (tvzvezda.ru/news/vstrane_i_mire/content/201504170946-hpud.htm). The Russian site despite a complete lack of evidence reported that local people had protested and forced Ukrainian officials to investigate. The latter concluded, the Russian site says, that the Americans were guilty but could do nothing because of the soldiers’ supposed “full diplomatic immunity.”
     
     
     
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France, Russia Negotiating Resolution To Mistral Deal

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French President Francois Hollande says talks with Moscow are being held to find a solution to the suspended delivery to Russia of two French-built Mistral warships.

Russian Who Went to Fight in Donbas Says He was ‘Not in an Army but in a Criminal Band’

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Paul Goble


            Staunton, April 19 – Bondo Dorovskikh, a Russian businessman, volunteered to go to Ukraine to “fight fascism” and defend  “the Russian idea;” but he says he rapidly discovered the situation in the Donbas was not as he had been led to expect and that he had been enrolled “not in an army but in a criminal band.”


            His testimony on this point, given in a 3,000-word interview with Radio Liberty, provides both a frightening glimpse into the world of the pro-Moscow statelets in southeastern Ukraine and an encouraging indication that ever more Russians are appalled not only by what officials there are doing but also by what Moscow is saying (svoboda.org/content/article/26963666.html).


            “I really thought,” Dorovskikh said, “that Russia was in danger, that mercenaries were fighting there and trying to seize our country, that the Donbas is Russia’s advance post where we must stand and defend our interests. Only having crossed the border did we see literally within the first five minutes” that this was not the case.


             Russian television exerted a powerful influence on him, the former volunteer says. Had it not presented its version of reality, he would never have thought of going to the Donbas to fight. Now, he said, he recognizes how distorted an account it offered and offers about events in Ukraine.


            His recruitment to the Donbas cause was simple; indeed, he said he was shocked that there was no more checking about the people who signed up than there was. “More than that, there were cases when someone with a Xerox copy of documents” but not the real ones crossed the border.” Once in the Donbas itself, no one asked more than one’s name.


            The organizers handed out guns without any particular checking of the abilities of those to whom they were given, Dorovskikh continued. They handed out the guns only on Ukrainian territory, but the division of volunteers into the various forces such as the Specter Brigade into which he went took place in Russia, in Rostov oblast.


             In that brigade,he said there were “several Russian cadres officers, but most of the band members were local people, with only ten to 30 percent consisting of volunteers from Russia. Some of the band members sold their weapons for cash; others apparently used them for the same end. But still others seemed very interested in learning how to fight.


              Neither the hierarchies of the DNR or LNR were especially happy with independent battalions like the one he was in nor were the ordinary people in the areas in which they operated. One woman, for example, told Dorovskikh “We don’t need Putin; [and] we don’t want to be in Russia.”


Most of the people in his band, he continued, were indifferent to politics. Many of them had criminal backgrounds; and those that did devoted a great deal of time to searching out for former militiamen, perhaps for revenge. In all things, “they were far from politics” and were interested only in having an adventure or engaging in violence.


As far as the future is concerned, he said, “if Russia had not gotten involved, [the self-proclaimed republics] wouldn’t have happened. Russia is inclined to support this movement further and therefore the fighters will hold on for a long time yet.”


Dorovskikh said he “would advise people not to go to the Donbas. This is false patriotism. There is no Russia there. Instead, what is going on is real aggression. More than that, if you go, you will simply become part of a band.” Any volunteer would certainly not have anything to do with “defending the Motherland.”


Russians have been shown on television something that looks like the Great Fatherland War,” he said. But in reality, the conflict in Ukraine is “real aggression. We came to this territory, and the Russian authorities are supporting terror. If we hadn’t gone there, if Russia hadn’t gotten involved, there wouldn’t have been thousands of dead.”


 “In general,” he concludes, “there wouldn’t have been any of this” in Ukraine.


 


 


 


 



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Is Russia losing its nuclear defense capability?

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Film of the unsuccessful launch of a S-300 air defense missile appeared on YouTube this week (Image: YouTube screengrab)
Film of the unsuccessful launch of a S-300 air defense missile appeared on YouTube this week (Image: YouTube screengrab) 
There are many reasons why Vladimir Putin has been threatening the West with the possibility that he will use nuclear weapons against its allies, but one that has not received much attention is that he may be doing so because his country is rapidly losing its nuclear defense capability.
That possibility suggested three years ago by a Russian expert is so frightening in its implications that many will want to dismiss it out of hand, but in an essay today, Kseniya Kirillova provides background on the case and on why it is less implausible than many may think.
As she points out, Russia’s dependence on Western technology in many spheres has increased dramatically over the last 20 years: Western technology is often far ahead of its Russian counterpart and less expensive, Moscow’s investment and planning in technological development has fallen off, and many Russian specialists now work abroad rather than at home.
But it has generally been assumed that this is less true in the military sector than in others and least true of all in the critical nuclear weapons sector in particular. That assumption may not be valid if one considers what some Russian experts and even some Russian politicians have been saying over the last three years, Kirillova says.
In the fall of 2011, Yury Tsarik, the deputy director of the Moscow Institute of Demography, Migration and Regional Development, noted that some of the efforts of Russia to import and use Western technology had failed because Russians had no equivalent technologies and misused the Western ones.
“Unfortunately,” the Moscow specialist said at the time, “such a catastrophic situation is occurring not only in space industry but in aviation, ship building and machine building as well. In fact, all Russian machine building is being destroyed by the lack of a coherent government policy.”
“The lack of clear plans for the development of corresponding industries ten to twenty years ahead makes impossible serious planning for the technological re-investment. And without such re-investment, it will turn out to be impossible to come up with high quality production,” Tsarik said.
And then he made his key and disturbing judgment: “As a result, Russia over three to five years can lose its nuclear shield as a result of its inability to produce the ensemble of machines which will permit it to deliver weapons onto the territory of its opponent.”
Tsarik delivered those words more than three years ago, and that means that it is possible, if his judgment is correct, that Russia is in trouble in this regard now, a problem that could make its leadership more rather than less inclined to threaten first use of nuclear weapons than otherwise.
Film of the unsuccessful launch of a S-300 air defense missile appeared on YouTube this week (below), Kirillova points out, providing at least a partial confirmation of this. But an even more important form of confirmation came from one of the most aggressive hawks in the Russian government, Dmitry Rogozin.

Last fall, he said that “in the case of a ‘hot’ conflict, Russia would lose a war with the United States in six hours,” a statement that was widely written off at the time as simply an effort to convince the Kremlin to spend more on defense but that may have had a deeper meaning as well.
The situation with Russian military aviation is “no better,” Kirillova points out. The current generation of Russian MiGs are so accident-prone that pilots refer to them as “’flying caskets,’” and Russian rights activist Elena Vasilyeva said at the end of last year that officers were praying none of them would crash during a visit to the Barents Sea by Putin.
MiG-29M-OVT (Image by Guinnog at English Wikipedia)
MiG-29M-OVT (Image by Guinnog at English Wikipedia)
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How Russian trolls are recruited, trained and deployed | Euromaidan Press |

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