Sunday, May 31, 2015

Easy Access to Money Keeps U.S. Oil Pumping

Easy Access to Money Keeps U.S. Oil Pumping

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Access to easy money is encouraging oil drillers to keep production high, even though crude prices are low. The lack of production discipline worries some industry experts, who say it will hold down prices.

Russia imposes travel ban on 89 EU politicians - video report

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Russia has imposed an entry ban on 89 European politicians and military leaders, a move that has angered Europe and worsened Russia's standoff with the west over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict. Many of the figures reportedly included on the list have previously spoken out against the Kremlin. Britain's former foreign secretary and former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg are among the named individuals Continue reading...

Material being lifted by crane in NYC falls; 10 injured

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NEW YORK (AP) -- A piece of mechanical equipment being lifted by a crane at a Manhattan office building broke free Sunday morning and fell about 28 stories to the sidewalk below, causing minor injuries to 10 people, officials said....

Putin’s travel bans are the latest mis-step in a clumsy diplomatic dance with Europe 

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Relations have deteriorated so much that we don’t know if the bar on Nick Clegg and others visiting Russia is a sham diplomatic storm or a real one
Consigned to the back benches, party leader and deputy prime minister no more, Nick Clegg finds himself suddenly back in the spotlight … because he has been banned from Russia. Tragi-comic, perverse, regrettable – choose your adjective to describe this latest twist in international diplomacy.
Clegg is one of nine Britons and 89 European Union citizens on a list of prohibited individuals that Russia has now “shared with” Brussels, and the response was predictable. The bans were immediately condemned by the EU as arbitrary, unjustified and possibly illegal. A common conclusion was that Russia is deliberately escalating the conflict with the west over Ukraine to a new and even more dangerous level.
Now consider who is on this list: not exactly A-listers. The vast majority are former this and former that
Continue reading...

IS Claims Suicide Bombing in Libya 

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From: VOAvideo
Duration: 01:37

Islamic State insurgents claimed a suicide bombing Sunday in Libya that killed five members of Fajr Libya, or Libya Dawn, in the northwestern city of Misrata, reaffirming the militants' presence in the politically fractured country. VOA's Victoria Macchi has more on the group's latest movements throughout the Middle East

China's Island-Building Poses Dilemma for U.S.

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China’s refusal to curtail island-building in the South China Sea has sparked a debate in Washington between those who believe such muscle-flexing shouldn’t go unchecked, and others who fear the wrong response could trigger a military confrontation or a new Cold War.

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Police shoot man outside summit U.S. Defense Secretary attended

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Police shot a man dead and detained two other people outside a Singapore hotel Sunday where a high-level security summit was being held, according to a statement from Singapore police. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter had been attending the summit on Saturday.

John Kerry breaks leg in bike accident

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had a bicycle accident in France on Sunday and was flown by helicopter to a hospital in nearby Geneva, Switzerland, for examination, said State Department spokesman John Kirby.

Activists accuse Syria of indiscriminate barrel bombing

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At least 70 people were killed in a string of barrel bomb attacks Saturday on the Syrian city of Aleppo, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the opposition-run Aleppo Media Center.

IMF Lowers Ukraine's 2015 Growth Forecast To Negative 9 Percent 

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has lowered its forecast for Ukraine's war-battered economy, predicting the economy will contract by 9 percent during 2015 -- due in large part to "the unresolved conflict in the east."

US police have killed hundreds this year, but the FBI still doesn't keep count - The Verge

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The Guardian Nigeria

US police have killed hundreds this year, but the FBI still doesn't keep count
The Verge
Apple wants Drake and Pharrell to DJ its new music service, says the New York... Policy & Law · US & World. US police have killed hundreds this year, but the FBI still doesn't keep count. By Lizzie Plaugic; on May 31, 2015 04:46 pm; Email · @space_clam.
Fatal Shootings By Police Twice As High As Official Number, Report SaysNPR
Analysis: Cops fatally shoot people at twice the rate tallied by FBINew Haven Register
Police Have Shot And Killed 385 People In U.S. Since January, Report FindsHeadlines & Global News
New Zealand Herald -Voice of America
all 101 news articles »

At least 2,600 reportedly killed in Egypt following overthrow of Mohamed Morsi 

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Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights claims holding cells at police stations are filled to 400% capacity and prisons to 160%

At least 2,600 people have been killed in violence in the 18 months after the military overthrew Egypt’s president in 2013, nearly half of them supporters of the Mohamed Morsi, the head of a state-sanctioned rights body has said.
Mohammed Fayeq, head of the National Council for Human Rights, said on Sunday that the dead included 700 policemen and 550 civilians who were killed in the period between 30 June 2013 and 31 December 2014.
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U.S. Paid Residents Linked to Nazi Crimes $20 Million in Benefits, Report Says 

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A report by the Social Security Administration’s inspector general concludes that virtually all of the payments were proper under policies in place at the time.

Beau Biden, vice president's son, dies of brain cancer - Washington Post

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New York Times

Beau Biden, vice president's son, dies of brain cancer
Washington Post
Joseph Robinette “Beau” Biden III, the son of Vice President Biden and former state attorney general of Delaware, died Saturday after battling brain cancer for several years. Biden, 46, the oldest son of the vice president and the rising star of a family dynasty, ...
Joseph R. Biden III, Vice President's Son, Dies at 46New York Times
Joe Biden's son, Beau, dies of brain cancerReuters
Beau Biden, Son of Vice President Joe Biden, Dies After Battle With Brain
CNN -TIME -Wall Street Journal
all 128 news articles »

Biden announces death of son, Beau, of brain cancer

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Vice President Joe Biden announced Saturday that his son, Beau, has died of brain cancer. Beau Biden was 46....

Beau Biden, son of US vice-president Joe Biden, dies of brain cancer at 46 

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  • Barack and Michelle Obama cancel White House reception to mourn 
  • Biden, 46, was former Delaware attorney general and national guardsman
Vice-president Joe Biden said on Saturday that his son Beau had died of brain cancer, at the age of 46. 
“The entire Biden family is saddened beyond words,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House. “We know that Beau’s spirit will live on in all of us, especially through his brave wife, Hallie, and two remarkable children, Natalie and Hunter.”Continue reading...

Russian aircraft head off U.S. destroyer in Black Sea: RIA

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting "aggressively" in the Black Sea, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday, but the Pentagon denied any unusual behavior.

Reaction to death of vice president's son Beau Biden

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Vice President Joe Biden's son Beau Biden died Saturday of brain cancer nearly two years after he was first diagnosed. He was 46....
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Facial recognition technology lands at U.S. airport

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The Department of Homeland Security's new tool for tightening border security is getting a three-month tryout

Homosexuality Could Benefit a Species, Says New Study : Animals ... 

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The trouble is, researchers can't get inside the head of an animal, especially one as complex as an old-world monkey. It remains very difficult to determine if these .... EDITOR'S Choices. volcanic eruption in Japan. News ...

Exclusive: Six powers agree way to restore U.N. sanctions in push for Iran deal - sources

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NEW YORK/PARIS/ANKARA (Reuters) - Six world powers have agreed on a way to restore U.N. sanctions on Iran if the country breaks the terms of a future nuclear deal, clearing a major obstacle to an accord ahead of a June 30 deadline, Western officials told Reuters.

Kerry Breaks Leg In Bike Accident, Cancels Spain-France Trip

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is reportedly in stable condition at a Geneva hospital after breaking his right leg in a bicycling accident in France.

Kerry Hospitalized in Stable Condition After Bike Accident

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been hospitalized and is in stable condition following a bike accident outside of Geneva, where he had been holding nuclear talks with Iran's foreign minister. He was flown by helicopter to the Geneva University hospital following the accident in the Alps. A State Department statement said Kerry likely suffered a leg injury and did not lose consciousness. Paramedics and a physician were on the scene with Kerry's motorcade at the time of...

Secretary of State John Kerry Flown to Swiss Hospital After Bike Crash 

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Secretary of State John Kerry likely suffered a leg injury in the bicycle accident, according to a statement from the State Department.
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Page 5

US Newspaper Tracks Police Shootings

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A prominent U.S. newspaper says it is tracking the number of people killed by police across the U.S., as the country debates the use of lethal force. The Washington Post says 385 people have been killed nationwide by police in the first five months of 2015 — a rate close to 2.6 people a day. The newspaper said at that rate, police will have shot and killed nearly 1,000 people by the end of the year. The Washington Post described its tracking of the fatal shootings as...

The new platform luring readers into short fiction

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Manchester’s Comma Press has launched MacGuffin, which not only allows authors to self-publish in text and audio, but also gives detailed analytics showing when readers get bored
It remains one of the paradoxes of publishing that while the popularity of essays and shortform writing (or longform journalism) multiplies online, short stories – as books or ebooks – remain one of the hardest sells around. Everyone seems to have time for the latest political thinkpiece or tech industry encomium, but few people spend a comparable time with short fiction.
Manchester-based Comma Press specialises in short stories, so this paradox is something it’s interested in addressing. Comma has always been experimental, starting as an artists’ group and developing by publishing small booklets and anthologies of new writers. Now it is launchingMacGuffin , a self-publishing platform for fiction, essays and poetry, as text and audio. The clean, minimalist interface echoes popular blogging platforms, and visitors are encouraged to search for something to read by theme and length: trending tags at time of writing included #crime, #humour and #10minuteread. Currently in beta on the web and launching mobile apps in the next couple of months, the site already contains plenty of stories from Comma’s own authors.
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Islamic State pushes back rival Syria insurgents near Turkey

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters advanced against rival insurgents in northern Syria on Sunday, capturing areas close to a border crossing with Turkey, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Read the whole story
· ·

Western Officials Alarmed as Islamic State Expands Territory in Libya 

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The group’s expansion in Libya gives it an alternative base of operations as it appears to be gaining ground in Palmyra in Syria and in Ramadi in Iraq.

Obama's trade agenda faces tougher odds heading into House - Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

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Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Obama's trade agenda faces tougher odds heading into House
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
Anti-trade forces have struggled to ignite public outrage over Obama's bid to enact new free-trade agreements. By JIM KUHNHENN and CHARLES BABINGTONThe Associated Press. Share. facebook · tweet · email. print Comment. Read Article.

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With gay rights in law but bullying rife, Stonewall redraws battle lines 

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After six months running the UK’s biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights organisation, Ruth Hunt reflects on schools, trust and the Pope.
Stonewall has its offices on the 13th floor of a condemned block by Waterloo station, but its chief executive has a particular reason to be fond of the crumbling edifice that houses the LGBT rights organisation.
“This building used to be occupied by the Department of Education,” explains Ruth Hunt. “Section 28 was devised in the place that Stonewall now works out of – there’s something satisfying about that.”
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Page 6

Netanyahu says he is committed to Palestinian state 

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From: AFP
Duration: 00:39

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he was committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state, calling on the Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations unconditionally.
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Netanyahu Lashes Out at Criticism of Israel 

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Sunday that his country faces “an international campaign to blacken its name” that was “connected to our very existence.”

CIA director on ISIS: "This is going to be a long fight" - CBS News

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CIA director on ISIS: "This is going to be a long fight"
CBS News
CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will be "a long fight" that requires both a military and political solution. "I don't see this being resolved anytime soon," Brennan said in an interview on CBS' ...
Iraqi forces fight IS in Salahudin, launch airstrikes in AnbarXinhua
Anti-ISIS international coalition to take place in Paris on TuesdayYnetnews
Iraqi forces say they are grouping for major assault on ISIS inRudaw 
The Straits Times- Department of State (press release)
all 181 
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Rusbridger’s farewell illustrates the huge changes to the media in 20 years 

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We have gone from a building phase to a buying phase of growth and the next two decades may be different but just as frenetic
In the midst of writing a completely different column about rather dull figures and charts and what they might mean for the future of the media industry, a tweet caught my eye containing Alan Rusbridger’s farewell to readers after 20 years of editing the Guardian. At the risk of being lambasted as a toady, I would urge others to read it, as it gives a tremendous sense of what all media companies have grappled with over the past 20 years; namely preserving cultural value and institutional strength while changing at the lightning speed required by the adoption of new technology.
For those of us who, like Rusbridger, might be looking forward to putting our feet up and watching the latest series from Amazon or Netflix, the next 20 years look no less frenetic but really quite different. We are going from a building phase to a buying phase of media growth.
Continue reading...

US agency faces losing phone spying tools

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Libertarian Rand Paul vows to block Senate efforts to stop anti-terror measures expiring

Czech Finance Minister Proposes Euro Referendum

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The Czech finance minister proposed letting the public have a say in whether the country should adopt the euro through a nonbinding referendum.

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Page 7

Pro-Kurdish Party Shakes up Turkey

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As the country prepares for its most competitive election in a decade, a pro-Kurdish political party has emerged as a potential spoiler to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to further cement his power.

ДНР и «КиберБеркут» раскрыли план Киева устроить психологическую войну - НТВ.ru

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ДНР и «КиберБеркут» раскрыли план Киева устроить психологическую войну
В министерстве обороны ДНР появилась информация об очередных провокациях со стороны украинских спецслужб. Аналогичные данные опубликовали и хакеры организации «КиберБеркут». 157. Поделиться ссылкой на выделенное. Twitter; Facebook; Вконтакте; Google+. Прямая ...
"КиберБеркут" сообщает о готовящихся американцами диверсиях на УкраинеМосковский комсомолец
"КиберБеркут": Америка готовит информационные диверсии в ДонбассеВести.Ru
«Киберберкут»: США и Украина готовят диверсии против ДНР и ЛНРРусская Служба Новостей
Блокнот Воронеж -Life News -Аргументы.ру
Все похожие статьи: 14 »

Police Break Up Unsanctioned LGBT Rally in Central Moscow

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Police broke up an unsanctioned gay rights rally in central Moscow on Saturday, detaining around 20 people, including anti-gay campaigners who attacked the activists.

Russia Produces Blacklist of EU People Banned From Entering Country - Wall Street Journal

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Russia Produces Blacklist of EU People Banned From Entering Country
Wall Street Journal 
BRUSSELS—Russia has produced a blacklist of 89 prominent people from the European Union who won't be allowed to enter the country, European Union authorities confirmed Saturday.
 The EU condemned the move, which came after a number of EU  ...

Looks Like Russia Wants Its Sanctions Extended Into 2016Forbes
89 European politicians and military leaders banned from RussiaThe Guardian
Russia Imposes Entry Ban On 89 European LeadersHuffington Post
Deutsche Welle 
all 176
Business Insider
all 128 news articles »

Russian aircraft head off US warship in Black Sea, news agency says - The Guardian

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The Guardian

Russian aircraft head off US warship in Black Sea, news agency says
The Guardian
Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a US warship that was acting “aggressively” in the Black Sea, the state news agency RIA reported on Saturday, citing an anonymous source in Russia's armed forces in Crimea. The source was quoted as ...
Russian Jets Force US Navy Destroyer Away From Territorial WatersSputnik International 
Russia warplanes head off US destroyer in Black
Russian aircraft head off US destroyer in Black Sea: RIAYahoo News

all 34 news articles »

‘Novorossiya’s’ ‘Leftist’ Friends 

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The frenzied world-wide front is expanding
Mercy to no one, no one, no one!

Stanza from 1989 Russian anarchists’ song Vintovka – eto prazdnik (The Rifle is a Holiday)
By the Russian punk bank Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defense)
The annexation of Crimea, the “Novorossiya” project, and the fight against the “Kyiv junta” are not supported in Russia alone.  There are political forces around the world, both marginal and relatively respectable, which voice their support for the separatists in the Donbass.  At times, activists themselves travel to the war zone as volunteers, but they mostly hold demonstrations in support of the separatist republics and pressure their governments to renounce their support for Ukraine and “stop the aggression against Russia.”
These political forces may identify as left-wing, right-wing, or deny any conventional political identity (although their “political neutrality” usually conceals one ideology or another).  Novorossiya’s foreign friends who, in 99% of cases, are also friends of Russia and worshippers of Putin, may explain their views from various, sometimes incompatible positions.  Novorossiya can be supported both by a white racist and a communist who talks about the fight against “Ukrainian fascism” and “Western imperialism.”  But despite the apparent differences in their theoretical ideological grounding, their political practice is remarkably similar.  Eventually, they arrive at the same conclusions and stand on the same side of the barricade.
Not that long ago, an “antifascist forum” took place in the Donbass, which was attended by representatives of not major, but still quite notable Stalinist organizations from Europe and the United States.  Around the same time, a forum of ultra-right, nationalist, and conservative activists took place in the Donbass.  The fact that these events coincided is more than revealing.  We will talk about both left-wing and right-wing supporters of Novorossiya and attempt to find similarities in their modes of thinking.  The first text mostly focuses on leftists, but there are certain elements which are also relevant to the right-wing camp.
Lies and Truth
European and US radicals, both left- and right-wing, do not trust the media.  Leftists mistrust mainstream outlets because the latter, according to their worldview, are controlled by oligarchs or their puppets.  Far-rightists do so because, in their version of reality, the media are controlled by Zionist, cultural-Marxist, and homosexual lobbies.  In general, a critical approach to any kind of information is advisable, but the conspiratorial and critical approaches are seldom compatible.  A conspiracy theorist judges information as follows: If the media work for oligarchs, then everything they report must be a lie serving the interests of the men behind the scenes.  But they still need to get their information somewhere.  While they can get news about their own country from blogs, party newsletters, and congenial news websites, learning about foreign countries is more complicated, particularly due to the language barrier.  It is necessary to find an independent source, with adequate resources at its disposal, which could send its correspondents to different parts of the world; at the same time, this source must be independent from the “secret masters,” whoever these might be.  And here, Russia Today ( comes to the rescue.
Russian propaganda is not limited to the spouting of [Kremlin propagandist Dmitry] Kiselyev, who is only needed for the domestic consumer.  For the Western audience, there is Russia Today, an information product unique in its nature.  This TV channel often shows high-quality broadcasts of protest movements and demonstrations in Western countries; on other occasions, RT talks about events which other media ignore for one reason or another.  A great deal of material is broadcast in the form of raw video footage without commentary or voice-over, which creates the effect of objectivity. actively attracts Western journalists and gives them carte blanche to honestly and uncompromisingly criticize their governments.  All of the above definitely affords the channel a certain credit of trust.  And it actively utilizes this credit when it finds it necessary to compel a Western viewer to believe in blatant lies and propaganda.  For instance, in the notion that the EuroMaidan movement consisted exclusively of fascists directly controlled by the United States.  While Russian propagandists need only to present their domestic audience with pure lies without any admixture, the lies shown to a foreign consumer must be craftily alternated and combined with truth.
Soviet Ressentiment
Western leftists often perceive the USSR not at all like those who would seem to be their likeminded Ukrainian counterparts. In our country, overt Soviet sympathies are only voiced by parties which are direct successors of the Soviet nomenklatura, such as the Communist Party of Ukraine.  Or those who are trying to win over the pension-age electorate, filled with Soviet nostalgia.  All other leftists – anarchists, Trotskyists, left-communists, social democrats – are more than critical toward the USSR; after all, it was that state which virtually eradicated these political movements in the territory under its control.  In the West, particularly in the countries which never found themselves under Soviet rule, the left’s attitude toward its legacy is softer.  To them, the USSR was a kind of remote abstraction which did not pose a direct threat, but frightened the rulers of their countries which in turn were forced into compromises and concessions favoring domestic worker and trade union movements.  The USSR’s existence inspired a hope that a different, non-capitalist world was possible.  Active attacks on the USSR during the Cold War would, indirectly, amount to support for one’s “own” government.  Thus, leftists preferred not to pay any special attention to Soviet politics, instead concentrating on critique of Western imperialism.  The further away from the GULAG, the easier it is to assess the edifying results of the Soviet experiment and observe its “positive aspects.”  For instance, in the United States, even the anarchists considered the hammer and sickle the perfect symbol for outraging local conservatives, rather than the emblem of a totalitarian regime which completely exterminated their comrades.
Now, the USSR’s place has been taken by Russia, which continues to be regarded as the antipode to “Western capitalism,” even though the Russian Federation has long exhibited much fewer characteristics of a welfare state than the countries of Western Europe.  Those leftists which fell into the trap of geopolitical thinking ended up in the same camp as the right-wingers.  In this respect, the coalition which the Greek Syriza party was forced to join, having previously won a majority in the latest parliamentary election, is telling — the “socialists” were forced to cooperate with overt right-wing populists.  The only things that the two have in common are sympathy toward the Russian Federation and criticism of the European Union.

Bear Ukraine

This illustration clearly demonstrates how the supporters of Novorossiya present the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.  Ukraine is simply a virgin territory encroached upon by Western imperialists.  The latter are opposed by the Russian bear.  Not man, mind you, but bear.  We are dealing with a kind of “positive dehumanization.”  The Russian is presented as a creature belonging to another species, to whom human ethical norms need not apply; therefore, Russia is easily pardoned for the actions which, if conducted by the West, are harshly criticized.
Information “Warfare”
As a rule, left-wing organizations eagerly lend an ear to their counterparts in other countries.  It is always more simple and agreeable to listen to those who say things close to one’s heart in a familiar language.  During the Maidan protests and immediately thereafter, the Borotba [Struggle] organization, which initially supported the Anti-Maidan movement and subsequently the “People’s Republics,” successfully imitated before the Western audience, completely ignorant of Ukraine, a “mass left-wing party,” which waged a “relentless antifascist struggle in the underground.”  Their success is easily explained: Borotba had a budget that covered the services of translators who rebroadcast their materials in different languages.  Furthermore, they use the language of the left more aptly than the Communist Party of Ukraine does.  However, the Communist Party has also made its contribution – the magical word “communist” in its name has won the ears of many a naive Western leftist, who sincerely believe that “communists are being persecuted and suppressed in Ukraine,” and who see in communists the continuers of the ideas of Marx and Engels, not a party bureaucracy which has sold out many times over.
What we get is a simple, convenient, and completely unambiguous picture, which perfectly matches the line of official Russian propaganda: a fascist putsch and an antifascist underground.  What questions are there left to ask when one group is toppling monuments to Lenin and the other is defending them with their lives?  Especially given that independent media, not controlled by “Western governments” and “transnational corporations,” such as Russia Today, are saying more or less the same thing using almost exactly the same words.
Other Ukrainian leftists produced fewer articles (because there were no staffers to write them), and these texts are more difficult to understand, because they do not always paint such a simple, unambiguous, and heroic picture.  Propaganda and simple clichés will inevitably be more successful than analysis.  And while Ukrainian anarchists more or less managed to align the sentiments among many of their Western counterparts, most adherents of the Bolshevik tradition remained at the level of “the people of the Donbass are waging a national liberation struggle against the junta which seized power through a fascist putsch.”
The Myth of the Odessa Khatyn
An important element in the mythology of “leftist” supporters of Novorossiya was the fire in the Odesa Trade Unions Building.  It was a very powerful image: “the fascists burned people alive.”  And not just anywhere, but in the Trade Unions Building!  Across the world, trade unions are directly associated with left-wing movements, which means that people who died there would automatically be perceived as left-wing activists, especially given that Borotba and the Communist Party of Ukraine lost a few of their supporters there and took the trouble to paint them as heroes.  And it is secondary that the backbone of the Odessa Anti-Maidan consisted of people professing right-wing, even far-right pro-Russian views, and that it included those of the Black-Hundred and imperialist persuasions.  For a Western leftist, imperialism is by no means such an obvious right-wing symbol as, for instance, a Wolfsangel or the Azov Battalion’s “black sun.”  All the more so because the Anti-Maidan members sported St. George’s ribbons which, not without the help of official Russian propaganda, were actively exported as an “antifascist symbol,” including to the West.
The deaths in the Trade Unions Building finally convinced many Western leftists of the “fascist” essence of the Maidan and the new Ukrainian authorities.  This entire situation (from the location of the tragedy to the death by fire) fits perfectly into the existing set of clichés.  It is revealing that most people who now recall the “burned martyrs of Odessa” do not know about, or prefer not to mention, the deaths in the Kyiv Trade Unions Building, where many Maidan protesters lost their lives, including the wounded.  That’s because it would not fit into the general picture — the “antifascist [now defunct riot] Berkut police force” could not have possibly burned wounded people alive.
Even moderate forces, such as the German Die Linke party, which reject direct support or solidarity with the self-proclaimed republics, are inclined to sympathize with the victims of  the May 2 fire, while completely ignoring the violence which the Odessa Anti-Maidan had regularly carried out from the moment of its formation up to and during the events of May 2.
The Prizrak Brigade and Its Communists
There is no point in enumerating all the organizations which support Novorossiya in one form or another.  The reader need not decipher the multitude of names and abbreviations; it is far more important to understand the general pattern of thought which caused hundreds of people from different countries of the world to travel in March to Alchevsk in search of the phantom of communism in [now deceased separatist militant Aleksei] Mozgovoy’s Prizrak Brigade.

Most European volunteers travel to the Donbass from Spain and other South European countries.  A great contribution to that was made by Banda Bassotti, a prominent Italian punk group.  The mobilizing potential of musicians can sometimes be greater than that of parties and civic movements.  European communists fighting in the ranks of Mozgovoy and other field commanders fell into Novorossiya’s trap largely due to the unsophisticated propaganda ventilated by these “punks” professing Stalinist views.  They actively channel all aforementioned clichés while diluting them with their own stupidity.  They mix “leftist” rhetoric with national-chauvinist propaganda – Lenin and Trotsky might not have executed them, but they would have definitely expelled them from the party.  For instance, during interviews, members of Banda Bassotti say without a hint of doubt that Ukraine was created artificially, in defiance of Russia, citing “a book they read recently.”
It is important to understand that until 2014, most Western leftists supporting Novorossiya did not have the slightest idea of the political situation in Ukraine, let alone its history, ethnic and cultural groups populating its territory, the history of Ukraine-Russia relations, and so forth.  In 2014, they quickly acquired that “knowledge,” thoughtfully offered to them by Russian propaganda.  The language barrier allowed for all types of suggestions.  Even the most anti-scientific source gains legitimacy if it is translated from a foreign outlet.  That is precisely why the Spanish volunteers subsequently arrested in their homes explained during an interview their desire to fight on the side of the separatists with the fact that “they were helping defend Russia against Ukrainian aggression.”
Indeed, for some Spanish Stalinists who have a vague idea of Ukraine’s geographical location, the words “Ukrainian” and “fascist” have become synonymous.  Last fall, a telling episode took place: a 56-year-old Ukrainian was attacked by a group of Catalan nationalists and slipped into a coma.  This episode caused very strong indignation, including in left-wing circles, but was condemned mostly by anarchists; there was no reaction whatsoever on the part of major leftist parties.
The German Antiimperialistische Aktion group cooperates with ANNA News, a popular propagandist channel.
Their cooperation likely dates as far back as the Syrian war.  Both the pro-Russian TV channel and the “anti-imperialists” actively supported Assad in this war.  The ideology of the “anti-imps,” as they are called in Germany, can be briefly summarized as follows: radical anti-Americanism, a partiality to conspiracy theories, covert (and sometimes overt) anti-semitism, and thoroughly uncritical support for all regimes opposed to the United States and Israel.  The official flag of Antiimperialistische Aktion resembles the antifascist flag, but instead of a red-and-black banner in a circle, it depicts the flag of the USSR and the “anti-imperialist” regime which they currently love most.  There are variations depicting the flags of Libya, Syria, and Palestine.  There has recently appeared an “anti-imperialist” flag on which the Soviet flag is accompanied by the two-headed Novorossiya eagle, and the pantheon of antifascist and anti-imperialist heroes was supplemented not only by Strelkov and Mozgovoy, but also by Ramzan Kadyrov.  It sometimes feels like the anti-imps are a kind of parody of the left-wing supporters of Novorossiya (their performance at an anti-NATO meeting with dogs sporting Berkut uniforms was more amusing than any parody).  Regrettably, however, they are absolutely real.
Novorossiya Dogs
“Anti-imperialists” at the Munich Meeting
Anti-NATO meeting with supporters of 'Novorossiya' in Munich
Anti-NATO meeting with supporters of ‘Novorossiya’ in Munich
Not only are they absolutely real, but they also have supporters both in different cities of Germany and beyond the country’s borders – in Sweden, for instance.  They do not only actively accept the Kremlin propaganda, but also rebroadcast it to European audiences with great enthusiasm.  This propaganda video, which tells the “truth about Euromaidan,” is one example of that.
Many admirers of Russia in the West like to set up accounts on the VKontakte social network (which they also consider anti-imperialist and a counterweight to the corporate Facebook).  With the use of automatic translation services, they try to communicate with Russian-language audiences, and even receive occasional feedback.

A photo from Tobias Nase’s VK profile.  The anti-imps still permitted themselves to use Ukrainian in April 2014.  Eventually, however, they decided it is a fascist language and switched their automatic translators to Russian.
Active support for Novorossiya is also expressed by numerous Greek left-wing organizations. The ruling Syriza party has already stuck in people’s memory with its pro-Russian stance and, consequently, with its loyalty to Russia-controlled regimes.  However, many of Syriza’s opponents (today we are talking about their opponents “on the left,” the ultra-rightists from the Golden Dawn party will be discussed in another article) have gloated over the puppet regimes of the LPR and DPR even more strongly.
Not only overt worshippers of Stalin and the Soviet legacy, but also many forces identifying themselves as followers of the Maoist tradition have supported the LPR and DPR.  They are driven by the same anti-imperialist (read “anti-American”) logic.  Everything that is opposed to the West with all its corporations and capitalist expansion is perceived as an absolute good, “anti-imperialist” regimes are easily forgiven what is considered a taboo in  leftist circles: from racism to homophobia.  Furthermore, Maoists are inclined to romanticize rebellion and armed struggle and, in this context, they certainly find the image of Novorossiya quite attractive.
Certain Trotskyists have also taken a liking to the myth of the left-wing Donbass.  Notable in this respect are the International Marxist Tendency (an international group known for its overt and completely uncritical support of the Venezuelan model of state socialism) and the International Committee of the Fourth International.  If they consider the USSR a “deformed workers’ state,” then the post-Soviet space consists of “workers’ states” which are even more deformed are still preferable to the capitalist, neo-liberal West.  Therefore, the thought of reunifying the USSR is no less attractive to them than to Stalinists, except that the former seek to re-establish the USSR without the cult of the moustached leader, and believe that this can be done without forming a new party establishment and bureaucracy.  It is important to note that there are a great number of Trotskyist organizations and internationals around the world, their names are often similar, and behind familiar abbreviations there often lie unappeasable enemies with diametrically opposite stances on Ukraine.  Whenever you throw a stone at a Stalinist, you will almost definitely hit a supporter of Novorossiya; before throwing one at a Trotskyist, it is worthwhile asking him a few leading questions.
Living in a special, completely parallel universe are leftists from the United States, who prefer to fight the evil empire directly from within.  In their view, the war in the Donbass started at the instigation of the United States and, obviously, because of oil.  After all, every global conflict is waged by the United States and always because of oil.  And yes, the “Odessa carnage” was also planned by the United States, in case you had any doubts on that score.
This video footage (recorded, by the way, by the aforementioned Russia Today channel) can be understood without any knowledge of English, and has already been commented on a thousand times.
Putin’s Cautious Friends
Many political forces feel they are too respectable to stoop to cheap clownery.  They do not fling up wild slogans about the “junta” and “conspiracy.”  However, they say essentially the same things using more civilized, diplomatic language.  And, in a way, they are even more dangerous, given that such parties as Die Linke and Syriza are members of the European Parliament.  And though they do not send volunteers to the Donbass, they do contribute to blocking aid to Ukraine (as do their right-wing twins).
Deputy Andrej Hunko (who on account of his surname is considered a foremost expert on Ukraine within the party), together with his colleague Wolfgang Gerke, became notorious in the Ukrainian media owing to a photo in which he is seen posing with Zakharchenko.
Earlier, however, both he and his associates made a lot of effort to indirectly support the separatists.  Through their efforts, Borotba party leader Sergey Kirichuk was granted political asylum in Germany; they helped him broadcast propaganda about the “workers’ rebellion in the Donbass,” including at the level of the European Parliamentary.  And despite the fact that Die Linke publicly dissociated itself from Borotba, cooperation with its leader continues.
The rhetoric of “peace” and “intolerance for inciters of war” is very popular among such politicians.  Except that when saying “peace,” they mean exclusively “peace with Russia,” and they agree to only see inciters of war in the West.  At the same time, they deny Ukraine any kind of subjecthood, and its population is allotted the unenviable roles of Western puppets, blood-thirsty fascists, or their victims.  And once again it turns out that the “leftists” are speaking the same “geopolitical” language as the “rightists” whom they criticize.  But even the formal difference between them is getting smaller – Sara Wagenknecht of Die Linke has already publicly called for a dialogue with the ultra-right anti-immigration Pegida organization, appealing, first and foremost, given the proximity of their position on the Ukrainian and Russian question.  One can assume that this rapprochement will continue;  European countries have yet to see in action the “red-brown” synthesis, which is so popular in the post-Soviet space.
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Против самопровозглашённых республик Донбасса может готовиться крупная провокация - Первый канал

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Первый канал

Против самопровозглашённых республик Донбасса может готовиться крупная провокация
Первый канал
Об этом заявили сегодня компьютерные взломщики, называющие себя группой "Киберберкут". Они утверждают, что из сетей министерства информационной политики Украины узнали о скором прибытии в Киев американских экспертов в области психологической войны. Во главе ... 
ДНР и «КиберБеркут» раскрыли план Киева устроить психологическую войнуНТВ.ru

КиберБеркут: Американские военные готовят диверсии против русскоязычных жителей Донбасса и всей УкраиныПравда.Ру 
«КиберБеркут»: На Украине против русскоязычного населения готовят диверсииКомсомольская правда

ИА REGNUM-Взгляд -Московский комсомолец 
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​Russia will take part in multinational navy drills in disputed South China Sea - RT

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Russia will take part in multinational navy drills in disputed South China Sea
Russia will take part in naval military exercises together with its Asia Pacific allies, according toRussian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov. Speaking on Saturday in Singapore, Antonov announced Russia's planned participation in the May 2016 ...
Russia Voices Concerns Over U.S.-Led NATO Ballistic Missile Interception ... International Business Times
Russia to Take Part in May 2016 ASEAN-Members Navy Drills Sputnik International

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Ukrainian Migrants Fleeing Conflict Get a Cool Reception in Europe 

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Favored destinations in the European Union for Ukrainian asylum-seekers have overwhelmingly rejected their applications, saying that unlike other restive nations, areas of Ukraine remain secure.

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Soviet Tradition of Snitching Makes Comeback in Russia

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Last week Anna Reshyotkina, editor-in-chief of a glossy magazine in Yekaterinburg, was unexpectedly summoned to the Prosecutor's Office for a 30-minute conversation about the cover of the May issue.

U.S. operating hundreds of foreign military bases - WPDE

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U.S. operating hundreds of foreign military bases
(SBG) -- Just as World War II was wrapping up, a new mission by the United States was just getting started - building new military bases around the world. This includes dozens of bases in places like Japan, Germany and Italy, all in the name of ... 

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OSS: The Myth That Never Dies 

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It’s now apparent to anyone with open eyes that the Islamic State is on the march in Iraq and is not being halted by American actions. Obama’s ardor to defeat Da’ish can charitably be called diffident, so people are seeking answers for what’s gone so wrong here. To anyone versed in how the White House and the Pentagon get along, it’s evident that what experts term “the civil-military dialogue” over Da’ish is in a bad way.
Reports of American aircrews and special operators, who are the pointy end of our spear in Iraq, being upset by White House micromanaging the campaign against Da’ish, to the detriment of military effectiveness, cannot help but echo President Johnson’s failed efforts to bring Hanoi to the peace table in the mid-1960’s through airpower. Then there’s the issue of strategy which,to the extent it can be detected at all in our pseudo-war against Da’ish, is clearly lacking reassessment, since the enemy is winning despite our efforts.
Someone needs to be blamed, and as is so often the case inside the Beltway, the spooks offer a prime target. It’s always tempting to cite “intelligence failure,” since that’s shrouded in mystery and the Intelligence Community can’t always defend itself against such media accusations.
Along comes David Ignatiusto explain that the root of our misguided war on Da’ish is an “intelligence deficit” — we simply don’t know enough about the enemy. It speaks volumes that the IC may not know enough about a country that we recently occupied for nearly a decade and have been at war with, or in, more or less nonstop since 1990. Ignatius cites General Martin Dempsey, the nation’s top military officer, explaining that the Pentagon was surprised by recent Da’ish successes. Blaming spooks, of course, is an easy thing to do when you have no clear strategy.
Yet there is ample evidence that our recent failures in Iraq stem not from a lack of intelligence, rather from top decision-makers, military and civilian, not knowing what to do about Da’ish. In particular, the Obama administration let Ramadi fall to the enemy, despite having “significant intelligence” about what was going to happen. This speaks to a failure of policy, not intelligence.
That said, Ignatius is a savvy journalist who has a close relationship with Langley, so when he says CIA isn’t doing a very good job in Iraq, that matters. Additionally, most of what he says about CIA shortcomings on the ground are accurate, particularly his charge that Agency personnel, confined “inside the wire” in places like Afghanistan and Iraq for their own safety, are missing out on important things.
This is undeniably true and it’s simply a fact that CIA’s operational model is better suited to a cold war than a hot one, particularly a conflict where the enemy would love to kidnap and torture CIA officers to death. That the Directorate of Operations, the Agency’s espionage arm, isn’t well suited to taking on hardcore mujahidin like Da’ish is both true and a truism. (For a primer on the DO and how CIA is organized and operates, see this.) Moreover, Ignatius explains:
For decades, the CIA and the military have tried to fix intelligence problems by relying on National Security Agency surveillance. But the jihadists have gone to school on the leaks about U.S. capabilities and learned to mask their operations.
That’s an oblique reference to the enormous damage caused by Edward Snowden’s massive theft of classified NSA materials, which has helped the terrorists in countless ways. So we need better human intelligence — but how to get it? That knotty problem Ignatius has a fix for:
Gathering intelligence against this 21st-century jihadist adversary, paradoxically, will require the kind of old-fashioned spying and resistance operations we associate with the CIA’s founding generation in the OSS.
As is inevitably the case whenever someone wants CIA or DoD to “get in the espionage fight” they cite the OSS. That’s the Office of Strategic Services, the CIA’s predecessor, established at the beginning of America’s entry in the Second World War. Few topics get American spy buffs more excited than mentioning the OSS, which won a reputation for swashbuckling derring-do, dropping agents behind enemy lines to stir up trouble. For anybody frustrated by the current Intelligence Community’s institutionalized risk-aversion and incomprehensible bureaucracy — and I’m among the first to decry these cancerous IC tendencies — the lean and mean OSS looks something like paradise.
In the first place, OSS was awash in smart young people, many of them Ivy Leaguers and social register types. Not for nothing did OSS detractors, who were numerous, deride the outfit as “Oh So Social.” Its boss, William “Wild Bill” Donovan was a connected New York lawyer and bona fide hero of the Great War, who had President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ear. To say nothing of the excitement of jumping out of airplanes over occupied France to do secret spy stuff, which sounds more exciting and markedly less awful than, say, storming Omaha Beach.
The problem with getting weepy about the OSS is that it’s simply a myth. A myth that has generated countless books, mind you, but a myth all the same. In truth, the OSS did about as well as could be expected given that it was an instantly-created organization staffed and led by people without any experience in espionage. It was well intentioned but naive and unskilled and, while its bias for action was admirable (and something that today’s IC could use a healthy dose of), it often went badly wrong in the field.
In the first place, OSS attitudes towards secrecy were laughable. Thanks to lax security policies, it was deeply penetrated by foreign intelligence agencies. We know of at least a dozen Soviet agents inside the OSS and, even though one of them was a genuine hero, it’s safe to say that Moscow was very well briefed on OSS activities. This didn’t seem to bother Wild Bill, and despite the fact that President Roosevelt liked Donovan, he was careful to keep really important secrets out of slippery OSS hands. In particular, Donovan’s outfit was kept in the dark about the ULTRA secret and related important SIGINT successes against the Axis by the Army and the Navy. Sadly, OSS-style lackadaisical attitudes toward counterintelligence plague American espionage still, with deadly consequences.
Donovan was better at bureaucratic fighting than spying, and he waged non-stop campaigns against his main rivals — the FBI at home and Army intelligence abroad — to get OSS “in the fight.” Donovan got on the bad side of both J. Edgar Hoover and General George Strong, the Army G-2, and Roosevelt had to adjudicate turf spats among his espionage bosses with depressing frequency. OSS also was incautious about its domestic operations, which was why President Harry Truman disbanded Donovan’s outfit immediately after the end of the war, noting that the country did not need an “American Gestapo.”
Some OSS missteps were comical, perhaps most infamously in 1943 when Donovan had to be waved off stealing a code machine from the Japanese embassy in Lisbon, an operation that had been painstakingly planned. Donovan was very excited about this “black bag” job, which offered a crack into Japanese codes. General Strong was furious and demanded that the OSS stand down, since Army intelligence, the future NSA, had been reading those secret messages for years and theft of cryptographic materials might push the Japanese to change their codes, which would be a big blow to the war effort. Of course Donovan and his crew, not being cleared for ULTRA, knew none of this. Strong and the Army got the OSS out of the code-stealing business for good after the near-debacle in Lisbon.
Well-intentioned but harebrained is a fitting moniker for a lot of OSS activities. Its paramilitary operations in Europe and Asia, while undeniably brave, were assessed as being of little value to the overall war effort by the Army and the Navy. This was good stuff for movie plots, not winning wars, in the opinion of most generals and admirals, who were unimpressed by much of the intelligence Donovan was getting.
OSS also birthed the first formal “intelligence analysis” shop, Research and Analysis, which was staffed by leading academics and scholars in myriad disciplines who were brought into the war effort. Many of R&A’s leading lights were Ivy League dons but their overall impact on the war effort was low since their assessments, with few exceptions, were limited to the SECRET level and, here again, their lack of access to ULTRA, the war’s genuine intelligence triumph, was crippling. While CIA analysts to this day look to R&A as a model of excellence, you will search in vain for many scholars of such wartime caliber at Langley now.
There was one part of the OSS that lived up to its reputation, yet it’s the element that almost nobody knows about. That was X-2, the counterespionage branch, which was small, select, very hush-hush, and closely mentored by the British. It was also the only OSS element cleared for ULTRA, which it used to good effect in rooting out Axis spies in many countries. However, X-2 was tarnished in the long run since it gave CIA James Angleton, the genius/flake who headed Agency counterintelligence from 1954 to 1974, until reverberations from the Watergate scandal caused his downfall. Angleton is a widely misunderstood character, yet it cannot be denied that his emergence from X-2, where he was a real star, have unfairly tarnished that fine little outfit’s historical reputation.
OSS didn’t really die, of course, its parts were divvied up between the military and the State Department, only to be reassembled in 1947 with the birth of CIA, which claims the legacy of Donovan’s organization (some of it is likewise claimed by the military’s special operations community). Unfortunately, many OSS bad habits continued too, particularly a slipshod attitude towards counterintelligence. Early Cold War adventures such as dropping agents and supplies to resistance movements in Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe, which continued well into the 1950’s, were across-the-board failures, since all these daring, well-intentioned CIA operations were thoroughly penetrated by Soviet spies. They were compromised before they ever took place.
There are aspects of the OSS legacy that all American intelligence officers today should be proud of. Its can-do attitude and its intrinsic bias for action are things that today’s risk-averse IC could use a strong dose of. But doing espionage the OSS way, shooting before aiming while not taking counterintelligence seriously, will lead to more problems than solutions. Moreover, militarizing CIA,which is proceeding rapidly, is certain to cause troubles in the long run. CIA and the Intelligence Community need to do better. Assessing the OSS legacy honestly would be a good start.

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageHistoryUSG  
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Army combat veteran's call for help lands him in jail

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Ryan Broderick has been trapped inside his mind, watching a constant reel of explosions that rocked the Army vehicles he had scrubbed of blood during three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he's being prosecuted by comments he let fly during a call to speak with a counselor at the Veterans Affairs suicide crisis hotline.

Pentagon chief to hold people accountable for anthrax

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U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Sunday that he will find out who was responsible for the mistaken shipments of live anthrax to 11 U.S. states and two countries and will "hold them accountable."

Europe’s problem is with Russia, not Putin

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Moscow is not a rising revolutionary force but one seeking to restore power, writes Thomas Graham
he west acts as if it had a Vladimir Putin problem. In fact it has a Russia problem. The Russian president stands within a long tradition of Russian thinking. His departure would fix nothing. Any plausible successor would pursue a similar course, if perhaps with a little less machismo.
The Russia problem is not new. It emerged 200 years ago, at the end of the Napoleonic period, with the opening up of what we would today call a values gap. In the 19th century Russia maintained an autocratic regime as Europe moved towards liberal democracy.


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Yet Russia remained a great power, essential to European security. How to protect Europe in the presence of a powerful state that is alien in worldview? That was the problem then, as now.
European states seek security in balance; Russia seeks it in strategic depth. That view grows out of its location on the vast, nearly featureless great Eurasian plain, across which armies have moved with ease.
Historically, Russia has pushed its borders outward, as far away as possible from its heartland. It did not stop when it reached defensible physical borders, but only when it ran into powerful countervailing states. Where the west saw imperialism, Moscow saw the erection of defences.
Over time, resistance from the Germanic powers in the west, Great Britain and then the US in the south, and China and Japan in the east, came to define Russia’s zone of security as north central Eurasia, the former Soviet space.
For Moscow, states there face a choice not between independence and Russian domination, but between domination by Russia or a rival. That struggle,
Moscow believes, is playing out in Ukraine.
Also out of security concerns, Russia has opposed the domination of Europe by a single power and remains uncomfortable with greater European unity. The reason is easy to grasp: Russia can be the equal of Great Britain, France, or Germany, but it can never be the equal of a united Europe, which in population, wealth, and power would dwarf it as the US does today. Driving wedges between European states, and between Europe and the US, might forestall the emergence of a serious threat.
Russia’s fears are amplified by a sense of vulnerability. Its economy is stagnating, its technology is no longer cutting-edge, and outside forces — China, the west and radical Islam — are challenging it in the former Soviet space. The temptation is to act tough to cover up the doubts by, for example, flaunting nuclear capabilities.
After more than 20 years of hope that Russia could be brought into the west-led international order, the re-emergence of the Russia problem has shocked the west. But the threat is limited. This is not a rising revolutionary force but a declining state seeking to restore its power.
It can be managed. One way is to revitalise the European project. That means dealing vigorously with the issues fuelling anti-EU forces — the democratic deficit, immigration and inequality.
To be sure, steps such as a Nato presence in the Baltics and robust planning for hybrid-war contingencies are necessary, but the west needs to avoid over-militarising its response to what is largely a political challenge.
At the same time, more should be done to help Ukraine repair its economy and build a competent state as a barrier to Russia’s assault on European norms and unity.
Yet containment will not work in our globalised, increasingly multipolar world , as it did during the cold war. The west cannot contain one of the world’s largest economies, and it is geopolitical malfeasance to weaken unduly a power critical to the equilibrium we hope to create out of today’s turbulence, particularly in Asia.
The hard truth is that Ukraine cannot be rebuilt without Russia. It is simply too reliant on Russia economically, and Russia has too many levers of influence inside Ukraine, for it to be otherwise. Containment has to be leavened with accommodation. Finding the right balance is the challenge.

The writer is a former senior director for Russia on the US National Security Council staff
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.
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Europe's problem is with Russia, not Putin - Financial Times

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Financial Times

Europe's problem is with Russia, not Putin
Financial Times
The Russia problem is not new. It emerged 200 years ago, at the end of the Napoleonic period, with the opening up of what we would today call a values gap. In the 19th century Russiamaintained an autocratic regime as Europe moved towards liberal ...
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