Sunday, May 17, 2015

ISIS preps for cyber war | Obama and media | Obama censorship and media

ISIS preps for cyber war

Obama censorship and media - Google Search

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Obama censorship and media - Google Search

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CNN Feasts on Baltimore Riot Coverage

Politico-Apr 28, 2015
Today, President Barack Obama groused about the practice. ... Riots are particularly complicated for the media to cover. ... ago, but YouTube, Vine, Periscope and other mobilized platforms make radicalcensorship moot.

Obama censorship and media - Google Search

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Why Journalists Are Blasting Obama's 'Censorship' Policies ...

<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>obamas-cens...
Jul 9, 2014 - The rift between President Barack Obama and the press is increasing, ... Only in the past two administrations have media access controls been  ...

Obama and media - Google Search

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Obama and media - Google Search

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Barack Obama on social media - Wikipedia, the free ...
The topic of Barack Obama's usage of social media in his political campaigns, including podcasting, Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube has been ...

Obama and media - Google Search

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Does Obama want better reporting, or just more favorable coverage?

Fox News-May 14, 2015
Look, when this president turns media critic, which is often, he makes ... They get too wound up in the flap of the day—Obama calling Sen.

The media is turning on President Obama

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With multiple crises spiraling out of control around the world, stories about the Obama presidency are taking on the air of postmortems. What went wrong, who’s to blame, what next — even The New York Times is starting to recognize that Dear Leader is a global flop.
“Obama Suffers Setbacks in Japan and the Mideast,” the paper declared on Friday’s front page. The double whammy of failure pushed the growing Russian menace in ­Europe to inside pages, but even they were chock-full of reports about utopia gone wrong.
One story detailed how the White House was facing the “consequences of underestimating” North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Others recounted the continuing Syrian slaughter and the murder of three Americans in Afghanistan.
The accounts and others like them amount to an autopsy of a failed presidency, but the process won’t be complete unless it is completely honest. To meet that test, the Times, other liberal news organizations and leading Democrats, in and out of office, must come to grips with their own failures, as well.
Obama had a free hand to make a mess because they gave it to him. They cheered him on, supporting him with unprecedented gobs of money and near-unanimous votes. They said “aye” to any cockamamie concept he came up with, echoed his demonization of critics and helped steamroll unpopular and unworkable ideas into reality.
Some of his backers knew better, and said so privately, but publicly they were all in. Whether it was ObamaCare, his anti-Israel position or the soft-shoe shuffle around the Iranian nuke crisis, they lacked the courage to object.
They said nothing as Obama went on foreign apology tours and stood silent as our allies warned of disastrous consequences. Even now, despite protests from a succession of Pentagon leaders, former Democratic defense hawks are helping Obama hollow out our military as Russia and China expand theirs and al Qaeda extends its footprint.
A king is no king without a court, and Obama has not lacked for lackeys. The system of checks and balances is written into the Constitution, but it is the everyday behavior of Americans of good will that makes the system work.
That system broke down under Obama, and the blame starts with the media. By giving the president the benefit of the doubt at every turn, by making excuses to explain away fiascos, by ignoring corruption, by buying the White House line that his critics were motivated by pure politics or racism, the Times and other organizations played the role of bartender to a man on a bender.
Even worse, they joined the party, forgetting the lessons of history as well as their own responsibilities to put a check on power. A purpose of a free press is to hold government accountable, but there is no fallback when the watchdog voluntarily chooses to be a lapdog.
The sycophancy was not lost on other politicians and private citizens. Taking their cue from the media, they, too, bit their tongues and went along as the president led the nation astray and misread foreign threats.
From the start, support for Obama often had a cult-like atmosphere. He sensed it, began to believe it and became comfortable demanding total agreement as the price for the favor of his leadership.
That he is now the imperial president he used to bemoan is no long­er in dispute. The milking of perks, from golf trips to Florida to European vacations for the first lady, is shockingly vulgar, but not a peep of protest comes from his supporters.
The IRS becomes a political enforcer, but that, too, is accepted because nobody will risk their access by telling Obama no. You are either with him or you are his enemy.
The evidence is everywhere that his ideas are flawed, that his view of economics, diplomacy, the military, history, science and religion are warped by his own narcissism. He doesn’t even talk a good game anymore.
Yet it remains a fool’s errand to hope he will correct his ways. He is not capable; he looks in the mirror and sees only a savior.
It is equally clear that those who shielded him from facts and their own best judgment did him no ­favors. Out of fear and favor, they abdicated their duty to the nation, and they must share the burden of history’s verdict. After all, America’s decline happened on their watch, too.

De Blasio needs a history lesson

Being mayor carries a lot of clout, but the power to rewrite the past is not included. Somebody tell Bill de Blasio.
Speaking at Columbia University, the rookie got carried away in praising his former boss, Mayor David Dinkins. He said Dinkins “was handed a situation with a truly rampant crime problem” when he took office in 1990, which is true.
But he went on to claim that Dinkins “suggested very boldly a program called Safe Streets Safe City,” which is not true.
The idea of raising taxes to add 5,000 police officers was the brainchild of Peter Vallone Sr., then the speaker of the City Council. “Dinkins went crazy and said we can’t do that,” Vallone told me.
But the Queens Democrat, fearing crime would turn Gotham into a ghost town, said the council would rewrite the whole budget unless Dinkins agreed. The mayor came around, and they went to Albany together, where they won state approval by pledging to dedicate the new revenues to expand the entire criminal-justice process, including cops, prosecutors, judges and correction officers.
Mayor de Blasio also gilded his revisionism by crediting Dinkins with much of the tremendous gains in public safety that followed. But if that were really true, Dinkins would not have been fired in 1993, after one disastrous term.
It was only under his successor, Rudy Giuliani, that those extra cops beat back the crime wave, a process that continued under Michael Bloomberg and top cop Ray Kelly.
The 20-year era culminated in record-low crimes and with New York as the nation’s safest large city. That’s the city de Blasio inherited.
His loyalty to Dinkins is admirable, but it should not come at the expense of the truth.

Hillary’s sham-paign

Every story about Hillary Clinton these days includes a breathless reference to the possibility that she might run for president in 2016.
Oh, please. She’s already running!
All those speeches and interviews — they’re poll-driven, gauzy reintroductions to voters. Her new book will be more of the same — running by pretending to be thinking about running.
She’s a candidate and ought to be treated like one.

Well, you don’t say!

“Major Islam conference said mired by anti-Semitism,” reads a headline.
File that one under dog bites man.

Analyze this, NBC

The report that NBC hired a shrink to analyze David Gregory is “complete fiction,” the TV anchor insists.
That’s too bad. The original account made NBC look smart for a change.
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Why Does the Media Go Easy on Barack Obama?

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Many conservatives think it's evidence of liberal bias. But is it even true that conservatives are more willing to be adversarial on important topics?
Allegations of liberal media bias are almost constant in the conservative press, but their intensity has increased since President Obama and Hillary Clinton appeared together on 60 Minutes, where interviewer Steve Kroft posed "softball" questions that were almost comically obsequious. "Mr. Kroft, as embarrassing as his interview was, is merely symptomatic of a larger phenomenon: the unprecedented swooning and cheerleading by the press for Barack Obama," Peter Wehner wrote inCommentary, echoing an argument voiced by many on the right. He posits that the rise of conservative media outlets like Fox News may have triggered a liberal backlash.
Matt Lewis agrees
I'm beginning to rethink the notion that today's conservatives have it better than The Gipper did. If the 2012 elections taught us anything, it's that liberal media bias is alive and well -- and effective. David [Freddoso] is out with a new book on the subject, called: "Spin Masters: How the media ignored the real news and helped reelect Barack Obama." As he notes in "Spin Masters," the establishment media seemed more concerned about Mitt Romney's dog Seamus and allegations that Romney gave someone a forced haircut, decades ago -- than about Benghazi -- or the fact that an Obama-authorized drone strike killed a 16-year-old American.
You'd think that I would be sympathetic to this narrative. Besides writing the most widely cited criticism of the Kroft interview, I spent much of the 2012 campaign cycle loudly complaining that major center-left publications and prominent liberal writers were giving Obama a pass. Swooning? Cheerleading? Yes, I've seen Barack Obama benefit from that behavior.
But cheerleading and swooning remain atypical. If we're trying to explain why the press is insufficiently adversarial, it's important to grapple with typical press behavior rather than aberrations.
That grappling makes it clear that "liberal media bias" doesn't explain the problem. It may shade media coverage of individual issues -- religion, gun control, health care -- but it's possible to challenge a sitting president from any number of ideological perspectives. If liberal journalists are failing to be adversarial enough, pointing out that they're liberals isn't a sufficient explanation. 
But let's back up.
Is it even clear that the "mainstream media" does a poorer job of being adversarial than the conservative press?
Consider Lewis's claim that "the establishment press" cared more about Seamus the dog's rooftop journey than "the fact that an Obama-authorized drone strike killed a 16-year-old American."
There's something important missing from that analysis. Tom Junod wrote the definitive piece about that 16 year old, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, in Esquire. I wrote about him here at The Atlantic on numerous occasions. The New Yorker covered the killing here. The New York Times and The Washington Post both published coverage of his death. Those stories and many others from publications in the "establishment press" treated Awlaki's death far more critically than anything that I saw in any conservative outlet. And some of the most critical pieces written about Obama killing a teenaged American citizen were published by avowedly progressive writers like Glenn Greenwald in the liberal online magazine Salon and staffers at publications like Mother Jones and The Nation, often citing left-leaning civil-libertarian organizations like the ACLU or center-left international affairs academics.
On various subjects that ought to trigger automatic scrutiny from any adversarial press outlet, like apparent violations of federal law, actions that directly contradict a campaign promise, aggressiveretaliation against whistleblowers, and unprecedented assertions of secrecy, establishment outlets like The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and The Washington Post, along with avowedly liberal publications like SalonMother Jones, and The Guardian, did far more to uncover facts, raise awareness, and publish criticism of Obama than the conservative media.
To be sure, there was a schizophrenia to the coverage in some of these publications. The New Yorker must have dedicated hundreds of thousands of dollars to top-flight journalism about various Obama Administration transgressions against civil liberties, the rule of law, and good government. Its editors presumably submitted some of those stories for National Magazine Awards. The same can be said for The New York Times and the Pulitzer Prizes. Yet pre-election editorials in those same publications didn't merely posit that Obama was the lesser of two evils -- they left painstakingly reported transgressions unmentioned, as if they weren't relevant, and issued glowing endorsements that read as if Obama is an especially noble president.
I've been an outspoken a critic of that seeming contradiction.
But when it comes to holding Obama accountable for those unusually consequential, unchecked acts, the conservative media is far inferior, partly because of the time it wastes on birtherism, Kenyan anti-colonialism, and a National Review contributor's theory that Obama is allied with our Islamist enemy in a "grand jihad" against America; but mostly because much of the conservative movement behaves as if the War on Terrorism confers unlimited power to spy without warrants, to violate the War Powers Resolution, to extra-judicially kill American citizens, and to treat even the legal justification for executive branch actions as if they're state secrets. On all those questions, they defer to the Obama Administration.
If "liberal media bias" explains the failure to challenge Obama adequately, why do center-left publications challenge him more on a whole range of national-security topics than center-right publications? Why are avowedly leftist publications often more adversarial than center-left ones?
Several explanations for the insufficiently adversarial attitude toward Obama fit the facts better than "liberal bias." 
  1. At the top, journalists who credulously convey the self-serving narratives of highly placed government officials or ask softball questions in nationally televised interviews are rewarded with better access.
  2. The press always shows more deference to the president in wartime, and the War on Terrorism has afforded successive presidents a way to spend their entire time in office on war footing.
  3. Many conservatives are ideologically committed to the proposition that the president should be almost totally unconstrained in the realm of foreign affairs. As a result, many of Obama's most questionable behavior is ignored by the conservative press -- and it is also ignored by the subset of the "establishment media" that uses partisan conflict to determine what to investigate, rather than making independent judgments about what is important to cover.
  4. Relatedly, the particular challenges to Obama's foreign policy that the right has attempted have often been ill-chosen. Don't expect to read them harping on his violating the War Powers Resolution, a secret kill list, and a war on whistleblowers. Instead, the conservative press wasted countless pixels arguing that Obama doesn't really believe in American exceptionalism, accusing him of hating Israel, and insisting that he belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. Even incidents like Fast and Furious or the killing in Benghazi, which merited investigation, were oversold from the beginning as if they were scandals that would bring down the Obama Administration in due course. As someone who is ready to think the worst of Obama's foreign policy and to expose every untoward aspect of it, I confess that I don't know what the right is hoping to get out of Benghazi.
I understand that some of the adversarial coverage I want, and that conservatives aren't delivering, is rooted in disagreement about the prudence of an underlying policy. On drones, for example, I think transparency about the rules governing the program is important, whereas many conservatives think they are best kept classified. They're entitled to that opinion, just as they're entitled to champion wide latitude for the executive branch whenever it concerns the War on Terror. What they can't do is concede to Obama sweeping power to exercise his discretion in secret; totally ignore the realm in which he does so; and then claim they're more adversarial than an establishment press that does a much better job covering that whole range of subjects, even as it does a worse job, say, fleshing out the smartest objections to Obamacare.
It would be great if all of the media's failures could be attributed to the fact that liberals and conservatives both have blind spots, and are unable to look critically at policies they earnestly believe to be right. But the tenures of Presidents Bush and Obama have shown us that supposedly conservative outlets routinely failed to challenge profoundly unconservative policies, and that liberal outlets routinely fail to challenge profoundly illiberal policies. Call it tribalism, call it excessive deference to power, call it the capture of the press by the establishment -- just don't try to explain it away by citing liberal or conservative bias. If only that were it. 
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You Tube 3, Mainstream Media 0. Welcome to Obama’s new media reality.

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So far in 2015, President Obama has sat down for interviews with three YouTube stars, Vox, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Vice News and Jimmy Kimmel. Obama has not granted interviews to (among others) The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press or USA Today.
Those decisions on who to talk to — and, as importantly, who not to talk to — reflect a broader Obama media strategy, employed throughout his time in office but accelerated in his second term. And that is, to put a priority on sitting down with newer outlets with younger and/or less politically minded viewers.
The chart below, built by the one and only Philip Bump, makes that point. It's a diagram of the seating chart in the White House press briefing room — sort of a pecking order of media status — overlaid with a look at which outlets have gotten sitdowns with Obama so far this year. (The information on the interviews comes from CBS Radio's Mark Knoller, who, as I have said before, is a national treasure.)

The chart makes clear that Obama and and his senior aides are focused on breaking the monopoly that big broadcast networks and legacy news organization have long held on the president's time.
Why? Lots of reasons:
1. The president wants to find ways to reach the sorts of people who, to make a sweeping generalization, don't watch the Sunday talk shows. Younger people. People who aren't part of the political world or even politically active. And the White House clearly believes that BuzzFeed or Vice have a more direct pipeline to those communities than some more traditional outlets.
2. At least two of the outlets — Vox and HuffPo — have liberal leanings but are not seen as partisan mouthpieces. Doing sitdowns with them allows Obama to avoid the "he's only talking to people who agree with him" attack while also likely benefiting from a bit of home-cooking.
3. Granting interviews to organizations that don't expect to get interviews — as opposed to organizations who feel entitled to those sort of interviews — gives Obama a bit of a leg up in the interview itself. He will have more leeway with those who are just thrilled for the chance to sit down with him than those who are annoyed that they have had to wait so long for him to sit for an interview.
4. Obama is in the second half of his second term  There's an element of "I don't need to get elected again and not that many are even paying attention to me so I will do what I want" to all of this.
It's also worth noting that Obama hasn't abandoned the broadcast networks entirely. NBC's Savannah Guthrie got an Obama interview that ran right before the Super Bowl, and CBS News' Bill Plante got one right around the 50th anniversary of Selma. The ABC interview was Kimmel, who isn't on the news side of that business.
The real outside-looking-in crowd are newspapers — or at least those places like The Post and Times who were for a very long time organized around a print product. As I wrote in February:
The Post hasn't had time with Obama in more than five years. I reached out to Baker at the Times,  who told me that the last time a White House correspondent for that organization interviewed the president was in July 2013, when Mike Shear and Jackie Calmes talked to him about economic policy. Since then, Obama got on the phone with Jason Horowitz for a profile of his longtime White House travel director Marvin Nicholson. (Obama also chatted with Times columnist Tom Friedman.)
Add the AP, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal to that list and you can see that legacy news organization are not exactly a prime emphasis of the Obama White House these days. That's in no small part due to the realities of the fracturing of the media — declining circulation for print, the rise of social and so and so forth. But make no mistake: The decisions made by the White House are accelerating those sometimes subtle but deeply meaningful changes in how the White House (and politicians more generally) are interacting with the media and, by extension, you.

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.
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Former White House Adviser: What Vladimir Putin Could Learn From ‘Doctor Zhivago’

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Todd G. Buchholz is a former White House economic adviser and recipient of the Allyn Young Teaching Prize at Harvard. He is co-writer of the new musical about the Italian Resistance against Fascism "Glory Ride."
After the Soviet Union splintered in 1991, I took a few days off from my job at the White House and visited St. Petersburg, Russia. Strolling through the flaking walls of the Hermitage, I realized that communism’s problem was not that it was failing to keep up with the rising standards of 1980s America. The Soviets could not keep up with the standards of 1917 Russia! I’m reminded of that now. Next week, the musical Doctor Zhivago will premier on Broadway at a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be rolling back the clock on liberty, and many Russians worry that their country’s economy is sliding backwards.
I doubt that Putin will be buying a front-row seat for opening night. For one thing, he appears to prefer judo takedowns and bare-chested bronco riding to songs and waltzes. There’s also the fact that during the Cold War, the Central Intelligence Agency used Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel to inject subversive ideas into the minds of the Soviet public: ideas such as love and exalting individual choice over the state.
The true story of the manuscript’s return to Russia through the work of CIA agents is almost as powerful as the story itself. Last year, the CIA revealed that in 1958, Britain’s MI6 funneled a secret package to CIA headquarters. Agents pulled out two rolls of film from the package – photos of Pasternak’s banned text, and the CIA quickly funded printing presses and began sneaking the novel into the hands of Russians. Russian attendees grabbed copies of Doctor Zhivago as if they were rare and coveted Levi jeans.
Why does Doctor Zhivago still resonate in Russia more than 55 years later? In the novel, the poet and doctor Yuri Zhivago has been robbed of his title and privilege. But the bigger loss is Russia’s: When the communists trampled on the bourgeois, they also trampled on Russian history and culture. Pasternak had seen the thuggish bureaucrats at the Union of Soviet Composers ban the subversive cadences of Igor Stravinsky and of Sergei Rachmaninoff, who fled for Helsinki on an open sled in 1917.
Zhivago represents the powerful romantic strain in Russian history: the sweeping melodies of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and the heartbreaking prose and poetry of Alexander Pushkin and Leo Tolstoy. To which the Soviet Union and, more recently, Putin’s nationalistic Russia have added, what exactly? Sputnik? A bombastic Olympics opening ceremony? A banning of the punk rock girl band Pussy Riot? There is still greatness in the Russian people – hearty laughs and heaving tears ready to be tapped. But they have been bottled up for 100 years.
Take a look at the moving videos of pianist Vladimir Horowitz’s return to Moscow in 1986. Russian music students nearly storm the gates to see the aged maestro who had fled as a wunderkind in 1925, his only money stashed inside his shoes. Tears stream down the cheeks of old people. Horowitz recalls for them the monumental and long-missed triumphs of Russia’s 19th century romantics.
In Doctor Zhivago, Putin might even see himself – and his potential for redemption. In the beginning of the text, Lara’s husband is known as Pasha, who is collegial and searching for truth. Later he shows up morphed into the monstrous and authoritarian Strelnikov. In the musical, after the transformation, he sings a villainous song, “No Mercy at All.”
Is Putin a reborn Pasha/Strelnikov? After an undistinguished career at the KGB, he resigned and became a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg. He was a leader of the reformist “Our Home is Russia” party before moving to Moscow to serve Boris Yeltsin. In 1999 he described communism as a “blind alley.” In June 2001, President George W. Bush said he “looked the man in the eye,” and found him to be “trustworthy. … I was able to get a sense of his soul.” After 9/11, Putin and Russia helped the U.S. hunt down terrorists. And as U.S. troops were flying to Afghanistan, a White House official told me that Putin’s Russia was “our northern alliance.” That was Putin’s cooperative Pasha period.
Now we move to Putin’s Strelnikov period. This is a Russia where opponents are shot and poisoned with polonium, where nationalist troops in disguise storm across Crimea, and where Putin asks historians why they frown upon Ivan the Terrible and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with the Nazis. Surely, Putin is as wily and unpredictable as any literary character.
But unlike a Broadway musical, Putin has a third act. What will it be? With the price of gold and the value of Russian exports sinking, the Russian economy is shaky, and the ruble has lost half its value against the U.S. dollar. Putin used to appear shirtless because he was boasting about his physique. Now he might appear bare-chested because he’s had to sell his shirt. President Barack Obama came to office promising a “reset” of Russian-U.S. relations. They did reset – but at a far worse level. Now, it is up to Putin to reset himself. He could do worse than to buy a front row seat for Doctor Zhivago’sopening night on Broadway.
Todd G. Buchholz is a former White House economic adviser and recipient of the Allyn Young Teaching Prize at Harvard. He is co-writer of the new musical about the Italian Resistance against Fascism “Glory Ride” and writes a blog.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email <a href=""></a>.
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Israel gets a resounding slap in the face from Putin - Israel News

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Israel’s policy of appeasement toward Russia was again rewarded with a resounding slap in the face. President Vladimir Putin warned Jerusalem against selling lethal weapons to Ukraine.
Selling weapons to Ukraine will not achieve its objective, will create more needless victims and “will not change the reality on the ground,” he said.
Putin’s comments came in response to reports in Israel that some were proposing to sell Ukraine advanced weapons systems as “a response and revenge” for Moscow’s decision to unfreeze the deal it made with Iran seven years ago and supply the regime in Tehran with the S-300 air defense system.
Israel was livid over the Russian decision, however there was no public display of Jerusalem’s outrage.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned Putin and protested the move.
The sale of the S-300, even if it is an older model that is less advanced, has always been considered by the defense establishment as a move that will severely hinder an Israel Air Force attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, if such an attack were ever decided on, something that is very unlikely.
US President Barack Obama has been surprising in his response to Putin’s move, saying that he had expected for a long time that Russia would go through with the sale, and that the only surprise was that the Russian president extended the freeze on the deal multiple times.
It should be noted that no UN Security Council resolutions forbid the sale of “defensive” weapons to Iran, which is how Putin has explained his decision to proceed with the deal.
For years, Israel has practiced a policy of appeasement toward the Kremlin, for two reasons: first, the hope that this would benefit Jerusalem in its effort to prevent the weapons deal with Iran. To the government’s embarrassment, this did not happen. The second reason was Israel’s fear of Russia. Thus, while Netanyahu is butting heads with Israel’s greatest ally, the United States, he acts like a leaf being blown by the wind versus Putin.
The policy has not worked, and on Saturday Putin voiced his warning to Israel. In the past, Israel back-stabbed Georgia and stopped selling Tbilisi equipment in the wake of Russia’s invasion of the former Soviet enclave in 2008. Israel has behaved similarly with Ukraine.
For example, Israel and Iran were among the only nations that did not condemn Russia’s invasion of Crimea and its subsequent annexation of the peninsula to the Russian Federation, much to the chagrin of the US and the European Union.
Israel has not sufficed solely with diplomacy. It has also taken action on the ground. Since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, the Defense Ministry has refused to grant arms dealers and Israeli security consultants permits to sell equipment to Kiev. The only deals were for light military equipment, such as the webbing used to make belts, packs and pouches. This is despite the fact that Ukraine turned to Israel on several occasions, asking to buy advanced weapons systems, mainly in the intelligence and drone fields.
It has again become clear that Israeli kissing up to leaders like Putin does not pay, and does not lead such leaders to be grateful.
It is apparently easier to clash with an ally that is a democratic state than with a tyrant that knows how to take revenge.
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US Marines, Nepal Soldiers Killed in Helicopter Crash Identified

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The bodies of six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese soldiers who were aboard a Marine helicopter that crashed Tuesday in earthquake-hit Nepal have been identified.
Nepalese search teams found the wreckage Friday, three days after it went missing during a relief mission to deliver rice and tarps in Charikot.
The U.S. mission was deployed after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, killing more than 8,200 people. A magnitude-7.3 quake struck the country on Tuesday, killing at least 117 people and injuring about 2,800.
Officials said teams from the U.S. military and Nepal's army were investigating what may have caused the aircraft to go down in a rugged, mountainous area.
U.S. military officials said an Indian helicopter in the air nearby heard radio chatter from the U.S. aircraft about a possible fuel problem.
Nepal's army identified its soldiers as Tapendra Rawal and Basanta Titara.
The U.S. Marines were Captain Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, from Nebraska, Captain Christopher L. Norgren, from Kansas, Sergeant Ward M. Johnson IV, from Florida, Sergeant Eric M. Seaman, from California, Corporal Sara A. Medina, from Illinois, and Lance Corporal Jacob A. Hug, from Arizona, according to the U.S. military joint task force in Okinawa, Japan.

US Navy sailor dies in fall from hotel balcony in Bahrain

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MANAMA, Bahrain — The U.S. Navy says a sailor assigned to the destroyer USS Farragut has died after falling from a hotel balcony in the Gulf nation of Bahrain.
U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Kevin Stephens said Sunday the sailor died the previous evening while on liberty in the island nation's capital, Manama. The ship was docked there as part of a routine port visit.
He says the Navy is cooperating with Bahraini officials in the investigation. The sailor's name was not released.
Bahrain is the longtime host of the 5th Fleet. Many hotels, restaurants and bars cater to Navy personnel near the base.
The USS Farragut is part of the strike group accompanying the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is conducting air strikes against the Islamic State group.

Hacker 'made plane climb' after taking control through in-flight entertainment system

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"He also stated that he used Vortex software after compromising/exploiting or 'hacking' the aeroplane's networks. He used the software to monitor traffic from the cockpit system," investigators wrote in the warrant that was first published by Canada's APTN News.
Mr Roberts admitted to investigators accessing plane computers systems more than a dozen times since 2011, accessing the systems by attaching an ethernet cable directly to the "Seat Electronic Box" that can be found under some seats, according to Wired Magazine.
It remains unclear if Mr Roberts, a well-known face in the hacking world, really did manage to move the plane or simply believed that he had.
In an interview with Wired, Mr Roberts said that the FBI affidavit had given an incomplete picture.
"That paragraph that's in there is one paragraph out of a lot of discussions, so there is context that is obviously missing which obviously I can't say anything about," he said.
"It would appear from what I've seen that the federal guys took one paragraph out of a lot of discussions and a lot of meetings and notes and just chose that one as opposed to plenty of others."
Following the media interest in the potential that a plane could be hacked in-flight, United Airlines last week launched a "bug bounty" programme offering up to a million free air-miles to so-called White Knight – friendly – hackers who could uncover weaknesses in their corporate computer systems.
However the rewards programme specifically rules out bounty for bugs uncovered on "on-board Wi-Fi, entertainment systems or avionics".

ISIS preps for cyber war

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Islamic terrorists are stoking alarm with threats of an all-out cyber crusade against the United States, and experts say the warnings should be taken seriously.
Hackers claiming affiliation with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a video Monday vowing an “electronic war” against the United States and Europe and claiming access to “American leadership” online.
“Praise to Allah, today we extend on the land and in the Internet,” a faceless, hooded figure said in Arabic. “We send this message to America and Europe: we are the hackers of the Islamic State and the electronic war has not yet begun.”
The video received ridicule online for its poor phrasing and the group’s apparent inability to make good on its cyber threat this week.
But as hackers around the world become more sophisticated, terrorist groups are likely to follow their lead and use the same tools to further their ends, experts said.
“It’s only really a matter of time till we start seeing terrorist organizations using cyberattack techniques in a more expanded way,” said John Cohen, a former counterterrorism coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security.
“The concern is that as an organization like ISIS acquires more resources financially they will be able to hire the talent they need or outsource to criminal organizations,” Cohen added. “I think they’re probably moving in that direction anyway.”
Military officials agree. NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers this week called the pending shift “a great concern and something that we pay lots of attention to.”
“At what point do they decide they need to move from viewing the Internet as a source of recruitment … [to] viewing it as a potential weapon system?” Rogers asked.
While ISIS has been widely recognized for its social media prowess, the growing computer science talent of its recruits has mostly gone unnoticed.
“A number of individuals that have recently joined the movement of ISIS were folks that studied computer science in British schools and European universities,” said Tom Kellermann, chief cybersecurity officer at security firm Trend Micro, who said ISIS’s cyber capabilities are “advancing dramatically.”
Even the man responsible for a number of the brutal ISIS beheadings, dubbed “Jihadi John” by his captives, has a computer science degree, Kellermann said.
The burgeoning online threat posed by Islamic extremists was part of the motivation for a new security pact announced Thursday between the White House and Gulf states.
In addition to securing infrastructure and providing cyber training, U.S. officials will also work with partner states to expand joint exercises that involve the potential for cyber warfare.
Part of the danger of the ISIS threat is the group’s ability to marshal attacks from its sympathizers, generating a diffuse and unconnected network that is hard to track.
Kellermann said the video threats this week were “a call to arms more than anything,” meant to incite individuals to act on their own.
“It has actually added a new dimension to the terrorist threat that our counterterrorism approach is not intended or designed to pick up on,” Cohen said.
So far, supporters have focused on distributed denial-of-service attacks, spear phishing campaigns, and hijacking legitimate websites to push malware, creating what are known as “watering holes.”
“For example, if you go to an ISIS website and download their videos, you better recognize most of those websites are watering holes,” Kellermann said. “[They are] basically trying to attack you while you’re watching that video.”
Experts think radical hackers are likely to expand this tactic to mainstream websites and powerful companies’ websites as a way to gather information on key targets.
“They’re beginning to conduct more and more counterintelligence,” Kellerman said.
The Islamic State’s use of the Internet has been described as unprecedented for a terrorist group, and lawmakers are growing increasingly concerned about U.S. attempts to counter its rhetoric online.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) recently criticized U.S.-led online campaigns against radicalization as “laughable,” saying he was “stunned” by the efforts’ lack of sophistication.
Jen Weedon, threat intelligence manager at security researcher FireEye, said these concerns are understandable.
“Part of the reason why there’s a belief that these emissaries are so savvy is because there's a sense of people not feeling that they're’ in control of the message,” she said.
Most of ISIS’s current online power lies in its messaging, experts say, and not its ability to hack real computer networks. But a handful of high-profile intrusions point toward its aspirations as a hacking group.
Almost every month of 2015 has been punctuated by some online attack by ISIS affiliates or sympathizers.
The so-called Cyber Caliphate took over the Twitter and YouTube accounts for the U.S. Central Command in January and the Twitter account for Newsweek magazine in February.
Then, the next month, the so-called Islamic State Hacking Division posted the personal details of 100 U.S. military personnel supposedly involved in attacks on ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking they are safe,” the group urged supporters.
In April, a French television station was knocked offline in perhaps the best example of terrorists’ abilities.
“It seemed to be of a broader scale than we had seen previously,” Weedon said. “There were a number of facets to that attack and they also took the station offline for quite awhile. That seemed to me to be of a different magnitude.”
Some worry the next step is inevitable within the year.
Kellermann has noticed an uptick in ISIS activity on the “cyber arms bazaar,” the massive underground dark Web market run out of Eastern Europe that traffics in almost every form of cyber sabotage imaginable.
“By the end of 2015,” Kellermann said, “we’re going to hear about significant attacks that were pulled off by sympathizers of ISIS.”
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