Saturday, October 3, 2015

Live scorpions seized at Paris Airport by itnnews

Live scorpions seized at Paris Airport 

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From: itnnews
Duration: 01:04

115 live scorpions have been seized at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris on their way to the United States. Report by Sarah Duffy.

Russian jets hit Syrian rebels, Moscow says Islamic State targeted

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MOSCOW/AMMAN (Reuters) - Russian jets hit Islamic State targets and other rebel groups in Syria on Saturday, on a fourth day of air strikes by Moscow in support of President Bashar al-Assad which have dramatically escalated foreign intervention in Syria.

Syrian opposition says leader met UN chief on Russia strikes

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The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition opposition group said its leader met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and urged him to speak out against Russian airstrikes, as a U.N. gathering of world leaders neared its end Saturday.

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CNN: New York Times Makes Five Corrections to Melania Trump Story 

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The New York Times corrected a story about Donald Trump’s wife Melania five times Thursday, ushering in criticism for careless reporting.
CNN says that the errors, which ranged from spelling errors to a slip-up about a major political figure, could have been easily verified prior to publishing.
The range of mistakes included:
1) The article spelled the name of Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife as ‘Wendy’ rather than the correct version, ‘Wendi.’
2) The surname of an editor at The Palm Beach Daily News was spelled ‘Jangigian’ instead of ‘Janjigian.’ The writer’s role was also misidentified – the article listed him as a society reporter, when he oversees fashion coverage.
3) The story referred to a photo of Melania Trump (née Knauss) in Talk magazine, writing that she was 26 at the time, “more than a quarter-century younger” than Trump, her future husband. Knauss was actually 29, making her “almost a quarter-century younger.”
4) It stated that Melania Trump attended the CNN debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in September. Mrs. Trump did not attend that debate, though she was in attendance at the Fox News debate in August.
And the most notable error:
5) The article wrote that prominent presidential candidate Marco Rubio is a member of the House of Representatives, when he is actually a member of the United States Senate.
According to CNN, the digital version of the piece also included a photo of Melania Trump in a bikini. Soon after the article was published, the photo was removed. The New York Times declined to say why they removed the photo.
The story was written by culture and style reporter Guy Trebay.

Putin’s Syrian Move Disrupts Erdogan’s Plans, Despite Turkish Stream 

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What Does Russia’s Power Move in Syria Mean for Turkey? Will Turkey’s rules of engagement against Syrian planes now apply to Russian planes flying near the Turkish border? Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a ceremony in Moscow on Sept. 23. By: Kadri Gursel, Columnist for Al-Monitor Turkey’s July decision […]

F.B.I. Chief Says Politics Won’t Interfere With Inquiry on Hillary Clinton’s Email 

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James B. Comey assured reporters that the investigation into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private email account would be “professional, prompt and independent.”
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CIA pulled officers from Beijing after breach of federal personnel records - Washington Post

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CBS News

CIA pulled officers from Beijing after breach of federal personnel records
Washington Post
Director of National Intelligence James RClapper Jr., testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, sought to make a distinction between the OPM hacks and cybertheft of U.S. companies' secrets to benefit another country's industry. 
CIA Withdrew Officers From US Embassy In Beijing After Federal Personnel...International Business Times

US intel official not optimistic about cyber deal with ChinaDispatch Times

all 254 news articles »

CIA pulls staff from Beijing following a cyber attack on government employees -

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CIA pulls staff from Beijing following a cyber attack on government employees
James R Clapper Jr, director of National Intelligence​, said​ the OPM case was not an ​"​attac​k" but instead​ a form of theft or espionage​, at a Senate hearing on September​ 29. “We, too, practise cyber espionage and ... we're not bad at it,” he said ... 
The CIA Pulled Spies from Beijing after OPM BreachHacked
CIA pulled officers from Beijing following OPM breachSC Magazine
After OPM hack, CIA pulls agents from Beijing for their safetyBoing Boing

all 73 news articles »

Russia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, sign intel-sharing agreement against Islamic State 

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The governments of Russia, Syria and Iran have entered a formal intelligence-sharing agreement with Iraq, in an effort to defeat the Islamic State, it has been announced.

CIA pulled officers from Beijing embassy following OPM database hack 

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The Central Intelligence Agency pulled a number of officers from the United States embassy in Chinese capital Beijing, after a massive cyber hacking incident compromised an American federal database containing millions of personnel records. 

Iran, Hezbollah to launch ground assault on Syria rebels, says Reuters 

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Hundreds of ground troops from Iran and Lebanon have been entering Syria in the past two weeks and are about to launch a large-scale ground attack against rebel groups, according to Reuters.

Hackers Stole Data on 15 million T-Mobile Customers

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If you ever applied for device financing or service from T-Mobile anytime in the last two years, your personal information might have been stolen by hackers.
T-Mobile says as many as 15 million people may have been affected by the data breach, an attack that didn’t compromise T-Mobile’s own systems but rather those of its credit partner — the data vendor and credit bureau Experian.
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Investigation: Secret Service tried to discredit US lawmaker

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Scores of U.S. Secret Service employees improperly accessed the decade-old, unsuccessful job application of a congressman who was investigating scandals inside the agency, a new government report said Wednesday. An assistant director suggested leaking embarrassing information to retaliate against Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House oversight committee.
The actions by the employees could represent criminal violations under the U.S.

Is Moscow Set to Target Russians Fighting Against Assad in Syria?

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Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad may take the war in the Middle East to a new level. The main concern of North Caucasians will be whether Moscow’s involvement in the conflict results in it sending military personnel from Russia’s Muslim regions to the Middle East.
If the Russian government dispatches pro-Moscow Chechen forces to Syria, they will prioritize killing the Chechens who are already on the ground fighting against al-Assad’s regime. First of all, the pro-Moscow Chechens will target the anti-Assad Chechen groups located in the areas of Latakia, Idlib and Aleppo. The largest of these anti-Assad groups is Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar (Army of the Emigrants and Partisans), which unites mostly citizens of the former Soviet republics (, September 24).
Last summer, a conspiracy group within Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar removed the Chechen leader of the group, Amir Salahudin Shishani (Feizulla Margoshvili) (see EDM, July 10). A Saudi national, Mutgasim Billah al-Madani, led the coup in the group. Even though al-Madani subsequently appointed a Dagestani who had supported the coup as the group’s military amir, it is unlikely the group will remain intact, since a majority of its Chechens have left to fight under amir Salahudin Shishani. The outflow of the North Caucasians and of other Russian speakers from Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar will increase as the new group established by Salahudin Shishani gains traction. The new leadership of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar broke the main principle of the group—to avoid affiliation with al-Qaeda or the Islamic State. The new leadership of Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar has been looking for ways to bolster its credentials as it loses its North Caucasian members. The group has officially pledged allegiance to the leadership of the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra (, September 24).
Meanwhile, the dismissed amir, Salahudin Shishani, established a new group of militants in Syria, Imarat Kavkaz (Caucasus Emirate). The militant leader recently made a brief statement, saying that he left Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar three months ago. According to Shishani, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar was founded primarily by militants from the Caucasus Emirate in the North Caucasus. He emphasized that his new group would not become part of any other militant unit operating in the area (, September 26). Shishani has implemented a clever marketing strategy for his group by giving it the name “Caucasus Emirate.” This will help it attract Russian-speaking militants who do not want to be under the command of Arab fighters.
Russian security services are likely to target Amir Muslim (Muslim Margoshvili), whose group still operates independently. Muslim’s group Jund al-Sham (Soldiers of Syria) suffered losses after many of its Chechen members left it for the group of Umar Shishani (Tarkhan Batirashvili) after the so-called Islamic State was proclaimed. Still, Amir Muslim’s group remains a combat-ready unit that operates in the area (YouTube, July 30). Apart from Amir Muslim, other Chechen commanders are also part of his group, such as Abu Turab, Abu Bakr, Abudullah Shishani and many others. The group is located in the area of the city of Jisr al-Shughur, in the province of Idlib, which borders Latakia.
Amir Abdul-Khakim Shishani (Rustan Azhiev) is of no less interest to the Russian security services. He commands a group called Ajnad al-Kavkaz, which is part of Ansar al-Sham (Partisans of the Levant), which in turn is part of a larger organization, the Jaysh al-Fateh (Conquering Army) coalition. Ansar al-Sham, prior to its membership in Jaysh al-Fateh, was part of al-Jabhat al-Islamiyya (Islamic Front), and prior to that, it was part of al-Jabhat al-Islamiyya al-Suriyya (Syrian Islamic Front). Amir Abdul-Khakim Shishani is one of the few militants with substantial experience fighting in the wars in Chechnya. This is why he is so valued by the local militants. Abdul-Khakim Shishani’s group operates in both Latakia and Idlib, which puts it on the forefront of the battle if the Russian security services stage an attack.
One of the primary military amirs of the so-called Islamic State, Umar Shishani, is the most probable target of the Russian security services. Russian media has declared him dead on at least eleven occasions over the past three years.
Apart from these commanders, there are others who are less known but also quite active in the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s regime. For example, Amir Musa (Ansar Sham—Levant Partisans), Amir Al Bara Shishani, Amir Muhannad al-Shishani are among others fighting in the Idlib area. There are also separate groups of militants, such as Dirr Al Islam, Tarkhan and others that are mostly made up of Chechens. Normally, these groups do not provide membership figures, so their size can only be guessed from auxiliary information (, April 15). Despite the lack of clarity about the figures, it can be said that several thousand militants from the post-Soviet space may be fighting in Syria in a variety of groups. The vast majority, probably over 3,000, are estimated to be Chechens.
It is unclear why Russia sat back for so long and allowed the militants in Syria to consolidate. Now, they pose a danger not only to the Russian North Caucasus, but also to areas in Central Asia adjacent to Russia. Citizens of Central Asian states have also started to resettle in Syria in large numbers. Thus, Russia will try not only to help President al-Assad, but also to kill as many of its own citizens—and citizens from states neighboring Russia—who are fighting in the Middle East as possible, before they return to their homelands.
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Russia’s MiG Warns Bulgaria Over Jet Deal With Poland

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RSK MiG has protested Bulgarian plans to have 6 of its MiG-29s modernized by Polish plants.

Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan

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The U.S. military said “there may have been collateral damage” to a medical facility in Kunduz. The group said nine were killed and dozens wounded.

Only 5 percent of Russian strikes hitting Islamic State: Britain

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LONDON (Reuters) - Only one in 20 Russian air strikes in Syria are aimed at Islamic State targets, Britain's defense secretary said on Saturday, warning that Vladimir Putin was instead killing civilians to shore up President Bashar al-Assad.

US accused over Afghan hospital strike

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Air strike on Kunduz hospital continued after US and Afghan authorities told of its location - medical charity MSF
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Merkel urges Europe to protect external borders amid refugee crisis

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BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe needed to protect its external frontiers as it faces the greatest influx off refugees since World War Two - a crisis that she said was "testing Europe's mettle".

Russia launches new wave of air raids in Syria

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A Syrian military official says Russian warplanes have attacked the Islamic State group in central and northern Syria.

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Vatican fires gay priest on eve of synod -

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Irish Times

Vatican fires gay priest on eve of synod
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican on Saturday fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world's bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families. Monsignor Kryzstof Charamsa was ...
Holy See rocked as senior Vatican priest comes out as gayIrish Times
Senior Vatican priest comes out on eve of synod on gays: reportsThe Asian Age

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Vatican fires gay priest on eve of synod

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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican on Saturday fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world's bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families....

Gay Polish priest draws Vatican fire

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The Vatican strips a senior priest of doctrinal duties after he reveals he is gay on the eve of a synod on Catholic attitudes to family.

Vatican fires gay priest on eve of synod 

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The Vatican has fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world’s bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families.

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At least 39 civilians, 14 fighters killed since start of Russian air strikes: monitor

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 39 civilians, including eight children and eight women, have been killed in Russian air strikes in Syria in the past four days, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

Russia Carries Out More Than 20 Air Strikes Over Syria

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Russian warplanes have conducted more than 20 air strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours.

Iran Is Double-Edged Sword for Russia 

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Moscow's cooperation with Tehran seems strange, primarily because Russia's political interests in this regard are almost completely at odds with its economic interests, writes columnist Yulia Zhuchkova.

Third Day of Russian Airstrikes in Syria, Mainly Avoiding Islamic State 

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Russia bombed Syria for a third day on Friday, mainly hitting areas held by rival insurgent groups rather than the Islamic State fighters it said it was targeting and drawing an increasingly angry response from the West.

Putin compounds the chaos in Syria 

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Telegraph View: Vladimir Putin injects bombs and lies into the Syrian conflict. His goal is to shore up his ally, not bring about peace to the region

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He called the US a wolf – now it is Putin who’s on the prowl – Natalie Nougayrède 

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Europe must not be tempted to trade away Ukraine for the sake of a deal with the Russians over Syria
Russia’s military action in Syria raises the stakes for Europe in a significant way, but how should we react? One temptation is to pull back from anything that might smack of provocation: the Russian bear is growling; let’s see how we can quieten it down, goes that line of thinking. And talking to Russia is necessary – even more so now. But that is not the same as rolling over and making the concessions Moscow demands. That is a trap Vladimir Putin could be setting. Resilience is called for. If Europe wants better relations with Russia, firm messages are urgently needed.
First, European officials should be clear that nothing positive will be achieved in Syria if the protection of civilians isn’t put at the centre of any overall strategy. Prioritising civilians isn’t only necessary for humanitarian reasons – it is a topic that will make things slightly less comfortable for Russia: its “anti-terrorist” wars in Chechnya are a dismal legacy that should be recalled.
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Russia's Syria Campaign - The Atlantic

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The Atlantic

Russia's Syria Campaign
The Atlantic
Russia's Defense Ministry says its air force carried out more strikes on targets in Syria, two days after the country entered the conflict on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad and raised tensions with the U.S. Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, a ...
Russia's Lavrov on Syria targets: 'If it looks like a terrorist, walks like a ...CNN
Russia's Move in Syria Risks Aiding Militants, Saudis WarnWall Street Journal
'People are angry and boiling': Syrians tell of Russian airstrikesThe Guardian

all 750 news articles »

US-led coalition warns Russia it is fuelling extremism in Syria - The Guardian

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The Guardian

US-led coalition warns Russia it is fuelling extremism in Syria
The Guardian
Russian intervention in Syria to support Bashar al-Assad will escalate violence and fuel extremism and radicalisation, Vladimir Putin has been warned as more evidence emerges that Moscow is targeting anti-regime rebel groups and not just Islamic State ...
Russia's Dangerous Escalation in SyriaNew York Times
Watch What Putin Does, Not What He SaysThe Atlantic
Russia strikes Syria for third day as West warns of escalationYahoo News
Fox News -Reuters -Wall Street Journal
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Syria Air Campaign Raises Questions About Russian Capabilities - Voice of America

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Voice of America

Syria Air Campaign Raises Questions About Russian Capabilities
Voice of America
Russia's days-old air campaign in Syria is giving U.S. officials and analysts their first in-depth look at Russian capabilities in decades, and it has some wondering whether Russia is able to effectively use its most advanced weapons. “You can actually ...

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Oil Bulls Lose Faith in Recovery as Russia Adds to Global Glut

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Hedge funds trimmed bullish oil bets for the first time in six weeks, losing faith in a swift recovery as Russia boosted output to the highest since the Soviet Union collapsed.
Speculators reduced their net-long position in West Texas Intermediate crude by 9.1 percent in the week ended Sept. 29, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Longs dropped from a 12-week high while shorts increased.
U.S. crude output is down 514,000 barrels a day from a four-decade high reached in June, Energy Information Administration data show. The number of rigs targeting oil in the U.S. dropped to a five year low, Baker Hughes Inc. said Oct. 2. WTI traded in the tightest range since June last month as China’s slowing economy and the highest Russian output in two decades signaled the global glut will linger.
"The U.S. producers are the only ones doing their part to reduce the global glut," John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund, said by phone. "Other countries, such as Russia, are pumping at full tilt. The cutbacks by shale producers here aren’t going to have much impact, especially given the slowing global economy."
WTI decreased 1.3 percent in the report week to $45.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It settled at $45.54 Friday.

Ample Supply

U.S. crude stockpiles, already about 100 million barrels above the five-year average, may swell further. Stockpiles have climbed during October in eight of the last 10 years as refiners slow operations to perform seasonal maintenance.
Russian oil output rose to a post-Soviet record last month as producers took advantage of the weak ruble to push ahead with drilling. The nation’s production of crude and condensate climbed to 10.74 million barrels a day, 1 percent more than a year earlier and topping a record set in June, according to data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit.
Production of crude and condensate reaches 10.74m b/d
China has failed to reverse an economic slowdown with five interest-rate reductions since November. The country’s growth will slow to 6.8 percent this year, below the government’s goal of 7 percent, according to the median of economist estimates compiled by Bloomberg. China is the biggest crude-consuming nation after the U.S.
Investors pulled $393 million in September from United States Oil Fund, the largest U.S. exchange-traded product that tracks crude futures, the biggest withdrawal since April.
"There’s been nothing to bring the retail investor in to put money in commodity funds," Rob Haworth, a senior investment strategist in Seattle at U.S. Bank Wealth Management, which oversees $128 billion of assets, said by phone. "The managed money has been positive about the market but things look grim. We’re at a tough time for oil on a seasonal basis as well."

Other Markets

In other markets, net bullish bets on Nymex gasoline increased 3.8 percent to 17,239. Futures declined 3.8 percent in the period covered by the CFTC report to $1.3632 a gallon. Net bearish wagers on U.S. ultra low sulfur diesel rose by 11 percent to 31,263. Diesel futures slipped 2.2 percent to $1.4976 a gallon.
To investor Jim Rogers, oil holding near $45 a barrel in the face of bearish news is a sign that prices are poised to recover.
“When there’s bad news and something doesn’t decline, it usually means it’s at a bottom and will be turning,” Rogers, who correctly predicted a commodities rally in 1999, said in an interview in Singapore on Thursday.
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Obama, World Leaders Reject Russian ‘Terrorist’ Strikes in Syria 

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