Thursday, October 15, 2015

US, Russia finalizing document on Syria air safety: US official - Reuters

US, Russia finalizing document on Syria air safety: US official - Reuters

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Reuters

US, Russia finalizing document on Syria air safety: US official
Reuters
WASHINGTON The U.S. and Russian militaries are finalizing a memorandum of understanding that sets out basic air safety procedures in the skies above Syria, a U.S. official said after the latest round of talks between the former Cold War foes on Wednesday.
The US and Russia Are Planning Air Safety Talks After a Near-Miss in SyriaTIME
ISIS lost most of its ammunition & heavy vehicles in Russian airstrikes – militaryRT
Egyptian TV anchor mistakes video game footage for Russian airstrikes in SyriaWashington Post
CBS News 
all 335 news articles »

Turkey Warns US, Russia Against Arming Kurds in Syria

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Ankara is warning the United States and Russia against arming Kurdish forces in Syria, saying they are allied to what it calls Kurdish terrorists in Turkey. But analysts say the West sees the Kurds as a vital ally in countering the spread of the Islamic State terror group. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Russia's Post-Cold War Interventions - New York Times

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New York Times

Russia's Post-Cold War Interventions
New York Times
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia's international military operations have focused almost exclusively on its neighbors, former Soviet republics. One pattern is clear: interventions that inflame conflict and create permanently tense and ...
Will Syria Improve Russia's Image in the West? (Op-Ed)The Moscow Times (registration)

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Путин внес в Госдуму законопроект о запрете признавать цитаты Библии и Корана экстремистскими - Газета.Ru

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РИА Новости

Путин внес в Госдуму законопроект о запрете признавать цитаты Библии и Корана экстремистскими
Газета.Ru
Президент России Владимир Путин внес в Госдуму законопроект, который запрещает признавать содержание Библии, Корана, Танаха и Ганджура и цитаты из них экстремистскими материалами, передает РИА «Новости». «Библия, Коран, Танах и Ганджур, их содержание и цитаты из ...
Кадыров назвал законопроект о священных текстах историческим шагомРИА Новости
Путин предложил не запрещать священные писанияBBC Russian
Путин предложил Госдуме запретить искать экстремизм в священных текстахNEWSru.com
РБК -Вести.Ru -Lenta.ru
Все похожие статьи: 102 »

Why Vladimir Putin's good economic news on Russia's capital inflows is fake - The Australian Financial Review

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The Australian Financial Review

Why Vladimir Putin's good economic news on Russia's capital inflows is fake
The Australian Financial Review
Russian President Vladimir Putin: "Opportunities are opening up in other sectors: for engineering, agriculture, processing and so on." That's probably not the case. Jacques Brinon. by Leonid Bershidsky. President Vladimir Putin is eager for good news ...
Vladimir Putin pictured in selfie with Miss Russia finalist - and he doesn't ...Mirror.co.uk

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Медведев получил орден "За заслуги перед Отечеством" I степени - 33LIVE.RU

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Первый канал

Медведев получил орден "За заслуги перед Отечеством" I степени
33LIVE.RU
... - Ну что ж, зятёк, с праздником тебя? - С каким это ещё праздником, мама? - Да вот, мне срочно уехать надо. еще анекдот! Поставьте вижет новостей 33 региона на главную страницу Яндекса и будьте в прямом эфире! 15.10.2015. 2015-10-15 07:15:31 2015-10-15 07:15:31. Медведев ...
21:07 / 14.10.2015 Медведев, Орден, ПутинУказом Владимира Путина председатель правительства Дмитрий Медведев был награжден орденом "За ...Дни.Ру
Медведев получил от Путина орден «За заслуги перед Отечеством»Красноярские новости - krasnews.com
Медведева наградили орденом "За заслуги перед Отечеством"Информационное Агентство "Хакасия"
ИА Амур.инфо -ИА "Атмосфера"
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Россия и США практически согласовали текст документа о безопасности полетов над территорией Сирии - Первый канал

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Первый канал

Россия и США практически согласовали текст документа о безопасности полетов над территорией Сирии
Первый канал
О прогрессе на переговорах по предотвращению конфликтных ситуаций в небе над Сирией сообщили представители военных ведомств России и США. Стороны практически согласовали текст документа, предложенного Россией. Отмечено сближение позиций по его ключевым ... 
«Исламское государство» зарабатывает на нефти $1,5 млн в деньВедомости
ИГИЛ зарабатывает на продаже нефти $1,5 миллиона в деньНакануне.RU


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Ukraine Vows To Challenge Russia During Stint On UN Council

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Ukraine is expected to win a seat on the UN Security Council in an October 15 vote and is vowing to stand up to Russia, which has used its veto power to wage a strategic tug-of-war with Ukraine and the West. 

Rusal President: Worse to come for Russian economy - CNBC

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CNBC

Rusal President: Worse to come for Russian economy
CNBC
Record-low oil prices, international sanctions and an expensive interventionist foreign policy—can things get any worse for the Russian economy? The answer varies according to whichRussian captain of industry you speak. The World Bank sees Russia's...

Syrian Forces Launch Attack Near City of Homs

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Syrian forces, supported by Russian airstrikes, launched an attack on rebel-held towns north of the city of Homs, Syrian state television and a group that monitors the war said Thursday, a day after U.S. and Russia concluded a third round of talks on rules for conduct in the air over the conflict-ridden country. Russia's airstrikes hit targets around the town of Talbiseh and the villages of Teir Malla, Dar Kabira and Khalidiya, a few miles north of the mainly government-held city of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The Britain-based monitor described heavy fighting between regime forces and rebels, particularly south of the rebel-held town of Talbisseh. The Observatory said Syrian soldiers and fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah were involved in the assault Thursday. Director Rami Abdulrahman said six rebel fighters and two civilians had been killed. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are also trying to recapture rebel-held land in Hama, Idlib and Latakia provinces. WATCH: Video explains complex situation in Syria   The operation in Homs is the latest example of Syrian troops and their allies working in coordination with Russian airpower to advance against opposition fighters. Russian jets started airstrikes against rebel targets -- mainly in western Syria -- two weeks ago. Recapturing the area would help reassert Assad's control over the main population centers of western Syria and secure territory linking Damascus to the coastal heartland of his minority Alawite sect. Regional officials have said the army is preparing for a major ground operation around Aleppo city, close to the Turkish border. Islamic State assault The assault comes a day after Islamic State militants battled rival insurgent groups north of the city of Aleppo. A rebel fighter and the Syrian Observatory said Islamic State fighters took control of parts of the towns of Ahras and Tel Jabin, about 12 kilometers (8 miles) north of Aleppo, before being pushed back. Gains by Islamic State fighters north of Aleppo would threaten the supply lines of rival rebels inside the city, which is divided between insurgents and government forces. Also Wednesday, U.S. and Russian defense officials concluded a third round of talks on rules for conduct in the air over Syria – and are finalizing a memorandum of understanding that will establish basic safety rules and avoid inadvertent collisions. The U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement that "progress was made" during the video conference Wednesday that "focused narrowly on the implementation of specific safety procedures." The Russian Defense Ministry reported a "convergence" of positions "on key provisions of the future document." Both parties agreed that the talks were "professional" and that the agreement is nearing completion. Russian reaction Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that the United States declined to take part in broader talks about coordination in Syria that would have involved either country sending a high-level delegation to the other's capital.  A U.S. State Department spokesman said he did "not have anything specific" on the proposal. John Kirby also said the U.S. continues to show a willingness to talk with Russian authorities.  Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the proposal at a forum on Tuesday, saying his side would have been led by Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev and included military and security officials. U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura is pushing a separate effort to get the U.S. and Russia on the same page in working toward a broad political resolution to the crisis in Syria. Russian airstrikes Meanwhile, Russia said its warplanes carried out at least 40 more bombing rounds Wednesday on Islamic State targets in the Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Latakia, Hama and Deir ez-Zor. Separately, Russia's Defense Ministry said one of its fighter jets approached a U.S. warplane in Syrian airspace last week only for identification purposes. Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the Russian jet came within 2 to 3 kilometers of the U.S. plane in Aleppo province on a mission that was not intended to scare or provoke anyone. Konashenkov said the Russian jet then returned to its fighting group. Russian airstrikes have helped Syrian government troops regain territory, but the United States has criticized its campaign as targeting mostly rebel fighters and not Islamic State militants. Some material for this report came from Reuters and AFP.

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Norway Seeks to Return Some Syrian Migrants to Russia

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Norway is seeking to return a growing number of Syrian asylum-seekers arriving in the Arctic north back to Russia, government ministers said. About 1,200 people have made the journey this year, up from a dozen in 2014, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration says. The journey is a more roundabout, but legal, and safer, way to enter Europe than by crossing the Mediterranean. But from next week the Nordic country will seek to return Syrians who have lived in Russia for an extended period prior to entering the country. "Some of the people who are passing the Storskog border crossing have lived for a long time in Russia and have leave to remain there. So they are not fleeing war, need and hunger," Justice Minister Anders Anundsen told public broadcaster NRK on Wednesday. 'Safe place' in Russia "They have had a safe place to be in Russia. We have had a return agreement with Russia and we should use it," said the official, who is from the anti-immigration Progress Party. Foreign Minister Boerge Brende addressed the issue with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in a phone call late on Wednesday. "I asked for a briefing on what he (Lavrov) thinks are the causes of this," Brende, a member of the centre-right Conservatives, told NRK early on Thursday. "What type of visa do they have in Russia. Have they (the refugees) had residency for a long time?" The Progress Party and the Conservatives rule Norway in a minority coalition government. The Nordic country is a member of the passport-free 'Schengen' area but not of the European Union.

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Vladimir Putin's visit to Japan postponed indefinitely

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Moscow’s hardline stance on disputed island group torpedoes bilateral talks with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe that were set for later this year
Vladimir Putin’s highly anticipated visit to Japan has been postponed indefinitely, amid anger in Tokyo at Moscow’s stance on a long-running territorial dispute and concern about Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict.
The Russian president was to have visited Tokyo by the end of the year to hold talks with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on the Northern Territories, a group of four islands seized from Japan by the Soviet Union towards the end of the second world war.
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Nazarbaev, Putin 'Concerned' With Situation In Tajikistan

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Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev says he and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, are very concerned with the situation in Tajikistan.

Tear Gas Disrupts Kosovo's Parliament

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Kosovar opposition deputies released tear gas canisters in parliament on October 15 in the latest protest against an EU-brokered deal to normalize relations with Serbia. Opposition parties say the move will increase Serbia's power in Kosovo. (RFE/RL's Balkan Service)

Obama to Reverse Course on US Military Posture in Afghanistan 

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U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to announce Thursday that he will slow down the planned withdrawal of American military forces from Afghanistan scheduled for next year. An unnamed senior administration official said the president will maintain the current number of troops in the war-torn country at 9,800 through most of 2016, before trimming that number to 5,500 by the time he leaves office in January 2017. Obama made the pledge last year to remove all U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, with the exception of a small contingent of 1,000 troops based at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. He said it was time for the U.S. to "turn the page" on a war launched in 2001 in response to the terrorist attacks on the United States. Officials said the revision comes after months of deliberations among the White House, military leaders at the Defense Department and commanders in the field, plus Afghan officials, and after Afghan forces briefly lost control of the northern city of Kunduz to Taliban militants. The remaining 5,500 U.S. troops will be based in Kabul, Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar. The official says the forces "will continue to undertake only two narrow missions: counterterrorism and training, advising, and assisting our Afghan partners" in combating Taliban and al-Qaida forces. In a statement issued Thursday calling for renewed peace talks, the Taliban insisted that the U.S.-led “occupation” of Afghanistan should end "in all its shapes, an Islamic government should be established" and there should be no foreign interference in internal Afghan affairs. The insurgent group also criticized plans of the U.S. and its NATO partners to extend their Afghan military mission beyond 2016.   Russian news agency RIA quoted Russia's foreign ministry as saying it doubted the U.S. decision to maintain more troops in Afghanistan would ease the situation in that country. Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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Russian jet approached US aircraft to identify it, officials say - Fox News

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Fox News

Russian jet approached US aircraft to identify it, officials say
Fox News
The U.S. and Russia engaged in talks Thursday to avoid crashes or other dangerous incidents over Syrian airspace, according to Russian officials, after the U.S. said the two nations' fighter jets came within close reach over the weekend. The two sides ...
Russia Says Jet Fighter Approached US Aircraft Over Syria to Identify ItWall Street Journal 
Putin: I don't get how US can criticize Russian op in Syria if it refuses dialogueRT
Putin Derides `Weak' U.S. Policy as Top Diplomats Discuss SyriaBloomberg

Aljazeera.com-Daily Beast
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В течение суток самолеты российской авиагруппы продолжили нанесение ударов по инфраструктуре террористической группировки ИГИЛ в Сирии

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С авиабазы «Хмеймим» выполнено 33 боевых вылета по 32 объектам террористов в провинциях ИДЛИБ, ХАМА, ДАМАСК, АЛЕППО и ДЭЙР-ЭЗ-ЗОР.

Russia tells Turkey of steps to avoid further air space violations - Yahoo News

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Express.co.uk

Russia tells Turkey of steps to avoid further air space violations
Yahoo News
ANKARA (Reuters) - The Russian air force officially informed the Turkish military on Thursday about violations of Turkish air space by its warplanes earlier this month and steps it will take to prevent a repetition, Turkey's armed forces said in a ...
Russia wants coalition with Turkey to crush ISIS, as Putin strengthens attack ...Express.co.uk
NATO Vows Military Support If Turkey Goes To War With RussiaMintpress News (blog)

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В посольстве Кубы опровергли данные об отправке кубинских военных в Сирию - Коммерсантъ

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РБК

В посольстве Кубы опровергли данные об отправке кубинских военных в Сирию
Коммерсантъ
Представитель посольства Кубы в Дамаске опроверг данные о том, что Гавана якобы направила военных в Сирию. «Это просто кретинизм. Это все равно, что утверждать, что Россия послала войска на Мадагаскар, чтобы защищать лемуров»,— приводит его слова «РИА Новости».
Куба опровергла сообщения о присутствии кубинских военных в СирииРИА Новости
Слухи о кубинских военных в Сирии сравнили с российской защитой лемуровLenta.ru
Fox News: Куба отправила в Сирию войска для помощи РФBFM.Ru
Газета.Ru -NEWSru.com -Свободная Пресса
Все похожие статьи: 87 »

Banished Tibetan Lama Says He Was Warned By Russian Authorities 

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A prominent Tibetan lama who has been ordered to leave Russia says he had been warned by the security service to keep a lower profile. The expulsion has caused dismay among followers of Shiwalha Rinpoche, and sparked suspicions that Russia is acting at China’s behest.

Syrian Forces and Russian Jets Attack Rebel-Held Towns

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The new offensive aims to break rebel control of a highway between two major cities, according to Syrian state media and antigovernment activists.

Former Cable News Commentator Arrested and Charged with Fraud 

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— Washington

Inside the Ring: Details of Chinese space weapons revealed

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A forthcoming report by the congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission provides new details of China's space-weapons programs, dubbed counterspace arms, that are aimed at destroying or jamming U.S. satellites and limiting American combat operations around the world.
"China is pursuing a broad and robust array of counterspace capabilities, ...

Leopoldo Cintras Frias, Cuban military chief, visits Syria

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The head of Cuba's armed forces recently traveled to Syria, according to a Miami-based research group that claims a cadre of defense officials from the communist island have been dispatched to join Russia's growing military operations in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
In a memo circulated to reporters this ...
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Page 5

45 Percent of Households Will Pay No Income Tax This Year

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Nearly half of American households—45 percent—will pay no federal income tax this year, according to a report released by the Cato Institute.
“The huge expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program is the main reason why fewer and fewer Americans are paying any federal income tax,” said Chris Edwards, the author of the report.
The program allows low-income households to pay no income tax at all and some families may receive a cash benefit. For example, a low-income family with two kids could receive a maximum benefit of $5,548 if its income is within a certain threshold.
As it stands today, the EITC program is the largest federal cash transfer program for low-income households. The program granted $69 billion in benefits in 2015.
While policymakers tout the program as a way to reduce poverty and encourage work, the author of the report says that it is primarily a spending program.
“Many conservatives support the EITC because it is a modest work incentive for some individuals,” Edwards said. “But they ignore the high cost of $60 billion and work disincentive created for other taxpayers.”
“Policymakers need to remember that the EITC is a spending program, and thus $60 billion must be extracted from taxpayers to pay for it,” Edwards said. “That extraction causes major economic damage.”
Policymakers claim that the program creates incentives for work, but the report suggests that this is not always the case.
“The EITC has a high error and fraud rate, and for most recipients it creates a disincentive to increase earnings,” states the report. “People are receiving excess EITC payments based on false information about items such as their income level, filing status, and qualifying children.”
“The EITC is an easy target for dishonest filers because it is refundable, meaning that people can simply file false tax returns and see if the Treasury sends them a check.”
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Congressmen: Iran is Already Violating Nuclear Deal

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Lawmakers are accusing Iran of violating the recent nuclear deal due to the Islamic Republic’s test firing of a ballistic missile, which is likely at odds with international agreements barring such activity.
Anger on Capitol Hill is mounting following Iran’s ballistic missile test, with many also expressing frustration at the Obama administration for failing to condemn Iran or threaten repercussions for what they view as a clear violation of the nuclear accord and United Nations resolutions.
“The ink isn’t even dry on President Obama’s nuclear agreement and Iran is already breaking rules,” Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) said on Thursday. “This should not come as a surprise to anyone since Iran has cheated on every deal.”
Many are calling for the Obama administration to reimpose sanctions on Iran as punishment for the ballistic missile test. Recent statements by Iranian officials indicate that President Obama will still announce the removal of sanctions at some point next week.
The State Department has made it clear that, like Iran, it does not consider a ballistic missile test to be a violation of the nuclear deal.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), who recently petitioned the administration to clarify its stance on the missile test, said that the United States must hold Iran accountable lest the Islamic Republic believe it can continue to take rogue action.
“There is no doubt they will continue to ignore the international community and behave like a rogue nation even after President Obama’s dangerous deal is put in place,” Kirk said. “Americans expect our nation’s commander in chief to demand adherence to all international agreements, instead of allowing Iran to act aggressively without facing serious consequences.”
Kirk, along with Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.), wrote on Wednesday to Obama, asking that his administration explain whether it would take action against Iran.
The senators say Iran cannot be permitted to advance its missile program, which could eventually be used to carry a nuclear weapon.
“This test furthers Iran’s ICBM program. An ICBM is not tangential or unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program,” they wrote. “The sole purpose of an Iranian ICBM is to enable delivery of a nuclear weapon to the United States.” 
“[T]his long-range ballistic missile that Iran tested last weekend likely improves Tehran’s ability to target Israel—our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East,” they continued. “A threat combines hostile intent and capability.”
The test also continues a pattern of illegal behavior by Iran, according to the lawmakers.
“This latest violation of international law demonstrates Tehran’s continued willingness to ignore its obligations,” the lawmakers wrote.
Kirk and Ayotte are asking the administration to say whether it will refrain from waiving sanctions on Iran as a result of the test.
“Why does your administration continue to treat Iran’s ballistic missile program as an issue that is tangential—rather than central—to Iran’s nuclear program?” the lawmakers also ask.
Iranian leaders say that on Monday Obama will announce the lifting of all sanctions on Iran. This would mark a change in the administration’s stance that sanctions should only be suspended, rather than completely eradicated.
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American intelligence failure in Syria: Column

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James S. Robbins 5:59 p.m. EDT October 14, 2015
Protesters hold photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Damascus on Oct. 13, 2015.(Photo: Youssef Badawi, epa)
The White House insists that Russia’s increasingly bold intervention in Syria is a sign of Russia's weakness. Obama administration officials will probably keep keep using this kind of double talk right up until Moscow declares victory.
Russia’s move into Syria forced the administration and its defenders to explain why this wasn’t the biggest intelligence failure since the Iraq war. The signs of an impending campaign were there:Russia asking for increased overflight permission from neighboring countries; runways in Syria being lengthened to accommodate large transports and bombers; and advanced fighter aircraft showing up in-country that the Syrians were not trained to fly. In response, the White House chose to “take a wait and see” approach, which is not really an approach so much as doing nothing.
The White House claimed not to have been caught by surprise, though House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., says it would have been perfectly understandable if they had been.
I don’t know, frankly, that [Russia’s president Vladimir] Putin knew that he was going to do that until he made the decision,” Schiff said. “I’m not sure even Putin’s inner circle would have seen it coming.”
If so, Putin's invasion is history’s first example of a surprise attack that surprised even the attackers.
Putin had said he was prepared to attack the “terrorists” in Syria, which to the administration meant the Islamic State. But the Russians define terrorists to include anyone fighting Assad, including our CIA-backed rebels, a minor detail lost on the Obama team. The administration was also lulled into a false sense of security by the peculiar belief, perhaps based on disinformation floated by Moscow, that the Russians were going to cut their most loyal ally in the Arab world loose. Even last week an unnamed U.S. official still held out hope that Russia intended to turn on Assad in order to “negotiate a settlement favorable to Russia.” But why should Russia negotiate anything if they are winning?
Another anonymous U.S. official said that Moscow’s move “improves morale” of the CIA-backed rebels because “now they get to fight the Russians.” Yes it must be a real morale booster after having seen Russian forces reduce Grozny, Chechnya, to a lifeless moonscape. Plus with the U.S.rushing to get its assets out of Russia’s way, there will be no possibility of air or fire support. Add to that the fact that the administration is not willing to send sophisticated anti-air weapons to the rebels and their mood must be festive indeed.
POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media
Russia is not stronger as a consequence of what they’ve been doing,” President Obama cautioned at his Oct. 2 press conference, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. He said that this campaign was simply an attempt to raise Putin’s poll numbers at home; meanwhile Obama’s foreign policy approval ratings remain solidly underwater. He denied that there was a “proxy war” between the United States and Russia, news that might come as a surprise to the insurgent proxies America is supporting against a Russian client state. “This is not some superpower chessboard contest,” Obama declared, “and anybody who frames it in that way isn’t paying very close attention to what’s been happening on the chessboard.” I.e., the chessboard on which there is no contest. Press secretary Josh Earnest later expanded on the board game analogy, saying “I don’t think President Putin is playing chess, he’s playing checkers.” But President Obama is the one who keeps saying “king me.”
The White House has a ready critique of all the mistakes the Russians are supposedly making. They are being pulled into a "quagmire." They are "alienating" the Sunni community. They are "isolat[ing]" themselves globally. But it’s odd how the facts on the ground won’t cooperate with administration spin. Meanwhile regardless of his fumbles, missteps and failures in Syria, President Obama projects the image of unflappable calm, of confidence, of cool and detached control, like the idealized captain of a doomed vessel as it slips beneath the waters.
James S. Robbins is a member of the USA TODAY Board of Contributors and is the author of The Real Custer: From Boy General to Tragic Hero.
In addition to its own editorials, USA TODAY publishes diverse opinions from outside writers, including our Board of Contributors. To read more columns like this, go to the Opinion front page.
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· · ·

Russian Military Uses Syria as Proving Ground, and West Takes Notice 

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The operation in Syria — still relatively limited — has become, in effect, a testing ground for an increasingly confrontational and defiant Russia under Mr. Putin.

Turkey Expresses Concern to U.S. and Russia Over Help for Syrian Kurds 

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Support for militias could be an area where American and Russian interests in Syria converge, or it could become another point of contention, as they compete for the Kurds’ affections.

The next steps for the White House on encryption - Washington Post

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Washington Post

The next steps for the White House on encryption
Washington Post
FBI Director James BComey warned last year that law enforcement might be “going dark” because technology companies, including Apple and Google, are introducing ways for users to send encrypted messages by smartphones that can be unlocked only ...

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FBI chief concerned about surge in inner-city violence - USA TODAY

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USA TODAY

FBI chief concerned about surge in inner-city violence
USA TODAY
FBI Executive Director James BComey also said that his agency stands ready to help local departments with more intelligence and analysis tools. He said that while many outside the inner city think they can avoid the issue by just "driving around" the ...
The next steps for the White House on encryptionWashington Post
FBI head, in Ohio visit, cites homegrown terrorist threatABC6OnYourSide.com 
FBI: Lack of Police Shooting Record…The San Bernardino American News

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Iraq now using Russian intelligence in war against Islamic State

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he Iraqi government is now using intelligence supplied by the Russian military in its war against the Islamic State, according to officials in Baghdad.

Title:                      The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus Author:                ... 

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Title:                      The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus
Author:                 Jennifer L Hesterman
Hesterman, Jennifer L. (2013). The Terrorist-Criminal Nexus: An Alliance of International Drug Cartels, Organized Crime, and Terror Groups. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis
LCCN:    2012050913
HV5825 .H443 2013

Summary

  • “We are currently faced with a new national security challenge that is both vexing and complex. The once clear lines between the international drug trade, terrorism, organized crime, domestic terror, and Mexican drug cartels are blurring as groups increasingly join forces to further individual interests and goals. The synergistic potential of the alliance between nonstate actors and terrorists is alarming. Factor in a rise in domestic terror and cartel activity spilling over U.S. borders and the resulting impact to America is grave. This text highlights the often disregarded, misunderstood, or obscured criminal/terrorist nexus threat to the U.S. Destroying the myth that such liaisons don’t exist due to differing ideologies, the book provides a thought-provoking and new look at the complexity and phenomena of the criminal/terrorist nexus.”– Provided by publisher.
  • “Chapter 1 A Poisonous Brew While organized crime is not a new phenomenon today, some governments find their authority besieged at home and their foreign policy interests imperiled abroad. Drug trafficking, links between drug traffickers and terrorists, smuggling of illegal aliens, massive financial and bank fraud, arms smuggling, potential involvement in the theft and sale of nuclear material, political intimidation, and corruption all constitute a poisonous brew–a mixture potentially as deadly as what we faced during the Cold War : R. James Woolsey Former Director, CIA Al Qaeda works with the mafia. The mafia works with outlaw motorcycle gangs. Biker gangs work with white supremacists. Surprised? Ten years ago, when I wrote my first book on this subject, the number of experts who would acknowledge that a nexus may exist between terrorists and criminals could be counted on one hand. In fact, Mr. Woolsey’s statement above was made in 1994, long before most people heard of al Qaeda, human trafficking and loose nukes. Unfortunately, the “poisonous brew” is becoming more toxic with time. Transnational organized crime is escalating, the cartels are global and undeterred, and the list of State Department Foreign Terrorist Organizations continues to grow. Transnational crime is a growing U.S. national security concern, and it threatens us in new, provoking ways. For example, Americans formerly viewed drug use as a law enforcement or health issue. Only very recently has drug trafficking been established as a global crime with a corresponding national security threat”– Provided by publisher.

Subjects

Date Posted:      October 15, 2015
Reviewed by Joseph Sinai[1]
In this important study of the convergence between terrorist and criminal organizations, the author demonstrates how these organizations operate with a sophistication that is usually associated with multinational corporations, although, unlike legitimate businesses, their operations are clandestine and criminal in nature. The author, a retired US Air Force Colonel, and an expert on national security, is well placed to examine how these issues intersect through the case studies of al Qaeda; Hezbollah, FARC, drug cartels, violent gangs, as well as domestic US groups such as the Sovereign Citizens.
[1] Sinai, Joseph C. in The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies (20, 1, Spring/Summer 2013, p. 106). Joseph Sinai, Ph.D. Dr. Joshua Sinai is a Washing~ ton-based educator and consultant on terrorism and counterterrorism studies. He can be reached at: Joshua.Sinai@comcast.net.

 
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· · ·

Obama Fails to Understand Putin’s Move’s in the Middle East

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By John Ubaldi
Contributor, In Homeland Security
Far too often, President Barack Obama and his administration fail to understand the motives and rational of why Russian President Vladimir Putin does what he does; especially in the Middle East.
In a recent interview on “60 Minutes,” President Obama was interviewed by Steve Kroft who repeatedly asked, is Putin challenging you?

Beijing seeking closer military ties with Tehran

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October 15, 2015, 1:05 PM (IDT)
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan held talks with the deputy chief of staff of the Chinese army in Tehran on Thursday to discuss the deepening of military ties and exchange views on various issues. According to China’s Defense Ministry, Admiral Sun Jianguo said Beijing is paying “great attention” to developing ties, and that his trip is also aimed at maintaining regional and international peace and stability.
During the meeting, Dehqan said that regional coalitions should unite to block US influence on the Middle East, claiming that the US took over Iraq and Afghanistan and then promised peace and secuity to their citizens but only made the situation worse, according to reports.
DEBKAfile: Syria was likely a main topic in the talks as both China and Iran have joined the Russian intervention. On October 2, DEBKAfile reported exclusively on Beijing’s dispatch of forces. 

Iranian defense minister calls for unity against US influence

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October 15, 2015, 1:05 PM (IDT)
Iran's defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan, said Wednesday that regional coalitions should unite to block US influence on the Middle East, claiming that the US took over Iraq and Afghanistan and then promised peace and secuity to their citizens but only made the situation worse. He made the remarks during a meeting in Tehran with the deputy chief of staff of the Chinese army. 
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Page 7

Israel demands retractions from Obama and Kerry

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October 15, 2015, 1:06 PM (IDT)
Public Security Minister Gilead Erdan was instructed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to phone a “high-ranking US source” Thursday and demand that President Obama and Secretary Kerry publicly retract the State Department’s charge that Israel was using “excessive force” against Palestinian terror. This demand is unprecedented and marks a crisis in Israeli-US relations.
State Department spokesman John Kirby tried to backtrack on Secretary John Kerry’s earlier comment that the current violence was due to “a massive increase in settlements,” but he then added, “Ongoing settlement activity” is “imperiling the viability of eventually getting to a two-state solution.”
Erdan commented that anyone in his right mind knows what US police officers would do if they had to deal with terrorists armed with knives and meat cleavers for murdering people in New York and Washington. Therefore it is up to President Obama and Secretary Kerry to disavow the State Department’s remarks as unfounded and distortions of fact and clarify Washington’s position.
Erdan told Army Radio that “the US State Department has traditionally been hostile to Israel.”
In another interview, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon accused Washington of "misreading" the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – long after the claim that it was the source of Middle East unrest was discredited.
Shooting Palestinians who wield knives is clearly self-defense, he said. He added that he hears nothing but praise for Israel’s high military standards of conduct from the American and other generals he meets. So where did the charge of “excessive force” come from? Ya’alon asked.
 

Netanyahu: I’m ready to meet Abu Mazen despite his incitement

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October 15, 2015, 8:28 PM (IDT)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that he is ready to meet with Palestinian Authority chairman Abu Mazen (Muhammad Abbas) in order to help bring the current wave of Palestinian terror to an end, even though Abu Mazen is fanning tensions, lying and engaging in incitement. The comments came at a news conference held at the Foreign Ministry for members of the international media.

Former House speaker to plead guilty in hush money case

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Dennis Hastert, who is charged with violating banking laws and lying to the FBI, is expected to plead guilty on October 28

Footage: New Video Shows Details 'El Chapo' Escape

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Newly released video reveals more details, including sounds, of the infamous Mexican prison escape of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa drug cartels.

Ukraine Wins Nonpermanent Seat On UN Security Council

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Ukraine has won a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, giving the country a new platform to spar diplomatically with permanent veto-wielding member Russia.

Ukraine Threatens Russia With Legal Action Over Debt

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the government will file a lawsuit against Russia if Moscow doesn’t agree to restructure a $3 billion bond in the next two weeks.

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Russia, Israel Establish Syria 'Hotline'

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The Russian military has set up a “hotline” with the Israeli military to avoid an inadvertent clash in Syrian airspace, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said.

Iraqi forces say key oil refinery is back in their hands

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The Baiji facility has been the focus of fierce fighting since June 2014, when the Islamic State launched its blitz.















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Israel PM Netanyahu says he is ‘perfectly open’ to meeting with Palestinian leader Abbas 

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Israel PM Netanyahu says he is ‘perfectly open’ to meeting with Palestinian leader Abbas.









Hundreds of Iranian troops mass near Aleppo, US defense official and activists say - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Hundreds of Iranian troops mass near Aleppo, US defense official and activists say
Washington Post
BEIRUT – Hundreds of Iranian soldiers have massed in northern Syria in recent days and are poised to back Syrian forces in a ground offensive under cover of Russian airstrikes, a senior U.S. defense official and Syrian activists said Wednesday. The ...
Islamic State battles insurgents as Syria army prepares assaultReuters
Why isn't Russia targeting ISIS in Syria? Because it never said it wouldChristian Science Monitor 
1500 Iranian fighters enter Syria under Russia's cover, reports sayFox News

U.S. News & World Report - Bloomberg-Politico 
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Fox News
all 948 news articles »

Why Russia is pressing the 'accelerate' pedal in Syria - CNN

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Times of India

Why Russia is pressing the 'accelerate' pedal in Syria
CNN
(CNN) Two weeks after they started, Russian airstrikes in Syria are ratcheting up -- and are being closely coordinated with regime ground forces as they try to seize rebel-held territory. According to many observers of the Syrian conflict, the next ...
UPDATE 1-Russia eases Syria air strikes as militants regroupReuters
Top Cuban general, key forces in Syria to aid Assad, Russia, sources sayFox News
Russia and US Close to Agreement on Flights Over SyriaSputnik International

all 764 news articles »

Taliban: Ready For 'Meaningful' Talks to End War

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Afghanistan’s Taliban says it’s ready to open meaningful negotiations for ending the war provided all its “legitimate demands” are met. “To end fighting, we are ready to initiate meaningful negotiations with all concerned sides,” says a statement issued by the Islamist insurgency’s media wing on Thursday.  It reiterated that the U.S.-led “occupation” of Afghanistan should end “in all its shapes, an Islamic government should be established “ and there should be no foreign...

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Cuban Band to Make Historic Performance at White House

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Cuba's legendary Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club will perform at the White House Thursday, the first Cuban-based musical act to perform at the U.S. presidential mansion in more than 50 years. The group's appearance at the White House is part of a reception honoring both Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Named after a long-defunct members-only venue in Havana, the group was formed in the late...

The multimillion dollar Wisconsin gun store verdict that could reverberate in ... - Washington Post

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Washington Post

The multimillion dollar Wisconsin gun store verdict that could reverberate in ...
Washington Post
In an unusual case, a jury in Wisconsin declared Tuesday that a gun store had to pay millions of dollars to Milwaukee police officers who were shot by a firearm bought at the store. The case offered an attention-grabbing combination of factors ... 
Gun Control Advocates Eye a New Strategy: Taking Firearms Dealers to CourtTIME

Badger Guns Verdict Shows That, Like Gay Marriage, Guns Will Be a Losing Issue ...Huffington Post
Milwaukee police chief: Reckless gun sales must be "punished"CBS News
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news articles »

Western Militaries Exit Central Asia As Germany Shuts Uzbek Base 

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Germany says it will close its air base in Uzbekistan, shutting the last Western military installation in former Soviet Central Asia.

Cuba Bolsters Russia's Miltary Action In Syria [POLL] : News : ENSTARZ

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In a new alliance on the Syrian conflict, it has been revealed that Cuba is supporting Russia's offensive on the ground
President of Cuba, Raúl Castro at the World Leaders Address The UN General Assmebly (Photo : Getty Images)
The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami has revealed some surprising information about the involvement of Cuban troops in the Syrian conflict.
According to a report by the ICCAS, Cuban troops are assisting in the Russian offensive in Syria, on the ground. The information shared by the ICCAS in an email -- which has been reported by thePanam Post -- reveals that even the General Leopoldo Cintra Frías, head of the Cuban Armed Forces is in Syrian and leading the troops. Aligning with Russia's cause, Cuba is helping Putin regime in strengthening Assad's rule. The report states that the General is "leading a group of Cuban military personnel ... in support of Syria's dictator Assad."
The analysis also reveals that this alliance is in fact an old one, and its reputation precedes it: In the 1970s Fidel Castro sent "several hundred thousand troops to Angola and other African countries, while the Soviets provided weapons to support African leaders attempting to gain power in their countries."
Additionally in light of the recent steps taken to bolster the ties between the U.S. and Cuba, it seems the current president of Cuba, Raul Castro, is not taking the new friendship very seriously. This support for Russian in Syria -- a stand the U.S. vehemently opposes in its disapproval of the Assad regime -- says a lot about Cuba's allegiances.
The report states that Castro is "more interested in supporting his allies, Russia and Syria," as opposed to "modernizing Cuba and helping the Cuban people rise above their current misery."

Do you think Cuba is a good or bad thing?

Cuban Troops in Syria Help Russia, Iran Prop Up Assad

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Cuban troops are in Syria to help prop us embattled President Bashar al-Assad, joining Russia and Iran on the side of his government in its civil war, according to the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami.

The institute released a 
statement
 on Tuesday saying it has learned that the head of the Cuban armed forces, Gen. Leopoldo Cintras Frias, had traveled to Syria with other Cuban military leaders to help the Syrian government.

"The Cuban military contingent will be primarily deployed in Syria manning Russian tanks provided to Assad by the Russians," said the institute. "It will also operate as a military force against ISIS and other opponents of the Assad regime."

The institute said Cuba's involvement in the Middle East brings into question about how serious the country is about improving relations with the United States, which opposes the Assad government.

"If this information about the presence of Cuban troops in Syria now is confirmed, it would indicate that Gen. Raul Castro is more interested in supporting his allies, Russia and Syria, than in continuing to normalize relations with the U.S.," said the institute.

"Raul Castro has expressed publicly his support for the Syrian regime and his solidarity with Russian and Iranian objectives in the Middle East. This new Cuban internationalism reaffirms one more time that the Castro's brothers are more interested in their role in the world in opposition to the U.S. than in modernizing Cuba and helping the Cuban people rise above their current misery." 

An unnamed U.S. official told 
Fox News
 that intelligence reports confirmed that Cuban paramilitary and special forces were on the battlefield in Syria. The source told Fox that the Cuban troops may have trained in Russian before moving on to Syria.

Iran's English language news network 
PressTV.com
 said on Wednesday that Omran al-Zoubi, Syria's information minister, rejected charges that Iranian troops had taken up the fight on behalf of the Syrian government. Al-Zoubi said Iranian military officials are only providing Syrian with consultations.

"(Al-Zoubi) also rejected claims by certain media that Russia's military aid to Syria in the fight against terrorism is much to Iran's dismay, saying certain countries, including Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and their allies, are those who are fretting about Moscow's contribution to the anti-terror fight in Syria." 


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Headlines: Russia finalizing document on Syria air safety: US official | Syria air campaign on, Putin may already seek exit strategy - The Washington Post | US troops in Afghanistan: Taliban resurgence sees rethink - BBC News | Obama's What Next? - The New York Times 

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