Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Afghan Spy Agency Arms Villagers Against ISIS Tuesday April 5th, 2016 at 4:52 PM

Afghan Spy Agency Arms Villagers Against ISIS

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In an opium heartland in eastern Afghanistan, the country’s spy agency is recruiting villagers to defend villages recaptured from Islamic State.

Former Top Military Official in China Took ‘Huge’ Bribes, Inquiry Finds 

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Military prosecutors are said to have found that Guo Boxiong, who retired in 2012, took bribes in exchange for helping officers win promotions or transfers.

Why Oil Prices May Reach Triple Digits in 2017

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Today, I’m going to try and tackle the reasoning for my ‘wild’ predictions for oil reaching triple digits by the end of 2017. While I am nearly alone in these forecasts, they are not just pulled out of space, but with deep regard for the fundamental supply/demand picture that everyone mostly agrees upon, combined with what I think is a deeper insight into the likely trajectory of oil company leverage, financing and the role of financial oil derivatives.
Despite the technical nature of this discussion, I think I can make a strong case for $120 oil in 2018 using only two charts of my own making – one charting global demand, which is more universally agreed upon, and then an overlay of global production, which is more open to prediction.
First, demand: Almost all analysts including the EIA and IEA agree that demand continues to grow at a steady pace throughout the rest of the decade, and even a minor economic downturn will only slow the pace of growth (green line), but not upend the upward trend line of demand. Sorry to those environmentalists who pray for an end to carbon use growth in the next decade – virtually no one currently believes it will happen.
demand-curve-1
Courtesy of Oilprice.com
Now, let’s overlay the rudimentary global production line(s) on top, put some likely dates on this chart and describe some of the possible scenarios:
full-curve-1
Courtesy of Oilprice.com
First, we notice that the blue line of production going back before the oil crash is steeper than the demand line – hence the current gluts we are experiencing and low barrel prices. Low prices have made production growth begin to slacken, which I’ve indicated by easing the slope of the light blue line. It’s clear that if nothing else happened from here, we’d still see future production outstrip demand – hence some analysts’ fear of never seeing triple digit oil prices, or at least a much lower for much longer scenario.
But most analysts agree that the sharp drop in Capex budgets, not just among shale producers, will have its effect on sharply lowering production this year and putting growth in reverse, efficiencies and well cost reductions notwithstanding. What’s critical to note is how the media, and surprisingly most analysts, see global oil merely through the prism of U.S. independent shale players. To me, this is the critical grave mistake they make. Recent lease outcomes in the Gulf of Mexico, problems in Brazil and the likely end of spending for all new Russian oil projects are just a few of the other gargantuan gaps in global production we’re likely to see after 2016.
I’ve drawn two lines in black on production; one that most of the analysts including the EIA are making in how they see this production curve playing out, and mine – how I see it likely playing out.
While the EIA and most other analysts agree that sharp capex drops will begin to have their halting effects on oil production, they tend to argue over when those production drops come and how steep they will be. In all cases, they argue that any drop in production will be answered by a rally in oil prices, to the degree that U.S. shale players again ‘turn on the spigots’ and reestablish the gluts that have kept us under $50 a barrel for most of the last year. In this scenario, production never – or at least exceedingly slowly – rebalances to match demand.
I see it much differently. I could argue that the shale players, even with their low well drilling costs and backlog of ‘drilled but uncompleted wells’ (DUCs) cannot in any way repeat their frantic production increases they achieved from 2012-2014 ever again. I believe this because of financing constraints and the lack of quality acreage among other reasons – but I don’t have to even “win” this predictive argument.
Longer-term projects from virtually all other conventional and non-conventional sources that have not been funded for the past two years will see their results, in that there won’t be the oil from them that was planned upon. Chevron estimated in 2013 that oil companies would have to spend a minimum of $7-10 trillion dollars to 2030 to merely keep up with demand growth and the natural decline of current wells. And this was without factoring in the drop in exploration spending that is occurring now and throughout the next two years. Severe capex cuts from virtually every oil company and state-run producer over the last two years has put this necessary spending budget way behind schedule.
You can see why I tend to have a much more radical view of the decline line in production beginning in late 2016 and lasting, in my view, at least until the middle of 2018, when production again only begins to get the funding (and time) it needs to try and “catch up”.
Meanwhile, there will be, as I see it, a violent crossing of the demand and supply lines in my graph – and an equally violent move in the price of oil because of it.
Finally, when this trajectory becomes obvious, the financial markets will waste no time taking full advantage of it – with a massive influx of speculative money, driving up prices even more quickly and steeply.
I’ve seen that before – and am currently alone in believing how close we are in seeing it again.
This article originally appeared on Oilprice.com
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Prime minister of Iceland said to resign in wake of Panama Papers scandal 

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The offshore investment scandal contributed to calls for Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson to step down, news reports said. This is a developing story. It will be updated.









Puerto Rico Senate approves debt moratorium amid crisis

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Puerto Rico’s Senate approved a measure on Tuesday that would allow the governor to declare a fiscal emergency and place a moratorium on debt payments amid a worsening economic crisis.









Russians Shrug Off Reports of Offshore Transactions - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

Russians Shrug Off Reports of Offshore Transactions
Wall Street Journal
MOSCOW—Russians have largely shrugged at reports that placed close associates of President Vladimir Putin at the center of at least $2 billion in offshore transactions. “This could be true and could be untrue. No one is really talking about it,” said ...
Putin creates new law enforcement body, the National GuardsWashington Post 
Putin orders creation of Russian National Guard to fight terrorism, crimeFox News

The Daily Vertical: Putin's MoneyRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty 
TASS-Reuters
 -Bloomberg-TIME

all 72 news articles »
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Americans Included in ‘Panama Papers’ Leak 

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At least 200 American passports were part of the massive leak of confidential documents that has been dubbed the “Panama Papers.”
The Panama-based law firm at the center of the hack, Mossack Fonseca, helped register offshore companies for Americans now accused or convicted of financial crimes in four separate cases,McClatchy reports.
An analysis by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists found at least 200 scanned U.S. passports included in the documents. The database showed that nearly 3,100 companies were tied to people in the U.S., and the documents included about 3,500 shareholders of offshore companies with U.S. addresses listed, McClatchy reports.
It’s difficult to determine the exact number of Americans involved at this point, in part because some U.S. citizens might have dual citizenship and could have opened accounts under foreign passports.

The smartphone gun: cheap, hidden and deadly – video

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A US businessman has unveiled a new weapon that could soon hit stores: the smartphone gun. Creator Kirk Kjellberg, the CEO of Ideal Conceal, told Fox Business that the weapon is the perfect choice for gun owners looking to secretly carry a weapon. The gun, which when folded resembles a smartphone, could be available as early as mid-2016, and at a cost of $395 is cheaper than most iPhones on the market
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The Panama Papers are having a huge impact on tiny Iceland

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Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson announced his resignation just two days after the document leak appeared to implicate him.















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Panama Papers: How the release of the documents could lead to deadly political purges - CBC.ca

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CBC.ca

Panama Papers: How the release of the documents could lead to deadly political purges
CBC.ca
Embarrassment, prosecution, political instability and murder — all possible ramifications, say some observers, of the leak of millions of confidential documents revealing the hidden offshore assets of billionaires, top government officials ...
The Panama Papers: leaktivism's coming of ageThe Guardian
After Panama leaks 'PM must take hard decisions' – SciclunaMaltaToday 

all 51
 
Several Africans fingered in leaked Panama PapersGhanaWeb
Chandigarh Tribune-CNNMoney-News24 Nigeria-RT
all 58 news articles »

President Obama Delivers a Statement on The Economy

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From: whitehouse
Duration: 12:56

The White House

Panama Papers: Icelandic Prime Minister steps down 

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From: itnnews
Duration: 01:11

The Prime Minister of Iceland has stepped down, becoming the first major casualty of the Panama Papers leak. . Report by Lydia Batham.
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In Syria, water is being used as a weapon of war

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In Syria, water is being used as a weapon of war

Obama, World Leaders React to 'Panama Papers'

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:49

Governments around the world are trying to contain the fallout from the publication of thousands of names of rich and powerful people who conducted offshore financial activity through a Panamanian law firm. (April 5)
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AP Top Stories April 5 P 

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:03

Here's the latest for Tuesday, April 5th: Iceland's prime minister resigns; Alabama lawmaker files impeachment resolution against the state's governor; Wisconsin votes in the presidential primaries; Polar bear cub makes debut appearance at German zoo.
Stay up to date with daily round ups: http://smarturl.it/APTopStories
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The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.
AP’s commitment to independent, comprehensive journalism has deep roots. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.
Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content - we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

Today's Headlines and Commentary 

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Two senior intelligence analysts at U.S. Central Command are claiming that the military forced them out of their jobs for telling the truth about President Obama’s war on the Islamic State. The Daily Beastreportsthat this is the “first known instance of possible reprisals against CENTCOM personnel after analysts accused their bosses of manipulating intelligence reports about the U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in order to paint a rosier picture of progress in the war.” The two senior intelligence analysts making the claims have been removed from their positions and will no longer be working at CENTCOM. You can read the Beast’s initial reporting from last fall on the issue here.
The United Statesannouncedthat it had killed the Islamic State militant who was responsible for Marine Staff Sergeant Louis Cardin’s death last month. According to U.S. Army Col. Steven Warren, “the militant, Jasim Khadijah, a former officer not considered a high-value target, was killed by a drone strike overnight in northern Iraq.” He continued, stating that “we have information that he was a rocket expert, he controlled these attacks” referring to the attack on the Marine base where Cardin was killed. The drone strike also killedfive other militants along with Khadijah.
Meanwhile, the Islamic State carried out a trove of suicide bombings across Iraq today killing at least 25 people and injuring dozens more. The BBCreportsthat “as many as 10 suicide bombers carried out the attacks, which reportedly targeted members of the security forces and allied Shia Muslim militias.” Reuters tells us that “a suicide car bomb blew up in the center of Basra, the largest city in Iraq, killing five people, and another targeted a convoy of the Popular Mobilization Force (PMF), a coalition of Shi’ite militias, killing five, in the town of Mashahdeh, north of Baghdad.” Reuters describes the rest of the attacks throughout Iraq here.
Over in Syria, the “cessation of hostilities” is unraveling as fierce clashes between government forces and opposition fighters erupted over the weekend in Aleppo. The Washington Postsharesthat “at least 25 pro-government and 16 opposition fighters died in clashes south of Aleppo, where the Nusra Front and rebel militias captured a hill overlooking a major highway...the fighting continued throughout the day Saturday close to the village of Tel al Ais, which overlooks the main road connecting Aleppo with the capital, Damascus.”
Yet, despite clashes with opposition forces and other actors, the Syrian army has recaptured the town of al Qaryatain following last week’s recapture of PalmyraAl Jazeeratells usthat the Syrian forces, backed by Russian airstrikes, fought the Islamic State out of the town after gradually surrounding it over the past few days.
A key leader of al Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, was killed in what rebel sources say appeared to be a U.S. drone strike in Idlib on Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed reports on militant sympathizer websites that Abu Firas, “the Syrian,” was killed along with a number of his companions. France 24writes“while the Observatory said he was killed in a suspected Syrian or Russian air raid on a village northwest of the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria, two rebel sources said the attack appeared to have the hallmarks of a U.S. drone strike.” However, a U.S. security official indicated that the United States was aware of Abu Firas’ death, but did not have any other information to provide.
At least 22 radical Islamists from Europe linked to the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris are suspected to still be at large. The Wall Street Journalreportsthat interviews and confidential court documents “portray the fugitives as part of an extensive web of young men who developed a deep hatred of the West after embracing radical Islam at underground mosques and clandestine meetings in Molenbeek, a heavily Muslim district in the heart of Brussels.” Additionally, the suspects have become essential to the Islamic State’s plans to strike the West and continue to put European security forces on high alert as they attempt to prevent further Islamic State attacks from occurring in the region.
As European security forces increase measures to prevent more attacks, Belgians are attempting to root out radicalization in Muslim communities before it poses a threat. The Wall Street Journalsharesthat “the Belgian government is funding programs that feature community outreach and individual counseling in hopes of preventing radicalized men and women from heading to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic State.”
Belgian authorities announced that a third suspect has been charged in connection with plotting a “major terrorist attack on France.”According to the Washington Post, “the suspect, identified only as ‘Y.A.’ was taken into custody Friday. Prosecutors said that Y.A. is a Belgian citizen born May 4, 1982, making the suspect 33, but declined to provide further information ‘in the interest of the investigation.’” Y.A.’s arrest comes as part of the same investigation that led to the arrest of Reda Kriket, in Paris. The Postalso shares that police discovered assault rifles, handguns, and explosives—including the Islamic State’s chemical of choice, TATP, in Kriket’s apartment.
Wondering how two Brussels neighborhoods became a breeding ground for terror? TheWashington Postsharesa piece on everything we know about Molenbeek and Schaerbeek, the two districts that have been tied to Islamist extremism after the attacks in Brussels and Paris.
A British national was found guilty of plotting a terrorist attack on U.S. military personnel in the United Kingdom. The BBCreportsthat Junead Khan, a pharmaceutical company delivery driver, “wanted to emulate the killers of Fusilier Lee Ribgy in Woolwich in 2013. He planned to run over a member of the U.S. military outside RAF Lakenheath or RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk-the two massive bases used by the U.S. Air Force. Having done so, prosecutors said he would have tried to draw in security forces, before detonating a homemade bomb in a pressure cooker.”
At least 30 soldiers and a young boy were killed as heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces erupted on Saturday. The Washington Posttells usthat the two countries’ forces clashed over the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh and was “the worst outbreak since a full-scale war over the region ended in 1994. Since then, mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh—officially part of Azerbaijan—had been under the control of local ethnic Armenian forces and the Armenian military.” Additionally, each side blamed the other for the escalation.
Following the intense escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the United States and Russia have called for restraint. The Wall Street Journalreportsthat outbreak of fighting—some the heaviest since the Russian-brokered ceasefire went into effect—quickly raised alarms in Washington and Moscow. In a statement on Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry said “the United States condemns in the strongest terms the large-scale ceasefire violations along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact, which have resulted in a number of reported casualties, including civilians. We urge the sides to show restraint, avoid further escalation, and strictly adhere to the ceasefire.”
However, even though Azerbaijan announced a unilateral ceasefire on Sunday, the Washington Postindicates that there are reports of sporadic fighting between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces continued. Read more on the continued violence here. Wondering what triggered the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh? Al Jazeerafeatures an inside story video on the conflict here.
President Obama criticized Iranian leaders for undermining the “spirit” of the nuclear deal even if they stick to the “letter” of the pact. The Hillreportsthat “in comments following the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Obama denied speculation that the United States would ease rules preventing dollars from being used in financial transactions with Iran, in order to boost the country’s engagement with the rest of the world.” The Hilladds that “instead, Obama claimed that Iran’s troubles even after the lifting of sanctions under the nuclear deal were due to its continued support of Hezbollah, ballistic missile tests, and other aggressive behavior.”
Yousef al Otaiba, of the Wall Street Journal,tells us that we should not be fooled with Iran. Last Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the framework agreement for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and “sadly, behind all the talk of change, the Iran we have long known—hostile, expansionist, violent—is alive and well, and as dangerous as ever.”Read more from the Journalhere.
Jumping to Afghanistan, the Associated Press reportsthat at least six police officers were killed in a Taliban ambush on their convoy in Afghanistan’s northern province of Balkh. The AP also tells us that, earlier today, two people were killed and six others were wounded in a bomb explosion aimed at police forces.
The Washington Postreportsthat “the European Union began offloading its refugee crisis into its Turkish neighbors Monday, sending back more than 200 migrants in the first stage of a plan to deport thousands that has drawn condemnation from human rights groups.”In a deal struck by the E.U. and Turkey last month, the E.U. will send back all migrants who arrived in Greece by smugglers’ rafts, but in return, the E.U. will accept one Syrian refugee from Turkey for every Syrian who is returned. However, the Postwrites that “authorities braced for demonstrations or other forms of resistance from those being sent back only days after crossing the Aegean and arriving on European soil in search of a new life—part of a massive migrant wave that has tested Europe's resources and highlighted the desperation to the east in war zones such as Syria.”
As Donald Trump continues to publicly show his disdain for NATO, Eastern European and Baltic leaders are indicating that American support for the 66-year-old alliance is more vital than ever. Politicoshares a piece on how Europe is telling the United States to ignore Trump because they need NATO to combat the threat from Russia. Read more on that here.
The United States launched an airstrike targeting a senior leader of al Shabaab on Thursday in Somalia. The Hillreportsthat Hassan Ali Dhoore “is a senior member of al Shabaab’s Amniyat wing, which does security and intelligence...He’s planned and overseen attacks for the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that resulted in the deaths of at least three U.S. citizens.” According to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, the U.S. is still assessing the results of the operation, but “removing Dhoore from the battlefield would be a significant blow to al Shabaab’s operational planning and ability to conduct attacks against the government of the Federal Republic of Somalia, its citizens, U.S. partners in the region, and against Americans abroad.”
Boko Haram, now called the Islamic State in West Africa, has reaffirmed its loyalty to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in a new video. The Long War Journalprovides a summary of the video here.
The United States is planning its third freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea. Reuters reportsthat “the U.S. Navy plans to conduct another passage near disputed islands in the South China Sea in early April, the third in a series of challenges that have drawn sharp rebukes from China.” Reuters also writes that the United States has conducted these “freedom of navigation” exercises in recent months, “sailing near disputed islands to underscore its right to navigate the seas. U.S. Navy officials have said they plan to conduct more and increasingly complex exercises in the future.”
A huge leak of confidential documents has revealed how the world’s rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. The BBCtells usthat the leaked documents stem from the largely secretive Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonesca, and reportedly show how the firm “has helped clients launder money, dodge sanctions, and avoid tax.” The New York Timesadds that the law firm “helped some of the world’s wealthiest people—including politicians, athletes, and business moguls—establish offshore bank accounts.”Among the many politicians and public officials were those of whom have extensive tiesto Russian President Vladimir Putin.
TIMEfeaturesa piece outlining all you need to know about the leaked documents here.But, you can keep up with the ongoing story of the Panama Papers via the Guardianhere.
The FBI has told other law enforcement agencies in the United States that it will help them unlock iPhones belonging to suspected criminals, in keeping with long-standing policies. The Guardianreportsthat “in a memo sent to law enforcement agencies, published by BuzzFeed, the FBI said that following the successful unlocking of the San Bernardino shooters’ iPhone 5c without Apple’s help, it will consider any tool that will aid its ‘partners.’”
Meanwhile, as the FBI is advertising its new ability to unlock iPhones, some interest groups are pressuring the Bureau to reveal how it was able to unlock the San Bernardino phone. The Hillshares that “technologists and digital rights activists warn that whatever security hole the agency was able to exploit to gain access to the device has been left wide open for online criminals to find—leaving everyday users of Apple products vulnerable to identity theft and other crime.” The Hillhas more on this story here.
According to the Miami HeraldJudge James Pohl, an Army colonel, abruptly canceled two weeks of pretrial hearings at Guantanamo that were scheduled to begin tomorrow following a secret notice from a Justice Department attorney. The Herald reports that the cancellation from Judge Pohl came as “attorneys, court staff, reporters, and legal observers were gathering in Washington, DC for a charter flight to the remote base for the April 5-15 hearings.” Chicago defense attorney Cheryl Bormann, representing alleged 9/11 plot deputy Walid bin Attash, even thought it was an April Fool’s joke.
In other GTMO news, two Libyan Guantanamo inmates were transferred to Senegal,marking the first time that Senegal has resettled GTMO prisoners. The New York Timestells usthat “the men had been imprisoned without trial from about 14 years, and their transfers reduced the detainee population at the prison to 89.” The Timesalso adds that “one of the men, Omar Khalifa Mohammed Abu Bakr, who is 43 or 44, was captured by Pakistani security forces in March 2002 during a raid on a guesthouse in Faisalabad and was suspected of having links to al Qaeda. The other, Salem Abdul Salem Ghereby, 55, was captured by Pakistani forces in December 2001 with a group of men who were suspected of having fled to the mountains after the battle of Tora Bora.”
Keeping up with Judge Merrick Garland’s lengthy confirmation process to be the next Supreme Court Justice? TheNational Journalhas a piece featuring Judge Garland’s terrorism rulingshere.
Parting ShotAum Shinrikyo, the Japanese apocalyptic cult responsible for the 1995 Sarin Gas Attacks on the Tokyo subway system, held a conference in Montenegro last week. The Daily Beastreports that “last week, 58 people believed to be affiliated with the creepy cult were caught at a seedy hotel in Danilovgrad, Montenegro, where they were holding a conference, according to Montenegro press reports. What the heck could they have been having a conference about? Read more from the Beasthere.
ICYMI: This Weekend, onLawfare
Alex sharedThe Week That Was, rounding up all of Lawfare’s material from last week.
Cody releasedthe latest Lawfare Podcast, featuring the last Hoover Book Soiree with Adam Segal discussing his new book, The Hacked World Order.
In Sunday’s Foreign Policy Essay, Daniel Byman comparedEurope’s terrorist threat to America’s.
Ben featuredthe Heritage Foundation’s recent event titled “The Role of Intelligence.”
Emailthe Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us onTwitterandFacebookfor additional commentary on these issues.Sign upto receiveLawfare in your inbox. Visit ourEvents Calendarto learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on ourJob Board.
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Today's Headlines and Commentary 

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Islamic State militants reportedly used mustard gas against Syrian military forces. Reuters reports that the Islamic State “attacked Syrian army troops with mustard gas in an offensive against a Syrian military airport in the eastern province of Deir al Zor that borders Iraq.” Syria’s state-run media did not disclose any casualties and Reuters could not independently verify the media reports.
Iraqi security forces killed 150 Islamic State fighters near Fallujah following a string of attacks across Iraq yesterday. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Islamic State forces used car bombs and heavy machine guns in hours-long assaults on two towns on the outskirts of militant-controlled Fallujah and the neighboring town of Hit in Anbar province.” Read more from the Journal here.
Although the Islamic State continues to lose ground in both Iraq and Syria, they are not losing the war, at least not according to the Daily Beast. The Beast writes that “either way, ISIS losses, even to regime forces, have spurred debate among defense officials about the degree to which the terror group is in jeopardy.” Read more on the Pentagon’s views here.
Meanwhile, rebel forces in Syria shot down a second Syrian warplane in less than a month. Reuters tells us that the rebels also captured the plane’s pilot in an area “near Aleppo where heavy fighting has erupted in recent days despite a cessation of hostilities agreement.” Additionally, Reuters writes that “the Syrian army said the jet was shot down with an anti-aircraft missile—the same type of weapon it says was used to shoot down a warplane in western Syria in March—but rebels accused Damascus of fabricating the claim, saying the plane was downed with anti-aircraft guns.” According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the pilot that was captured was still alive, and was taken to one of al Qaeda’s Nusra Front headquarters in the area.
In other news, U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura will travel to Moscow tomorrow to discuss the next round of peace talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The peace talks are expected to resume on April 11.
Experts from the FBI, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security met with their Belgian counterparts a month before the Brussels terrorist attacks. The New York Times writes that the meeting aimed to “correct gaps in Belgium’s widely criticized ability to track terrorist plots” and that “the half-dozen experts focused on long-term structural fixes to the Belgians’ failure to share intelligence effectively and to tighten porous borders, but not on providing information about suspected Islamic State operatives.” However, the recommendations would not have prevented the attacks from occurring in last month’s attack, according to the Times.
Meanwhile, French security forces are carrying out terrorist attack simulations in preparation for the 2016 European Championship soccer games. France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve stated that “we want Euro 2016 to take place in the best conditions and that’s why we’re multiplying exercises to test the systems put in place to quickly intervene in a context where the threat is extremely high.” France 24 shares that the simulations mocked a mass shooting, an explosion, a hostage situation, and a chemical attack at one of the stadiums. Read more here.
A suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated his explosives near a busy bazaar in Afghanistan’s northern province of Parwan this morning. The blast killed at least 6 people. The Associated Press tells us that last night, a gun battle with the Taliban in the southern province of Uruzgan left at least 12 security forces dead. The AP has more on both attacks here.
An Afghan spy agency is recruiting villagers for militias to hold back Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan as the pseudo-state seeks to expand their foothold in the region. The Wall Street Journal shares that “the program, which one top official says the government hopes to roll out across the country and may later use against the Taliban, is President Ashraf Ghani’s riskiest attempt to defend rural villages—and also a part of his much larger counterinsurgency strategy.”
The U.S. Navy says that it has seized weapons from Iran likely bound for Houthi fighters in Yemen. In a statement yesterday, the military indicated that U.S. Navy ships in the Arabian Sea had intercepted and seized arms shipment headed towards Yemen. Reuters tells us that “the weapons seized last week by the warships Sirocco and Gravely were hidden on a small dhow and included 1,500 AK-47 rifles, 200 rocket-propelled grenade launchers, and 21 .50-caliber machine guns, according to a Navy statement.”
Yesterday, the crisis unfolding in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan deepened as Armenian fighters exchanged fire with troops from Azerbaijan. According to the Wall Street Journal, “while Azerbaijan declared a unilateral ceasefire on Sunday, heavy shellfire could be heard on Monday afternoon near the northern part of the Line of Contact,” the boundary established by a 1994 truce ending a six year war between the two countries.
Yet, even with the unilateral ceasefire, Armenia’s president warned that any outbreak of violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh region risked resulting in an all out war. Reuters reports that Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan stated that “a further escalation of military action could lead to unpredictable and irreversible consequences, right up to a full-scale war.” Additionally, Reuters tells us that “a return to war would destabilize a region that is a crossroads for strategically -important oil and gas pipelines. It could also drag in the big regional powers, Russia and Turkey.”
The Washington Post provides an explanation of the crisis over Nagorno-Karabakh. You can read that report here.
Satellite images have shown “suspicious” activity at North Korea’s main nuclear site, Yongbyon. Reuters shares that “the report on the 38 North website said that in the past five weeks, exhaust plumes had been detected on two or three occasions from the thermal plant at Yongbyon’s Radiochemical Laboratory.” The report could not confirm if the activity at the nuclear site meant that North Korea was reprocessing additional plutonium. CNN has more on this report here.
The Pentagon confirmed that a U.S. drone strike in Somalia killed Hassan Ali Dhoore on Thursday of last week. Dhoore was allegedly part of the al Shabaab’s security and intelligence operations, and had planned attacks on Mogadishu.
Over in the South China Sea, Indonesia has destroyed 23 foreign fishing boats to send a message. The Wall Street Journal reports that Indonesia’s actions come “as worsening relations in the disputed South China Sea drive rival states to take tougher action to defend their maritime sovereignty.” The Journal tells us that “Indonesia’s Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said her agency sank 10 Malaysian and 13 Vietnamese boats that were caught fishing illegally in Indonesian waters, vowing to mete out the same punishment to any vessels found poaching, no matter their origin” adding that if the boat was from America, they would sink it too.
Vietnam is getting in on the action too, seizing a Chinese vessel for “intruding in its waters,” according to Vietnamese state media. According to the Associated Press, the ship was disguised as a fishing vessel, but was actually carrying 100,000 liters of diesel oil.
Agence France-Presse reports that the United States and the Philippines began major 11-day military exercises yesterday. As part of the exercises, 5,000 U.S. troops will join 4,000 Philippine soldiers in live-fire artillery drills and maritime security operations. As the exercises kicked off, Xinhua, the official Chinese news media agency, warned “outsiders” against interfering in what it called a “regional row.” The agency also said that the United States’ pivot to Asia “has featured no more than unscrupulous inconsistency between fear-mongering deeds and peace-loving words.”
Do you ever wonder who exactly would be in charge if a massive cyber attack struck the United States? The Pentagon does too. Military Times reports that “the Pentagon does not have a clear chain of command for responding to a massive cyber attack on domestic targets in the United States, according to the federal government’s principal watchdog.” Military Times writes that some DOD documents indicate that “U.S. Northern Command would have primary responsibility for supporting civilian agencies in such an event, other documents suggest U.S. Cyber Command should be leading the effort.” However, the Pentagon does not yet have any clear plans of how this coordination would play out.
Yesterday, Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters that a draft of the committee’s encryption bill is expected to circulate sometime this week. The Hill shares that “the measure—a response to concerns that criminals are increasingly using encrypted devices to hide from authorities—would require firms to comply with court orders seeking access to locked data.” The bipartisan bill, lead by Chairman Burr and Senator Dianne Feinstein, “will likely face considerable pushback from the privacy and tech community.”
The Central Intelligence Agency has formally withdrawn a controversial policy to destroy emails belonging to all but 22 top-level officials after an employee leaves office. The Hill shares that “after withdrawing its contentious proposal, the CIA needs to come up with a new plan for how to preserve or destroy officials’ email records.” The Hill has more here.
President Obama and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met yesterday and discussed the Islamic State threat and Libya. Reuters tells us that both leaders indicated that “NATO could help Libya counter Islamic State militants as well as train and assist troops in Iraq, Jordan, and elsewhere that fight the insurgent group.” Additionally, President Obama supported NATO and stated that “NATO continues to be the linchpin, the cornerstone of our collective defense and U.S. security policy.” The remarks come as a strike back to GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who had charged that NATO is “obsolete,” too expensive and useless in regards to today’s terrorism threat. The Washington Post shares that Secretary-General Stoltenberg “vigorously insisted that counterterrorism cooperation was the basis of NATO’s participation in the war in Afghanistan, which he noted was its biggest-ever military operation, launched in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States.”
Mossack Fonseca, the Panama law firm at the center of the massive data leak, kept clients who were subject to international sanctions. The BBC reports that the legal firm “worked with 33 individuals or companies who have been placed under sanctions by the U.S. Treasury, including companies based in Iran, Zimbabwe, and North Korea.” Additionally, the BBC writes that “Mossack Fonseca registers companies as offshore entities operated under its own name. This meant the identities of the real owners were hard to trace because they were kept out of public documents.”
Some of these offshore accounts were traced back to those who have close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. However, the Kremlin angrily responded to these claims and dismissed the allegations. The Washington Post tells us that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov indicated that the allegations were “part of an international campaign to smear Russia and to distract from what he deemed the success of its military operations in Syria.” The Post reports that alongside of Putin, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Iceland’s Prime Minister Sergei Roldugin face criticism for alleged ties to the leaked documents. However, the leaked papers do not allege any law breaking, “but the possession of offshore accounts can prove politically embarrassing.”
Wondering how and why this all got started? The Daily Beast has a piece on how the anonymous leaker wants to “make these crimes public.”
The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald compares the Panama Papers leak to the Snowden revelations. He alleges that “the key revelation is not the illegality of the specific behavior in question but rather that light shined on how our political systems function and for whose benefit they work. That was true of the Snowden leak, and it’s true of the Panama Papers as well.”
The Department of Justice is now investigating the Panama Papers leaks. According to the Hill, DOJ is “investigating possible financial wrongdoing after a massive document leak known as the ‘Panama Papers’ made public information about offshore accounts of powerful people across the globe.” DOJ spokesman Peter Carr told reporters yesterday that “we are aware of the reports and are reviewing them. While we cannot comment on the specifics of these alleged documents, the U.S. Department of Justice takes very seriously all credible allegations of high level, foreign corruption that might have a link to the United States or the U.S. financial system.”
Lim Yong Nam, a Singapore man recently extradited from Indonesia to the United States in order to stand trial, plead guilty yesterday to charges of “furthering an illegal export conspiracy in which radio frequency modules made in the United States ended up in detonation systems of roadside bombs targeting coalition forces in Iraq.” Two other men who were part of the conspiracy plead guilty in 2013; an additional two remain at large. The Washington Post has more.
The Hill reports that the Senate “easily passed on an 87-0 vote a long-awaited measure that would strengthen federal law and provide damages for U.S. companies affected by the theft of corporate intellectual property.” In a statement of support for the measure, the Office of Management and Budget said that "the bill would establish a federal civil private cause of action for trade secret theft that would provide businesses with a more uniform, reliable, and predictable way to protect their valuable trade secrets anywhere in the country.” The Hill notes that under the new legislation, trade secrets includes “everything from customer lists, formulas, software codes, unique designs, industrial techniques and manufacturing processes.”
Parting ShotThe Afghan Taliban created an app for Android smartphones for propaganda purposesBloomberg Technology writes that the app’s development signals that “the militant group is becoming more adept at using Internet and wireless technologies to increase visibility.” According to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed, the app “is part of our advanced technological efforts to make more global audience.” Read more on that report here. But, sadly, the app has since been taken off of the Google Play store. So don’t get any funny ideas.
ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare
Cody shared The Week That Will Be, highlighting all events in DC this week of possible interest to Lawfare readers.
Robert Loeb and Helen Klein analyzed the Al Razak vs. Obama district court case and questioned who decides when the war is over.
Cody flagged this week’s 9/11 military commission hearings’ abrupt cancellation.
Paul Rosenzweig told us that the era of combined cyber operations is upon us.
Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.
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The Early Edition: April 4, 2016 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
IRAQ and SYRIA
US intel analysts are claiming that they have been forced out of their jobs by Central Command because they expressed skepticism in their reporting of US-backed rebel groups in Syria, report Shane Harris and Nancy A. Youssef, the “first known instance of possible reprisals” against personnel following accusations that intelligence reports had been manipulated to correspond to the Obama administration’s line on the war against ISIS. [The Daily Beast]
Fierce clashes erupted over the weekend between government and opposition forces outside Aleppo, reports Philip Issa, the opposition fighters including members of the Nusra Front. The fighting undermines the ongoing ceasefire. [Washington Post]
Syrian government forces recaptured the town of al-Qaryatain from ISIS after placing it under siege over recent days, state media reported. The town is 100km west of Palmyra and has been held by the militant group since August. [Al Jazeera]
An American airstrike has killed an ISIS rocket expert, thought to have been involved in an attack that killed a US Marine, the army said yesterday. [Wall Street Journal’s Ben Kesling]
A key leader of the Nusra Front has been killed in what rebel sources report was a US drone strike in Idlib province, Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that Abu Firas had been killed, though the monitor group said he was killed by a Russian or Syrian government strike. [France 24]
A series of bomb attacks across Iraq involving as many as 10 suicide bombers have killed at least 25 people, local reports say.  Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks. [BBC]
A US-led coalition airstrike has destroyed the Turkish consulate in Mosul, Iraq, which has been occupied by Islamic State since mid-2014, according to the Turkish foreign ministry. [Reuters]
Two people have been arrested at Gatwick airport in London, UK on suspicion of “Syria-related” terrorism offences. Local police said there was “no risk to any passengers at Gatwick Airport.” [BBC]
“Into the heart of terror: behind ISIS lines.” Jürgen Todenhöfer shares his experience of ISIS-controlled Syria and Iraq at the Guardian.
EUROPEAN TERROR THREAT
At least 22 European radical Islamists thought to be linked to the Brussels and Paris attacks are still at large, reports Matthew Dalton, noting that many suspects are thought to have been involved in previous ISIS plots, according to officials, with many having spent time in Syria. [Wall Street Journal]
A third suspect was charged on Saturday by Belgian federal prosecutors in connection to what officials are calling a major terror plot on France. [Washington Post’s James McAuley]
The first plane took off from Brussels Airport yesterday since the March 22 bombing there. The security at the airport was tight with new check-in procedures for passengers. [France 24]
Belgian authorities are trying to engage with Muslim communities, an attempt to “root out radicalization,” including programs of community outreach and individual counseling. [Wall Street Journal]
“How two Brussels neighborhoods became ‘a breading ground’ for terror,” from Aaron Williams et al, at the Washington Post.
A British national has been found guilty of plotting a terrorist attack on American military personnel in the United Kingdom; the plot was intended as a sign of his allegiance to the Islamic State. BBCreports.
Congress is not responding to recent terror strikes in the US and Europe with the “same urgency” as it did the November Paris attacks, reports Mike Lillis. After Paris, bipartisan leaders “came together within weeks” to enact rules increasing screening for certain visitors to the US. Following more recent terror strikes in Europe, and the San Bernardino massacre at home, no such legislation has been put forward. [The Hill]
“PANAMA PAPERS”
The“biggest leak in history.” An unprecedented data leak from  Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm, has revealed how the “rich and powerful” use tax havens to hide their wealth. [BBC]  Those implicated by the documents, originally leaked to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung,  include  several world leaders. [New York Times’ Michael S Schmidt and Steven Lee Myers]
One of the companies exposed by the leaked documents “provided fuel for the aircraft used by the Syrian government to bomb and kill thousands of its citizens,” reports Uri Blau. [Haaretz]
Documents disclosing “a pattern” of those closest to Russia’s President Putin earning millions through deals that “seemingly could not have been secured without his patronage” are also among those revealed. [The Guardian’s Luke Harding]
This is a developing story. Live updates are available on the Guardian.
CYBERSECURITY, PRIVACY and TECHNOLOGY
The FBI has informed other US law agencies that it will help them unlock the iPhones of suspects in amemo sent Friday. [The Guardian’s Samuel Gibbs]
Interest groups are putting pressure on the FBI to reveal how it was able to hack into the Apple iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. [The Hill’s Katie Bo Williams]
UK authorities are trying to force a man accused of hacking the US government to provide his encryption keys, reports Ryan Gallagher, a case which may have implications for journalists and activists. [The Intercept]
Britain’s Labour party is demanding that the Government strengthen the privacy safeguards in its investigatory powers bill, the shadow home secretary Andy Burnham outlining seven areas of concern in a letter to the Home Secretary Theresa May. [The Guardian‘s Rowena Mason]
General counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Robert Litt’s recent post onJust Security has been described as a “rare olive branch to privacy advocates,” by Jenna McLaughlin at The Intercept, citing praise for Litt’s “effort to reach out.”
ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN CLASHES
Heavy fighting broke out between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, a separatist region of Azerbaijan, on Saturday, killing at least 30 soldiers and a boy. It was the “worst outbreak” since war in the region ended in 1994. [Washington Post’s Aida Sultanova]  The US and Russia have called for an immediate end to the fighting. [Wall Street Journal’s Nathan Hodge]
A cease-fire was declared on Saturday, though intermittent fighting has reportedly continued. [Washington Post’s Andrew Roth]
What triggered the “renewed tension” between Armenia and Azerbaijan? Al Jazeera discusses the sudden thawing of the “frozen conflict” over the weekend.  
The fighting has exposed the “unresolved disputes and chronic internal instability” that still affect parts of Europe, while EU leaders’ attentions are fixed on external threats such as Syria’s civil war and Islamist terrorism, reports Simon Tisdall. [The Guardian]
ISRAEL and PALESTINE
Israel expanded the Palestinian fishing zone of the coast of Gaza on Sunday, a move that was welcomed by Palestinian officials, though there are concerns over whether there will be proper protection for Palestinian fishermen from Israeli naval forces, which reportedly occasionally open fire on fishing vessels, even within the permitted fishing area. [New York Times’ Majd al Waheidi and Isabel Kerschner]
Israeli public opinion is “solidly behind” the soldier who shot and killed an injured Palestinian attacker in West Bank last week, an event that was captured on video. Lisa Goldman explains why there is such a “sharp contrast between popular opinion in Israel and abroad.” [The Daily Beast]
Israeli security forces demolished the homes of three Palestinians today who attacked Israeli officersin Jerusalem in February. Israel considers home demolitions to be an effective deterrent of further attacks, reports the AP.
The labeling of Palestinian attackers as “terrorists” is proof that the term means nothing beyond “violence by Muslims against the West and its allies,” used for the purpose of de-legitimizing the violence of one side in relation to the other, argues Glenn Greenwald. [The Intercept]
IRAN
Iran has followed the letter but not the spirit of the nuclear deal, President Obama commented on Friday, after the Nuclear Security Summit, focusing on the fact that this is sending negative signals to the business world. The president also denied that America is going to ease rules preventing US dollars from being used in financial transactions with Iran. [The Hill’s Julian Hattem]
“Behind all the talk of change, the Iran we have long known – hostile, expansionist, violent – is alive and well, and dangerous as ever.” Saturday marked the one year anniversary of the nuclear deal with Iran. Youssef Al Otaiba explains why it has failed to make “the world safer” in the long run as President Obama said it would. [Wall Street Journal]
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
Two weeks of pre-trial hearings at Guantánamo Bay scheduled to begin tomorrow were abruptly canceled on an order issued by the judge, Army Col. James L Pohl which has not been published on the military commissions website, as is the normal practice. [Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg]
Obama’s fourth Nuclear Security Summit failed to address 97-98% of the world’s supply of uranium, according to critics. The summit focused on the 2-3 percent that is largely in the possession of academics for research purposes. The rest is held in military stockpiles, military material falling outside the scope of international security agreements, reports Alex Emmons. [The Intercept]
Western intervention in Libya is a more immediate prospect now that Libya’s unity government has been installed, causing division among Libya’s many armed factions and among neighboring North African nations. [Washington Post’s Missy Ryan and Sudarsan Raghavan]
A US airstrike in Somalia targeted senior al-Shabaab leader Hassan Ali Dhoore last Thursday, the Pentagon announced on Friday. The results of the airstrike are still being assessed. [The Hill’s Rebecca Kheel]
The leader of Ansaru, an al-Qaeda splinter group, has been arrested in Nigeria, local authorities have confirmed. [BBC]  Despite this, al-Qaeda are still “very dangerous” in African countries such as Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, reports Philip Obaji Jr, and there is “growing reason to believe” that Ansaru took part in recent attacks in those countries and “are serving as the shock troops for an offensive against foreigners in Africa.” [The Daily Beast]
Europe needs NATO, suggests Jackson Diehl, including the “dozen Eurasian nations that Trump has probably never considered,” such as Georgia, which is trying to liberate itself fully from Russia. [Washington Post]  Heads of other European nations have asserted the need to maintain the NATO alliance against Russia, in the interests of the US as well as Europe. [Politico’s Joseph J Schatz and Benjamin Oreskes]
Police in Bangladesh have uncovered grenades and firearms in a home occupied by banned Islamist group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, today, having been alerted to the premises after a bomb was accidentally detonated there, killing two suspected militants. [AP]
Preparations for the next round of UN-led peace talks in Yemen are underway, according to a UN envoy, speaking on Friday. The intention is to reach an agreement that will both end the war and allow “the resumption of inclusive political dialogue.”
The EU has begun deporting migrants and refugees from Greece to Turkey as per the agreement finalized last week, which human rights observers have labeled “fundamentally flawed” and indicative of “an abandonment of European responsibility” to help those escaping conflict and violence. [Washington Post’s Griff Witte]
Militaries from the countries that provide the most soldiers and police officers to the UN are “among those most susceptible to corruption,” according to a study released yesterday by Transparency International, using factors such as poor anti-corruption practices and inadequate training in its assessment. [New York Times’ Rick Gladstone]
“First graders in Sur don’t dream of becoming doctors or engineers; they want to become guerrilla fighters.” Young Kurds who see Turks as “the gendarme, the police, the prosecutor, the judge, as those that beat them up and oppress them” are idolizing groups such as the PKK, reports Constanze Letsch. [The Guardian]
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The Early Edition: April 5, 2016 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.
“PANAMA PAPERS”
Panama-based legal firm Mossack Fonseca worked with “33 individuals or companies who have been placed under sanctions by the US Treasury,”yesterday’s mass document leak reveal. Companies based in Iran and North Korea, including one with links to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, are among them. [BBC]
The law firm also serviced companies belonging to a “top financier” in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Mossack Fonseca is described in US diplomatic cables as Syria’s “poster boy for corruption.” [The Guardian’s Juliette Garside and David Pegg]
The Kremlin has denied the involvement of President Putin’s associates in secret offshore transactions, revealed yesterday. [Washington Post’s Michael Birnbaum]
Other world leaders implicated by the leaks include China’s President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister David Cameron. [BBCBBC]
“I want to makes these crimes public.” Bastian Obermayer, the German investigative reporter to whom the anonymous hacker responsible first exposed the leak, reveals details of their encrypted conversations. [The Daily Beast’s Nico Hines]  Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald, drawing parallels with the reporting of former NSA employee Edward Snowden’s leaked documents, considers that the real scandal is the disclosure of “what has been legalized.” [The Intercept]
Mossack Fonseca’s response to the leak has been published by the Guardian.
The Department of Justice are currently “reviewing” the Panama Papers. [The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda]
IRAQ and SYRIA
The Syrian ceasefire has come under increased strain over recent days, with rebel groups that are signed onto the ceasefire joining the Nusra Front in a new offensive near Aleppo. [Wall Street Journal’s Sam Dagher]  A war plane was shot down by Islamist rebels near to Aleppo today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said. [Reuters]
UN Special Envoy to Syria  flew to Moscow to discuss the next round of peace talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this morning. [Reuters]
Iraqi security forces have killed 150 Islamic State fighters close to the city of Fallujah, the army confirmed yesterday, as the terrorist group carried out a series of suicide bomb attacks in other parts of the country. [Wall Street Journal’s Ben Kesling]
Islamic State used mustard gas in an attack on Syrian troops at a military airport in the Deir al-Zor province, Syrian media said late yesterday. [Reuters]
A Singaporean arms smuggler has been deported to the US to face charges of illegally exporting US technology that was allegedly sent on to Shi’ite militias in Iraq via Iran. [BBC]
Despite the prevailing Pentagon view that Islamic State in Syria is weakening, there is debate among defense officials about just how weak the group has become, reports Nancy A Youssef. [The Daily Beast]
US-led airstrikes continue. US and coalition forces carried out 14 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on April 4. Separately, partner forces conducted a further 10 strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]
AFGHANISTAN
A motorbike-riding suicide bomber has attacked a bazaar in Parwan province this morning, killing at least 6 people. [AP]
An Afghan spy agency is recruiting villagers to form a militia group to fight Islamic State in Kot, eastern Afghanistan, the beginning of a program the government intends to roll out across the country. Although it was established in August last year, the program has been closely guarded and has only just been reported. [Wall Street Journal’s Jessica Donati and Habib Khan Totakhil]
The leader of Afghanistan’s Hezb-i-Islami Party has dropped his condition for ending a 40-year war with Kabul that foreign troops leave Afghanistan, according to a party official. The Hezb-i-Islami Party is designated a “global terrorist” group by the US and is blacklisted by the UN. Its leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, lives in hiding. [AP]
EUROPEAN TERROR THREAT
Experts from the FBI , the State Department and the Department of Homeland of Security met with Belgian counterparts a month before the Brussels attacks, aiming to “correct gaps in Belgium’s widely criticized ability to track terrorist plots,” US officials have confirmed. [New York Times’ Eric Schmitt]
French emergency services have carried out terrorist attack simulation exercises ahead of the 2016 European Championships, a major European soccer championship due to start in two months’ time. [France 24]
IRAN
US naval ships in the Arabian Sea have intercepted an arms shipment from Iran that the US military has said was probably heading for Houthi rebels in Yemen. The boat and its crew were released once the weapons were confiscated. [Reuters]
Russia will begin a delivery of S-300 air defense missile systems to Iran in the next few days, a senior Russian diplomat told Interfax today. [Reuters]
ARMENIA-AZERBAIJAN CLASHES
Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh intensified yesterday,Turkey supporting Azerbaijan’s attempts to regain control of the region. [Wall Street Journal’s Nathan Hodge]
Azerbaijan has threatened a “major attack” on Stepanakert, the capital of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, if Armenian separatists do “not stop shelling our settlements.” [BBC]
Russia’s President Putin appears “on both sides” of this “bloody new war,” reports Anna Nemtsova, which is “more geographically dangerous” this time than fighting between the two sides over 20 years ago because it also pits “Turkey against Russia, and Russia against itself.” [The Daily Beast]
NORTH KOREA
US research institute 38 North has identified “suspicious activity” at North Korea’s main nuclear sitevia satellite images. Plumes of exhaust fumes could be an indication of some significant activity, according to the institute’s report. It was unable to conclude whether plutonium is being produced. [ReutersCNN’s Euan McKirdy]
China has imposed restrictions on imports to and from North Korea connected to the country’s missile or nuclear programs. [AP]
OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
Two Libyan Guantánamo Bay detainees have been transferred to Senegal, according to a statementreleased by Senegal’s Foreign Ministry, leaving the number of prisoners remaining at the camp at 89. [Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg; New York Times’ Charlie Savage]
A meeting between Egyptian and Italian authorities in Rome during which Egypt was due to hand over evidence relating to the torture and murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni has been postponed, fueling a growing lack of faith in Italy over Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s handling of the investigation. [The Guardian’s Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Ruth Michaelson]
Saudi Arabia’s strengthening ties with Russia “surely speak of the waning regional influence of the US,” reports David Gardner, who discusses the foreign and defense policy of Saudi’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including the seemingly counter-intuitive easing of strained relations with Moscow. [Financial Times]
The Senate Intelligence Committee is due to circulate a draft of its encryption bill this week, intended as a response to the increased use of encrypted devices by criminals. [The Hill’s Cory Bennett]
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto is due to hear whether the ICC has thrown out for lack of evidence a case against him for crimes against humanity allegedly perpetrated during violence following the 2007 elections which resulted in the deaths of around 1200 people. [BBC]
Indonesia blew up 23 foreign fishing boats in the South China Sea on Tuesday, as tensions in the area continue to rise. Ten Malaysian and 13 Vietnamese boats caught fishing illegally were sunk, Indonesia’s maritime and fisheries minister confirmed, adding that the same punishment would be meted out if a US fishing boat tried to fish illegally in Indonesian waters. [Wall Street Journal’s Trefor Moss]
Israel has demolished more Palestinian homes in the past 24 hours in the occupied West Bank as “collective punishment” for attacks on Israeli soldiers. [Al Jazeera]
The first prosecutions of UN peacekeepers for sex crimes have begun in Ndolo, a military prison north of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital, Kinshasa. Three Congolese men from the UN’s MINUSCA peacekeeping mission face various charges. All three have pleaded not guilty. [Al Jazeera]  Additionally, 11 Tanzanian peacekeepers are facing paternity claims from their alleged victims, the UN said yesterday. [The Guardian]
“You have to be prepared to walk.” GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump attempted to show he’s fit to become commander in chief yesterday at a rally in Wisconsin ahead of the state’s primary vote by revealing a foreign policy which focuses on making Europe and countries like Japan and South Korea pay more for US military protection. [CNN’s Stephen Collinson]  Meanwhile, President Obama reassured NATO that it is still considered “a lynchpin, a cornerstone” yesterday following Trump’s earlier assertions that the organisation was “obsolete.” [The Hill’s Jordan Fabian]
“America’s credibility as a reliable guardian against chaos has been broken.” European politicians have “profound doubts” about a US “with both a president who broke his word and failed to attack Syria for its use of poison gas” and “a leading candidate for the White House whose campaign resounds with brutality, bigotry and ignorance of the world,” writes John Vinocur. [Wall Street Journal]
“Inside the CIA’s secret drone war.” An Al Jazeera documentary explores “what drones mean for the people who fly them and for the people who live under their constant threat.”
The CIA has backtracked on a policy decision to destroy the emails of all but 22 top-ranking officials when they leave office. [The Hill’s Julian Hattem]
Ivory Coast politician Guillaume Soro amassed “hundreds of tons of weapons” during the 2011 civil war, UN investigators have discovered. Mr Soro, who denies that he has the weapons, will assume the presidency if current President Ouattara dies or becomes incapacitated. [Reuters]
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Anatomy of a Data Breach: How Cybercriminals Get In

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Data breaches don’t come out of thin air. They are usually the result of a significant vulnerability in your cybersecurity strategy.

Judge considers unsealing court file in CIA sex scandal case - 14 News WFIE Evansville

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14 News WFIE Evansville

Judge considers unsealing court file in CIA sex scandal case
14 News WFIE Evansville
(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File). FILE - In this March 17, 2016 file photo, former CIA Director, retired Gen. David Petraeus speaks in New York. The U.S. judge who oversaw the now-abandoned lawsuit against the federal government over leaks in the investig.

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Talmud Translation Released in Italy After Years of Toil

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The first volume of the first Italian translation of the Babylonian Talmud took dozens of scholars, linguists, philologists and editors five years to complete.









Middle East Turmoil: The View From Israel With Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon 

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Israel sits in the center of a turbulent and chaotic region of the globe, and some believe the Middle East has never been more volatile.  With that backdrop, Israel’s Minster of Defense, Moshe Ya’alon visited the Wilson Center to discuss his countries perspective on the ongoing turmoil.
Speakers (listed in order of appearance)
Joseph Gildenhorn, Former Chairman of the Board, Wilson Center
Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar, Wilson Center
Moshe Ya’alon, Minister of Defense, Israel

The Guardian view on human rights and foreign policy: do the right thing, not the easy one | Editorial 

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A Commons committee is worried that human rights are being downgraded in Philip Hammond’s Foreign Office. No nation that takes soft power seriously should make that mistake
Is there more to David Cameron’s foreign policy than trying to sell more stuff to foreigners? Some good judges doubt it. This week’s Commons foreign affairs select committee report on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s human rights work stops short of drawing such a brutal conclusion. But it adds a few sharp entries to the charge sheet nevertheless, notably in relation to the aftermath of the Arab spring and in connection with sexuality issues. “Human rights is not one of our top priorities,” the FCO permanent secretary Sir Simon McDonald confirmed in evidence last year, adding that “right now the prosperity agenda is further up the list”. That perception is widely shared, especially by those who watch the UK’s often cynical relationships with countries including China, Russia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
This is in some respects a very recent change. It marks a shift not just from the ethical foreign policythat Labour’s Robin Cook attempted to steer by in the early years of the Labour government after 1997, of which human rights was an integral part. It is also a shift from the approach that William Hague followed under the coalition government after 2010. “Our government promised from the outset a foreign policy that will always have support for human rights and poverty reduction at its irreducible core,” Lord Hague said as he launched the FCO’s annual human rights report – a rightly admired Cook initiative – in 2011. The belief in human rights was part of the British DNA, Lord Hague said, adding: “Where human rights abuses go unchecked our security and our prosperity suffers as well.”
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The price of oil: A ‘shot in the arm’ that missed its target

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A lacklustre global economy is yet to reap the benefit of consumers spending less at the pump

Former Turkish Consulate Destroyed in Mosul

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A coalition airstrike has destroyed an Islamic State headquarters complex in Mosul that was formerly a Turkish consulate, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. The strike early Monday was carried out in "full coordination with the governments of Turkey and Iraq," Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters. "Destroying this compound … was in all of our best interests, and they [Turkey] agreed with that," Davis said. The Pentagon says IS had repurposed the Turkish compound for use by senior leaders and as a weapons storage facility. No high value targets were identified in the compound at the time of the strike, Davis said. The Turkish foreign ministry issued a written statement that confirmed Turkey's approval had been sought and given for the airstrike. It said IS militants had occupied the complex since June 2014. Davis described the targeted consulate as a "square block walled complex" with multiple buildings and a pool.

The 'Bilateral Synergy' Of Armenia And Nagorno-Karabakh's Army 

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Many details about the Armenia-backed separatist force in Azerbaijan's territory of Nagorno-Karabakh are murky. The extent of Yerevan's support for separatists who control the territory within Azerbaijan is also a contentious issue. But political, economic, and military ties suggest there is, at least, a relationship of "bilateral synergy."

Son Of Ex-Russian Railway Chief Implicated In Panama Leak

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The son of a close associate of Vladimir Yakunin, the former president of Russian Railways, allegedly heads a business empire built on state railroad contracts valued in the hundreds of millions of rubles.

The Daily Vertical: Putin’s Money 

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mikenova shared this story from  The Interpreter.

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

Link - 10:21 AM 4/5/2016 - Russia Nuclear: Moscow Rebuilds Its Nuclear Arsenal | Kill it, spin it – Putin will do anything to stifle the Panama Papers story 

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На встрече с председателем Сената Франции Жераром Ларше.

The Panama Papers

News Topic: The Panama Papers - from 4.4.16

The Panama Papers - 4.5.16

Kill it, spin it – Putin will do anything to stifle the Panama Papers story | Natalie Nougayrède | News | The Guardian

Panama Papers | The Guardian

Panama Papers probes opened, China limits access to news on leaks | Reuters
The Daily Vertical: Follow The Money (Transcript)
The Morning Vertical, April 4, 2016
The Daily Vertical: Putin's Money (Transcript)
The Daily Vertical: Putin's Money
Enveloped By The Panama Papers
India Orders Multi-agency Investigation of Panama Papers Allegations
Massive 'Panama Papers' Leak Reveals World Leaders' Offshore Accounts - NBC News
Panama Papers: Law firm linked to blacklisted firms, individuals
The Panama Papers: 7 things to know - CNN.com
Muscovites React to 'Panama Papers' Implicating Putin
Panama Papers: Biggest Banks Are Top Users of Offshore Services - WSJ
Ъ - «Прошу разъяснить причины столь краткого и неполного информирования граждан»
ТАСС: Международная панорама - Глава ICIJ: публикация "Панамских документов" по офшорам не была направлена против России
ТАСС: Политика - Генпрокуратура проверит данные СМИ о россиянах, якобы имеющих компании и счета в офшорах

The Panama Papers - 4.4.16

Prosecutors open probes as world's wealthy deny 'Panama Papers' links | Reuters
Panama Papers: Giant Leak Reveals World Leaders' Offshore Accounts - NBC News
World Leaders Implicated As Data Leak Reveals Hidden Wealth, Corruption
The Political Fallout From the Panama Papers - The Atlantic
Russia dismisses Panama Papers' findings - YouTube
The Daily Vertical: Follow The Money - YouTube
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: The Panama Papers
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: Panama Leaked Files Spark Angry Reaction in Moscow - WSJ
“Путинская клептократия”
BBC World Service - Newshour, Panama Papers
International Edition 2330 EDT - VOA News
Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite's tax havens - BBC News - YouTube
'A Lot Of People Losing A Lot Of Sleep': The Impact Of The Panama Papers
The Panama Papers · ICIJ
All Putin’s Men: Secret Records Reveal Money Network Tied to Russian Leader · ICIJ
Panama papers - YouTube
Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin | News | The Guardian
Panama Papers: Massive leak shows how rich hide wealth, MSM focus on Putin - YouTube
How to hide a billion dollars | The Panama Papers - YouTube
International Edition 1805 EDT - VOA News
Panama Law Firm’s Leaked Files Detail Offshore Accounts Tied to World Leaders - The New York Times
Panama Leaked Files Spark Angry Reaction in Moscow - WSJ
Panama Leaked Files Spark Angry Reaction in Moscow - Google Search
The Panama Papers are super awkward for Beijing - The Washington Post
Встреча с руководителем Федерального архивного агентства Андреем Артизовым • Президент России
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: » Panama Papers: biggest leak in history published by German newspaper - YouTube 04/04/16 13:15 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
The Panama Papers show how corruption really works in Russia - Vox
World figures deny wrongdoing as 'Panama Papers' reveal offshore wealth | Reuters
Panama Papers
Kremlin dismisses revelations in Panama Papers as 'Putinphobia' | News | The Guardian
Governments Vow to Find Tax Evaders Hiding Offshore Assets
The Latest: US reviews offshore leaks for possible crimes - The Washington Post
Explainer: Why #PanamaPapers is just the tip of the iceberg
'Look, There's Jackie Chan': Russian Media Responds to Panama Allegations | News | The Moscow Times
Kremlin Says Offshore Investigation Seeks to 'Destabilize' Russia | News | The Moscow Times
'Nonsense' – Russian Banking Boss Blasts Putin Offshore Accusations | News | The Moscow Times
Panama lawyers at center of offshore scandal make odd couple - The Washington Post
Panama papers: Mossack Fonseca 'helped firms subject to sanctions' - BBC News
The Panama Papers Could Lead to Capitalism’s Great Crisis | TIME
What Is an Offshore Company?
Report: Offshore Leak Reveals Aliyev Family Stake In Azerbaijani Gold Mines

4.5.16 Tu

Hawaiian sacrifice, from Jacques Arago’s account of French navigator Louis de Freycinet’s travels around the world from 1817 to 1820. (Jacques Arago)

The ‘darker link’ between ancient human sacrifice and our modern world - The Washington Post

Russia Nuclear: Moscow Rebuilds Its Nuclear Arsenal

Russia's Military Budget Ranks Fourth Worldwide – Report | Business | The Moscow Times
Trump reveals how he would force Mexico to pay for border wall - The Washington Post
Read the whole story
 
· · · · · · ·
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LINK - » Panama Papers Cite French Far Right Party 05/04/16 14:56 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks

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Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review

From The Major News Sources

» Panama Papers Cite French Far Right Party
05/04/16 14:56 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from Voice of America. Two members of France’s surging far-right National Front party with close ties to senior officials were named Tuesday in a growing “Panama Papers” scandal. France’s leading Le Monde newsp...
» Людям необходимо знать, каково истинное лицо их лидеров
05/04/16 14:56 from Mike Nova's Shared Newslinks
mikenova shared this story from golosamerikius's YouTube Videos. From: golosamerikius Duration: 03:36 Политики и эксперты продолжают комментировать скандал, вызванный публикацией так называемого «панамского досье» Originally publishe...

LINK – 10:21 AM 4/5/2016 – Russia Nuclear: Moscow Rebuilds Its Nuclear Arsenal | Kill it, spin it – Putin will do anything to stifle the Panama Papers story 

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На встрече с председателем Сената Франции Жераром Ларше.
The Panama Papers

News Topic: The Panama Papers – from 4.4.16

Panama Papers – Google Search
News – Panama Papers – Google Search
Panama Papers Putin – Google Search
News – Panama Papers Putin – Google Search

The Panama Papers – 4.5.16

Kill it, spin it – Putin will do anything to stifle the Panama Papers story | Natalie Nougayrède | News | The Guardian
Panama Papers | The Guardian
Panama Papers probes opened, China limits access to news on leaks | Reuters
The Daily Vertical: Follow The Money (Transcript)
The Morning Vertical, April 4, 2016
The Daily Vertical: Putin’s Money (Transcript)
The Daily Vertical: Putin’s Money
Enveloped By The Panama Papers
India Orders Multi-agency Investigation of Panama Papers Allegations
Massive ‘Panama Papers’ Leak Reveals World Leaders’ Offshore Accounts – NBC News
Panama Papers: Law firm linked to blacklisted firms, individuals
The Panama Papers: 7 things to know – CNN.com
Muscovites React to ‘Panama Papers’ Implicating Putin
Panama Papers: Biggest Banks Are Top Users of Offshore Services – WSJ
Ъ – «Прошу разъяснить причины столь краткого и неполного информирования граждан»
ТАСС: Международная панорама – Глава ICIJ: публикация “Панамских документов” по офшорам не была направлена против России
ТАСС: Политика – Генпрокуратура проверит данные СМИ о россиянах, якобы имеющих компании и счета в офшорах

The Panama Papers – 4.4.16

Prosecutors open probes as world’s wealthy deny ‘Panama Papers’ links | Reuters
Panama Papers: Giant Leak Reveals World Leaders’ Offshore Accounts – NBC News
World Leaders Implicated As Data Leak Reveals Hidden Wealth, Corruption
The Political Fallout From the Panama Papers – The Atlantic
Russia dismisses Panama Papers’ findings – YouTube
The Daily Vertical: Follow The Money – YouTube
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: The Panama Papers
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: Panama Leaked Files Spark Angry Reaction in Moscow – WSJ
“Путинская клептократия”
BBC World Service – Newshour, Panama Papers
International Edition 2330 EDT – VOA News
Panama Papers: Mossack Fonseca leak reveals elite’s tax havens – BBC News – YouTube
‘A Lot Of People Losing A Lot Of Sleep’: The Impact Of The Panama Papers
The Panama Papers · ICIJ
All Putin’s Men: Secret Records Reveal Money Network Tied to Russian Leader · ICIJ
Panama papers – YouTube
Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir Putin | News | The Guardian
Panama Papers: Massive leak shows how rich hide wealth, MSM focus on Putin – YouTube
How to hide a billion dollars | The Panama Papers – YouTube
International Edition 1805 EDT – VOA News
Panama Law Firm’s Leaked Files Detail Offshore Accounts Tied to World Leaders – The New York Times
Panama Leaked Files Spark Angry Reaction in Moscow – WSJ
Panama Leaked Files Spark Angry Reaction in Moscow – Google Search
The Panama Papers are super awkward for Beijing – The Washington Post
Встреча с руководителем Федерального архивного агентства Андреем Артизовым • Президент России
NEWS: The World and Global Security Review: » Panama Papers: biggest leak in history published by German newspaper – YouTube 04/04/16 13:15 from Mike Nova’s Shared Newslinks
The Panama Papers show how corruption really works in Russia – Vox
World figures deny wrongdoing as ‘Panama Papers’ reveal offshore wealth | Reuters
Panama Papers
Kremlin dismisses revelations in Panama Papers as ‘Putinphobia’ | News | The Guardian
Governments Vow to Find Tax Evaders Hiding Offshore Assets
The Latest: US reviews offshore leaks for possible crimes – The Washington Post
Explainer: Why #PanamaPapers is just the tip of the iceberg
‘Look, There’s Jackie Chan’: Russian Media Responds to Panama Allegations | News | The Moscow Times
Kremlin Says Offshore Investigation Seeks to ‘Destabilize’ Russia | News | The Moscow Times
‘Nonsense’ – Russian Banking Boss Blasts Putin Offshore Accusations | News | The Moscow Times
Panama lawyers at center of offshore scandal make odd couple – The Washington Post
Panama papers: Mossack Fonseca ‘helped firms subject to sanctions’ – BBC News
The Panama Papers Could Lead to Capitalism’s Great Crisis | TIME
What Is an Offshore Company?
Report: Offshore Leak Reveals Aliyev Family Stake In Azerbaijani Gold Mines

4.5.16 Tu

Hawaiian sacrifice, from Jacques Arago’s account of French navigator Louis de Freycinet’s travels around the world from 1817 to 1820. (Jacques Arago)
The ‘darker link’ between ancient human sacrifice and our modern world – The Washington Post
 
Russia Nuclear: Moscow Rebuilds Its Nuclear Arsenal
Russia’s Military Budget Ranks Fourth Worldwide – Report | Business | The Moscow Times
Trump reveals how he would force Mexico to pay for border wall – The Washington Post
Read the whole story
 
· · · · · ·

LINK - Panama Leak Sparks Global Investigations Tuesday April 5th, 2016 at 3:11 PM 

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Panama Leak Sparks Global Investigations Tuesday April 5th, 2016 at 3:11 PM

Panama Leak Sparks Global Investigations

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A leak of confidential documents revealing shady financial dealings by the rich and powerful, including close associates of the Chinese, Syrian and Russian presidents, celebrities like Barcelona's star footballer Lionel Messi, Russian cellist Sergei Roldugin and many others, has sparked a global outcry. The scandal has prompted many countries to launch investigations into possible offshore money laundering by their own politicians, celebrities and companies. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Read the whole story
 
· ·

Panama Leak Sparks Global Investigations

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A leak of confidential documents revealing shady financial dealings by the rich and powerful, including close associates of the Chinese, Syrian and Russian presidents, celebrities like Barcelona's star footballer Lionel Messi, Russian cellist Sergei Roldugin and many others, has sparked a global outcry. The scandal has prompted many countries to launch investigations into possible offshore money laundering by their own politicians, celebrities and companies. Zlatica Hoke has more.

Panama Papers leak not specifically directed against Russia – ICIJ head - RT

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RT

Panama Papers leak not specifically directed against Russia – ICIJ head
RT
Russian President Vladimir Putin was not the target of the Panama Papers leak, according to the head of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, who has said the batch of more than 11.5 million files aimed to shed light on murky ...
Russia blames "Putinophobia" for massive offshore data leakCBS News
Revealed: the $2bn offshore trail that leads to Vladimir PutinThe Guardian 
World reacts to the Panama papers data leakToronto Star

Channel News Asia
all 1,987 news articles »

Russian Prime Minister: Ukraine Has 'No Industry, or State'

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev denounced Ukraine as having "neither industry, nor a state," according to remarks published Monday on the Cabinet website.
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With Archives Move, Putin Makes an Unforced Error

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Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 4 – Vladimir Putin has committed many crimes, but his political tactics at least from his own point of view have been brilliant, keeping his opponents off balance and ensuring that he will retain the support of the Russian population.  But now he has made what can only be described as an unforced error, one that is likely to come back to haunt him.

            Yesterday, the Kremlin leader announced that he was taking personal control of Russia’s Federal Archives Agency (Rosarkhiv), declaring that he is doing so because of the “special value” of documents contained there (interfax.ru/russia/501908).

            That Soviet and Russian politics has often been about controlling the past in the name of controlling the future is no news, and it is certainly the case that the chief current defender of that country’s security services and their checkered history should want to ensure that he has absolute control over documents that might be embarrassing or worse.

            But that was true of his predecessors as well, and none of them chose to take direct control of the archives, not only because they viewed this as a technical issue but also because they were confident that they had subordinates who would do their bidding in that regard.  By taking direct personal control, Putin has raised two serious questions:

            On the one hand and most immediately, are there things in the archives that are so threatening to him and his regime that he cannot risk having anyone else be in charge? And on the other and more ominously, is the circle of people on whom he can totally rely now narrowing to the point that he has no choice but to assume personal control?

            That such questions will now be asked is beyond question, and the answers, even if they are speculative or uninformed will harm Putin. Consequently, the Kremlin leader in this regard has done something even worse than a crime: he  has committed a serious political mistake – and it is certain to haunt him in the future.
           

Read the whole story
 
· ·

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Money (Transcript)

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The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday.

The Daily Vertical: Putin’s Money 

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The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

Muscovites React to 'Panama Papers' Implicating Putin

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What do Muscovites think about the massive financial data breach called "The Panama Papers"? The leak implicates Russian President Vladimir Putin in a money sheltering scheme, but Current Time TV correspondent Vadim Kondakov had a hard time finding people who have heard the news.

Армия Сирии подтвердила потерю самолета Су-22 над Алеппо - ИА REGNUM

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BBC Russian

Армия Сирии подтвердила потерю самолета Су-22 над Алеппо
ИА REGNUM
Дамаск, 5 Апреля 2016, 15:25 — REGNUM Вооруженые силы Сирии подтвердили, что самолет Су-22 правительственных сил был сбит в районе Алеппо, передает 5 апреля радио «Говорит Москва». Новости партнеров. Двойные стандарты: западные СМИ по-разному освещают теракты ...
Пилот сбитого Су-22 взят в плен боевиками «Джебхат-ан-Нусры»Росбалт.RU
В Сети появилось видео падения сирийского Су-22Взгляд
Сбитый террористами истребитель принадлежит сирийским ВВСВести.Ru
Московский комсомолец -РИА Новости -Утро.Ru -НТВ.ru
Все похожие статьи: 192 »

A Cello Sonata For Offshore Companies

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The major investigative report called the Panama Papers claims to have exposed the fortunes held in offshore accounts by a number of high-profile Russian figures. One of the central players is Sergei Roldugin, a famous cellist and a close friend of President Vladimir Putin.

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