Saturday, April 30, 2016

Baghdad Truck Bombing Kills 21 by Susannah George / AP Saturday April 30th, 2016 at 9:44 AM

Baghdad Truck Bombing Kills 21 

1 Share
(BAGHDAD) — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a bombing Saturday east of Baghdad, according to a statement posted on an IS-affiliated website. The attack killed at least 21 people and wounded at least 42 others, according to Iraqi police and hospital officials. The IS statement described the attack as a three-ton truck bombing.
The attack targeted Shiite civilians shopping in an open-air market selling fruit, vegetables and meat in Nahrawan, according to Iraq’s Interior Ministry. The IS statement and initial reports from local officials at the scene claimed the bombing targeted Shiite pilgrims walking to Baghdad’s holy Kadhimiyah shrine.
“It was not a road for people walking toward Kadhimiyah,” said Brig. Gen. Saad Mann, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry and Baghdad Operations Command.
The attack’s casualty figures were confirmed by police and hospital officials who spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the press.
Thousands of Shiite pilgrims from across Iraq are expected to travel on foot to the shrine of 8th-century Imam Moussa al-Kadhim over the coming days to commemorate the anniversary of his death. Security in the capital has been tightened in anticipation of the crowds; additional checkpoints have been set up and roads have been closed.
The Islamic State group regularly carries out attacks targeting Iraq’s Shiite majority, including attacks on Shiite pilgrims and civilians in Baghdad’s Shiite neighborhoods. IS views Shiites as apostates deserving of death.
Mann said the attack in Baghdad was carried out by IS in response to recent territorial losses in Iraq. “The only strategic weapon left for them are (suicide bombers),” Mann said. While IS still controls large swaths of Iraq’swest and north, the group has suffered a series of territorial losses over the past year. Most recently IS fighters were pushed out of the western town of Hit.
In the face of those losses, analysts and Iraqi security officials say the extremist group is increasingly turning to insurgent-style attacks in Baghdad and other areas far from the frontline fighting.
More than 40 civilians have been killed in high-profile bombings in Baghdad over the past month. On March 25th an IS-claimed suicide bombing attack on a stadium killed 29 and wounded 60.
Saturday’s attack also comes amid a political crisis in Iraq as the country’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is under increasing public pressure after repeated failed attempts at political reform to combat corruption and waste.
Read the whole story
 
· ·

Shia protesters storm Iraq parliament

1 Share
Iraqi Shia protesters storm Baghdad Green Zone, breaking into parliament after MPs fail to vote in new cabinet

Afghan forces launch push against Taliban

1 Share
KABUL (Reuters) - Government forces have launched operations against the Taliban in 18 provinces of Afghanistan as fighting has intensified since the start of the insurgents' spring offensive this month, the ministry of defense said on Saturday.
  

Protesters storm Iraqi parliament in Baghdad 

1 Share
Demonstrators calling for reform broke through security cordons in the capital, which is in the grip of a political crisis.





Read the whole story
 
· · ·

Anti-government protesters breach Baghdad’s Green Zone

1 Share
Dozens of protesters have climbed over the blast walls surrounding Baghdad’s highly-fortified Green Zone and could be seen storming into parliament, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government.

Baghdad’s Green Zone Breached by Anti-Government Protesters 

1 Share
(BAGHDAD) — Dozens of protesters have climbed over the blast walls surrounding Baghdad’s highly-fortified Green Zone and could be seen storming into parliament, carrying Iraqi flags and chanting against the government.
After months of protests, sit-ins and demonstrations outside Baghdad’s Green Zone — home to most ministries and foreign embassies — Saturday’s escalation marks the first time protesters have breached the compound’s walls.
Earlier Saturday, influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr accused Iraqi politicians of blocking efforts to implement political reform aimed at combating corruption and waste.
Increasingly tense protests and a series of failed reform measures have paralyzed Iraq’s government as the country struggles to fight the Islamic State group and respond to an economic crisis sparked in part by a plunge in global oil prices.
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 8

Hundreds of protesters storm Baghdad's Green Zone, enter parliament

1 Share
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Hundreds of supporters of Shi'ite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed Baghdad's Green Zone on Saturday and entered the parliament building after lawmakers failed to convene for a vote on overhauling the government, two Reuters witnesses said.
  

Air strikes pound Syrian city of Aleppo, death toll climbs

1 Share
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Nearly 30 air strikes hit rebel-held areas of Syria's northern city of Aleppo on Saturday and the total number of people killed by the warring sides after nine straight days of bombardment reached nearly 250, a monitoring group said.
  

Reformists poised for victory in Iran

1 Share
Moderates and reformists are poised to take control of parliament in Iran after strong gains at run-off elections, early results suggest.

Holy fire ceremony in Jerusalem draws thousands

1 Share
Thousands of Christians have gathered in Jerusalem for an ancient fire ceremony that celebrates Jesus’ resurrection.





Read the whole story
 
· · ·

Cruz endorsed in Indiana; Trump protested in California

1 Share
From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 03:12

Senior national correspondent John Roberts reports on state of GOP race for presidential nomination

Pentagon: Attack on hospital in Afghanistan not a war crime

1 Share
From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 02:54

National security correspondent Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 9

News Wrap: Protesters and police clash at Trump rally

1 Share
From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 07:37

In our news wrap Friday, there was a melee between police and protesters at a Trump rally in California for the second day in a row, Also, fresh violence rocked the Syrian city of Aleppo. Insurgents shelled a mosque, killing at least 15, and new air raids hit rebel-held areas.

How the U.S. military made the fatal mistake of bombing an Afghan hospital 

1 Share
From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 08:44

The Pentagon released a 3,000 page report Friday on the mistaken bombing of an Afghan hospital last year that killed dozens, detailing the major mistakes that led to the attack, while concluding that it did not constitute a war crime. Hari Sreenivasan takes an in-depth look at the series of errors with Jamie McIntyre of the Washington Examiner.

Honoring the bison as America’s national mammal

1 Share
From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 01:14

In our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, the Senate unanimously passed legislation designating the American bison as the country’s national mammal, in recognition of the bison’s historical and contemporary significance. The bill, which passed through the House Tuesday, will now head to the White House for approval.

Shields and Brooks on Trump’s primary sweep, Clinton’s ‘woman’s card’ 

1 Share
From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 13:05

Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including the increasing likelihood of Donald Trump as the GOP nominee, how Hillary Clinton’s is playing off one of Trump’s remarks and how Sen. Bernie Sanders can still influence the race.

Victim: 'You knowingly left me to die multiple times... 

1 Share
From: CNN
Duration: 01:31

Michelle Wilkins addresses Dynel Lane, the woman who cut her unborn baby from her womb, at the sentencing hearing.

PBS NewsHour full episode April 29, 2016 

1 Share
From: PBSNewsHour
Duration: 53:35

Friday on the NewsHour, what the Pentagon discovered in its investigation of last year’s bombing of an Afghan hospital. Also: Inside Virginia’s delegate dance, Shields and Brooks talk politics, a global walking tour of human history, “Shuffle Along” revives its predecessor's forgotten legacy, the West Wing gets a dose of “The West Wing” and the Senate approves a new national mammal.
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 10

FBI leadership program learns how to tackle tough issues

1 Share
From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 02:38

Chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge gets an exclusive look inside the FBI's national academy

President Obama Speaks at the International Jazz Day Concert

1 Share
From: whitehouse
Duration: 08:47

The White House

The political things that are on my mind 

1 Share
From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 06:32

'The O'Reilly Factor': Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points 4/29

President Obama on the order to kill Osama Bin Laden 

1 Share
From: CNN
Duration: 00:51

Monday marks five years since President Obama gave the order to have Osama Bin Laden killed. CNN's Peter Bergen spoke with the President about the order.

‘Polarizing & extreme populist’: Trump protesters rush California GOP convention 

1 Share
From: RussiaToday
Duration: 06:34

Police have squared off against hundreds of people protesting GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump outside the party convention in Burlingame, California, a day after a similar protest in Orange County turned violent.
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt
Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT
Listen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttv
RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

National press telling the truth about Trump, Clinton? - YouTube

1 Share
Published on Apr 29, 2016
Bernie Goldberg examines how the presidential race is being reported on 'The O'Reilly Factor'
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 11

National press telling the truth about Trump, Clinton?

1 Share
From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 06:04

Bernie Goldberg examines how the presidential race is being reported on 'The O'Reilly Factor'

Judge Sentences Woman Who Cut Fetus from Womb

1 Share
From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:51

A judge on Friday sentenced a Colorado woman who cut a baby from a stranger's womb to 100 years in prison, including the maximum penalties for attempted murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. (April 29)
Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
Get updates and more Breaking News here: http://smarturl.it/APBreakingNews
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 in History for April 30th 

1 Share
From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:32

Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
Highlights of this day in history: Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler commits suicide; End of the Vietnam War as Saigon falls; George Washington sworn in as America's first president; The Louisiana Purchase; Country singer Willie Nelson born. (April 30)
Highlights of the day in history - a retrospective view on political events, historic battles, and life changing decisions. More: http://smarturl.it/TodayInHistory
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
Read the whole story
 
· ·

Submerged Russian nuclear sub fires Kalibr cruise missile in Arctic drills 

1 Share
From: RussiaToday
Duration: 00:46

A Russian nuclear submarine, Severodvinsk, has carried out firing drills in the Barents Sea, successfully striking a coastal target in the Arctic with the latest Kalibr cruise missile from a submerged position.
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt
Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT
Listen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttv
RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Zuma could face over 700 corruption charges | DW News

1 Share
From: deutschewelleenglish
Duration: 01:28

For more DW news go to http://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097
A judge ruled that prosecutors should look again at a controversial defence deal from 1999. The new blow to South Africa's president is just the latest in a string of legal problems for him: Zuma has been repeatedly accused of financial wrongdoing.

Immigrants seek US citizenship to vote 

1 Share
From: AlJazeeraEnglish
Duration: 02:28

Trump's candidacy isn't only inspiring protests on the street.
His comments against immigrants, particularly targeting Mexican nationals, has pushed many Latino residents to seek U.S. citizenship... so that they can cast a vote in the presidential election later this year.
Tom Ackerman has more from Baltimore.
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 12

RAW: Deadly car blast targeting Shiite piligrims near Baghdad

1 Share
From: RussiaToday
Duration: 00:27

A car bomb has killed at least 21 people near the Iraqi capital security officials have said, according to AP. The bomb targeted Shiite pilgrims who were heading towards a shrine in the north of Baghdad.
READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/7bgj
COURTESY: RT's RUPTLY video agency, NO RE-UPLOAD, NO REUSE - FOR LICENSING, PLEASE, CONTACT http://ruptly.tv
Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnews
Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_com
Follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rt
Follow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RT
Listen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttv
RT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

"Русский вокзал" в немецком Вюнсдорфе, откуда шли поезда в Москву 

1 Share
From: deutschewellerussian
Duration: 05:38

Миллионы россиян знают, где находится Вюнсдорф. В этом немецком городе почти полвека располагался штаб Группы советских войск в Германии. В 1994 году войска ушли, и время в городке остановилось.
Другие видео DW на сайте http://dw.com/russian или на канале DW (на русском) в YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/user/deutschewellerussian

Китайский шпион во флоте США 

1 Share
From: golosamerikius
Duration: 04:27

В военно-морских силах Америки случился очередной шпионский скандал. Офицера морской разведки обвинили в передаче секретов то ли Тайваню, то ли Китаю, то ли обоим сразу.
Факты дела и то, как оно связано с борьбой США и КНР за влияние в регионе, в проекте "Контекст" объясняет политолог Ариэль Коэн.
Originally published at - http://www.golos-ameriki.ru/media/video/video-context-cohen-navyspy/3309622.html

Iraq car bomb: At least 24 people killed

1 Share
April 30, 2016, 3:52 PM (IDT)
A car bomb killed at least 24 people and wounded at least 42 others east of Baghdad on Saturday, police officials said.
The bomb, which was in a parked car, targeted a busy livestock market in Nahrawan town east of Baghdad.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed responsibility for a bombing.

 

Report: The FBI Will Be Able To Use The San Bernardino Hack Again - Gizmodo Australia (blog)

1 Share

Gizmodo Australia (blog)

Report: The FBI Will Be Able To Use The San Bernardino Hack Again
Gizmodo Australia (blog)
Ever since the FBI opted for plan B and resorted to using the services of some third party to gain access to the San Bernardino iPhone, speculation has been rife about whether the hack could be used again. A new report suggests it can — but only on ...
FBI paid under $1 mn to unlock San Bernardino shooter's iPhonedomain-B

all 88 news articles »

Supreme court grants FBI massive expansion of powers to hack computers - The Guardian

1 Share

The Guardian

Supreme court grants FBI massive expansion of powers to hack computers
The Guardian
At the FBI's request this week, the supreme court ruled that federal judges should be able to issue hacking warrants to federal law enforcement for anywhere in the US if the suspect has tried to hide their location, as criminal suspects are wont to do. 
Supreme Court grants FBI decentralized warrants, power to hack suspects anywhereExtremeTech

The Supreme Court Just Gave FBI the Power to Hack Innocent PeopleGizmodo 
The FBI just got more power to spy on your computerNew York Post

ThinkProgress-The Atlantic-FCW.com
all 76 
news articles »
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 13

Key Dem wants watchdog to probe little-known FBI program - The Hill

1 Share

The Hill

Key Dem wants watchdog to probe little-known FBI program
The Hill
“Referrals to the committee do not end or preclude FBI from conducting concurrent criminal investigations,” he added. “Moreover, intervention leaders are not protected from becoming a part of ongoing investigations and future criminal and judicial ...

Supreme Court grants FBI decentralized warrants, power to hack suspects anywhere - ExtremeTech

1 Share

ExtremeTech

Supreme Court grants FBI decentralized warrants, power to hack suspects anywhere
ExtremeTech
On Thursday, the US Supreme Court passed a proposed change to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules for Criminal Procedure, one of the main bodies of law that governs the powers and behavior of the FBI. Previously, Rule 41 stated that a judge may only hand out ...
The Supreme Court Just Gave FBI the Power to Hack Innocent PeopleGizmodo
Supreme court grants FBI massive expansion of powers to hack computersThe Guardian
Supreme Court Gives FBI More Hacking PowerThe Intercept
ThinkProgress -The Next Web -The Atlantic
all 71 news articles »

FBI Used FISA Warrant To Prosecute Boeing Employee For Child Porn Possession - Techdirt

1 Share

FBI Used FISA Warrant To Prosecute Boeing Employee For Child Porn Possession
Techdirt
Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post has the disturbing story of former Boeing employee Keith Gartenlaub, whose home was searched for evidence of his alleged spying for the Chinese. Specifically, the FBI was looking for documents about the military's ...

An exclusive look inside FBI's leadership academy for law enforcement executives - Fox News

1 Share

Fox News

An exclusive look inside FBI's leadership academy for law enforcement executives
Fox News
Famously known as the training grounds for incoming special agents, the FBI's sprawling academy in Quantico, Virginia also plays host to some 1,000 domestic and international law enforcement executives every year. Since 1935, the agency's prestigious ... 

and more »

Border inspectors seize 7 tons of marijuana in San Diego

1 Share
SAN DIEGO (AP) - U.S. authorities say they seized more than seven tons of marijuana inside a truck at a San Diego border crossing.
Customs and Border Protection said Friday that an unnamed 47-year-old Mexican driver attempted to enter the country from Tijuana, Mexico, declaring that he was carrying furniture. ...

Fact Check: Has President Obama 'Depleted' The Military? - NPR

1 Share

NPR

Fact Check: Has President Obama 'Depleted' The Military?
NPR
President Obama has slashed defense spending and will leave his successor with a weakermilitary force — or so Republican presidential candidates, led by Donald Trump, charge. THE CLAIM: "Our military is depleted," Trump said in his foreign-policy ...

and more »
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 14

Russian Su-27 Performed Flyby of US RC-135 Plane in the Baltic Sea

1 Share
As the US continues to patrol Russia's borders, it has accused another Su-27 fighter of performing a "barrel roll" over an American surveillance plane.

Work: U.S., NATO Must Use 21st-Century Approaches for Deterrence, Dominance

1 Share
The strategic landscape is at an inflection point that demands the United States and NATO use 21st century approaches to address threats large and small and to strengthen conventional deterrence against potential adversaries, Defense Secretary Bob Work said here yesterday.

Centcom Commander: Communications Breakdowns, Human Errors Led to Attack on Afghan Hospital

1 Share
Communications and equipment failures and human error compounded by the stress of combat contributed to the mistaken airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders trauma facility in Kunduz City, Afghanistan, last October, the commander of U.S. Central Command said here today.

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the Kunduz Investigation Report

1 Share
No description

Department of Defense Press Briefing by Army General Joseph Votel, commander, U.S. Central Command

1 Share
Presenter: Army General Joseph Votel, commander, U.S. Central Command

Why Aleppo is Syria's fiercest battleground

1 Share
As a two-month-old cease-fire collapses and peace talks stall, the northern city of Aleppo is once again a main battlefield in Syria's devastating civil war.
     
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 15

Defense official: Russians buzzed US plane in Baltic Sea

1 Share
A Russian fighter plane flew dangerously close to an American reconnaissance aircraft operating over international waters in the Baltic Sea Friday morning, the Pentagon said.
     

Connecticut votes to criminalize attaching weapons to drones

1 Share
Those who attach weapons to drones in Connecticut could soon face a serious criminal penalty.
     

Russian Jet Intercepted US Air Force Plane Over The Baltic Sea

1 Share
April 30, 2016, 3:41 PM (IDT)
A Russian Su-27 jet intercepted a U.S. Air Force RC-135 aircraft which was flying a reconnaissance mission in international airspace above the Baltic Sea, the Defense Department said Friday. The Pentagon said the interception was made in an "unsafe and unprofessional manner."
"The SU-27 intercepted the U.S. aircraft flying a routine route at high rate of speed from the side then proceeded to perform an aggressive maneuver that posed a threat to the safety of the U.S. aircrew in the RC-135," Lt. Col. Michelle L. Baldanza, a U.S. Army spokesperson, said.
Russia defended its interception of the U.S. Air Force RC-135 plane over the Baltic Sea, saying it sent its Su-27 fighter jet so close because the American plane had turned off its transponder, which is needed for identification.

Navy Commander Sentenced in Bribery Scandal

1 Share
A U.S. Navy commander was sentenced Friday to more than six years in prison for giving classified information on ship deployments to an Asian defense contractor in return for cash, gifts and prostitutes. Commander Michael Vannak Khem Misiewicz was the latest military official to receive a sentence in the "bribes-for-business" scandal, which has primarily involved the U.S. Seventh Fleet. Nine other individuals have been charged in connection with the scheme, and several admirals were censured over it, effectively ending their careers. In addition to jail time of 78 months, Misiewicz was fined $100,000 in a San Diego federal court on one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery. His sentence was the longest handed out so far in the scandal. Misiewicz pleaded guilty of providing classified information to a Singapore company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), which used the knowledge to beat competitors and overbill the Navy by millions of dollars. In return, Misiewicz admitted that he was given cash, a designer handbag for his wife, luxury travel for his family and the services of prostitutes. Misiewicz told prosecutors that he and his conspirators took steps to avoid detection by using clandestine email accounts, which they periodically deleted. Attorneys for Misiewicz tried to downplay the sensitivity of the classified material that he gave to GDMA and said the commander was not aware the contractor was defrauding the Navy. GDMA's work for the Navy involved tending to and supplying warships when they arrived in various East Asian ports. Prosecutors said Misiewicz and his co-conspirators gave the defense contractor detailed information regarding ship deployments so the company would be ready to bid on servicing the U.S. ships upon arrival. Misiewicz was also accused of using his influence to divert ships to Asian ports that were controlled by GDMA, allowing the contractor to inflate prices. The head of GDMA, Leonard Francis, has pleaded guilty of bribery and fraud charges and is waiting sentencing. Known in military circles as "Fat Leonard" because of his large size, Francis agreed to forfeit $35 million he made in the scheme. GDMA has serviced Navy ships in Asia for 25 years.

Read the whole story
 
· ·

Debt Collectors Adopt Mob Tactics as Russians Struggle to Pay Bills - New York Times

1 Share

New York Times

Debt Collectors Adopt Mob Tactics as Russians Struggle to Pay Bills
New York Times
In March, for the first time since 2008, Russians spent over half their income on food, beverages and cigarettes, according to government statistics, and more people are resorting to borrowing at astronomical interest rates. Credit Pavel Golovkin ...

Moscow Cools Anti-Western Rhetoric at Security Conference

1 Share
Tensions between Russia and the United States have escalated over the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, but there were signs at an international security conference in Moscow this month that the Kremlin may be softening its tone toward the West. The fifth annual Moscow Conference on International Security, hosted by Russia’s Defense Ministry April 27-28, included top military officials from more than 80 countries, as well as influential Russians seen as barometers of the Kremlin's attitude.   For example, the secretary of the Kremlin’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, who previously headed the Federal Security Service, Russia’s main security agency, has frequently given speeches at various forums condemning what he describes as the United States' "hostile" policy toward Russia. Kind words At the Moscow conference, however, he conveyed greetings from President Vladimir Putin that included uncharacteristically benevolent words about the U.S. "Cooperation between Russia and the U.S. on Syria is a clear example of the fact that such cooperation is not only possible, but effective,” Patrushev said. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu sent what appeared to be an even clearer signal to Washington: "Our countries are bound to cooperate more closely in the fight against international terrorism. We are ready; the ball is in Washington’s court.” Shoigu even spoke rather benignly about NATO, stating, "We prefer to communicate with the alliance at the negotiating table, not through gun sights." German analyst However, perhaps the most interesting signal that Moscow would like to reduce tensions with the West, and even cooperate in matters of security, came from a man many observers see as a kind of negotiator between the West and Russia on sensitive matters: Alexander Rahr, a well-known German political analyst who advises Gazprom, Russia’s giant state-controlled natural gas monopoly. Rahr is a member of the Valdai Discussion Club, a forum at which political analysts and journalists from around the world have been meeting with Putin annually since the earliest days of his presidency. At the end of 2013, Rahr took part in negotiations for the release from prison of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon who became a Putin foe. Rahr said at the security conference that "Russia is committed to cooperation with the West, not as an underling to liberal values, but based on pragmatic interests, including economic ones." He said in order to "limit the magnitude" of the "conflict of values" between the two sides, a new "Charter of Paris" should be signed on the basis of a new “Helsinki” process. Rahr was referring to the charter signed in 1990 by European governments, the United States and the Soviet Union, on the basis of the Helsinki Accords, which were signed 15 years earlier in an attempt to reduce tensions between the Soviet bloc and the West. According to some observers, given Rahr’s close connections to the Kremlin, his comments most likely reflect the views of those in power in Moscow. Soviet position Military expert Alexander Golts, a visiting scholar at Sweden’s Uppsala University, believes Russia is seeking from the West what the Soviet Union sought nearly a half century ago. "The Cold War that raged between the Soviet Union and the countries of the West for 40 years was a two-sided coin," Golts told VOA's Russian service. "One side [of the coin] was ‘mutual military deterrence’ and the other side was ‘peaceful coexistence.’ That’s the kind of peaceful coexistence that Russia now wants — one in which the West stops trying to teach Russia something, stops trying to fight for political freedom inside Russia and [stops] helping those who are fighting for those political freedoms.” The Kremlin’s current leaders, said Golts, want the West to abandon any attempts to foster a “color revolution” in Russia, like those that took place in Ukraine and Georgia. According to Golts, the Russian proposal to "peacefully coexist" with the West comes with another condition, besides noninterference in Russia’s internal affairs. "Certainly, on the list of Russian demands is the thesis, ‘Forget about Crimea,’ " he said. “And while it is clear that Crimea will not be forgotten, let’s remember the previous Cold War: The United States did not recognize the annexation of the Baltic states, but this did not stop [the two sides from] reaching agreements on how to avoid blowing up the planet. And even after Afghanistan [the Soviet invasion of 1979], more or less substantive negotiations on many issues took place.” Political purposes Still, Russia will maintain some level of tension with the West for domestic political reasons, Golts said, adding that in this regard, there are significant differences with the Soviet period. “It is obvious that Moscow doesn't have the kind of resources for waging a Cold War that were available to the Soviet Union,” he said. “[It has] no allies — in fact, the economy is very dependent on the outside world. [It has] an aging population, from which a vast army cannot be created. And, in this sense, the situation is rather more risky, because out of its old resources, the only [ones] that remain are its nuclear weapons. "I believe that the Kremlin’s policy will become increasingly dangerous precisely in the nuclear field. The Kremlin will need to translate its gigantic nuclear arsenal into political potential." Thus, despite the benign tone of Russian official comments at the security conference, tensions between Russia and the West will increase. "This means that the West will more and more move toward military containment of Russia, to something resembling the policy of [U.S. President Ronald] Reagan,” he said. “It makes the situation more dangerous: We are moving toward an increasing military confrontation." Andrei Soldatov, an expert on Russia’s security services and author of The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB, also noted that Russian officials at the conference sounded much less hostile toward the United States than in previous years. 'Softened' rhetoric "The rhetoric was really considerably softened compared to last year,” he said. “Last year, the U.S. was directly referred to as the main ‘bad guy’; this time, they simply referred to ‘some countries.’ And when the United States was mentioned, it was called a partner, with which [Russia] has good relations in the anti-terrorism area, and that it would be a good thing to expand [these relations]." However, such signals are directed exclusively at the outside world, Soldatov said, adding that inside Russia, the West continues to be portrayed as the place from which the threat of "color revolutions" emanates. "There is a narrative that is intended for the domestic audience, and another for external use only,” he said. “Inside the country, they need to make clear statements about how … the country is surrounded by enemies, but this narrative is not intended for practical use in the outside world — for example, in negotiations with the Americans. "The Americans, by contrast, are clearly given to understand that Syria is the now the issue that can improve relations, and this is even being said by people from the Russian security services. But both narratives are simply rhetoric to achieve specific goals."

Read the whole story
 
· · · · ·
Next Page of Stories
Loading...
Page 16

U.S., Russia Broker Renewed Truce In Parts Of Syria, But Not Aleppo 

1 Share
The United States and Russia brokered a renewed cease-fire in parts of Syria, but excluded the main battlefield of Aleppo where intense fighting has killed more than 200 people in the last week.

Russia takes one step forward, two steps back - Deutsche Welle

1 Share

Deutsche Welle

Russia takes one step forward, two steps back
Deutsche Welle
One step forward and two steps back is often the way with policies in any country but withRussia the path is far more random. Let's take HIV/AIDS as an example. The number of diagnosed cases in Russia is now more than 1 million, and after decades of ...

Украинский вице-премьер переименовал «Евровидение» в «Рашовидение» - Lenta.ru

1 Share

Lenta.ru

Украинский вице-премьер переименовал «Евровидение» в «Рашовидение»
Lenta.ru
Украинский вице-премьер Вячеслав Кириленко прокомментировал в своем Twitter решение организаторов музыкального конкурса «Евровидение» о запрете проносить на мероприятие крымско-татарские флаги. «То есть администраторы "Евровидения" что, признают аннексию Крыма?!

и другие »

A Very Expensive Poison by Luke Harding – a dramatic account of Litvinenko’s murder 

1 Share
When Alexander Litvinenko died in a London hospital in 2006, the suggestion that Putin ordered his murder seemed outlandish. Now it appears probable. This book tells a racy story
On 23 November 2006 a man died in a London hospital. He had been ill for just over three weeks. He had deteriorated catastrophically and, for most of the length of his illness, mysteriously, but by the time of his death the basic facts were clear. He was a former officer of the Russian secret police, and he had been poisoned with a radioactive substance. One other thing was clear to him and to those closest to him: the murder had been ordered, or at least approved, by President Vladimir Putin himself. To much of the rest of the world, that claim seemed outlandish. Over the years, however, the world’s understanding of Putin grew, and so, gradually, did the understanding that a murder like this could have – and probably would have – been commissioned by him. In January of this year, following a months-long inquiry, retired judge Sir Robert Owen concluded that Putin had “probably approved” the killing.
We don’t know how the polonium was deployed. The forensic evidence suggests that either Lugovoi or Kovtun slipped it into Litvinenko’s cup of tea or water. Litvinenko failed to notice, or was otherwise distracted. For the next thirty minutes, the tea or glass of water sat in front of him, a little to his left – an invisible nuclear murder weapon.
The conversation was of Gazprom. Lugovoi and Kovtun must have been barely listening: for them, the question was, would Litvinenko drink?
Litvinenko didn’t drink. The plan – pre-meditated, for sure, but possibly improvised in its execution – failed. One can only imagine what must have been going through Lugovoi’s and Kovtun’s minds when the meeting broke up, his drink untouched.
Continue reading...

Today's Headlines and Commentary 

1 Share
Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford faced some skepticism on Capitol Hill as they attempted to make the case that President Obama’s strategy in Iraq and Syria is making headway against the Islamic State. The Washington Post tells us that at the hearing, both military leaders “described growing momentum against the group, which has lost ground to U.S.-backed fighters in Syria and Iraq in recent months. Carter and Dunford also outlined new military measures designed to make local forces more effective.” Facing skeptics on the Hill, Secretary Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “the bottom line is this: We can’t ignore this fight, but we also can’t win it entirely from the outside in. That’s why we’re helping capable, motivated local forces in every way we can, without taking their place.”
During the same hearing, Secretary Carter also charged Congress with micromanaging the fight in SyriaPolitico reports that the secretary suggested that “Congress is using its power of the purse to micromanage the U.S. war plan in Syria in ways that risk ‘inhibiting results.’” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) shot back, pointing out that “congressional oversight is necessary given the failure of a previous effort to train and equip Syrian rebels that resulted in just four or five trained fighters willing to take on the Islamic State.”
When the lawmakers switched to questioning the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dunford conceded that the U.S.-backed coalition does not yet have the Sunni Arab forces it needs to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State. The Wall Street Journal shares that “the Pentagon has been relying primarily on Kurdish forces to isolate Raqqa… but U.S. officials acknowledge that only Sunni Arab forces should ultimately liberate the city from Islamic State, because Raqqa’s mainly Sunni Arab population could regard Kurdish troops as occupiers.” During the hearing, General Duford acknowledged that Kurdish forces would likely not be able to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State by themselves or be able to hold the city.
While the top defense officials attempted to convince Congress that the fight against the Islamic State is showing some progress, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a bombing in Saudi Arabia. The Associated Press reports that the attack took place in eastern Saudi Arabia and wounded one police officer. The AP has more.
Yesterday, the U.S. military “retreated from a top general’s claim this week that the number of foreign fighters joining Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has plummeted by as much as 90 percent.” Reuters shares that “Air Force General Peter Gersten, deputy commander for operations and intelligence in the U.S.-led coalition battling Islamic State, told reporters on Tuesday that the number of foreign fighters joining the group had fallen to 200 a month from between 1,500 and 2,000.” According to the Baghdad-based spokesman for the coalition, U.S. Army Colonel Steve Warren, the official estimate is higher—somewhere in the neighborhood of 500and it remains unclear why Gersten used a figure of 200. Read more from Reuters.
Over in Libya, the United States has beefed up its surveillance drones to gather intelligence and obtain a better picture of Islamic State activity. The Associated Press tells us that “the decision allows the Pentagon to shift unmanned aircraft into Libya” in the event that additional military strikes against the Islamic State are authorized.
Fox News has the latest on Jihadi John and how he was able to evade British authorities. Allegedly, according to a fellow jihadist who travelled with him, Jihadi John rode in the back of a truck to exit the United Kingdom before boarding a flight in Belgium, all while being on a terror watch list. Check out the rest from Fox News here.
Dominic Tierney of the Atlantic has a piece on the Islamic State and the so called “loser effect.” Can the brutal terrorist organization survive the label of “loser” given their recent defeats in Iraq and Syria? Read more from the Atlantic here.
The Syrian military has announced a temporary “regime of calm” that will be enforced in parts of Syria’s Latakia and Damascus regions in order to “secure the implementation of the agreed cessation of hostilities.” Reuters reports that the “statement from the Syrian Army General Command did not mention the city of Aleppo, focus of fighting, and did not explain what military or nonmilitary action a ‘regime of calm’ would involve.” According to Reuters, the “regime of calm” is sponsored by both the United States and Russia.
Meanwhile, despite calls for calm in certain parts of the country, another medical facility in Aleppo was hit by airstrikes earlier this morningAl Jazeera tells us that the strike on the al Marja neighborhood wounded several people, including at least one nurse, while local sources said that at least five people were killed. Additionally, violence plagued other parts of Aleppo too. The Associated Press reports that insurgents shelled a mosque during Friday prayers killing at least 15 people and wounded 30 more. The violence in Aleppo has killed more than 200 civilians in the last week. In response to the surge in violence, the United Nations called the situation in Aleppo catastrophic.
Russia is accusing the United States of violating Syria’s sovereignty. According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, “the deployment of U.S. special forces to Syria without coordination with Damascus violates Syria’s sovereignty.” Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) seemed to agree yesterday, calling the Obama administration “hypocritical for criticising Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when it has put troops into Syria without permission.” The Hill reports that “Kaine pointed out that Russia’s own military campaign in Syria is internationally legal - unlike the U.S.’s - because Syrian President Bashar Assad invited Russian forces in.” Kaine has repeatedly pushed the Administration to secure a new authorization for the use of force against ISIS and to clarify the international legal authority under which the United States is operating in Syria. 
The political situation in Iraq does not look too promising. The New York Times tells us that “with tens of thousands of protesters marching in the streets of Baghdad to demand changes in government, Iraq’s Shiite prime minister, Haider al Abadi, appeared before Parliament this week hoping to speed the process by introducing a slate of new ministers. He was greeted by lawmakers who tossed water bottles at him, banged on tables, and chanted for his ouster.” Most of the political agenda for the session of Parliament fell short and the new session, which was set to begin on Thursday, was canceled. The Times poses the question of whether Iraq will ever have a functioning state at peace with itself. Indeed, the whispers that just maybe partition will ultimately be necessary are growing louder. Read the rest from the Times here.
European nations continue to crack down on suspected Islamic State operatives. The Guardianreports that “two men from Birmingham have appeared in court charged with supplying money to Mohamed Abrini, alleged to be involved in the terrorist attacks on Paris.” Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Zakaria Boufassil, and Soumaya Boufassil all face charges of terrorism financing. The Wall Street Journal adds that the three men were charged with terrorism offenses “nearly two weeks after they were detained in an investigation with French and Belgian authorities into possible U.K. links to the recent Paris and Brussels terror attacks.”
Belgian security officials had information as early as 2014 that the Abdeslam brothers were plotting “an irreversible act.” Politico shares that a classified police watchdog’s report into the country’s response to the Paris attacks “says the brother’s radicalization, links to Paris attacks mastermind Abdelhamid Abaaoud, and their intention to commit some sort of act were known to Belgian security forces well before the attacks.” According to the Belgian police’s anti-terror unit, “it could not file a report on the brother into the central police database because it could not be established with certainty which brother was involved.”
Over in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined France’s initiative to restart peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Mr. Netanyahu, in statements from his office, said that “Israel adheres to its position that the best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine is direct, bilateral negotiations. Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from direct negotiations.” The Wall Street Journal has more.
The United States is prepared to grant Israel the largest package of military aid ever provided to another nation, if only Israel will accept it. The rift between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu is impeding "the assistance despite months of negotiations.” The New York Times reports that “American officials have balked as their Israeli counterparts insisted on more generous terms for a new 10-year military aid package that could top $40 billion. The divide, which could have broad national security implications for both the United States and Israel, is exacerbated by the pent-up animosity between Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu, which has been stoked by their radically divergent views of the nuclear deal with Iran.” Read more from the New York Times here.
Iran has asked United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to convince the United States to stop violating state immunity after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing the families of Beirut bombing victims to collect billions of dollars in judgments against Iran. Reuters tells us that “Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to Ban a week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, calling on the Secretary-General to use his ‘good offices to induce the U.S. government to adhere to its international obligations.” The letter comes amid increasing Iranian frustration “at what they say is the failure of the United States to keep its promises regarding sanctions relief agreed under” the nuclear deal struck last summer. The New York Times shares that Iran has called the U.S. Supreme Court ruling “an outrageous robbery” and also threatened an unspecified retaliation. Read more on that here.
Following two more missile tests on Thursday by North Korea, the U.N. Security Council yesterday held an emergency session to condemn the tests. According to Chinese officials, the UNSC is preparing a response to North Korea’s latest missile tests. The BBC reports that in a rare comment on the situation, Chinese President Xi Jinping said yesterday that “China will never allow war to erupt on the peninsula” and that China was committed to ensuring stability in the region.  
In yet another provocative move, North Korean authorities sentenced Kim Dong-chil, an American held in the country since October, to 10 years of hard labor on charges of espionage today. Mr. Kim’s sentence was handed down by North Korea’s Supreme Court and cannot be appealed. The sentencing comes just over a month after the DPRK sentenced another American, Otto F. Warmbier, to 15 years of hard labor for trying to steal a political banner. While Mr. Kim "confessed" to his crimes, the Times notes that North Korea has regularly coerced confessions.
Following a meeting in Beijing yesterday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed opposition to the proposed U.S. deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, saying that “relevant countries shouldn’t use Pyongyang’s acts as a pretext to increase their military presence on the Korean Peninsula.” Minister Wang said that the deployment could “directly affect strategic security of Russia and China.” The Post reports that the two ministers also expressed their agreement that outside powers should not interfere in the South China Sea, a clear reference to the United States, which while not taking a position on individual questions of sovereignty, has challenged Beijing’s broad claims in the region.
Bloomberg reports that China “has denied a U.S. carrier strike group’s request for a port visit to Hong Kong next week.” The ministry provided no explanation for the move, but the USS Stennis has been on patrol in the South China Sea and U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Philippines Defense Minister Voltaire Gazmin inspected the ship in mid April.  
Yesterday, the Supreme Court approved of a measure that will provide the FBI a tad bit more power to hack into computersForeign Policy has the latest on the changes to Rule 41, writing that the court “approved a change to the federal rules of criminal procedure that grants judges the power to issue warrants to seize information on computers located outside their districts.” Read more on the rulinghere.
However, one senator is not too fond of the new rules. The Hill tells us that Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is trying to block the FBI’s new hacking powers. Senator Wyden, the prominent digital privacy advocate on the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated that “these amendments will have significant consequences for Americans’ privacy and the scope of the government’s powers to conduct remote surveillance and searches of electronic devices.”
Earlier this month, it was widely reported that the FBI had paid an estimated $1.3 million to the third-party to unlock the infamous San Bernardino iPhone. However, Reuters reports today that the FBI spent under $1 million, according to some U.S. government sources. Allegedly, the FBI has physical possession of the mechanism used to unlock the phone, but does not know the details on how that mechanism works.
Five separate Islamic State-linked hacking organizations have merged together to form the "United Cyber Caliphate." In an effort to organize its cyber efforts, the terrorist group appears to be shifting from amateur attacks to serious recruitment of black hat hackers. Read more on the new Islamic State cyber alliance here.
Yesterday, the House Armed Services Committee passed the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017Defense News tells us that NDAA “uses the war account to skirt statutory budget caps -  and salvage items cut from the Obama administration’s budget and placed on the services’ ‘unfunded priorities’ lists. That includes 27,000 more active-duty troops and 25,000 reservists; $3 billion for 14 more F/A-18E/F aircraft for the Navy and 11 more F-35 joint strike fighters across the services; and a $2 billion plus-up to the Navy’s shipbuilding budget.” Defense News has more on the NDAA here.
Last summer, Sgt. 1st class Charles Martland was told that he was to be kicked out of the Army for beating up an accused child rapist in Afghanistan. Now the Army has reversed its decision and will allow the Green Beret to stay in uniform. Read more from the Army Times.  
Today, General Joseph Votel announced that 16 military members have been disciplined for their roles in U.S. aerial gunship attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan that killed 42 people. The Associated Press reports that, according to Gen. Votel, the attack “occurred because of human errors, process mistakes, and equipment failures” and also that “none of the aircrew or U.S. ground troops knew the target was a hospital.” None of the 16 military personnel face criminal charges. The Washington Post tells us that the “failures that led to the disaster did not amount to a ‘war crime’ because they were not intentional.”
Parting ShotDon’t count on any Taliban insurgents to sing the McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” jingle any time soonNBC News reported earlier today that the fast food mega-chain opened its first restaurant in Pakistan’s western city of Quetta, the home of the Taliban’s ruling council. However, one of the fighters told NBC News that the Taliban doesn’t even consider McDonald’s food. A senior member of the Afghan Taliban told NBC News that he had tried McDonald’s once, but it was “too expensive” and “tasteless.” No happy meals for those guys.
ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare
Benjamin Wittes released the “Cyber Bombs” edition of Rational Security.
Robert Loeb and Helen Klein took a comprehensive look at the recently declassified FISC orders.
Paul Rosenzweig started to taste the victory in his wagers on the Apple vulnerability disclosure question.
Laura Dean outlined child marriage and divorce in Zaatari in the latest installment of her series Syria Displaced.
Cody Poplin flagged the Office of the Director of National Intelligence General Counsel Robert Litt’s new essay in the Yale Law Journal entitled “The Fourth Amendment in the Information Age.”
Stewart Baker issued the latest edition of the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring an ICCE Panel on Encryption and National Security.
Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us onTwitter 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.
Read the whole story
 
· · · · · · · · · ·

Jobs and Trade Agreements Top Concern Among Indiana Workers

1 Share
On the presidential campaign trail in the Midwest state of Indiana, a top concern is the loss of manufacturing jobs, which many workers blame on trade agreements like the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports, while several presidential candidates oppose such accords, they cannot necessarily expect support from workers facing unemployment.