Saturday, December 3, 2016

"GHOSTSHIP" - this what appears to be written on the wall of Oakland, California building that was on fire. It does look like a message, especially together with the other "scary" graffiti drawings on the same wall. Yeah, some "dance party" it was. It looks like we are witnessing the International Parade of Intelligence Warriors on American soil, some type of the "Farewell, dear brother Barak" festival...

Image result for oakland california fire warehouse wall

"GHOSTSHIP" - this what appears to be written on the wall of Oakland, California building that was on fire. It does look like a message, especially together with the other "scary" graffiti drawings on the same wall. Yeah, some "dance party" it was. 

Image result for oakland california fire warehouse wall

Image result for oakland california fire warehouse wall

Fire Erupts at Oakland, Calif., Warehouse Party, Killing Nine - WSJ: 

Blaze broke out during an event featuring musician Golden Donna’s 100% Silk West Coast tour 

By ALEJANDRO LAZO and  ZUSHA ELINSON
Updated Dec. 3, 2016 5:40 p.m. ET
20 COMMENTS
OAKLAND, Calif.—A warehouse fire in Oakland, Calif., killed at least nine people, with the death toll expected to climb significantly.

“We are prepared to deal with several dozen fatalities as a result of this fire,” Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County, Calif., Sheriff’s Office, said during a news conference Saturday. The blaze broke out late Friday night at a warehouse party and electronic-music performance in the city’s Fruitvale district.

About 25 people were missing as of Saturday morning, according to Sgt. Kelly. “We are prepared to deal with up to 30 to 40 deceased people,” he said.

On Saturday, the Alameda County sheriff’s department had set up several tents as workers began recovering bodies from the warehouse.

“Last night’s fire was an immense tragedy. I am grateful to our first responders for their efforts to deal with this deadly fire,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Our focus right now is on the victims and their families and ensuring that we have a full accounting for everyone who was impacted by this tragedy.”

The warehouse was a communal living site, with at least nine people living there full-time, and very little privacy, said Peter Veilleux. He described it as an artist community, with visual artists, musicians and others in residence.

Mr. Veilleux, 53 years old, said he knew the couple who had organized the living situation at the warehouse. He said the couple lives there with three children under the age of 10.

Parties took place at the warehouse approximately every weekend, Mr. Veilleux said. The electronic-music performance at the warehouse on Friday featured the musician Golden Donna, whose real name is Joel Shanahan. According to a post Saturday on Mr. Shanahan’s Facebook page, he survived and is safe.

A Los Angeles based electronic dance music label known as 100% Silk organized the music tour that included Friday’s performance.

“What happened in Oakland is an unbelievable tragedy, a nightmare scenario” the label said in a Facebook post Saturday afternoon. “We are a very tight community of artists and we are all praying, sending love and condolences to everyone involved and their families.”


Write to Alejandro Lazo at alejandro.lazo@wsj.com and Zusha Elinson at zusha.elinson@wsj.com

Image result for oakland california fire warehouse wall

10-alarm fire raging in Cambridge, several buildings engulfed - The Boston Globe
Sat, 03 Dec 2016 16:54:42 -0500
Top Stories - Google News


The Boston Globe



10-alarm fire raging in Cambridge, several buildings engulfed
The Boston Globe
CAMBRIDGE -- Firefighters from several communities were on scene Saturday afternoon at a 10-alarm fire in Cambridge, where multiple buildings are in flames, according to area fire officials. Authorities were alerted to the massive blaze on Berkshire ...
Firefighters battle 10-alarm blaze in Cambridge, Mass.CBS News
Firefighters battle major structure fire in Cambridge, MassReuters
Cambridge Fire Blazing; Neighborhood Burning, 10th Alarm Struck [VIDEO]Patch.com
NECN -WBUR -Boston Herald
all 20 news articles »


Please, also note this article:

Iran says extension of sanctions act shows U.S. unreliable - Reuters

Iran definitely likes to play with fire, it is her historical - religious - cultural tradition, fire has a special fascination for them, and for some reasons. 

See (just see) also: arson and fires as a tool of iranian intelligence 

Image result for writing on wall

The Iranians, or rather the Persians, the later Farsi (or Farce? - I always mix it up) speakers, liked to write on their walls also.

No attribution yet, just an observation. 


Image result for farsi language

It looks like the Persian - Iranian fascination with fire comes from their ancient religion: 


Image result for zoroastrianism

Or:


Fire worship




Related image


It looks like we are witnessing the International Parade of Intelligence Warriors on American soil, some type of the "Farewell, dear brother Barak" festival. 

A lot of walls, and a lot of writings on them


Belshazzar's feast - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belshazzar's_feast

Belshazzar's feast, or the story of the writing on the wall tells how Belshazzar holds a great feast and drinks from the temple vessels. A hand appears and writes ...

The writing on the wall (disambiguation) - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_writing_on_the_wall_(disambiguation)

"The writing on the wall" is an idiomatic expression that suggests a portent of doom or misfortune, based on the story of Belshazzar's feast in the book of Daniel.
Image result for writing on wall

Image result for writing on wall

Image result for writing on wall

Whitewash it or greenwash it, still the same writing. 


Image result for writing on wall


Image result for writing on wall

Image result for writing on wall

Yeah, they do like to write all sort of gibberish on other peoples' walls with their dirty, sharp, way outgrown fingernails.

Image result for writing on wall

Nice ass. Just a little bit too big, though: almost pops out of its jeans, and does not look sufficiently powerful, not enough gym  hours at the gluteus iron-pumping machines. Something is missing there: some subtle elegance. He probably is not in the FBI, just a big ass provoker, sits at his computer all day long and grows out his big fat ass, and also writes on the other peoples' front walls at his computer-spared time. Or maybe he is in the FBI, and the wall-writing is his first assignment? Who knows? Do not worry, even if he supposedly is not the FBI, they will recruit him very fast: they like big fat asses. Do that, boys: find him in the middle of nowhere, and flip him over, you know how to do it. 
On further inspection and careful analysis, I have concluded, that this is most likely, a female ass (most cute, gorgeous and seductive, incomparable in its imperfect perfection - and now they will label me a "sexist"), these two girls might be just the two lesbians writing on some self-expression wall, may Hashem bless them. This, of course, changes all the above impressions and conclusions, except, probably the FBI part, they are the equal opportunity flippers; however without going into further dangerous details, I must say that this probable error speaks volumes, although in somewhat subdued and softer voice - in sotto voce, about the importance of "further inspections and careful analysis":  

Image result for writing on wall

Image result for writing on wall

Image result for writing on wall

Finally, just a plain wall: it looks so much fuller of meanings, this reddish-yellowish BRICS wall. 

See also (but please, do not ssy too much) this and other related subjects, and also do your own smart searches: 

Russians? : Gatlinburg

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Why is gatlinburg filled with Russians most of them being prostitutes?

russians in gatlinburg - Google Search

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Russians Accused of Starting Fires In Gatlinburg, TN – Dave Hodges ...

<a href="http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/.../" rel="nofollow">www.thecommonsenseshow.com/.../</a>russians-accused-of-starting-fires-in-gatlinburg-tn...
18 hours ago - One source is direct eyewitness to this fact. Interestingly, the Russians in Gatlinburgare notoriously stand-offish. However, this eyewitness says ...

gatlinburg tennessee fire - Google Search

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Story image for gatlinburg tennessee fire from WBIR.com

Man's wife found dead; still searching for daughters after Gatlinburg ...

<a href="http://WBIR.com" rel="nofollow">WBIR.com</a>-2 hours ago
... and right here in East Tennessee are praying for the Reed Family. ... They didn't realize how close the fire was until his wife, Constance, ...
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Fires ravage GatlinburgTennessee tourist mecca
In-Depth-Atlanta Journal Constitution-Nov 30, 2016

9 die in California building fire 

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From: CNN
Duration: 01:20

A fire broke out at a mixed residential and work building in Oakland, California, killing at least nine people and leaving about 25 people missing, city Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said.

Report: At least 9 dead in Oakland warehouse fire

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 00:25

At least 13 people are missing after a warehouse caught fire during a party

9 die in California building fire 

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From: CNN
Duration: 01:09

A fire broke out at a mixed residential and work building in Oakland, California, killing at least nine people and leaving about 25 people missing, city Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed said.
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Oakland police prepared for 'mass casualty event' after fire

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 01:43

Sergeant provides update after fire rips through a warehouse during a party

Dozens unaccounted for after deadly warehouse fire

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 03:20

Claudia Cowan provides latest details from Oakland, California

Fire rips through Oakland warehouse during party

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From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 02:37

Fire chief says there are nine confirmed fatalities as the search of the building continues

Panama Struggles to Shed Its Image as a Magnet for Shady Deals

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The president named a panel to recommend how to make Panama’s financial sector more transparent, but that effort did not work out as planned.

Relatives of Flight 370’s missing seek help in Madagascar

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Relatives of some of the 239 people who were on a Malaysia Airlines plane that vanished in 2014 have arrived in Madagascar to ask for help in the search for debris from the missing aircraft that may have drifted across the Indian Ocean.

Putin Calls for Cooperation With U.S.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin reached out to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in a nationally televised address, appealing to the U.S. to join in Russia’s “fight against international terrorism.”

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Trump's Taiwan Call Raises Fresh Uncertainty Over China Relations

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s Friday telephone call with Taiwan’s president is plunging U.S.-China relations into uncertainty, potentially jeopardizing crucial cooperation on a range of issues.

Police: stolen Nazi camp gate probe could be complicated

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Norwegian police say the investigation into how an iron gate stolen from the Nazis’ Dachau concentration camp in southern Germany ended up in western Norway may be complicated because “no useable evidence” has been found.





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Donald Trump’s Phone Conversation With the Leader of Pakistan Was Reckless and Bizarre 

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There are few foreign policy topics quite as complicated as the relationship between India and Pakistan, South Asia’s nuclear-armed nemeses. Any world leader approaching the issue even obliquely must surely see the “Handle With Care” label from miles away, given the possibility of nuclear conflict.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, however, doesn’t seem to have read the memo, injecting a pronounced element of uncertainty about the position of the world’s only remaining superpower on this most complex of subjects in a call with the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
According to a readout of the conversation from the Pakistani authorities, he apparently agreed to visit the country and said he was “ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems.” He reportedly added: “You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way.”
The hilarity of his hyperbole aside, Trump’s intervention could have serious consequences for both regional and global stability.
First, a quick summary: since the British quit the subcontinent in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought four wars, of which three have been over the northern region of Kashmir. Heavily militarized, and divided between the two by a de facto border called the Line of Control (LoC), Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both New Delhi and Islamabad. With tensions in the region climbing again in recent months, another war, many fear, could potentially go nuclear. Against this backdrop, Washington has a particularly tricky balancing act to negotiate if it is to help maintain stability.
Ties with Islamabad have deteriorated in recent years, with questions about Pakistan’s role in abetting terror groups souring relations. But although military and economic aid to Pakistan has been cut, reflecting U.S. frustration with Islamabad’s support for anti-American insurgent outfits such as the Taliban, the cord hasn’t been severed; Pakistan continues to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. financial support, and some in Washington question whether America can afford to walk away.
Senator John McCain made this argument in the Financial Times earlier this year, citing the continued US troop presence in nearby Afghanistan. “The U.S. mission in Afghanistan is immeasurably more difficult without Pakistan’s co-operation in taking on terrorists that operate across the Afghan-Pakistani border at will,” he wrote, adding: “Likewise, the strategic imperative for improved relations between the US and Pakistan is clear — for the safety of American troops and the success of their mission in Afghanistan, for the stability of the region and for the national security of both Pakistan and the U.S.”
India — and a growing cohort of voices internationally — would strongly disagree. New Delhi has long blamed Pakistan for sponsoring terrorist attacks on its soil, a charge Islamabad denies. Tensions have spiraled in recent months, after a devastating attack on an Indian military base near the LoC on Sept. 18 that killed several Indian soldiers. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the attackers came from Pakistan and, in response, ordered what New Delhi described as a “surgical strike” in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir to take out other “terrorist teams” allegedly poised to enter its territory. Until then, India had been careful not to do anything that might spark a military clash with Islamabad. Although Pakistan denied that the strike even took place, the announcement marked a hardening of the Indian stance.
Low-level fighting between the two around the border area has continued since, with matters escalating on Nov. 29, when a group of heavily armed militants assaulted another Indian army unit, killing at least seven Indian soldiers.
As India reels from the attack, with analysts around the world watching closely for any retaliatory steps that could trigger a full-scale war, the readout of Trump’s call throws up a host of problematic questions. Will Trump’s America openly side with Pakistan on the country’s dispute with India? And where does that leave India, an increasingly important U.S. ally under recent American Presidents? How will India now react to any US attempt to cool tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad?
Only last year, at the beginning of 2015, President Obama became the first American leader to attend India’s annual Republic Day parade, an annual show of India’s military might in the capital New Delhi. It was a strong message from the U.S. leadership that the two countries shared an increasingly close relationship, with deepening economic and military ties.
Washington has clearly been cultivating a regional counterweight to China, India’s powerful northern neighbor. China has noticed, and has correspondingly been building links with Pakistan. In fact, as Obama landed in India, China rolled out the red carpet for Pakistan’s then military chief, who was visiting Beijing. Around the same time, a commentary in the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper with close government ties, warned against what it called the West’s “ulterior motives” in deepening links with India.
Has Trump changed his mind? With so little information about his policy positions, it’s impossible to know. It could be just loose talk. But in this nuclear-armed region, that’s troubling enough.


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· · · · ·

Vladimir Putin Says He Wants to Cooperate With Donald Trump

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he wants to reset relations with the United States when President-elect Donald Trump takes office in order to work together on range of issues, including terrorism.
“We are ready for cooperation with the new U.S. administration,” Putin said in a speech at the Kremlin, according to a Bloomberg report. “It is important to normalize and start developing bilateral ties on an equal and mutually beneficial basis.”
Putin pointed to the fight against ISIS in Syria as an area of partnership. Trump has suggested repeatedly that he would shift U.S. policy in Syria away from supporting rebels in Syria who oppose both ISIS and the country’s current regime to joining with Russia in support of the current regime. Russia also benefit from Trump’s plan to lift sanctions that were first imposed when the country annexed Crimea in 2014.
“Unlike some of our foreign colleagues, who see Russia as an opponent, we aren’t looking for enemies and never have done, we need friends,” Putin said. “But we won’t allow our interests to be infringed.”
The statement comes nearly eight years after the start of a failed attempt by the Obama administration to improve relations with Russia. The symbolic “reset” centered largely on arms reduction and nuclear non-proliferation, but the collaboration fell apart quickly when Putin returned to the presidency. Trump, on the other hand, campaigned on renewed relations with Putin, suggesting that the two would get along.


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· · ·

Russia sees Trump as conduit for eased sanctions - Washington Post

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Washington Post



Russia sees Trump as conduit for eased sanctions
Washington Post
WASHINGTON — Russia's government denies that it tampered in the U.S. election or even took sides. But now that the results are in, members of President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party aren't holding back. “It turns out that United Russia won the ...
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Is Trump hiring too many generals? - Politico

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Politico



Is Trump hiring too many generals?
Politico
Donald Trump is enlisting generals for the upper ranks of his administration to a degree uncommon in modern politics — and that has some lawmakers, diplomats and former national security officials worried that the president-elect will be relying too ...
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In Russia, The Transmission Of HIV Through Straight Sex Is On The Rise

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Russia's HIV epidemic passed a grim milestone in January as the country registered its millionth HIV-positive citizen -- double the number in 2010. About 200,000 of that million have died since HIV was first registered in Russia in 1987.

IMF: Russian Economy Will Contract 0.6 Percent in 2016; Recover in 2017

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The International Monetary Fund said the Russian economy should continue to contract this year, with gross domestic product dropping 0.6 percent, but will begin recovering in 2017.  The projections from the Washington-based IMF, issued November 29 after a team visited Moscow earlier this month, were roughly in line with other Russian and Western forecasts.  The IMF said dual shocks from low oil prices and Western sanctions have been absorbed by the Russian economy, and rising oil prices will push the recovery in 2017.  Inflation is projected to decline to 5.6 percent by year's end and fall further over the course of 2017, it said.  The IMF cautioned that "fiscal consolidation" should rely on better targeted and more permanent structural reforms.  The pension system, tax exemptions, and subsidies all required reforming, it said, along with protecting public and human capital investment.

U.S. House Backs Panel To Counter Russian Political Interference Globally

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The U.S. House of Representatives has backed a proposal to set up a high-level panel to counter Russian political interference around the world.

Pakistan Says Trump Offers To Help, Calls Sharif 'Terrific Guy'

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Pakistan says U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has offered to help the country and praised its prime minister as a "terrific guy" in the first call between the two men.

Russian President Gives Annual State-Of-The-Nation Address

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has started his annual address to a joint session of parliament and the government in the Kremlin, saying he will speak about the economy, social issues, and domestic policy.

The Daily Vertical: 'I Know You Are But What Am I' (Transcript)

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The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

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Putin Says Russia Ready To Work With U.S. On Global Problems

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President Vladimir Putin said it was important for Russia and the United States to work together in solving global problems, especially international terrorism. In his annual address at the Kremlin about the state of Russia, he did not mention U.S. President-elect Donald Trump by name, but said Moscow was ready to cooperate with the new administration in Washington. (AP Video)

Jailed Russian Activist Placed In Stricter Conditions

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The wife of jailed Russian activist Ildar Dadin, who has claimed he was tortured and beaten in prison, says her husband has been confined to his cell.

Putin: Internal Problems, Not Sanctions, Hurt Russian Economy

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President Vladimir Putin blamed Russia's continued recession on internal problems and not the sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union. In his annual formal speech at the Kremlin, he said poor competitiveness and the business climate led to Russia's expected contraction in economic growth this year. The United States and EU initiated a series of economic sanctions following Russia's 2014 illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimea territory and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. (AP)

Chechen Mufti Denies Kadyrov Had To Apologize To Saudis For Grozny Fatwa

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Chechnya's leading Islamic cleric has formally rejected suggestions that Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov was made to travel recently to Saudi Arabia to apologize for a religious edict that was seen as a snub of Salafism.

Atambaev Says Russian Military Will Have To Leave Kyrgyz Base

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Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev has said the Russian military will have to leave its base in Kyrgyzstan in the future.

Monument Commemorating Gulag Victims Vandalized In Russia

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A prominent monument commemorating victims of the Soviet gulag system has been vandalized in Russia's Far East.

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Skepticism In Russia As Putin Says Fight Against Corruption Is Not A 'Show'

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Russians are skeptical that the recent arrests of top officials for alleged graft are part of a real campaign to snuff out rampant corruption.

Contact Lost With Cargo Ship En Route To International Space Station

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Russia’s space agency says it has lost contact with an unmanned cargo ship shortly after it blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with supplies for the International Space Station.

New Putin Doctrine Says U.S. Pressure 'Undermining' Global Stability

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has endorsed a new foreign policy doctrine accusing the United States and its allies of undermining "global stability" by trying to "contain" Russia.

Trump Taps Ex-Marine General As Defense Secretary

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has tapped a retired U.S. Marine Corps general known for blunt talk and battlefield victories in Iraq and Afghanistan to be his defense secretary.

EU Leader Says Russia Sanctions Likely To Be Extended

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The head of the European Union's executive body said he expects EU sanctions against Russia to be extended next year, but that it will be harder to do that in the future. Donald Tusk, who is president of the European Council and a former Polish prime minister, made the comments in an interview broadcast December 1 with Polish station TVN24.  He said France, Germany, and the United States have supported him in maintaining a cohesive response to Russia's military actions in recent years.  He said expects another extension of the sanctions to be approved in January, for the usual 6-month period. But he also said the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president will also make it harder to preserve Western unity toward Russia.  "I believe that after the [U.S.] elections and Donald Trump's victory it will be harder to build such unequivocal, uniform policy of the Western world toward Russia," Tusk said. Trump has expressed a more conciliatory approach toward Moscow.  And in France, many observers are predicting the next president will be Francois Fillon, a former prime minister who also advocates more cooperation with Russia.  With reporting by AP, TASS

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Trump Picks 'Mad Dog' Mattis As Defense Secretary

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he has chosen retired U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis as his defense secretary. Trump made the announcement at a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 1. Nicknamed "Mad Dog" for his blunt manner, Mattis led Marine divisions in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. About two weeks before announcing his pick, Trump met with Mattis in Bedminster, New Jersey. (AP)

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The Daily Vertical: Is Moscow Immune To Populism? (Transcript)

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The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

Podcast: Hybrid War And Peace

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A specter is haunting the West. The specter of hybrid war. But what does the term actually mean? Listen to the new Power Vertical Podcast.

In Russia, Activists Fear Cover-Up In ‘Prison-Riot’ Trial

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For a year and a half, 17 people have been facing trial in the Russian town of Kopeisk over what the authorities say was a prison uprising and defendants say was a desperate protest against torture and abuse.

Russian Central Bank Says Hackers Stole $31 Million; FSB Warns Of Plot

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Russia’s Central Bank said hackers stole more than $31 million from correspondent accounts, as Russia's main security agency warned of cyberattacks aimed at destabilizing the country’s banking system.  The bank's announcement, December 2, was the latest example of growing number of cyber attacks that have targeted financial institutions worldwide.  Central Bank official Artyom Sychyov revealed the losses at a briefing in Moscow, saying that the hackers had attempted to steal about 5 billion rubles (US$78 million). A bank report released earlier December 2 described hackers breaking into accounts there by faking a client's credentials, but provided few other details. Also December 2, the Federal Security Service said it had uncovered the plot that aimed to destabilize the Russian banking system.  The service, known as the FSB, did not identify the culprits behind the alleged plot, but said the computer servers involved were located in the Netherlands and were registered to Ukrainian web-hosting company BlazingFast. Тhe statement said the attacks had been set to allegedly begin December 5 and would be accompanied by a stream of text messages and posts on social networks containing claims of an imminent collapse of Russia's major banks and the financial system's breakdown. It said the attack would target several dozen Russian cities. The director of Kyiv-based BlazingFast, Anton Onoprichuk, said no intelligence agency had been in touch with his company. He also said he was waiting for more information so the company could investigate. It appeared likely the two announcements—by the Central Bank and the FSB—were coordinated, though that could not be independently confirmed.  The theft, and the alleged plot, come amid growing number of hacks and cyberattacks targeting institutions around the world, some committed by private individuals, others by government-sponsored cyber groups.  After the U.S. government publicly accused the Russian government of involvement in the hack of Democratic party officials, U.S. intelligence later promised countermeasures.   Vice President Joe Biden said in October "we're sending a message" to Russian President Vladimir Putin.  "It will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that will have the greatest impact," he warned.  With reporting by Reuters

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Syrian Government Forces Advance Further In Aleppo

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Syrian government forces and their allies have captured the Tariq al-Bab district of eastern Aleppo, the government and the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Iran's Supreme Court Upholds Billionaire's Death Sentence

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Iran’s highest court has upheld a court decision imposing the death penalty on billionaire businessman Babak Zanjani, who was convicted of massive embezzlement and sentenced in March.

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Russian Lawmaker Seeks Criminal Probe Of Database Of Stalin's Secret Police

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A Russian State Duma deputy has asked prosecutors to investigate the respected human rights organization Memorial because it published an online database containing information about agents of dictator Josef Stalin’s secret police.

Sinosphere: Whistle-Blowing AIDS Doctor Reflects on Roots of Epidemic in China 

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Dr. Gao Yaojie, who has tied the epidemic to an unsanitary network of blood sales, discussed what she considers the still-untold truth about AIDS in China.

Cyberattacks Strike Saudi Arabia, Harming Aviation Agency

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A version of Shamoon, the virus that hit Middle Eastern energy companies in 2012, was used in mid-November to attack government agencies.

A Subdued Vladimir Putin Calls for ‘Mutually Beneficial’ Ties With U.S. 

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The Russian leader lamented rising global “fractures,” even in affluent countries, but made no mention of the Kremlin’s efforts to stir up disorder.

The Saturday Profile: A Physician-Turned-Artist Offers a Diagnosis for Islam’s Holiest City 

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In his book, the photographer Ahmed Mater documented Mecca in all its splendor — and squalor — hoping to help steer it away from the rampant commercialism of recent years.

Arrested German spy was a onetime gay porn actor — and a secret Islamist 

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The agent was held for seeking to cooperate with the Islamists he was supposed to counter.





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