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US and Hu Rights Violations - Russia Confronts US

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Published by Administrator in Russia United state
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by grtv

The United States and Russia have achieved many milestones when it comes to relieving tensions between the two superpowers after the Cold War, but it seems that lately those strains have been on the rise.

Russia has been more than vocal over its opposition of the US missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, and now Russia plans on implementing a visa ban on American officials to counter the US banning Russian officials for alleged human rights violations.

David Swanson, campaigner for Roots Action, joins us with more on the matter.

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Iran

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دلایل اصلی سقوط نرخ نفت Image

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دلایل اصلی سقوط نرخ نفت

دلایل اصلی سقوط نرخ نفت
نویسنده و گوینده : نیک پاکپور.

نگرش یا نگاهی کاونده یا کافنده به ترفند یا توطئه تبهکارانهٔ تزریق نفت ارزان به بازار جهانی غرب که به مثابهٔ متدی مکار و مهندسی شده، آلبنه با جنگ و جدل یا کلنجار کژین کهنه و کهن ژئو پولیتیک نفتی ایالات متحدهٔ امریکا، به همراه منتها ی مقابله و محاربه و مداخله با ابزار و آفزار متروک و مخرب مرگ و موت و منفعت مکینه، در منطقه انرژی خیز خاور میانه و کرانه های مدیترانه تا شمال آفریقا، با آجندای پیشروی پیروزمندانه در پهنا و پراگمای ژئو اکنومیک و ژئو استراتژیک، یعنی چیزی را که در ترم های sane سیاسی یا political science امروزی به آن پیروزی یا پیشدستی پنهان و پوشیده، اعیان و آشکار در Great Game می گویند.

داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه Image

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داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه

 داعش و دام اسلامی کردن خاورمیانه
ژرفشی پیرامون ژاژخایی بارک الحسین آل اوباما در مبارزه علیه ددمنشان داعش.
نویسنده وگوینده: نیک پاکپور
به باور گوینده، آنچه را که ما امروز در میین استریم مه دییا ” Mainstream media” غربی، به عنوان جنجال جنگی غرب علیه جهادیزم جانی، وحشی ـ وهابی، اسلامی ـ ارتجاعی، در منطقه خاورمیانه شاهد هستیم، در اصل و اساسش چیزی به جز یک رجز خوانی ره توریک گونه یا تبلیغات تعفن بار و تهوع آور، آغشته و آمیخته به انواع ترفندها، تزویرها، تحریک ها و توطئه های تموچین گونه برای تسخیر، تقسیم و تصرف و سپس تهی کردن و تخلیه کردن خاورمیانه از منابع، معادن و مینرال سرشار نفتی و گازی اش نمی باشد که از سالها پیش توست استراتژیست های ”Anglo-American” آلبته با سروری و سردمداری سبعانه و ساویج گونه زایونیزم جهاتی بطور مکارانه و مزورانه و میرغضبانه، مهندسی و معماری شده است

گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب Image

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گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب

بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب
گوینده: نیک پاکپور
Reference:BRICS
1-Putin and BRICS form Seed Crystal of a New International Monetary Pole
William Engdahl | July 25, 2014
2-BRICS establish $100bn bank and currency pool to cut out Western dominance
By RT: Published time: July 15, 2014 18:14
3-BRICS against Washington consensus
BY By Pepe Escobar “Asia Times: Jul 15, '14”
4-Dollar dying; multi-polar world in offing
By F.William engdahl
4-US Dollar Suffers Serious Setback
By By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
5-Throwing BRICS at Israel
By Johnny Punish

Europe

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LIVE:LEGIDA demo in Leipzig "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West" Image

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LIVE:LEGIDA demo in Leipzig "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West"

Camera following the demo - http://ow.ly/Iegc1Supporters of LEGIDA, a group inspired by PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West), are due to demonstrate on Leipzig’s Augustusplatz on Friday, January 30. The protest will be the third LEGIDA rally in Leipzig, and follows one last week in which they walked through the city centre. Anti-LEGIDA protesters are expected to hold a counter-demonstration.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To use this footage please contact the Ruptly Client Desk: cd@ruptly.tv----------------------------------Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RuptlyTwitter: http://twitter.com/RuptlyLiveLeak: http://www.liveleak.com/c/RuptlyVine: https://vine.co/RuptlyInstagram: http://www.instagram.com/RuptlyGoogle Plus: http://google.com/+RuptlyTVYouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RuptlyTVDailyMotion: http://www.dailymotion.com/ruptlyVideo on Demand: http://www.ruptly.tv

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'Workers across EU should support Syriza & refuse to pay bankers' debts'

The new Greek government is seeking to be let off from some of its bailout debt - something the rest of the EU is not eager to approve. In Italy, the idea of breaking away from the bloc is gathering momentum. Leaving the EU is also now up for discussion in Hungary, where the speaker of parliament has been contemplating an exit.Paul Murphy, who's an Irish anti-austerity MP, says the bloc's leaders have brought this upon themselves.RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (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.

SYRIZA Victory in Greece In Spite of the NYT and WSJ Coverage Image

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SYRIZA Victory in Greece In Spite of the NYT and WSJ Coverage

Professor William Black says the people of Greece won in spite of mainstream medias’ efforts to bury their plight and force them into a Great Depression

Bio
William K. Black, author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One, teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC). He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007. He has taught previously at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and at Santa Clara University, where he was also the distinguished scholar in residence for insurance law and a visiting scholar at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.
Black was litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, deputy director of the FSLIC, SVP and general counsel of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and senior deputy chief counsel, Office of Thrift Supervision. He was deputy director of the National Commission on Financial Institution Reform, Recovery and Enforcement.
Black developed the concept of "control fraud" frauds in which the CEO or head of state uses the entity as a "weapon." Control frauds cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. He recently helped the World Bank develop anti-corruption initiatives and served as an expert for OFHEO in its enforcement action against Fannie Mae's former senior management.
Transcript
SYRIZA Victory in Greece In Spite of the NYT and WSJ CoverageSHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.
Our next guest, Bill Black, has been a great critic of how The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have covered the Greek debt crisis and austerity measures.
So now joining us to discuss this further from Bloomington, Minnesota, is Bill Black. Bill is an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He's a white-collar criminologist and a former financial regulator and the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One.
Thank you again for joining us, Bill.
BILL BLACK, ASSOC. PROF. ECONOMICS AND LAW, UMKC: Thank you.
PERIES: So, Bill, you are peeved with the way The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have been covering Greece and the plight of Greek people. But what were your thoughts as the election was unfolding?
BLACK: So it was basically the coverage was so bad that it would be really hard to figure out why the Greek people would so strongly repudiate the parties in Greece that gave into German demands that they adopt austerity. And so the columns read like, well, you know, what are these ungrateful Greeks doing? Maybe growth hasn't been robust, but it's made possible by austerity. And exactly the opposite is true.
Greece was forced by the austerity demands back into a great depression that has now lasted longer than the Greek Great Depression of the 1930s and has more severe unemployment rates six years after the onset of this Great Depression than they had probably at any time during their Great Depression of the 1930s.
And Greece is not alone in this. Italy and Spain are also at Great Depression levels of unemployment. And collectively, those three nations have roughly 100 million in population, or roughly one-third of the entire Eurozone. And so these are people that have been thrown on the scrap heap by Germany, and it's just a complete waste to force millions of people into unemployment. That is obviously going to harm them, and it's going to harm the recovery, and it's going to harm the nation, and it's going to harm Europe.
So what we've been saying from the beginning is that the German insistence on austerity and on these debt repayments was going to force Greece into a great depression. It did exactly that. Unemployment is still in the 26 percent range overall, and for young workers it's in the 55 percent range. And so the first thing that most Greeks do when they get their new university degree is to emigrate. So that too is an enormous loss.
PERIES: So this war with now the new government of Greece and the troika and the power centers of Europe is getting played out in the media and in the newspapers, as you have pointed out. How are the plight of the Greek people being portrayed in these papers in terms of the levels of unemployment, the levels--as the level of suffering? How is it being covered in terms of what the ordinary people are experiencing?
BLACK: Well, first, over half of the stories don't even mention it. Second, those that do, it's almost always an afterthought, simply a statistic in the next-to-last paragraph. And more to the point, they don't ever tie it to austerity having caused it and that it being was completely gratuitous. So the normal thing that we do in the commercial world, when we're just dealing with businesses in these circumstances, is we don't try to insist that they repay every bit of their debt, because that'll just force them into a collapse. We create a renegotiated debt that is reduced.
And by the way, this was famously done after World War II for this nation called Germany, and it was done for Poland in 1991, where more than half of the debts were written off, many of them owed to Germany. And then, eventually, 100 percent of the debts were written off for a large number of African nations. And debts were written off in the range of 50 percent to nearly 100 percent for a number of Latin American nations. But in the case of the Greeks, the Germans are now insisting that they pay 100 cents on the dollar when--or euro, in this case--when that is not possible and it will cause a catastrophe.
And the real remarkable thing is, of course, we've seen this pattern before in the 1990s when the Washington Consensus and its insistence on austerity caused the lost decade in Latin America, financial crises in many nations in Latin America, very weak growth, rolling recessions and such. And it led to the election of now over a dozen controlling officials through democratic processes in Latin America who were elected on platforms saying that they were going to oppose austerity. And we've been saying this has got to break out in Europe eventually, and Greece is the first place that has done so. And that's what's really scaring--.
PERIES: That it'll have a ripple effect in Europe, and more and more progressive governments might get elected, as in Spain polls are showing that Podemos is, like SYRIZA, taking a lead in the polls.
BLACK: Yes. And it was only created about a year ago. So that is an astonishing surge in popularity, and the Spanish will be greatly encouraged by what they've seen in Greece. And there's also the possibility in Portugal to get similar results. Italy is more complex, but you're going to see parties that strongly oppose austerity, and you're going to see it in France as well.
Now, Europe's more complicated than Latin America, in that many of the strong opponents to austerity in Europe are actually right-wing parties.
PERIES: Explain that.
BLACK: Well, they don't like, basically, the fact that their governments have been turned over that to the Germans. Of course, what you have to remember is that most of the nations of Europe were occupied by Germany. And they do not have good memories of being occupied by Germany. And now Germany doesn't have to send an army; it just used the bond vigilantes as its shock troops, the Schwerpunkt, to produce a disaster in much of Europe. And now German diktats have ruled most of Europe for roughly five to six years. But that looks like it's going to continue unless there is a break led by folks like Syria that the German hegemony over the European Union seems to be unshakable, absent that kind of resistance.
PERIES: And what do you think of the SYRIZA government's collision course with Europe right now? How do you think it's going to play out?
BLACK: Well, first, nobody knows, and we shouldn't pretend that we know. The Europeans have to find a way to climb down, because what they've established will produce what it has already produced: a disaster that will grow.
So, as I said, there are many, many precedents where European nations, including Germany, have both been the beneficiaries of debt write-downs and people that have made huge debt write-downs. So it's time for them to find a way. Politically, of course, they're saying they're not going to do it, and that's exactly what you would expect going into negotiations. SYRIZA is, I think, doing exactly the right thing. It's being, basically, calm and saying, well, this is what we're going to attempt to achieve. And we'll see whether Europe basically recovers its spine and says to the Germans, no, sorry, you're one nation, you don't get to dictate everything that happens in Europe.
PERIES: Bill, thank you so much for joining us today.
BLACK: Thank you. And /greɪtbluː/.
PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

Middle east

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Saudi Arabia and  Islamic Beheading By Sword **Warning: Graphic** Image

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Saudi Arabia and Islamic Beheading By Sword **Warning: Graphic**

Saudi Arabia and  Islamic Beheading By Sword **Warning: Graphic**

How to Learn More About pure Islam?

Four people have been executed in Saudi Arabia less than a week after 79-year-old King Salman assumed power following the death of his 90-year-old predecessor, King Abdullah.

The Pure Islam: How They Will Share Yazidi Female Sex Slaves Image

48 views

The Pure Islam: How They Will Share Yazidi Female Sex Slaves

More than 7000 Yazidi women, girls and children have been kidnapped by ISIS militants and muslims who were lives in Yazidi area in Iraq. 

Islamic Beheading av human, in Aleppo Image

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Islamic Beheading av human, in Aleppo

A recent footage published by the "Islamic State" - formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - shows how the jihadists are implementing Sharia law in different parts of areas they occupy by carrying out penalties against various crimes. One of the scenes shows the militants bringing a blindfolded man whom they accuse of being a "sorcerer". The scene ends right before the alleged beheading, which is carried out as a punishment for the crime of witchcraft or sorcery.Source: Islamic State Media (al-Furqan)Warning: Some footage might be graphic (18+, not for shock, only aimed at documenting crimes of the terrorists and foreign jihadists in Syria)

United state

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CodePink Attempts to "Arrest" Henry Kissinger for War Crimes in Vietnam, Laos, Chile and East Timor Image

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CodePink Attempts to "Arrest" Henry Kissinger for War Crimes in Vietnam, Laos, Chile and East Timor

CodePink Attempts to "Arrest" Henry Kissinger for War Crimes in Vietnam, Laos, Chile and East Timor

Activists from the antiwar group CodePink attempted to perform a citizen’s arrest on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger when he testified on global security challenges at a Senate Armed Services Committee meeting on Thursday. Kissinger served as secretary of state and national security adviser during the Vietnam War under presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain lashed out at the protesters and called on the Capitol Hill Police to remove them.

Dirty Link Between Senators and Keystone XL Pipeline Vote Image

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Dirty Link Between Senators and Keystone XL Pipeline Vote

Daphne Wysham says that the Senators that voted in favor of Keystone XL accepted seven times more campaign funding from dirty energy groups that include Koch

Bio
Daphne Wysham is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and a climate policy fellow at the Center for Sustainable Economy (CSE). Among the ideas she is working on at CSE is a concept called "climate risk bonds." More info here: http://thischangeseverything.org/climate-risk-bonds-making-the-polluter-pay/

Sen. Sanders Presents $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill as Job Creator Image

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Sen. Sanders Presents $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill as Job Creator

Sanders says 13 million jobs could be created if Congress taxed the wealthy and corporate tax havens, but taxing the wealthy is a non-starter for Republicans

Bio
Jessica Desvarieux is a multimedia journalist who serves as the Capitol Hill correspondent for the Real News Network. Most recently, Jessica worked as a producer for the ABC Sunday morning program, This Week with Christianne Amanpour. Before moving to Washington DC, Jessica served as the Haiti corespondent for TIME Magazine and TIME.com. Previously, she was as an on-air reporter for New York tri-state cable outlet Regional News Network, where she worked before the 2010 earthquake struck her native country of Haiti. From March 2008 - September 2009, she lived in Egypt, where her work appeared in various media outlets like the Associated Press, Voice of America, and the International Herald Tribune - Daily News Egypt. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a Master of Science degree in journalism. She is proficient in French, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and has a working knowledge of Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. Follow her @Jessica_Reports.
Transcript
Sen. Sanders Presents $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill as Job CreatorJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: America's roads and bridges need a makeover. That's according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which gave the U.S. a D-plus for its current infrastructure.
In Washington, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is trying to do something about it.
BERNIE SANDERS, U.S. SENATOR (I-VT): And what I could tell you: if you turn your back on infrastructure and you don't invest, do you know what happens? It gets worse. It doesn't get better all by itself.
DESVARIEUX: To make infrastructure better, Sanders introduced the Rebuild America Act. The bill would invest $1 trillion over five years and provide 13 million living wage jobs, an issue he says should get support no matter where you stand on the political spectrum.
SANDERS: So what we hope to do--and I'm so pleased that we have different organizations here--is to kind of rally the American people to have the Congress do what they know needs to be done. Now, where the debate will take place, how big should it be, yeah, this is pretty big, but I think America should lead. We should have big ideas. We should put millions of people back to work. Other people may want to be doing this thing in a smaller way. How do you pay for it? That's going to be a real debate.
DESVARIEUX: The debate on funding infrastructure is already taking shape. Last week in a 60 Minutes interview, Senate majority leader Republican Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner said they would support a plan to revitalize infrastructure. But raising taxes on the wealthy would not be a way to pay for it.
~~~
INTERVIEWER: From the president's State of Union address let me ask you: dead or alive, raise taxes on the wealthy?
MITCH MCCONNELL, U.S. SENATOR (R-KY): Why would we want to raise taxes on people?
INTERVIEWER: I'll take that as a dead.
MCCONNELL: Dead. Real dead.
~~~
DESVARIEUX: Dead may be the fate of the bill if it follows its predecessors. In the two previous congresses, when Democrats controlled the Senate, two iterations of this Rebuild America Act never passed. The 2011 version never made it past the filibuster. The vote was 51-49, with all Republicans and two members of the Democratic Caucus--Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Ben Nelson of Nebraska--voting no.
This bill was on a much smaller scale than Sanders's bill and called for only $50 billion in spending, which would have been paid for with a 0.7 percent increase on incomes that exceeded $1 million a year.
With this new bill, Sanders is not including a plan for funding the infrastructure. Sanders says the path to funding is clear to him if it's in the interests of everyday people.
~~~
SANDERS: When you have hedge fund managers in this country paying a lower effective tax rate than firemen or nurses, I think there are progressive ways to raise the money.
DESVARIEUX: Another way to raise money is to look at corporate tax havens that groups like Campaign for America's Future say are trying to evade taxes.
ISAIAH POOLE, COMM. DIRECTOR, CAMPAIGN FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE: The workaround that seems to be catching fire on Capitol Hill is allowing corporations who have stashed profits overseas to bring those profits back into the country at a sharply reduced tax rate and use some of that money for infrastructure improvements. That is something that we have imposed, because it basically rewards corporations for evading taxes.
If we are not engaged, this debate over infrastructure in the Congress is going to go in a way that is not going to be helpful for ordinary people. It may end up being a scheme that benefits corporations, but it won't be a scheme that benefits the rest of us. And that's why we need to stay engaged.
DESVARIEUX: Staying engaged and demanding change--these are two things Senator Sanders say are essential to making this bill a reality.
SANDERS: This is not a debate about the severity of the problem. Everybody knows it. You cannot continue to push it under the rug. Infrastructure will only get worse. It will become more expensive. We'll waste more money. The American people have got to demand that their members of Congress act and act now.
DESVARIEUX: For The Real News Network, Jessica Desvarieux, Washington.
End

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  • Processing Distortion with Peter B. Collins: Former Sex Slave Accuses Alan Dershowitz, Prince Andrew
    By Peter B Collins | January 29, 2015 Peter B. Collins Presents Journalist Nick Bryant In a federal civil suit, Virginia Roberts states she was recruited as a sex slave at age 15 by billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein; Roberts says Epstein forced her to have sex with former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz and Britain’s Prince Andrew—both deny the allegations. Based on Epstein’s “black book” and his pilot’s logs, Nick Bryant reports that Dershowitz’s strenuous denials are contradicted by these records, and indicate that former president Bill Clinton shared more than a dozen flights on Epstein’s jets with a woman federal prosecutors believe procured underage girls to sexually service Epstein and his friends; and that Clinton flew to Africa in 2002 on an anti-AIDS mission with a group that included porn actress Chauntae Davis.*Nick Bryant is a journalist who exposed a pedophile network involving powerful Americans in the 2009 book, The Franklin Scandal. You can read his report on Epstein for Gawker, here.
  • 10 statistics that reveal the true scale of torture, corruption and terrorism around the world
    GRAPHIC Human Rights Watch’s 25th annual report says many governments have reacted to the threat from Islamist militants and terrorists by downplaying or abandoning human rights By Fernande van Tets "The Independent | News | UK" Thursday 29 January 2015 Human rights abuses are fuelling the rise of extremist groups such as Isis in Syria and Iraq and Nigeria’s Boko Haram, campaigners have warned.Human Rights Watch’s 25th annual report says that many governments around the world have reacted to the threat from Islamist militants and terrorists by downplaying or abandoning human rights.Below is a snapshot of the scale of human rights abuses around the world. The group’s executive director, Kenneth Roth, said some political leaders “appear to have concluded that today’s serious security threats must take precedence over human rights. Human rights violations played a major role in spawning or aggravating many of today’s crises,” he said. “Protecting human rights and ensuring democratic accountability are key to resolving them.”The report points to military crackdowns in Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and China – but also to the US, where the use of torture has been well documented, but nobody has been prosecuted.Britain, too, risked trampling on human rights, Mr Roth added. “British intelligence, GCHQ, immediately seized on Charlie Hebdo [the shootings in Paris] to justify its request for more surveillance powers,” he said.
  • West Africa: The Approbation of a New World Order
    By Alexander MEZYAEV | 30.01.2015 | 10:37 "Strategic Culture Foundation" The number of conflicts in Africa continues to grow, with more and more new countries getting drawn into them. The situation in West Africa is particularly grave; this part of the continent is being threatened with total destabilisation.The armed conflict in Mali is still going on, where, at the start of 2015, the number of attacks on national and international security force personnel, most notably those working with Mali’s armed forces and the UN peacekeeping mission, rose sharply. The start of the new year was also marked by new attacks on towns and villages, as well as on local leaders who support the peace process, by terrorist groups. The Malian army, the local population and UN peacekeepers are all suffering serious losses. All in all, the UN Mission in Mali has, over the last six months, become the bloodiest UN mission currently in operation. On the eve of the new year, UN bases were even subjected to rocket attacks (1). Several days ago, UN armed forces took part in an offensive involving air strikes on certain settlements for the first time. The operation drastically altered the attitudes of those living in the north, who are now demanding the immediately withdrawal of UN troops from the country (2).Towards the end of 2014, an uprising took place in the Republic of Burkina Faso resulting in the resignation of President Blaise Compaoré. The UN Secretary General, however, formally recognised the revolt as a “popular uprising”, and no sanctions were imposed on the new authorities. Officially, the popular uprising was triggered by the attempts of Compaoré (3), who had ruled the country for 27 years, to change the constitution so that he could run for office for a third term. Mass protests began on 28 October and lasted for four days, during which time 30 people were killed and more than 600 were injured. On 31 October, Compaoré stepped down and fled the country.It is interesting that the internal political instability in a number of countries in West Africa is specifically linked to heads of state seeking third terms. Following the overthrow of Burkina Faso’s president, the political situation escalated in Benin, where President Yayi Boni also submitted an amendment to parliament in order to be able to run for president for a third term. In November, there were mass demonstrations in Togo, where President Faure Gnassingbé put himself forward for the elections taking place in March 2015 for a third time. Although the constitution of Togo does not prohibit such a nomination, it should be borne in mind that the current president is the son of General Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who ruled the country for 38 years (4). Mass demonstrations also took place in the Democratic Republic of Congo in mid-January, during which dozens of people were killed. These demonstrations were also caused by the desire of the current president of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, to run for a third term.A political crisis arose in Niger after the country’s head of parliament, Hama Amadou, was accused of child trafficking. Although a warrant for his arrest was issued immediately after parliament lifted his immunity, the arrest did not take place since the suspect had by then already fled the country.There is also still an ongoing crisis in Nigeria. Terrorist attacks by Boko Haram (BH), as well as violence and shelling, have become more frequent of late, especially in north-eastern Nigeria (5), and BH is also attacking military and security facilities with increasing frequency. The victims of these terrorist attacks are not just ‘infidels’, but also Muslims, BH militants are not just setting fire to Christian churches, but also mosques, and Muslim theologians are also being attacked. It seems that the increased terrorist activity in Nigeria is also being motivated by the upcoming elections (the country’s general elections are set to take place in February). Presidential candidates, including Muslims, are being attacked (former president Muhammadu Buhari, for example, who ruled the country from 1983 to 1985). The authorities are trying to fight Boko Haram, but their hands are tied by the constant hints resounding from the UN and, most importantly, the International Criminal Court, as well as warnings against the violation of human rights during anti-terrorist operations (6).In recent months, BH militants have noticeably increased the size of the territory under their control. Recently captured towns include Buni Yadi (in Yobe State), Gamboru Ngala, Dikwa, Bama, Malam Fatori (in Borno State), and Maiha (in Adamawa State). A new system of government is being developed in the areas under BH control, and Sharia law is being established. In November 2014, the leader of Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, announced the creation of an Islamic caliphate. Its borders extend far beyond the boundaries of Nigeria into both Cameroon and Niger. The biggest terrorist attack in the whole bloody history of BH took place on 3 January 2015, when more than 200 people were slaughtered in the town of Baga.The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has resulted in the virtual isolation of entire countries. Land and sea borders have been closed, and flights to and from these countries have been stopped. This area of total isolation includes Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Moreover, the victims of Ebola are not just those infected with the virus. Several dozen people have died as a result of clashes between police and demonstrators in various cities in both Liberia (including the capital Monrovia) and Sierra Leone. There is a state of emergency in place in all three of these countries, and elections in both Guinea and Liberia have been cancelled. At the same time, the Liberian parliament has refused to grant the country’s president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, additional emergency powers to help fight Ebola.All the old problems still remain, including transnational crime. The amount of drugs being seized by police is increasing, but this says more about the rise in their illegal transit than about the country’s success in combating drug trafficking. Attempts to save Guinea Bissau from the fate of becoming a channel for drug trafficking have not yet met with success. Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is also flourishing...The West Africa of today has become a major testing ground where a new model of global governance is being developed. A number of zones stand out that could later be extended into other territories. These include a zone for the West’s direct control over natural resources, which the jurisdiction of national governments does not cover; a zone for the safe transit of drugs; a zone for sea piracy (international racketeering as part of international trade); a zone for large-scale medical experiments; and a zone for all-out terror (for the purposes of intimidation, for example). As an alternative, there is the zone of new and relatively peaceful neo-colonialism, where direct foreign control will be offered in exchange for the protection of a territory from all of the above... It goes without saying that this system is not only being developed for Africa.______________(1) According to a report by the Foreign Minister of Mali, Abdoulaye Diop, on the night of 29-30 December 2014, terrorists attacked a ship belonging to the Mali Shipping Company travelling from Bambu to Timbuktu. On 3 January 2015, Tuareg politician Aroudeyni Ag Hamatou, the mayor of Anderaboucane and a former stalwart of the peace process, was killed as the result of an ambush in Menaka. On 4 January, several Nigerian soldiers were injured following a car bomb attack on peacekeepers in the town of Gao. On 5 January, several people died as the result of a terrorist attack in the town of Nampala, just 500 km away from the country’s capital, Bamako.(2) Malians protest over UN airstrike, a report by the TV company eNews Africa(3) Compaoré himself came to power in 1987 following a bloody uprising, when he overthrew the government of President Thomas Sankara.(4) His son gained power at the age of 38.(5) In July 2014, 82 people were killed during a terrorist attack in Kaduna State. In November, an explosion in Bauchi State claimed the lives of 10 people. In the same month, 46 college students were killed and more than 80 injured in an explosion in Yobi State. On 12 November, dozens of people were injured in an explosion in Niger State. On 25 November, more than 45 people were killed by two child suicide bombers at a market in Maiduguri. On 27 November, 40 people died after a bomb exploded in Adamawa State. On 28 November, 120 people died and more than 270 were injured following an attack on Kano’s Central Mosque. On 11 December, at least 40 people were killed at a market in Jos after two bombs exploded simultaneously. (Information taken from a report by the UN Secretary General “On the activities of the UN Office for West Africa”, dated 24 December 2014).(6) See the latest report (2014) by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on preliminary examination activities in various countries.
  • At least 26 killed in Egypt as militants attack army and police targets in Sinai
    An Egyptian army tank is seen behind barbed wire. Wide-ranging attacks by militants struck several targets in the Sinai peninsula. Photograph: Nasser Nasser/AP By Patrick Kingsley and Manu Abdo in Cairo  "The Guardian UK " Thursday 29 January 2015 20.58 GMT Attacks including car bombs and mortar rounds hit area where government has struggled to contain Isis-linked insurgency over past 18 months Egyptian security forces suffered one of the bloodiest days in their peacetime history on Thursday, with at least 26 people reported to have been killed in a series of attacks on soldiers and police in north-east Sinai, where the government has struggled to contain an 18-month insurgency by militants linked to Islamic State (Isis).Isis’s affiliate in the region, Province of Sinai, claimed responsibility for the killings, after issuing warnings on jihadist forums earlier in the day that an attack was in the offing. The affiliate, known as Ansar Beit al-Maqdis until its declaration of allegiance to Isis in November, recently released pictures of its masked gunmen training in the desert.The Egyptian army said militants had attacked army and police bases in Arish, the region’s capital, with car bombs and mortar attacks, and that hostilities were ongoing as midnight approached.According to private Egyptian media, the attacks centred on an army barracks, an army-owned hotel, and a police headquarters, though the army did not confirm the details. Earlier in the day, the army allegedly suffered casualties after being caught between two militant lines.News agencies said that at least 26 people had died, most of them soldiers, but the health ministry’s spokesman told the Guardian that the death toll was still being counted.The military presented the attacks as the by-product of a successful counter-insurgency campaign, claiming that they were “a result of successful strikes from armed forces and police on the terrorists in the last period”.But Thursday’s attack showed that in reality the army is struggling to contain an insurgency in the region, despite a series of anti-terror measures, including placing the region under a state of emergency, establishing a curfew, restricting traffic in and out, and demolishing hundreds of homes in the border town of Rafah.The assault follows another heavy attack on an army checkpoint last November, when a similar number of soldiers died. That raid was considered almost unprecedented in the context of peacetime assaults on the Egyptian military.The insurgency has not spread to the tourist hubs of south Sinai, but in pockets of north-east Sinai the army has been powerless to stop militants from frequently establishing their own checkpoints, through which the jihadis have kidnapped and assassinated policemen.The destruction of parts of Rafah, which straddles the border with Gaza, began after the military claimed that smugglers’ tunnels to the Palestinian enclave were allowing militants to take refuge across the border. Soldiers are in the process of destroying all homes within one kilometre of Gaza.Critics of the project say the policy has failed to stop the insurgency and risks making neutral locals more likely to support or join the insurgents. “Any country has the right to secure its borders,” one local told the Guardian at the time. “[But] if I just take security measures, it will come back to haunt me.”Many Egyptians are unsympathetic to such concerns: fears of instability and terrorism have led many to support the government’s heavy-handed approach, both in Rafah and in the rest of country.North-east Sinai has been the site of extremist attacks for several years, but the violence rose markedly following the ousting of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. His Islamist administration had persuaded militants to adopt a quietist approach.Not all the insurgents are believed to be from the region, but they have sought to appeal to local anger in the north of the peninsula, where the mainly Bedouin population has complained of neglect by Cairo authorities and where few have benefited from the famed tourist resorts in the more peaceful south.
  • Go ahead, Angela, make my day
    Syriza’s win could lead to Grexit, but it should lead to a better future for the euro By The Economist "Jan 31st 2015" IT WAS in Greece that the infernal euro crisis began just over five years ago. So it is classically fitting that Greece should now be where the denouement may be played out—thanks to the big election win on January 25th for the far-left populist Syriza party led by Alexis Tsipras (see article). By demanding a big cut in Greece’s debt and promising a public-spending spree, Mr Tsipras has thrown down the greatest challenge so far to Europe’s single currency—and thus to Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, who has set the austere path for the continent.The stakes are high. Although everybody, including Mr Tsipras, insists they want Greece to stay in the euro, there is now a clear threat of Grexit. In 2011-12 Mrs Merkel wavered, but then decided to support the Greeks to keep them in the single currency. She did not want Germany to be blamed for another European disaster, and both northern creditors and southern debtors were nervous about the consequences of a chaotic Greek exit for Europe’s banks and their economies.This time the odds have changed. Grexit would look more like the Greeks’ fault, Europe’s economy is stronger and 80% of Greece’s debt is in the hands of other governments or official bodies. Above all the politics are different. The Finns and the Dutch, like the Germans, want Greece to stick to promises it made when they twice bailed it out. And in southern Europe centrist governments fear that a successful Greek blackmail would push voters towards their own populist opposition parties, like Spain’s Podemos (see article).A good answer to a bad questionIt could all get very messy. But there are broadly three possible outcomes: the good, the disastrous, and a compromise to kick the can down the road. The history of the euro has always been to defer the pain, but now the battle is about politics not economics—and compromise may be much harder.Tantalisingly, there is a good solution to be grabbed for both Greece and Europe. Mr Tsipras has got two big things right, and one completely wrong. He is right that Europe’s austerity has been excessive. Mrs Merkel’s policies have been throttling the continent’s economy and have ushered in deflation. The belated launch of quantitative easing (QE) by the European Central Bank admits as much. Mr Tsipras is also right that Greece’s debt, which has risen from 109% to a colossal 175% of GDP over the past six years despite tax rises and spending cuts, is unpayable. Greece should be put into a forgiveness programme just like a bankrupt African country. But Mr Tsipras is wrong to abandon reform at home. His plans to rehire 12,000 public-sector workers, abandon privatisation and introduce a big rise in the minimum wage would all undo Greece’s hard-won gains in competitiveness.Hence this newspaper’s solution: get Mr Tsipras to junk his crazy socialism and to stick to structural reforms in exchange for debt forgiveness—either by pushing the maturity of Greek debt out even further or, better still, by reducing its face value. Mr Tspiras could vent his leftist urges by breaking up Greece’s cosy protected oligopolies and tackling corruption. The combination of macroeconomic easing with microeconomic structural reform might even provide a model for other countries, like Italy and even France.A very logical dream—until you wake up and remember that Mr Tsipras probably is a crazy leftwinger and Mrs Merkel can barely accept the existing plans for QE. Hence the second, disastrous outcome: Grexit. Optimists are right that it would now be less painful than in 2012, but it would still hurt.In Greece it would lead to bust banks, onerous capital controls, more loss of income, unemployment even higher than today’s 25% rate—and the country’s likely exit from the European Union. The knock-on effects of Grexit on the rest of Europe would also be tough. It would immediately trigger doubts over whether Portugal, Spain and even Italy should or could stay in the euro. The euro’s new protections, the banking union and a bail-out fund, are, to put it mildly, untested.So the most likely answer is a temporary fudge—but it is one that is unlikely to last long. If Mr Tsipras gets no debt relief, then he will lose all credibility with Greek voters. But even if he wins only marginal improvements in Greece’s position, other countries are bound to resist. Any changes in the bail-out terms will have to be voted on in some national parliaments, including Finland’s. If they passed, voters in countries like Spain and Portugal would demand an end to their own austerity. Worse still, populists from the right and left in France and Italy, who are not just against austerity but against their countries’ membership of the euro, would be strengthened.And there are technical problems with any fudge. The ECB is adamant that it cannot provide emergency liquidity to Greece’s banks or buy up its bonds unless Mr Tsipras’s government is in an agreed programme with creditors, so any impasse is likely to trigger a run on Greek banks. By stretching out maturities, some of this could be avoided—but that may be too little for Mr Tsipras and too much for Mrs Merkel.Hello to BerlinSo in the end, Greece will probably force Europe to make some hard choices. With luck it will be towards the good outcome outlined above. Greek voters may be living in a fool’s paradise if they think Mr Tsipras can deliver what he says, but the Germans too have to look at the consequences of their obstinacy. Five years after the onset of the euro crisis, southern euro-zone countries remain stuck with near-zero growth and blisteringly high unemployment. Deflation is setting in, so debt burdens rise despite fiscal austerity. When policies are delivering such bad outcomes, a revolt by Greek voters was both predictable and understandable.If Mrs Merkel continues to oppose all efforts to kick-start growth and banish deflation in the euro zone, she will condemn Europe to a lost decade even more debilitating than Japan’s in the 1990s. That would surely trigger a bigger populist backlash than Greece’s, right across Europe. It is hard to see how the single currency could survive in such circumstances. And the biggest loser if it did not would be Germany itself  
  • EU fails to agree new Russia sanctions
    On guard: a pro-Russian rebel patrols the road near the airport of Donetsk, with Ukrainian military vehicles in the background  By Christian Oliver in Brussels and Stefan Wagstyl in Berlin (FT) Increasingly divided EU ministers failed to issue a specific threat of further economic sanctions against Russia on Thursday, despite fears that the conflict in Ukraine was entering a dangerous new phase.European foreign ministers held an emergency meeting in Brussels to determine how to respond to the collapse of a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, fearing that this weekend’s bombardment of the port city of Mariupol marked a dramatic escalation of the fighting.However, diplomats in Brussels said it was increasingly difficult to preserve a united front among the 28 members of the EU, partly because of the recent election of a leftwing government in Greece which has vowed to act as a bridge between Europe and Russia.In a weak final statement, the ministers simply instructed the European Commission to undertake more preparatory work on loosely defined “appropriate action”. No deadline was given for this work to be completed.Earlier in the day, some nations had pushed for a more specific threat of “restrictive measures” against Russia — diplomatic code for sanctions.Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign affairs chief, said European leaders would have a final say on how to interpret “appropriate action” against Moscow at a summit on February 12.The difficulty in issuing a clear threat to Russia highlights the EU’s faultlines. Arriving at the meeting, Nikos Kotzias, the new Greek foreign minister, said Athens would work to prevent a “rift between the European Union and Russia”.His government, which came to power this week, had already expressed a “general reservation” towards EU measures aimed at expanding sanctions against Moscow.Linas Linkevicius, Lithuania’s foreign minister, slammed this weekend’s attack on Mariupol by pro-Russian rebels as “terrorism” that merited a direct response by the EU, such as more financial restrictions on Russia.“How many people should be killed before we say ‘je suis Ukrainien’?” he asked, in reference to the “Je suis Charlie” placards that became common after this month’s terrorist killings at the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper in Paris.EU sanctions imposed last year have targeted Russia’s energy, defence and banking sectors and have been seen as a critical factor in crippling Moscow’s economy, which has been weakened further by the collapsing oil price. Hawkish countries in the EU want more curbs on Russia’s access to international capital markets.Countries such as Britain, Sweden, Poland, Romania and the Baltic states also want a more specific timeframe for the imposition of new economic sanctions.However, diplomats from this hardline camp said France, Italy and, to a lesser extent, Germany were guarded about a tough response to Russia.Speaking before Thursday’s meeting, Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s economy minister, said it was too early “at the present time” to speak about further sanctions.Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said he understood the difficulty for some countries but that the EU needed to show it was willing to defend the rule of law.“At the end of the day, this is not just about Donbass itself or Ukraine . . . we need to have mechanisms to respect the rules,” he said.In a largely symbolic move, the EU ministers agreed to prolong until September the blacklisting of Russians and Ukrainians seen as instigating the conflict. Asset freezes and travel bans against them had been due to expire in March.Diplomats argue that the internal EU friction will make it far harder to renew the broader sanctions against whole sectors of the Russian economy when they expire in July.
  • US Senate Committee Passes Bill to Introduce More Sanctions Against Iran
    By Sputnik; 22:18 29.01.2015 The US Senate Committee on Banking has approved legislation that would further sanction Iran if the country fails to reach an agreement by the negotiating deadline. Iran Could Stop Honoring Nuclear Agreements if West Persists With Sanctions WASHINGTON, January 29 (Sputnik) — The US Senate Committee on Banking voted 18 to 4 in favor of a bill that would further sanction Iran, if the country fails to reach an agreement on the nuclear deal by the July 2015 deadline, according to a statement made by the chairman of the committee Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama on Thursday.“Banking Committee has approved legislation in a bipartisan manner that would impose additional sanctions should Iran fails to reach an agreement by the negotiating deadline,” the committee’s Chairman Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama said, following the approval of the bill. “It is clear that further action is necessary to compel Iran to reach an acceptable agreement, which is why I strongly support this critical bill.” Iran Sanctions Bill Authors to Suspend Support Until End of March The Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015, also known as the “the Kirk-Menendez bill”, aims to impose “crippling economic pressure on Iran” if the country does not yield a final nuclear deal by June 30, 2015 deadline. The bill additionally directs that a congressional review period convenes to have 30 continuous session days “in the event of a final deal.”“With an overwhelming 18-to-4 bipartisan vote, the Senate Banking Committee today showed that the Senate stands ready to pass the Kirk-Menendez legislation,” Republican Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois said in a statement, following the passage of the bill. “Now is the time to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and launching a nuclear war in the Middle East.”The Kirk-Menendez bill of 2014, the Nuclear Free Iran Act, received bipartisan support in the Senate from nearly 60 US senators, according to the congressional record. The Senate Banking Committee also held a hearing on Tuesday to explore the implications of new sanctions on Iran. US Sanctions Against Iran to Disrupt Possible Consensus on Military Action Earlier in the week, US Senate sponsors of the bill said that they would withhold their support for their own bill until the March 24, 2015 deadline, set by the P5+1 negotiators and Iran for a political framework agreement.The Obama administration has warned that new Iran sanctions, imposed by the US Congress, would be counterproductive to the nuclear negotiations and has threatened to veto any legislation from Capitol Hill that calls for new Iran sanctions.In November 2013, Iran and the P5+1 group, which includes China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, started negotiations on an agreement that would guarantee the exclusively peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of sanctions on Iran. The talks resulted in an interim agreement.A year later, the talks between the P5+1 powers and Iran resumed. However, no final agreement on the Iran’s uranium enrichment program was signed by the November 24 deadline and talks then were extended until June 2015.
  • Pentagon: US may lose high-tech military superiority to China, Russia
    The laser weapon system (LaWS) is tested aboard the USS Ponce amphibious transport dock during an operational demonstration while deployed in the Gulf in November 15, 2014 US Navy handout photo provided December 11, 2014. (Reuters / John Williams) BY RT January 29, 2015 13:22 The Pentagon has expressed deep concern about the US eventually losing its military technological superiority over rivals such as China and Russia, and is urging NATO states to develop innovative weapons in close cooperation to optimize military spending.“I am very concerned about the increasing risk of loss of US military technological superiority,” Pentagon arms buyer Frank Kendall told a House Armed Services Committee hearing. “We're at risk and the situation is getting worse,” he warned, specifying that his concerns lay with the heavy investments into weapons design being done by China and Russia.READ MORE: China’s hypersonic strike vehicle ‘in 3d test flight’Kendall noted that development of aircraft carriers and satellite technologies by China and Russia was targeting “critical” US military capabilities, Reuters reported.In a separate hearing at the House Armed Services Committee, US Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work announced Wednesday that “bold action” was needed to keep the US’s lead in technology as China, Russia and other countries are rapidly developing weapon systems of their own.The US must “increase collaboration” equally with NATO members, and allies in Asia and other areas when investing into new weapons.“We must coordinate and collaborate, avoid duplication, leverage niche capabilities, and push our establishments to innovate in technology, concepts, experimentation and wargaming,” Work told a conference hosted by the Center for a New American Security. The Pentagon’s budget process has been turned on its head after 5 years of congressional gridlock, but that’s not stopping Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work from trying to fix it. By Marcus...Defense One @DefenseOne Work also called on representatives of NATO members to keep their promise given last year and spend 2 percent of GDP on defense.Extensive collaboration with allies worldwide is a part of America’s new plan, dubbed “Defense Innovation Initiative” (DII), which aims to ensure US decisive technical military superiority against potential enemies.Leading manufacturers in America’s defense industry, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, have repeatedly urged the Pentagon to allocate more investments into developing new technologies.READ MORE: Not Sci-Fi anymore: Navy’s 'fully operational' laser gun blows up boats, drones (VIDEO)In response, the Pentagon unveiled its Defense Innovation Initiative program.The plan was presented in November 2014 by US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.“It will put resources behind innovations,” Hagel said on November 15 at a national defense conference at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation in Simi Valley, California. The budget for the new initiative was not publicly specified.Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work was appointed to lead a group of senior Pentagon officials to lead on the DII plan.Two months later, speaking at the House Armed Services Committee, Work has also not revealed the budget behind the DII plan. He said the investments are going to be “significant” and into multiple means of military hardware, from nuclear weapons, space control capabilities, missile defense and cyber warfare, together with high-speed strike weapons, unmanned undersea vehicles, advanced sensors, and high-energy lasers and railgun technology.READ MORE: US to increase nuclear weapons spending – PentagonIn turn, Kendall revealed that DoD has allocated special-purpose funding for designing of a new “next-generation X-plane” to eventually succeed the F-35 fighter jet, as well as a new engine for it.Work mentioned that a number of key technologies, such as robotics and autonomous operations, are going to be elaborated by commercial companies in various regions.
  • Islamization of Afghanistan and Iran by west (photos)
    White House photo of President Reagan meeting with members of the Afghan Mujahideen in 1983. The Mujahideen would later morph into the Taliban and al-Qaeda with the assistance of the CIA. “These gentlemen are the moral equivalent of the founding fathers,” Reagan said. Ayatollah Khomeini with his followers in his French residence (photo)    
  • The Sharia-zation of Iran by Islamic Velayat-e Faqih (videos and photos)
    By nikpress Arabic hijab style                           The Islamic Velayat-e Faqih TV