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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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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

نیک پاکپور - تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد Image

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نیک پاکپور - تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد

تراژدی تاریخی 28 مرداد

سیر و سیاحتی به مناسبت 61 مین سالگرد کودتای ننگین 28 مرداد

گوینده: نیک پاکپور

پیش از اینکه با سنبه وسوندی سنباننده به سفتن مدخل ومجرای، بحثی تاریخی، در مورد کودتای 28 مرداد سال 1332 خورشیدی ایران را، باز کنم، لازم می بینم که نخست بطور مختصر و مرخم ومفید، اشاراتی نیز داشته باشم به شیوها وشگردهای شیادانه و شعبده بازانه تعداد بسیار، بسیار اندکی از مائوئیست های متاسیون شده و کمونيیست های Quisling شده به همراه مونارکیست های منحط و متواری، مومیایی شده، که درطی دهه های گذشته، بویژه پس از انقراض و اضمحال یا انحطاط بساط سلطه و سیطره ارتجاع ، استعمار و استکبار جهانی در ایران، که اغلب بخاطر مزد و معاش در جهت ارتزاق و ارتشاف شخصی و شکمی، با تغذیه از اسناد استفراغ زده شده و آروغ زده شده ارتجاع جهانی، بسان رجاله گان سیاسی، با رجزخوانی رذیلانه، برای رضی و راضی نگهداشتن دشمنان دژنام ایرانی، در رسانه ها و روزنامه های باصطلاع فارسی زبان زیر سیطره و ساطور سیاه سازمان های اطلاعاتی lntelligency چون CIA امریکا و MI6 انگلستان و DGSE فرانسه، BND آلمان و موساد اسرائیل بنام صدای امریکا و رادیوی فریب و Fradulent فردا، بی بی سی، رادیوی RFI، رادیوی دویچه وله فارسی، صدای شوم Zionism جهانی، یعنی اسرايیل، البته با مدد سفسطه ولی با سکسکه سفیل ، سفیهانه و سالوسانه، علیه سیمای ستبر مردم ایران یا سخن پراکنی کرده یا با کمک مستقیم و غیر مستقیم Benefit سیاسی ارتجاع جهانی، مرتکب نسک و نشر و جهل، جوزن وجادوگری تاریخی شده اند، و بارها و بارها به کرات و مرات با کراهت و گژبینی گزند گونه در سنگر گزیزگاه دشمن با کرنش و کمر خم کنی خماننده ولی با نیش و نیشتر و نیرنگی فریبنده، برای توجیه و تطهیر و تبرئه عاملان و قاتلان و خائنان داخلی و خاری کودتای 28 مرداد، نوکربابانه یا نطق کرده یا نسک نگاشته اند. لطفآ بقیه را در video توجه فرمائید!

 


گوینده: نیک پاکپور - بنیاد بریکس و بیم غرب Image

11,762 views

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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MH17: The Untold story (Promo) Image

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MH17: The Untold story (Promo)

War blocks the MH17 probe from reaching the crash site. The wreckage should have been collected and re-assembled. Until it is, evidence can only be gleaned from images, recorders and eye-witness testimony. Did a rocket fired from the fired from the ground or gunfire from a military jet bring down MH17? Watch October 22 on http://RTD.rt.com/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/+RTRT (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.

CrossTalk: Recognizing Palestine (ft. Norman Finkelstein) Image

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CrossTalk: Recognizing Palestine (ft. Norman Finkelstein)

Why have Western countries only now decided to vote to recognize the state of Palestine? What will be the outcome? Will a legitimate Palestinian state bring peace to the region? Is an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan a dead end?CrossTalking with Norman Finkelstein and Amir Oren. Watch all CrossTalk shows here:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL75A81D67D2955F81 (Sep 2009 - Feb 2011)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K12YqkZDcnaHfDd5cptKhs9 (Mar 2011 - Jul 2012)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K1wI7Kcpxfq6NviCKYKjXAn (Jul 2012 - current)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/+RTRT (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.

52 views

'We are ready!' Tens of thousands of Catalans rally, demand early elections

About 110,000 people gathered in the center of Barcelona to call for snap regional elections after Catalonia was forced to cancel its November 9 independence referendum under pressure from Madrid. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/7hadwcCOURTESY: RT's RUPTLY video agency, NO RE-UPLOAD, NO REUSE - FOR LICENSING, PLEASE, CONTACT http://ruptly.tvRT 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/+RTRT (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.

Middle east

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Kobani granny & other refugees desperate to halt ISIS at Turkey-Syria border Image

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Kobani granny & other refugees desperate to halt ISIS at Turkey-Syria border

US-led coalition has been bombing the Syrian border city of Kobani for more than a month, trying to help the local Kurds slow the advance of Islamic state.The violence has forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes to Turkey .Paula Slier reports from one the refugee camps.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/+RTRT (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.

Kurdish Fighters Regain Kobani Image

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Kurdish Fighters Regain Kobani

The coalition is not what it appears to be, Vice-President Biden was right says Patrick Cockburn the author of "The Jihadis Return: Isis and the new Sunni uprising."breitbart.com

Bio
Patrick Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent since 1979 for the Financial Times and, presently, The Independent. Among the most experienced commentators on Iraq, he has written four books on the country's recent history. Cockburn's latest book is The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising.
Transcript
Kurdish Fighters Move to Regain KobaniSHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.
Fierce fighting is going on in the northern Syrian town of Kobani, bordering Turkey and Iraq. The U.S. is now dropping arms ammunition and supplies to the PKK that is deemed a terrorist organization by the American ally Turkey. The Turkish army has until now prevented reinforcements from reaching the town during this month-long seige of Kobani.
Our guest today, Patrick Cockburn, is joining us from Canterbury, England. He is the author of The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising. He's also a correspondent for The Independent of London, mainly on Middle East issues.
Thank you so much for joining us, Patrick.
PATRICK COCKBURN, JOURNALIST, THE INDEPENDENT: Thank you.
PERIES: Patrick, you wrote in your article in The Independent this week that the U.S. resupply effort marks a radical change in American policy towards direct cooperation with Kurdish fighters on the ground, who Turkey has denounced as terrorists. Why this shift in policy, both on the part of the Americans and perhaps the Turkish?
COCKBURN: I think the main reason is that the Islamic State, ISIS, appeared to be on the verge of capturing Kobani, this Syrian-Kurdish town just south of the Turkish border. And this would be one more victory for the Islamic State. And I think that the White House probably thought that this was too humiliating. Remember that President Obama had said he was going to degrade and destroy the Islamic State in September. And it would look very bad if they simply won another victory. They already defeated the Iraqi army, the Syrian army, the Syrian rebels. And if they now defeated the Syrian Kurds as well, the whole bombing campaign against them would look a failure. So I think that's the main reason why they switched policy and started supporting them on the ground with dropping them weapons and by other means.
PERIES: And what are the Turkish saying about this?
COCKBURN: Well, they're in a great muddle. Turkey has this rather strange policy. It's meant to be an ally of the U.S., along with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf monarchies, in opposing the Islamic State. But Turkey has a rather different agenda, that it has a big Kurdish minority, about 15 million, and it isn't pleased by the idea of supporting the Kurds in Syria just across the border. In fact, it appeared that it would have preferred--if it had to choose the Islamic State and the Kurds ruling that area, it would prefer the Islamic State. Of course, this is very difficult for the United States, because there's your main ally, a very important ally, who is basically supporting the people who you're bombing, who you're opposing.
PERIES: So, in one of our previous interviews with you, it looked like Kobani was about to fall to the Islamic State. But they've held on. Since then, the U.S. has decided, of course, to provide arms to the PKK, with Secretary of State John Kerry actually saying it would be irresponsible and morally very difficult not to arm the Kurds. Aside from the sudden pretense of morality, what do you think has led to this shift from about to fall to now actually the Kurds holding up?
COCKBURN: Well, the Kurds there belong--are well-organized. They fight very hard. I mean, they've been fighting heroically. I think at the beginning of the month, right up to the middle of the month, there was an assumption that they'd eventually go down, they'd eventually be defeated, because the Turks had sealed them off. There were--Turks weren't allowing arms through or ammunition or food or reinforcements.
But as I said, I think the U.S. simply couldn't afford to let the Islamic State win another victory. And the length of time that the Kurds held out made it pretty clear that they were effective fighters, maybe the only effective fighters in Syria against the Islamic State. The Islamic State has beaten all its other opponents pretty fast. I mean, it's a pretty nasty organization, but it's a very fanatical one, and militarily it's a pretty effective one. So the Kurds are the only people who've actually fought for so long against it without being defeated. So I think that that played a role as well.
You know, initially there were some airstrikes, but you had John Kerry saying, well, Kobani isn't the center of our effort. If it falls or not, they're basically treating it as something they could live with. Eventually, I think, they decided they couldn't. And they also get very fed up and impatient with the Turks for sealing off Kobani, not allowing reinforcements through, and basically creating a situation in which the Islamic State was likely to win. So I think they just told the Turks last weekend that they were going to drop supplies regardless of what Turkey did. And they asked the Turks to let Iraqi Kurds come through Turkey to reinforce Kobani.
PERIES: That's a interesting new development as well.
COCKBURN: Yeah. I mean, this is significant. You know, this is a very messy situation. Turkey doesn't like the Syrian Kurds because they're very close to the Turkish Kurds. It has better relations with the Kurds in Iraq. So it decided it was easier for them to say that they could send 200 fighters.
I think it's probably more important from the point of view of the defenders of Kobani to get arms and ammunition, particularly antitank weapons. But I think they were getting very low on ammunition as well. In the U.S. has been dropping these by parachute from C-130 transport aircraft. And I think that has made a difference.
Also, the U.S. airstrikes all over Iraq and Syria hadn't been very effective previously because the Islamic State fighters had dispersed. They weren't in their headquarters. They were very difficult to find. So out of the first sort of 969 air missions to Iraq and Syria in the first two months of the air campaign, only about 90 attacked targets. The rest had to come home because they couldn't find anybody to attack. Now suddenly, at Kobani, when the Islamic State has to concentrate its forces to attack the Kurds, the aircraft have got good targets and the Kurds are in direct contact with the Americans, I mean, by radio. So in a funny way, America has got what wants in this case, which is a reliable partner on the ground. But it isn't the partner they chose to begin with.
PERIES: Right. But at the same time, one could interpret the situation as Americans allowing the Kurds to draw the ISIS out into Kobani and where there could be better targets and let the Kurds and the ISIS fight it out and destroy each other, and there would be nothing wrong with that, because this would help the fight against the IS, as well as satisfy Turkey in terms of the Kurds.
COCKBURN: I don't think it'll work that way. I mean, the Islamic State may have suffered some heavy casualties, but then it's recruited lot of people. So maybe it's lost 1 percent of its forces--and probably that's an exaggeration.
As for the Syrian Kurds, this whole issue, I mean, of Kobani has become, you know, like the sort of Alamo for them. It's become a great symbol. You know, there are Kurds all over the area [incompr.] 30 million Kurds [incompr.] I mean, distributed in different countries [incompr.] Iraq, Iran, and Syria. So they've all been enthused by what's happening there. So I don't think that the Islamic State and the Kurds are going to wipe each other out. On the contrary, I think that each is going to develop further out of this battle.
PERIES: Right. So another interesting twist in all of this is that actually something you wrote in your book The Jihadis Return, you describe how the Saudis have provided significant financing, weaponry, and ideological support to the Islamic State. And your recent reporting on this issue furthers that connection. This is strange because Saudis have joined the coalition and the fight against ISIS. So what's really going on there?
COCKBURN: Yeah, I don't think that coalition is exactly what it looks like. You know, Joe Biden, the U.S. vice president, said in the beginning of October--he later apologized for it, but I think what he said was true, that what had happened in Syria was that the real problem for U.S. was America's allies, not its enemies. And it's allies, people like Saudi Arabia and Turkey and Qatar and United Arab Emirates, had been so intent on getting rid of President Assad, the Syrian leader, that they poured money and weapons into the area that increased the sort of sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia, all in order to get rid of Assad. But the real beneficiaries had been people like the jihadis, which would include the Islamic State.
PERIES: And to what extent do you think all of this is strengthening the Kurdish power across the region?
COCKBURN: I think it does in a couple of ways. You know, this sort of siege is something that all the Kurds have been following intently in whatever country they're living in; whether it's in the Middle East, whether it's in San Diego or anywhere else, they've been following this every detail every day. This is a great sort of battle for them. So it has great sort of symbolic value. And that in a way increases their unity and sense of solidarity. It also shows that they can fight, that nobody else has defeated the Islamic State. The Iraqi army had 350,000 men. You know, they all ran away. So it increases their strength. The Turks are not happy about this, but it's not clear that the Turks can do anything about it.
PERIES: Right. And in terms of the Iraqi Kurdish coming over to fight now, you know, more consolidate power across the region, is this having causing problems with Baghdad?
COCKBURN: Not that I'm aware of. I mean, there are tensions between Baghdad and the Kurds the whole time, but they've been brought together to a degree by the attack of the Islamic State which defeated both of them. It defeated the Iraqi army in June, although the Iraqi army was meant to have 60,000 men in Mosul and the Islamic State only had a bit over 1,000, it was the Iraqi army that broke and ran. Then the Kurds said, oh, well, it wouldn't have happened to us. But in August it did happen to them. They also get defeated. So it has brought them together, to a degree, that they have a common enemy.
PERIES: Right. Patrick, I thank you so much for joining us today.
COCKBURN: Thank you.
PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

CrossTalk: Eternal War against ISIS? Image

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CrossTalk: Eternal War against ISIS?

Taking on the Islamic State or an excuse to fight whoever you want? Each member of Washington's coalition of the reluctant has its own agenda - and rarely directed against this terrorist group. It is not surprising that we are told destroying the Islamic State will take a very long time. CrossTalking with Oubai Shahbandar, Brian Becker and Revd Nadim Nassar.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/+RTRT (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.

United state

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US Dropping Arms and Ammunition to Syrian Kurds in Kobani Image

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US Dropping Arms and Ammunition to Syrian Kurds in Kobani

Reese Erlich, Freelance Correspondent and Author of Inside Syria, says the irony in the support to the Kurds in Kobani is that PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the US

October 23, 14

 

Juicy Month: Arms sales soar amid war against ISIS Image

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Juicy Month: Arms sales soar amid war against ISIS

It is exactly one month since the US started its bombing campaign on Islamic State in Syria. And it's been quite a profitable operation for the arms industry of course - on the first day 47 Tomahawk missiles worth over 65 million dollars were dropped. One month on and the jihadists are still in place.But the war has produced new contracts for American weapon makers.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/+RTRT (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.

US police brutality Image

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US police brutality

Under the rainy skies of New York City, several hundred people marched into Times Square, protesting police brutality and calling for reform and justice on behalf of those killed by law enforcement.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/+RTRT (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.

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  • NarcoNews: Millions Missing From DEA Money-Laundering Operation
    NarcoNews: Millions Missing From DEA Money-Laundering Operation But No One With the Power to Investigate Seems to Care By By Bill Conroy "Guest | October 24, 2014" At least $20 million went missing from money seizures by law enforcers, critical evidence was destroyed by a federal agency, a key informant was outed by a US prosecutor — contributing to her being kidnapped and nearly killed — and at the end of the day not a single narco-trafficker was prosecuted in this four-year-long DEA undercover operation gone awry.Those revelations surfaced in a recently decided court case filed in the US Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.“Throughout this protracted litigation, the agency [DEA] delayed producing documents until the 11th hour and destroyed potentially relevant evidence,“ states Judge Mary Ellen Coster Williams in an Aug. 30 ruling awarding the informant in the case, with the code name “Princess,” more than $1.1 million. “…The conclusion that there were missing trafficker funds is supported by … DEA documents, including a statement by [a] DEA confidential informant.”The Princess, a former airline stewardess and mother of two, lived in the US but hailed from an upper-crust Colombian family. Though her two former husbands had ties to the drug trade, she had a clean record and was essentially “scammed” into working as an informant by the threat of prosecution, court records reveal. Consequently, she was completely out of her league in taking on an extremely dangerous undercover role in the world of transnational crime, where she was charged with posing as a money launder to rope in high-level Colombian narco-traffickers for the DEA.During the course of her undercover assignment, which played out in the early to mid-1990s, she was the target of death threats and even a foiled plot on her life after her cover was compromised. It was blown both by DEA negligence in money-seizing operations and as a result of an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago disclosing her “status as a confidential informant to a criminal defendant whom the Princess had lured to the United States to be arrested,” the judge’s ruling reveals.Even after all that, her DEA handlers still sent the Princess back into Colombia to meet with narco-traffickers, with her cover blown, leading to her being kidnapped and held for ransom for some three months “in a windowless, dirt-floor room where she slept on a straw mattress,” court records indicate.She narrowly averted death due to the intervention of a “criminal associate of many high-level Cali mafia members” who also was a DEA cooperating source in Colombia. The source negotiated her release with a payment of $350,000 from his own funds, because DEA refused to negotiate officially with “terrorists.”But the subtext to this story goes far deeper than a tale of a botched DEA operation — one that allegedly laundered in excess of $60 million for the narco-traffickers, with more than $20 million still missing, and which, in the end, produced no prosecutions (other than that of a Florida DEA agent, who was convicted of skimming some $700,000 from a money pick-up location in Houston and received a two-year sentence.)Mike Levine, a former deep undercover DEA agent and supervisor who examined copious DEA documents related to this case as an expert witness for Princess’ lawyers, goes as far as to say in his report to the court that the law enforcers involved with the operation were likely stealing millions from the narco-trafficker funds seized in the operation and may well have been complicit in Princess’ kidnapping.Princess’ [the informant's] undercover role posing as a money launderer made her the responsible party for money shortages, of which a large number were noted in reporting, including the 
theft of … trafficker funds by a corrupt DEA agent, Rene De La Cova, and likely
 other corrupt agents whom, due to an absence of DEA oversight, have managed to thus far elude identification. Each of these [money] shortages placed Princess, the one whom the traffickers would blame for the missing money, in clear and present danger of homicide and/or kidnapping, unless resolved.… The Princess Operation, as a result of lax and/or non-existent oversight by DEA Headquarters, was utilized by corrupt [US law] officers to steal trafficker funds, pad expense accounts, indulge in heavy drinking and the taking of high-expense boondoggle trips, while the safety and security of Princess went entirely ignored, resulting with her predictable kidnapping.Levine, when asked about the case by Narco News, also provided the following details concerning his testimony before the court:At one point, the prosecutor cross-examined me by asking if I thought the agents handling Princess were plotting to kill Princess by exposing her to one deadly situation after the other until she was killed. I testified (paraphrased according to my memory) that with more than $20 million missing and unaccounted for, and in consideration of the way they were handling her, it was a reasonable possibility.The judge later that day ordered that the case be investigated by the US Attorney General’s office. …As you can see, the secrecy surrounding this thing is astonishing. I mean it is certainly not to protect Princess. Fox Guarding the Chicken Coop The so-called Operation Princess was overseen by the assistant special agent in charge of DEA’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office and was a US Attorney General-sanctioned money-laundering sting. The DEA agents, operating in conjunction with local law enforcers via a task force, used Princess to convince Colombian narco-traffickers to provide her money to launder through her accounts. Princess would charge a fee (a percentage) for the service, and after taking that cut would deliver the laundered cash to accounts controlled by the narco-traffickers.That was the pretense. In reality, the cash was being picked up at numerous points in the US by the DEA task-force agents and deposited in undercover bank accounts controlled by DEA and then sent to the narco-traffickers after extracting the fees, which were used to fund the DEA operation. Essentially, DEA was in the money-laundering business. The ostensible goal was to follow the money and build evidence to prosecute key figures in the narco-trafficking network.The way it played out, though, according to Levine and court records, is despite the four years that the money-laundering operation was in play, from late 1991 to 1995, no prosecutions resulted and at least $20 million went missing, unaccounted for in DEA documents — which were either destroyed or nonexistent. Yet only one DEA agent was prosecuted — allegedly for skimming a tiny fraction of the missing cash, $700,000.To date, DEA has failed to account for that missing money, Levine stresses, hence the judge’s request for an inquiry by the US Attorney General’s office, which oversees the Department of Justice under which DEA operates.Princess’ lawsuit sought damages from DEA for the long-term serious consequences that her kidnapping had on her health. She claims the ordeal sparked a serious nervous-system disorder that has left her debilitated. The judge’s August ruling found in her favor, ordering DEA to pay out in excess of $1.1 million to cover the cost of the now-former informant’s future health-care costs.One former federal agent explains that money-laundering operations, such as Operation Princess, are supposed to be under strict controls to prevent skimming. He says absent those controls, which include auditing the books regularly and assuring money from pick-ups or seizures is counted promptly and accurately, it’s not difficult for a greedy agent to skim money off the top.“When you’re chasing people who are moving cash, and there’s two or three bags of money [at a pick-up location], it’s real easy to stick a bundle of cash in a brief case,” the federal agent explains.And no one is the wiser — other than the narco-traffickers who provided the money in the first place. Once they check their accounts, after the money is laundered (by DEA), and see the amount is light by $1 million or $2 million, who are they going to blame? In this case, Levine says, they blamed the Princess, figuring she was either a thief or a DEA informant, or both.It’s the perfect crime, so long as DEA brass decides to look the other way, for fear of embarrassing the agency or undermining a big-budget operation. The Kent Memo This isn’t the first time that alleged corruption within DEA has surfaced in relation to Colombian narco-traffickers, informants and money laundering. Similar allegations of DEA corruption were alleged in what is now known as the Kent Memo.Narco News broke that story in 2006, based on a leaked memo drafted by Department of Justice attorney Thomas M. Kent that referred to DEA operations carried out in Colombia and the US in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In the memo, written in December 2004, Kent alleges that DEA agents in Bogotá, Colombia, assisted narco-traffickers, engaged in money laundering for Colombia’s right-wing paramilitary groups, and conspired to murder informants.Kent’s memo also alleges that investigations into the alleged corruption carried out by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) and DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) were derailed and whitewashed by officials within those watchdog agencies.A CIA “foreign-intelligence source” named Baruch Vega, key to DEA operations at the center of the Kent Memo, also says some of his informants, were, in fact, murdered due to leaks inside DEA and the US Embassy in Bogotá.Vega claims he was used by multiple US law enforcement agencies simultaneously in the late 1990s and early 2000s to infiltrate and flip key narco-trafficking figures in Colombia — by convincing them to negotiate favorable plea deals with the US government. Some of those narco-traffickers went on to serve as assets for US agencies.“I know exactly her [the Princess’] whole case.,” Vega claimed, in an interview with Narco News. “It’s exactly the same group [of allegedly corrupt US law enforcers involved]. Nothing changed at all. That was beginning of the North Valley Cartel [in Colombia]. The North Valley Cartel became very powerful immediately after the Cali Cartel was jeopardized by the same group [of US agents].”Vega contends that the North Valley Cartel was a union of corrupt US law enforcers, including DEA agents; corrupt Colombian National Police; paramilitaries known as the AUC; and Colombian narco-traffickers. The NVC rose to dominance in Colombia in the late1990s and beyond with the demise of the Cali Cartel and traces its roots back to Los Pepes …  
  • Pentagon confirms ‘1st US soldier’ dead in Iraq anti-ISIS campaign
    Pentagon confirms ‘1st US soldier’ dead in Iraq anti-ISIS campaign By RT A 19-year-old mortarman has become the first US soldier to die in the fight against ISIS in Iraq, albeit from a “non-combat injury,” the Pentagon acknowledged.The death of Marine Lance Corporal Sean P. Neal of Riverside, California, which occurred on Thursday in Baghdad, is under investigation, according to the Pentagon. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and was one of 1,600 US troops serving in Iraq. Pentagon officials confirmed his death Friday night.READ MORE: Marine becomes first US military casualty in operation against ISISNeal is the “first casualty announced by the Department since Operation Inherent Resolve was announced,” said Maureen Schumann, a spokeswoman for the US Defense Department, according to the Guardian.Having enlisted in the army in July 2013, Neal was part of the special Marine air-ground task force, the 1 Marine Expeditionary Force public affairs office reported. He got to Baghdad around September this year.However, Neal could actually be the second fatality as earlier this month a marine went missing at sea. The US military lost Corporal Jordan L. Spears of Memphis, Indiana, on October 1. The 21-year-old aircrew member is now presumed dead. Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobane.(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)"Cpl. Spears was a cherished member of our MEU family, and he fulfilled a key role in our aviation combat element," Col. Matthew Trollinger, commander of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, wrote on the unit's official Facebook page.In June, President Obama ordered US troops back into Iraq, grounding this move on the expansion of the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL). Officially troops, based in the capital, Baghdad, and the northern city of Erbil, play a “non-combat” role – they are supposed to advise and train Iraqi and Kurdish forces in their counterattacks.Airstrikes within the framework of the Operation Inherent Resolve started on August 8 in Iraq, later extended to Syria in September. The US-led coalition fights against the Islamic State militants, their positions and vehicles. Its bombings also target the Turkish-Syrian border, where the besieged Kurdish town of Kobani is located.Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Friday, “The coalition continues to gain both momentum and strength.” He added, “And we know we’re having a direct effect on ISIL inside Iraq and inside Syria.”Although calling the strategy “sound,” the spokesman underlined that the Islamic State is still pushing for ground and for adherents.A total of 4,487 US military were killed in the Iraq War that lasted from 2003 to 2011.
  • Dozens killed in Sinai army checkpoint blast
    Dozens killed in Sinai army checkpoint blast By  MWC News At least 26 soldiers have been killed in an attack on an army checkpoint in Egypt's North Sinai, state media has reported.The attack on Friday afternoon hit an army checkpoint at Karm al-Qawadeis, southwest of Sheikh Zuweid.Egyptian sources said that a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near the checkpoint's magazine, causing it and an army vehicle to explode. Fighters then attacked the site with guns and rocket-propelled grenade.The source said the group attacked as soldiers were on break inside their tents. State media reported that 28 people were wounded, several of whom were in critical condition."Most have been seriously injured and not all of them have been taken to hospital yet," health ministry official Tareq Khater told the AFP news agency.Army helicopters were sent to transfer the injured to hospitals, the head of North Sinai's doctors syndicate told the private satellite TV station CBC.Local media said that the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, ordered a meeting of the government's national defence council following the blast.The council is made up of the prime minister, the head of the parliament, the minister of defence and the commanders of the Egyptian armed forces, and is chaired by the president.The attack is one of the deadliest since Sisi overthrew Mohamed Morsi from the presidency and declared his Muslim Brotherhood movement a terrorist organisation.
  • US Considers Bombing Oil Pipelines a ‘Viable Option’
    US Considers Bombing Oil Pipelines a ‘Viable Option’ Analysts Warn Attacks Would Set Horrible Precedent By Jason Ditz, October 24, 2014"Antiwar.com" Top State Department officials Julieta Valis Noyes, discussing the US concerns with ISIS oil revenue, has revealed that the administration considers attacking oil pipelines in Syria a “viable” military option.US warplanes have been attacking oil refineries and whatnot in ISIS territory in Syria, but attacking pipelines outright would be a huge move, with analysts warning the precedent it sets would be horrible.Strikes on oil pipelines in Syria would risk huge environment damage and massive civilian casualties across the ISIS-held territory, which would be a huge embarrassment for the US, and would also give various factions all the more excuse to attack pipelines themselves.Economic warfare already threatens to cause significant civilian suffering, something the US seems to be comfortable with right now, but escalating it could make the problem far, far worse.
  • Why it could pay to bet against consensus on Europe
    Why it could pay to bet against consensus on Europe By  John Authers "FT" Valuations make sense if the US is about to boom further, but that is hard to swallowIt is an iron law of markets that when a consensus grows strong enough, there are great profits to be made from betting against it. The overwhelming consensus of the past six years, which has strengthened in the past few months, is that the US will be fine, while Europe will not. Since the post-crisis rally began in March 2009, US stocks have outperformed European stocks by 61 per cent.That means that it should probably pay to pour money into Europe, while betting against the US. And that raises two problems. First, there are good reasons why that consensus formed in the first place. Peripheral European economies still appear stricken. The US economy is growing, albeit at an unexciting clip.Secondly, once any consensus or trend takes strength in markets, it can continue long after it ceases to be justified by the fundamentals. TrimTabs reports that European stock exchange traded funds have suffered their greatest outflow ever during the past month, while flows into US equities have barely moved. Betting against such strong sentiment can be dangerous in the short term.With those caveats in mind, here is the case for European stocks. Compared to average earnings of the past 10 years, Research Affiliates shows that large US stocks trade at a multiple of 26.3 – far above their historic average of 15.9. Meanwhile, France (14.3), Germany (16.4), Italy (9.9) and Spain (12.0) are all cheaper, and crucially, far cheaper than their average over time.How can such a gap be justified? By a belief in an extreme decoupling – that the US and EU are at different points in the economic and earnings cycle. The current valuations make sense if the US is about to boom further, while Europe is to lapse further into recession.But that is hard to swallow. European corporate earnings remain some 25 per cent below their pre-crisis peak, while US earnings are almost 50 per cent above their pre-crisis peak, at a record, and supported by record profit margins.It is easy to see how valuations reached this disparity. From 2010 to 2012, the eurozone was gripped by an existential crisis. The risk of sovereign defaults, and of countries departing the euro, was very real. This crisis, and the austerity measures enacted to fight it, inflicted grave damage on Europe’s economy, and on its corporate sector. High rates of youth unemployment in Spain and Greece are a grave human tragedy.But the sovereign crisis per se is over for now, even if economic problems are not. The events of the past few weeks proved it. These have brought alarming signs of slowing at the centre of Europe, and a fresh alarm over Greek debt. But this had minimal impact on the yields of Spanish, Italian or even Portuguese debt. The perceived risk of sovereign default by these countries continues to be minimal.Europe’s problems are real. The chart shows the recent deterioration in sales by European companies. The fact that the European Central Bank – more averse to easy monetary policies than any other major central bank – is even considering measures such as buying corporate bonds demonstrates this. But the calculus for investors is more complicated than that. Corporate Europe is now positioned for a revival. Robert Smithson, of Taube Hodson Stonex in London, points out that the profit margins for many Spanish companies remain tiny fractions of their peak margins from before the crisis – suggesting that any return in sales should swiftly translate into profits. Even sales data might be deceptive. A slew of US consumer goods companies – including Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Yum Brands, Johnson & Johnson and Apple – have reported stronger sales growth in Europe for the third quarter than in the US. He suggests that the European periphery has positioned itself for a “renaissance”.Meanwhile, it could be dangerous to bet that the US can still stand alone. Look at the frantic buying of bonds that drove a “flash crash” last week.If there was any external trigger to this event, it was a bad retail sales number from the US. The market is dangerously exposed to any hint that the US recovery is not on course.Another risk to the scenario is that US growth is too fast – and hence sparks inflation, and with it higher interest rates. As far as investors are concerned, a sharp rise in rates would pull down US shares, while the likely easy money in the eurozone would help shares there.Finally, try scenario analysis. The eurozone now accounts for some 16 per cent of US exports – big enough to matter. If it lapses into crisis, that will hurt the US; if the US really does grow on cue, that will help pull the eurozone through.Either way, for those with patience, it seems reasonable to start allocating money on the assumption that European stocks will outperform US stocks over the medium term.
  • Ukraine: Election without Voters
    Ukraine: Election without Voters By Phillip SADILENKO | 24.10.2014 | 16:39 "Strategic Culture Foundation" It’s not the first time the election gives rise to exasperation among grassroots and it’s not the first time the pre-election campaign is accompanied by outlandish events unthinkable in normal society. Nothing comparable has ever happened in Ukraine. Is there another state in the world holding snap election while being plunged in civil war and entangled in the quagmire of political marketing, propaganda technologies and pre-election advertisements? From outside it looks like cynicism, from inside – like evil grotesque and tragic phantasmagoria.«Is there another state in the world holding snap election being plunged in civil war?»No matter «truce» is declared in the Donbass (the eastern part of Ukraine), every day the so-called cease-fire is breached to result in death toll among civilians. At the very same time in Lviv, Kiev, Kharkiv, Zaporozhye and other cities political wirepullers compete in the contest of posters’ colorfulness and eloquence of public statements. They all are trying to cash in on the ongoing war and the victims. Some say they want «peace» while calling for the extermination of the whole Donbass resistance movement, others insist that «the native Ukrainian land in the Donbass must be fully cleansed from anti-government elements». One gets the impression that the calls are coming from another country…The impression is right, it’s another country. It’s hard to understand why they cannot understand it in Kiev and stop the war? One way or another, the Kiev-based rulers set much store by the election: they hope to «legitimize» the regime that came to power as a result of coup d'йtat.What is to be expected as a result of the election slated for October 26?There are three leading political parties: the Block of Petro Poroshenko, the Batkivshchyna Party or the All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland" and the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko. The People's Front, the Opposition Bloc and the Strong Ukraine are also in spotlight. The Communist Party of Ukraine has been kicked out from politics.After the Maidan events the government had many times tried to set score with the Communist Party of Ukraine. Petro Symonenko, the Communists leader, was among few politicians who openly opposed the actions of Kiev regime in the east of the country. He tried to reveal the information on numerous civilian victims suffered as a result of the so-called «anti-terrorist operation» conducted in the Donbass. In the summer of 2014, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine voted for dismissal of the Communist Party. The voting procedure was in violation of law.Reference: The Block of Petro Poroshenko (the Petro Poroshenko Bloc) – a Ukrainian political party supporting the incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. In August 2014 Yuri Lutsenko, the former Minister of Internal Affairs, was elected the party’s chairman. He is known for close links to former Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko and has the reputation of a politician involved in scandals. Batkivshchyna is a political party led by Yulia Timoshenko.The People's Front is a political party created by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and parliament speaker Oleksandr Turchinov. The both politicians played leading roles during the Maidan events and enjoy the support of Washington. The Radical Party of Ukraine is led by scandal-tainted politician MP Oleh Lyashko. A participant in Maidan events, he is notorious for outlandish escapades and atrocities committed in the east of the country against civilian activists of Donetsk and Luhansk detained and tortured by his armed supporters, as, for instance, reported by Amnesty International. Lyashko has criminal record with three previous convictions; he has been involved in a scandal related to raping an underage boy. The ultra-nationalist Pravy Sector is kept at bay so that, if need be, one could say «there is no fascism in Ukraine!» (like if radical Lyashko were not a fascist!).Reference:The Pravy Sector is a radical group of Nazi-oriented Ukrainian nationalists. It was the main driving force of the February coup in Kiev. The party propagates the idea of Ukrainian «pure race» calling for reprisals against Moscals (Russians). The armed units of Pravy Sector are the main recruitment base for punitive battalions waging war in the Donbass. They are notorious for being especially cruel towards civilians. Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of Pravy Sector, is wanted by Russian criminal police.The Ukrainian sociologists are unanimous in their forecasts. Actually there are no differences in published ratings, something that looks strange as the social surveys use different ways of choosing respondents and counting… How come the sociologists manage to display such unanimity while the people questioned by pollsters are scared, angry and confused? The answer is evident: they can manage without asking questions at all. Many people say the race for seats in the parliament is a bargain, haggling defines the outcome. One can buy a parliament seat in province where the price is much lower while it’s really expensive in the capital. Meanwhile «people’s lustration» hits the streets. Radical young people – the members of Pravy Sector - literally throw the bureaucrats who evoke their indignation into trash bins. The revolution continues…Symbolic harsh treatment of opponents has become popular among Ukrainian nationalists: People are dragged out of working places, caught on the streets and are thrown into trash bins.The Opposition Bloc, that unites the remaining former Party of Regions members, contends that it is confronting the incumbent powers. In reality it will play the role of docile, obedient and domesticated opposition force. This «opposing force» may not get into the Verkhovna Rada, they are former «regionals» (the members of the Party of Regions) and voters have too many questions to ask. For instance, how come they let a fascist coup take place in the country? The Opposition Bloc has a twin competitor – the Strong Ukraine led by Sergey Tigipko. No matter who wins, the Rada will have a «pocket opposition».Reference: The Party of Regions was formerly known as the leading political force of the country led by overthrown former President Victor Yanukovych. Sergey Tigipko – a Ukrainian tycoon, former Prime Minister of Ukraine who has supported former President Yanukovych. Until 2012 he was included by Forbes into the list of 10 richest Ukrainians.The specific feature of the race is that it has made surface and take shape the trend which many call «the revolt of real Nazi».Street gangs and leaders’ groups waste no time on «democratic procedures», even if they are used as a veil, or exchanging words. They openly say that they are social fascists, social nationalists and put forward serious claims towards the incumbent regime accused of being «inert», «soft», «indecisive», «collaborationist» and «prone to peace making». The trend was mirrored by protests staged near the parliament building. That day the bill recognizing the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) as World War II combatants was put to a vote in the Verkhovna Rada. The unrest was organized by neo-Nazi from Revanche and Misanthropic Division that strive for power and the establishment of dictatorship.One should not underestimate their chances. Tycoon Kolomoisky funds the fascists – members of the Patriot of Ukraine acting under the disguise of battalion Azov soldiers. Why not let other Nazi hit the streets and overthrow the «soft» Poroshenko? One way or another the real Nazi still have a role to play on the day of the October 26 election and afterwards.Some are concerned over the prospect of putsch staged by «real Nazi» taking place on Sunday night in a few hours after the polls are closed under the slogans against falsifications allegedly planned by government.No doubt if a putsch is organized it’ll be supported by the People’s Front, Pravy Sector, as well as Batkivschyna led by Yulia Timoshenko.Of course, one can only guess. Many things are not predestined. But it can be said definitely that people have absolutely no influence on the outcome of October 2014 parliamentary election. No matter what results are made public under the circumstances, the further Nazification of the regime is unstoppable no matter the personalities.
  • ‘High performing’ Google exec quietly breaks stratosphere jump record (VIDEO)
    ‘High performing’ Google exec quietly breaks stratosphere jump record (VIDEO) By RT A new world record for the highest sky dive has been set by a senior Google VP who plummeted from 135,890 feet above the Earth, excelling daredevil Felix Baumgartner's record jump from the edge of space two years ago.One of Google's top executives, Vice President of Search Alan Eustace, broke the standing record by more than 8,000 feet, according to United States Parachute Association. Felix Baumgartner jumped from of an altitude of “only” 127,852 feet on 14 October 2012.“I knew I had high performing people working for me,” Google CEO Larry Page wrote on Google+. “But breaking the sound barrier falling in a space suit from a 135,890 foot high balloon ride this morning?”Google's search king began his rise to the top in the New Mexico desert in his helium-filled balloon. After ascending into the sky for two hours to reach the desired altitude of more than 25 miles he cut himself loose with a small explosive device. Wearing a custom pressurized spacesuit developed by ILC Dover, Eustace headed back to Earth, breaking the sound barrier and reaching a velocity of 822 miles per hour.“It was amazing,” Eustace told the New York Times. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.” Google executive Alan Eustace after setting the record for the highest space dive - 135,908 feet, or 41,000 meters high -- on October 24, 2014 in Roswell, New Mexico. (AFP Photo / Copyright 2014 Paragon Space Development Corporation)Eustace jumping experience was recorded by GoPro cameras connected to his ground-control center by a simple radio.Unlike Baumgartner’s Red Bull-sponsored jump in 2012, which received a lot of media attention, Eustace’s descent was kept a relative secret and was done as a private initiative, not sponsored by Google. SciTech, Science, SpaceA new world record for the highest sky dive has been set by a senior Google VP who plummeted from 135,890 feet above the Earth, excelling daredevil Felix Baumgartner's record jump from the edge of space two years ago.One of Google's top executives, Vice President of Search Alan Eustace, broke the standing record by more than 8,000 feet, according to United States Parachute Association. Felix Baumgartner jumped from of an altitude of “only” 127,852 feet on 14 October 2012.“I knew I had high performing people working for me,” Google CEO Larry Page wrote on Google+. “But breaking the sound barrier falling in a space suit from a 135,890 foot high balloon ride this morning?”Google's search king began his rise to the top in the New Mexico desert in his helium-filled balloon. After ascending into the sky for two hours to reach the desired altitude of more than 25 miles he cut himself loose with a small explosive device.Wearing a custom pressurized spacesuit developed by ILC Dover, Eustace headed back to Earth, breaking the sound barrier and reaching a velocity of 822 miles per hour.“It was amazing,” Eustace told the New York Times. “It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space and you could see the layers of atmosphere, which I had never seen before.”Google executive Alan Eustace after setting the record for the highest space dive - 135,908 feet, or 41,000 meters high -- on October 24, 2014 in Roswell, New Mexico. (AFP Photo / Copyright 2014 Paragon Space Development Corporation)Google executive Alan Eustace after setting the record for the highest space dive - 135,908 feet, or 41,000 meters high -- on October 24, 2014 in Roswell, New Mexico. (AFP Photo / Copyright 2014 Paragon Space Development Corporation)Eustace jumping experience was recorded by GoPro cameras connected to his ground-control center by a simple radio.Unlike Baumgartner’s Red Bull-sponsored jump in 2012, which received a lot of media attention, Eustace’s descent was kept a relative secret and was done as a private initiative, not sponsored by Google.Paragon Space Development Corporation headed the technical and logistical part of the StratEx project (Stratospheric Explorer) that took nearly three years to develop. “The core team consisted of less than 20 people,” Taber MacCallum, formerly of Paragon, told WIRED.        
  • The Kobani riddle
    The Kobani riddle By Pepe Escobar "Asia Times"The brave women of Kobani - where Syrian Kurds are desperately fighting ISIS/ISIL/Daesh - are about to be betrayed by the "international community". These women warriors, apart from Caliph Ibrahim's goons, are also fighting treacherous agendas by the US, Turkey and the administration of Iraqi Kurdistan. So what's the real deal in Kobani?Let's start by talking about Rojava. The full meaning of Rojava - the three mostly Kurdish provinces of northern Syria - is conveyed in this editorial (in Turkish) published by jailed activist Kenan Kirkaya. He argues that Rojava is the hcapitalist, nation-state system" - way beyond its regional "meaning for Kurds, or for Syrians or Kurdistan."Kobani - an agricultural region - happens to be at the epicenter of this non-violent experiment in democracy, made possible by an arrangement early on during the Syrian tragedy between Damascus and Rojava (you don't go for regime change against us, we leave you alone). Here, for instance, it's argued that "even if only a single aspect of true socialism were able to survive there, millions of discontented people would be drawn to Kobani."In Rojava, decision-making is via popular assemblies - multicultural and multi-religious. The top three officers in each municipality are a Kurd, an Arab and an Assyrian or Armenian Christian; and at least one of these three must be a woman. Non-Kurd minorities have their own institutions and speak their own languages.Among a myriad of women's and youth councils, there is also an increasingly famous feminist army, the YJA Star militia ("Union of Free Women", with the "star" symbolizing Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar).The symbolism could not be more graphic; think of the forces of Ishtar (Mesopotamia) fighting the forces of ISIS (originally an Egyptian goddess), now transmogrified into an intolerant Caliphate. In the young 21st century, it's the female barricades of Kobani that are in the forefront fighting fascism.Inevitably there should be quite a few points of intersection between the International Brigades fighting fascism in Spain in 1936 and what is happening in Rojava, as stressed by one of the very few articles about it published in Western mainstream media.If these components were not enough to drive crazy deeply intolerant Wahhabis and Takfiris (and their powerful Gulf petrodollar backers) then there's the overall political set up.The fight in Rojava is essentially led by the PYD, which is the Syrian branch of the Turkish PKK, the Marxist guerrillas at war against Ankara since the 1970s. Washington, Brussels and NATO - under relentless Turkish pressure - have always officially ranked both PYD and PKK as "terrorists".Careful examination of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's must-read book Democratic Confederalism reveals this terrorist/Stalinist equation as bogus (Ocalan has been confined to the island-prison of Imrali since 1999.)What the PKK - and the PYD - are striving for is "libertarian municipalism". In fact that's exactly what Rojava has been attempting; self-governing communities applying direct democracy, using as pillars councils, popular assemblies, cooperatives managed by workers - and defended by popular militias. Thus the positioning of Rojava in the vanguard of a worldwide cooperative economics/democracy movement whose ultimate target would be to bypass the concept of a nation-state.Not only this experiment is taking place politically across northern Syria; in military terms, it was the PKK and the PYD who actually managed to rescue those tens of thousands of Yazidis corralled by ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Mount Sinjar, and not American bombs, as the spin went. And now, as PYD co-president Asya Abdullah details, what's needed is a "corridor" to break the encirclement of Kobani by Caliph Ibrahim's goons.Sultan Erdogan's power playAnkara, meanwhile, seems intent to prolong a policy of "lots of problems with our neighbors."For Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, "the main cause of ISIS is the Syrian regime". And Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu - who invented the now defunct "zero problems with our neighbors" doctrine in the first place - has repeatedly stressed Ankara will only intervene with boots on the ground in Kobani to defend the Kurds if Washington presents a "post-Assad plan".And then there's that larger than life character; Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, aka Sultan Erdogan.Sultan Erdogan's edicts are well known. Syrian Kurds should fight against Damascus under the command of that lousy fiction, the reconstituted (and to be trained, of all places, in Saudi Arabia) Free Syrian Army; they should forget about any sort of autonomy; they should meekly accept Turkey's request for Washington to create a no-fly zone over Syria and also a "secured" border on Syrian territory. No wonder both the PYD and Washington have rejected these demands.Sultan Erdogan has his eyes set on rebooting the peace process with the PKK; and he wants to lead it in a position of force. So far his only concession has been to allow Iraqi Kurd peshmergas to enter northern Syria to counter-balance the PYD-PKK militias, and thus prevent the strengthening of an anti-Turkish Kurdish axis.At the same time Sultan Erdogan knows ISIS/ISIL/Daesh has already recruited up to 1,000 Turkish passport holders - and counting. His supplemental nightmare is that the toxic brew laying waste to "Syraq" will sooner rather than later mightily overspill inside Turkish borders.Watch those barbarians at the gatesCaliph Ibrahim's goons have already telegraphed their intention to massacre and/or enslave the entire civilian population of Kobani. And yet Kobani, per se, has no strategic value for ISIS/ISIL/Daesh (that's what US Secretary of State John Kerry himself said last week; but then, predictably, he reversed himself). This very persuasive PYD commander though is very much aware of the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh threat.Kobani is not essential compared to Deir ez-Zor (which has an airport supplying the Syrian Arab Army) or Hasakah (which has oil fields controlled by Kurds helped by the Syrian Arab Army). Kobani boasts no airport and no oil fields.On the other hand, the fall of Kobani would generate immensely positive extra PR for the already very slick Caliph enterprise - widening the perception of a winning army especially among new, potential, EU passport holder recruits, as well as establishing a solid base very close to the Turkish border.Essentially, what Sultan Erdogan is doing is to fight both Damascus (long-term) and the Kurds (medium term) while actually giving a free pass (short-term) to ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. And yet, further on down the road, Turkish journalist Fehim Tastekin is right; training non-existent "moderate" Syrian rebels in oh-so-democratic Saudi Arabia will only lead to the Pakistanization of Turkey. A remix - once again - of the scenario played out during the 1980s Afghan jihad.As if this was not muddled enough, in a game changer - and reversing its "terrorist" dogma - Washington is now maintaining an entente cordiale with the PYD. And that poses an extra headache for Sultan Erdogan.This give-and-take between Washington and the PYD is still up for grabs. Yet some facts on the ground spell it all out; more US bombing, more US air drops (including major fail air drops, where the freshly weaponized end up being The Caliph's goons).A key fact should not be overlooked. As soon as the PYD was more or less "recognized" by Washington, PYD head Saleh Muslim went to meet the wily Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani. That's when the PYD promised a "power sharing" with Barzani's peshmergas on running Rojava.Syrian Kurds who were forced to abandon Kobani and exile themselves in Turkey, and who support the PYD, cannot return to Syria; but Iraqi Kurds can go back and forth. This dodgy deal was brokered by the KRG's intel chief, Lahur Talabani. The KRG, crucially, gets along very well with Ankara.That sheds further light on Erdogan's game; he wants the peshmerga - who are fierce enemies of the PKK - to become the vanguard against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and thus undermine the PYD/PKK alliance. Once again, Turkey is pitting Kurds against Kurds.Washington for its part is manipulating Kobani to completely legitimize - on a "humanitarian", R2P vein - its crusade against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. It's never enough to remember this whole thing started with a barrage of Washington spin about the bogus, ghostly Khorasan group preparing a new 9-11. Khorasan, predictably, entirely vanished from the news cycle.In the long run, the American power play is a serious threat to the direct democracy experiment in Rojava, which Washington cannot but interpret as - God forbid! - a return of communism.So Kobani is now a crucial pawn in a pitiless game manipulated by Washington, Ankara and Irbil. None of these actors want the direct democracy experiment in Kobani and Rojava to bloom, expand and start to be noticed all across the Global South. The women of Kobani are in mortal danger of being, if not enslaved, bitterly betrayed.And it gets even more ominous when the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh play on Kobani is seen essentially for what it is; a diversionary tactic, a trap for the Obama administration. What The Caliph's goons are really aiming at is Anbar province in Iraq - which they already largely control - and the crucial Baghdad belt. The barbarians are at the gates - not only Kobani's but also Baghdad's.Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).ome of a "revolutionary model" that no less than challenges "the hegemony of the
  • Putin lashes out at US, West for destabilizing world
    Putin lashes out at US, West for destabilizing world By RT Vladimir Putin has lashed out at the United States for destabilizing the world order of checks and balances for its own gains. He also accused the West of inflaming the situation in Ukraine and said Russia was not interested in building an empire.The Russian President delivered a fierce broadside aimed at the United States at a speech for the Valdai Club in Sochi, which is an informal group of scholars. He hit out at Washington for behaving without regard to the rest of the world's interests“The system of international relations needed some changes, but the USA, who believe they were the winners of the Cold War, have not seen the need for this.” He added that the US has been trying to create the world “for their own gains." The Russian President added that because of this, regional and global security had been weakened.Putin also touched on the issue of the growth of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, while also accused the West of, "turning a blind eye," to the encroachment of international terrorism into Russia and Central Asia. Putin believes the US has played a considerable role in sponsoring the growth of Islamic extremism, using the example of Washington's funding of the Mujaheddin in the Afghan-Soviet war in the 1980's, which eventually gave birth to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.“It never ceases to amaze me how our partners have been guilty of making the same mistakes time and again. They have in the past sponsored Islamic extremists who were battling against the Soviet Union, which took place in Afghanistan. It was because of this the Taliban and Al-Qaeda was created,” the president added.Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) is the latest terrorist organization, which is destabilizing the world and Putin was scathing of countries that have been helping to fund the Islamist militants by buying cut price oil they are selling.“Terrorists have been selling oil at really low prices and those countries who have been buying it and then selling it on, are financing terrorism, which will eventually come back to bite them,” the Russian President said.Relations between Russia and the US have been plummeting for months, however Vladimir Putin accused the US of using the EU to further their own gains against Russia. He hit out at the numerous sanctions that had been imposed on Moscow, saying, "This was a mistake, which has a knock-on effect on everyone."“The USA, which has implemented sanctions against Russia, is cutting down the branches, upon which they are sitting,” President Putin added.The reduction of nuclear arsenals was another issue, which was high on the agenda for the Russian President and once again, he was not afraid of having a dig at Washington for their reluctance to cut the number of nuclear missiles. He mentioned that unfortunately many countries see the only way to preserve their sovereignty is, "To make a nuclear bomb."The reduction in nuclear arsenals was initially proposed by the Obama administration and Putin admitted it had potential, before talks about decreasing weapons stockpiles collapsed."Russia has been all for the continuation of talks about the reduction of nuclear arsenals," and according to President Putin, "Moscow is ready for serious talks, but without “double standards."Perhaps Putin's harshest criticism was reserved for the West's creation of color revolutions and "controlled chaos," which he a likened to "letting the genie out of the bottle," with particular reference to Ukraine."We have been trying to discuss with the Ukraine issue with the EU for a long time, but we were told this was none of other business. They then put two countries against each other, which has led to countless destruction of infrastructure. When I asked why did they do this, they just shrug their shoulders and don’t have an answer," Putin added.The Russian President said that there is no truth whatsoever in claims from the West that Russia is interested in Empire building and that Moscow is looking to destabilize the world order. With relations between Russia and the West at a very low ebb, Putin also hinted Russia will look to develop allies further afield."Russia has made it’s choice – we want to develop our economy and develop democratic values. We work with our counterparts in the Shanghai Cooperation, the BRICS union for example. We want our opinions to be respected likewise. We all need to be cautious to not make hasty and dangerous steps. Some of the players on the global front have forgotten about the need for this," he said in another barb directed at Washington.
  • United States Hopes to Reach Nuclear Deal With Iran: Assistant Secretary of State
    United States Hopes to Reach Nuclear Deal With Iran: Assistant Secretary of State By RIA Novosti WASHINGTON, October 24 (RIA Novosti) - The United States hopes to reach an agreement with Iran on its nuclear program, otherwise, the liability for failure will fully lie on Iran, US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said."We hope the leaders in Tehran will agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that this program will be exclusively peaceful and thereby end Iran's economic and diplomatic isolation and improve further the lives of their people," Sherman said Thursday speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.Sherman refused to forecast the outcome of the negotiations on the Iranian atom, but stressed that the plan was supposed to be acceptable to all parties.The West has accused Tehran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear program - claims repeatedly denied by the Iranian authorities. At a meeting held in November 2013 in Geneva, Iran and the P5+1 group agreed to reach a long-term nuclear agreement by July 2014. The deadline was later postponed to November 2014. The current deadline is set on November 24.