January 31, 2017

Iran to ditch dollar as anger builds over Trump ban

Iran says it is preparing to stop using the dollar in its official statements – a move that had been in the offing but appears to have been expedited after Washington included the country in a list of seven nations that are banned from entering the United States.

Valiollah Seif, the governor of the Central Bank of Iran, was quoted by domestic media as saying that Iran would either replace the US dollar with a new common foreign currency or use a basket of currencies in all official financial and foreign exchange reports. Read more.

PressTV

'Stop Operation Soros' Movements to ban billionaire-funded groups sweep across Europe



One of those who supported nationwide anti-Trump protests in the US is billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros, who's well known for his charity organizations across the globe.

RT

Related,
Soros-funded NGOs aiming to bring down our govt – Hungarian Foreign Minister (video) - RT

Ukrainian paramilitary supported by army attacked rebels in East – Peskov, citing Kremlin data



The latest escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine was caused by an attack from Ukrainian paramilitary units, the Kremlin said, citing its own data and rejecting accusations by Kiev, which said Russia is responsible for it.

Reports of intensified fighting between pro-Ukrainian forces and rebels along the disengagement line in eastern Ukraine came on Monday. According to Moscow’s data, the hostilities were provoked by Ukrainian paramilitary units, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. Read more.

RT

Related,
Kiev Forces' Shelling of DPR Kills 6, Injures 13 Over Past 24 Hours - Official - Sputnik
At least 7 govt. troopers killed in eastern Ukraine (video) - PressTV

Militants fire Grads on Avdiyivka from residential areas in Donetsk (video) - Unian
Invaders launch another assault on Ukraine positions near Avdiyivka, defy ceasefire proposal – ATO Staff - Unian

203 miners trapped after shelling cuts power (paywall) - Kyiv Post
Fierce fighting breaks near Avdiyivka; 7 Ukrainian soldiers killed (paywall) - Kyiv Post

January 30, 2017

Netherlands claims Russia’s MH17 radar data ‘can’t be deciphered’



The Dutch prosecutor’s office says it lacks information to read the radar images provided by Moscow after the Dutch-led team of international investigators published its report into the crash of MH17 in September.

“Further information is needed to properly understand the meaning of the radar images,” a spokesman for the Dutch prosecutor’s office said in Amsterdam on Saturday, as cited by Der Standard. Read more.

RT

Related,
Dutch Prosecutors to Send New Request to Russia for MH17 Radar Data - Sputnik
Dutch MH17 investigators deliberately stalling to mislead public – Russian air regulator - RT

Russia Denies Dutch Claims Radar Data on MH17 Crash Violating Int'l Requirements - Sputnik

'MH17-radar Russen deugt niet' - Telegraaf
Russische radarbeelden MH17-ramp volgens OM onbruikbaar - Volkskrant

Er rammelt iets compleet aan dat verhaal van MH17 en die Russen - 925

January 29, 2017

US judge blocks deportations under Trump's Muslim ban



Ruling temporarily ends detention of travellers with valid visas and prohibits their removal from the US.

A federal judge has blocked part of President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, ruling that travellers who have already landed in the US with valid visas should not be sent back to their home countries. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Related,
Judge Blocks Trump Order on Refugees Amid Chaos and Outcry Worldwide - NY Times
Homeland Security to comply with orders not to deport travelers - CNN

Trump backpedals on part of refugee ban policy - AA

Trump’s refugee ban triggers wide condemnation in Europe (video) - Al Jazeera
Thousands protest Trump’s travel ban in Washington - PressTV

Six other times the US has banned immigrants - Al Jazeera
- Judge Who Blocked Trump’s Refugee Order Praised for ‘Firm Moral Compass’ - NY Times

Commando dies in U.S. raid in Yemen, first military op OK'd by Trump

A U.S. commando died and three others were wounded carrying out a deadly dawn raid on the al Qaeda militant group in southern Yemen on Sunday, in the first military operation authorized by President Donald Trump.

The U.S. military said it killed 14 militants in a raid on a powerful al Qaeda branch that has been a frequent target of U.S. drone strikes. Read more.

Reuters

Related,
‘Under Investigation’: Civilians reportedly killed in US raid against Al-Qaida in Yemen (video) - RT

Duterte: US endangering regional security by storing arms in Philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has accused Washington of constructing permanent arms depots in his country, in a move which he said will disrupt regional security.

"They're unloading arms in the Philippines now ... I'm serving notice to the armed forces of the United States. Do not do it, I will not allow it," said Duterte on Sunday during a televised press conference. Read more + video.

PressTV

Project Duterte. Law enforcement or mass terror? The Philippines’ war on drugs



The Philippines’s controversial President Rodrigo Duterte came to power on his promise to crack down on crime. Dubbed “The Punisher”, he addressed his subjects, encouraging them to kill drug addicts. However, his inauguration was followed by a wave of extrajudicial killings of alleged drug dealers and now he denies any involvement with the vigilante violence.

A dramatic increase in brutal street executions coincided with the start of “Project Duterte”, the police programme aimed at “Drug Use and Trafficking Elimination through Rehabilitation, Training and Enforcement”, many Filipinos claim they have lost all trust in the country’s law enforcement. 

Most of the street murders carry distinct hallmarks; the victims’ heads are wrapped in adhesive tape, they are left with stab wounds and a sign accusing them of being drug “pushers” is left at the scene. Some believe the police are behind the murders, others that the drug cartels kill their own to cover their tracks. RT Doc spoke to a “death squad” member who claims to have been hired by the authorities to assassinate suspects. The more prominent an alleged drug dealer, the more his killers are paid. The President concedes that there may be innocent victims but he simply describes them as ‘collateral damage’.

Street murder without trial, suspects dying in police custody, overcrowded prisons, vigilante terror squads hunting targets for the price put on their heads and innocent lives lost: all this adds up to the flip side of the Philippines’ war on drugs. President Duterte talks exclusively to RT Doc.

RT

January 28, 2017

Putin & Trump discuss joint ISIS fight, Ukraine crisis, future meeting in first phone call

Russian President Vladimir Putin has had his first telephone conversation with new US President Donald Trump. They discussed the joint fight against international terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, the Ukrainian crisis and plans for a future meeting of the two leaders.

“The Presidents have spoken in favor of establishing a real coordination between the US and Russian actions in order to defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Syria,” the statement said. Read more + video.

RT

Related,
Putin & Trump discuss joint ISIS fight, Ukraine crisis, future meeting in first phone call (video) - RT

Putin, Trump discuss anti-terrorism coordination, agree to keep in touch - TASS
Trump and Putin discuss coordinating on ISIS and Syria, Kremlin says (video) - Washington Post

How Trump's Safe Zones May Help Syrian Armed Rebels to Catch a Second Wind - Sputnik

Trump Bars Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries



WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.

In an executive order that he said was part of an extreme vetting plan to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,.. Read more.

NY Times

Related,
- Iran vows to reciprocate US visa ban - PressTV

‘Let them in!’: Protesters rally at JFK against Trump’s refugee ban (video) - RT
Police deploy teargas at Seattle airport during rally opposing Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ (video) - RT

Roger Waters - Pigs (Three Different Ones)


Lyric

The resistance begins today... Roger Waters

Related,
See Roger Waters Begin Trump Resistance With 'Pigs' Live Video - RollingStone

Iraqi forces discover stockpile of chemical warfare agent, missiles in Mosul



An Iraqi officer said that Iraqi forces recently discovered sulfur mustard, a chemical warfare agent, in eastern Mosul alongside a cache of surface-to-surface missiles bearing Russian inscriptions.

Some of the rockets shown appeared to be training models. None of the rockets in the warehouse, many of which had been taken apart for parts, were operational.

Fadhil said the types of rockets found lead him to suspect the Islamic State group was experimenting with the rockets to develop a way to weaponize the chemical agent.

RT

Er rammelt iets compleet aan dat verhaal van MH17 en die Russen

Tussen derivaten en een gang naar een praatje over de euro door krijgen we dit in mailbox. Wat wij hiervan maken? MH17 is neergehaald door de Russen, met hun 53e brigade. Het zal een ongeluk zijn geweest, maar toch. Omdat het belachelijk lang duurde voordat er ook maar iemand in de buurt van de crash site te vinden was, had niemand meer dan 'circumstantial evidence' tot zijn beschikking. Zoals Russische soldaten die in Oekraïne selfies plaatsen op Facebook, met raketten op de achtergrond. Bellingcat verzamelde het en maakte er een rapport van en iedereen nam de conclusie over.

Vreemd genoeg komt Bellingcat nu ineens met een compleet andere verklaring. Lees meer + video.

925

PRISM in de polder: Wordt de deur straks aan de achterkant opengezet?

Het is inmiddels duidelijk: het kabinet wil koste wat het kost de nieuwe wet voor de geheime diensten nog voor de verkiezingen van 15 maart erdoorheen drukken. Er is ontzettend veel kritiek op het voorstel. Dat is met de invoering van een sleepnet ook niet zo verwonderlijk. Toch is er nog een belangrijk onderdeel van het voorstel dat zowel in de politieke arena als in de media weinig aandacht heeft gekregen: de mogelijkheid van de geheime diensten om straks rechtstreeks en geautomatiseerd toegang te krijgen tot databases van overheidsdiensten en bedrijven.

Realtime en rechtstreeks toegang tot databases 
Waar hebben we het precies over? De geheime diensten mogen op dit moment aan iedereen vragen om informatie te verstrekken. Lees meer.

Bits Of Freedom

Health Benefits of Ashwagandha, Top Ayurvedic Rasayana Herb



Ashwagandha root is one of the top most highly valued tonic herbs commonly utilized in Ayurvedic herbalism

Known as "Indian ginseng" for its energizing, strength building and restorative impact, it helps to relieve physical fatigue and is particularly famous for its revitalizing effects on the male as well as female reproductive system.

Traditionally consumed with other Ayurvedic herbs in herbal formulations geared to specific constitutions or body types, ashwagandha is found in many blends for addressing adrenal exhaustion, insomnia, hormonal imbalance, anxiety and debilitating weakness.

Superfood Evolution

Related,
59 Proven Scientific Health Benefits of Ashwagandha (with references) - SelfHacked

Ashwagandha - Drugs.com
Recommended Ashwagandha Dosage: How Much Should You Consume? - CureJoy

Ashwagandha koninklijk kruid uit India - OrthoKennis
- Ashwagandha waar is het allemaal goed voor? - Gezonder Leven

‘Largest humanitarian crisis in world:’ 18mn Yemeni civilians in need of assistance


(Warning, you may find the images in the follwing reports disturbing)

The United Nation's aid chief has warned that Yemen is facing the risk of all-out famine this year. 

RT

Related,
Intl. community doing nothing to save Yemenis: Journalist (video) - PressTV
Saudi blockade aggravating humanitarian situation in Yemen (video) - PressTV

Yemen’s Sa’ada; hardest hit in Saudi war (video) - PressTV
1st US drone strikes on Trump’s watch hit Al-Qaeda in Yemen & ISIS - RT

Peace in Colombia: FARC and Gov’t Launch Crop Substitution Plan

The plan looks to reinvest in areas long abandoned by the Colombian government by providing millions in agricultural development funds.

The Colombian government and FARC leadership launched a key part of their historic peace agreement on Friday, announcing a massive crop substitution project which will allow almost 50, 000 small Campesino farmers to transition away from growing illicit crops. Read more.

teleSUR

Related,
- Surrender of Colombia’s FARC child soldiers to begin February 1: govt - Colombia Reports
Colombia FARC rebels urge government to construct demobilization camps - Colombia Reports

For 1st time, Colombia calls general to trial for mass killing of civilians - Colombia Reports
Prosecutor warns ICC will try military commanders if Colombia transitional justice fails - Colombia Reports

For 1st time, Colombia calls general to trial for mass killing of civilians

For the first time since the breaking of the “false positives” scandal almost nine years ago, Colombia prosecutors called a general to trial to respond for the execution of civilians who were falsely reported as combat kills.

Retired General Henry Torres is one of 22 generals who are investigated over the mass killing of civilians that cost the lives of an estimated 4,000 civilians,.. Read more.

Colombia Reports

Related,
ELN rebels reject Colombia’s transitional justice system - Colombia Reports
Prosecutor warns ICC will try military commanders if Colombia transitional justice fails - Colombia Reports 

Puerto Rico: Colonial Oversight Board Meets as Crisis Deepens

The meeting comes after the new governor ended an inquiry into the legality of $70 billion debt and passed a bill prioritizing paying creditors.

On Saturday the “control” board created by the U.S. Congress to manage Puerto Rico’s $70 billion debt crisis will meet in Fajardo, Puerto Rico amidst ongoing concerns about the anti-democratic nature of the debt restructuring plans. Read more.

teleSUR

Israel’s shadowy role in Guatemala’s dirty war

Last year was a busy one for Guatemala’s criminal justice system.

January 2016 saw the arrests of 18 former military officers for their alleged part in the country’s dirty war of the 1980s. In February last year, two ex-soldiers were convicted in an unprecedented wartime sexual slavery case from the same era. Read more.

Electronic Intifada

France's wild hamsters being turned into 'crazed cannibals' by diet of corn

Starving rodents in north-eastern France are suffering from vitamin deficiencies that prompt them to eat their own young

A diet of corn is turning wild hamsters in north-eastern France into deranged cannibals that devour their offspring, researchers have reported. Read more.

Guardian

London court rules Shell not suable in England over Nigerian oil spill



Oil major Royal Dutch Shell cannot be sued in London courts over Nigerian oil spill allegations, the High Court ruled on Thursday, dealing a setback to attempts to hold multinationals liable at home for subsidiaries' activities.

If the High Court had ruled in favour of the two groups, other claimants against British-based multinationals could have been emboldened to pursue legal action through the British courts, some legal experts had said. Read more.

AfricaNews.

Related,
- Nigerian oil pollution claims against Shell cannot be heard in UK, court rules - Guardian

- Britse rechter wijst claim tegen Shell af - NRC
- Nigeria wil dat Royal Dutch Shell olieveld opgeeft vanwege corruptiezaak - Beurs.nl

ING heeft plots 'ethische principes' bij steun aan Cuba

ING investeert in kernwapens, oliepijplijnen, maakt winst, ontslaat werknemers voor nog meer winst en investeert in landen met een slechte reputatie op vlak van mensenrechten. Soms heeft ING echter wel ethische principes, soms. ING weigert bijvoorbeeld stortingen van eigen klanten voor een Belgische organisatie die solidariteit met Cuba uitdraagt.

Een Nederlands lezer van DeWereldMorgen.be laat ons weten dat zijn bank ING recent heeft geweigerd een storting uit te voeren van 25 euro voor de Belgische organisatie Initiativa Cuba Socialista. Lees meer.

De Wereld Morgen

January 27, 2017

Is Trump the Back Door Man for Henry A. Kissinger & Co?

F. William Engdahl The term Back Door Man has several connotations. In the original blues song written by Willie Dixon, it refers to a man having an affair with a married woman, using the back door to flee before the husband comes home. During the Gerald Ford Presidency, Back Door Man was applied to Dick Cheney as Ford’s White House Chief of Staff and his “skills” at getting what he wanted through opaque means. More and more as Cabinet choices are named, it looks like the entire Trump Presidency project is emerging as Henry A. Kissinger’s “Back Door Man,” in the Cheney meaning of the term. 

Long forgotten is Trump’s campaign rhetoric about draining the swamp. In October during his campaign candidate Trump issued a press release stating,.. Read more.

NEO

Related,
The Dangerous Deception Called The Trump Presidency - NEO

Mad Men: Trump May Be the Perfect Vehicle for Kissinger’s Philosophy - Nation
Kissinger: Trump could offer 'extraordinary opportunity' in foreign policy - Politico

Kissinger could help Trump reconcile with Kremlin - RBTH
Henry Kissinger has 'advised Donald Trump to accept' Crimea as part of Russia - Independent

President Trump - The Trap is Set



The Trump years are going to be crazier than you think

StormClouds Gathering

IMF Still at Odds With Germany, Insists Greek Program Is Not Sustainable, Sources Say

Greece’s debt will be discussed in an International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive committee meeting on February 6, reliable sources reported on Thursday, noting that the fund’s political disagreement with Germany continues. 

The debt sustainability report to be presented at the meeting says that Greek debt can’t be considered sustainable even if Greece adopts the fiscal path proposed by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble,.. Read more.

Greek Reporter

Related,
IMF says Greece debt 'explosive' in long term - AFP

Mining Bitcoins in Iceland



Bitcoins are popular all over the world but some of the major cloud mining companies are in Iceland. Marco Streng is the founder of the biggest, Genesis Mining.

DW

Executive Order on Pipelines Will Benefit Billionaire Trump Donor



Harold Hamm is the CEO of a major fracking company that would see its product flow through the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, says DeSmogBlog's Steve Horn

TRNN

Related,
Key Trump Donor Stands to Profit from Order to Approve Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines - DeSmogBlog

U.S. oil baron Harold Hamm endorses Trump for president - Reuters
How Romney energy czar fuels business with politics - Reuters

'Calexit' organizers can now start collecting signatures to get California secession on the ballot

Supporters of the campaign for California to secede from the United States can now begin collecting the hundreds of thousands of signatures they need to get a proposed "Calexit" initiative on the ballot.

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla cleared the proposed initiative to begin collecting signatures on Thursday. Read more.

LA Times

Related,
- ‘Calexit,’ here we come? A third of Californians back secession in new poll - Sacramento Bee
- Calexit: Record Number Of Californians Support Secession, New Poll Finds (video) - ZeroHedge

- ‘America hates California’: Bid to make Golden State separate nation jumps first hurdle - RT
- ‘Calexit’: Yes California movement opens ‘embassy’ in Moscow - RT

'Legitimising genocide': US congresswoman visits Syria, criticised for meeting Assad



Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has called on the US to put an end to the “illegal war” she believes it wages in Syria after visiting Damascus and Aleppo

During her trip, she spoke with civilians, religious leaders, opposition leaders, and President Assad.

RT

Related,
Gabbard says she met with Assad on Syria trip (video) - CNN
Tulsi Gabbard reveals she met Assad in Syria, without informing top Democrats - Guardian

The mystery surrounding Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s trip to Syria (video) - Washington Post

Get Ready for the First Shocks of Trump's Disaster Capitalism

Naomi Klein WE ALREADY KNOW that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.

All this is dangerous enough. What’s even worse is the way the Trump administration can be counted on to exploit these shocks politically and economically. Read more + video.

Intercept

Gerelateerd,
Naomi Klein: "Bereid je voor op Trumps shockdoctrine" - De Wereld Morgen

Poland, Lithuania say won't host any new secret CIA jails

Poland and Lithuania said on Thursday they would not allow the United States to locate new secret prisons on their soil if President Donald Trump chooses to reinstate an old CIA program that detained and interrogated terrorism suspects abroad.

Both eastern European countries are close allies of the United States and hosted now-defunct "black site" jails that were used during President George W. Bush's "war on terrorism" after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York. Read more.

Reuters

The Science Of Yoga


Full documentary: 26:00 min.

A Documentary from the Yoga Day Summit, produced by The Shift Network at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, India during the International Yoga Festival 2016

LauraPlumb.com

Israel Moves to Decriminalize Marijuana Use

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announces support for new policy for enforcing marijuana use, which favors fines and educational initiatives, with criminal prosecution only as a last resort.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Thursday that he supports the decriminalization of marijuana use. Read more.

Haaretz

January 26, 2017

Nederlandsche Bank klaagt trustsector aan om Panama Papers

Toezichthouder De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) heeft naar aanleiding van de Panama Papers aangifte gedaan tegen een aantal trustkantoren, zo gaven Trouw en Het Financieele Dagblad gisteren aan.

Panama Papers is een project van het International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), een Amerikaanse organisatie van onderzoeksjournalisten die gefinancierd wordt met subsidiegeld en donaties en valt onder het Center for Public Integrity (CPI) in Washington. Lees meer.

Beurs.com

Dutch regulator mistakenly reveals Soros short positions

The Dutch market regulator mistakenly published the details of hundreds of previously private short selling trades by international hedge funds, including bets against Dutch banks by George Soros and the positions of Renaissance Technologies' enigmatic Medallion fund.

An error by the AFM, the Netherlands' watchdog, meant that details of hedge fund short trades going back to 2012 were published... Read more + video.

CNBC

Related,
Dutch Regulator Accidentally Posts Soros’s Short Positions - Bloomberg

Shortposities Soros en Medallion Fund openbaar - Beurs.com
‘Upload-foutje’ van AFM legt geheime shortposities van beleggers bloot - NRC

Propaganda crusade? EU task force gets boost before big election season



The EU is expanding a task force aimed at fighting alleged Russian propaganda 

The decision comes ahead of upcoming elections in key European states this year and amid fears of external meddling. RT's Peter Oliver has the details.

RT

VVD wil EU-belastingen en een EU-leger vanwege ‘dreiging nationalisten en populisten’

De VVD heeft deze week een op schrift vastgelegd akkoord gesloten om te zullen strijden voor een federale EU, de Verenigde Staten van Europa.

Met een EU-leger, met EU-belastingen, met een fors hogere EU-begroting en met meer mogelijkheden voor de EU om schulden aan te gaan. De VVD ‘geen cent meer naar Griekenland’ verraadt de Nederlandse burgers op de valreep voor de verkiezingen. En de media houden het zo stil als mogelijk. Maar u bent nu op de hoogte. Lees meer.

Veren of Lood

Gerelateerd,
Christendemocraten en liberalen op weg naar federale EU - RD

President Trump Tells ABC News’ David Muir He 'Absolutely' Thinks Waterboarding Works

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, President Donald Trump said he "absolutely" thinks waterboarding works and would consider reinstating it as an interrogation technique, depending on the advice of Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

"I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group. And if they don't want to do, that's fine. If they do wanna do, then I will work toward that end. Read more + video.

ABC

Related,
Trump Poised to Lift Ban on C.I.A. ‘Black Site’ Prisons - NY Times

January 25, 2017

Trump Poised to Lift Ban on C.I.A. ‘Black Site’ Prisons

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing a sweeping executive order that would clear the way for the C.I.A. to reopen overseas “black site” prisons, like those where it detained and tortured terrorism suspects before former President Barack Obama shut them down.

President Trump’s three-page draft order, titled “Detention and Interrogation of Enemy Combatants” and obtained by The New York Times,.. Read more.

NY Times

Related,
Trump could reinstate secret CIA 'black site' prisons: U.S. officials - Reuters
White House: ‘No Idea’ Where ‘CIA Black Site’ Draft Came From - Breitbart

- President Trump Tells ABC News’ David Muir He 'Absolutely' Thinks Waterboarding Works (video) - ABC

Was the Berlin Christmas market attacker an undercover agent?

A report published just over a week ago by the Federal Criminal Office (BKA) raises the question of whether Anis Amri was an intelligence agent.

Amri allegedly drove into a Christmas market with a lorry on December 19 and killed 12 people. He is also accused of shooting and killing the lorry’s Polish driver. Read more.

WSWS

Gerelateerd,
Die Welt: Italië wilde Amri als lokaas - AD
Het grote complot tégen de vrijheid.. - WantToKnow

Defense minister says troops in south Russia need to be strengthened over tense situation

The minister stresses the military and political situation in the south-western strategic direction remains unstable

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Troops of Russia’s Southern Military District need to be strengthened over the situation in southeast Ukraine and the activity of international terrorist groupings in the North Caucasus, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said at the ministry’s board meeting on Wednesday. Read more.

TASS

Protests Across the Country to Oppose the Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines



Real News speaks to indigenous leaders and environmentalists who gathered in Washington, DC to oppose Trump's decision to revive two massive pipelines

TRNN

Related,
- Protests against DAPL likely to intensify, massive anger in Dakota – local radio host (video) - RT
The Keystone XL Pipeline, which Trump just advanced, will carry the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet - Business Insider

​Autism symptoms improve after fecal transplant, small study finds

Parents report fewer behavioral and gastrointestinal problems; gut microbiome changes

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Children with autism may benefit from fecal transplants – a method of introducing donated healthy microbes into people with gastrointestinal disease to rebalance the gut, a new study has found. Read more.

Ohio State University

Poverty grown exponentially in Italy since 2007 crisis



The number of Italians living in absolute poverty has grown by 155 percent since the beginning of the crisis in 2007 

Today, the basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter of over 4.5 million Italians cannot be met. The Italian bishops’ conference has recently denounced the situation.

PressTV

Smog shrouds many cities across continent



A combination of extreme cold and still weather has left many countries shrouded in smog. Authorities in France have ordered half of private cars off the roads in the capital Paris. Several cities in Britain and Northern Ireland are experiencing very high levels of air-borne particles.

Toxic clouds forced the cancellation of around one hundred flights at London's Heathrow airport for the second consecutive day. Eastern Europe has been hit by a blanket of smog as well. In Hungary, an emergency situation has been declared in some 20 cities. Poland saw record-high levels of pollution in its eastern city of Krakow.

PressTV

January 24, 2017

Israel Approves Construction and Planning of 2,500 Homes in West Bank

Netanyahu: 'We are building - and will continue to build.' Announcement criticized by top settler body, which calls it a 'disappointment.' 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman approved the construction and planning of some 2,500 new housing units in the West Bank on Tuesday. Read more.

Haaretz

Related,
Plan approved for 2,500 new settler homes in West Bank - Al Jazeera
Abbas and US Consul General Meet in Ramallah - JPost

UN condemns Israel's West Bank settlement plans - BBC
UN concerned about Israel's settlement plan (video) - PressTV

The Netherlands Have a Message for Trump

UFOs, telekinesis & spies: 12 million pages of CIA secrets online for 1st time



The CIA has released online a large collection of declassified records, after yielding to pressure from activists. It means decades of US intelligence files are now accessible to the general public.

US exit from United Nations could become reality with fresh bill

A Republican-proposed House Resolution has quietly slipped past the public radar – proposing that the United States withdraw its membership from the United Nations, just as another bill was being concocted to cut US funding to the body.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), entitled American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2017, seeks a complete US withdrawal from the UN,.. Read more.

RT

Related,
A bill has already been introduced in Congress to remove the US from the United Nations - Business Insider
Congressman Introduces Bill To Withdraw The U.S. From The United Nations - Zero Hedge

Russian Warplanes Fly First Joint Mission With US-Coalition Aircraft Kremlin Says, Pentagon Denies

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, cited by AP, Russian warplanes have flown their first combat mission in Syria with U.S.-led coalition aircraft. Russian Interfax added that various ISIS storage facilities, and militants were eliminated in the "joint strike":

ISIL STORAGE FACILITIES, MILITANTS ELIMINATED IN JOINT STRIKE CONDUCTED BY RUSSIAN AEROSPACE FORCES, INTL COALITION FORCES IN SYRIA, WITH COORDINATES RECEIVED FROM U.S. - RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY. IFX.

However, the report was promptly denied by the Pentagon after spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway told reporters Monday that “there is no military-to-military coordination for airstrikes over targets in Syria,” Pentagon. Read more.

Zero Hedge

Related,
Russia and Turkey hit Islamic State targets near al-Bab in Aleppo province - TASS
White House Open to Cooperation With Russia in Syria, Press Secretary Says (video) - ABC

US Spent $11B To Bomb Daesh – Pentagon - Sputnik

Al-Nusra Commander: Turkey Organized Astana Meeting to Prevent Syrian Army's Impending Attack on Idlib - Fars
Expert: ISIL's Attack on Deir Ezzur Meant to Help US Make Political Gains in Astana Talks - Fars

January 23, 2017

Trump's Forgotten People



Supporters of the President express their hopes and fears on inauguration day

TRNN

Oh Wonder - All We Do

Trump to sign orders to renegotiate NAFTA, pull out of TPP: NBC

U.S. President Donald Trump could sign an executive order as early as Monday intended to renegotiate the free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, NBC News reported, citing an unidentified White House official.

In addition to wanting to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the new Republican president also intends to sign an executive order pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), NBC reported. Read more.

Reuters

Related,
President Trump signs order to withdraw from Trans-Pacific Partnership - Washington Post
Trump signs executive order to formally withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (video) - CNBC

Trump signs executive order withdrawing US from TPP< (video) - RT
NAFTA klaar om geannulleerd te worden, Trump maakt van nachtmerrie de realiteit - Beurs.com

January 22, 2017

Colombia's Defense Minister Denies Existence of Paramilitary Force



Despite the signing of the peace accords, 85 human right defenders were killed in 2016, and 8 have been killed so far in 2017.

teleSUR

Related,
Colombian Human Rights Leader Assassinated - teleSUR
Afro Colombian Human Rights Leader Murdered (video) - teleSUR

1,000s of Israeli Arabs protest against housing demolitions & killing of Bedouin teacher

Thousands of Israeli Arabs have joined a protest against the recent demolition of houses in the Arab sector and the death of a Bedouin teacher, who was killed during clashes with police this week.

Police deployed stun grenades against the protesters. The rally took place on Saturday in Wadi Ara, an area in Israel northwest of the Green Line, in the Haifa District. It is populated mainly by Arab citizens of Israel. Read more + video/photos.

RT

Related,
Violent clashes in Israel as Palestinians protest against house demolitions - MME
Thousands of Arab Israelis protest home demolitions, discrimination - Times of Israel

Clinton Foundation shutting down one charity department as number of donors drops



Clinton Foundation shutting down one charity departments, 'Clinton Global Initiative'

RT

Obama: A Legacy of Ashes



Obama’s legacy is measured in ashes. From wars of aggression to a police state on steroids, banking bailouts and Obamacare, Obama has been the perfect captain to carry the New World Order football further down the field.

But as Americans prepare for a new liner to be placed in their gilded bird cage, today we remember how the Deep State tricked the public in 2008 by giving them what they thought they wanted. Read more.

Corbett Report

January 21, 2017

New Russia-Syria accord allows up to 11 warships in Tartus port simultaneously

A 49-year deal to prolong Russia's control of a key Mediterranean port means a massive expansion of its naval presence in Syria.

Another accord was signed recently to maintain a nearby Russian airbase in the country. Russia and Syria signed agreements to indefinitely prolong Moscow's control of the strategic Tartus port, the state Duma announced on Friday. Read more.

DW

Related,
Russia to Expand Capabilities of Naval Base in Syrian Tartus - Sputnik
Russia, Syria ink agreement on expanding Tartus naval base - PressTV

Crimea informs Amsterdam court of plans to continue legal fight for Scythian gold

The Scythian gold collection from the Crimean museums was put on display at the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam in February 2014 when Crimea was still part of Ukraine

SIMFEROPOL, January 18. /TASS/. The Crimean museums have officially informed the Amsterdam District Court that they intended to file an appeal against the court’s ruling to return the Scythian gold collection to Ukraine, Director of Crimea’s Central Museum of Tavrida Andrei Malgin told TASS on Wednesday. Read more.

TASS

Nobody ‘stealing’ your jobs, you spend too much on wars, Alibaba founder tells US

Chinese billionaire and Alibaba founder Jack Ma believes that improper distribution of funds and hyper inflated US military spending, not globalization or other countries “stealing” US jobs, is behind the economic decline in America. 

The Chinese business magnate earlier in January met with US President-elect Donald Trump, who has bemoaned the loss of American industry and jobs due to the outsourcing of labor to countries like Mexico and China. Ma, however, has a different view of what is behind the US economic decline. Read more + video.

RT

January 20, 2017

Trump's Biggest Donor Bankrolls Israeli Right Extremism



Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has also provided major support to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for years, but that relationship might collapse in the coming days, says Shir Hever

TRNN

Related,
The Bizarre Far-Right Billionaire Behind Trump's Presidency (video) - TRNN

The Bizarre Far-Right Billionaire Behind Trump's Presidency



When all seemed to be falling apart for Trump this summer, one shadowy billionaire offered up his own massive political infrastructure, which included Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, and saved Trump’s campaign from demise

TRNN

Gorillaz feat. Benjamin Clementine - Hallelujah Money

Sylvana Simons: Racism is accepted in the Netherlands

In a country that prides itself on its supposed inclusiveness, a new political party exposes racism in Dutch society.

As the Netherlands gears up for general elections, now two months away, a new political party aims to fight back against the rising tide of Geert Wilders' right-wing populism. Read more.

Al Jazeera

January 19, 2017

Boy, that escalated quickly! Facebook lifts RT page block after almost 24-hour blackout



Facebook has restored RT's ability to post content to its page on the social network, following an as yet unexplained blackout that lasted for some 20 hours. Read more.

RT

Related,
Coincidence? RT banned from posting media on Facebook - just day before Trump inauguration (video) - RT
‘Copyright used as pretext for censorship ’ – fmr MI5 agent on new Facebook's policy (video) - RT

Puerto Rico Fiscal 'Junta' Needs More Time to Restructure

The board is set to keep a hold on economic controls, including lowering the minimum wage and slashing public spending, until at least 2020.

Puerto Rico's federal oversight board said Wednesday it was willing to extend key deadlines that would give the debt-laden U.S. territory's government more time to negotiate restructuring deals with holders of some US$70 billion in bonds. Read more.

teleSUR

Related,
Rothschild replaces Millstein as Puerto Rico financial adviser - Reuters
- Puerto Rico oversight board favors more time for restructuring talks - Reuters

People power in Puerto Rico: how a canal community escaped gentrification - Guardian

Rothschild replaces Millstein as Puerto Rico financial adviser

Puerto Rico's new government has hired Rothschild & Co to help it develop a fiscal turnaround plan and lead restructuring negotiations with creditors holding some $70 billion in debt, the government announced on Wednesday.

Rothschild will replace Millstein and Co, which had served as financial adviser under the administration of ex-Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla. Read more.

Reuters

Oscar Lopez Rivera to Be Freed After 36 Years in US Prison

Puerto Rico's independence leader and longest held political prisoner in the U.S. from Latin America will be free.

The United States government announced Tuesday the release of Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has been imprisoned in the U.S. for 36 years for his struggle to free Puerto Rico from U.S. colonial rule. Read more.

teleSUR

Related,
Barack Obama commutes sentence of Puerto Rican independence fighter Oscar López Rivera - Independent

Mali instability: Peace process under strain



The main separatist group in northern Mali says government forces are not sticking to a ceasefire agreed almost two years ago.

Last month, the Tuareg-dominated Co-ordination of Azawad Movements suspended its participation in a committee responsible for carrying out the peace plan.

Al Jazeera's Victoria Gatenby explains.

Al Jazeera

Related,
UN to Set Up Sanctions in Mali as Peace Talks Fail - teleSUR

Biden calls Russia biggest threat to international order

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, in his last major speech before leaving office, described Russia on Wednesday as the biggest threat to the international liberal order and said Washington must work with Europe to stand up to Vladimir Putin.

Biden was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president. Read more + video.

Reuters

Related,
- Joe Biden tells Davos: Russia 'trying to collapse' liberal order - BBC
- Biden tells Davos: Russia is threatening the ‘liberal international order’ - MarketWatch

Exit stage left: Lights go out on Biden as he talks of US ‘leadership’ in Davos speech (video) - RT

Russian food inflation declines threefold in 2016 — Central Bank

Food inflation slowdown was largely the result of fruit and vegetables prices declined in the environment of high offer volumes, according to Central Bank

MOSCOW, January 18. /TASS/. Food inflation declined threefold in 2016, the Bank of Russia said on Wednesday. Read more.

TASS

January 18, 2017

US increasing airdrops of arms supplies to militants in Syria: Report

The United States is increasing airdrops of weapons, ammunition and other equipment to foreign-backed militant forces in the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqah, according to a report.

“Our expanded precision airdrop capability is helping ground forces take the offensive to (Daesh) and efforts to retake Raqqah,”... Read more.

PressTV

Related,
U.S. increasing airdrops of supplies to forces battling ISIL in Syria - USA Today

Mogherini reaffirms EU’s “two-state” solution



EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, has re-emphasized the European Union’s solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Mogherini said representatives from different countries discussed how the EU can work on facilitating the Middle East peace process. She noted that Israel’s settlement expansion, the ongoing violence in the West Bank, and the situation in Gaza are impeding progress on the issue.

The top European diplomat made the comments in Brussels a day after an international conference was held in Paris on the resumption of talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Neither of the two sides was represented at the conference.

PressTV

Related,
- Paris Conference Ends With Endorsement Of Two-State Solution (video) - JPost
Fatah and Hamas to form unity government - Al Jazeera

UN: Israeli annexations risk peace prospects (video) - PressTV
UN Envoy Warns Any Israeli Annexations Risk Peace Prospects - NY Times

UK faces criticism for apparently shifting stance on Israel - FT
Peace talks in Paris deliver warning to Israel and Trump - National.ae

Fatah and Hamas to form unity government

Agreement reached after three days of talks in Moscow paving the way for the formation of a new National Council. 

The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority (PA) has agreed to form a unity government with rival organisation Hamas, Al Jazeera has learned. Read more.

Al Jazeera

Related,
Hamas, Fatah Announce Deal to Form Palestinian Unity Government - Haaretz

Nieuw hoofdstuk in steekspel rond onkruidverdelger Roundup

Wetenschappelijk onderzoek suggereert een verband tussen de onkruidverdelger Roundup en leverziekten. Producent Monsanto is gefrustreerd en spreekt over ‘bad science’. Een nieuw hoofdstuk in de soap rond het bestrijdingsmiddel, een soap die symbool staat voor een veel grotere discussie: moeten alle pesticiden worden afgeschaft? 

Het onkruidbestrijdingsmiddel Roundup is een heet hangijzer. Eerst zou de actieve stof in dit middel, glyfosaat, kankerverwekkend zijn. Toen weer niet. Even leek het erop dat het middel verboden zou worden, maar dat gebeurde toch weer niet — al is gebruik op straat en stoep sinds begin vorig jaar in Nederland wel verboden. Lees meer.

FTM

Gerelateerd,
Monsanto’s Roundup linked to liver disease, study says - EurActive
Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide - Nature

Obama’s plannetje gedwarsboomd: economische samenwerking Poetin en Erdogan houdt stand

Het was even spannend. In december schoot een aan de CIA de Mossad IS gelinkte “lone wolf” de Russische ambassadeur in Turkije dood, als vergelding voor de bevrijding van Aleppo.

Of de boel nu vanuit Washington werd gedirigeerd of niet, het plan was duidelijk: een wig drijven tussen Turkije en Rusland. Dat is niet gelukt. Niet na het helikopter-incident in november 2015, en nu ook niet. Lees meer.

Beurs.com

Gerelateerd,
- Rosatom Returned in 2016 to Active Work on Construction Akkuyu NPP in Turkey - Sputnik

January 17, 2017

Obama’s covert drone war in numbers: ten times more strikes than Bush

There were ten times more air strikes in the covert war on terror during President Barack Obama’s presidency than under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Obama embraced the US drone programme, overseeing more strikes in his first year than Bush carried out during his entire presidency. A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to 57 strikes under Bush. At least 384 civilians were killed. Read more.

Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Trump: The Kremlin Candidate?


Panorama - In the week of the new President's inauguration, Panorama reports on Russia's role in Donald Trump's election victory and asks what's behind the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Trump. 

Reporter John Sweeney - who has met and challenged both men - travels to Moscow and the United States to find out how sure we can be that Russian cyber-warriors influenced the US election and if there's any truth to claims that Russian intelligence has compromising material about the President elect.

And from Lithuania and the battlefields of Ukraine, he investigates what this will mean for security in Europe and the rest of the world.

BBC

Related,
- BBC’s Trump-Kremlin documentary is like an ‘Austin Powers’ film, says Galloway (video) - RT

The Water Protectors Who Stayed At Standing Rock



Water protectors at Standing Rock fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline are showing resilience as hundreds continue to stay at the camps braving harsh storms and sub-zero temperatures

teleSUR

Related,
Protesters tear gassed, 3 arrested in latest Dakota Access Pipeline protest (video) - RT

Biden's Visit to Ukraine Sends Shivers Down Kiev's Spine

During US Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to Kiev, Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko said his country is ready to cooperate with the new US administration. However, in general, there is a pessimistic sentiment among Ukrainian politicians regarding the new US President and his future politics, political expert Alexander Dudchak told Sputnik.

According to Dudchak, Kiev is likely to lose significant part of financial support from Washington with the new US administration in power. Read more.

Sputnik

Related,
Biden calls for Russia sanctions to stay as Trump moots deal (video) - Reuters
On final Ukraine trip, Biden urges Trump administration to keep Russia sanctions - Guardian

Biden urges Trump to support Ukraine - Politico

Reina nightclub attacker captured by security forces in Istanbul



Turkish police have arrested the gunman who killed 39 people in a mass shooting at Istanbul nightclub ‘Reina’ on New Year's Day after a two-week nationwide manhunt, according to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

“The attacker behind New Year's night assault on the club is captured. He is currently in the hands of police, where his interrogation is still taking place. Read more + video.

RT

Related,
Arrested Istanbul nightclub attacker confesses to crime: Governor - Hürriyet
Istanbul Reina club suspect 'confesses': official - Al Jazeera

Istanbul nightclub suspect 'trained in Afghanistan' - AA

Hrant Dink murder was deliberately permitted, says former police intelligence branch head

Ali Fuat Yılmazer, the former head of Turkey’s police intelligence branch, has given his testimony in the 31st hearing into the 2007 killing of Armenian-origin Turkish journalist Hrant Dink, saying the killing was “deliberately not prevented” and security authorities in Istanbul and Trabzon were responsible. 

“This murder was made possible on purpose and Dink was the victim of the killing. The police are guilty of misconduct on duty. The state did not carry out its duty,” said Yılmazer. Read more.

Hürriyet