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Foreign Affairs (News/Activism)

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  • Russia’s Fearsome New MiGs Could Be Lemons

    04/19/2014 9:32:47 PM PDT · by sukhoi-30mki · 12 replies
    War is Boring ^ | 04/19/2014 | Thomas Newdick
    MiG-29SMT is a huge upgrade of the classic Cold War fighter—or second-hand junk in disguise Moscow has placed an order for new, highly upgraded MiG-29 Fulcrum fighters. But they actually might not be new at all. The planned acquisition of the twin-tail, twin-engine MiG-29SMTs is a window into bizarre and possibly suspect Kremlin practices that could boost Russian air power … or undermine it. Time was when foreigners referred to almost any Soviet- or Russian-built jet fighter as a “MiG.” While other design bureaus may have been making fighters for the Eastern bloc and its allies, the products of the...
  • More Christians in China than the USA?

    04/19/2014 8:27:20 PM PDT · by FreedomNotSafety · 41 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 4/19/2014 | Tom Phillips, Liushi, Zhejiang province
    "Officially, the People's Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied. "Christian congregations in particular have skyrocketed since churches began reopening when Chairman Mao's death in 1976 signalled the end of the Cultural Revolution. "Less than four decades later, some believe China is now poised to become not just the world's number one economy but also its most numerous Christian nation."
  • The Nuclear Option: Wilson and Obama--100 Years Apart but so Alike

    04/19/2014 8:22:59 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 4 replies
    Breitbart's Big Government ^ | April 19, 2014 | Charles Hurt
    When Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Revenue Act of 1913, it probably sounded like a good idea. Most people would pay less in taxes and the prices of everyday goods would drop, he promised. And the rich would — finally! — start paying their fair share. In those days, tax collection was a highly diffuse business with various states and localities collecting taxes at various rates. The federal government mostly skidded by on exorbitant and uneven tariffs, and on booze and tobacco taxes. This was always tough and disorganized business for the federal government. Those hardships became especially acute...
  • Shell tells Putin gas project not derailed by Ukraine

    04/19/2014 7:57:00 PM PDT · by PaulCruz2016 · 8 replies
    Russia Today ^ | 04-18-2014 | Staff
    Royal Dutch Shell’s new CEO Ben Van Beurden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, signaling Ukraine tension has not affected investment in Russia, and that energy contracts won't be derailed by international politics. Chief executive Van Beurden met with the president at his residence outside of Moscow and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to develop Russia’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Gazprom. "We also know that this is going to be a project that will need strong support to succeed. So one of my purposes of meeting with you, Mr. President, is to also secure support for...
  • US Communists Shill for Russia Over Ukraine

    04/19/2014 7:19:33 PM PDT · by Greetings_Puny_Humans · 152 replies
    Trevour Loudon ^ | 04/18/14 | Trevor Loudon
    US Communists Shill for Russia Over Ukraine Submitted by Trevor on April 18, 2014 – 3:08 am EST Brian Becker Two groups have been most actively supporting “there is no such thing as an ex-Chekist,” Vladimir Putin’s naked aggression in the Ukraine. They are Western communists, who hate the West and still see Russia as a force for socialism and anti-Americanism, and some naive Western “conservatives” like commentator Pat Buchanan and actor Steven Segal, who seem to believe that Comrade Putin is a closet Christian bent on defending Western values and saving Europe from the Islamic hordes. These naifs seem...
  • Army Ranger Steven Elliott Fears He May Have Killed Pat Tillman

    04/19/2014 6:31:16 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 8 replies
    ABC15 ^ | Apr 18, 2014 | Elizabeth Erwin
    It's one of the most famous military mysteries of the past decade, Pat Tillman, the former ASU and Cardinals player turned Army Ranger killed in 2004 after he left the NFL to fight in Afghanistan. The Army said it was friendly fire, but never said whose shots killed Tillman. Three soldiers acknowledged firing at his position, but none have spoken publicly until now. Steven Elliott told ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that two convoys entered the mountains, but got separated. He said Tillman's group scaled a ridge line to help fellow rangers under attack, but a squad leader mistakenly thought an...
  • Obama signs Ted Cruz bill into law, but says he won't enforce it

    04/19/2014 5:53:38 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 27 replies
    President Obama on Friday signed into law a bill authored by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that would bar an Iranian diplomat from entering the United States, but immediately issued a statement saying he won't enforce it. Obama decided to treat the law as mere advice. "Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress's concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation," Obama said in his signing statement. "Nevertheless, as President...
  • Russia writes off 90 per cent of North Korean debt, expected to build gas pipeline (To South Korea)

    04/19/2014 4:45:20 PM PDT · by kronos77 · 30 replies
    Russia's parliament has agreed to write off about $10 billion of North Korea's Soviet-era debt, in a deal expected to facilitate the building of a gas pipeline to South Korea across the reclusive state. The State Duma lower house in Moscow on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to excuse the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of September 17, 2012. The rest of the debt - $1.09 billion - would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal instalments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by...
  • In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin

    04/19/2014 4:36:59 PM PDT · by kristinn · 18 replies
    The New York Times ^ | Saturday, April 19, 2014 | Peter Baker
    Even as the crisis in Ukraine continues to defy easy resolution, President Obama and his national security team are looking beyond the immediate conflict to forge a new long-term approach to Russia that applies an updated version of the Cold War strategy of containment. Just as the United States resolved in the aftermath of World War II to counter the Soviet Union and its global ambitions, Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world, limiting its expansionist ambitions in its own neighborhood and effectively making...
  • Trojan Horse Amnesty Update (Entire DREAM Act folded into "must-pass" Defense bill?)

    04/19/2014 2:57:32 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 24 replies
    The National Review's The Corner ^ | April 18, 2014 | Mark Krikorian
    The Wall Street Journal reported last night that House Speaker John Boehner told donors at a fundraiser last month in Las Vegas that he was “hellbent on getting this done this year,” in reference to an amnesty/immigration bill. His spokesman did not dispute the account. In related news, President Obama is meeting with the National Commander of the American Legion this morning. Ordinarily, that would mean little, but the meeting comes just days after the Legion came out against a plan to amnesty illegal aliens who join the military. The number of people who would benefit from such an amnesty...
  • UKRAINE: Yatsenyuk Turchynov and issued a joint statement on how to reconcile the Ukraine. VIDEO

    04/19/2014 2:32:10 PM PDT · by UMCRevMom@aol.com · 4 replies
    censor.net ^ | 04/18/14 17:42
    Yatsenyuk Turchynov and issued a joint statement on how to reconcile the Ukraine. VIDEO Acting President of Ukraine, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov and Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyukvystupili a joint statement "Ukraine is approaching a big Christian holiday - Easter, which carries the hope for rebirth and renewal peaceful life. In the days of the great reconciliation and forgiveness, we call on all citizens to lend a hand to each other, to abandon the radical actions and hate speech back together to work together for the protection and development, and creative construction of the cathedral, the...
  • The West Leaves Ukraine to Putin

    04/19/2014 2:22:06 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 8 replies
    wsj.com ^ | April 14, 2014 | MATTHEW KAMINSKI 
    When Russia invaded Crimea and massed 40,000 or more troops in the east, Ukraine turned to an old friend, the United States, and asked for light arms, antitank weapons, intelligence help and nonlethal aid. The Obama administration agreed to deliver 300,000 meals-ready-to-eat. As this newspaper reported Friday, military transport planes were deemed too provocative for Russia, so the food was shipped by commercial trucks. The administration refused Kiev's requests for intelligence-sharing and other supplies, lethal or not. Boris Tarasiuk, Ukraine's former foreign minister, barely disguises his anger. He says: "We've not seen the same reaction from the U.S." as during...
  • Harry Reid’s View on Terrorists Explained in One Cartoon

    04/19/2014 1:21:26 PM PDT · by NYer · 30 replies
    IJReview ^ | APRIL 19, 2014
    Political cartoonist A.F. Branco has perfectly captured Harry Reid’s sad views on what really constitutes a terrorist.As an American who believes vehemently in our Constitution, free speech and free political discourse I find Reid’s comments both ridiculous and hurtful.Do you think its a coincidence that Reid wants to sell Cliven Bundy’s land to the Chinese and is simultaneously labeling those whom have come to the rancher’s defense “terrorists”?
  • France's Le Pen, in Moscow, Blames EU for New 'Cold War'

    04/19/2014 12:56:39 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 12 replies
    reuters.com ^ | April 12, 2014 | Alessandra Prentice
    Marine Le Pen, leader of France's far-right National Front, blamed the European Union for declaring a new Cold War on Russia that would hurt all concerned, Russian media reported on Saturday as she paid an official visit to Moscow. Europe-Russia relations are at their lowest ebb in decades after President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea prompted the EU to impose sanctions on dozens of prominent Russian officials and lawmakers. However Le Pen, along with other Eurosceptic leaders of the far left and nationalist right, believe the original fault lies with Brussels for offering closer ties with Ukraine, a move Russia...
  • GARCIA MARQUEZ, SNEAK AND AN ACCOMPLICE TO THE CRIMES OF FIDEL CASTRO

    04/19/2014 12:28:33 PM PDT · by Dqban22 · 5 replies
    Nuevo Accion ^ | April 18, 2014 | Armando Valladares
    GARCIA MARQUEZ, SNEAK AND AN ACCOMPLICE TO THE CRIMES OF FIDEL CASTRO By Armando Valladares April 18, Nuevo Accion http://www.nuevoaccion.com/ (Translation from Spanish) All dictators and murderers have had staunch defenders; Stalin, Hitler and Fidel Castro. Perhaps the most heinous in that fauna supporting dictatorships, are writers, poets, and artists. I've been saying for decades that an honest intellectual has a commitment to society: telling the truth, fight for respect, for human dignity, and not to use the privilege to reach millions of people, to lie, and to skip over the historical reality. This is one of the biggest crimes...
  • A User's Guide to Russian Propaganda

    04/19/2014 12:22:23 PM PDT · by Greetings_Puny_Humans · 22 replies
    Trevour Loudon ^ | 4/19/2014 | Brent P
    A User’s Guide to Russian Propaganda Submitted by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton on April 19, 2014 – 3:07 pm ESTNo Comment By: Brent P. Western press and media are having trouble distinguishing facts from Russian propaganda. This is understandable – the Russian propaganda machine is a mature and venerable institution that engages in an art that, for better or for worse, the West simply does not practice as often nor as effectively. The intent of this guide is to help those less accustomed to the ways of the Russian government to discern between reporting and propaganda. There are a few simple tell-tale...
  • Senior Russian Politician Slams U.S. for Inciting Conflict in Kiev

    04/19/2014 12:11:33 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 3 replies
    themoscowtimes.com ^ | April 15, 2014 | Peter Spinella
    Dressed in the camouflage uniform of an Army colonel, the firebrand leader of Russia's nationalist Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday accused the United States of stirring up belligerent sentiments in Kiev. The protest movement on Kiev's Independence Square "was set up by the United States … so that Europe would smell the gunpowder," party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky told the lower house of parliament, state news wire RIA Novosti reported. Zhirinovsky added that as soon as people started dying in central Kiev, the U.S. and the European Union began conducting closed-door meetings about how to divvy up Europe, the report said. He made the comments during a discussion of Ukraine's military preparations to quell pro-Russia riots in that country's east. He said the interim government in Kiev...
  • Rep. Royce, headed to Ukraine, says U.S. underestimates Putin

    04/19/2014 11:50:07 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 15 replies
    ocregister.com ^ | April 16, 2014 | Cathy Taylor
    On the eve of a mission to Ukraine, Rep. Ed Royce said Wednesday that the U.S. has underestimated Russian President Vladimir Putin, warning that the leader “is stepping up his efforts to destabilize and possibly annex the eastern part of Ukraine.” Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, defended Ukraine’s show of force this week in response to takeovers of government buildings by people they believe are Russian agents. He called the action a signal to Putin that the young government was not going to allow his “machinations to lead to splitting the country between eastern and western Ukraine.”...
  • US to send combat troops to Poland

    04/19/2014 11:24:30 AM PDT · by neverdem · 48 replies
    American Thinker ^ | April 19, 2014 | Rick Moran
    Poland will breathe a little easier because at the very least, American troops in Poland will be an effective trip wire and hedge against Russia making a move to reclaim the former Warsaw Pact country. Washington Post: Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday....
  • Governor Mike Pence In Berlin: Diplomacy with Russia Has Failed

    04/19/2014 10:57:58 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 35 replies
    freebeacon.com ^ | April 17, 2014
    Gov. Mike Pence (R., Ind.) on Wednesday declared the “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations a failure and called for the construction of a European missile defense shield to deter Russian aggression. “With Russian aggression on the rise again, it is clear that our policy of conciliatory diplomacy has failed, Pence said at a Friends of Indiana reception in Berlin, Germany. “While new sanctions are of some value, in the interest of our alliance, I believe the United States and the EU must respond with deeds more than words to strengthen our economic and strategic defenses,” Pence added. Pence then called for the deployment...
  • Japan expands army footprint for first time in 40 years, risks angering China

    04/19/2014 10:24:33 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    Reuters ^ | April 19, 2014 | BY NOBUHIRO KUBO
    Japan began its first military expansion at the western end of its island chain in more than 40 years on Saturday, breaking ground on a radar station on a tropical island off Taiwan. The move risks angering China, locked in a dispute with Japan over nearby islands which they both claim. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, who attended a ceremony on Yonaguni island to mark the start of construction, suggested the military presence could be enlarged to other islands in the seas southwest of Japan's main islands. "This is the first deployment since the U.S. returned Okinawa (1972) and calls...
  • The Talanted Mr. Putin

    The Talented Mr. Putin. We've picked a sort of a bad time to have a "community organizer(TM)" in the white house...
  • US sends small number of advanced weapons to Syrian rebels

    04/19/2014 10:04:42 AM PDT · by ColdOne · 13 replies
    foxnews.com ^ | 4/19/14 | wsj
    It also follows a reorganization of Western-backed fighters aimed at creating a more effective military force and increasing protection for Christian and other religious minorities—something of particular importance to Washington. This shift is seen as a test of whether the U.S. can find a trustworthy rebel partner able to keep sophisticated weapons out of the hands of extremists, Saudi and Syrian opposition figures said. The U.S. has long feared that if it does supply advanced arms, the weapons will wind up with radical groups—some tied to al Qaeda—which have set up bases in opposition-held territory.
  • 2013--- The amazing, surprising, Africa-driven demographic future of the Earth, in 9 charts

    04/19/2014 9:55:28 AM PDT · by dennisw · 43 replies
    .washingtonpost. ^ | July 16, 2013 | Max Fisher
    Traffic moves through downtown Lagos, Nigeria. The United Nations Population Division, which tracks demographic data from around the world, has dramatically revised its projections for what will happen in the next 90 years. The new statistics, based on in-depth survey data from sub-Saharan Africa, tell the story of a world poised to change drastically over the next several decades. Most rich countries will shrink and age (with a couple of important exceptions), poorer countries will expand rapidly and, maybe most significant of all, Africa will see a population explosion nearly unprecedented in human history. If these numbers turn out to...
  • How can we negotiate with a pathological liar like Putin?

    04/19/2014 9:42:53 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 47 replies
    telegraph.co.uk ^ | April 15, 2014 | Con Coughlin
    That Mr Putin has difficulties with the truth is already apparent from the transparent lies he told us during the Crimean crisis. Who can forget that stage-managed press conference with a group of carefully-vetted Russian journalists back in March at which Mr Putin said in all seriousness that there were no Russian troops active in Crimea, when the province was in fact already overrun with Spetsnaz Russian forces orchestrating Moscow's annexation of the territory? Now the Russian president is at it again, this time trying to persuade a sceptical President Obama that there are no Russian soldiers or spiesinvolved in stirring up...
  • (Illegal) Immigrant Tuition Bill Opens Rift in Republican Party (Florida)

    04/19/2014 9:15:12 AM PDT · by kristinn · 15 replies
    The Miami Herald ^ | Friday, April 18, 2014 | Marc Caputo
    Gov. Rick Scott was just about to kick into gear his Hispanic outreach campaign when two top Republicans in the Florida Senate complicated the effort by unexpectedly blocking a priority bill that would give in-state tuition rates to some undocumented immigrants. The abrupt procedural move by Senate President Don Gaetz and Senate budget chairman Joe Negron on Thursday caught Scott unaware along with fellow House Republicans and the party’s most respected former governor, Gov. Jeb Bush, who had privately asked some senators to hear the measure. In a rare joint public statement, Bush, Scott and another former Republican governor, Bob...
  • Lawmaker calls Elio Di Rupo 'Mr Paedophile'

    04/19/2014 8:34:08 AM PDT · by PieterCasparzen · 9 replies
    Flandersnews.be / Expatica ^ | 3/28/2014 | Staff
    Thursday's session in federal parliament was suspended for a while after the independent MP Laurent Louis (photo) had called Premier Elio Di Rupo a paedophile. Several MPs left the hemisphere as a protest. The incident happened around 3pm. Laurent Louis, a French speaker, had climbed the platform to criticise the cost of President Obama's visit to Belgium. "It cost millions, cash that could have been used to fill millions of fridges", he argued. "We bring life in our capital to a halt, without showing respect to the citizens." As Louis kept going, Di Rupo (Francophone socialist) promised to release more...
  • Swiss to vote on paedophile work ban

    04/19/2014 8:25:34 AM PDT · by PieterCasparzen · 13 replies
    swissinfo.ch ^ | 3/21/2014 | Clare O'Dea
    Probably the most emotive issue to come before the electorate in a vote on May 18 is an initiative to ban convicted paedophiles from working with children for life, the culmination of a ten year campaign sparked by a controversy in the town of Biel. The initiative has mainly been backed by the rightwing Swiss People’s Party and the centrist Christian Democrats. ... The initiative, brought by the Marche Blanche (White March) group of concerned parents, would amend the Swiss constitution to ensure that “persons who are convicted because they have affected the sexual integrity of a child or a...
  • Ten years after his death, Pat Tillman's spirit lives on in a military scholar program

    04/19/2014 7:56:21 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 4 replies
    Contra Costa Times ^ | April 18, 2014 | by Mark Emmons
    Ten years after the death of Pat Tillman in a remote Afghanistan pass, monuments to his memory are everywhere. A stone marker in San Jose's community of New Almaden. An 8-foot statue in Glendale, Ariz. The Pat Tillman Stadium at Leland High School and the Tillman Tunnel that Arizona State football players run through. But the most fitting tributes to an admired man are not found in concrete and bronze. They are living legacies of flesh, blood and passion -- the Tillman Military Scholars. Nearly 300 active-duty service members, veterans and spouses inspired by Tillman's story have received college scholarships...
  • Are The Swiss Going Crazy? $25 Minimum Wage Referendum In May

    04/19/2014 6:56:07 AM PDT · by Cheerio · 24 replies
    ZeroHedge ^ | 04/18/2014 | Pater Tenebrarum
    Most of our readers probably know what we think of minimum wages, but let us briefly recapitulate: there is neither a sensible economic, nor a sensible ethical argument supporting the idea. Let us look at the economic side of things first: for one thing, the law of supply and demand is not magically suspended when it comes to the price of labor. Price it too high, and not the entire supply will be taken up. Rising unemployment inevitably results. However, there is also a different way of formulating the argument: the price of labor must not exceed what the market...
  • This brazen cynicism of Putin's words about "drunken miners"

    04/19/2014 6:41:59 AM PDT · by UMCRevMom@aol.com · 8 replies
    censor.net ^ | 4-19-2014
    04/19/14 14:48 "What do you know about the Sun, if you've never been in mine!" Chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Miners of Ukraine Mykhailo Volynets called the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin relatively Ukrainian miners cynical. During straight line with the Russians and residents of Crimea, Putin said that the sea on the peninsula is very dirty and there bathe drunken miners. "This is a cynical attitude brazen man who believes that he reckless. Miners - noble people and they just despise such a man," - said in comments Volinets TSN.ua about saying Putin tells Tsenzor.NET. In...
  • Drone strike in Yemen kills suspected al Qaeda militants

    04/19/2014 6:08:22 AM PDT · by McGruff · 6 replies
    CNN ^ | April 19, 2014 | Hakim Almasmari
    A drone strike in Yemen killed at least 15 people on Saturday, including 12 suspected al Qaeda militants, three Yemeni Defense Ministry officials told CNN.
  • Both at Home and Abroad, Obama's Presidency is Floundering

    04/19/2014 5:48:16 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 39 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 19, 2014 | Donald Lambro
    WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama is getting a number of critical report cards on his foreign and domestic policies lately. Here at home, Janet Yellen, in her first monetary policy address as the head of the Federal Reserve Board, said the labor markets were still weak, and that it will likely take two years or more before the U.S. fully recovers from its recession. Ouch. If Yellen's forecast proves right, this means it will have taken Obama's administration nearly eight years to lift our economy out of its long and painful lethargy. She expressed grave concern that the economy's 6.7 percent...
  • What Really Happed at the Bay of Pigs

    04/19/2014 5:24:45 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 60 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 19, 2014 | Humberto Fontova
    (You always hear and read of a “fiasco,” a “defeat” a “disaster” at the Bay of Pigs, 53 years ago this week. But you rarely hear about the cause. Here it is.) "They fought like tigers," writes the CIA officer who helped train the Cubans who splashed ashore at the Bay of Pigs 53 years ago this week. "But their fight was doomed before the first man hit the beach." That CIA man, Grayston Lynch, knew something about fighting – and about long odds. He carried scars from Omaha Beach, The Battle of the Bulge and Korea's Heartbreak Ridge. But...
  • Why Not Arm the Jews In Ukraine?

    04/19/2014 3:32:00 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 19 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | April 19, 2014 | John Ransom
    As finger-pointing and accusations tumble out about whether Russian nationalists or Ukrainian nationalist are responsible for flyers in eastern Ukraine demanding that Jews register with local municipalities, the most important thing is being lost in the shuffle. Without Vladimir Putin stirring the embers of Russian nationalism in Crimea and in Ukraine into a flame, it wouldn’t have happened in the first place. "We are skeptical about the flier's authenticity, but the instructions clearly recall the Nazi era and have the effect of intimidating the local Jewish community," U.S.-based Anti-Defamation League Director Abraham Foxman said in a written statement according...
  • Gazprom Buys Kyrgyzgaz for $1 Plus Debt

    04/19/2014 3:07:57 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 14 replies
    Moscow Times ^ | Apr. 10 2014 15:26
    Russia’s top natural gas producer Gazprom has signed a deal to buy 100 percent of shares of Kyrgyzgaz for $1 and assumed the responsibility to repay $40 million of debt owed by the Kyrgyz gas producer, Itar-Tass reported. Gazprom also pledged to invest no less than 20 billion rubles ($560 million) in the next 5 years in the Central Asian republic’s 700-kilometer gas distribution grid upgrades. …
  • Iran Gets an Unlikely Visitor, an American Plane, but No One Seems to Know Why

    04/19/2014 2:07:05 AM PDT · by opentalk · 19 replies
    NY Times ^ | April 17, 2014 |  MICHAEL CORKERY, JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG and THOMAS ERDBRINK
    President Obama has warned that Iran is not open for business, even as the United States has loosened some of its punishing economic sanctions as part of an interim nuclear pact.Yet on Tuesday morning, Iran had an unlikely visitor: a plane, owned by the Bank of Utah, a community bank in Ogden that has 13 branches throughout the state. Bearing a small American flag on its tail, the aircraft was parked in a highly visible section of Mehrabad Airport in Tehran But from there, the story surrounding the plane, and why it was in Iran — where all but a...
  • Pentagon Moves to Block Russian Spy Plane in American Skies

    04/19/2014 1:42:36 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 27 replies
    The Daily Beast ^ | 4/18/2014 | The Daily Beast
    Russian surveillance planes already fly over America, thanks to a long-standing treaty. But a new, ultra-sophisticated spy plane has U.S. military and intelligence bosses spooked. The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military and American intelligence agencies have quietly pushed the White House in recent weeks to deny a new Russian surveillance plane the right to fly over U.S. territory. This week, the White House finally began consideration of the decision whether to certify the new Russian aircraft under the so-called “Open Skies Treaty.” And now the question becomes: Will the spies and generals get their way?
  • Mugabe speaks to the BBC

    04/19/2014 1:18:19 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 12 replies
    newzimbabwe.com ^ | 18/04/2014 | Roy Agyemang
    IF there is one thing Robert Mugabe dislikes as much as “ruffian” British politicians, it is journalists working for the British media – especially the BBC. Accusing the corporation of one-sided reporting and of being a mouthpiece for the UK government, the controversial Zimbabwean President had refused to grant an interview to any journalist from the broadcaster for14 years.
  • EU lawmakers smooth way for class actions against cartels

    04/19/2014 1:17:25 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 1 replies
    Reuters ^ | Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:18pm BST | Foo Yun Chee
    European lawmakers on Thursday eased the way for cartel victims to claim compensation from companies under new rules that also shield price-fixing whistleblowers from being the main target of million-euro lawsuits. The green light from the European Parliament came nine years after the European Commission broached the idea, seeing it as an additional tool, on top of fines, to deter companies from breaking antitrust laws. According to the Commission, only one in four cartels and antitrust infringements faced damages claims in the last seven years. Its 2010 estimate put the cost of unrecovered damages of infringements at over €20 billion...
  • Keystone XL pipeline will not be completed this year, U.S. agencies told

    04/19/2014 1:04:46 AM PDT · by canuck_conservative · 22 replies
    National Post [Canada] ^ | April 18, 2014 | Alexander Panetta
    ...The announcement made it clear that Canadian pipeline backers will not get the answer they wanted in time for the summer construction season, pushing completion of the project until 2015 — at best. The State Department said it needs more time to prepare its recommendation to the president because the pipeline route is mired in uncertainty. A legal dispute is underway in Nebraska over the route and it is unlikely to be resolved before next year.... Speculation had been rampant about whether the Obama administration might try to punt the politically sensitive decision until after this year’s midterms. That’s because...
  • Britain's Labor Party hires ex-Obama aide Axelrod to help in election

    04/19/2014 1:00:21 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 15 replies
    latimes.com ^ | April 18, 2014 | Henry Chu
    LONDON – Setting up an intriguing election battle, Britain’s opposition Labor Party announced Friday that it had hired President Obama’s chief campaign advisor to help the party return to power next year over the ruling Conservatives. The decision to recruit David Axelrod means that the 2015 British election will pit two of Obama’s strategists against each other. Working for the Conservatives is Jim Messina, who, like Axelrod, toiled on both of Obama’s presidential campaigns and who served as his deputy White House chief of staff during his first term. “David is used to tough fights, and he is going to...
  • EU Focuses Pressure on Israel to Make Concessions, Restart Talks

    04/19/2014 12:50:21 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    INN ^ | 4/18/2014, 6:00 PM | Ari Soffer
    EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton called on Israel to reverse recent announcements regarding construction in Judea and Samaria in order to advance peace talks. Ashton said she viewed with “great concern” an Israeli decision to declare an area near the Gush Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem as state land and the recognition of Jewish rights to the disputed Peace House in the Judean city of Hevron, a statement from her office said Friday. Ashton also lashed out at the “demolition of Palestinian property and the confiscation of EU humanitarian aid”. …
  • WWI in color photos

    04/18/2014 8:52:59 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 29 replies
    Austrian Soldier, Eastern Europe, 1915 German troops in Berlin, 1914 Ambulances in Palestine, 1918 French trenches, 1916 Senegalese troops, France, 1917 Dead Italian soldiers, Italy, 1915
  • Former Blue Angels commander relieved of duty amid misconduct probe

    04/18/2014 7:26:32 PM PDT · by Jet Jaguar · 30 replies
    LA Times ^ | April 18, 2014 | By Tony Perry
    One of the Navy's top officers has been relieved of duty because of alleged misconduct while he was commander of the famed Blue Angels aerial demonstration team, the Navy announced Friday. Capt. Gregory McWherter was relieved of his post as executive officer of Naval Base Coronado. The action was taken by Vice Adm. William French, commander of Navy Installations Command. McWherter was commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels from November 2008 to November 2010, and then from May 2011 to November 2012. The Blue Angels are based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. French's decision "was based...
  • Putin's Office Threatens To Mobilize

    04/18/2014 6:41:24 PM PDT · by Greetings_Puny_Humans · 53 replies
    The Interpreter ^ | 04/18/14 | The Interpreter
    Putin's Office Threatens To Mobilize | 2014-04-18 19:26:13 In a significant escalation of rhetoric, not only does Putin's press secretary admit that there are Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, but he says that they are there to respond if Russia is driven "into a corner." RFE/RL reports: Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has confirmed that Russia does have troops near the Ukrainian border and that some of those forces are stationed there "on a permanent basis." Peskov said additional forces are in the area along Russia's border with Ukraine but only "as reinforcement aganst the background of what...
  • Dmitry Tymchuk's military blog: More Putin lies

    04/18/2014 6:38:39 PM PDT · by WhiskeyX · 8 replies
    Dmitry Tymchuk Blog, Kyiv Post ^ | April 18, 2014, 9 a.m. | Dmitry Tymchuk
    2. Extremist acts continue in eastern Ukraine. There is unrest in Stakhanov [Luhansk Oblast] – which by the way, is the homeland of Yuriy Karyn, one of our IR [Information Resistance] coordinators. Pro-Russian mongrels are going berserk in Donetsk. However, the situation is uneasy in other regions, as well. Today, the representatives of local authorities in Zaporizhya oblast [region] spoke about possible extremist activity. We have our own information about this. According to our data, airplanes with “Putin’s tourists” on board landed at the Saky airfield in Crimea. They were loaded into vans with Zaporizhya plates. Nothing good can come...
  • Museum of U.S.-Nato Aggression Opens in Vladikavkaz

    04/18/2014 6:05:18 PM PDT · by Zhang Fei · 26 replies
    The Moscow Times ^ | Apr. 17 2014 19:48 | The Moscow Times
    A museum dedicated to the victims of U.S. and NATO military aggression has opened in the North Caucasus city of Vladikavkaz. The exhibition, which is housed at the National Scientific Library of North Ossetia, opened Thursday to visitors over the age of 16, and displays artifacts "attesting" to "the state terrorism" of Western nations, organizer Vyacheslav Lagkuyev said, Interfax reported. Among the themes of the exhibition are the conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan — each of which has its own display in the museum. The U.S. war in Vietnam and the NATO bombing of Serbia are also detailed in...
  • Orthodox Corruption?

    04/18/2014 5:59:50 PM PDT · by No One Special · 24 replies
    Vimeo Video ^ | February 6, 2013 | Simon Ostrovsky
    Russia's Orthodox Church has experienced a resurgence under President Vladimir Putin, but have the state's finances and Russia's dominant religion become too closely intertwined? Simon Ostrovsky reports for People & Power on Al Jazeera English. (Feb 6, 2013)
  • Obama signs Ted Cruz bill into law, but says he won´t enforce it

    04/18/2014 4:35:04 PM PDT · by Nachum · 61 replies
    washington examiner ^ | 4/18/14 | Joel Gehrke
    President Obama on Friday signed into law a bill authored by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz that would bar an Iranian diplomat from entering the United States, but immediately issued a statement saying he won't enforce it. Obama decided to treat the law as mere advice. "Acts of espionage and terrorism against the United States and our allies are unquestionably problems of the utmost gravity, and I share the Congress's concern that individuals who have engaged in such activity may use the cover of diplomacy to gain access to our Nation," Obama said in his signing statement. "Nevertheless, as President...