Reader’s Links for September 17, 2018

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

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Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

134 Replies to “Reader’s Links for September 17, 2018”

  1. New Study Is Guaranteed To Tick Off Gender-Fluidity Champions

    A new study indicates that contrary to the position of social justice activists, gender differences may be very real indeed.

    The study’s authors write, “We explored the time course of the two main interesting variables for the respective research question: 1) attractiveness and 2) gender, both processed on the basis of mere presentation of frontal 2D faces. Our rationale was as follows: If gender is processed earlier than attractiveness, one cannot exclude the possibility that sexual markers are already taken into account early in the processing of attractiveness. In other words, attractiveness assessment at a very early stage is highly probably gender-specific.”

  2. Strzok-Page texts calling to ‘open’ case in ‘chargeable way’ under fresh scrutiny

    Text messages from disgraced FBI figures Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, discussing whether to open a “case” in a “formal chargeable way” after Director James Comey was fired, are under fresh scrutiny after Page told congressional investigators there was no evidence of Russian collusion at the time, according to three congressional sources.

    Two hours after Comey’s termination became public on May 9, 2017, Strzok, a now-former FBI agent, texted Page, his then-colleague and lover: “We need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting.”

    “Andy” is a reference to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who temporarily took over the bureau until Christopher Wray was confirmed as director in August 2017.

    Page, a former FBI attorney, replied to Strzok: “We need to lock in (redacted). In a formal chargeable way. Soon.”

    Strzok concurred. “I agree. I’ve been pushing and I’ll reemphasize with Bill,” believed to be Bill Priestap, the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

  3. Migrant mob brutally stabs five months pregnant German girl

    Germany is at a tipping point. Having spent the weekend at the Gateway Eagle Conference with German Parliamentarian MP Petr Bystron of AfD, it is clear the people are rising up against Merkelistan.

    Migrant boys attempt murder of five months pregnant German girl, stabbing her several times
    A 17-year-old German girl, who was five months pregnant, was the victim of a brutal knife attack by four boys with migrant backgrounds, tabloid Bild reports.

    By Voice of Europe 16 September 2018

    On Thursday the 6th of September the pregnant teen, who is called Marcella, was stabbed several times, in her hometown of Duisburg. Although heavily bleeding, she was able to escape by alarming the residents of a nearby house.

    Marcella says she was lured on Thursday around 9 pm by her ex-boyfriend (16) to Duisburg’s Friemersheim district. His pretext: He wanted to talk to her about the failed relationship.

    About two years ago, she met the 16-year-old student, Rifai B, via friends. They became close, had sex, but were never a couple, says Marcella.

    Five months ago, Marcella informed him that she was pregnant by him. “He wrote to me that no one should know that he is the father. He threatened to kill me and the baby,” Marcella says. She is certain: “He lured me into a trap, wanted to kill me and my child.”

    On 6 September, she accepted her ex-boyfriend’s invitation and met him for a walk. “We walked a few meters and he said that his father would kill him if he learned about the child. Suddenly, three masked men jumped out of the bushes with knives.”

    Marcella tried to run away. But the perpetrators stabbed her several times causing her to bleed heavily. The girl saved herself by entering a nearby garden and alarming the homeowners.

    She was taken to hospital and needed several stitches. As a result Marcella cannot walk yet. “Thank God nothing has happened to my child,” she says.

  4. Lawyer for Kavanaugh accuser downplayed sexual misconduct allegations against Clinton, Franken

    Attorney Debra Katz made the rounds Monday on morning television to argue her client’s sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should be taken seriously, an appeal accepted even by the White House.

    But while her client’s claims have raised bipartisan concerns about Kavanaugh, Katz, a longtime Democratic donor known for representing sexual harassment accusers, also has a history of downplaying or dismissing accusations made by women against Democratic politicians — including former President Bill Clinton and former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken.

    “Paula Jones’ suit is very, very, very weak,” Katz said on CNN’s “Talkback Live” in March 1998 in a discussion about Jones’ claims against Clinton, according to a show transcript. “She’s alleged one incident that took place in a hotel room that, by her own testimony, lasted 10 to 12 minutes. She suffered no repercussions in the workplace.”

  5. NATO to Build Massive Command-and-Control Center in Afghanistan’s Capital (sputniknews, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Almost 17 years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, NATO is now bidding a contract to build a large, concrete command-and-control center in Kabul, the country’s capital and largest city.

    “According to a NATO procurement document, the complex is expected to consist of more than 800 work spaces, Stars and Stripes reported Monday. The structure is planned to be a three-story, 120,000-square-foot concrete building. However, according to officials, additional details cannot be released during the bidding and design phase of the project, Stripes and Stripes reported Monday. ..”

    • NATO to Build Massive Command-and-Control Center in Afghanistan’s Capital

      Why not build an underprivileged day-care center ON THE FARKING MOON?

      The lunar facility would be far less expensive to operate.

  6. Number of Daesh Terrorists in Afghanistan Could Grow to 10,000 – Envoy to UN (sputniknews, Sep 17, 2018)

    “The Islamic State terrorist organization (Daesh) is on the rise in war-torn Afghanistan, and the group’s numbers could soon grow to up to 10,000 members in the country, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia warned during a Security Council meeting on Monday.

    “At the focus of our close attention is a surge of terrorist activity by the Afghan wing of ISIL [Daesh terror group*], whose ranks are growing largely due to foreign fighters with battlefield experience in Syria and Iraq,” Nebenzia said. “According to our information, the number of ISIL adherents may reach 10,000 individuals.”…”

  7. menuALL NEWS
    At the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency, the President has directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to provide for the immediate declassification of the following materials: (1) pages 10-12 and 17-34 of the June 2017 application to the FISA court in the matter of Carter W. Page; (2) all FBI reports of interviews with Bruce G. Ohr prepared in connection with the Russia investigation; and (3) all FBI reports of interviews prepared in connection with all Carter Page FISA applications.

    In addition, President Donald J. Trump has directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.

  8. Red Cross says Boko Haram has killed aid worker in Nigeria (abcnews, Sep 17, 2018)

    “The International Committee of the Red Cross says Boko Haram extremists have killed a humanitarian aid worker abducted earlier this year during an attack on Kala Balge town in northern Nigeria’s Borno State.

    The Red Cross on Monday condemned the killing of 25-year-old midwife Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa, who was kidnapped in March with two other health workers. The organization called for the immediate release of the two others…”

      • Shitte?
        Nigeria’s a hub for nefarious extraterritorial Twisted Raghead ops. Dawa, arms, gold, used-cars, trafficking of all sorts.

        0’s controllers threw the election to a Fulani Jihadi, replacing popular Christian Prez Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. 2015. Threw a rich country to chaos – and Iran caught it.

        All that #BringBackOurGirls bull. Boko Haram ? Isis, al-Q. Too many coincidences.

        • As always, yucki, thank you for cutting through all of this indigestible bull$hit oleomargarine with a hot knife.

          It’s time from someone to nick Iran’s catcher’s mitt.

  9. Puppies found with severed heads in remote Greek village (abcnews, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Police in northeastern Greece say they are investigating the killing of seven puppies that were found dumped on the side of a road with their heads cut off.

    Residents in the village of Lambro, outside the northeast city of Komotini, reported the incident late last week, and a formal investigation was opened by police on Monday.

    Lambro resident Ali Mesut told The Associated Press: “The whole village is upset about what happened. I hope they catch who did this.”

    Greek animal protection groups say attacks on stray dogs — mostly using poison — are common in the area.

    Earlier this year, Greek lawmakers toughened penalties for cruelty toward animals.”

  10. Richard: When watching this video remember the article about China taking over an Israeli port.

    Iran Gets Desperate, Turns to China

    • How much will this cost China?

      What will be the real cost to China?

      Where will they get the money to buy the oil?

      Will they print more money and once again devalue their currency?

        • Chinese Ambassador To Syria: We Are Willing To Participate ‘In Some Way’ In The Battle For Idlib Alongside The Assad Army

          As the Syrian regime army prepares to launch a campaign for the recapture of Idlib in northern Syria, the Chinese Ambassador to Damascus, Qi Qianjin, told the pro-regime daily Al-Watan on August 1, 2018 that the Chinese military would be willing to participate “in some way” in the campaign in Idlib or in other parts of the country. The ambassador expressed his support for what he called Syria’s war against the terrorists, and noted that there is cooperation between the Syrian and Chinese armies.

          The report also quoted the Chinese military attaché in Syria as saying that the Chinese military wishes to enhance its relations with the Syrian military, and as expressing regret that Chinese Uyghurs are taking part in the fighting against the Assad regime.

          The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic minority in China, predominantly Muslim, some of whose members seek independence for the Xinjiang province, where the Uyghur minority is concentrated. Among the separatists are members of the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP), a jihadi organization seeking to establish an Islamic state in Xinjiang. TIP has perpetrated terror against the authorities in China and has also sent fighters to Syria to participate in the fighting against the Assad regime.

          Its fighters formerly cooperated closely with Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihad groups, and are active mainly in the Idlib area and in the Turkmen Mountain and northern Latakia region.

          It should be noted that this is not the first report regarding Chinese military aid to the Syrian regime. In November 28, 2017, the Facebook page of Russia’s Khmeimim airbase in Syria reported that China was planning to dispatch special forces to Syria to combat the TIP fighters in the Damascus area.[1] However, Ambassador Qi Qianjin denied the report.[2]

      • Thank you, yucki. As Richard has scolded us about so many times, this is Red Chinese Economic Rape without the velvet cuffs. Whips and chains need only apply. From the link:

        Because bottom trawling involves towing heavy fishing gear over the seabed, it can cause large-scale destruction on the ocean bottom, including coral shattering, damage to habitats and removal of seaweed. The primary sources of impact are the doors, which can weigh several tons and create furrows if dragged along the bottom, and the footrope configuration, which usually remains in contact with the bottom across the entire lower edge of the net. Depending on the configuration, the footrope may turn over large rocks or boulders, possibly dragging them along with the net, disturb or damage sessile organisms or rework and re-suspend bottom sediments. These impacts result in decreases in species diversity and ecological changes towards more opportunistic organisms. The destruction has been likened to clear-cutting in forests.

        Chinese fisheries also use electrofishing procedures, using a very high voltage to stun and catch a large amount of fish. Fish that are in a distance are also injured. This has resulted in the destruction of many aquatic animals, including dolphins and the beautiful Qeshm turtles, which are a tourist attraction.

        Why not just use hand grenades or dynamite? What’s to lose?


        (Not that I’m any fan of Iran, but here’s a quick video on Qeshm Island)

  11. Morocco receives $275m from EU to stem migration (memo, Sep 17, 2018)

    “The EU has allocated $275 million of aid to Morocco to boost efforts to stem illegal migration to the continent, according to state-run news agency MAP.

    The EU’s Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn signed several agreements covering the funding with Morocco’s Finance Minister Mohamed Benchaaboun over the weekend, with Hahn affirming Europe’s commitment to Morocco’s national development.

    Some $175 million of the aid is destined for the “Competitiveness and Green Growth” programme, aimed at strengthening the status of the self-employed entrepreneurs, first-time exporters, the business climate and the emergence of recycling channels. The rest of the funds will go towards government social protection initiatives, aiming to reduce social disparities by increasing access to basic services.

    Morocco has an unemployment rate of over nine per cent, but the figure rises to nearly 30 per cent for young people, resulting in many looking to escape their difficult economic circumstances through migration to Europe.

    The funding comes amid a growing call for more inclusive economic growth as a strategy to tackle migrants seeking to travel to Europe to secure a better life….”

  12. Two dead, 16 rescued after refugee boat capsizes off Turkey (alaraby, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Two women died and sixteen other mainly Iraqi refugees, including eight children, were rescued on Monday after their boat capsized off the southwestern Turkish coast, the coastguard said.

    The coastguard intervened to rescue them after they were alerted early morning.

    They rescued 15 Iraqis and one Syrian, the coastguard said in a statement, adding the bodies of the two women were found.

    The refugees said 19 people were on board the boat initially and the search to find another missing woman continued, the coastguard said.

    The boat had been on its way to Greece, according to state-run news agency Anadolu.

    Turkey is the world’s largest refugee-hosting country with over three million Syrians and up to 300,000 Iraqis.

    It is also one of the transit countries used by those fleeing war and poverty to try and get to Europe.

    The refugee influx hit its peak in 2015 when over a million people, including hundreds of thousands fleeing the Syrian war, landed in Greece from Turkey, mainly by boat.”

    • Turkey is the world’s largest refugee-hosting country with over three million Syrians and up to 300,000 Iraqis.

      Somewhere, once again, after a few iterations, this will turn up in the equation.

      And not in a good way…

      Erdogan is just insufficiently stupid enough to such a degree whereby he hasn’t some square on his chessboard incapable of accommodating this massive encampment of jihadist capital.

      Doubt this at your own risk.

  13. Iraq to deploy troops along border after Turkey attacks on PKK (alaraby, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Iraq will deploy security forces along the mountainous border with Turkey and take action against Ankara at the United Nations over air strikes on Kurdish separatists based in northwest Iraq.

    Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made the announcement in a statement on Sunday after meeting with the country’s national security council.

    The statement said council members had agreed to “deploy border guard forces along the Iraqi-Turkish border to prevent violations”.

    “The Foreign Ministry will take adequate measures to document Turkish violations of Iraqi airspace and present them to the United Nations Security Council,” it added.

    The move comes after Turkish warplanes repeatedly bombed positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Sinjar and Qandil regions of northern Iraq…”

  14. Erdogan says he will bolster Turkish military presence in northern Cyprus (alaraby, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Turkey said on Monday it could send more troops to northern Cyprus, despite calls for Ankara to disengage from the breakaway region of the EU state.

    Speaking to reporters as he travelled back from Azerbaijan on Monday, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country would not end its military presence on the divided island.

    “No, we are not going to reduce the numbers of our troops. We will increase them, we are not going to decrease them,” he said, according to AFP.

    There are believed to be around 35,000 Turkish troops in the northern area of Cyprus, although Ankara does not provide official figures about its military presence…”

  15. Former Pakistani official, wife ‘arrested’ in UK over alleged money laundering (tribune, Sep 18, 2018)

    “The Britain’s National Crime Agency said on Monday it had arrested a Pakistani former ‘politically exposed person’ and his wife who were involved in money laundering in the UK, believed to to be the result of corruption in Pakistan.

    “Officers from the NCA’s International Corruption Unit have arrested a former Pakistani Politically Exposed Person, aged in his 40s, and his wife, aged in her 30s,” the agency said in an official statement.

    The Pakistani media later reported that the arrested man was Farhan Junejo, a former assistant commissioner, who was accused of laundering Rs250 million abroad…”

    • Pakistan signs ‘declaration’ with UK in effort to bring back ‘looted wealth’ (tribune, Sep 17, 2018)

      “Pakistan and the United Kingdom on Monday announced to undertake ‘justice and accountability initiative’ aimed at expediting operational working on various cases of extradition, money laundering, recovery of stolen assets and other serious organised crimes.

      British Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who is in Pakistan on a two-day official visit, announced launching the initiative titled, “UK-Pakistan Justice and Accountability Partnership” in a press conference held at the Prime Minister Office.

      Law Minister Farogh Naseem and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar also spoke on the occasion.

      Both the sides also agreed to revive a bilateral prisoners’ transfer agreement – that existed in the past but has been dysfunctional for the last many years – and establishing a joint fund on civil recovery of stolen assets under the initiative…”

  16. Govt raises gas prices by up to 143% (tribune, Sep 17, 2018)

    “The government on Monday increased natural gas prices by up to 143% to recover Rs94 billion from consumers, in effect slashing consumer subsidies that were a fiscal drag on the government’s budget.

    The increase may make gas utility companies financially viable but will stoke inflation due to increase in the price of commodities.

    The decision will hurt as many as 9.4 million domestic users – 3.6 million of them falling in the lowest income slab and another 2.63 million in the second lowest income group. Due to the increase in gas prices for the power sector, the electricity will become expensive by 12%.
    The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet allowed raise in the gas prices for domestic consumers in the range of 10% for the lowest slab consumers to 143% for the highest slab domestic consumers.

    It also approved increasing gas prices for commercial and industrial consumers from 30% to 57% that will increase the prices of fertiliser, manufacturing units, electricity generation, cement and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). But it has protected five export-oriented sectors from the increase.

    The decision will take effect from the date of ratification of the ECC decision by the federal cabinet. Up to 143% increase in gas prices is expected to follow around 35% increase in electricity prices in the coming weeks…”

  17. 15 Tunisians free due to no space in centre (ansa, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Fifteen out of a group of 17 Tunisians awaiting expulsion from Italy were not taken back to the centre for repatriation (CPR) but were only given their expulsion papers, because there were no places for them at the CPR, the Italian Interior Ministry said on Monday.

    The migrants were part of a group of migrants who missed repatriation last Thursday due to a broken aircraft for a charter flight that was supposed to bring them back to Tunisia. Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said he has asked for “more details” on the situation.”

    • Fifteen out of a group of 17 Tunisians awaiting expulsion from Italy were not taken back to the centre for repatriation (CPR) but were only given their expulsion papers, because there were no places for them at the CPR, the Italian Interior Ministry said on Monday.

      There were awkward shouts of, “There’s no room at the inn!”

  18. Eurobureaucrats should shut up, Salvini tells Sefcovic (ansa, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini hit back on Monday after European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic expressed concern about the political situation in Italy and the rise of Salvini’s League party. “It is the umpteenth attack by Europe on Italy, on the League and on the government,” Salvini said.

    “Now they are taking an interest in us, but for years the Eurobureaucrats ignored our country’s requests for help to stop the arrivals (of asylum seekers) and saddled us with 700,000 immigrants. “It would be better if he apologised and shut up”.

    Sefcovic, who announced Monday that he is seeking the nomination of the European Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats to be the next Commission president, said that “we are all worried” when asked by ANSA about the political situation in Italy and the League.

    “I have been to Italy many times and I was always impressed by how this great, important European country was honestly pro-EU,” Sefcovic told ANSA. “It’s truly a new situation for us. “We have to ensure that, in the future, Italy returns to being the great G7 country that is strongly pro-EU again”.”

  19. Germans upbeat about immigration, study finds (DW, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Despite gloomy headlines about the asylum policy debate, a majority view life with their immigrant and non-immigrant neighbors positively. The study still noted an East-West split, as well as a divide on headscarves.

    People living in Germany continue to view the country’s multicultural society positively, according to a new study published by the Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR).

    The “Integration Barometer 2018” is the first representative study on the matter to come out since the start of the so-called refugee crisis in 2015, which saw hundreds of thousands of people escaping war and poverty in their home countries enter Europe.

    Despite refugees and immigration policy dominating the news and politician’s speaking points in Germany, the study found that most people still think that life with their immigrant or non-immigrant neighbors is going well.

    Main takeaways

    Some 63.8 percent of local Germans — people described as not having an immigrant background — view the integration situation positively, down marginally from the 65.4 percent logged in 2015. Residents with immigrant backgrounds viewed the integration situation even more positively, rating it at 68.9 percent.

    The study found a particular divide between the eastern and western states, with 66 percent of western Germans satisfied with the status of immigration, while eastern Germans rated it at 55 percent.

    The study found that areas where fewer migrants live, such as in the eastern German states, there are more reservations about immigration and integration.

    Men viewed the status of integration in Germany more negatively than women.

    Solution to tensions in education

    Researchers noted that skepticism about immigrants can be overcome by having more “personal encounters.”

    “The everyday experiences are significantly better than what the [media] discourse would suggest,” researchers wrote in the study….”

    • Migration ‘mother of all political problems,’ says German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (DW, Sep 17, 2018)

      “The German minister has claimed migration is at the heart of society’s disillusionment with politics. Chancellor Angela Merkel, however, said she would have put it a bit differently and called migration a “challenge.”

      German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, head of the CSU, the conservative sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU, has said that migration was the “mother of all political problems” in Germany and one of the principal reasons for waning support for the established parties, German media report.

      “Many people now associate their social problems with the issue of migration,” he told the Rheinische Post, adding that if Germany didn’t change its migration policy, major political parties would continue losing ground. He went on to link the “order of humanity” with balancing the political concerns of migrants and Germans.

      Merkel: That’s not how I’d put it

      Merkel, however, said she would put it differently than her interior minister.

      “I say that the question of migration poses challenges,” she said in an interview with RTL television, adding that there are problems and success that come with the challenges of migration…”

    • The study found a particular divide between the eastern and western states, with 66 percent of western Germans satisfied with the status of immigration, while eastern Germans rated it at 55 percent.

      Guess who’s purchased a clue? Hint: It ain’t Western Germany.

      Is humanity doomed to forever learning lessons the hard way?

      (Don’t answer that!)

  20. Videos reportedly catch ‘prayer-writing’ mullah sexually abusing three women (france24, Sep 17, 2018)

    “Three videos circulating on social networks in Afghanistan claim to show a “prayer-writing” mullah sexually assaulting three separate women. The videos were reportedly made three years ago in the north-central Faryab province, but appeared online the week of September 10.

    Local officials have identified the mullah and accused him of rape. If the charges are correct, these videos would be rare documentation of an often-alleged practice: rape committed by mullahs claiming to offer prayer-inspired healing to women…”

  21. zero hedge – The Major Attack On Syria Followed Putin-Erdogan Agreement For Demilitarized Zone In Idlib</strong

    The world once again was taken to the brink of World War 3 Monday night, and the situation is still extremely dangerous. A massive wide-ranging assault on multiple Syrian provinces, including the coastal cities of Latakia and Tartus, occurred Monday evening reportedly by Israel and possibly with the help of France or the US, though the Pentagon is denying any US assistance during the assault.

    With Syrian and Russian air defenses responding during the over hour-long attack which targeted among other things an alleged chemical weapons research center, and in the confusion of missiles cross the sky, a Russian maritime patrol plane was shot down with 14 personnel on board. The Pentagon is claiming it was Syrian defense which “accidentally” downed the plane, while Russia is pointing out its radar observed a French frigate firing in the area just before the plane went down.

    Regardless, this is an incredibly dangerous situation which puts world powers closer to major war. And crucially, the whole event came immediately after Russia and Turkey announced they’ve agreed to establish a “demilitarized zone” around Idlib.
    his at the very least appears a conscious effort to keep the fires burning in Syria, to prevent Putin from being in the driver’s seat, and to continue to provoke hostilities with the Tehran-Damascus axis, and to further keep alive the possibility of the eventual military ouster of Assad.

    After Monday’s meeting with President Erdogan in Sochi, Putin related to reporters the details of the Russia-Turkey-Syria demilitarization deal: “At the meeting, we discussed in detail this situation (in the Idlib governorate) and decided to establish a 15-20km-wide demilitarized zone along the contact line between government troops and the armed opposition by October 15, 2018 and evacuate radical militants, including Jabhat al-Nusra,” he said.

    Putin explained that at the Turkish president’s initiative, there will be a planned “withdrawal from this zone heavy weapons, tanks, multiple missile launcher systems, artillery systems and mortars of all opposition groups” by October 10″. “Control in the demilitarized zone will be exercised by mobile patrol groups of Turkish units and units of Russian military police,” Putin said.

    He added that the sides agreed to “resume transit traffic along the Aleppo-Latakia and Aleppo-Hama highways by the end of 2018, also at the initiative of the Turkish side.”

    “Russia and Turkey are working closely to resolve the Syrian crisis, to strengthen the ceasefire and improve the humanitarian situation,” Putin said. Putin further said the deal involves Syria agreeing to “coordinated solutions,” but that the details of the deal are still being worked out with Damascus.

    “In general, the Syrian leadership supports this approach,” he said. “We will hold additional consultations with the Syrian authorities soon.”

    “Russia and Turkey reiterated their commitment to continue anti-terrorism efforts in Syria in any of its forms or manifestations,” Putin stressed. “We agreed that practical implementation of the steps we plan will give a fresh impetus to the process of political settlement of the Syrian conflict and will make it possible to invigorate efforts in the Geneva format and will help restore peace in Syria.”

    Putin also emphasized that the sides will work together to root out terrorists across Syria.

    But given Monday night’s massive escalation, it doesn’t appear Israel or its Western allies want to see to this deal take effect.

  22. Seth Frantzman earliest reports:

    Massive explosions rocked northern Syria’s Latakia countryside on Monday night hours after a buffer zone deal was announced by Russia and Turkey. The deal appeared to mean a large Syrian regime offensive in Idlib would be postponed. But hours later as people sat down to enjoy nargillah and listen to music in Latakia, explosions were heard and air defenses came online.

    Syrian regime media reported that “foreign objects” had been targeted and commentators immediately began to point a finger at Israel. The first reports were around ten in the evening. It came two days after air defenses were also activated over Damascus International airport to confront what the Syrian regime said was an Israeli airstrike.

    The explosions that began at ten continued for almost an hour as more air defenses were activated and rumors said there had been attacks elsewhere. Many commentators continued to point a finger at Jerusalem. Danny Makki tweeted “No doubt the attacks this evening in #Syria were done by #Israel, the frequency and scope of raids in Syria has increased significantly over the last few weeks.”
    [more: vid, pix, Pentagon spox, etc.]

  23. Aided by Holocaust denier, Julian Assange sought Russian visa in 2010
    Wikileaks founder gave instructions to embassy in London that documents be handled by his friend, fringe intellectual Israel Shamir

    Julian Assange had just pulled off one of the biggest scoops in journalistic history, splaying the innards of American diplomacy across the web. But technology firms were cutting ties to his website, WikiLeaks, cable news pundits were calling for his head and a Swedish sex crime case was threatening to put him behind bars.

    Caught in a vise, the silver-haired Australian wrote to the Russian Consulate in London.

    “I, Julian Assange, hereby grant full authority to my friend, Israel Shamir, to both drop off and collect my passport, in order to get a visa,” said the letter, which was recently obtained by The Associated Press.

    Assange’s involvement with Shamir, a fringe intellectual who once said it was the duty of every Christian and Muslim to deny the Holocaust, would draw indignation when it became public.

    According to his personal website, Shamir was born in Novosibirsk, Siberia, and moved to Israel in 1969. After serving as a paratrooper in the army and fighting in the 1973 Yom Kippur War he took up journalism, the website says, and worked for the BBC in London. After spending time in Japan, he returned to Israel in 1980 and wrote for the daily newspaper Haaretz. He also served as the Knesset spokesman for the Israel Socialist Party (Mapam). In 2004 he was baptized as a Greek Orthodox Christian.

    The November 30, 2010, Assange missive is part of a much larger trove of WikiLeaks emails, chat logs, financial records, secretly recorded footage and other documents leaked to The Associated Press.

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