Erdogan Celebrates Delivery Of S-400s, Says Turkey Should Build New Weapons With Russia

With few other options at its disposal, Washington has been forced to threaten to withhold deliveries of F-35 fighters to Turkey in retaliation for Ankara’s purchase of a batch of Russian-made S-400 anti-air missiles.

But with several more shipments of the anti-aircraft missiles due by the end of the summer, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan isn’t backing down. Rather, during remarks in the capital on Monday, he celebrated the arrival of the missiles, and said he would like to co-produce weapons with Russia, according to RT.

Erdogan

Speaking on the third anniversary of the failed coup attempt that set off one of the greatest purges in Turkish history, Erdogan promised that the newly-acquired S-400 weapons systems would be fully deployed in less than a year. Russian cargo planes began delivering the components on Friday, and more parts are expected to be delivered soon.

“And as of today, the eighth plane arrived and started being unloaded. Inshallah [God willing], we will be done by April 2020,” Erdogan said. Then, he said the Turkish government would “go much further” with a view to setting up “joint production with Russia.”

The purchase of the S-400 systems has elicited threats of retaliation from the US, which has vowed to cut Turkey, a fellow NATO member, off from sales of advanced weapons like the F-35, while also threatening sanctions (last year, Trump terminated a preferential trade agreement with Turkey in the spat over the S-400).

If Turkey continues to cooperate with Russia on things like arms purchases, expect Washington to impose sanctions and tariffs as Turkey tests the future of NATO.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2k9erGa Tyler Durden

UK, Philippines Side With Huawei: Why Is The US Behind On 5G?

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

In a global 5-G battle, Trump has forced nations to take sides. The EU, UK, and the Philippines will buck Trump.

The Wall Street Journal reports Philippines Has Chosen Sides: Not the U.S.

The U.S.-China technology war is raging around the world, but the Philippines is no longer torn. It is binding its telecommunications future to China’s.

The country got its first taste of next-generation 5G services in late June with gear supplied by Huawei Technologies Co. This month, a new carrier backed by state-owned China Telecommunications Corp. will begin rolling out a network largely designed in China, to be executed by Chinese engineers in the Philippines.

The moves are a blow to the U.S., which has in recent months pushed allies to shun Huawei. U.S. officials contend Chinese companies could be compelled to conduct espionage for Beijing.

Huawei, which has repeatedly said it wouldn’t spy for China, estimates its 5G equipment will spread across more than 130 countries, including in Europe. Huawei’s 5G system is up and running in South Korea and will be deploying in the United Arab Emirates this year. Both countries are U.S. allies.

Chinese companies’ dominant presence in Philippine telecom networks stands to move the Southeast Asian country further away from the U.S., its treaty ally—testing a relationship that has already grown strained.

No Technical Reason to Exclude Huawei

The Register reports MPs Find ‘No Technical Grounds’ to Exclude Chinese Giant.

The UK’s Science and Technology Select Committee said it can’t find any “technical grounds” for chopping Huawei out of the UK’s 5G and other telco networks, but said government should consider “ethical” issues and its relationship with “allies”.

The committee of Commons MPs wrote in a letter (PDF) to Minister of Fun [Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] Jeremy Wright that Huawei’s involvement in the 5G network posed no techie issues, excepting, of course, the not-so-minor point that if the country pulls the Chinese firm’s kit from either its current or future networks, it could cause “significant delays”.

The UK will have to choose between bowing down to Trump and doing what it thinks best.

Huawei in Germany

Earlier this year, Angela Merkel Ignored Trumpian Pressure to ban Huawei in 5G auction.

“There are two things I don’t believe in,” Merkel said in an onstage discussion on Tuesday at the Global Solutions summit in Berlin. “First, to discuss these very sensitive security questions publicly, and second, to exclude a company simply because it’s from a certain country.’’

European carriers have warned governments that sidelining Huawei would delay fifth-generation networks by years.

The threat escalated when Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, US General Curtis Scaparrotti, warned Germany that Nato forces would cut communications if Berlin were to work with Huawei.

NATO Threat

If the US will not share sensitive NATO data with Germany, so what?

Heck, it’s likely a good thing to not listen to US propaganda about Russia, Iran, or whatever.

What’s It Really About?

The US is just as likely to have security back doors as China, if not more so.

This isn’t really a security.

Rather, 5-G is Tied Up in Trump’s Trade War Disputes.

What do 5G and the Chinese telecom-gear maker Huawei have to do with the escalating trade war between the US and China? In a word: everything. 5G, the next generation of wireless, will not only allow you to download an entire season of Stranger Things in minutes, but also serve as the foundation to support the next generation of infrastructure, including billions of internet-connected devices powering smart cities, cool new VR and AR applications and driverless cars.

“The leader of 5G stands to gain hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue over the next decade, with widespread job creation across the wireless technology sector,” the Defense Innovation Board, a group of American business leaders and academics, said in a report for the US Department of Defense earlier this spring.

How’s the US Doing? 

Wireless industry trade association the CTIA claims the US is “tied” with China. And it’s advocating for policy objectives to keep pushing the US toward dominance. But the Defense Innovation Board offered a more dismal outlook. In its report issued in April it offered a scathing assessment: “The country that owns 5G will own many of these innovations and set the standards for the rest of the world,” it said. “That country is currently not likely to be the United States.”

Why is the US Behind?

  1. China has invested massive amounts of money in companies such as Huawei to develop 5G technology, to great success.

  2. Chinese companies hold the majority of the world’s 5G patents. The Chinese government also controls China’s wireless service market and is pushing its three major providers, China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, to combine efforts to develop a standalone 5G network that’ll commercially launch in 2020.

  3. There are no major US companies building and developing 5G telecom equipment. Thanks to decades of market consolidation, US companies once dominant in providing telecom gear have been sold to foreign companies.

  4. The defense department assessment is the US hasn’t been quick enough in making available the wireless spectrum that’s essential to deploying the service. And the spectrum the US is making available is the wrong kind.

  5. The US has been allocating a lot of so-called millimeter wave or mmWave spectrum, which can transmit huge amounts of data very fast. But signals can travel only over short distances, and interference like trees or even bad weather can disrupt service. The problem with using this spectrum is that it’s hugely expensive to build a network this way. And it’ll be impossible to blanket the nation with the service, because it’ll be too costly.

  6. The US needs midband and low-band spectrum in the mix. The only problem is that the prime spectrum that could be used for this service is already being used by the military. And getting government agencies to share spectrum with commercial entities is no easy task.

Trump Prepares to Ease Ban

On May 24, Venture Beat reported Trump’s Glib Approach to Huawei Invites Nasty Unintended Consequences.

The U.S. government has spent the last year and a half making the case that Huawei is an international security threat — a telecommunications hardware company that could help China’s government surveil communications and seize control of 5G-networked assets. But President Donald Trump suggested yesterday that this “very dangerous” company may not be such a threat after all as the U.S. might be willing to look the other way if China agrees to a trade deal.

Does this sound like pay-to-play politics? Of course. After the last two years, is anyone even slightly surprised that Trump would shrug off international security concerns to settle an economic dispute? Of course not.

Regardless of how this situation plays out, Trump’s glib attitude toward trade relations with Huawei is inviting highly unpleasant and long-lingering consequences. The most obvious: Foreign rivals now can plausibly argue that the U.S. targets individual companies to force political outcomes, which is effectively an economic form of hostage-taking.

No Trust

The current state of affairs is likely irrelevant. It can change on a whim for any reason or non-reason.

Companies may seek to install Huawei equipment only to be told days or even hours later they need to rip it out.

There is no reason to believe any decision Trump makes will stick.

You cannot run a business this way and you shouldn’t run a country this way either.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2Lnwrsf Tyler Durden

Brickbat: It Takes a Thief

The Atlanta Police Department has fired officer Keisha Richburg after $500 in cash went missing from a homicide victim’s wallet. Bodycam footage shows an EMT putting the money back into the wallet before handing it to Richburg. A minute later, Richburg is seen in her patrol car with the wallet, but the cash is no longer visible. And when she handed the wallet over to a sergeant the cash was no longer in it. Richburg is appealing her firing and has the support of her union. “They haven’t proven that she had the money or took the money,” said Vincent Champion, regional director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. “We don’t feel the officer did that.”

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Opponents Of Italy’s Salvini Accuse Him Of Being ‘Puppet Of Putin’

Matteo Salvini’s hope for a “Trump-style revolution” In Italy has not only rankled his center-left opponents, but also his nominal allies, coalition allies – the populist League party – who have joined in an investigation into whether Salvini and his political allies received broke campaign finance laws by receiving money from the Russia government, Bloomberg reports.

The scandal over the Russian financing has dogged Salvini – who is not only the leader of the League Party, but also the de facto ruler of Italy, after a close ally, Gianluca Savoini, was caught soliciting illegal party funding from three Russians nationals.

Salvini

The story has dominated the Italian press for the past week, and Salvini has tried – unsuccessfully – to distance himself from the political scandal.

Initially, Salvini said he didn’t know how Savoini, a close advisor to the Interior Minister, ended up at a fundraiser where Russians had sought to funnel money to Salvini’s party.

Savoini, a one-time Salvini spokesman, attended a July 4 dinner with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Rome, and the deputy premier has said he doesn’t know how his associate came to be there. On Sunday, however, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte undermined that account, saying in a statement that Savoini had in fact been invited by Salvini’s office.

With western leaders struggling to come to grips with the scope of Russian attempts to undermine their democracies, the…report suggests that the most powerful home-grown opponent of the European Union may have been colluding with the Kremlin.

Now, Salvini and Trump have one more thing in common: Not only are they both reviled by leftists in their respective countries, but Salvini’s opponents are now blaming his electoral triumph on interference from the Russians. Like Trump, Salvini has broken ranks with other western leaders, but he’s openly advocated for the removal of UN sanctions against Russia. What’s an even worse look for Salvini, his party has been pushing to ease sanctions on Russia. He has also rejected his fellow Western European countries’ findings that Putin’s ‘meddling is a ‘malign influence.’

So far, the scandal has done nothing to dent Salvini’s popularity with his fellow Italians – he remains the most popular political figure in Italian politics.

But it has further strained his relationship with his coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, which has called for an investigation into the source of the money . Of course, with Five Star perennially terrified that Salvini might move to drop them from the ruling coalition, they have every incentive to cooperate with the opposition.

Unsurprisingly, the opposition center-left Democratic Party has laso kept up the pressure, with former PM Paolo Gentiloni urgingi Salvinii to resign.

The timing of the scandal is beyond suspicious. Salvinis’ party trounces the competition in Italy and picks of dozens of European Parliament seats, helping form a block of anstiestablishment MPs who could create serious problems for Brussels. So it makes sense that they would try to discredit the nettlesome populist, who has disparaged the euro, thumbed his nose at EU budget rules and generally threatened to upset the status quo in Brussels, with the one tried-and-true smear: Salvini is a Russia agent and the populists’ rise in Italy isn’t the result of a democratic choice – rather, it’s Puiin’s fault.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2XQGmIJ Tyler Durden

Brickbat: It Takes a Thief

The Atlanta Police Department has fired officer Keisha Richburg after $500 in cash went missing from a homicide victim’s wallet. Bodycam footage shows an EMT putting the money back into the wallet before handing it to Richburg. A minute later, Richburg is seen in her patrol car with the wallet, but the cash is no longer visible. And when she handed the wallet over to a sergeant the cash was no longer in it. Richburg is appealing her firing and has the support of her union. “They haven’t proven that she had the money or took the money,” said Vincent Champion, regional director for the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. “We don’t feel the officer did that.”

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This Arms Deal Could Trigger A New “Cold War”

Authored by Cyril Widdershoven via OilPrice.com,

The long-awaited, and feared, delivery of Russian S-400 missile systems to Turkey has started.

In spite of US and European warnings that Ankara should reconsider the Russian arms deal, to prevent economic and possibly military sanctions, Turkish president Erdogan has put his foot down. At a Turkish airbase next to Ankara, the Turkish army has received a first batch of S-400 parts. Turkey’s Ministry of Defense has stated. The coming days new deliveries are expected, threatening not only a possible more hawkish military stance by Turkey in Syria, but increasing risks in the East Med. as a whole.

Ankara also needs to prepare for severe US sanctions, which could include barring Turkey, as a NATO member, from the US F-35 stealth fighter program and banning its defence firms from the United States. Erdogan’s official reaction until now has always been that the S400s are necessary for the country’s security.  Official plans indicate that the S400s will be deployed next to Syrian border, and around Ankara. The coming days a vessel will bring around 100 missiles to Turkey from Russia. And during the next two months, the Turkish military will receive training in Russia. The whole development is causing a severe crisis within NATO, and has put the EU on edge. 

The ongoing Russian-Turkish military cooperation is worrying, as Turkey is the 2nd largest NATO member in terms of armed forces. The Turkish military is also involved in a troop build-up on the Syrian border in preparation for a possible incursion against U.S.-backed Kurdish militants, Habertürk news reported. The East Med region has been already warned by the growing assertiveness and military power projections in and around Cyprus with regards to offshore drilling operations.

With the East Med slowly becoming a major conflict zone, the Russian S-400s could not have come at a more difficult moment. With offshore gas operations off Egypt, Israel and Cyprus being threatened by an ever more hawkish Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, a military conflict for energy access is already brewing. Even after strong warning signals by Brussels and Washington, Ankara’s maritime forces have set sail and are in contested waters. EC President Donald Tusk has warned that “its continued escalation (Turkey) and challenge to the sovereignty of our Member State Cyprus will inevitably lead the EU to respond in full solidarity”.  Brussels already has decided to suspend negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agrees not to hold further meetings of the high-level dialogues for the time being. The EU has also reduced the pre-accession assistance to Turkey for 2020 and invites the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in Turkey, notably with regard to sovereign-backed lending. Ankara is confronted by growing involvement of Washington, after the latter has agreed to the so-called East Med Act, which will allow the US to fully support the trilateral partnership of Israel, Greece and Cyprus. It opens also the door for a full US lifting of its long-standing arms embargo on Cyprus.

(Click to enlarge)

Turkey is looking at a new “Cold War” situation, this time in the East Mediterranean. Confronted by growing regional assertiveness, and military support for Cyprus (Israel, Egypt), a new front has been built up. Looking at Erdogan’s wounded ego, election defeats and potential splits in his AK Party and growing Russian support, unexpected developments and irrational thoughts could easily lead to further escalation.  Bolstered by his Russian spring moves, such as the S-400 deal, Ankara could call the bluff of its adversaries.

(Click to enlarge)

The conflict could be an unexpected bullish factor for energy markets. Especially because most analysts have overlooked the fact that a regional conflict could involve Turkey’s control over the Turkish Straits (Bosphorus and Dardanelles). The latter is a major potential chokepoint for petroleum liquids transit from the Caspian Sea region. Even that total maritime oil and petroleum product volumes through the Turkish Straits has declined since 2011, 2.2-2.4 million bpd of products still flow through the Straits. The majority of oil moving through these shipping lanes supplies Western and Southern Europe. Most Black Sea ports are the main oil export routes for Russia and other Eurasian countries including Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. At the same time, the Turkish Straits total number of vessels is still at around 48,000 per year. Apart from this, Turkey also has become a natural gas hub to Europe, due to its extended oil and gas pipeline infrastructure. 

Some signs show a tendency for conflict the coming months, or weeks. A regional East Med-Turkish conflict will be detrimental to oil and gas flows to Europe. Potentially several millions of barrels per day of crude and petroleum products will be taken out of the market.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2k9CUv1 Tyler Durden

Mainstream Media Hide Skripal’s Connections To Russiagate-Trump Case

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

First of all, everyone should read this:  “The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing US Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story”. It is important background for understanding what follows, because the following helps to explain what is displayed in that brilliant prior article.

News has slowly been getting out that the British Government’s account of the poisoning of the Skripals is a fabrication which had been done in order to escalate hostilities against Russia, and that when information from Democratic Party and Clinton campaign computers subsequently became either leaked or hacked to Wikileaks, the Democratic National Committee hired, in order to investigate that, British contractors who were also involved in the Skripal fraud, and Skripal himself might have been a crucial part of the Russiagate-Trump operation. Russiagate — the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian Government — resulted from this DNC-UK team. There was collusion, but it was between the US Government (then under Obama) and the UK Government (under Cameron and then May), directed against Trump, and not actually between candidate Trump and the Russian Government, directed against Clinton. The present report summarizes the gradual making-public of this actual history.

Developing that case about the real collusion has been and is a remarkably slow process, because the evidence in the real case requires extensive expertise in order to understand and interpret correctly the relationships between the people who were involved in it. So: the following summary encapsulates those relationships; and, at all points, it will link directly to the reports by the courageous investigative journalists who have participated in making public parts of what is, effectively, a key component of the history of the US Obama Administration’s collusion with the UK Government in order to cripple — and having the aim to overthrow — Trump’s US Government, in the event that Trump would win the 2016 US Presidential contest, as he did. (Perhaps the main reason for this manufactured case against Trump was that Trump had publicly criticised NATO, and that doing this, by any US Presidential candidate who has a real chance of winning his or her Party’s nomination, is prohibited by the Deep State — the rulers of both Parties, and of both US and UK.)

Throughout this peeling-off (thus far) of the layers of this onion that’s behind both the Skripal fraud and the Russiagate fraud, the case became progressively stronger that the US and UK Governments were actually colluding together, in order to prevent any possibility that the Cold War would end on the US-and-allied side, as it had decades earlier ended only on Russia’s side in 1991. All of this has been done so to keep in place the myththat when Russia ended the Cold War on its side in 1991, the US and its allies likewise ended it on their side, instead of secretly proceeded forward on their side of the Cold War (as they have done), their ultimate aim being to gradually isolate and then take control of Russia’s Government, and thereby emerge with incontestable control over the entire planet, the first and only globally all-encompassing empire, a dictatorial government of the entire world — any imperialistic regime’s dream — an unchallengeable rule over everyone. Both the Skripal set-up and the Russiagate-Trump scam (and the cover-ups of both) were parts of that broader international operation.

*  *  *

PEELING THE ONION

Layer 1:

On 8 May 2018, David Allan Miller of the University of Bath in England headlined at Spinwatch, “Revealed: rebranded D-Notice committee issued two notices over Skripal affair”, and he posted, and then commented upon, a leaked email that the UK’s Defence and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) office had distributed to all of UK’s major news-media, which started:

From: DSMA Secretary <secretary@dsma.uk>

Date: 7 March 2018

Subject: URGENT FOR ALL EDITORS – DEFENCE AND SECURITY MEDIA ADVISORY (DSMA) NOTICE

To: DSMA Secretary <secretary@dsma.uk>

Private and Confidential: Not for Publication, Broadcast or for use on Social Media

TO ALL EDITORS

The issue surrounding the identity of a former MI6 informer, Sergei Skripal …

You can see the full notice here. It instructs all of the major news-media to hide “the identifies [identities] of intelligence agency personnel associated with Sergei Skripal.” This, of course, would include the name of his MI6 handler, Skripal’s MI6 boss.

David Miller then went on to summarize the evidence:

On the evening of 6 March [2018] a Russian opposition news outlet Meduza, styling itself ‘Russia’s free press in exile’, published a long piece on Skripal in English. [Dr. Miller didn’t link to it, but it is dated “March 6, 2018” and opens “On March 4, a 66-year-old former colonel in Russia’s Military Intelligence Directorate was hospitalized in critical condition in Salisbury, England,” and that Meduza article can be seen here.] Citing a variety of online sources including in Russian, some from over a decade old, identifying Pablo Miller as the MI6 agent inside the Estonian embassy who had recruited Sergei Skripal. By the next afternoon, the notice [on 7 March] was issued to the mainstream media. The Telegraph was the first mainstream outlet to discuss – in discreet and decorous terminology – the connection between Skripal and a ‘security consultant’ who is ‘understood to have known him for some time’ and ‘is also based in Salisbury’. … The Telegraph reported that the ‘consultant’ worked at the same company (Orbis Business Intelligence) that compiled the controversial dossier on Donald Trump and Russia – paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Convention. The consultant was, as we now know, Pablo Miller, who had ‘known’ Skripal in the specific sense that he was his MI6 handler. Some, such as Guardian journalist Luke Harding, have suggested that Miller never worked for Orbis, but this seems to be false. …

The notice helps to encourage the climate of anti-Russian hysteria implying that investigative reporting on this matter that might discuss British intelligence is in effect Russian propaganda. This is a nice illustration of David Leigh’s phrase from nearly 40 years ago: ‘the obverse of the secrecy coin is always propaganda’.

It is a standing rebuke to the notion that journalism should question power, that 15 senior media people should agree to sit on this censorship committee. As well as the BBC, ITV, ITN and Murdoch’s Sky News, representing broadcasters, there are a variety of representatives from the broadsheet and tabloid press, regional and Scottish newspapers and magazines and publishing – including two News UK and Harper Collins, (both owned by Murdoch) as well as Trinity Mirror, the Daily Mail and the Guardian. On the government side of the committee are the chair from the MoD and four intelligence connected representatives from the MoD (Dominic Wilson, Director General Security Policy), Foreign Office (Lewis Neal, Director for National Security), Home Office (Graeme Biggar, unspecified post in the OSCT) and Cabinet Office (Paddy McGuinness, Deputy National Security Adviser for Security, Intelligence, and Resilience).

The DSMA [Defence and Security Media Advisory] committee likes to cultivate the impression that it is a rather uninteresting committee that is, as a former vice chair of the committee (a journalist) put it, ‘is emphatically not censorship… but voluntary, responsible media restraint’. Then working at Sky News, that vice chair, Simon Bucks, is now CEO at the Services Sound and Vision Corporation, the broadcasting service which says it is ‘championing the Armed Forces’. Bucks also wrote [in the Guardianthat the DSMA committee is ‘the most mythologised and misunderstood institution in British media. … ‘Slapping a D-notice’ on something the establishment wanted suppressed has been the stuff of thrillers, spy stories and conspiracy theories for more than a century.”

This is a typical deception used regularly by defenders of the British system of censorship.

Layer 2:

This comes from Ludwig De Braeckeleer: “Salisbury Incident — UK Media silenced by D-Notices Over Skripal Affair” Posted on May 10, 2018 [two days after David Miller’s article, and adding context to it]

Quick Analysis

In the aftermath of the Skripal incident, the UK government moved quickly to ‘protect’ the identity of Sergei Skripal as well as the identity of his former MI6 handler Pablo Miller who happens to live near Salisbury.

On March 7, the first D-Notice was issued, but their names had already been revealed.

At the same time, a few journalists planted false information regarding Pablo Miller and Orbis, the private Intel company that became famous because of the infamous dossier Chris Steele compiled on Trump’s Russiagate.

On March 8, Gordon Corera tweeted that his sources were certain that no link exists between Skripal and Orbis or Chris Steele.

On the same day, Luke Harding suggested that Miller never worked for Orbis, which is obviously untrue. Pablo Miller had listed his employment by Orbis Business Intelligence on his LinkedIn profile.

So, this much is certain. The UK government has quickly moved to black out the identity of Pablo Miller and his connections to both Sergei Skripal and Orbis.

In 2017, a D-Notice was already issued against British journalists revealing the identity of the Trump’s Dossier author (Chris Steele).

Multiple British outlets ignored this advice and revealed his name anyway, including BBC News, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.

The use of a D-Notice is not a rare event. But it is not used very frequently either.

I believe that a couple of such notices have been issued annually on average in the UK over the last ten years. And we KNOW that at least three of these notices were issued in connection with the Skripal and Orbis Affair(s?). Stay tuned!

REFERENCES

Revealed: rebranded D-Notice committee issued two notices over Skripal affair — SpinWatch

The DSMA notices can be found here:

DSMA notice 7 March 2018

DSMA notice 14 March 2018

Layer 3

On 19 March 2018, the anonymous “Moon of Alabama” blogger headlined “No Patients Have Experienced Symptoms Of Nerve Agent Poisoning In Salisbury” and was perhaps the first person to put it all together:

Is this third person the MI6 agent Pablo Miller who in 1995 recruited Skripal as British double agent. Miller who was also involved in handling the MI6 assets Boris Berezovski and Alexander Litvinenko. Pablo Miller who lives close to Sergej Skripal in Salisbury and is considered to be his friend? The same Pablo Miller who worked with former MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s Orbis Business Intelligence which created the ‘dirty dossier’ about Donald Trump? How deep were the Skripals involved in making up the fake stories in the anti-Trump dossier for which the Clinton campaign paid more than $168,000. Did the Skripals threaten to talk about the issue? Is that why the incident [the poisoning] happened?

Layer 4

On 5 July 2019, Aaron Maté issued his enormous study, “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims”, which points out that:

There is also reason to question CrowdStrike’s impartiality. Its co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the preeminent Washington think tank [NATO’s PR agency, actually] that aggressively promotes a hawkish posture towards Russia. CrowdStrike executive Shawn Henry, who led the forensics team that ultimately blamed Russia for the DNC breach, previously served as assistant director at the FBI under Mueller.

And CrowdStrike was hired to perform the analysis of the DNC servers by Perkins Coie – the law firm that also was responsible for contracting Fusion GPS, the Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm that produced the now discredited Steele dossier alleging salacious misconduct by Trump in Russia and his susceptibility to blackmail.

Layer 5

On 31 August 2017, Scott Ritter issued his “DUMBSTRUCK: a HomeFront Intelligence Report on how America was conned about the DNC hack”, which described how

the DNC prohibited the US Government from having access to the evidence, and instead went directly to the major ‘news’-media in order to (mis)inform the public what had happened:

At first the DNC tried to get the FBI to make the attribution call, figuring that it would garner more attention coming from the US government. But when the FBI wanted full access to the DNC server so that it could conduct a full forensic investigation, the DNC balked. Instead, after meeting with Alperovitch and Henry, the DNC and CrowdStrike devised a strategy to take the case to the public themselves. Alperovitch prepared a formal technical report that singled out the Russians for attribution. When it was ready, the DNC invited in a reporter from the Washington Post named Ellen Nakashima, who was given exclusive access to senior DNC and CrowdStrike personnel for an above-the-fold, front-page article. … The Post article, published on the morning of June 14, 2016, went viral, with nearly every major media outlet.

Layer 6

On 11 June 2019, Matt Kennard posted a long string of tweets: https://twitter.com/DCKennard/status/1138493594728304640

Matt Kennard [abbreviated here]

@DCKennard

Guardian’s deputy editor @paul__johnson joined state censorship D-Notice committee (run by MOD) after Snowden revelations in sop to British spooks. In board minutes, they thank him for being “instrumental in re-establishing links” between UK mil/intel and Guardian. Explains a lot

10:09 AM – 11 Jun 2019

Matt Kennard

@DCKennard

Who was @carolecadwalla’s “highly placed contact with links to US intelligence” who fed her clear disinformation? (Mueller report makes clear Podesta/DNC leaks transmitted digitally). Since Snowden, intel agencies have used Guardian/Obs to launder their disinformation operations.

Matt Kennard

@DCKennard

Guardian dep ed @paul__johnson joins D-Notice comm for 1st meeting at MOD in 2014. Air Vice-Marshal Vallance reports relationship w/ Guardian has “continued to strengthen”. Alongside Air Commodore Adams and Brigadier Dodds he’s now in “regular dialogues” w/ “Guardian journalists”

12 Jun 2019 

CONCLUSION

So: not only was it “Pablo Miller as the MI6 agent inside the Estonian embassy who had recruited Sergei Skripal,” but “In the aftermath of the Skripal incident, the UK government moved quickly to ‘protect’ the identity of Sergei Skripal as well as the identity of his former MI6 handler Pablo Miller who happens to live near Salisbury.” MI6 was covering its tracks. And, “At the same time, a few journalists planted false information regarding Pablo Miller and Orbis, the private Intel company that became famous because of the infamous dossier Chris Steele compiled on Trump’s Russiagate.” And, “Pablo Miller had listed his employment by Orbis Business Intelligence.” And, “Orbis Business Intelligence … compiled the controversial [MI6 Christopher Steeledossier on Donald Trump and Russia – paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Convention [Democratic National Committee]. The consultant was, as we now know, Pablo Miller, who had ‘known’ Skripal in the specific sense that he was his MI6 handler.” And, “CrowdStrike was hired to perform the analysis of the DNC servers by Perkins Coie – the law firm that also was responsible for contracting Fusion GPS, the Washington, D.C.-based opposition research firm that produced the now discredited Steele dossier alleging salacious misconduct by Trump in Russia and his susceptibility to blackmail.” And, “At first the DNC tried to get the FBI to make the attribution call, figuring that it would garner more attention coming from the US government. But when the FBI wanted full access to the DNC server so that it could conduct a full forensic investigation, the DNC balked. Instead, after meeting with Alperovitch and Henry, the DNC and CrowdStrike devised a strategy to take the case to the public themselves.” And, “Since Snowden, intel agencies have used Guardian/Obs to launder their disinformation operations.”

Masterful. The Obama-Clinton DNC and MI6, and their hired private contractors, worked together to frame Russia for both the Skripal poisonings and the Trump victory.

And yet, key questions remain unanswered: “How deep were the Skripals involved in making up the fake stories in the anti-Trump dossier for which the Clinton campaign paid more than $168,000. Did the Skripals threaten to talk about the issue? Is that why the incident [their poisoning] happened?” There is the possibility that the Skripals’ poisoning was an inside job, by a contractor, for the UK and/or US Governments.

Not to mention other questions: Why are the Skripals still prohibited from speaking to the press and from answering questions in a court? After all, Boris Johnson, who is likely soon to be UK’s Prime Minister, lied, and repeatedly, in order to allege that UK’s Porton Down intelligence lab had identified Russia as the source of the poison: “Asked how the British government could be so sure Russia was behind the attack, Johnson deferred to ‘the people from Porton Down,’ who he said were ‘absolutely categorical.’” And here’s how corrupt he is.

But the historical background of this entire matter — both Skripal and Trump-Russiagate — is obvious: MI6 is Britain’s equivalent to America’s CIA. That was Obama’s CIA. This was entirely a MI6-CIA disinformation campaign, which was an extension from Obama’s (and the UK Government’s) participation in US President G.H.W. Bush’s decision, on 24 February 1990, to continue the Cold War until Russia becomes swept up in, controlled by the USAnd Britain’s Guardian served the Deep State as the core conduit for disinformation to the public on this particular operation (Russiagate-Trump — Obama’s operation to make irreversible Obama’s public restoration (most obvious in Ukraine) of the Russia-is-America’s-top-enemy meme), for and on behalf of the Deep State, so as to continue G.H.W. Bush’s Cold War, inside the US — never to reverse it, until ‘victory’ is achieved.

The “special relationship” between the US and UK (CIA and MI6) is obviously to assist each other in deceiving the other’s public. (Not only did MI6 participate in deceiving UK’s public to fear and despise Putin, but it was crucial in deceiving the US public that Trump was Putin’s stooge.)

On 21 March 2016, the Washington Post had headlined “Trump questions need for NATO, outlines noninterventionist foreign policy” and reported:

“I do think it’s a different world today, and I don’t think we should be nation-building anymore,” Trump said. “I think it’s proven not to work, and we have a different country than we did then. We have $19 trillion in debt. We’re sitting, probably, on a bubble. And it’s a bubble that if it breaks, it’s going to be very nasty. I just think we have to rebuild our country.”

He added: “I watched as we built schools in Iraq and they’re blown up. We build another one, we get blown up. We rebuild it three times and yet we can’t build a school in Brooklyn. We have no money for education because we can’t build in our own country. At what point do you say, ‘Hey, we have to take care of ourselves?’ So, I know the outer world exists and I’ll be very cognizant of that. But at the same time, our country is disintegrating, large sections of it, especially the inner cities.”

Five days later, the New York Times bannered “Transcript: Donald Trump Expounds on His Foreign Policy Views”and reported his saying, “NATO is obsolete” because it “was set up to talk about the Soviet Union. Now of course the Soviet Union doesn’t exist now.” How would the controlling owners of corporations such as Lockheed Martin — and extractive international US corporations such as ExxonMobil — feel about that? NATO has produced a significant portion of Lockheed’s sales, and of Exxon’s access to other nations’ natural resources. That sort of thing — enforcement and extension of empire — is NATO’s real purpose. And it didn’t end when the USSR’s communism, and Warsaw Pact, did in 1991.

The Skripal poisonings had occurred earlier that same month, March 2016. And the DNC went to the very same UK operators that UK did in order to frame Russia for Skripal’s poisoning — but now to place that Russian frame around Trump’s face. All of this was part of the US empire’s decision, which had been made on 24 February 1990, to conquer Russia.

In the timeline of events leading up to the DNC’s hiring of its investigators, we also have this, in 2016,

29 April: The DNC discovers the penetration of its servers by unknown hackers. An emergency meeting is calledbetween Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (DNC Chief Executive), Amy Dacey (DNC Technology Director), Andrew Brown, and Michael Sussmann, a lawyer for Perkins Coie. Sussmann is a former federal prosecutor for the DOJ whose expertise is computer crime. …

4 May: Five days after first discovering the server penetration at the DNC, Michael Sussmann – of Perkins Coie – finally calls CrowdStrike to arrange for analysis of the problem.

In other words: Sussman wanted to privatize the ‘investigation’ instead of to hand to the FBI control over it, which would have given the FBI subpoena-power to require the DNC to provide to the FBI access to their computers — the actual evidence which was in their posession on their end of the case. Even the Special Counsel, Robwrt Miller, had no access to that crucial evidence.

Furthermore, Aaron Maté’s painstakingly thorough analysis of the entire Mueller Report, on July 5th, showed “CrowdStrikeOut: Mueller’s Own Report Undercuts Its Core Russia-Meddling Claims”; and, so, even regarding the allegations that Mueller makes against Russia (not merely regarding whether Trump was colluding with Russia), Mueller’s Report was trash — extremely unreliable and untrustworthy. Mueller has a long history as being a Deep State agent.

And through all of this has been the US and UK Governments’ imprisoning-without-trial Julian Assange — for many years including the part that was spent at the Ecuadorean Embassy — and never even negotiating with Assange for him to answer questions under oath such as “Did that information come to you physically via a thumb-drive or instead purely by electronic transmission?” “Did Craig Murray bring it to You?” They’d rather kill Assange or keep him incommunicado in prison for life, than to do that. Why? And Trump, himself, is part of this, no less than Obama was. Obviously, both Presidents serve the same Deep State (even though they serve different billionaires in it).

This, at least, is a credible scenario. There is no evidence for the PR’d one, regarding either Skripal or Russiagate-Trump. There are accusations, but no case, for those.

*  *  *

NOTE: In the current hyper-partisan American political climate, when a vast majority of the supporters of each of the two Parties hates the opposite Party so much as to be closed-minded – blinded to the reality of their ownParty’s evilness, and to its incessant lying and cover-ups – I should make clear that there is nothing in this article that is, at all, supportive toward either Party. My personal view is that, ever since at least 1981, only Deep State controlled people have lived in the US White House and controlled Congress. As a group, they have perpetrated incalculable harm (such as this) to the entire world. Their only masters have been America’s billionaires. America certainly is a dictatorship, no democracy — it represents only its hundreds of billionaires and their millions of agents, no public at all. The two Parties represent the two factions into which America’s aristocracy have divided themselves. Neither represents the public. Each represents only a faction of America’s billionaires. A democracy cannot consist merely of contending factions of the aristocracy. That’s not a democracy. It’s like almost all other dictatorships throughout history. But the vast majority of Americans refuse even to consider this scientifically proven fact, that America is a dictatorship, not a democracy. For example: recently, a Democratic Party propaganda site, the Daily Beast, headlined “Mueller Missed the Crime: Trump’s Campaign Coordinated With Russia”, and the law-professor who wrote it ignored the much deeper criticisms that Maté’s article leveled against the Mueller Report. A prominent Democratic Party propaganda site continues, even now, “The Moscow Project” about “Trump’s collusion with Russia.” Closed-minded people are simply closed-minded — and that’s the vast majority. They’re open only to ‘information’ that confirms their prejudices. This widespread closed-mindedness is the Deep State’s biggest protector. The manufacture of consent is based upon it. Being open-minded doesn’t mean being gullible — a fool, manipulable. Being closed-minded does. Most people aren’t even aware of that basic epistemological-psychological fact. It’s the reason why both among Democrats and among Republicans, the vast majority still trust their Party, even after all of the blatant and consistent lying of the US Government at least since 9/11. Any Government with a track-record like this, warrants zero trust, and gets that from any intelligent citizen.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2SjJBra Tyler Durden

Ebola-Stricken Man Takes Bus To DRC Travel Hub With 2 Million Residents

The Congolese health ministry announced that a pastor infected with Ebola took a bus to the city of Goma late Sunday, the first time the virus has spread to the major travel hub and home to more than two million people. 

The man, traveling from Butembo, was quickly identified and transported to an Ebola treatment center, while authorities say that they have tracked down the other 18 passengers aboard the bus and would vaccinate them on Monday, according to the Washington Post

“Because of the speed with which the patient was identified and isolated, and the identification of all the other bus passengers coming from Butembo, the risk of it spreading in the rest of the city of Goma is small,” the ministry said in a statement. 

The official statement was echoed by WHO director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who said “Goma is a city of two million people, near the border with Rwanda, and is a gateway to the region and the world,” adding “We are confident in the measures we are put in place and hope that we will see no further transmission of Ebola in Goma.” 

Nevertheless, we cannot be too careful.” 

The outbreak has killed 1,665 people as of Monday, while nearly 700 have survived the virus, which causes high fevers and internal bleeding. Days with dozens of new cases are common, despite a massive public health intervention across the affected area. 

Health workers worry that some cases — if not whole transmission chains — are in places that are inaccessible because of poor infrastructure or insecurity, making the extent of the outbreak hard to fully measure.

The area where the outbreak is taking place is also home to one of Congo’s most protracted and violent conflicts — a patchwork of ethnic militias, vigilantes and government-aligned forces.

Fighting has at times targeted the Ebola response, hampering it and leading to spurts of new cases. Near the outbreak’s epicenter in the city of Beni on Monday, two health workers were killed by unknown assailants. Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO director general, said there have been almost 200 attacks on health workers, killing seven, since January. –Washington Post

As the Post points out, the virus is now present in two cities with populations exceeding one million people – Butembo being the other. The current outbreak is the second-worst on record, after the 2013-2016 epidemic which killed 11,300 in West Africa. 

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2NYfHds Tyler Durden

A Sultan Shines In The Court Of The Dragon King

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Saker blog,

The graphic image of Turkey pivoting away from NATO towards the Russia-China strategic partnership was provided, in more ways than one, by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing right after the G20 in Osaka.

BEIJING, CHINA – JULY 02: President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) walk past the honor guards during an official welcoming ceremony at Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China on July 02, 2019. Volkan Furuncu / Anadolu Agency

Turkey is a key hub in the emerging New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative. Erdogan is a master at selling Turkey as the ultimate East-West crossroads. He has also expressed much interest in joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by Russia-China, whose annual summit took place in Bishkek a few days before Osaka.

In parallel, against hell and high water – from threats of sanctions by the US Congress to NATO warnings – Erdogan never budged from Ankara’s decision to buy Russian S-400 defense missile systems, a $2.5-billion contract according to Rostec’s Sergei Chemezov.

The S-400s start to be shipped to Turkey as early as this week. According to Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar, their deployment should start by October. Much to Washington’s ire, Turkey is the first NATO member state to buy S-400s.

Xi, as he welcomed Erdogan in Beijing, stressed the message he crafted together with Putin in their previous meetings in St Petersburg, Bishkek and Osaka: China and Turkey should “uphold a multilateral world order with the United Nations at its core, a system based on international law.”

Erdogan, for his part, turned up the charm – from publishing an op-ed in the Global Times extolling a common vision of the future to laying it out in some detail. His target is to consolidate Chinese investment in multiple areas in Turkey, directly or indirectly related to Belt and Road.

Addressing the extremely sensitive Uighur dossier head on, Erdogan deftly executed a pirouette. He eschewed accusations from his own Foreign Ministry that “torture and political brainwashing” were practiced in Uighur detention camps and would rather comment that Uighurs “live happily” in China. “It is a fact that the peoples of China’s Xinjiang region live happily in China’s development and prosperity. Turkey does not permit any person to incite disharmony in the Turkey-China relationship.”

This is even more startling considering that Erdogan himself, in the past decade, had accused Beijing of genocide. And in a famous 2015 case, hundreds of Uighurs about to be deported from Thailand back to China ended up, after much fanfare, being resettled in Turkey.

New geopolitical caravan

Erdogan seems to have finally realized that the New Silk Roads are the 2.0 digital version of the Ancient Silk Roads whose caravans linked the Middle Kingdom, via trade, to multiple lands of Islam – from Indonesia to Turkey and from Iran to Pakistan.

Before the 16th century, the main line of communication across Eurasia was not maritime, but the chain of steppes and deserts from Sahara to Mongolia, as Arnold Toynbee wonderfully observed. Walking the line we would find merchants, missionaries, travelers, scholars, all the way to Turko-Mongols from Central Asia migrating to the Middle East and the Mediterranean. They all formed the stuff of interconnection and cultural exchange between Europe and Asia – way beyond geographical discontinuity.

Arguably Erdogan is now able to read the new tea leaves. The Russia-China strategic partnership – directly involved in linking Belt and Road with the Eurasia Economic Union and also the International North-South Transportation Corridor – considers Turkey and Iran as absolutely indispensable key hubs for the ongoing, multi-layered Eurasia integration process.

A new Turkey-Iran-Qatar geopolitical and economic axis is slowly but surely evolving in Southwest Asia, ever more linked to Russia-China. The thrust is Eurasia integration, visible for instance via a frenzy of railroad building designed to link the New Silk Roads, and the Russia-Iran transportation corridor, to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea and, eastwards, the Iran-Pakistan corridor to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, one of Belt and Road’s highlights.

This is all being supported by interlocking transportation cooperation agreements involving Turkey-Iran-Qatar and Iran-Iraq-Syria.

The end result not only consolidates Iran as a key Belt and Road connectivity hub and China’s strategic partner, but also by contiguity Turkey – the bridge to Europe.

As Xinjiang is the key hub in Western China connecting to multiple Belt and Road corridors, Erdogan had to find a middle ground – in the process minimizing, to a great extent, waves of disinformation and Western-peddled Sinophobia. Applying Xi Jinping thought, one would say Erdogan opted for privileging cultural understanding and people-to-people exchanges over an ideological battle.

The flags of China and Turkey flutter in Beijing during Erdogan’s visit to China on July 2. Photo: Wang Xin/ ImagineChina / AFP

Ready to mediate

In conjunction with his success at the court of the Dragon King, Erdogan now feels emboldened enough to offer his services as mediator between Tehran and the Trump administration – picking up on a suggestion he made to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the G20.

Erdogan would not have made that offer if it had not been discussed previously with Russia and China – which, crucially, are member signatories of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA).

It’s easy to see how Russia and China should consider Turkey the perfect mediator: a neighbor of Iran, the proverbial bridge between East and West, and a NATO member. Turkey is certainly much more representative than the EU-3 (France, UK, Germany).

Trump seems to want – or at least gives the impression of imposing – a JCPOA 2.0, without an Obama signature. The Russia-China partnership could easily call his bluff, after clearing it with Tehran, by offering a new negotiating table including Turkey. Even if the ineffective – in every sense – EU-3 remained, there would be real counterbalance in the form of Russia, China and Turkey.

Out of all these important moves in the geopolitical chessboard, one motivation stands out among top players: Eurasian integration cannot significantly progress without challenging the Trumpian sanction obsession.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2jZaVOI Tyler Durden

US Beekeepers Lost 40% Of Honeybee Colonies Last Year, UMD-Led Survey Finds

Recent budget cuts by the Trump Administration slashed funding for the US Department of Agriculture’s annual Honey Bee Colonies report that has recently detailed a collapse in the bee population across the nation. Now researchers will be observing a new study, one that hasn’t been affected by spending cuts, shows beekeepers lost 40.7% of their bee colonies from April 2018 to April 2019.

The nationwide survey administered by the University of Maryland-led nonprofit Bee Informed Partnership warns of declining honey bee populations, could soon have an impact on food crops because these pollinating insects play a significant role in the pollination of plants.

Survey results reveal the annual loss of 40.7% honey bees, a marginal increase over the yearly average of 38.7%. The study noted that the winter losses were the highest since the survey began 13 years ago.

“These results are very concerning, as high winter losses hit an industry already suffering from a decade of high winter losses,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, associate professor of entomology at the University of Maryland and president for the Bee Informed Partnership.

The survey asked more than 4,700 beekeepers managing 320,000 colonies from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, represents about 12% of the nation’s estimated 2.69 million managed colonies.

One of the most significant concerns respondents had about the winter colony losses is varroa mites, an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on the colony. “We are increasingly concerned about varroa mites and the viruses they spread, said vanEngelsdorp. “Last year, many beekeepers reported poor treatment efficacy, and limited field tests showed that products that once removed 90% of mites or more are now removing far fewer. Since these products are no longer working as well, the mite problem seems to be getting worse,” vanEngelsdorp said.

“But mites are not the only problem,” continues vanEngelsdorp. “Land use changes have led to a lack of nutrition-rich pollen sources for bees, causing poor nutrition. Pesticide exposures, environmental factors, and beekeeping practices all play some role as well.”

The ten-year trend of elevated losses have sent researchers scrambling to investigate what exactly is causing colonies to collapse, adds Geoffrey Williams, assistant professor of entomology at Auburn University and co-author of the survey. “We don’t seem to be making particularly great progress in reducing overall losses.”

State and federal agricultural agencies, university researchers, and the beekeeping industry have been working diligently to solve the bee crisis since they first discovered a dramatic loss in colonies about a decade ago.

Along with defunding honey bee surveys, the Trump administration has also allowed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to expand the use of insecticides, once banned under the Obama administration.

The EPA reported last week that some of these toxic chemicals are “highly toxic” to honey bees, forcing the agency to require manufacturers of these chemicals to print new statements on the package that reads: 

“This product is highly toxic to bees and other pollinating insects exposed to direct treatment or to residues in/on blooming crops or weeds. Protect pollinating insects by following label directions intended to minimize drift and reduce pesticide risk to these organisms.”

While researchers aren’t exactly sure what is specifically collapsing bee colonies in large amounts, any more significant losses through the mid-2020s could transpire into widespread crop losses that could trigger food shortages across the US.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2xNUaZM Tyler Durden