Iran Begins Arming Palestinian Terrorists

Promises ‘the annihilation of the Zionist regime’

Iranian military leaders say that they have begun weapons deliveries to Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank and elsewhere in the region after months of promising increased military support for Israel’s enemies, according to regional reports.

A top Iranian military commander confirmed that weapon shipments to the West Bank have already begun and that more will be sent to other “Palestinian resistance groups.”

“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of Iran’s volunteer Basij force told the state-run Fars News Agency on Wednesday. Continue reading

Disarming the U.S. on the “Information Battlefield”

Paul Goble, a specialist on international broadcasting and the propaganda war being waged over Ukraine, writes that “…as effective as [Vladimir] Putin’s disinformation campaign has been inside Russia, it has been even more successful beyond that country’s borders.” One problem, he says, is that the Western media treat Putin’s lies as just another point of view.

Another problem is that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency that oversees all U.S. civilian international media, seems to be completely clueless as to how to win the information war and make sure truth triumphs over lies.

Concerning the role played by the Western media, Goble contends that “…many Western outlets report what Moscow ‘says,’ while describing any Ukrainian government statement as ‘claims.’ Invariably, doing so is called objectivity but in fact it is anything but. Instead, it gives an opening to governments like Putin’s, which are prepared to lie and to spread their lies widely, confident that what they say, however untrue or outrageous, will be reported.”

This is one reason why the idea that Ukraine shot down the Malaysian plane, thinking it was Putin’s jet, has gotten so much attention in the West. It gets picked up as just another point of view, even though it is a blatant lie and was designed as such. Russia has a propaganda channel, Russia Today (RT), which broadcasts this disinformation inside the U.S. on a regular basis.

Showing his own receptivity to Russian propaganda, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul went on a new conservative news channel, Newsmax TV, to suggest that the government of Ukraine had shot the plane down. The former Republican congressman has been a regular guest on RT, and has wandered far from the days when he claimed to be an anti-communist.

Goble says many in the West fall victim to Moscow’s lies, “either out of a confusion between balance and objectivity, a conviction that all governments lie and that no one should be surprised, or a commitment to maintaining good relations with the Russian government no matter what it does.” It is not clear what motivates Ron Paul, but his acceptance of the Kremlin point of view makes a mockery out of his proclaimed devotion to liberty around the world. Continue reading

Pentagon confirms ISIL captured tanks, building ‘faster’ military force

WASHINGTON — The United States has determined that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was building an armored force.

Officials said the U.S. intelligence community detected a presence of U.S. and Russian-origin armored vehicle platforms at ISIL facilities in northern Iraq.

The officials said the platforms included armored personnel carriers, main battle tanks and armored combat vehicles. Continue reading

Russia and China vow to enhance military ties

Top Chinese and Russian military officers pledged to further enhance military ties on Wednesday.

Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, told Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, the development of relations between the two countries and the two armed forces have maintained good momentum in recent years.

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FBI Examining Whether Russia Is Tied to JPMorgan Hacking

Russian hackers attacked the U.S. financial system in mid-August, infiltrating and stealing data from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and at least one other bank, an incident the FBI is investigating as a possible retaliation for government-sponsored sanctions, according to two people familiar with the probe.

The attack resulted in the loss of gigabytes of sensitive data, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the probe is still preliminary. Authorities are investigating whether recent infiltrations of major European banks using a similar vulnerability are also linked to the attack, one of the people said.

In one case, the hackers used a software flaw known as a zero-day vulnerability in one of the banks’ websites. They then plowed through layers of elaborate security to steal the data, a feat security experts said appeared far beyond the capability of ordinary criminal hackers. The incidents occurred at a low point in relations between Russia and the West. Russian troops continue to mass on the Ukrainian border and the West tightens sanctions aimed at crippling Russian companies, including some of the country’s most important banks. Continue reading

JPMorgan, Four Other Banks Hit by Hackers: U.S. Official

Computer hackers targeted JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and at least four other banks in a coordinated attack on major financial institutions this month, according to a U.S. official.

The attack led to the theft of customer data that could be used to drain accounts, according to another person briefed by U.S. law enforcement. The two people, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is continuing, discussed the incident after Bloomberg News reported a breach on banks earlier today.

Hackers targeted customer and employee information, said a third person involved in the investigation, who was also briefed by the government. The theft involved gigabytes of data, said several people familiar with the attacks. The scale indicates a potential for significant financial fraud.

Most thefts of financial information involve retailers or personal computers of consumers. Stealing data from big banks is rare, because they have elaborate firewalls and security systems.

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Ex-FBI chief’s condition remains mystery after crash

BURLINGTON, Vt. — Former FBI Director Louis Freeh remained hospitalized Wednesday, two days after he crashed his SUV in southern Vermont.

Freeh, 64, of Wilmington, Del., was admitted under armed guard to the intensive care unit of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., after the 12:15 p.m. EDT crash Monday on Vermont 12 in Barnard.

The bureau put the armed protection in place because of Freeh’s past work on terrorism while serving as FBI director from 1993 to 2001, the authorities said. Continue reading

Inside the Ring: B-2 bombers’ ‘messages’

Three B-2 strategic nuclear bombers completed a tour of duty in Guam this week, as tensions remained high between the United States and China over what the Pentagon called a “dangerous” Chinese fighter-jet intercept of a U.S. surveillance plane last week.

Adm. Haney said in a statement that the bombers are intended to send a message to allies and adversaries.

“It is important for U.S. Strategic Command to continue to project global strike capabilities and extended deterrence against potential adversaries while providing assurance to our allies through deployments such as this,” he said. Continue reading

Ukraine conflict: Russian soldiers seen with ‘up to 100′ military vehicles in Ukrainian villages

A convoy of “up to 100″ tanks, armoured vehicles and rocket launchers was seen travelling on a road toward Telmanove, a town about 80 kilometres south of rebel stronghold Donetsk and 20 kilometres from the Russian border, Ukraine’s army said in a statement.

The army did not give details about the personnel on board the vehicles or when the column was thought to have entered Ukraine.

A military source said the convoy had come from Russia. Continue reading

Fusion Investigates: How did America’s police departments lose loads of military-issued weapons?

 

Haunting images of local police officials using military-issued equipment to quell protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have raised new concerns about the Pentagon’s controversial program to equip local and state police departments with military surplus weaponry.

The program, now under White House review, has been plagued by messy bookkeeping, bureaucratic confusion and scores of missing weapons.

Fusion has learned that 184 state and local police departments have been suspended from the Pentagon’s “1033 program” for missing weapons or failure to comply with other guidelines. We uncovered a pattern of missing M14 and M16 assault rifles across the country, as well as instances of missing .45-caliber pistols, shotguns and 2 cases of missing Humvee vehicles.

More troubling yet is the possibility that some of the missing weapons, which were given to local police departments as part of a decades’ old government program to equip cops for the wars on terrorism and drugs, are actually being sold on the black market, Lynch said. Continue reading

Iranian General Threatens Surprise Attack on Israel

Iran “will not give a diplomatic response,” but will air its grievances with Israel on the “battlefield,” senior Iranian generals were quoted as saying on Tuesday.

“Our response to this aggression will not be diplomatic, we will retaliate in the battlefield, but will not necessarily announce it,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the Lieutenant Commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) was quoted as saying during a ceremony on Tuesday meant to commemorate “martyred” Iranian military personnel.

“The enemy will see and understand it,” Salami was quoted as saying by the semi official Fars News Agency. “We never step back (in the confrontation) against the enemy. The Islamic Republic is powerful and is capable of confronting any power at any level and we never bring down the level of our goals.”

The threat of a surprise attack against Israel for its apparent attempts to send a spy drone into Tehran came just a day after Iranian government officials threatened to sue Israel in the International Criminal Court. Continue reading

Ukraine crisis: Nato plans east European bases to counter Russia

Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.

He also outlined moves to boost Ukraine’s security, “modernise” its armed forces and help the country counter the threat from Russia. Continue reading

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

What US Constitution?

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path. Continue reading

China-Russia team challenges US-Japan militarization of space

President Xi Jinping of China said in April that China is capable of responding to the militarization of space by the United States and other countries. In the meantime, Xi is committed to allocating more budget so that the military has the power to counter threats posed by various space deployments.

Russia and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the area of satellite navigation. The countries plan to build the GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and Beidou Navigation Satellite System in each other’s territory. Continue reading

Western sanctions push Russia, China closer; hurt dollar

TOKYO — By forcing Russia to conduct more business in the yuan and other Asian currencies, the U.S. may be speeding up the end of the petrodollar and giving China more prominence on the world stage.

As the West tightens financial sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian businesses are reducing their exposure to the dollar to minimize the damage from still tougher punishments. Many of these businesses have turned to the Hong Kong dollar as an alternative to the greenback.

Hong Kong harbor

The Hong Kong dollar is an ideal safe haven for Russian companies looking to park their cash. Because the currency is pegged to the greenback, the foreign-exchange risk of holding Hong Kong dollars is no different from owning the U.S. currency. But because Hong Kong is part of China, funds held in the Hong Kong dollar are unlikely to be affected, even if the U.S. and Europe introduce tougher sanctions against Russia, such as asset freeze.

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