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Member since: Wed Oct 7, 2015, 08:51 AM
Number of posts: 2,208

Journal Archives

Austrian far-right leader likens Turkish coup to Reichstag fire

Source: Reuters

Turkey's failed coup and President Tayyip Erdogan's subsequent purges of state institutions are reminiscent of the Reichstag fire in Nazi Germany and its use by Hitler to amass greater power, the head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party said.

The blaze in the German parliament building in 1933 was portrayed by the Nazis as a Communist plot against the government and it was used to justify curtailing civil liberties, consolidating Adolf Hitler's grip on Germany.

Austria's Freedom Party (FPO) leader Heinz-Christian Strache said he saw parallels in Erdogan's use of the July 15 coup by a faction within the Turkish armed forces to crack down on his opponents in the army, civil service, academia and the media.

"One almost had the impression that it was a guided putsch aimed in the end at making a presidential dictatorship by Erdogan possible," Strache told daily Die Presse in an interview published on Saturday.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-eu-austria-fpo-idUSKCN10H0BP

Massive leak exposes Ukrainian journalists' correspondence with Russian-backed authorities in Donbas

Source: Ukraine Today

Numerous Ukrainian journalists are said to have been requesting the accreditation in the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk. Nearly 9,000 files of mailing with the so-called secret service of the occupied territories have been published on the Internet. The documents contain the names of the journalists and editions who have been accredited for reporting on the Russia-occupied territories.

According to the information unveiled the journalists asked to be accredited, as well as wrote the explanatory messages and sent the texts of the news plots to be checked by the secret service of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk. Tetyana Yegorova, the so-called minister of state security of the self-proclaimed DNR is said to have coordinated the process.

Read more: http://uatoday.tv/society/massive-leak-exposes-ukrainian-journalists-correspondence-with-russian-backed-authorities-in-donbas-710672.html

Who in Ukraine wouldn't want Ukrainian journalists to be accredited in the rebel controlled area?

It seems counter-intuitive to try to be sabotaging this.

Russia is strengthening Crimea's coastal guard with new arms – Ukraine's Border Service

Source: Ukraine Today

The Russian Federation continues to amplify sea guard divisions of Federal Security Forces (FSB) border unit in Crimea.

"On July 30, two border guard cruisers ‘Sobol' were transported to the Crimean city of Balaklava from the ship-building plant ‘Almaz', St. Petersburg", Oleh Slobodian, spokesman for Ukraine's Border Service, said on August 4.

Ukraine's Border Service previously reported that Russia brought military equipment and personnel from Krasnodar region to the administrative border in occupied Crimea.

Read more: http://uatoday.tv/news/russia-is-strengthening-crimea-s-coastal-guard-with-new-arms-ukraine-s-border-service-710547.html

Exclusive: Crimea power project finalizes plan to use turbines from Siemens - sources

Source: Reuters

Builders of two power plants in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory Crimea have finalised plans to install turbines made by a joint venture of Siemens, three sources said.

In response to questions from Reuters, the German company categorically denied it intends to send them to Crimea. Siemens says its joint venture is making turbines for a separate plant on Russia’s Taman peninsula, which is separated from Crimea by a strait, not for plants inside in Crimea itself.

However, the three sources all said two power plants in Crimea are being built to house Siemens turbines. The sources, who were all familiar with the technical details of the plants, said they are compatible only with Siemens turbines.

The sources include one person involved in the plant project itself, one employee of a company working alongside state builder Technopromexport on the project, and one person from a company that bid on the construction tender. All three spoke on condition of anonymity.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-crimea-power-exclusive-idUSKCN10G22G

"EU sanctions bar European individuals and companies from providing energy technology to Crimea, and from taking any actions designed to circumvent those rules.

If the turbines end up in Crimea - which one of the sources said could happen as soon as within the next two months - it could test the limits of what is allowable under sanctions imposed by the European Union after Russia annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014. Legal experts say there are no court precedents to say whether Siemens could be held responsible if a third party brought the turbines to Crimea."

Poll: Clinton leads Trump in Georgia

Source: Politico

Hillary Clinton holds a four-point lead over Donald Trump in Georgia, a state that has not voted for a Democratic presidential nominee in nearly a quarter century, according to the results of an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll out Friday.

While Clinton earned 44 percent support, Trump took 40 percent, in the latest survey coming on the heels of a disastrous week for the Republican nominee in which he has also trailed in the battleground states of New Hampshire, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and in multiple national polls conducted after last week's Democratic National Convention.

Clinton and running mate Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine drew the support of 51 percent of women, compared with 35 percent for the Republican ticket of Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Six in 10 white voters said they will vote for the Trump-Pence ticket, while just 23 percent said they will vote for Clinton and Kaine.

Georgia last voted for a Democratic presidential candidate in 1992, when Bill Clinton unseated George H.W. Bush.

Trump outperformed Clinton among men, white evangelicals, as well as in the northern part of the state (59 percent to 27 percent) and in the Atlanta exurbs (51 percent to 33 percent). But in the immediate Atlanta area, Clinton led Trump 69 percent to 20 percent, as well as in the state's southeast region (44 percent to 34 percent). Clinton also holds advantages among voters between the ages of 18 to 39 (48 percent to 32 percent) and 40 to 64 (45 percent to 40 percent), while Trump leads by a significant margin among those older than 65 (54 percent to 36 percent).

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/poll-clinton-leads-trump-in-georgia-226711

Syria: UN considers role in Russia's 'deeply flawed' humanitarian corridors plan

Source: The Guardian - UK

The United Nations is considering overseeing a Russian proposal to create humanitarian corridors for civilians who wish to leave besieged Aleppo, despite strong opposition from aid organisations.

Confidential documents seen by the Guardian detailing internal UN deliberations on the Kremlin’s proposal, described as “deeply flawed” by humanitarian agencies, reveal the contours of a debate inside an organisation that wants to provide assistance to suffering civilians in Aleppo but fears being seen as an accomplice in an onslaught that has left a quarter of a million civilians under siege.

A UN document outlining its position on the humanitarian corridors proposal says it will only implement the overseeing initiative if the warring sides agree to a ceasefire or pause in fighting.

Eastern Aleppo, which is under opposition control, has been under a nearly month-long siege by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Iranian-backed militias allied to his government.

The rebels have launched an offensive aimed at breaking the siege involving thousands of fighters, and have imposed a news blackout as they battle government troops backed by heavy Russian airstrikes. If successful, the offensive could lead to the rebels imposing their own siege on western Aleppo, which is under government control and may have up to 1.5 million civilians and internal refugees living there.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/05/syria-un-considers-role-in-russias-deeply-flawed-humanitarian-corridors-plan

There is no military solution to the civil war in Syria.

It's time for all outside parties that are funding and supporting the belligerents to stop prevaricating and call for a negotiated peace that protects the rights of women and religious minorities.

As Trump Rises, ‘Reformocons’ See Chance to Update G.O.P.’s Economic Views

By riding his appeal among working-class whites to the top of the Republican Party, Donald J. Trump has emboldened conservative thinkers to press their party of business and the privileged to reshape its economic canon to more directly benefit poorer workers it has often taken for granted.

The policy prescriptions of these so-called reform conservatives, or “reformocons,” would not only break with some longtime Republican orthodoxy — disavowing tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the rich, for example — they would also counter more recent stances by Mr. Trump on trade and immigration.

And because of a lack of policy specifics in Mr. Trump’s personality-centered campaign, reform conservatives see an opening through which to push their prescriptions.

“What it means to be a conservative is up for grabs,” said Reihan Salam, the executive editor of the conservative National Review.

Whether Mr. Trump prevails or the party is left to rebuild from defeat, these conservatives in think tanks, advocacy groups and the news media — and a few in political office — will be pressing for a new agenda: to update the Reagan-era policy playbook with an eye to working-class voters without a college education who form the Republican base. Ronald Reagan’s notions that policies that benefit the rich and big business lift all incomes now appear outmoded in a new era of rising wealth inequality and stagnant wages.

The challenge to the party could be every bit as contentious as Mr. Trump’s ascent has been. Beyond conservative think tanks and activist circles, the new breed of conservatives has not made significant inroads among House Republicans, for instance. And even these Republicans do not agree on everything.

But some common ideas suggest their proposed road map for the party:

■ Reject additional tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year, but expand breaks for low- and middle-income workers through tax credits for children, the earned-income tax credit or a new wage subsidy that would provide a guaranteed minimum income.

■ Promote the benefits of global trade agreements, but help displaced workers.

■ Rule out privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and reassure workers they will be exempt from cost-cutting.

■ Acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, but push for market-oriented changes.

■ Disavow mass deportations and promote the economic benefits of legalizing longtime workers who are in the country illegally, but reduce the legal entry of less-skilled immigrants.

“What we have going on right now, and Trump’s position in the Republican Party, makes this recalibration that much more important, that much more urgent,” said Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah.


The economy is the ultimate reason for Trump's appeal and support. We Democrats ignore this at our own peril.

German minister sees `no basis' for talks with Turkey after failed coup

Source: Reuters

Turkey and Germany's relationship - essential to curbing mass migration to Europe - has grown so bad the two countries have virtually "no basis" for talks, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday.

Germany has serious concern about mass arrests carried out by Turkish officials after a thwarted coup last month, Steinmeier said.

At the same time, Turkey feels Germany has not taken the July 15 coup attempt seriously, and its government is angered by German media reports suggesting it was orchestrated by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

"We are talking with each other like emissaries from two different planets," Steinmeier said, speaking in the northern German city of Stralsund. "There is essentially no basis for understanding ... no basis for discussions."

Relations between Germany and Turkey have been tense for months following a June 2 vote by the German parliament to brand the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide, a move sharply criticised by Erdogan and other Turkish officials.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-germany-idUSKCN10F23D

China slams Japan minister for ducking Nanjing massacre questions

Source: Reuters

China on Friday accused Japan's new defense minister of recklessly misrepresenting history after she declined to say whether Japanese troops massacred civilians in China during World War Two.

Tomomi Inada, a 57-year old lawmaker known for her revisionist views of Japan's wartime actions, took up her post on Thursday and repeatedly sidestepped questions at a briefing on whether she condemned atrocities committed by Japan.

China consistently reminds its people of the 1937 massacre in which it says Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in its then capital.
A postwar Allied tribunal put the death toll at 142,000, but some conservative Japanese politicians and scholars deny a massacre took place at all.

China's defense ministry, in a statement on its microblog, expressed "indignation" over Inada's comments, and said there was ironclad evidence of the Nanjing massacre.

"Her open denial of the ... facts is simply an attempt to cover up Japan's history of aggression and challenge the international order by reviving militarism," the ministry said.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-japan-idUSKCN10G168

Islamic State captures up to 3,000 fleeing Iraqis: UNHCR

Source: Reuters

slamic State fighters may have captured up to 3,000 fleeing Iraqi villagers on Thursday and subsequently executed 12 of them, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said in a daily report on events in Iraq.

The report followed a statement on Thursday from the Iraqi Observatory for Human rights, which said about 1,900 civilians had been captured by an estimated 100-120 Islamic State fighters, who were using people as shields against attacks by Iraqi Security Forces. Tens of civilians had been executed, and six burnt.

"UNHCR has received reports that ISIL captured on 4 August up to 3,000 IDPs (internally displaced people) from villages in Hawiga District in Kirkuk Governorate trying to flee to Kirkuk city. Reportedly, 12 of the IDPs have been killed in captivity," the UNHCR report said.

The United States is leading a military coalition conducting air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, where the group seized broad swathes of territory in 2014. The fighting had displaced 3.4 million people in Iraq by July 2016.

Islamic State's grip on some towns has been broken, but it still controls its de facto capitals of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-capture-idUSKCN10G0PT
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