Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday's Trip Around the Globe

Related: Around the Globe in 1,095 Days

Welcome to WWIII!

"Russia warns US after downing of Syrian jet" by Ivan Nechepurenko New York Times   June 20, 2017

MOSCOW — The Russian military has threatened to halt its use of the hot line in the past — only to continue and even expand its contacts with the US military.

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, NYT, for helping to quell tensions and for telling me this is nothing, this is not serious. I needed that reassurance.

The Russian Defense Ministry called US attacks against the Syrian forces “military aggression” and announced that it would suspend cooperation with the United States intended to prevent airborne accidents over Syria.

“All flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defense systems as targets,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

In a separate development Monday, Iran said a missile strike by its powerful Revolutionary Guard hit Syria’s eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday night, the Associated Press reported. It said the attack was in retaliation for two attacks in Tehran this month that killed 17 people and were claimed by the Islamic State.

Soon there will be missiles flying all over the place. 


"Israel’s political leaders (over the objections of its security establishment) are considering the merits of a preemptive war against Hezbollah in Lebanon...." 

That didn't work out so good for them 10 years ago, so WTF? 

They going to do it when no one looking?

It appeared to be Iran’s first missile attack abroad in more than 15 years and its first in the Syrian conflict, in which it has provided crucial support to Syrian President Bashar Assad. The muscle-flexing comes amid the worsening of a long-running feud between Shi’ite powerhouse Iran and Saudi Arabia, which supports Syrian rebels and has led recent efforts to isolate the Gulf nation of Qatar.

RelatedSaudi guards fire on Iranian boat, killing fisherman

It's across all fronts now, folks, simply waiting for the final conflagration.

‘‘The Saudis and Americans are especially receivers of this message,’’ General Ramazan Sharif of the Revolutionary Guard told Iranian state TV in an interview.

It also raised questions about how the Trump administration, which had previously put Iran ‘‘on notice’’ for its ballistic missile tests, will respond. Israel also is concerned about Iran’s missiles and has deployed a multilayered missile-defense system.

What do they have to worry about? He is doing everything they want of him.

The missile attack came amid recent confrontations in Syria between US-backed forces and Iranian-backed progovernment factions. The United States recently deployed a truck-mounted missile system in Syria as Iranian-backed forces cut off the advance of the US-supported rebels along the Iraqi border.

The United States will continue to conduct air operations over Syria, a spokesman for the US-led task force that is fighting the Islamic State said Monday.

“We are going to continue to conduct operations throughout Syria, providing air support for coalition and partnered forces on the ground,” the spokesman, Colonel Ryan Dillon, said from Baghdad.

But Pentagon officials emphasized that the situation was still unfolding.

“This is a delicate couple of hours,” General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday just before speaking at a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington.

Cuban Missile crisis redux.

He said that he had no plans to immediately call his Russian counterpart, General Valery V. Gerasimov, while the US military was still determining facts on the ground, but that he would talk to him “in time.”

During his appearance at the press club, Dunford said that the hot line had been used Monday morning, and added that the United States would work both diplomatically and militarily in the coming hours “to reestablish deconfliction.”

Dillon did not provide details on what air operations were underway.

Dillon said the US-led coalition was also prepared to continue using the hot line, which consists of phone calls between the United States’ Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and a Russian base at Latakia, Syria. An unclassified Gmail account is used as a backup.

Speaking in Beijing on Monday, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, seemed to be unaware of the decision. He called on the United States and all other countries involved in the Syria conflict to “coordinate their actions.”


Before going on (their emphasis, not mine):

"..... There is something else that needs to be said.  In the absence of any response from President Trump on this (or any other significant issue) for the past several days...and where his activity has been restricted to railing against his domestic enemies on his "Twitter" account...the US is rudderless.  The only ones making the critical international decisions are anonymous ghouls hiding deep in the putrid bowels of the Deep State...in the basement of the Pentagon, or perhaps operating out of some underground bunker in the Virginia hills outside Washington.  Or, perhaps they're operating out of the Knesset in Tel Aviv.  Regardless...

Yes, regardless, you need to read the rest of the analysis from Greencrow and then go back and check for updates.

Here is confirmation from their own mouths:

"World leaders wary of Trump may have an ally: Congress" by Jennifer Steinhauer New York Times   June 20, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Trump threatens to upend the post-World War II foreign policy order, but Congress is working to ensure that US foreign policy remains rooted in the trans-Atlantic alliance against traditional rivals like Russia.

Republicans have been careful not to frame their foreign policy moves as a counterweight to the president, who has doled out insults to foreign leaders on Twitter, bailed out of international trade and climate accords, and turned on Qatar, an important US ally, as a sponsor of terrorism.


Trump turned on the now under-the-radar Qatar, and the NYT says he dissed an important ally in the fight against terrorism!

But as the Republican efforts pile up, they are leaving a definite impression of advancing an anti-Trump foreign policy. Last week, after months of hand-wringing, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to strengthen sanctions against Russia. Senators also voted unanimously to affirm US support for the mutual defense doctrine articulated in Article 5 of the NATO charter.


Hand wringing vote against Russia? Really? The 97-2 vote must have fooled me, and all of a sudden they get active after 16 years of neglect under Bushbama.

It was a clear rebuke to Trump, who has waffled on his support for Article 5 since he was a candidate.

And Tuesday, a measure that would have blocked part of a $500 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia — only weeks after Trump was received with adulation in the kingdom — had so much bipartisan support that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence had to make a panicked scramble to defeat it.

Four Republicans voted to block the sale, and Trump was saved by Democratic senators who backed him.

Who were they, and are you sick of the political sideshows??

Next week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will move after years of resistance to draft a new war authorization to fight the Islamic State, asserting more power over troop deployments as Trump publicly cedes that authority to the Pentagon.

In the meantime, a number of senators have formed a kind of parallel operation to the State Department by visiting allies to assure them of America’s commitments.

That is TREASON! Congre$$ can not form a shadow government!

“One of my goals as the leading Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is to recapture much of the Senate prerogatives on foreign policy,” said Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee chairman. He added that the panel had “dissipated for a long time into a debating society.”

Time to put a cork in this.

Apparently Ben Cardin is one of the saviors, and for analysis the NYT turned to Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and PNAC neocon.

Some foreign policy experts are skeptical about how much impact Congress can actually have in foreign policy, where the president has broad authority.

“The rest of the world understands the US enough to know that the president makes foreign policy, not his Cabinet and not Congress,” said Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “The threat to the American-led world order is that the president will not work actively to sustain it. Congress can’t take the president’s place in that effort.”

Is that the same Kagan that was a co-founder of ..... IT IS!



Other tests of Trump:

"Energy chief says carbon dioxide not prime driver of warming" by Matthew Daly Associated Press  June 19, 2017

It's actually methane, but you tick off the carbon-taxers and the oil and gas industry then. I $uppose there is hope if such di$parate $ides can find common ground, 'eh?

WASHINGTON — President Trump welcomed Panama President Juan Carlos Varela to the White House, pointing to the United States’ role in the construction of the Panama Canal at the start of his first face-to-face meeting with the Central American leader.

Trump met with Varela for a discussion on organized crime, immigration, drug trafficking, and economic issues. After Trump and first lady Melania Trump escorted Varela and his wife, Lorena Castillo, to the Oval Office, the president pronounced the US relationship with Panama as “very strong.’’

Varela’s office said after the meeting that the two leaders discussed security, economic issues, and countering the proliferation of drug trafficking. 

Did they talk Venezuela?

Also Monday, two top House Democrats questioned whether Michael Flynn failed to report a 2015 trip to the Middle East to federal security clearance investigators. The potential omission that could add to the legal jeopardy President Trump’s former national security adviser faces over the truthfulness of his statements to authorities and on government documents.

The lawmakers — Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, and Representative Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York — said in a letter that they believe Flynn may have violated federal law by failing to disclose the trip and any foreign contacts he had during another 2015 trip to the Middle East, which they believe involved a proposal to develop nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia.

You guys are pathetic. 

So how you voting on the arms bill?

The letter from Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, and Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is the latest to call attention to potential problems with what Flynn reported to the US government about his foreign travel, contacts, and business after he left the Defense Intelligence Agency in August 2014.

Federal and congressional probes have been looking closely at Flynn’s foreign travel and contacts as part of investigations into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any possible collusion with associates of Trump or his campaign.

Yeah, Happy Father's Day.

In a separate development Monday.....

Study shows Earth’s lethal heat worsens

Had they not yelled wolf so many times.


I'm more worried about Katy Perry.

You know, I was going to have a lobster roll along with my milk for lunch today, but now I'm no longer hungry.

"The race between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff is seen as a significant political test for the new Trump administration, and spending could top $50 million, making it the most expensive House race in US history. The district traditionally goes Republican, but Bill Johns, a Handel supporter from East Cobb, said over a platter of pulled pork, ‘‘It’s kind of a referendum. I still like Trump, but he can be a bit of a loose cannon. I think getting her elected helps his position and also gives us a stronger Republican Congress.’’ Ossoff, who once described his bid to take the GOP-controlled district as an opportunity to ‘‘make Trump furious,’’ has since dialed back. He repeatedly downplayed Trump’s role in the race....."


"In Minnesota on Sunday, about 200 protesters held a rally in the city where a police officer worked after a jury acquitted him in the fatal shooting of a black motorist last year, [while] an Ohio jury is beginning deliberations in the murder retrial of a white University of Cincinnati police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist after pulling him over for a missing front license plate...."

That could give him political problems in the crucial Upper Midwest and Ohio ahead of 2020.

Public thinks courts right to block Trump’s travel ban 

Yeah, sure they do. Who did you call?

Student’s family decries North Korea’s ‘torturous mistreatment’

I didn't know Warmbier was active in his campus Jewish community, and that explains the interest from the pre$$.

Muslim girl killed after leaving mosque in Virginia, police say

Right on top of London, too.

Some critics say Trump’s ‘selective silence is deafening’

Globe staff says anyway.

Russia connection demands an unimpeded investigation

He's a Clinton hatchet man, and I'm sorry but it is over. There is no white night on unicorn coming to the rescue. His head was blown off more than 53 years ago, and the guy riding up along side him met it five years later in a hotel kitchen (sniffle, sob).

Can Cuba count on America as a partner or an adversary?

The second, I think.

"Last year, Donald Trump abruptly fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in a dramatic shake-up designed to calm panicked Republican leaders and end an internal power struggle plaguing the billionaire businessman’s White House bid.

In 1967, boxer Muhammad Ali was convicted in Houston of violating Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted and was sentenced to five years in prison.

In 1893, a jury in New Bedford found Lizzie Borden not guilty of the ax murders of her father and stepmother....."

Also seeNewborn’s body is found in garbage bag in Worcester

Hey, you never know how the kid is going to grow up.

That reminds me, how is the Bella Bond trial going?


"Portugal awaits foreign help to fight deadly wildfires" by Barry Hatton Associated Press  June 19, 2017

PEDROGAO GRANDE, Portugal — Portugal’s leading environmental lobby group, Quercus, issued a statement Monday blaming the blazes on ‘‘forest management errors and bad political decisions’’ by governments over recent decades.

That's the We$t for you.

The association rebuked authorities for allowing the planting of huge swathes of eucalyptus, the country’s most common and most profitable species — but one that’s often blamed for stoking blazes.

Emergency services have been criticized for not closing a road where 47 of the deaths occurred as people fled the flames Saturday night.

Wildfires are an annual scourge in Portugal.

Between 1993 and 2013, Portugal recorded the highest annual number of forest fires in southern Europe, according to a report last year by the European Environment Agency.

The government announced a raft of new measures against wildfires in March. They included restrictions on eucalyptus plantations and a simplified and cheaper program of property registration.

Meanwhile, Portugal is observing three days of national mourning.....


RelatedAfter London inferno, UK debates if tower was renovated with banned material

Good thing the recent stage and scripted crisis drill was ready to go:

"UK police investigating van attack in London as terrorism" by Dan Bilefsky New York Times   June 19, 2017

LONDON — The authorities in Britain said Monday that they were treating an early morning attack near the Finsbury Park Mosque in London as an act of terrorism.

Little was immediately known about the assailant, Darren Osborne, a 47-year-old man from Cardiff, Wales, or his motives.

So what intelligence agency sprung him?

In a Paris on Monday, officials said a man who was known to authorities was killed when ramming a car carrying explosives into a police vehicle in the Champs-Elysees shopping district, prompting a fiery explosion.

That is my next stop. 

France’s antiterrorism prosecutor is investigating. The suspect has not been named.

No police officers or passers-by were hurt in the afternoon assault. It is unclear why the attacker drove into police, though officials said it was apparently a deliberate act.

No one hurt, huh? 

Needed the French fake flag to take attention away from Britain, huh?

Visitors to an art exhibit of Auguste Rodin’s works in central Paris were confined inside the Grand Palais for an hour after an attack.

Gerard Collomb, France’s interior minister, said the incident shows the threat is still very high in the country and justifies the state of emergency.

No lifting now, wow. Weren't going to anyway, but you at least had hope. 

Stinks, doesn't it? 

Stinks to high heaven, what with all the data collection and communications monitoring.

Seeking to capture the mood in London, Prime Minister Theresa May acknowledged “a difficult time in the life of the city.” The attack drew condemnation from a broad array of political and religious figures.

Some Muslims and others were asking whether the authorities and the news media had been quick enough to describe the assault on Monday as an act of terrorism — although May said it had been declared terrorism within eight minutes.

That's the debate now? Whether you called it terror quick enough? And the ma$$ media propaganda machine gets on bloggers for jumping to conclusions? 

This is like the 21st-century version of "Name That Tune." I can holler terror in one inhale!!

Speaking in front of her offices at 10 Downing St., May denounced the assault as an act of “hatred” and “evil” against innocent civilians during the holy month of Ramadan, and said security at mosques would be bolstered.

My pre$$ covered it for about a day and a half.

May said that London was an “extraordinary city” of “extraordinary people,” and that British values of freedom of speech and freedom of religion would prevail.


Calling the attack a “sickening attempt” to destroy those freedoms, she noted that extremism and hatred could take many forms. But she said the country would never give in. 

Her Churchillian moment (puke).

Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said he recognized that many Muslims would be angry about the attack, and he appealed for calm but he also warned of a rising tide of anti-Islamic sentiment.

“During the night, ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship,” Khan said. “Over the past weeks and months, Muslims have endured many incidents of Islamophobia, and this is the most violent manifestation to date.”

By who, the British government's tyranny?

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu of the Metropolitan Police, the senior national coordinator for counterterrorism, praised bystanders who had intervened to detain the suspect, and he urged residents to remain calm and vigilant.

“No matter what the motivation proves to be, and we are keeping an open mind, this is being treated as a terrorist attack and the Counter Terrorism Command is investigating,” he said, adding that more officers had been deployed in the city.

Looks like you already closed your mind, puke.

Britain has been shaken by a series of deadly attacks in London and Manchester recently, and there has been widespread anger after a fire tore through Grenfell Tower, a 24-story building, killing scores.

Residents of London, a multicultural city with a large Muslim population and a Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, have predominantly responded with equanimity, solidarity, and tolerance toward Muslims after recent attacks perpetrated by extremists.

But Muslim leaders and rights advocates have warned that some could try to use recent terrorist attacks to try to stir hostility against Muslims.

Here we go. Wars are taking off! 

What's Britain's sphere, North Africa?


Nice hat.

"France’s Macron to reshuffle government after huge Parliament win" Associated Press  June 19, 2017

PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron is poised to rearrange his Cabinet after his new centrist party engineered a landslide in the country’s parliamentary election, enabling the government to quickly start passing its first big laws.

Since Macron’s new party, Republic on the Move, won an absolute majority in the 577-seat National Assembly, government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the government reshuffling would be ‘‘technical and not far-reaching.’’ He refused to say whether ministers who have come under suspicion of corruption would keep their jobs.

Macron’s plans might have been slightly delayed by an attempted attack Monday afternoon on the security forces on the Champs-Elysees.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb went near the scene and said he will present a bill Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting to extend France’s state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until Nov. 1. He will also talk about a new law aiming at maintaining ‘‘a high security level’’ beyond that.....

Do the French people understand what is happening to them in the name of some narrow absolutism? 

Aren't they the ones, who, you know.... off with the heads because of narrow absolutism?


Of course, they do have a sphere of influence they must patrol for the EUSraeli Empire:

"5 killed in jihadi attack on Mali resort outside capital" Associated Press  June 19, 2017

BAMAKO, Mali — Islamic extremists who stormed a resort area in Mali popular with foreigners killed five people, including a Portuguese soldier who had been serving in the European Union mission to stabilize this West African country wracked by mounting extremism, authorities said Monday.

The death toll rose after a Malian soldier who was wounded in the Sunday afternoon attack died of his injuries. Three civilians — a Chinese citizen, a Malian, and a French-Gabonese dual national — also were slain in the worst terror attack to strike Bamako since late 2015.

Well, Portugal has other problems right now and this whole thing stinks of fakery. It's like a three-for-three so far.

The attack struck a resort area that was considered safe enough that it was an approved rest and recreation location for soldiers with the EU mission. It was not immediately clear how the attackers managed to overpower security staff and shoot at guests.

It is if you adopt a simple rule of thumb when dealing with the propaganda pre$$ these days: all terror attacks and mass shootings are thought to be staged and scripted crisis drills reported as live or false flags committed for psyop purposes -- until proven otherwise. The ma$$ media must prove their case. It is no longer to be accepted at face value, ever!

Mali’s special forces arrived on the scene not long after the reports of gunfire erupting from Campement Kangaba, known for its three swimming pools and serene surroundings as an escape from the bustling capital’s heat and traffic.


On Monday officials said they had accounted for all the jihadists. ‘‘At this hour, all of the terrorists have been killed. The situation is under control,’’ Mali’s security minister, Salif Traore, said.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene Sunday afternoon, with one man saying the first jihadist arrived by motorcycle shouting ‘‘Allah Akbar.’’ Three others subsequently arrived in a vehicle and began firing their weapons.


That's confirmation of the CRAP!

One of the attackers was subdued by a French soldier who happened to be at Campement Kangaba on the weekend, according to a witness. The attacker was wounded and later died.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place amid the final week of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. However, the attack resembled a number of others carried out by the local affiliate of Al Qaeda in West Africa over the past two years.

Sunday’s violence also came about a week after the US State Department warned of possible attacks on Western diplomatic missions and other locations in Bamako that Westerners frequent.

Religious extremism in Mali once was limited to northern areas, prompting the French military in 2013 to lead a military operation to oust jihadis from power in the major towns in the north. But the militants have continued targeting Malian forces and peacekeepers, making it the deadliest UN mission in the world. 

And you hardly ever read about it.

There are no French troops based in Bamako, but about 2,000 of them are based in northern Mali, fighting Islamic extremists. French President Emmanuel Macron was informed about the attack and was following the events carefully, according to an official in his office.....

Helps him push through his martial law bill.


And look who is pouring out of the place:

"Number of global displaced rose to 65.6 million last year" by Jamey Keaten Associated Press  June 19, 2017

GENEVA — The number of people displaced from their homes across the world due to war and persecution climbed slightly to a record 65.6 million last year, with the escalating conflict in South Sudan largely accounting for the rise, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Monday.

That is more than in WWII, so here we are. WWIII.

Syria’s six-year civil war remained the largest single cause of displacement, with 12 million people — around two-thirds of the population — either uprooted within the country or fleeing abroad, the group said. They were followed by some 7.7 million Colombians, 4.7 million Afghans, 4.2 million Iraqis, and 3.3 million South Sudanese. Turkey has taken in the largest number of Syrians.

And you have seen the thanks they get.

Syria is the only country in which a majority of the population is forcibly displaced. South Sudan, with a little over a quarter, has the next-biggest proportion — and fastest growing displaced population overall, the agency said. By the end of 2016, 3.3 million people from the world’s newest country had fled their homes, more than half to neighboring countries.

‘‘The international neglect that you see here is matched nowhere else in the world,’’ agency chief Filippo Grandi said ahead of the official release of the report Monday while visiting South Sudan’s largest internally displaced camp in the town of Bentiu.

Gimme a break.

Thousands of South Sudanese now live in UN protected camps, including 80 percent of Bentiu’s population.....



Japan investigates delay in reporting US Navy ship collision

Won't cost you a thing to read this.

"Bomb planted in road kills 6 soldiers in southern Thailand" Associated Press  June 19, 2017

HAT YAI, Thailand — A bomb planted in a dirt road killed six soldiers in southern Thailand on Monday, police said, in what apparently was an attack by Muslim separatists in an insurgency that has cost more than 6,500 lives since 2004.

CIA getting active in Thailand again. Last time I checked, they and Myanmar were getting cozy with China and breaking the ring.

Police Major Pompetch Chotiklang said the explosion in Pattani province also wounded four soldiers and blew the truck they were traveling in into pieces, with parts of it landing 100 yards away.

The deaths were among the worst in a single incident suffered in recent years by the military in the south, said Srisompob Jitipiromsri, director of the independent research group Deep South Watch.

Four years ago, eight soldiers died when their truck was blown up in Yala province. This April, six paramilitary rangers were shot and killed when their vehicle was blown off the road by a bomb in Narathiwat province.

Soldiers, police, civil servants, and even civilians — including children and Muslims — have been the targets of the insurgents, a disparate group with nebulous leadership. 

How many U.S. air raids today?

Roadside bombs and drive-by shootings are their most common methods of attack. Recent talks between the government and the insurgents’ representatives have made little progress, in part because of disagreement over who actually speaks for the separatist forces.

The insurgents are mostly active in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat, and Yala, the only ones with Muslim majorities in the Buddhist-dominated country.

They are able to draw on the resentment of Muslims who feel they are treated as second-class citizens, as well as anger over the heavy-handed repression of the Muslim community by security forces seeking to clamp down on the insurgency. 

All depends on where you live, I guess.

Police say there is usually an upsurge in attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which this year began May 26 and ends June 24.

On Saturday in Pattani, two attackers fatally shot two teenagers before making a getaway on motorbikes.

In another attack last Friday, four attackers on motorbikes fatally shot a policeman outside of a police station in Narathiwat.



"Spyware meant to foil crime is trained on Mexico’s critics" New York Times  June 19, 2017

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s most prominent human rights lawyers, journalists, and anti-corruption activists have been targeted by advanced spyware sold to the Mexican government on the condition that it be used only to investigate criminals and terrorists.

The targets include lawyers looking into the mass disappearance of 43 students, a highly respected academic who helped write anticorruption legislation, two of Mexico’s most influential journalists, and an American representing victims of sexual abuse by the police. The spying even swept up family members, including a teenage boy.

Since 2011, at least three Mexican federal agencies have purchased about $80 million worth of spyware created by an Israeli cyberarms manufacturer.

The software, known as Pegasus, infiltrates smartphones to monitor every detail of a person’s cellular life — calls, texts, e-mail, contacts, and calendars. It can even use the microphone and camera on phones for surveillance, turning a target’s smartphone into a personal bug.

The company that makes the software, the NSO Group, says it sells the tool exclusively to governments, with an explicit agreement that it be used only to battle terrorists or the drug cartels and criminal groups that have long kidnapped and killed Mexicans.

Just a a hiccup, huh, and is that still their name?

But according to dozens of messages examined by The New York Times and independent forensic analysts, the software has been used against some of the government’s most outspoken critics and their families, in what many view as an unprecedented effort to thwart the fight against the corruption infecting every limb of Mexican society.

“We are the new enemies of the state,” said Juan E. Pardinas, the general director of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, who has pushed anticorruption legislation. His iPhone, along with his wife’s, were targeted by the software, according to an independent analysis. “Ours is a society where democracy has been eroded,” he said. 

I'm told it's the convenience of freedom.

The deployment of sophisticated cyberweaponry against citizens is a snapshot of the struggle for Mexico itself, raising profound legal and ethical questions for a government already facing severe criticism for its human rights record. Under Mexican law, only a federal judge can authorize the surveillance of private communications, and only when officials can demonstrate a sound basis for the request.

It is highly unlikely that the government received judicial approval to hack the phones, according to several former Mexican intelligence officials. Instead, they said, illegal surveillance is standard practice.

No matter where you live.

The hacking attempts were highly personalized, striking critics with messages designed to inspire fear — and to get them to click on a link that would provide unfettered access to their cellphones.

Just collecting data for marketing purposes.


Time to turn off the lights:

"Israel reduces power supply to Hamas-ruled Gaza" Associated Press  June 19, 2017

GAZA CITY — Israel’s national electric company on Monday cut back its already limited electricity shipments to the Gaza Strip, a step that is expected to worsen the power crunch plaguing the Hamas-controlled seaside territory.

The company confirmed the Israeli government instructed it to reduce supply to Gaza at the request of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s government in the West Bank.

Treasonous betrayer.

Abbas recently told Israel he would cut payments for Gaza’s electricity. Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas’ forces a decade ago, and the internationally recognized Palestinian leader is trying to step up pressure on the Islamic militant group to cede power.

They didn't "seize" Gaza. They won an election, the pre$$ knows this, and yet like with Russia and Crimea, they repeat the lie as conventional background.

For that reason, the Islamic militant group falls flat with me. All Zioni$t war propaganda coming from the pri$m that is the Bo$ton Globe.

With Gaza’s small power plant out of commission, and Israel providing a fraction of what the territory needs, residents have been scraping by with about four hours of electricity a day.

Mohammed Thabet of the Gaza electricity distribution company said Gaza’s roughly 2 million residents could expect to receive even less power.

‘‘There is nothing ... that we can do,’’ he said. 

Where is the damn world community?

Thabet said Gaza was receiving 112 megawatts of power a day, down from the previous level of 120 megawatts. Gaza needs about 400 megawatts to meet its daily needs.

So how many people will die in the hospitals because of this?

Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies that have fought three wars over the past decade. 

You can hardly call bombing fish in a barrel a war. 

But Israel has continued to provide limited power to Gaza, paid for by the Palestinians, to prevent a humanitarian crisis on its doorstep and out of concern that more instability could lead to renewed fighting. Israel described Gaza’s power crisis as an internal Palestinian issue, saying it is merely a supplier.

Yeah, it's known as the slow starvation policy and it doesn't make Israel look as bad as bombing.

Last week, Hamas warned of renewed violence against Israel if power is cut.

In a statement, the electric company confirmed it had begun to reduce supplies on Monday and said shipments would be scaled back gradually, ‘‘so that the electricity supply will match the financial commitment.’’

‘‘The internal deliveries of electricity to consumers inside the Gaza Strip is not the responsibility of the electric company and is done by internal Palestinian authorities in the Gaza Strip,’’ it said.

Israel accuses Hamas of diverting Gaza’s limited electricity for military use and worsening the hardship on its people.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza since the Hamas takeover in June 2007, restricting the movement of people and goods in and out of the territory. Israel says the restrictions are needed to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons. 

Wasn't a takeover, and they forgot Morsi swinging the gates wide open. 

And how many billions in U.S. weaponry came into Israel in the interim?

Abbas has grown increasingly frustrated with repeated failures in reconciliation talks with Hamas and the group’s refusal to cede control of Gaza. In recent months, he has stepped up financial pressure on Hamas. 

Why should they cede control?

In April, he reinstated taxes on fuel bound for Gaza’s only power plant, making Hamas unable to afford it. As a result, the small station has stopped working. Gaza now receives its only electricity from Israel, and a small quantity from Egypt.


And you wonder why I call him Abass?