Showing posts from November, 2016

Clinton donors gather to plan fight against Trump

(November 14) Rich liberals attended a three-day closed door meeting at an expensive Washington hotel. After spending tens of millions in a failed attempt to elect Hillary Clinton the group is laying plans to fight back against Donald Trump.
The meeting is taking place at the expensive Mandarin Oriental luxury hotel in Washington. The meeting is sponsored by the influential Democracy Alliance(DA) donor club. Wikipedia describes the Alliance:As of 2015, the organization has approximately 110 partners who are required to contribute at least $200,000 a year to groups the Democracy Alliance vets and recommends. The Alliance has helped distribute approximately $500 million to liberal organizations since its founding in 2005. Members of the Democracy Alliance include billionaires George Soros and Tom Steyer.[5]The group has its own website. The Washington meeting will include House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, leaders of some main trade unions and liberal groups, Senator Elizabeth Warren a…

Eastern military in Libya fear attack on oil ports

Haftar's spokesperson, Ahmed Al-Mismari claims that forces supporting the Libyan Government of National Accord(GNA) and its defense minister Mihdi Al-Barghathi are gathering near Al-Jufra in the south to attack the Oil Crescent export ports.
The four main export ports in the Oil Crescent were recentlyseized by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar,commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) associated with the House of Representatives (HoR) based in the east of Libya in the city of Tobruk. The HoR does not support the GNA nor does Haftar. Mismari said that along with the GNA forces were the forces of Ibrahim Jodhran. Jodhran was head of the Petroleum Forces Guards from whom Haftar seized the oil ports. Mismari also claimed that an Al-Qaeda-linked extremist group was involved which he did not specify. Mismari told an Egyptian newspaper:“All those forces are positioned there and they are trying to advance toward the oil terminals after they have formed an operations room headed by Al-Barghath…

Donald Trump made an honorary Russian Cossack

Donald Trump is not only president-elect of the United States but he has been made an honorary Russian Cossack. Trump and his entire family have been invited to attend a welcoming ceremony by Idris Cossack leader, Ataman Andrey Polyakov.
All along Trump has been the favorite candidate in the Russian media and his win was applauded in the Russian Duma or parliament.Polyakovleader of the Irbis Cossack group who bestowed the honor on Putin said that the "unforgettable programme" of traditional activities would allow Trump an insight into the "mysterious Russian soul". The Ibris group is based around St. Petersburg. The group recently grabbed headlines by unveiling a bust of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the garb of a Roman emperor. The Cossacks a traditional military order have a long history in Russia, Ukraine and some other neighboring countries. Many defended the Czar and fought against the Bolsheviks as members of the White Army. Many were slaughtered by the …

Trump may end US support for "moderate" rebels in Syria

(Nov. 12) In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, President-elect Donald Trump suggested that he was likely to end the U.S. policy of supporting "moderate" rebel groups.
He claimed that the U.S. did not really know who the moderate rebels were and that the U.S. should concentrate on defeating the Islamic State (IS). Trump said in the interview:“I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria. My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria. … Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.”Trump also expressed concern that if the U.S. attacked the Assad regime it would end up fighting not only Syria but Russia as well. In the past, Trump has suggested that the defeat of Assad could actually lead to something worse in the aftermath assuming it did …

Uzbekistan political prisoner freed after 22 years

Samandar Kukanov, 72, is described by human rights activists as one of the longest serving political prisoners in Uzbekistan was finally released on Thursday (November 24) after 22 years in prison.

Kukanov a former parliamentary deputy was sentenced to 20 years in 1994 on charges of embezzlement after he had become a fierce critic of then president Islam Karimov. Karimov died in September after ruling the Central Asian country of 32 million with an iron fist for over 26 years.Karimovwas the first president of Uzbekistan from its independence on 1 September 1991 to his death in 2016. a period of 25 years. However, before that, he was the President of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic from 24 March 1990 until he declared the independence ofUzbekistan on 1 September 1991. The move was a surprise. This could boost the image of Karimov's successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev who is running for president in an election of December 4. In 2014 his term had been extended for 2 more years because …

Conservatives attack Trump's expensive infrastructure program

One of Trump's key economic policies was a trillion-dollar infrastructure spending program to rebuild U.S. highways, bridges and airports.
Certainly many of Trump's policies and policy directions such as those on the environment are opposed to those of liberals and leftists but not all his policies are such, including his view on the necessity of rebuilding U.S. infrastructure. Indeed, it is conservatives who already are criticizing his plans to spend up to a trillion dollars over 10 years. Trump claims that his program will create ""millions" of jobs, and compared it to Eisenhower's creation of the interstate highway system. While Trump is no doubt inflating the job creation numbers a bit, this is the sort of program that Democrats could support and attempt to modify. Obama also had an $832 billion dollar program a target also of conservative criticism. During the campaign,Hillary Clintonadvanced her own infrastructure spending campaign of $275 billion over…

Two-day meeting on Libya crisis produces few positive results and no new plans

(November 11) After a two-day meeting of members of the Libyan Political Dialogue that discussed the political process and obstacles to implementing the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) no new suggestions were made to resolve the political crisis.

The GNA together with the UN envoy Martin Kobler have been trying for months to have the House of Representatives pass a vote of confidence in the GNA as required by the LPA. So far, the HoR has rejected the GNA twice, the last time on August 22. The GNA was to present a new slimmed-down cabinet of 8 members. Well over two months later, there is still no sign of members having been chosen. There is no date set or deadline for any vote in the HoR on the issue. A key reason why the HoR will not accept the GNA and LPA as things are, is that the LPA has a provision that makes the Presidential Council (PC) of the GNA commander in chief. Neither the HoR nor Field Marshal Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army of the HoR government, will acc…

Amnesty accuses Iraqi government forces of killing and torturing civilians in Mosul offensive

According to the rights group, Amnesty International, government forces killed and tortured civilians in the Shura and Qayyara districts south of Mosul. Six bodies were found.
Lynn Maalouf,deputy director of research at the Amnesty office in Beirut Lebanon said: "Men in federal police uniform have carried out multiple unlawful killings, apprehending and then deliberately killing in cold blood residents in villages south of Mosul."Maalouf also said: "When the Mosul military operation began, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made clear that violations by Iraqi armed forces and its allies would not be tolerated. Now is the time for him to prove just that. The Iraqi authorities must immediately investigate these alarming reports of extrajudicial executions and torture." The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi denied the Amnesty allegation claiming that local residents, not government troops, had killed Islamic State members. He said that the group was spreading fear amon…

Libya Dialogue group meets in Malta on Libya crisis

(November 10) Valetta--Today members of the Libyan Political Dialogue begin a two-day meeting whose aim is to end the political impasse in Libya and agree to the steps needed to advance the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA)
 1 of 2 The Libya Political Dialogue was a group of Libyan stakeholders assembled by former UN envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon. Working with the dialogue members he produced several drafts of the Liberal Political Agreement. No draft was ever agreed to by both the Salvation government parliament, theGeneral National Congressor the rival House of Representatives (HoR) government based in Tobruk. When Martin Kobler took over as UN envoy he tried to pass the final draft through both parliaments but failed. Kobler got around this problem by convening members of the Dialogue who supported the LPA in the Moroccan resort town of Skhirat in December of 2015. Those members signed what is known as the Skhiirat Agreement or Libyan Political Agreement. Although there were membe…

Saudi Arabia halts oil shipments to Egypt in spite of aid deal

Saudi Arabia has informed Egypt the oil shipments under a $23 billion aid deal agreed to in April have been halted indefinitely. The action suggests a deepening rift between the two countries.
Since President Abdel el-Sisi took power in Egypt in 2013, Saudi Arabia has been a major donor helping prop up Egypt's ailing economy. There may be a number of reasons behind the action. Some claim that the Saudis are frustrated with Egypt's lack of economic reforms. However, Egypt has accepted reforms required to obtain a loan from the IMF for $12 billion. Another reason may be Egypt's reluctance to be drawn into the Yemen conflict. However, Saudi Arabia may be even more angry at Egypt's moves for a great rapprochement with Iran and warming relations with Moscow as a recent Al-Monitor article points out. This will lead to Egypt taking a less aggressive view toward removing Assad in Syria. All of this is counter to Saudi positions. During a visit to Egypt in April, the Saudis agr…

US airstrikes in Sirte appear ended for now

(November 7) Fox News reports that several U.S. officials claim that after three months of strikes on Islamic State positions in Sirte designed to help the offensive by Al-Bunyan Al-Marsous (Solid Structure or BAM) the operation has ended.

Operation Odyssey Lightning began on August 1. When originally announced the operation was only to last for a few weeks. It has been extended every thirty days since then through September and October but there appears to be no extension into November. The Islamic State (IS) is now confined to a small area of Sirte along the Mediterranean and there are very few IS fighters left. However, they continue a fierce resistance. U.S. officials told Fox News that they were consulting with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) and did not rule out further strikes in the future. One senior defense official said that there were fewer targets available now without the risk of civilian casualties. Since the operation began Aug. 1, 367 airstrikes have be…

Libyan eastern tribal leader survives assassination attempt

The car of Salah Al-Atewish, head of the Magharba tribe in eastern Libya, exploded just after he left a mosque in Benghazi after Friday prayers in an apparent assassination attempt.
Salah was taken to hospital along with a colleague who was injured in the blast as well. Salah is said to be in good condition while the condition of his colleague is critical. The incident happened in the Sid Faraj district of Benghazi. Apparently a bomb was placed under his car. It is not known yet if there were others injured by the blast according to the Libya Herald.The Libya Observer reports that Atewish's injuries were minor. Atewish was visited in the hospital by his son along with Saiqa special forces commander Wanid Bukhamada. Some local observers are blaming the action on acting GNA defense minister Al-Mahdi Al-Barghathi together with some Benghazi militants as well as Ibrahim Jadhran who are also said to be intending to try to retake the oil ports and oil fields occupied by Khalifa Haftar c…

Troops loyal to Libyan unity government's defense minister murdered in eastern Libya

Two members of the 204 Tank Brigade formerly commanded by Colonel Al-Mahdi Barghathi the acting defence minister of the Libyan Government have been killed with both showing signs of torture.
The bodies of the two menwere found near Al-Abyar about 50 kilometers east of Benghazi. A Libyan National Army source said they showed signs of torture. The two had been reporting missing earlier. Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) renamed the battalion 298 and a new commander Abdulkarim Hussein was appointed. A number of the brigade appear to be still loyal to Al-Barghathi. The two who were murdered were identified as Ayad Suweih and Miakalal Jirari. In Tripoli, the defence ministry issue issued a statement claiming that Suweih had been killed after he had been held prisoner for two days The defense ministry also posted an obituary to mourn Ayyd Suweih. A statement on Facebook reads: “The ministry will leave no stone unturned as it tries to stem the ongoing…

Montreal police have been spying on journalist for five months

Whistle blower Edward Snowden said that the Montreal chief of police should resign after it was revealed that the police had been tracking the phone of a prominent journalist for five months in order to identify his sources.
Edward Snowden, is an American computer professional born in 1983.He worked for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and also as a former contractor for the U.S. government. In 2013 he copied and leaked classified information from the National Security Agency. His leaks exposed many secret surveillance programs. Many were run by the NSA but also by theFive Eyes Alliancewith the cooperation of many telecommunication companies and European governments. In spite of pressure from a number of organizations, there is no sign that Snowden will be granted a pardon. Snowden spoke via a video link to a packed auditorium at McGill university in Montreal. The scandal widened when it was revealed that provincial police in 2013 took out warrants to keep tabs on six journalists.…

Officials from UN-backed Libyan government banned from opening of power station

At the Al-Khums Power Station in the city of Al-Khums about 120 kilometers east of Tripoli the second gas turbine was put in operation Saturday. The increased output will likely ease the power shortage in Tripoli the capital.
In a boost for the Salvation Government members who plotted a coupback on October 14, Khalifa al-Ghawiel PM of the Salvation Government attended the opening ceremonies. Acccording to a report in theLibya Observer Ahmed Mitiq a member of the Presidency Council (PC) of the rival UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) was declared persona non grata at the opening. Mitiq and his delegation which included a steering-committee for the General Electricity Company were ordered to leave the city according to local sources. The PC of the GNA had earlier selected the steering committee for the General Electricity Company of Libya. However, the Tripoli Court of Appeal ruled against the appointments and ordered that the current management, which is loyal to the Salvati…