Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dec. 22nd, 2016, Northbay Uprising Radio News

Tune in Thursdays 4 to 5pm (PST), at 89.5FM in the northeast San Pablo Bay Area, or online at []. 
Hosted by Dr.G., Minister of Information of the Bay Area Movement for a People's Democracy (MPD)[]
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Stories are reviewed and provided by Bay Area MPD Committees and Affiliates

Updates on campaigns for Peace, Justice, & Freedom across the greater Bay Area, Norcal, and Socal

* "A teacher wore a Black Lives Matter pin to class. Now, he is banned from this Clovis school" (2016-12-03, [], photo caption: David Roberts is a substitute teacher for Clovis Unified School District who says he is no longer allowed to work at Clovis West High because he wore a Black Lives Matter pin to class.
* "Clovis Unified teacher deserved ban" (2016-12-09, letter to the editor, [], from one who is influenced by fascist propaganda, and contends that the "Black Lives Matter" idea represents an evil which must be censored...


It's time for the people to wake up...
It's time for the people to get mad and be heard...
It's time for the people to make a stand against these tools of our oppressors. These power hungry, steroid injecting, brutalizing and murderous, racist/sexist pigs...
It's time to get ANGRY that our FRIENDS, FAMILY, LOVED ONES, and fellow proletariat HUMANS are being unjustly brutalized, raped, and murdered by those appointed by our "masters" to "protect & serve" our communities and streets. In the aftermath of these disgustingly heinous crimes, committed by these "upholders of the law" against innocent people who either committed no crime or had done something nowhere near being punishable by death or aggressive force, there is NO accountability nor JUSTICE served to those pigs.. I mean police officers.. No, I mean pigs guilty of the crimes they've committed. They are NOT above the law. Murder should NOT be a paid vacation for these devils and it has become just that.
It's time to fight back...
Be here because it's your responsibility to resist and stand against this fascist government of tyrants and its police state. The fight for worldwide justice starts locally. This is not only national issue, it's a global issue. If you cannot combat and overcome oppression and injustice on your own streets, in your own communities, and in your own home... There's no hope or end in sight to this never ending terror.
It is YOUR responsibility to demand JUSTICE and RESPECT for all people otherwise there'll be no end to these atrocities against humanity. There'll be NO end to the ever increasing loss of our lives and freedom. Without unity and a collective energy amongst us all, getting involved and making an effort to continuously organize, and holding ourselves accountable for protecting our own communities, there will be no change. There will be no education to uplift us all to the higher level of consciousness we need to be at to survive.
The TIME is NOW...
Get involved by showing up to events and networking. Obtain knowledge through reading, social interaction, and personal research. Each one, teach one.

* "Justice for Sean Arlt & Luke Smith! Vigil #1" video (2016-12-10) []: Release the Video, Audio, and Name of Sean Arlt’s Police Killer! Jail Deputy Chris Vigil, the Murderer of Luke Smith!
* "Memorial held to honor locals fatally shot by police" (2016-12-03, []
* Memorial gathering event page (Dec. 17th, Santa Cruz) [] [begin excerpt]:
Jail Deputy Chris Vigil, the Murderer of Luke Smith!
Release the Audio and Video of the Police Killing of Sean Arlt! [...]
Justice for Luke Smith!
The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s department shot and killed Luke Smith after the police unleashed an attack dog on him and he attempted to defend himself from the brutal dog attack using a very small knife. This shooting was an unacceptable use of force against Luke Smith as he laid on the ground and posed no immediate threat to the deputies and police present. We demand Luke Smith’s murderer, Deputy Chris Vigil, be sent to prison for his crimes.
Justice for Sean Arlt!
Another man recently killed by cops is Sean Arlt. The Santa Cruz Police claim they killed Sean Arlt to prevent him from attacking them with a garden rake. They also say audio and video back their story. We say prove it. Release the audio and the video NOW! We are outraged at the stonewalling by City Manager Martin Bernal, Police Chief Kevin Vogel, Mayor Cynthia Mathews, and the entire Santa Cruz City Council--allowing the police to withhold the video and audio of the incident and the name of Arlt's killer. Even if the police version of events is true, which we in no way assume to be the case, we ask why four cops could not subdue Sean Arlt without shooting him in the head and chest. Why weren’t tactics of de-escalation used? Why didn’t police use less lethal force like a Taser or aim for his legs? Yet, until audio and video is released, we don’t assume that the police are telling the truth about anything, as far as we know, there may not have even been a rake involved.
These protests are sponsored by the Revolutionary Tendency and Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom with participation and support from Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs, Luke Smith’s mother, and food and/or coffee are sometimes provided by Joe Schultz of India Joze. [end excerpt]

* "Indybay Censorship, Sabotage, and Defamation" (2016-12-16, by Steven Argue) [] [begin excerpt]: In organizing "Justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith protests, the Revolutionary Tendency works in a non-sectarian manner with protest co-sponsor Homeless United for Friendship and Freedom and with participation and support from Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs, 15-year-old Luke Smith’s mother, Luke Smith’s class mates, and with food and coffee provided by Joe Schultz of India Joze. As these are grass-roots community events, one would think that the “non-hierarchical” censors at Indybay could look beyond their unexplained and seemingly irrational hatred, censorship, sabotage, and defamation of these community events demanding justice for Sean Arlt and Luke Smith. Yet, this is not the case.
The article was censored by IndyBay within an hour [], of course!

* (2016-12-18) []: If you haven't heard yet, after the Decolonize This Place party, about 20 of us walked down the block chanting & laughing. 4 or 5 Trump supporters confronted & assaulted us yelling "Blue Lives Matter" "Get out of my country" calling us "faggots" & "commies" as they wailed on us. Colin Ashley, Connor Hicks, Christian Valencia & myself were among the most serious injuries. Colin's face is completely swollen, Connor's jaw and face are swollen, Christian's leg is injured, and my nose is fractured. Judging by their build and the way they took us down, we assume at least one if not all were off-duty cops looking to beat on queer Anti-Trump activists. This is seriously fucked up & reminds us why we need to love & support each other. No more pettiness, time to organize <3



* "Oakland Looks at Starting a Public Bank; Bank would provide alternative to handing city money to Wall Street" (2016-12-02, []


NORTHBAY COPWATCH: Domestic Security Agencies and private-sector partners 

* " ‘Putin did it’: CIA mercilessly trolled with #RussianHack blame game" (2016-12-13, []
* "Obama: Russians hacking our election 'not fancy brand of espionage' " (2016-12-13, []

* "Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence - sources" (2016-10-04, Reuters Newswire) []

* " 'Stalk an ex or look up anyone': Weak Uber security allowed spying on riders – report" (2016-12-13, []

NORTHBAY COPWATCH International Security Agencies, the Five-Eyes, and transnational partners

* "CIA meddled in ‘hundreds’ of elections: Ron Paul talks Russia-blaming, fake news and more on RT" (2016-12-17, []

* "Can test for 3-year-olds predict who’ll end up in jail or on drugs?" (2016-12-13, []

* "Fake news? Prosecutors and courts should go after, says German justice minister" (2016-12-18, [] [begin excerpt]: The judiciary in Germany has to consequently go after those spreading fake news on the internet, the country’s Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, said. EU Parliament’s President Martin Schulz calls on a respective ruling throughout the European Union.
In an interview to the German news outlet Bild am Sonntag [], Maas demanded that prosecutors and courts in the country should tackle the spread of false news and statements.
"Slander and malevolent defamation are not covered by freedom of speech. The Judiciary should consequently pursue this in the internet as well,” the minister said.
According to a German law, slander or defamation of a “public person” is being punished with up to five years in prison. "This should be clear to anyone who tries to manipulate political debates with such lies. We should use the legal framework to the full," Maas noted.
According to Bild, one such example refers to the recent killing of a young German woman Maria L. by a 17-year old refugee from Afghanistan.
In the wake of the incident, German MP from the Green Party (Bundnis 90/Die Grunen) Renate Kunast, allegedly twitted: “Despite the murder by the traumatized refugee, we still have to help him.”
It turned out that the message, which was attributed to Süddeutsche Zeitung and caused quite a negative response, was a fake. Yet it was re-posted someone 4,500 times on Facebook before being deleted. [end excerpt]
* "German politicians want €500k fines if Facebook fails to remove fake news within 24hrs" (2016-12-17, []


from the Committee to
End the Drug War! Stop Jim Crow! Close the Torture Chambers! 
[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []. Become a Human Rights Pen Pal! [link]. 



* "Jail under DOJ investigation for mistreatment of mentally ill inmates" (2016-12-13, []

* "Snowden claims US govt ‘trapped’ him in Russia" (2016-12-13, []


articles recommended by the 
Campaigns, info, and more []. Science []. []

* "Good News and Possible Bad News for the Bay" (2016-12, by Sejal Choksi-Chugh) []

* "Endangered Yosemite frogs making comeback, scientists say" (2016-10-03, []


* "Corpus Christi, Texas, residents warned to avoid tap water; Residents of a Texas city have been warned by officials not to drink or bathe in the tap water because of a chemical contamination" (2016-12-15, [] [begin excerpt]: Wednesday's advisory applies to more than 300,000 people in Corpus Christi on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants, or letting the water stand will not make the water safe, officials say.
The contaminants have not yet been named, but are petroleum-based.
"Only bottled water should be used for all drinking, beverage and food preparation (including baby formula and juice), making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or clothes, washing hands, and bathing until further notice," said a press release from the city.
On Wednesday night long queues formed at grocery stores of shoppers stocking up on bottled water. [end excerpt]
* "Texas city water ban partially lifted for some residents" (2016-12-17, []

* "176,000 gallons of oil spilled at North Dakota pipeline" (2016-12-13, []


SAN PABLO BAY EPA: Health and the Human Ecology
Monopolists enforce a regime that does not recognize the natural right to health and life. Info [].

* "Beyond Flint: Lead poisoning a nationwide epidemic – report" (2016-12-20, []

* "Why a Chemical Banned From Soap Is Still in Your Toothpaste" (2016-09-07, []



* "Still on schedule; The weed extract CBD doesn't even get people high — but the DEA continues to treat it like heroin" (2016-12-15, []


Documenting the process of fascism and for whom it benefits. [[]

* "Piles of Dirty Secrets Behind a Model ‘Clean Coal’ Project; A Mississippi project, a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate plan, has been plagued by problems that managers tried to conceal, and by cost overruns and questions of who will pay" (2016-07-05, []

* "Fight for Viacom Is Said to End With the Redstones in Control" (2016-08-18, []

The Federal Government's Executive Branch is currently being controlled, in part, by employees of Goldman Sachs, and this will prevent the Federal government from offering financial services which may compete with services provided by Goldman Sachs, or, engineer any Federal programs to be financially profitable to Goldman Sachs...
* "Meet Marcus, Goldman Sachs’s Online Lender for the Masses" (2016-08-18, []

Presumptive President Donald Trump's regime -
* "Does Trump Represent Fascism, or White Supremacy? Fascism is Obsolete, Whiteness is Here to Stay" (2016-12-13, []
* "Counterpoint: Yes, Trump represents Fascism" (2016-11-16, []

* "White House attacks Trump over connections to Russia and RT" (2016-12-12, []

* "Could Tillerson open up the Russian Arctic for Exxon again?" (2016-12-19, []
* "Trump’s secretary of state pick Tillerson on Russia ties in 2012 interview with RT" (2016-12-13, []

* "Trump nominates Florida Panthers owner Viola as army secretary" (2016-12-19, []

* "Fix ‘toxic’ relations: Ex-Trump adviser Carter Page in Moscow" (2016-12-12, []

* "Trump’s Energy Advisor Hamm: We Are So Much Stronger Than The Saudis" (2016-12-08, []

* (2016-12-17, Gunnar Angeles) []: Trump is dumbfounded by ancient Chinese wisdom!

* "This is how ridiculous the Trump tech meeting was" (2016-12-16, [] [begin excerpt]: A room full of some of the top tech leaders in the US: Apple, Facebook, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, Amazon, Tesla, and so forth. It's a breath of fresh air to see that Marc Benioff, who has become a beacon for protecting the rights of our most vulnerable citizens, is not in attendance. [...]
I looked at a seating map published by Quartz [] and noticed 25 people in attendance. This is a group of our most senior technology leaders and our new government-elect.
Twenty-five people. Four of them — FOUR — are the president-elect's children. That is 16% of everybody in the room, or put differently, if I include Trump, the meeting consists of 20% family members. This is the definition of nepotism that we would condemn from the least democratic nations in the world.
Trump has not legally separated himself from his businesses, and to the extent that he has made statements, it has been that his children will run his business for him — his children who are sitting in the effing room with him while he meets the top technology leaders in the country. If that’s not a kleptocracy, I don’t know what is. [end excerpt]
Photo caption: From left, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon; Larry Page, the CEO of Google parent Alphabet Inc.; Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook; Vice President-elect Mike Pence; and President-elect Donald Trump at Wednesday's meeting in New York.

* "Trump’s 17 cabinet-level picks have more money than a third of American households combined" (2016-12-15, [] [begin excerpt]: The 17 people who US president-elect Donald Trump has selected for his cabinet or for posts with cabinet rank have well over $9.5 billion in combined wealth, with several positions still unfilled. This collection of wealth is greater than that of the 43 million least wealthy American households combined—over one third of the 126 million households total in the US.
Affluence of this magnitude in a US presidential cabinet is unprecedented. [...]
It is worth noting that almost 13% of American households have zero or negative wealth because of debt, so we are adding together these households with those that have at least some wealth.
Even if we just compare the wealth of Trump’s cabinet to the median household, it is still an impressive concentration of riches. It would take about 120,000 households with the the United States median net worth of about $83,200 to match the wealth of just the four richest members of Trump’s cabinet—Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross Jr., Linda McMahon, and Rex Tillerson. [end excerpt]
Photo caption: "This guy is only the second richest cabinet member."

* "Here’s a peek inside how the Trump Cabinet will work" (2016-12-15, by Tom Toles, []:

* "Trump the salesman is trying to stay one step ahead of his customers" (2016-09-30, by Tom Toles, []:

* "Oh, Donald Trump didn’t mean half the things he said, as we are finding out now the hard way" (2016-11-16, by Tom Toles, []

* "Will Trump’s White House have conflicts of interest? There’s another side to that story" (2016-12-16, by Tom Toles, []

* "Watch Donald Trump build infrastructure of a truly destructive kind" (2016-11-22, by Tom Toles, []

* (2016-12-14, by Tom Toles,

* "Vanity Un-Fair? Trump attacks magazine over review of his restaurant" (2016-12-15, []

* " ‘Unpresidented’: Trump corrects Chinese drone seizure Twitter mishap" (2016-12-17, []

An initial economic bump during late 2016 and early 2017 could be claimed by the Presumptive President, what could go wrong?
* "Middle-Income Jobs Finally Show Signs of a Rebound" (2016-08-18, []

* "Clinton and Trump Each Lay Claim to Military Brass" (2016-09-07, []


USA FASCISM: Two Party Dictatorship

* "Wisconsin recount ends, Trump... gains more votes" (2016-12-13, []

* " ‘Faithless’ electors rejected or forced to vote along party lines for Clinton" (2016-12-19, []
* "An Electoral College Coup: The Clinton campaign now suggests the election was rigged" (2016-12-12, [] [begin excerpt]: But now that Mrs. Clinton has lost, her campaign is claiming the election really was rigged, albeit for Mr. Trump by Russian meddling, and it wants the Electoral College to stage what amounts to a coup. That’s the only way to interpret the extraordinary statement Monday by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta endorsing a special intelligence briefing for electors a week before they cast their ballots for President on Dec. 19.
What should really distress Americans is that the losers are trying to overturn the election results based on little more than anonymous leaks and innuendo. Whatever Russia’s hacking motives, there is no evidence that the emails it turned up were decisive to the election result. Mr. Podesta is citing a CIA judgment that Americans have never seen and whose findings are vaguely public only because one or more unidentified officials chose to relate them to a few reporters last week.
Yet Mr. Podesta’s demand is that those same unidentified leakers now give a secret briefing to the 538 electors, most of whom lack any experience in judging the nuances of intelligence. Those electors are then supposed to decide based on information Americans won’t have seen whether they should invalidate the results of an election in which more than 128 million voted. Even Vladimir Putin at his most devious couldn’t have imagined his cyber-spooks would provoke this much anti-democratic nonsense. [end excerpt]
* "ELECTIONS AT GUNPOINT - WHY THE CIA COUP IS A COUP" (2016-12-13, Petri Krohn) []: Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta is demanding that electors are subjected to "a special intelligence briefing" by the CIA. In practice this amounts to elections at gunpoint. The CIA would hijack the electors, hold secret "briefings" where they are told by generals and other men in black that the United States is under attack by its nuclear superpower adversary. Anyone who sides with the enemy is a traitor and will be held accountable by the Deep State and the Clinton Administration.
Apart from the criminal and treasonous nature of the plan it breaks constitutional principals. It is the *states* and their electors that chose the president. Not the Federal Government or any of its institutions.


USA FASCISM: State Media Watch
Documenting propaganda issued by the monopolist media and members of the state security regime that uphold the economic dictatorship, imperialist wars, and the "New Jim Crow" regime [] []

The monopolist media is propaganda for the interests of private bureaucracies which dominate the state and world economy... an example is the following advertisement from one of the leading newspapers of the USA -
* New York Times Leaders Collective (2016-09-08, New York Times print edition) []:
The New York Times
Global Leaders' Collective
An unprecedented summit for luxury's most influential leaders.
This November, just three weeks after the U.S. presidential election, The New York Times will convene the first meeting of the Global Leaders' Collective, a highly select group of global C.E.O.s, executives and innovators who lead companies in a broad range of luxury industries around the world. The purpose of the meeting will be to assess and navigate the dramatic new challenges in a key global market.
During this important event, members of the Global Leaders' Collective will be briefed by the world's foremost experts in policy, technology, the economy, emerging markets and other vital topics in interviews with The Times's senior editors. Participants will also collaborate with peers to analyze urgent imperatives for decision makers in the year ahead — and will emerge from this meeting equipped with information essential to leading their organizations more effectively in this unpredictable climate.


USA FASCISM: Artificial Poverty and Starvation

* " 'Massive disparities' in mortality rates of urban, rural counties from drugs, mental illness" (2016-12-17, []
* "500% growth in infants in rural areas showing up addicted to heroin, opioids" (2016-12-12, []


USA Homeland's resident nations:
Nations exist alongside the Federal [], and State governance []. Demographic maps: 2000 [], 2010 [], religion [].

American Nation, including the State Sovereignty campaigns, and Dominionist Campaigns. []

* " ‘Stain on our nation’: Attorney General Lynch condemns ‘disturbing’ rise of anti-Muslim hate crimes" (2016-12-13, []
* " 'Bullsh*t hatred cover to cover': US libraries report defacement of Korans post-election" (2016-12-13, []

* " ‘Calexit’: Yes California movement opens ‘embassy’ in Moscow" (2016-12-18, []


Documenting the global economic dictatorship

What is "national sovereignty" when a private tribunal dictates policy to, even, the People's Republic of China?
* "China opens WTO complaint about US & EU antidumping duties" (2016-12-13, []

Under a capitalist regime, an entire public economy can be destabilized by a single private bureaucracy.
* "Italian Banks Continue to Lend to Stagnant Companies as Debt Pile Mounts" (2016-08-18, []

* "Dozens rally in support of Luxleaks whistleblowers as they appeal conviction" (2016-12-13, [] [begin excerpt]: Some 200 people rallied outside a courtroom in Luxembourg on Monday as an appeal was opened in the case of two Frenchmen who helped uncover a tax avoidance scheme involving hundreds of multinational companies back in 2014.
The demonstrators who gathered in front of the Palace of Justice in Luxembourg demanded that the whistleblowers’ convictions be overturned, as they waved a banner reading: “Protect whistleblowers – not tax dodgers.” [end excerpt]

The rise in the cost of living, and subsequent loss in quality of life, is funded by speculatory investment practices by those who want to "launder" money that would otherwise be regulated (taxed) or found to be illicitly collected (drug money, scams).
* "U.S. to Expand Tracking of Home Purchases by Shell Companies" (2016-07-27, []


information collected by the  
[], for justice, dignity and human rights in accordance with the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (.pdf) [], and an end to the USA's endless wars, in harmony with Principle 1 & 6 of International Law [], the 5 protocols of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) [], and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [].

Full Press Conference at the United Nations. Against propaganda and regime change, for peace and national sovereignty. 9 December 2016, the Permanent Mission of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations.
Dr. Bahman Azad, Member of the Coordinating Committee for the Hands Off Syria and Organization Secretary of US Peace Council, and Eva Bartlett, Independent Canadian Journalist.


* "U.S. Hands Off Syria Coalition — Points of unity statement; An Urgent Message for Peace on the Eve of Wider War" (2016-10-15, [] [begin excerpt]:
We raise our voices against the violence of war and the enormous pressure of war propaganda, lies and hidden agendas that are used to justify this war and every past U.S. war.
We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, endorse the following Points of Unity and will work together as an Ad Hoc Coalition to help put an end to the regime change intervention by the United States, NATO and their regional allies and the killing of innocent people in Syria:
- 1. The continuation of the war in Syria is the result of a U.S.-orchestrated intervention by the United States, NATO, their regional allies and reactionary forces, the goal of which is regime change in Syria.
- 2. This policy of regime change in Syria is illegal and in clear violation of the United Nations Charter, the letter and spirit of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- 3. This policy of forced regime change is threatening the security of the region and the world and has increased the danger of direct confrontation between the United States and Russia, with the potential of a nuclear catastrophe for the whole world.
- 4. War and U.S. and EU sanctions have destabilized every sector of Syria’s economy, transforming a once self-sufficient country into an aid-dependent nation. Half the Syrian population is now displaced. A UN ESCWA report reveals these U.S. sanctions on Syria are crippling aid work during one of the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II. The one third of Syrians refugees in surrounding Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have been hit hard by U.S. cuts to UNICEF. This forces desperate refugees to struggle to reach Europe.
- 5. No foreign entity, be it a foreign government or an armed group, has the right to violate the fundamental rights of the Syrian people to independence, national sovereignty and self-determination. This includes the right of the Syrian government to request and accept military assistance from other countries, as even the U.S. government has admitted.
- 6. Only the people of Syria have the inalienable right to choose their leaders and determine the character of their government, free from foreign intervention. This right cannot be properly exercised under the conditions of U.S.-orchestrated foreign intervention against the Syrian people.
- 7. Our opposition is to forced regime change in Syria by U.S.-backed foreign powers and their mercenaries. It is not our business to support or oppose President Assad or the Syrian government. Only the Syrian people have the right to decide the legitimacy of their government.
- 8. The most urgent issue at present is peace and putting an end to the violence of foreign intervention that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of Syrians both internally or as refugees abroad.


World Context & Events 
Including information on Institutions of Self-Government not recognized by the United Nations, as defined by the USA State Dept.'s legal statement supporting unilateral declarations of independence (2009-07) (.pdf) [], and by the UN International Court (2010-07-22) [], recognizing the jurisdictions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) (.pdf) [] including EEZ territorial boundaries [], the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) [], the Outer Space Treaty (OST) [].
Evaluated by Bay Area MPD Committees, serving as a 5th World News service [], more news sites: [] [] [] [] [ [

Frontline: People's Republic of China

* "China 'seizes US vessel' in S China Sea; The US has issued a formal request to China to deliver an unmanned underwater drone that was seized in international waters, US officials say" (2016-12-16, [] [begin excerpt]: The Chinese navy seized the US underwater research vessel in the South China Sea on Thursday, the US alleges.
The incident took place just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve it.
The device, dubbed an "ocean glider", was used to test water salinity and temperature, officials say.
The data was part of an unclassified programme to map underwater channels, Pentagon spokesman Capt Jeff Davis told reporters.
"It was taken" by China, Capt Davis said during a press briefing on Friday.
"The UUV [unmanned underwater vehicle] was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea," he added.
"It's a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water - that it was US property." [end excerpt]

Frontline: Federation of Russia

* "Russophobia essential precondition for US policy of Middle East regime change – Lord Truscott" (2016-12-15, [], attached video [] [begin excerpt]: The sole focus of Western foreign policy on regime change in Syria is extremely worrying – not only for Syrians, but beyond – as it feeds arms sales and necessitates a climate of unprecedented Russophobia in order to function, Lord Peter Truscott told RT.
As major parts of Aleppo are liberated, the information war between Russia and the West continues to heat up. “There is an information war going on,” Truscott told RT, adding that “it occurs against the background of a level of Russophobia which I have not seen for many, many years.”
“I have been following Russia and international relations closely for 35 years and I have never witnessed so much Russophobia as I am witnessing today,” Truscott said. “It is not just the accounts of what is happening in Syria but a general attitude towards Russia. I think people just need to calm down. I am hopeful that the new Trump administration will take a more measured position [towards] Russia.”
Truscott sees a number of causes for this, as well as strategic reasons for the West to continue using Russia as pretext for things going wrong in Syria or beyond. [end excerpt]

* "Clinton blames FBI director & Russia for her defeat" (2016-12-16, []
* "FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election" (2016-12-16, []
* "U.S. Officials: Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack" (2016-12-15, [] [begin excerpt]: U.S. intelligence officials now believe with "a high level of confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.
Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said. [end excerpt]
This is all speculation, of course.
* "Not going to comment on anonymous intel reports on Putin's involvement in hacking - Kerry" (2016-12-15, []

* "Russia launched ‘cyberwar & propaganda campaign’ against UK – media" (2016-12-17, []
* (2016-12-10) []:

* " ‘RUSSIA PUSHING MIGRANT RAPES’: Russia may organise migrant sex attacks in Europe to make Angela Merkel lose German elections, EU experts claim; Vladimir Putin 'could order Cologne-style attacks' on women to destabilise Germany" (2016-12-14, [], more about the newspaper this article is published in [].

* "EU demands Serbia close Russian-Serbian Humanitarian Center – Lavrov" (2016-12-13, []


NATO Watch

NATO Watch - Weapons for a New World Order

* "Swarming the enemy: US Navy showcases fleet of ‘drone’ defense boats" (2016-12-17, []


Global Anarchist vanguards & autonomous zones
[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

* "WSM National Conference, Oct 2016: Perspectives for Struggle and Revolution" (2016-12-12, []


Towards a Bolivarian Republic of Colombia / Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia - People's Army (FARC-EP) 
Communiques [], Peace Delegation [].
English [], []. 
Spanish [] [] [] [] [[]


Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (ALBA member)
News & Info: []; []; ALBA Ciudad 96.3 FM []; Public Ministry []; []

* "Venezuela closes border with Colombia to combat cash smuggling" (2016-12-13, []


European Union (EU) / NATO
Documenting economic and political trends across the EU jurisdictions, and international operations.
Maps: Homeland and overseas territories [], global Exclusive Economic Zone []

* "Italy’s biggest bank to ax 14,000 jobs in major overhaul" (2016-12-13, []


Republic of Poland (EU Member)

* "Polish police use force as thousands block parliament protesting media restrictions law" (2016-12-17, [], photo caption: People shout slogans during an anti-government demonstration by opposition supporters and Committee for the Defence of Democracy movement (KOD) outside the Polish parliament on December 16, 2016.

* "Poland’s Interior Minister slams opposition for ‘trying to seize power’ as 1,000s protest" (2016-12-17, [], attached video []


Federal Republic of Germany (EU Member) 

* "Over 400k refugees in Germany can’t find jobs – official report" (2016-12-19, []
* "Truck plows into Berlin Christmas market" (2016-12-19, []
* " ‘Terror has no borders’: Eyewitnesses of Berlin market carnage relay horrifying details to RT" (2016-12-20, []


Republic of Ukraine (EU / NATO associate state)
[] []

* "Ukraine to nationalize country's insolvent biggest bank" (2016-12-19, []

* "Ukrainian Deputy Initiated Court Case for the Recognition of a Coup in Ukraine" (2016-12-13,, translated by Ollie Richardson) []

* "Group Of “Azov” Battalion Recruiters Uncovered in Brazil" (2016-12-13,, translated by Ollie Richardson) []


Federation of Russia (EEU Member)
Map []. News: []

* "Russia key player on agriculture market - FAO director" (2016-12-13, []

* "Russia & Japan set up joint $1bn fund for investment projects" (2016-12-16, []


Eurasian Union (EEU) / Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)
EEU Map []. Official Info [] []

* "Gorbachev says former Soviet republics could unite to form new union state" (2016-12-13, []

* "Russian trade with Iran up 80 percent" (2016-12-13, []

* "Belarus Wants National Interests Protected When Implementing EEU Customs Code" (2016-12-12, []

* "Commentary on the relations between Ankara and Moscow by Yuri Emelianov WAR OR PEACE FOR MOSCOW AND ANKARA?" ( [] [begin excerpt]: Even in the years of the cold war after the Ankara Government sighed in 1948 agreements with the USA which allowed Americans to build military bases on the Turkish soil and in 1952 Turkey joined the NATO the Soviet Union in the end of the 50-ies started to develop economic connections with its Southern neighbour to the mutual benefit of the two countries. From 1980 to 1990 the Turkish exports to the USSR increased from $168 millions to $531 millions, while the Soviet exports to Turkey increased during the same period from $167 millions to $1158 millions.  
The relations between Russia and Turkey continued to develop after the collapse the Soviet Union. Since 2001 to 2011 the Turkish exports to Russia increased from $924 millions to $5993 millions dollars, while Russian exports to Turkey grew from $3496 millions to $23953 millions within the same period. Turkey exported mainly foodstuffs, textile and equipment. 70% of Russian exports constituted fuel. 60% of all energy needs of Turkey were provided for by Russian export. Every year more and more tourists from Russia visited Turkey. In 2014 4,4 millions Russians spent their vacations at the Turkish seashore. At that time about 100 thousands citizens of Turkey worked in Russia.
The sudden end to these positive developments came after the Russian plane SU-24 was shot down by the Turkish plane F-16 on November 24, 2015.  As the leaders of the Ankara Government refused to recognize the guilt of the Turkish military airmen for the shooting of the Russian plane and the death of its pilot the Moscow Government resorted to a number of strict measures. On January 1, 2016 the visa regime was reintroduced by the Russian Government and this decision created difficulties for citizens of Turkey who worked in Russia. The Moscow Government recommended that the Russian business did not hire workers of Turkey anymore. Russian tourist companies were forbidden to sell tours to Turkey. The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey decreased by 80%.  Sanctions against Turkish imports of many vegetables and fruits were introduced. The trade between the two countries declined drastically. Besides the Moscow Government promised to take more resolute measures in order to defend Russian air planes in Syria. [...]
Most of the foreign investments in Turkey belong to the countries of Northern America, Western Europe and Persian Gulf. The greater bulk of its national debt Turkey owes to the financial institutions of the above mentioned countries. Despite the fact that in 2014 there were 4,4 millions of Russian tourists they were outnumbered by 32.4 millions of tourists from other countries. Even in the Netherlands in 2014 lived 364 thousands Turkish workers which is 3.5 more than there were Turls in Russia. Since 1948 many US military bases stocked with hundreds of nuclear warheads were established in Turkey. The US, as well as their European and Persian Gulf allies had powerful economic and military instruments to make Ankara act against Russia in order to stop its military help to Syria.
The sudden reversal of the Ankara policy on June 27, 2016 when the President Erdogan asked pardon for shooting down of the Russian plane and expressed his desire to improve relations with the Northern neighbour could be explained by the acute crisis in the relations between Turkey and the West. [end excerpt]


Republic of Iraq

* " ‘Hard to get inside Mosul, over 1mn people still trapped amid op’ – Oxfam representative to RT" (2016-12-19, []


Arab Republic of Syria: Diplomatic and Civil News
[] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []

* "Snow, Santa & smiles: RT sees children in post-war Homs getting back to normal life" (2016-12-17, []


* "Afghans Go to Syria to Fight for Its Government, and Anguish Results" (2016-07-28, [] [begin excerpt]: Thousands of Afghans, almost all of them Shiite Muslims from the Hazara ethnic minority, have fought in Syria in the past few years, serving in brigades supporting the government of President Bashar al-Assad, according to their relatives and commanders in Syria. Most of the Afghan men are recruited or drawn from the Afghan diaspora within Iran, a crucial ally of the Assad government. But more and more of the men are coming directly from Afghanistan in the past year, in part because of the increasingly dire state of the Afghan economy, relatives and officials here say.
The promise of urgently needed salaries — or at least compensation for hardship or death, often paid by the Iranian government — has done little to comfort the families left behind, or to ease their regret at the misery that forced their sons to flee in the first place.
In Khadija’s case, her son Hassan’s decision to go to Syria came after her husband, who is disabled, lost his land. But she insisted that she and her husband had urged Hassan not to go.
The exodus has also highlighted the government’s failure to ease the suffering of the Hazaras, long marginalized in Afghanistan and discriminated against as Shiite Muslims. Faced with the embarrassing spectacle of its citizens fighting for a foreign government, the government has also had to contend with the loss of able-bodied men at a time when it is desperate for recruits to fight the war at home against Taliban insurgents.
Though the Afghan men who leave for Syria soon face the miseries of another incessant war, they have one advantage over some other Afghan migrants: They are less likely to be deported and forced to return to Afghanistan. At the border crossing with Iran, a 90-minute drive from Herat, at least 30 buses arrive several times a week, filled with Afghans deported from Iran. Some carry families who have lived illegally in Iran for years. [end excerpt]


Arab Republic of Syria: War News

* "Aleppo civilians being evacuated through humanitarian corridors (MoD stream)" (2016-12-10, [], video []

* "Iran, Turkey held secret talks on Syrian ceasefire, transition govt – report" (2016-12-13, []

* "Military operation in eastern Aleppo over, govt restoring control – Russian UN envoy" (2016-12-13, []
* "Street celebrations in Aleppo on news of Syrian Army retaking east of city – RT reporter" (2016-12-12, [], attached video []

* "More Civilians Evacuate from “Rebel-Held” Parts of Aleppo" (2016-12-12, []
* "Russian FM Lavrov laments US inaction in Aleppo" (2016-12-13, []
* "Russian ‘shelling, execution’ videos in Aleppo faked by militants – MoD" (2016-12-13, []
* " ‘They slaughtered my family & told me to go’: Heart-wrenching stories of Aleppo orphans" (2016-12-13, []
* "Mainstream media upset Al Qaeda was defeated in Aleppo. Here is how they covered Aleppo’s liberation; ISIS-Al Qaeda was defeated in Aleppo...the establishment media is not happy about that" (2016-12-13, []

* The following [] is from an organization which has been proven to fabricate evidence, so one must ask: "Where are the videos?" A common observation: "That's because they aren't actually in Aleppo."

* (2016-12-13) []: "Doomsday" in Aleppo...

* "The counterrevolution crushes Aleppo; The Syrian regime and its Russian ally are in the last barbaric stages of an onslaught against Aleppo. Ashley Smith analyzes the consequences of the rebel stronghold's fall" (2016-12-13, [], comment about the article's editorial slant: For a counter revolution to happen there must be a REVOLUTION there in the first place and it is clear that there was no such thing. What happened there was clear, it was a US backed attempt to overthrow a government which didn't subjugate to imperialism and that government fought back and kicked out imperialist stooges and spoiled imperialist attempts to bring that country under the boots of US imperialism. End of the story. Looks like these Trotskyists were in coma since Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan and woke up only when there were anti Assad protests in 2011.
* []: Very "moderate" ID's found in East Aleppo

* (201612-13) []: Photos from outside the Russian consulate in Istanbul tonight - yes, they are Al-Qaeda flags. Full photos [] [].

* "The Eiffel Tower Will Go Dark to Honor Aleppo" (2016-12-14, [], comment: Note when Haiti was destroyed by a horrible earthquake, there was no dimming of the lights, though Haiti was a former colony (which is still paying reparations to France for having freed its own humans). No darkening of the Eiffel Tower for the destruction of Baghdad, Mosul, Belgrade...oh, the French helped with those bombings too...

* "Corporate Media is Lying to You — Syrian Army Freed Aleppo, There is No Genocide" (2016-12-14, by Jay Syrmopoulos) []
* " ‘It is militants who kill people’: Aleppo residents contradict MSM reports" (2016-12-14, [], attached video []: The fake news reports from Aleppo have been stirring emotions at the latest UN Security Council meeting, with diplomats echoing various claims. RT’s correspondent Lizzie Phelan in Aleppo gauged reaction from locals to the claims of genocide and massacres taking place in the city.
[Note about video]: In which the civilians of East Aleppo (including those that just fled) are shown what's been propagated in the West and respond to the allegations. #Syria
"No one is harming us now. I do not agree with the western media. No, we are not oppressed."
"The army and the government are on our side. Why should they be against us?"
"This is not true. Most people are happy now that the situation has changed. We want life to become stable again...."
"If there was bloodshed you would not see me here with my children..."

* "Residents salvage food and supplies from abandoned militant group's offices in eastern Aleppo" (2016-12-15, Reuters Newswire) [], []

* "Kerry blames Russia & Syria for Aleppo, warns ‘it will not end the war’ " (2016-12-16, []
* "UK & US claim Russia ‘preventing’ Aleppo aid as Red Cross & UN speak of close cooperation" (2016-12-16, [], attached video []

* photo (2016-12-16) []: Remains of a 7 year old girl used by Obama's thugs as a suicide bomber to attack a Damascus police station.

* "Liberation of E. Aleppo has allowed ‘genuine’ separation of ‘moderate rebels’ from radicals – MoD" (2016-12-17, []
* " ‘Aleppo deal violated as terrorists take hostages, heavy arms, attack crossing’ – Syrian envoy to UN" (2016-12-17, []

* "Female commander of the Tiger Forces, involved in the Aleppo battle" (2016-12-17) [], video [].

* "Breaking: 14 US-led coalition military advisers captured by Syrian special forces in Aleppo" (2016-12-17, [] [begin article]: At least 14 US-led coalition military advisers have been captured by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in the city of Aleppo, according to media reports.
The event allegedly took place in the morning on December 16, 2016 ( []:
“The Security Council is sitting in private on Friday, December 16, 2016, at 17:00 GMT, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in East Aleppo.” also provided a list of names of the coalition’s military advisers captured in Aleppo, citing a Syrian member of Parliament [] [begin excerpt]:
Fares Shehabi, a prominent Syrian Parliamentarian and head of Aleppo’s Chamber of Commerce published the names of the Coalition officers on his Facebook page on the 15th December (dead link) [] (emphasis added) [begin list]:
- Mutaz Kanoğlu – Turkey
- David Scott Winer – USA
- David Shlomo Aram – Israel
- Muhamad Tamimi – Qatar
- Muhamad Ahmad Assabian – Saudi
- Abd-el-Menham Fahd al Harij – Saudi
- Islam Salam Ezzahran Al Hajlan – Saudi
- Ahmed Ben Naoufel Al Darij – Saudi
- Muhamad Hassan Al Sabihi – Saudi
- Hamad Fahad Al Dousri – Saudi
- Amjad Qassem Al Tiraoui – Jordan
- Qassem Saad Al Shamry – Saudi
- Ayman Qassem Al Thahalbi – Saudi
- Mohamed Ech-Chafihi El Idrissi – Moroccan [end list]
[end excerpt]
Damascus-based Syrian journalist Said Hilal Alcharifi also reported on the issue in his Facebook account [] [begin excerpt]:
Very urgent
The Syrian authorities were able, thanks to information thorough, arrive at the headquarters of senior officers and western regional in the basement of a district of Aleppo-is, and capture them all alive.
A few names have already been ex filtered to Syrian journalists including me.
Seen the nationalities (US, French, British, German, Israelis, Turks, Saudis, Moroccans, Qatari, etc.. etc) of these scumbags and their military ranks, I assure you
Syria holds in this moment a big treasures to carry out the negotiations with the countries that have destroyed. [end excerpt]
Earlier in December, SF already noted that the US despearate attempts to push a “diplomatic solution” in Aleppo could indicate that the Obama administration stalling for time to extricate US mercenaries and special service members from the Aleppo pocket [], video [].
Considering that US-led coalition military advisers have been widely operating across Syria, training and assisting to the so-called “moderate opposition” openly linked with al-Qaeda, the recently appeared reports are likely true.
For instance, British military advisers have officially arrived to Syria to restore combat capability of the ‘moderate’ opposition, retreated from Aleppo [] [begin excerpt]:
British military advisers have arrived to Syria in order to restore combat capability of units of the ‘moderate’ opposition, retreated from Aleppo, the Izvestiya newspaper reported, citing a statement of UK Defense Minister Michael Fallon. According to Fallon, 20 British military instructors, who will train the opposition forces, involved in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, have already arrived at the destination [].
The dispatch of British advisers was announced in October, long before the recapture of Aleppo by the Syrian government forces. Initially, they had a task to train recruits to conduct combined arms combat, as well as to teach them the basics of tactical medicine and combat engineering. However, the situation changed and the task was changed too. [end excerpt]
[end article]

And, ten days earlier...
* "The US seeks to free its officers from the death-trap in Aleppo city?" (2016-12-06, []:
The US is desperately pushing a new ‘diplomatic proposal’ to halt the fighting over the city of Aleppo.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, made suggestions to Russia, which would ensure the withdrawal of “opposition forces” from eastern Aleppo.
But why does Kerry desire this?
Is this just a ploy intended to buy time for the militants to regroup and resupply?
Or is the Obama administration stalling for time to extricate US mercenaries and special service members from the Aleppo pocket?
If these ‘supporters of Syrian democracy’ are captured alive or dead, the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance will be in possession of rock solid evidence of US special operations directly supporting terrorists in Syria.

* (2016-12-17) []: Goodbye decapitation videos. So long religious zealots funded by their Saudi Arabian benefactors. Good riddance American and British funded mercenaries. We won't miss you shady foreign special forces groups and foreign black ops squads. Aleppo has been liberated and now they can begin to rebuild.

* (2016-12-17) []: Western mainstream media coverage of the war in Syria be like...
* (2016-12-17) []: Lina Shamy appeared all over prime time news because of her "last video" message after the Syrian Army took Aleppo. Just like almost all Syrian rebel supporters, she has dodgy links to Islamic zealots. On her facebook she posted decorative pictures of a man called Zahran Alloush who was a member of a Saudi Arabian backed militia in Syria called Jaysh al-Islam, another ISIS clone.

* "Buses attacked on way to militant-held Shiite villages after evacuation deal – Syrian state media" (2016-12-18, [], attached video []
* (2016-12-18) []: Green buses heading to Kafraya and Foa were attacked. Obama's goons are turning on each other now, no trust at all between them. Photos [] [].

* "Dozens of buses evacuate 3,000 people from Aleppo's last rebel-held district" (2016-12-19, [], attached video [].

* "Civilians return to ‘normal’ life in liberated, ruined E. Aleppo" (2016-12-19, []

The blatant and criminal lies of Amnesty International of Belgium on Syria
* (2016-12-19, Amnesty International Belgique Francophone) [], text [], attached video page [], full message (machine translated):
The situation in Syria is every day more desperate. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reports that members of the Syrian and Allied government forces have shot civilians in the streets or in the ruins of their homes.
The Syrian government claims to have taken control of the entire city of Aleppo. There is a great risk that tens of thousands of civilians, who are still in the eastern neighborhoods or who are trying to flee, will face new atrocities.
Syria must not turn into an immense mass grave!
Amnesty International calls on the international community to use all possible diplomatic means to put an end to the cruel attacks on civilians in Syria and to guarantee humanitarian assistance to all people whose lives are in danger.
We can turn off the television to not see these horrible images coming from Aleppo and other cities of Syria. The Syrians and the Syrians do not have this possibility.
But for the people of Aleppo, it is literally vital that the world knows what is happening and what the violations are.
Do not look away. Support our research work and campaign activities.
Thank you from the heart.


The International anti-Syria Alliance, the "Free Syria Army", and allied organizations 

* " ‘It’s So Sad,’ Donald Trump Says of Syria, Promising ‘Safe Zones’ " (2016-12-16, []

* "Russia’s UK ambassador: ‘I asked MPs how they will fight terrorists in Syria. I got no answer’ " (2016-12-16, []

* "Terrorist Hadi Alabdallah Jumps on The “Bana from Aleppo” Bandwagon" (2016-12-19, by Ollie Richardson) []

* "Syria: Armed opposition groups committing war crimes in Aleppo city" (2016-05-13, [] [begin excerpt]: Armed groups surrounding the Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo city have repeatedly carried out indiscriminate attacks that have struck civilian homes, streets, markets and mosques, killing and injuring civilians and displaying a shameful disregard for human life, said Amnesty International.
The organization has gathered strong evidence of serious violations from eyewitnesses, and obtained the names of at least 83 civilians, including 30 children, who were killed by attacks in Sheikh Maqsoud between February and April 2016. More than 700 civilians were also injured, according to the local field hospital. Video evidence seen by Amnesty International shows artillery shelling, rocket and mortar attacks carried out by the Fatah Halab (Aleppo Conquest) coalition of armed groups in the area, targeting the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) controlling the area. [end excerpt]

* "Assassin shouts 'Allahu Akbar, don't forget Syria' after shooting Russian ambassador" (2016-12-19, []
* "Turkish riot police officer who killed Russian ambassador identified" (2016-12-19, []
* "RIP ANDREI KARLOV" (2016-12-19, by Felix Abt) []
* "Putin: Russian ambassador's murder 'provocation aimed at undermining Syria peace process' " (2016-12-19, []
* "Assassination of ambassador an attack on relations with Russia – Erdogan" (2016-12-20, []

Comment on the strange nature of the filming of the assassination: "I love the dramatic zooms that the video operator makes while live gunfire is supposedly being showered in his direction, to catch the gunman in the frame. I also really enjoy the multiple high resolution non-blurry professional photographs taken from SEVERAL angles of gunman as he moves around the room with a loaded weapon. Cameraman takes time to zoom out to get shooter in frame while bullets are being fired, rather than protecting his own life. Multiple crystal sharp non-blurry photographs taken from MULTIPLE angles while shooter is moving around the room with a loaded weapon. No blood present. No security detail reaction. Totally staged."


Global Islamic Caliphate / Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL ; ISIS)
A USA-backed self-governing entity for the disruption of the Eurasian Union and other rival blocs.

* "ISIS used as tool by Saudis, US & Turkey when it suits their interests – US senator" (2016-12-13, []

* "Pentagon Expects Mosul Push to Unlock Trove of ISIS Intelligence" (2016-10-22, [] [begin excerpt]: American officials acknowledge that they face a daunting task in gathering, analyzing and disseminating to Iraqi and Western intelligence services a collection of information from Mosul that is expected to dwarf the 20 terabytes of data retrieved so far in Manbij. One terabyte is equal to the contents of a million books. [end excerpt]

* "ISIS Seems to Tailor Attacks for Different Audiences" (2016-07-02, [] [begin excerpt]: For the Islamic State terrorist group, which broadly advised operatives it sent to Europe to kill “anyone and everyone,” the group’s tactics in Bangladesh have seemed more controlled. In the past nine months, it has claimed 19 attacks in the South Asian country, nearly all of them targeted assassinations singling out religious minorities and foreigners. They included hacking to death a Hindu man, stabbing to death a Shiite preacher, murdering a Muslim villager who had been accused of converting to Christianity and sending suicide bombers into Shiite mosques. [...]
But a closer look at the attack the Islamic State has claimed in Bangladesh — and at the fact that it has not claimed bombings attributed to it in Turkey, including the airport attack this past week — suggests a group that is tailoring its approach for different regions and for different target audiences.
“For I.S. to maintain support among its followers and prospects, it must take different considerations into account when planning an attack in a Muslim country versus non-Muslim countries,” argues Rita Katz, the director of the SITE Intelligence Group, which has tracked the group’s attacks in Bangladesh. “I.S. encourages the killing of random civilians in France, Belgium, America or other Western nations, but in a country like Turkey, I.S. must be sure that it isn’t killing Muslims — or at least make it look like it’s trying not to,” she wrote in an analysis recently published online.
The issue of killing Sunni civilians has been a main point of contention with Al Qaeda after the Islamic State broke away from the terror network several years ago. [end excerpt]

* "Communist Youth of Syria: 'We will never give up!' ; Special interview with Wessam Kahel, member of the International Relations Committee of the Communist Youth Union of Syria-Bakdash" (2016-02-09, [] [begin excerpt]: As you know, Daesh and the other organisations have no ideology, no humanity, no reason; they kill and fight, they destroy every historical thing, this is because they are reactionary organisations with reactionary ideas which could also be called a fascist ideology. “If you don't come with us, I kill you” or “If this place belongs to your ideology, I destroy it” this is how they act. [end excerpt]

* "Bangladesh Attack Is New Evidence That ISIS Has Shifted Its Focus Beyond the Mideast" (2016-07-02, []. This article is from a State Dept. Propaganda organ, and as such is its status, censors the ISIS operations across the Eurasian Union and elsewhere.


[] [][] [] [[] [][]; Co-Operative Economy in Rojava & Bakur []

North Kurdistan (Bakur), within the jurisdiction of the Republic of Turkey

* "Turkish nationalists storm pro-Kurdish party’s HQs after deadly blast" (2016-12-18, []


State of Israel, National Institutions, transnational agencies and private-sector partnerships
[[] [] [[] [] [] []

* "Netanyahu shows off troublesome F-35 as Israel receives first batch" (2016-12-13, []

* "Israeli tanks fire into Gaza in response to alleged cross-border gunfire" (2016-12-19, []


Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & GCC Council member states

* "Reform Qatari style: Employers to hold workers’ passports & impose travel bans, Amnesty warns" (2016-12-13, []


Islamic Republic of Iran

* "Iran to develop nuclear propulsion for maritime use, cites US 'violation' of deal" (2016-12-13, []

* " ‘Britain is source of evil’: Iran’s supreme leader reacts to British PM’s criticism of Tehran" (2016-12-17, []


Republic of Afghanistan / Islamic Republic Of Pashtunistan / Waziristan 

* "Ties between Russia and the Taliban worry Afghan, U.S. officials" (2016-12-08, Reuters Newswire) []


People's Republic of China
News: [] [] [] []; Map [], fishery agreements [], USA version of China's EEZ []; History & the Current Context []

* "China’s Tech-Savvy, Burned-Out and Spiritually Adrift, Turn to Buddhism" (2016-09-07, []

* 94% of the Chinese population lives East of this line:


Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in northern Korea
Info collected by Juche-Buddhism Friendship Society, for Peace through Knowledge! [
- DPRK News:  [] [] [] [] [] []
Anti-DPRK news analysis: [] [] []
- Online portals administered by membership among the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan: [], which is geo-blocked [], accessible by VPN only; video pages, in Korean [], and in English language [] []; and unofficial pages at [] [], and past efforts at breaking the blockade of censorship [].

DPRK: Foreign Relations -
* "Joint Press Release Issued for Pan-national Meeting for Reunification" (2016-12-03, KCNA Newswire) []
* "Press Release of North Side Preparatory Committee for Joint Conference" (2016-12-09, KCNA Newswire) []: The north side preparatory committee for a joint conference of political parties, organizations and personages in the north and the south and abroad for the peace and independent reunification of the Korean peninsula issued a press release on December 8.
According to it, a general meeting of the north side preparatory committee was held in Pyongyang on December 8.
Present at the meeting were members of the north side preparatory committee and officials concerned.
The meeting informed in detail of a working meeting of the north, south and overseas sides held in Shenyang, China from November 30 to December 1.
Its participants were unanimous in stressing the need to surely hold a nationwide grand gathering for reunification with the attendance of the representatives of political parties and organizations and personages of various circles at home and abroad and thus remove the mistrust, antagonism, hostility and confrontation between the north and the south and bring about a radical turn in realizing the peace and independent reunification of the country.
The meeting discussed the preparations for the nationwide grand gathering for reunification and the ways for its success and adopted relevant decisions.
As discussed at the working meeting of the north, south and overseas sides, it decided to call the nationwide grand gathering for reunification the "All Koreans Conference for Peace and Reunification of the Country and Development of North-South Relations" (All Koreans Conference) and appointed members of the north side working committee, under an agreement on setting up a joint working committee of the north, south and overseas sides for the preparation of the All Koreans Conference within this year.
At the meeting, Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country of the DPRK, and Pak Myong Chol, director of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Reunification of Korea, were elected vice-chairmen of the north side preparatory committee for the All Koreans Conference to fill the vacancy.

* "Meeting of Movement for Supporting Korea's Reunification Held in Japan" (2016-11-29, KCNA Newswire): The 34th national meeting of the movement for supporting Korea's reunification took place in Nagano of Japan on November 19.
Attending the meeting were Fumihiro Himori, chairman of the Japan Committee for Supporting the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea, and Tomohiko Murayama, chairman of the Nagano Prefectural People's Council for Supporting the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea, members of the executive committee of the meeting and representatives of solidarity organizations in different parts of Japan.
Present on invitation were officials of Chongryon including Nam Sung U, vice-chairman of the Central Standing Committee of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), and Koreans in Japan.
After congratulatory speeches, a message of greetings from the Korean Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries was read out at the meeting.
Kenji Mizutani, general secretary of the Japan Committee for Supporting the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea, made a keynote report.
He exposed the injustice and illegality of the anti-DPRK campaign conducted by the US, Japan and south Korea and of the UN Security Council's "resolutions on sanctions" against the DPRK.
He stressed the need to strengthen solidarity with the Korean people and conduct vigorous activities supporting the friendship between the two countries and the reunification of Korea.
Several figures made speeches on the theme of "For the peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula-exposure of the true nature of US-Japan-south Korea military alliance" at the meeting.
The meeting adopted an appeal sharply denouncing the anti-DPRK moves of the US, Japan and south Korea and demanding the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea, the conclusion of DPRK-US peace accord and the normalization of Japan-DPRK diplomatic relations.
In the meantime, an event was held on November 18-19 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Japan Committee for Supporting the Independent and Peaceful Reunification of Korea.

* (2016-12-16, Manna Mission of Europe Limited,, U.K. registered charity organisation) []: [...] regarding the monitoring tour to our charity bakeries in Pyongyang. Now we publish photos of our visit to Hyangsan. Photos [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []. More about the bakeries [].


DPRK: Foreign Hostilities -

Recently, an article about "child chain-gang slaves" in the DPRK was published by a popular newspaper in the English-speaking world. The photos accompanying the article were actually video-stills, and show children who are neither "chain-ganged" nor looking abused. They are wearing fashionable clothing, and the adults look like parents, nor are there armed guards anywhere. By studying the following materials, one grasps how propaganda against the DPRK is constructed. Even with the author showing video images that contradicts the central statement in the article ("chain-gangs"), the propaganda operates through the use of "over kill"... it screams at you. It's click-bait designed by security agents in the UK, and the article is engineered for popular consumption.
* "Child chain gangs of North Korea exposed, as kids as young as five forced to repair railways; Human rights' groups fury as footage sneaked out of the secretive country shows children subjected to slave labour" (2016-12-14, [] [begin excerpt]:
Grafting in the blazing sun, Kim Jong-un ’s child slaves load heavy rocks into sacks as others mend railway tracks with hammers.
Taken out of lessons and forced to carry out back-breaking work, they toil for up to 10 hours a day. [...]
Michael Glendinning, of the ­European Alliance of Human Rights in North Korea, said: “The footage obtained by the Mirror is startling in its documentation of one of the worst abuses the North Korean state inflicts – child labour.”
A network of brave informers used hidden cameras to secretly record footage over the course of this year.
In one film – shot in the north east province of Ryanggang – a forlorn lad of around eight or nine, wearing an England football shirt, is ordered to break rocks at a cliff face.
Girls pair up as they struggle to lift heavy loads into piles. One young boy winces under the strain of his work.
Teachers shielding their faces from the glaring midday sun bark orders at other youngsters bent double from lugging sacks as big as their bodies. [...]
Officials refer to the tasks as “team-building” for the good of the country.
With a population of more than 24 million, human rights experts warn that millions of children are being used as slave labour every day.
Activists claim some from poor ­backgrounds have not been to school in a year. And child workers face brutal ­beatings if they fail to complete work. [...]
In Chagang ­Province, in the north of the country, tiny children form a chain gang along a railway line.
With hammers and axes, they smash up large rocks into fragments to be laid across the tracks.
A newly built station, understood to be along the Hyesan Manpho ­Chongnyon Line, otherwise known as the Pukpu Line, can clearly be seen. [...]
Human rights organisations have reacted with horror after looking at our findings. Mr Glendinning said the nature and duration of work assigned to children broke a series of domestic and international laws.
Calling for the international community to act, he added: “Millions of North Korean children are forced to work in back-breaking roles that rob them of the chance of a happy childhood.
“The impact of the work on their physical development, their physical and mental health, and on their ­education can’t be understated. [end excerpt]

Photo captions:
- Two small boys haul rocks away from the cliff face []
- A boy breaks up rocks on the line []
- The children carry heavy bags of rocks []
- The 'chain gang' of children works along a stretch of railway []

- The childrens' families aren't paid for the work the children do []
- North Korea is flouting international law by exploiting children []
- Officials say the work is 'team building' for the good of the country []

- A child wearing an old England football shirt walks in front of the camera []

- The children work all day in the heat []
- Two girls hard at work on the railway line []

- Priveleged children play at school []

- monster Kim Jong-un []

* Video titled "Child Chain Gangs in the DPRK?" (2016-12-17, Jason Unruhe) [], watch [].

Analysis -
- THERE ARE NO CHAIN-GANGS IN THIS VIDEO! A "Chain-Gang" is a current USA practice whereby prisoners are forced to break rocks near roads and railroads, chained together, with an overseer who has a whip. Usually, the African-American prisoners are tortured (abused) as a practice of intimidation for other prisoners to see...
- A boy poses for the camera... meanwhile adults look on, yet this is "secret" footage showing illegal child exploitation using "hidden cameras".
- There's no rhyme nor reason for the work stations employed by the children. One boy is "breaking a rock on the line"... the railroad line... Really? It would be more efficient to break a rock on, say, a level surface next to the tracks, or next to the rock pile, closer to the supervisors...

* (Comment from Jiha Ko): OMG! Horrific abuse in America! Child labour where American kids pick up extremely dangerous and often toxic trash like poop both dog poop and human poop. These American kids are being exploited, working all day long, and without pay! OMG! Where the hell is Amnesty International? the UNHRC?
American kids have to handle dangerous and hazmat materials like broken glass and discarded needles and used condoms all over American roads. It's extremely dangerous work, and they're being exploited!!!!! All over America, en masse, children as young 5 are being exploited for free labour, photos: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []. The Americans kids are often verbally abused:

And if you don't do the work the police will come and beat you to a pulp and then execute you on the spot with a dozens maybe 40 or 50 bullets. Horrific abuses in the USA:


* "North Korea bans sarcasm because Kim Jong-un fears people only agree with him ‘ironically’ ; Mocking expression 'a fool who cannot see the outside world' is said to be circulating in North Korea" (2016-09-07, [], comment []: North Korea never "banned sarcasm". This is fake news written to get clicks. The Independent once claimed that North Korea executes people using packs of dogs, but the Independent later admitted that this story originated from a satire website. The Independent also claimed that people in North Korea could be sentenced to execution for watching foreign films, yet a quick youtube search can give you Pyongyang's international film festival.


Republic of the Philippines
Maps: National Territory [], as defined by Existing Laws and Treaties [], EEZ seabed relief map []EEZ dispute with PR China [], Marine Entitlements []
News sources: [] [] [].

* "Duterte to foes: Go ahead, impeach me; Unfazed President: No corruption, no drugs during my term" (2016-12-09, []
* "Duterte to ‘yellows’: Reds will kill you if you oust me" (2016-12-14, []

* "Duterte gov’t aims for rice self-sufficiency in 2 years" (2016-10-02, []
* "NFA upbeat on Duterte administration’s rice-sufficiency forecast in next 2 years" (2016-10-10, []

* "No proof of state-sponsored drug killings, Gordon says" (2016-10-14, []

* "New American Envoy to Manila Takes Oath; Fresh Start in PHL-US Ties Seen" (2016-11-03, [] [begin excerpt]: Mr. Kim will succeed Ambassador Philip Goldberg, according an announcement of the US Embassy in Manila posted on its Facebook account. [...] Paynor previously served in diplomatic posts as ambassador or consul general in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Gabon, Budapest, Rome, Israel, Cyprus and Los Angeles. [end excerpt]

* "FREE PORTS OF CENTRAL LUZON Finally, economic hubs get needed attention" (2016-08-24, [] [begin excerpt]: UNTIL President Duterte announced in his State of the Nation Address on July 25 his plans to develop the special economic zones, particularly Clark Freeport, in Central Luzon, nothing had excited most people living in and around these former base lands-turned-economic-hubs because past presidents barely explored their potentials.
In his speech, Mr. Duterte said he was pursuing “different approaches … to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), including the possible transfer of general aviation to the Clark International Airport or CRK.” He also directed agencies to relocate flights to CRK and to build a “one-stop shop” clearinghouse there for migrant workers.
But these plans hinge on how soon the government can put in place a fast rail system that would connect Clark airport to major access points of Metro Manila. [end excerpt]
* "Duterte wants Clark airport terminal completed by 2019" (2016-11-26, []

* "Clark Freeport Zone To House 31st ASEAN Summit" (2016-09-15, []

* "CDC should stop illegal online gaming at Clark Freeport Zone" (2016-09-05, by Lucas Temoteo, and Rey David) []:
These illegal gaming operations harm the nation in many different ways. For one, these are economic activities that are able to evade the collection of government duties, levies and taxes, which would normally be in the form of annual license fees and/or revenue sharing agreements. We may be losing tens, perhaps hundreds, of millions in lost revenues here.
Another insidious effect of illegal online gaming is the fact that the conduct thereof becomes unregulated. As such, access to the websites operated by these illegal operators is open to everybody, including minors and school children.
CDC cannot escape responsibility if it does not act decisively on the matter. We understand that some parties are now studying the possible filing of complaints with the Ombudsman if these glaring irregularities are not addressed soonest.
It is actually not difficult to detect and collar these illegal online gaming operators. One needs only to conduct an audit of the telecommunications companies that operate within the CDC, or who are providing services to CDC locators with fiber optic, cable, copper or wireless data/internet services in order to ferret out more effectively these operators.
One thing is definite: these illegal gambling activities must stop as their presence is really staining and stigmatizing the image of the Clark Freeport Zone as well as the reputation of the Clark Development Corporation (CDC) itself.
However, a review of the charter of CDC reveals that there is no legal authority vested upon it to issue casino or online gaming licenses. Moreover, CDC‘s own internal procedures show that a tenant cannot sub-lease any portion of the building to a third party tenant without the prior approval of CDC authorities.
On the other hand, operations invoking PAGCOR-issued licenses must be able to show that a specific provision exists in the charter of PAGCOR to issue online gaming licenses. If no such specific authority is vested by law, then the operation plainly becomes illegal online gaming. And no approval, either as locator or as tenant or sub-lessee must be accorded by CDC.
CDC is clearly remiss in this case. Since it is CDC that approves both locator and business applications, it is assumed that its procedures must adequately vet and screen applicants for requirements, eligibilities and qualifications. It is remiss both in the area of allowing illegal online gaming in its area of jurisdiction and also in allowing illegal aliens to stay and operate businesses – especially illegal ones - in its premises.
This leads many of us to wonder: are they being protected by someone or some group within CDC? Why are the Bureau of Immigration, Philippine National Police or the National Bureau of Investigation not running after these illegal aliens and their illegal operations? These are tough questions that CDC, BI, PNP and NBI need to satisfactorily answer. We understand that these activities have been flourishing since the early days of Aquino’s hypocritical daang matuwid administration. Someone must be making something quite lucrative out of these illegal operations.
A research team from an anti-crime and corruption group recently made some investigations and found that the illegal gaming operations are two-fold in nature: First, there those operations conducted by illegal aliens without the cover of any authority or properly government issued license; and Second, there are other operations conducted by illegal aliens under “legal cover” of PAGCOR issued casino licenses.
There have been persistent reports on the proliferation of illegal online gambling activities at the Clark Freeport Zone. According to reliable sources these activities involve online casino-type gambling operations which are reportedly being run by aliens who come to the country as tourists and temporary visitors, but soon violate the terms of their temporary stay by unlawfully engaging in business – in this case, illegal gambling - activities.
What is strange is that these activities are happening right under the very noses of Clark Development Corporation authorities in the supposedly strictly monitored economic zone. And this, notwithstanding the fact that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte himself gave specific instructions during his first official cabinet meeting last June 30, 2016 to immediately stop the proliferation of these illegal online casino-type operations. Worse, these illegal activities are perpetrated by illegal aliens who brazenly abuse the warm hospitality of our country and thumb their noses at our government.

* "Philippines wants mandatory drug tests for college admissions" (2016-09-02, Reuters Newswire) []


research from the Committee for the Study of

* "Officer’s ’66 killing of black teen sparked Hunters Point riots" (2016-09-16, [], photo caption: California National Guardsmen with bayonets hold two men at bay during the Hunters Point riots in September 1966.


* "The long history of the U.S. interfering with elections elsewhere" (2016-10-13, [] [begin excerpt]:
While the days of its worst behavior are long behind it, the United States does have a well-documented history of interfering and sometimes interrupting the workings of democracies elsewhere []. It has occupied and intervened militarily in a whole swath of countries in the Caribbean and Latin America and fomented coups against democratically elected populists [].
The most infamous episodes include the ousting of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 — whose government was replaced by an authoritarian monarchy favorable to Washington []— the removal and assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba in 1961, and the violent toppling of socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende, whose government was swept aside in 1973 by a military coup led by the ruthless Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
For decades, these actions were considered imperatives of the Cold War, part of a global struggle against the Soviet Union and its supposed leftist proxies. Its key participants included scheming diplomats like John Foster Dulles [] and Henry Kissinger, who advocated aggressive, covert policies to stanch the supposedly expanding threat of communism. Sometimes that agenda also explicitly converged with the interests of U.S. business: In 1954, Washington unseated Guatemala's left-wing president, Jacobo Arbenz, who had had the temerity to challenge the vast control of the United Fruit Co., a U.S. corporation, with agrarian laws that would be fairer to Guatemalan farmers. The CIA went on to install and back a series of right-wing dictatorships that brutalized the impoverished nation for almost half a century.
A young Che Guevara, who happened to be traveling through Guatemala in 1954, was deeply affected by Arbenz's overthrow. He later wrote to his mother that the events prompted him to leave “the path of reason” and would ground his conviction in the need for radical revolution over gradual political reform.
Aside from its instigation of coups and alliances with right-wing juntas, Washington sought to more subtly influence elections in all corners of the world. And so did Moscow. Political scientist Dov Levin calculates [] that the “two powers intervened in 117 elections around the world from 1946 to 2000 — an average of once in every nine competitive elections.”
In the late 1940s, the newly established CIA cut its teeth in Western Europe, pushing back against some of the continent's most influential leftist parties and labor unions. In 1948, the United States propped up Italy's centrist Christian Democrats and helped ensure their electoral victory against a leftist coalition, anchored by one of the most powerful communist parties in Europe. CIA operatives gave millions of dollars to their Italian allies [] and helped orchestrate what was then an unprecedented, clandestine propaganda campaign []: This included forging documents to besmirch communist leaders via fabricated sex scandals, starting a mass letter-writing campaign from Italian Americans to their compatriots, and spreading hysteria about a Russian takeover and the undermining of the Catholic Church.
“We had bags of money that we delivered to selected politicians, to defray their political expenses, their campaign expenses, for posters, for pamphlets,” recounted F. Mark Wyatt [], the CIA officer who handled the mission and later participated in more than 2½ decades of direct support to the Christian Democrats.
This template spread everywhere []: CIA operative Edward G. Lansdale, notorious for his efforts to bring down the North Vietnamese government, is said to have run the successful 1953 campaign of Philippines President Ramon Magsaysay. Japan's center-right Liberal Democratic Party was backed with secret American funds through the 1950s and the 1960s. The U.S. government and American oil corporations helped Christian parties in Lebanon win crucial elections in 1957 with briefcases full of cash.
In Chile, the United States prevented Allende from winning an election in 1964. “A total of nearly four million dollars was spent on some fifteen covert action projects, ranging from organizing slum dwellers to passing funds to political parties,” detailed a Senate inquiry in the mid-1970s [] that started to expose the role of the CIA in overseas elections. When it couldn't defeat Allende at the ballot box in 1970, Washington decided to remove him anyway.
“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people,” Kissinger is said to have quipped. Pinochet's regime presided over years of torture, disappearances and targeted assassinations. (In a recent op-ed, Chilean-American novelist Ariel Dorfman called on Hillary Clinton [] to repudiate Kissinger if she wins the presidential election.)
After the end of the Cold War, the United States has largely brought its covert actions into the open with organizations like the more benign National Endowment for Democracy, which seeks to bolster civil society and democratic institutions around the world through grants and other assistance. Still, U.S. critics see the American hand in a range of more recent elections, from Honduras to Venezuela to Ukraine. [end excerpt]

* "CIA files reveal US ties with Argentina during ‘Dirty War’ despite knowledge of human rights abuses" (2016-12-17, []: Newly declassified files including documents from the CIA and the US Secretary of State reveal details of targets for “liquidation” during Operation Condor in Argentina, and provide insight into US relations with Argentina’s former military dictatorship.
Some 500 pages of documents have been released by the US government as part of the Argentina Declassification Project [] to shed light on human rights abuses in Argentina during the period of the so-called “Dirty War” by military dictatorships from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.
During a visit to Argentina in March, President Obama announced on the 40th anniversary of the military coup that his administration would declassify documents from its military and intelligence services relating to Argentina’s 1976-83 military dictatorship.
More than 4,000 State Department Cables and other documents were released by the US government in 2002, however this is the first time that CIA or FBI documents relating to the matter have been published.
The first round of declassified documents, made up of 1,000 records, were released in August 2016. This second, smaller, tranche has been described as “much more substantial” [] by National Security Archive director Carlos Osorio [].
More documents will be released next year, and will include previously withheld information from the Department of State’s 2002 declassification project as well as the publication of the 1977-1981 Foreign Relations of the United States South America volume.
The Argentine military seized power in 1976 during a coup d’etat and waged what was known as the “Dirty War” until 1983. During this time, it participated in Operation Condor along with military dictatorships in Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay and Brazil in a coordinated campaign to eradicate communist influence and suppress those opposed to the right-wing governments.
Thousands of left-wing activists were kidnapped and killed in the South American countries – the exact number is unclear due to the clandestine nature of the program.
These newly released documents reveal how much the US actually knew about the campaign of state terrorism being carried out, as well as greater details of Operation Condor and its targets.

Amnesty International officials among overseas ‘liquidation’ targets -
A CIA report from 1977 [] reveals that Amnesty International and other human rights groups were targeted in multinational efforts to “liquidate” opponents of the regimes.
Overseas missions were planned for Paris and London with the aim of “liquidating top level terrorist leaders.”
“Non-terrorists also were reportedly candidates for assassination, Uruguayan opposition politician Wilson Ferreira Aldunate, if he should travel to Europe, and some leaders of Amnesty International were mentioned as targets.”
The CIA also wrote that an inside source revealed “a training course was held in Buenos Aires for the team heading overseas,” and that one possibility was to send a team of Condor leaders to London, disguised as businessmen, to monitor “suspicious” activities in Europe.
An earlier document from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research dated July 22, 1976 [], reported the Southern Cone nations had agreed  "to undertake the liquidation of Latin American" targets "living in France."

Torture methods -
A National Security Council memorandum sent to President Jimmy Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, in August 1978 [] revealed details of the torture of Alfredo Bravo, the president of Argentina’s Permanent Assembly for Human Rights.
Bravo was "subjected to a bucket treatment where his feet were held in a bucket of ice water until thoroughly chilled and then shoved into a bucket of boiling water." He was also given electrical shocks and was held underwater until he almost drowned.
A 1978 Department of State report from the US Embassy in Buenos Aires [] revealed more details of the serious mistreatment of prisoners as well as reports on a new drug being used on supposed terrorists and subversives “selected for elimination.”
The embassy wrote that a reliable source told them that a powerful anesthetic, ketalar, was being “administered in an intramuscular injection to the prisoner as a preventative health measure,” resulting in the rapid loss of consciousness. The source claimed the subjects were then disposed of in rivers or the ocean.
An Argentine naval officer, Adolfo Scilingo, who was convicted of crimes against humanity for his role in the dictatorship testified in 2005 that up to 2,000 people were killed during weekly “death flights” carried out in 1977 and 1978.

US loans to Argentina -
The US went back on its decision not to finance equipment exports for the Yacreta Dam project due to human rights concerns in light of apparent concerns that Argentina would look to Moscow for financial assistance.
A “Top Secret” President’s Daily Brief from July 19, 1978 [] concluded that "Argentine willingness to turn to the Communists on economic grounds is likely to increase if the US Congress denies supplier credits through the Export-Import Bank of approximately $800 million for US exports to Argentina."
In September 1978, Vice President Walter Mondale and Junta head Rafael Videla agreed that the EXIM Bank loans would go ahead and in exchange the Argentines would allow the Interamerican Human Rights Commission to visit in 1979.

US interests and relations with Argentina -
The newly-released files show the US was well-informed on human rights abuses taking place – but were also mindful of their own interests in Argentina.
The US interests listed in a Department of State record includes nuclear non-proliferation (stating that Argentina had the most advanced nuclear weapons prospects in the region) and petroleum (noting Argentina was estimated to hold more than double the existing proved reserves in the western hemisphere).
A profile on the then Argentinian Minister for Economy Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz recognized him as “a friend and admirer of the United States.”
“He is honest and straightforward. He has an attractive and unassuming manner and is an excellent public speaker,” states the document from February 1977.
It also reveals that he visited the US in June 1976 on a financial mission and met with then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and then-Treasury Secretary William Simon.
It has long been alleged that Kissinger backed Operation Condor. Previously released cables showed that Kissinger told his ambassadors not to confront the military governments over the assassinations and torture.
Martínez de Hoz died at his home under arrest, accused of human rights abuses in 2013 []. He was the first civilian government official to be held for abuses committed during the dictatorship but never expressed any remorse and denied the accusations.
Another document marked as “top secret sensitive” reported that shortly after the Chilean Secret Service (DINA) was established in early 1974, "Director [Manuel] Contreras came to the United States to seek American assistance." The subsequent lines have been redacted.
In May 2016, former Argentine junta leader Reynaldo Bignone was sentenced to 20 years in prison for crimes committed under Operation Condor. Fourteen other military officers were found guilty by a court in Argentina after a three-year trial.

* "OPERATION CONDOR: Officials of Amnesty International Targeted for 'Liquidation' ; Repression in Argentina: Obama Administration Declassifies Top Secret Intelligence Files; New Documents Shed Light on OPERATION CONDOR, planned missions in Europe" (2016-12-14, []:
Operation Condor, the trans-border, multinational effort by Southern Cone secret police services to track down and “liquidate” opponents of their regimes in the 1970s, targeted officials of Amnesty International as well as other human rights groups, and planned overseas missions in Paris and London, according to a comprehensive CIA report on Condor operations just released by the Obama administration. “The basic mission of Condor teams to be sent overseas,” according to the CIA, was “to liquidate top-level terrorist leaders. Non-terrorists also were reportedly candidates for assassination,” the CIA reported in May 1977, and “some leaders of Amnesty Internation[al] were mentioned as targets.”
The secret CIA report is included among more than 500 pages of documents on repression during the military dictatorship in Argentina declassified by the Obama administration this week as part of a commitment made by the president in March 2016 when he visited Buenos Aires on the 40th anniversary of the military coup. “I believe we have a responsibility to confront the past with honesty and transparency,” Obama stated then.
The CIA’s sources inside Condor reported that “a training course was held in Buenos Aires for the team heading overseas,” and that “Condor leaders were considering the dispatch of a team to London—disguised as businessmen—to monitor ‘suspicious’ activities in Europe.” According to the CIA, “Another proposal under study included the collection of material on the membership, location, and political activities of human rights groups in order to identify and expose their socialist and Marxist connections. Similar data reportedly are to be collected on church and third-world groups.”
The National Security Archive today publishes a sample of six documents that attest to the richness of the information contained in intelligence records and the extraordinary openness of the reviewers to contributing to the clarification of the history of human rights violations in Argentina. The records are part of a second tranche of intelligence and presidential records posted on the website of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The administration posted an initial set of documents on Argentina, drawn from the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, on August 8, 2016.  As more records are processed for declassification, several more releases are planned for 2017, after Obama leaves office.
“With the release of this revealing documentation, President Obama has advanced the cause of human rights in Argentina and elsewhere,” said Carlos Osorio, who directs the Southern Cone documentation project at the National Security Archive and has actively supported the administration’s special declassification project. “This gesture of declassification diplomacy,” Osorio noted, “will be part of the legacy of Obama’s presidency.”
In another TOP SECRET/EXDIS/CODEWORD Condor document declassified this week and posted today, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research reported that “six Southern Cone nations," all “participants in a counterterrorist network codenamed ‘Condor’,” have agreed “to undertake the liquidation of Latin American” targets “living in France.”
Also in today’s posting, an unusually emotional NSC memorandum summarizes the torture of Alfredo Bravo, the president of Argentina’s Permanent Assembly for Human Rights. President Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the recipient of the document, wrote in the margin: “a compelling, powerful report.”
Photostat: Head of the Argentine Military Junta, General Rafael Videla, in 1977.

- Document 1 []:
Department of State, "INR AFTERNOON SUMMARY," Top Secret, July 22, 1976
Source: President Obama Argentina Declassification Project [Tranche II]
This TOP SECRET/ EXDIS/ CODEWORD document by the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research reported that six Southern Cone nations which were "participants in a counterterrorist network codenamed 'Condor'" have agreed "to undertake the liquidation of Latin American" targets "living in France."

- Document 2 []:
CIA, Report, "Counterterrorism in the Southern Cone," Secret, May 9, 1977
Source: President Obama Argentina Declassification Project [Tranche II]
According to this comprehensive CIA report, "The basic mission of Condor teams to be sent overseas, [was]... to liquidate top-level terrorist leaders. Non-terrorists also were reportedly candidates for assassination," and "some leaders of Amnesty Internation[al] were mentioned as targets." Operation Condor, the trans-border, multinational effort by Southern Cone secret police services to track down and "liquidate" opponents of their regimes in the 1970s, did in fact target officials of Amnesty International as well as human rights groups, and planned overseas missions in Paris and London.

- Document 3 []:
CIA, President's Daily Brief, "Argentina: New Foreign Policy Directions," Top Secret, July 19, 1978
Source: President Obama Argentina Declassification Project [Tranche II]
In this "Top Secret" President's Daily Brief, the CIA highlights how the Argentine military "are seeking to strengthen its ties with France, and several Communists and Arab countries." The military junta has felt encircled by the Department of State's, and in particular Assistant Secretary of State Patt Derian's, strong stance in condemning the dictatorship's human rights abuses. At this point the Department is withholding hundreds of millions of dollars in EXIM Bank loans that would be used to buy U.S. turbines for an Argentine Navy subsidiary project to build the Yacyreta dam. In addition, Washington is making the signing of the Tlatelolco nonproliferation treaty a condition for sharing nuclear technology with Argentina. By law, military sales and training will stop by the end of the year.
However, the French have indicated their willingness to provide weapons and training and, for its part, "Moscow has expressed strong interest in providing turbines" for the dam project. The document concludes that "... Argentine willingness to turn to the Communists on economic grounds is likely to increase if the U.S. Congress denies supplier credits through the Export-Import Bank of approximately $800 million for U.S. exports to Argentina." In September, 1978, Vice President Walter Mondale and Junta head Rafael Videla agree that the EXIM Bank loans will move forward and in exchange the Argentines will allow the Interamerican Human Rights Commission to visit in 1979.

- Document 4 []:
National Security Council, Memorandum, "Human Rights in Argentina," Confidential, August 28, 1978
Source: President Obama Argentina Declassification Project [Tranche II]
This is a National Security Council summary of the torture of Alfredo Bravo, president of Argentina's Permanent Assembly for Human Rights. The report was sent in August 1978 to President Carter's national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, by his top aide for Latin America, Robert Pastor, who detailed the atrocities the military had committed against Bravo. Pastor reported that Bravo was "subjected to a bucket treatment where his feet were held in a bucket of ice water until thoroughly chilled and then shoved into a bucket of boiling water." Bravo had also been subjected to electrical shocks and "to 'the submarine'-repeatedly being held under water until almost drowned." In a handwritten note in the margin, Brzezinski wrote: "a compelling, powerful report."

- Document 5 []:
Senate Subcommittee on International Operations, Report, "Activities of Certain Foreign Intelligence Agencies in the United States," Top Secret, January 18, 1979
Source: President Obama Argentina Declassification Project [Tranche II]
This Top Secret Sensitive report of the Staff of the Subcommittee on International Operations of the U.S. Senate provides a review of the Chilean secret service's (DINA's) activities in the United States. Officially declassified for the first time by the Obama administration, the report reveals that "Shortly after DINA was established, Director [Manuel] Contreras came to the United States to seek American assistance ..." But the next 6 lines have been excised.
According to the report, DINA "officers have visited the United States using false identification and their activities were not known." Noting DINA's membership in Operation Condor, the report continues: "This service maintains close liaison with the German Nazi colony of La Dignidad in Southern Chile which makes its substantial resources available."

Document 6 []:
CIA, Latin America Review, "Argentina Grappling with Intelligence Reform," Secret, September 12, 1986
Source: President Obama Argentina Declassification Project [Tranche II]
This secret CIA Latin America Review takes a look into one of the conundrums faced by democratically elected Argentine President Raul Alfonsin to strengthen the democratic process itself. The issue at hand is control over the intelligence community comprised of the presidential intelligence agency SIDE (Secretaria de Inteligencia del Estado), military intelligence SIE, Navy and Air Force intelligence, and border patrol, coast guard, and Federal Police intelligence. "Testimony from ongoing military trials indicates that all the services committed human rights abuses during the 'dirty war' against terrorism..."
The document goes on to state that "Alfonsin began several reforms, but military resistance to change and a lack of capable intelligence officials loyal to the government have hampered these initiatives." For instance, after the Argentine president replaced some higher-ups in the powerful SIDE with civilians, the CIA indicates that "These moves, in our view, enhanced Alfonsin's control over SIDE, but did so at the cost of the service's professionalism."

* "In Honduras, a Spiritual and Political Awakening for Tim Kaine" (2016-09-02, [] [begin excerpt]: In September 1980, as violence and civil war erupted throughout Central America, a quiet American left Harvard Law School to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in northern Honduras.
Around him, the United States-backed military dictatorship hunted Marxists and cracked down on the Catholic clergy for preaching empowerment to peasant farmers. But some locals also looked warily on the bearded and mop-haired Midwesterner in their midst.
Just a few hours south, the Central Intelligence Agency was using Honduras as a staging ground in its covert war against Latin American communism, with right-wing forces training for operations in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
“Some of the people were wondering what’s going on, who is this guy?” Tim Kaine, then a 22-year-old volunteer and now the Democratic nominee for vice president, said in an interview. He understood why. His mentors in the priesthood had also urged him to be wary of friendly American faces.
Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story
“It was a time of such intrigue and suspicion,” Mr. Kaine said. [end excerpt]

* "William Walker (filibuster)" (retrieved 2016-12-16, [], refer to link for footnotes, [begin excerpt]: William Walker (May 8, 1824 – September 12, 1860) was an American physician, lawyer, journalist and mercenary who organized several private military expeditions into Latin America, with the intention of establishing English-speaking colonies under his personal control, an enterprise then known as "filibustering." Walker usurped the presidency of the Republic of Nicaragua in 1856 and ruled until 1857, when he was defeated by a coalition of Central American armies. He was executed by the government of Honduras in 1860. [...]
Expedition to Mexico -
In the summer of 1853, Walker traveled to Guaymas, seeking a grant from the government of Mexico to create a colony, using the pretext that it would serve as a fortified frontier, protecting US soil from Indian raids. Mexico refused, and Walker returned to San Francisco determined to obtain his colony, regardless of Mexico's position. He began recruiting from amongst American supporters of slavery and the Manifest Destiny Doctrine, mostly inhabitants of Kentucky and Tennessee. His intentions then changed from forming a buffer colony to establishing an independent Republic of Sonora, which might eventually take its place as a part of the American Union (as had been the case previously with the Republic of Texas). He funded his project by "selling scrips which were redeemable in lands of Sonora."[2]
On October 15, 1853, Walker set out with 45 men to conquer the Mexican territories of Baja California Territory and Sonora State. He succeeded in capturing La Paz, the capital of sparsely populated Baja California, which he declared the capital of a new Republic of Lower California, with himself as president and his partner, Watkins, as vice president; he then put the region under the laws of the American state of Louisiana, which made slavery legal. Fearful of attacks by Mexico, Walker moved his headquarters twice over the next three months, first to Cabo San Lucas, and then further north to Ensenada to maintain a more secure position of operations, because he lost to General Manuel Márquez de León. Although he never gained control of Sonora, less than three months later, he pronounced Baja California part of the larger Republic of Sonora.[2] Lack of supplies and strong resistance by the Mexican government quickly forced Walker to retreat.
Back in California, he was put on trial for conducting an illegal war, in violation of the Neutrality Act of 1794. Nevertheless, in the era of Manifest Destiny, his filibustering project was popular in the southern and western United States and the jury took eight minutes to acquit him.[7][8]
Conquest of Nicaragua -
Since there was no inter-oceanic route joining the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the time, and the transcontinental railway had not been completed, a major trade route between New York City and San Francisco ran through southern Nicaragua. Ships from New York entered the San Juan River from the Atlantic and sailed across Lake Nicaragua. People and goods were then transported by stagecoach over a narrow strip of land near the city of Rivas, before reaching the Pacific and being shipped to San Francisco. The commercial exploitation of this route had been granted by Nicaragua to the Accessory Transit Company, controlled by shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt (see also Nicaragua Canal).[9]
In 1854, a civil war erupted in Nicaragua between the Legitimist Party (also called the Conservative Party), based in the city of Granada, and the Democratic Party (also called the Liberal Party), based in León. The Democratic Party sought military support from Walker who, to circumvent U.S. neutrality laws, obtained a contract from Democratic president Francisco Castellón to bring as many as three hundred colonists to Nicaragua. These mercenaries received the right to bear arms in the service of the Democratic government. Walker sailed from San Francisco on May 3, 1855, with approximately 60 men. Upon landing, the force was reinforced by 110 locals.[10][11] Within Walker's expeditionary force was the well-known explorer and journalist Charles Wilkins Webber as well as the English adventurer Charles Frederick Henningsen, a veteran of the First Carlist War, the Hungarian Revolution, and the war in Circassia.[12]
With Castellón's consent, Walker attacked the Legitimists in the town of Rivas, near the trans-isthmian route. He was driven off, but not without inflicting heavy casualties. On September 4, during the Battle of La Virgen, Walker defeated the Legitimist army. On October 13, he conquered the Legitimist capital of Granada and took effective control of the country. Initially, as commander of the army, Walker ruled Nicaragua through provisional President Patricio Rivas.[13] U.S. President Franklin Pierce recognized Walker's regime as the legitimate government of Nicaragua on May 20, 1856.[14] Walker's first ambassadorial appointment, Colonel Parker H. French, was refused recognition.[15]
Meanwhile, C. K. Garrison and Charles Morgan, subordinates of Cornelius Vanderbilt's Accessory Transit Company, provided financial and logistic assistance to the filibusters in exchange for Walker, as ruler of Nicaragua, seizing the Company's property (on the pretext of a charter violation) and turning it over to Garrison and Morgan. Outraged, Vanderbilt dispatched two secret agents to the Costa Rican government with detailed plans on how to deal a death blow to the filibusters. They would help regain control of Vanderbilt's steamboats which had become a logistical lifeline for Walker's army.[16]
Walker had also scared his neighbors and potential American and European investors with talk of further military conquests in Central America. Juan Rafael Mora, President of Costa Rica, rejected Walker's diplomatic overtures and instead declared war on his regime, the Campaign of 1856–57. Walker organized a battalion of four companies, of which one was composed by Germans, a second by Frenchmen and the other two by Americans totaling 240 men placed under the command of Colonel Schlessinger to invade Costa Rica in a preemptive action, but this advance force was defeated at the Battle of Santa Rosa in March 20, 1856. In April 1856, Costa Rican troops entered into Nicaraguan territory and inflicted a defeat on Walker's men at the Second Battle of Rivas, in which Juan Santamaría, later to be recognized as one of Costa Rica's national heroes, played a key role.[17]
- Flag of Nicaragua (Government of William Walker)

From the north, President José Santos Guardiola sent Honduran troops who went side by side with Salvadoran troops to fight William Walker under the leadership of the Xatruch brothers. Florencio Xatruch was named General-in-Chief of the Allied Armies of Central America. He also led the combat against the filibusters in la Puebla, Rivas. Later, for political reasons, Juan Rafael Mora was left in charge. Several Central American countries recognized Xatruch as Brigade and Division General. On June 12, 1857, Xatruch made a triumphant entrance to Comayagua, which was then the capital of Honduras, after Walker surrendered. The nickname by which Hondurans are known popularly still today, Catracho, and the more infamous nickname Salvadorans are known today, Salvatrucho are derived from Xatruch's figure and successful campaign as leader of the Allied Armies of Central America, as the troops of El Salvador and Honduras were national heroes, that played a key role, fighting side by side as Central American brothers against William Walker's troops. As the general and his soldiers returned from battle, some Nicaraguans affectionately yelled out "¡Vienen los xatruches!;" meaning, Here come Xatruch's boys! Nevertheless, Nicaraguans had so much trouble pronouncing the general's last name (a Catalan last name) that they altered the phrase to "los catruches" and ultimately settled on "los catrachos."[18]
- Illustration caption: Residence of Gen. William Walker, Granada

Walker took up residence in Granada and set himself up as President of Nicaragua, after conducting a fraudulent election. He was inaugurated on July 12, 1856, and soon launched an Americanization program, reinstating slavery, declaring English an official language and reorganizing currency and fiscal policy to encourage immigration from the United States. Realizing that his position was becoming precarious, he sought support from the Southerners in the U.S. by recasting his campaign as a fight to spread the institution of black slavery, which many American Southern businessmen saw as the basis of their agrarian economy. With this in mind, Walker revoked Nicaragua's emancipation edict of 1824. This move did increase Walker's popularity in the South and attracted the attention of Pierre Soulé, an influential New Orleans politician, who campaigned to raise support for Walker's war. Nevertheless, Walker's army, weakened by an epidemic of cholera and massive defections, was no match for the Central American coalition.
On October 12, 1856, Guatemalan Colonel José Víctor Zavala performed an incredible act of courage: he crossed the square of the city to the house where Walker soldiers took shelter; under heavy fire, he made it to the enemy's flag and carried it back with him shouting to his men that the filibuster bullets did not kill.[19] On December 14, 1856, as Granada was surrounded by 4,000 Honduran, Salvadoran and Guatemalan troops, Charles Frederick Henningsen, one of Walker's generals, ordered his men to set the city ablaze before escaping and fighting their way to Lake Nicaragua. An inscription on a lance reading Aquí fue Granada ("Here was Granada") was left behind at the smoking ruin of the ancient capital city.[20]
On May 1, 1857, Walker surrendered to Commander Charles Henry Davis of the United States Navy under the pressure of the Central American armies, and was repatriated. Upon disembarking in New York City, he was greeted as a hero, but he alienated public opinion when he blamed his defeat on the U.S. Navy. Within six months, he set off on another expedition, but he was arrested by the U.S. Navy Home Squadron under the command of Commodore Hiram Paulding and once again returned to the U.S. amid considerable public controversy over the legality of the Navy's actions.[21]
Death in Honduras -
After writing an account of his Central American campaign (published in 1860 as War in Nicaragua), Walker once again returned to the region. British colonists in Roatán, in the Bay Islands, fearing that the government of Honduras would move to assert its control over them, approached Walker with an offer to help him in establishing a separate, English-speaking government over the islands. Walker disembarked in the port city of Trujillo, but soon fell into the custody of Commander Nowell Salmon (later Admiral Sir Nowell Salmon) of the British Royal Navy. The British government controlled the neighboring regions of British Honduras (now Belize) and the Mosquito Coast (now part of Nicaragua) and had considerable strategic and economic interest in the construction of an inter-oceanic canal through Central America. It therefore regarded Walker as a menace to its own affairs in the region.[22]
Rather than return him to the US, for reasons that remain unclear, Salmon sailed to Trujillo and delivered Walker to the Honduran authorities, together with his chief of staff, Colonel A. F. Rudler. Rudler was sentenced to 4 years in the mines, but Walker was sentenced to death, and executed by firing squad, near the site of the present-day hospital, on September 12, 1860.[23] Walker was 36 years old. He is buried in the Old Cemetery, in Trujillo.
Influence and reputation -
William Walker convinced many Southerners of the desirability of creating a slave-holding empire in tropical Latin America. In 1861, when U.S. Senator John J. Crittenden proposed that the 36°30' parallel north be declared as a line of demarcation between free and slave territories, some Republicans denounced such an arrangement, saying that it "would amount to a perpetual covenant of war against every people, tribe, and State owning a foot of land between here and Tierra del Fuego."[24]
Before the end of the American Civil War, Walker's memory enjoyed great popularity in the southern and western United States, where he was known as "General Walker" and as the "grey-eyed man of destiny." Northerners, on the other hand, generally regarded him as a pirate. Despite his intelligence and personal charm, Walker consistently proved to be a limited military and political leader. Unlike men of similar ambition, such as Cecil Rhodes, Walker's grandiose scheming ultimately failed.
In Central American countries, the successful military campaign of 1856–57 against William Walker became a source of national pride and identity, and it was later promoted by local historians and politicians as substitute for the war of independence that Central America had not experienced. April 11 is a Costa Rican national holiday in memory of Walker's defeat at Rivas. Juan Santamaría, who played a key role in that battle, is honored as one of the two Costa Rican national heroes, the other one being Juan Rafael Mora himself. [end excerpt]

* "SS Central America" (retrieved 2016-12-16, [] [begin excerpt]: SS Central America, known as the Ship of Gold, was a 280-foot (85 m) sidewheel steamer that operated between Central America and the eastern coast of the United States during the 1850s. She was originally named the SS George Law, after Mr. George Law of New York. The ship sank in a hurricane in September 1857, along with more than 420 passengers and crew and 30,000 pounds (14,000 kg) of gold, contributing to the Panic of 1857. [...]
In the immediate aftermath of the sinking, greatest attention was paid to the loss of life, which was described as "appalling" and as having "no parallel" among American navigation disasters.[2] At the time of her sinking, Central America carried gold then valued at approximately US$2,000,000 (modern monetarily equivalent to US$292,000,000, assuming a gold value of $1,000/troy ounce). The loss shook public confidence in the economy, and contributed to the Panic of 1857 []. [...]
The valuation of the ship itself was substantially less than those lost in other disasters of the period, being US$140,000 (equivalent to $3,561,500 today).
Commander William Lewis Herndon, a distinguished officer who had served during the Mexican–American War and explored the Amazon Valley, was captain of Central America. Commander Herndon went down with his ship. Two US Navy ships were later named USS Herndon in his honor, as was the town of Herndon, Virginia. Two years after the sinking, his daughter Ellen married Chester Alan Arthur, later the 21st President of the United States. [end excerpt]
* "US treasure hunter kept in jail until he tells police where he hid 3 tons of gold" (2016-12-16, [] [begin excerpt]: The gold in question came from the SS Central America, which sank to the bottom of the sea during a hurricane in 1857, where it remained for 130 years. Along with at least three tons of California gold it took with it to the sea floor, 425 people also died.
At the time of recovering the gold, Thompson was an engineer from Columbus, Ohio who built an underwater robot capable of diving 8,000ft to pull up the treasure.
His crew was able to recover rare 19th century coins, the ship’s bell and “gold bars… 15 times bigger than the largest California gold bar previously known to exist,” according to the Chicago Tribune []. [end excerpt]

* " ‘It was a mistake, Iraq was better under Saddam’s hand’ reveals CIA Officer who interrogated him" (2016-12-17, []
* (2016-12-17, Matt Florence): After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait there was a 15 year old girl called Nayirah who claimed that Iraqi soldiers were killing babies by throwing them out of their incubators. It was only once the USA invaded Iraq that the baby killing story was exposed to be fake and Nayirah received support via a public relations corporation called Hill & Knowlton. It also turned out she was related to the Kuwait royal family and was an ambassador's daughter. Watch a news video about her here [].
Remember this story when you read news about Syria. Remember the stories about WMD in Iraq. Remember accusations that Libya used airstrikes against unarmed protesters. Remember fake accusations that Libyan soldiers were given Viagra to rape people with. Remember when the BBC in 2013 digitally edited audio its own reports to include the words "chemical weapon".
The BBC in August 2013 ran a report of a weapons attack in Syria. In September of the same year the BBC ran the same report but digitally edited the audio from their report from "napalm" to "chemical weapon". Not only this but Dr Rola who made the allegations and was in the original report was discovered to be the daughter of famous Syrian rebel supporter Mousa Al-Kurdi.
The BBC received a ton of complaints from people who noticed and George Galloway was invited into RT to talk about it, watch the report video: [].

* "Unhappy Russians nostalgic for Soviet-style rule – study; Former states under Soviet Union from Estonia to Mongolia also covered by findings that ‘happiness gap’ between eastern and western Europe persists" (2016-12-14, []

* (2016-12-17, Gunnar Angeles) []: "In the first months after the proletariat in Russia had won political power (October 25 [November 7], 1917), it might have seemed that the enormous difference between backward Russia and the advanced countries of Western Europe would lead to the proletarian revolution in the latter countries bearing very little resemblance to ours. We now possess quite considerable international experience, which shows very definitely that certain fundamental features of our revolution have a significance that is not local, or peculiarly national, or Russian alone, but international. I am not speaking here of international significance in the broad sense of the term: not merely several but all the primary features of our revolution, and many of its secondary features, are of international significance in the meaning of its effect: on all countries. I am speaking of it in the narrowest sense of the word, taking international significance to mean the international validity or the historical inevitability of a repetition, on an international scale, of what has taken place in our country. It must be admitted that certain fundamental features of our revolution do possess that significance." - V. I. Lenin, from " 'Left-Wing' Communism: an Infantile Disorder" [].


* (2016-12-16) []: More crocodile tears and petty moralizing over Nazi collaborators.


* "When the Chinese Stole a Soviet Tank, They Nearly Went Nuclear!" (2016-06-29, []

Most people believe the world narrowly avoided nuclear catastrophe during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Though correct, that wasn’t the end of it. In 1969, the world stood on the brink of yet another atomic disaster because the Russians and the Chinese screwed up in 1892.
That was the year the Russian Empire and the Qing Dynasty agreed to recognize the Sarikol Range as the dividing line between them. Unfortunately, they never demarcated exactly where China ended and where Russia began.
In 1900, Russia signed the Treaty of Beijing which gave them Outer Manchuria and other Chinese lands. When both countries became communist, their nagging border dispute was swept under the rug, especially since China needed Russian technological expertise.
Illustration: Artist Ge Wei’s Sino-Soviet propaganda poster from 1962. The characters read: “The Chinese-Russian friendship will last forever.”

At least till Nikita Kruschev ruined it. In February 1956, he hosted the 20th Congress of the Communist Party and denounced Joseph Stalin as a monster, demanding reforms.
Mao Zedong, China’s head honcho, was shocked. He thought of Stalin as a comrade-in-arms. Worse, he believed that Kruschev was also attacking him, for Mao felt that purges and summary executions were necessary for China’s transition from its feudalist past.
Then in 1958, Kruschev wanted to install long wave radio stations along China’s coast to help guide Soviet submarines. Mao was suspicious but agreed on the condition that China be given nuclear weapons. Kruschev balked, even though Chinese scientists had already received blueprints for an atomic bomb from their Russian counterparts.
The countdown had begun.
Photo: Mao (left) and Kruschev (right) together in 1958

When Kruschev visited the US in 1959, Mao accused him of sucking up to capitalists. Things came to a head in 1962 when China used the Cuban Missile Crisis as an opportunity to occupy India’s Aksai-Chin region, and the USSR sided with India. But when Kruschev pulled Soviet missiles out of Cuba, Mao had had enough, and the official friendship between the two nations ended.
In 1964, Mao claimed that the Treaty of Beijing had been unfair. He demanded a return of territories under Soviet control, including Zhenbao (Treasure) Island, which the Russians called Damanski.
To mitigate increasing tensions, Kruschev agreed to hand over Zhenbao and other lands, but Mao screwed it up a few months later. During a speech, he jokingly said that he’d present Russia with a bill for their occupation of Siberia, the Far East, and Kamchatka. Kruschev was furious, so he nullified his agreement with Mao.
Illustration: Artist Li Binghong's 1950 poster depicting Joseph Stalin and Mao together. The sign reads, "Sino-Soviet mutual aid to promote lasting world peace."

Chinese and Soviet troops began massing on the disputed border. Though technologically inferior to Russia, Mao was convinced that China’s superior numbers would far outweigh Russian technology. He was right.
When Arkady Nikolayevich Shevchenko (former Under Secretary General of the UN) defected to the US in 1978, he admitted that the USSR was terrified of China’s numbers. Shevchenko claimed that if Mao attacked, the Kremlin was going to launch nuclear missiles.
But Nikolai Vasilyevich Ogarkov, Marshal of the Soviet Union, cautioned against it. He knew they couldn’t nuke China without consequences to themselves. But while the Soviets thought of self-preservation, Mao did not.
Mao just couldn’t grasp how dangerous nuclear weapons really were, calling them “America’s Paper Tigers.” He was convinced that China’s vast size and numbers protected it from any possibility of nuclear annihilation. Still, he took no chances, so on October 16, 1964, China detonated its first atomic bomb in their test area.
Photo: Chinese border guard (on the right) waving Mao's "Red Book" in front of a Soviet border guard

Map: The Chinese proposal to redefine the Sino-Soviet border with Zhenbao (Damanskii) Island on the Chinese side. "中国" on the left is China, while "苏联" on the right is the Soviet Union.

Things only got worse from there. According to the official Chinese version, some of their civilians were attacked by Soviet troops in border regions. Others who peacefully protested illegal Soviet occupation were allegedly run over by Soviet tanks.
The Soviets claim that Chinese soldiers began haranguing Soviet border posts, some by waving Mao’s “Red Book” at their faces. To de-escalate tensions, Soviet border guards were ordered to use sticks to push Chinese nationals back across the border.
Photo: Soviets armed with sticks to minimize damage against the Chinese.

The Chinese retaliated by using longer sticks, resulting in ridiculous jousts. Later, they sent martial artists and wrestlers to the border, since neither side wanted outright war nor to lose face.
Photo: Soviets and Chinese using sticks against each other during the Sino-Soviet split.

It all came to a head on March 2nd, 1969. In supposed revenge of murdered Chinese civilians, members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) attacked Soviet border guards on Zhenbao Island – killing 59 and injuring 94. The Soviets counter-attacked on March 15th by shelling the PLA on the Chinese side of the Ussuri River.
To take Zhenbao back, they sent in four of their newest weapons – the still-secret T-62 tanks. As they crossed the narrow frozen river, one ran over a landmine. The other three didn’t bother turning. They simply reversed back to the Soviet side.
A PLA soldier approached the damaged tank, opened the hatch, and found himself staring at the barrel of a pistol held by an injured Russian. The man fired, but his gun jammed, allowing the Chinese soldier to throw a grenade in. The Chinese wanted to tow the tank away, but sniper fire from the Soviet side prevented that.
The following day, the Soviets returned to claim their dead, which the Chinese allowed. But when they tried to retrieve their tank, the Chinese fired, forcing them to retreat. On March 21st, the Soviets sent over a demolition team but were again beaten back by the Chinese.
With the Soviets gone, the Chinese navy was called in to help pull the tank onto the Chinese side. They arrived on March 28th, but were shelled, so the Chinese tried another tactic.
Using the tank and sniper fire as cover, engineers began dismantling the T-62. They were still at it on April 2nd when the ice began to melt. The Soviets took advantage of this by firing at the ice around the tank till it sank. Satisfied, they retreated.
They ignored the Chinese navy who continued their efforts to salvage the tank but whose suits were ill-equipped for the freezing temperatures, causing many to die of hypothermia. By April 29th, the Chinese pulled the rest out and sent it to a tank factory in Lyshuen.
Photo: The PLA capturing the T-62 tank.

But the Soviets hadn’t given up on their tank. In mid-May, a Chinese saboteur was caught near the factory with a bag full of explosives. Under questioning, he admitted to working for the Soviets who wanted him to destroy the factory and the T-62. He was executed, of course.
The tank didn’t turn the balance of power in China’s favor, but it accomplished something far more important. Mao realized that he couldn’t fight the Capitalist West and the Soviets at the same time, which led to a thaw in Chinese-US relations.
Only in 1991 was Zhenbao Island returned to China, but it was only in 2003 that the two nations finally delineated their borders.
Photo: A T-62 tank at the Museum of The History of Ukraine in WWII in Kiev, Ukraine.


* "Chinese imperial seal from 18th century sells for record $22mn" (2016-12-15, [] [begin excerpt]: The seal which was at the center of a heated battle between both bidders on the telephone and at the auction house, belonged to Chinese Emperor Qianlong who is believed to be the longest serving emperor in the country’s history.
Under Emperor Qianlong’s leadership, culture flourished in China and his long reign resulted in the Qing Empire reaching its most prosperous era, with the country's economy and population being boosted.
The sides of the seal are decorated with nine dragons that resemble the emperor’s authority and masculinity, the auction house told AFP.
Emperor Qianlong’s reign led to the increase of the population by around 400 million people as his territory expanded. It was only towards the end of his reign that the country began declining.
The Qing dynasty lasted until 1912.
A young naval doctor obtained the seal in China during the late 19th century and the item had remained in the same family’s possession ever since.
The officer had made frequent trips to China and created an impressive collection of artifacts from the region through his “taste, culture and the friendships he was able to build up over the years,” the auction house said. [end excerpt]


* "Revealed: how Britain tried to legitimise Batang Kali massacre; Diplomats introduced 'licence to kill' law over killing of 24 unarmed villagers in Malaysia, according to secret documents" (2012-05-06, [] [begin excerpt]: The Batang Kali massacre took place on 12 December 1948, as British troops carried out a counter-insurgency operation against Chinese Malayan communists. The shootings took place after a 16-man patrol group of Scots Guards surrounded a rubber estate at Sunga Rimoh by the Batang Kali river. The bodies of several unarmed villagers were reportedly mutilated and the village was burned to the ground.
An informal investigation of the incident, carried out in 1949, exonerated all the soldiers involved. But claims of a cover-up by families of the victims have ensured that the killings in the village of Batang Kali remain one of the most contentious in British colonial history.
Some have described the episode as "Britain's My Lai," a reference to the murders of Vietnamese villagers by US forces in Vietnam. The campaign for a thorough investigation into the incident will reach a climax in London this week when a court will finally rule on whether to open an official inquiry into the killings. Although some of the Scots Guardsmen are still alive, the victims' families are not seeking criminal prosecutions. [end excerpt]

* (2016-12-18, Boots Riley):
In the new Star Wars: Rogue One, we end up seeing a hero group of Rebels that somehow are dressed just like the US Army- complete with very familiar army propaganda scenes of those same rebels running across beaches etc. This uniform had not been in other visualizations of the Rebel Force.
Is this another example of the Pentagon's admitted program of getting Hollywood to infuse war propaganda into their films?
Either way, it's a 180 from the original intended symbolism of the story.
George Lucas's Star wars originally started out as a more radical version of Apocalypse Now.
The Rebels were the Viet Cong, the Empire was the US.
Lucas couldn't get his version of Apocalypse Now funded, so he turned it into a sci-fi story.
Maybe his intentions changed after the first movie, but this was the basis of the original story.
Other questions can be asked, with this information, about the effectiveness of certain kinds of art with radical intentions- but these are questions I've been asking all my life and won't go into here.
Don't get me wrong, Rogue One is a very well made movie, which I enjoyed- but it has a lethal dose of poison in it.
This is an excerpt from "The Conversations" [] - Michael Ondaatje talking to Walter Murch, who was the editor and sound designer for George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola since the 1960s. He also was part of their American Zoetrope collective, which originally had the intention of making politically radical films [begin excerpt]:
- O: Was Apocalypse Now a project the two of them thought up?
- M: No. Originally George Lucas was going to direct, so it was a project that George and John developed for Zoetrope. That was back in 1969. Then when Warner Bros. cancelled the financing for Zoetrope, the project was abandoned for a while. After the success of Merriam Graffiti in 1973, George wanted to revive it, but it was still too hot a topic. the war was still on, and nobody wanted to finance something like that. So George considered his options: What did he really want to say in Apocalypse Now? The message boiled down to the ability of a small group of people to defeat a gigantic power simply by the force of their convictions. And he decided, All right, if ifs politically too hot as a contemporary subject, I'll put the essence of the story in outer space and make it happen in a galaxy long ago and far away. The rebel group were the North Vietnamese, and the Empire was the United States. And if you have the force, no matter how small you are, you can defeat the overwhelmingly big power. Star Wars is George's transubstantiated version of Apocalypse Now. [end excerpt]


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