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Purveyor

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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,377

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I'm ratcheting up my prediction that we won't be voting for either of the

current 'presumptive' candidates come Nov.

Russia’s Putin hosts Israel's Netanyahu for Syria talks

Source: Associated Press

The Associated Press, Moscow Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Russia and Israel will expand their cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

Putin spoke after hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow for talks that focused on boosting bilateral ties and trying to resolve the situation in Syria.

"We talked about the need to take joint efforts to confront international terrorism," Putin said at a news conference. "We undoubtedly are allies in that area, and our countries have accumulated a significant experience in fighting extremism. We will strengthen contacts with Israeli colleagues in that sphere."

Putin said they discussed the situation in the Middle East and particularly in Syria, where Russia has conducted an air campaign against those opposing the government. Moscow has coordinated its action with Israel to prevent any possible incidents between Russian and Israeli militaries.

Read more: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/06/07/Russia-s-Putin-hosts-Israel-s-Netanyahu-for-Syria-talks.html

I think there is a reasonable chance that we won't be voting in Nov.

for either Trump nor Clinton...

The pieces are there to make that happen and only time will tell.

Iran Says US Congressmen Can't Visit Amid Nuclear Deal Row

Source: ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran said Tuesday it would not grant visas to three U.S. congressmen opposed to its recent nuclear deal with world powers, calling their request to monitor the accord a "publicity stunt."

The three Republican lawmakers - Reps. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey, Mike Pompeo of Kansas and Lee Zeldin of New York - all voted against the deal in the House and are part of a GOP backlash against the pact negotiated by Democratic President Barack Obama's administration. The accord limited Iran's ability to enrich uranium in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.

In a letter released Tuesday in Tehran, Iran's Foreign Ministry refused the request over "the completely inappropriate way you have demanded to visit Iran and interfere in what is of no relevance to (your) official functions.'"

"Despite what you seem to presume, (members) of the U.S. Congress do not get to dictate the policies of other countries," the letter read.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_IRAN_US_CONGRESS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-06-07-15-02-05

Clinton Tech Aide Asks Court To Keep Immunity Deal Secret

By JOSH GERSTEIN 06/07/16 03:45 PM EDT

A former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton appears to be seeking to keep under wraps an immunity deal the aide reportedly reached with the Justice Department in its investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state.

A lawyer for Bryan Pagliano submitted a sealed motion and exhibits to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan Tuesday afternoon, less than two hours before the 5 p.m. deadline Sullivan set for the filing of Pagliano's immunity agreement.

The docket entry reflecting the filing does not say specifically what documents were lodged with the court, describing them solely as a "sealed motion for leave to file document under seal" and two exhibits.

--CLIP
Pagliano was scheduled to be deposed on Monday in a Freedom of Information Act suit a conservative group, Judicial Watch, is pursuing over Clinton's email set-up.

However, Sullivan postponed the deposition after Pagliano's lawyers indicated the former tech aide planned to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. In the judge's order delaying the testimony, he ordered Pagliano to file a legal explanation justifying his planned assertion as well as a copy of an immunity agreement under which the former Clinton aide reportedly gave testimony to the FBI about his role in the private server arrangement.


Read more: http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2016/06/bryan-pagliano-hillary-clinton-emails-immunity-224015#ixzz4Aw1soW91
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

U.S.: Chinese Jet Makes 'Unsafe' Intercept Of Air Force Plane

Source: CNN

(CNN)A U.S. Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft flying Tuesday in international airspace over the East China Sea was intercepted in an "unsafe manner" by a Chinese J-10 fighter jet, several defense officials tell CNN.

The Chinese jet was never closer than 100 feet to the U.S. aircraft, but it flew with a "high rate of speed as it closed in" on the U.S. aircraft, one official said. Because of that high speed, and the fact it was flying at the same altitude as the U.S. plane, the intercept is defined as unsafe.

The officials did not know if the U.S. plane took any evasive action to avoid the Chinese aircraft or at what point the J-10 broke away. It is also not yet clear if the U.S. will diplomatically protest the incident.

Officials said the RC-135 was on a routine mission.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/07/politics/us-china-planes-unsafe-intercept/index.html

Russia Deploys Troops Westward As Standoff With NATO Deepens

Source: Reuters

Russia is building an army base near its border with Ukraine, the latest in a chain of new military sites along what the Kremlin sees as its frontline in a growing confrontation with NATO.

While there have been no clashes between the former Cold War rivals, Russia is building up forces on its western frontiers at a time when the NATO alliance is staging major military exercises and increasing deployments on its eastern flank.

A Reuters reporter who visited the Russian town of Klintsy, about 50 km (30 miles) from Ukraine, saw a makeshift army camp, large numbers of newly-arrived servicemen and military vehicles.

--CLIP
Last year, Reuters also reported on construction of two other bases further to the south on Russia's border with Ukraine.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-base-bryansk-idUSKCN0YT1PN



Moscow Calls NATO Buildup In E. Europe ‘Unjustified’ As Largest Drills Since Cold War Kick Off

--CLIP

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated, “I am convinced that every serious and honest politician is well aware that Russia will never invade any NATO member. We have no such plans.”

He asserted that “there are no threats in this part of the world whatsoever, that would justify build-up here.”

In the meantime, Lavrov said, NATO’s decision to move its military infrastructure closer to Russia’s borders and accept new members will be seen in a negative light in Moscow. “Here, Russia’s sovereign right to ensure its security will come into force, of methods adequate to today’s challenges.”

The very existence of NATO as an organization is no threat to Russia, he said, which is not the case when it comes to the bloc’s “practical actions” in terms of moving its military infrastructure closer to Russian borders, or using military force which violates international law, “as it was in cases of Libya and Yugoslavia.”

However, NATO’s leadership has already said there will be no changes to stationing more troops in Poland after the Warsaw Summit, sending “a clear signal that an attack on Poland will be considered an attack on the whole Alliance,” the bloc’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg told reporters following his meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda last Wednesday.

If you listen , you might get a feeling that NATO is a harmless sheep cornered by ‘predators’ such as Russia and other countries disobedient to the US,”] spokesman for Russian Defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov mockingly commented on Monday.

MORE...

https://www.rt.com/news/345615-us-nato-drills-poland/

Exclusive: North Korea Restarts Plutonium Production For Nuclear Bombs - U.S. Official

Source: Reuters

North Korea has restarted production of plutonium fuel, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday, showing that it plans to pursue its nuclear weapons program in defiance of international sanctions.

The U.S. assessment came a day after the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had “indications” that Pyongyang has reactivated a plant to recover plutonium from spent reactor fuel at Yongbyon, its main nuclear complex.

The latest developments suggest North Korea's reclusive communist government is working to ensure a steady supply of materials for its drive to build warheads, despite tightened international sanctions after its fourth nuclear test in January.

The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Washington is worried by the new plutonium reprocessing effort, but he offered no explicit word on any U.S. response.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-nuclear-usa-exclusive-idUSKCN0YT2I1

North Korea’s Military Buildup Isn’t Limited To Its Nukes

By Anna Fifield June 7 at 4:38 PM

TOKYO — North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons technology has been well demonstrated so far this year, with January’s nuclear test and numerous launches of missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons.

But even as Kim Jong Un’s regime presses ahead with its nuclear program, it is investing considerable resources in upgrading its conventional facilities, according to satellite imagery.

“Lots of people say that if they have a nuclear deterrent, they won’t need conventional weapons,” said Curtis Melvin, a researcher at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University who has an encyclopedic knowledge of North Korea’s geography. “But under the Kim Jong Un era, there has been a big increase in spending on the economic and conventional military side.”

Kim, who took over the running of the state after his father’s death at the end of 2011, has promoted a “byungjin,” or “simultaneous push,” policy of pursuing nuclear weapons advancement and economic growth at the same time.

This year’s nuclear test and the emphasis on the economy suggest this policy is still very much the priority. But this doesn’t mean that North Korea is taking its foot off the conventional-weapons pedal.

MORE...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/north-koreas-military-buildup-isnt-limited-to-its-nukes/2016/06/07/7473ed3c-2806-11e6-8329-6104954928d2_story.html

UN Rights Chief Decries Abuse Against Men Fleeing Fallujah

Source: Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) -- The U.N. human rights chief says there are "extremely distressing, credible reports" that Iraqis fleeing Fallujah are facing physical abuse and even summary executions as they escape the city held by Islamic State militants.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein on Tuesday cited witness accounts that armed groups backing Iraqi security forces have detained some men and teenage boys leaving Fallujah with force that at times "degenerates" into abuse. The city is about 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of Baghdad.

"There are extremely distressing, credible reports that some people who survive the terrifying experience of escaping from ISIL, then face severe physical abuse once they reach the other side," he said in a statement from his office in Geneva.

Zeid acknowledged that Iraqi forces have a "legitimate interest in vetting individuals fleeing ISIL-controlled areas" to make sure they don't pose a security risk, but said authorities or officially designated personnel should do so.

Read more: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_UNITED_NATIONS_IRAQ?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-06-07-11-20-58
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