Hypersonic glider: US intelligence in panic mode over Russia getting invincible weapon ‘by 2020’ – By RT

Hypersonic glider: US intelligence in panic mode over Russia getting invincible weapon ‘by 2020’
Russia’s state-of-the-art hypersonic glide vehicle, which analysts say is capable of easily cutting through the existing US missile shield, will become operational by 2020, reports citing US intelligence have warned.

Speaking to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, sources aware of US intelligence reports, said the Russian military successfully tested the weapon twice in 2016. The third known test of the weapon was allegedly carried out in October 2017, and allegedly failed when the device crashed seconds before hitting its target.

READ MORE: Russia’s next-gen hypersonic & nuclear weapons ‘not a bluff, but new reality’ – Defense Ministry

The sources believe the device would be a significant breakthrough which could enable Russian military to surpass US counterparts. The intelligence sources claimed that the hypersonic gliders will get onboard countermeasures to enable them to defeat even the most advanced missile-defense systems.

“These kinds of boost glide vehicles attack the gaps in our missile defense system,” Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNBC. The analyst noted there is no time “to modify our current missile defense posture,” adding it was “unfortunate that we have let Russia come this far.”

Earlier, US commanders acknowledged there is little the military could do to counter Russia’s advanced hypersonic technologies. “We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” General John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March.

“Both Russia and China are aggressively pursuing hypersonic capabilities,” he said. The General, who once referred to Russia as the “most significant threat” to the US, urged America to develop new strategic weapons to match Russian capabilities.

In early March, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled some of the new sophisticated weapons during his state of the nation address. He showcased two versions of hypersonic weapons systems that have been in development in Russia.

One was an aircraft-launched vehicle which travels at a speed of Mach 10 and has a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles). The weapon, called Kinzhal (“Dagger” in Russian) comes either as conventional or nuclear-capable weapon.

Another device that is being developed is a hypersonic glider warhead – codenamed ‘Avangard’ (Advance Guard) – deployed by a ballistic missile. Russia first tested one back in 2004 and has made significant progress since, Putin said. The glider can fly in the atmosphere at speeds of over Mach 20 and can withstand a heat of up to 2,000C (3,632F) generated by air friction.

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48 years ago US troops massacred Ohio students and covered it up (VIDEO) – By Matt Agorist (The Free Thought Project) (SOTT)

troops Ohio campus 1970 massacre

© The Free Thought Project

Despite overwhelming evidence of US troops being given orders to open fire on peaceful antiwar protesters at Kent State, not a single person has ever been held accountable.

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard descended on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio to quash and antiwar protest. During the protest, soldiers opened fire on an unarmed group of students-firing 67 rounds in 13 seconds-killing four and injuring nine others. To this date, not a single person has been held accountable and the government still refuses to admit that it participated in the murder of its own citizens.

As the Free Thought Project reported in 2016, Kent State is the one school shooting that the US government wants you to forget.

It has been 48 years since that day and there has yet to be a credible and impartial investigation into the massacre. Also, no group or individual has faced a single consequence for opening fire on innocent students and killing them. Although eight of the National Guardsmen who opened fire that day were indicted by a grand jury, all of their charges were eventually dismissed.

The families of the victims were given $15,000, a statement of regret, and essentially told to get on with their lives.

For decades after the killings, the US government did their best to cover up the shooting. As an in depth explanation from Counter Punch points out, “the US government took complete control of the narrative in the press and ensuing lawsuits. Over the next ten years, authorities claimed there had not been a command-to-fire at Kent State, that the ONG had been under attack, and that their gunfire had been prompted by the “sound of sniper fire.” Instead of investigating Kent State, the American leadership obstructed justice, obscured accountability, tampered with evidence, and buried the truth. The result of these efforts has been a very complicated government cover-up that has remained intact for more than forty years.”

Not until 2010, after undeniable forensic evidence was dug up by independent and private researchers did the real truth of that day begin to surface.

Aurel Krause and Emily Kunstler founded the Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT), which helped to expose the sheer lies fed to the American public about what really happened that fateful day.

In spite of this overwhelming and indisputable evidence, in 2012, the US government, once again, refused to reopen the case. However, the truth still came out.

A crucial piece of the conspiracy was apparently uncovered in 2010 that played a pivotal role in exposing the crimes of the US government. Audio recordings were analyzed and subsequently found to record the Guardsmen being given orders to murder the protesters.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on this revelation in 2010:

“Guard!” says a male voice on the recording, which two forensic audio experts enhanced and evaluated at the request of The Plain Dealer. Several seconds pass. Then, “All right, prepare to fire!”

“Get down!” someone shouts urgently, presumably in the crowd. Finally, “Guard! . . . ” followed two seconds later by a long, booming volley of gunshots. The entire spoken sequence lasts 17 seconds.

According to the reports, the review was done by Stuart Allen and Tom Owen, two nationally respected forensic audio experts with decades of experience working with government and law enforcement agencies and private clients to decipher recorded information.

Despite the troops’ claims of protesters throwing rocks at them, the shots were fired from 60 feet away. What’s more, as Allen and Owen point out, there is no audio indicating that the troops who opened fire were getting hit with rocks.

There is undeniable evidence, however, that the US government killed innocent civilians for protesting war and yet still, no one was held accountable and the government refuses to acknowledge it.

As Krause explains, “Kent State remains a glaring example of government impunity, it sends a message that protestors can be killed by the state for expressing their political beliefs. This lack of accountability and hostility towards peaceful expression flies in the face not only of our Constitution, but also our international human rights commitments.”

Indeed, the idea that one’s government can kill them for peaceful protest is chilling, which is why the establishment wants you to forget about it.

Below is a video of what oppression looks like. Americans would do well to remember this did not take place in some tyrannical other country, but right in their own backyard.

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US will face ‘regret like never before’ if it pulls out of Iran nuclear deal – Rouhani – By RT

US will face 'regret like never before' if it pulls out of Iran nuclear deal – Rouhani
The US will be faced with regret if it decides to pull out of the nuclear deal agreed with Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned, adding that his government has “plans to resist” the move.

“If the United States leaves the nuclear agreement, you will soon see that they will regret it like never before in history,” Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday, as quoted by Reuters.

Rouhani went on to state that Tehran has “plans to resist any decision by Trump on the nuclear accord,” and that “orders have been issued to our atomic energy organization… and to the economic sector to confront America’s plots against our country.

“America is making a mistake if it leaves the nuclear accord.”

His remarks come in the lead-up to May 12, a deadline by which US President Donald Trump says America’s European allies must rectify “flaws” in the nuclear agreement. If that isn’t done to Trump’s satisfaction, he says he will refuse to extend US sanctions relief for Iran.

The European allies – Britain, France, and Germany – are committed to sticking to the deal which was signed in 2015, with a recent statement from Downing Street saying they agree it is “the best way of neutralizing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.” 

However, in an effort to keep Washington involved, the three nations are seeking to open talks on Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 – when the key provisions of the deal expire – and its role in Middle East crises including Syria and Yemen.

That notion was slammed by Rouhani on Sunday. “We will not negotiate with anyone about our weapons and defenses, and we will make and store as many weapons, facilities and missiles as we need,” he said, stressing the rejection by Iranian leaders to hold talks on Iran’s missile program, which it claims is purely for defensive purposes.

Just a few hours earlier, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani implied that the president would be nixing Washington’s commitment to the agreement. Trump has called the accord, which was signed under the Obama administration, the “worst deal ever negotiated.”

Trump has also said that he has the power to cancel US participation in the agreement “at any time,” and refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal in October, despite confirmation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Tehran was in compliance with the deal.

Meanwhile, in a controversial television slideshow at the end of last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Iran lied about its nuclear program, which makes the 2015 deal invalid. While the US says the slideshow proves that Iran had a “robust, clandestine nuclear weapons program,” the presentation was slammed by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as a “coordinated timing of alleged intelligence revelation by the boy who cries wolf.”

Analysts told RT that the timing of the seemingly well-rehearsed presentation was indeed crucial. Dr. Maged Botros, the head of the political science department at Helwan University in Egypt, said that Netanyahu’s presentation was “a setup for Trump,” suggesting it could be a solution for the US president to tear up the deal. 

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As US Military Effectiveness and Diplomatic Efforts Fade into Irrelevance Many Countries Start Ignoring Washington – By Federico PIERACCINI (Strategic Culture Foundation)

As US Military Effectiveness and Diplomatic Efforts Fade into Irrelevance Many Countries Start Ignoring Washington

Diplomatic work continues in some of the areas with the highest geopolitical tensions in the world. In recent days there have been high-level meetings and contacts between Turkey, Iran and Russia over the situation in Syria; meetings between Modi and Xi Jinping to ease tensions between India and China; and finally, the historic meeting between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un. The common component in all these meetings is the absence of the United States, which may explain the excellent progress that has been seen.

The last seven days have brought a note of optimism to international relations. The meeting between Modi and Xi Jinping in China offered a regional example, confirmed by the words of Wang Yi, member of the State Counsel of the People’s Republic of China:

“Our [India and China] common interests outweigh our differences. The summit will go a long way towards deepening the mutual trust between the two great neighbors. We will make sure that the informal summit will be a complete success and a new milestone in the history of China-India relations”.

Given the tensions in August 2017 in the Himalayan border area between the two countries, the progress achieved in the last nine months bodes well for a further increase in cooperation between the two nations. Bilateral trade stands at around $85 billion a year, with China as India’s largest trading partner. The meeting between Modi and Xi also serves to deepen the already existing framework between the two countries in international organizations like BRICS, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in which they are integral participants. It is imaginable that negotiations on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will be in full swing, with Beijing keen to involve New Delhi more in the project. Such a prospect is particularly helped by three very powerful investment vehicles put in place by Beijing, namely, the New Development Bank (formerly the BRICS Development Bank), the AIIB, and the Silk Road Fund.

Xi Jinping will be seeking to ​​progressively entice India closer to the BRI project through attractive and mutually beneficial commercial arrangements. However, this objective remains complicated and difficult to implement. Beijing is aware of this and has already expressed its intention not to impose the BRI on the neighboring country. With much of the future global and regional architecture depending on these two countries, the good understanding shown between Xi Jinping and Modi bodes well, especially given the commonly aligned objectives represented by the multitude of international organizations and frameworks on which China and India sit side by side.

Another bit of important news for the Asian region has been the meeting between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un, which was recently examined in an article published in Strategic Culture Foundation. As discussed in that article, the intention of the two leaders is to reunite the two Koreas, to denuclearize the peninsula, and to sign a peace treaty between the North and South, whose unprecedented implications entail such questions as whether there is a future role of for the United States on the peninsula. As stated before, the rapprochement between the two Koreas does not play into Washington’s favor, which relies on the South as a strategic foothold to contain China, justifying its presence on the purported need to confront North Korea. With an all-encompassing peace agreement, this justification would cease to exist. It seems that the goal for US policy-makers will be to find an opportunity to sabotage the North-South agreement and blame Kim Jong-un for its failure. Without engaging in a diplomatic tiff with its South Korean ally, the deep state in Washington does not intend to surrender one inch of its military presence on the peninsula, and would even look favorably on the negotiations failing to further damage Trump and his administration.

This is an internal deep-state war that has been going on for years. Obama wanted to abandon the Middle East in order to focus on containing China, altering the military’s structure accordingly to return to a more Cold War stance. This explains the agreement with Iran in order to free the US from its Middle East involvement so as to be able to focus mainly on Asia and to promote it as the most important region for the United States. This strategic intention has met with enormous opposition from two of the most influential lobbies in the American political system, the Israeli and Saudi Arabian. Without the United States, these two countries would be unable to stop Iran’s peaceful but impressive ascent in the region.

Listening to four-star generals like Robert Neller (Commandant of the Marine Corps) and others less distinguished, one comes to appreciate the extent to which the US military is in strategic chaos. The military has been the victim of epochal changes with each presidency. Pentagon planners would like to simultaneously confront countries like Russia, China and Iran, but in the process only decrease effectiveness due to imperial overstretch. Other politicians, especially from the neocon area, argue for the need to transform the US armed forces from a force suitable for fighting small countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria), Middle Eastern insurgencies, or terrorist groups (a pretext originating from the 1990’s and the first Gulf War), to a military able to face its peer competitors with all weapons available. Such a realignment does not occur over a short period of time and requires an enormous amount of money to reorganize the armed forces.

In this struggle between components of the deep state, Trump lumbers into a policy that stems from his electoral campaign rather than a considered strategy. Trump showed himself in his campaign to be strongly pro-Israel and strongly pro-armed forces, which has had the practical result of increasing military spending. Tens of billions of dollars worth of agreements have been realized with the richest country in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, for arms purchases, and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is viewed negatively. Trump’s interventions in Syria confirm that he is under the strong influence of that part of the deep state that is adamant that the United States should always be present in the Middle East, should openly oppose Iran, and, above all, should prevent the Shiite arc from extending its influence to cover Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The reasoning employed by Trump and his administration confirms this direction in Washington’s strategy, involving greater cooperation with Beijing to solve the Korean issue; less of an effort to decrease Moscow’s influence in Syria and in the Middle East in general; and greater belligerence towards Iran, with a general shift away from Asia and towards the Middle East, backtracking away from Obama’s pivot to Asia.

Trump seems to give the impression of wanting to face China from an unprecedented direction, with a trade war that would inevitably end up damaging all sides.

In this ad hoc strategy, the European allies play an important role in Washington’s intention to cancel or modify the Iranian nuclear agreement. Following the meetings in Washington between Trump and Macron, and then with Merkel, both European leaders seem more or less open to a modification of the JCPOA, provided that Trump backs away from placing tariffs on European countries, an appeal to which the English premier Theresa May adds her name. It seems a desperate tactic, given that one of the issues Trump is pinning his 2020 campaign on is being able to fix the trade imbalances between the US and the EU, without which he will be unable to claim to have kept his promises.

The United States has many cards to play, but none is decisive. In Korea, the peace process depends very little on Trump’s intentions and more on the willingness of the two key parties to reach a historic agreement to improve the lives of all citizens of the peninsula. I predict the deep state will try to blame the DPRK for a failure of the negotiations, thereby bringing to Asia the chaos in international relations that the US has successfully brought to other parts of the world. The People’s Republic of China will therefore try to replace the United States in negotiations in order to bring the two negotiating parties closer together.

In the same way, an attempt to sabotage the JCPOA will only drive Russia, China and Iran into a strategic triangle, about which I was writing more than a year ago. A unilateral exit from the nuclear agreement will help delegitimize Washington’s international role, together with the sabotage by the deep state of the peace agreement in Korea. It will be a pincer effect resulting from the chaos and the internal struggle of North American and European elites.

Success in the negotiations in Korea could pave the way for a protection umbrella for the DPRK guaranteed by China and Russia, in the same way the two could grant Iran all the diplomatic support necessary to resist the American and European pressure to cancel the JCPOA. Ultimately, the rapprochement between India and China, in view of important agreements on the BRI, could seal comity and cooperation between the two giants, leading the Eurasian area under the definitive influence of India, China, Russia and Iran, and guaranteeing a future of peaceful economic development to the most important area of ​​the globe.

The United States finds itself divided by a war within the elite, where Trump’s presidency is continually attacked and de-legitimized, while the coordinated assault on the dollar continues apace through gold, the petroyuan, and blockchain technology. US military power is showing itself to be a paper tiger unable to change the course of events on the ground, as seen recently in Syria. The loss of diplomatic credibility resulting from the sabotage of the JCPOA, and Washington’s inability to sit down and sincerely negotiate with the DPRK, will deliver the final coup de grace to a country that is struggling to even remain friendship with her European allies (sanctions imposed on Russia, sanctions on European companies participating in the North Stream 2, and tariffs in a new trade war).

The US deep state remains on this path of self-destruction, perennially torn between opposing strategies, which only accelerates Washington’s unipolar decline and the emergence in its place of a multipolar world order, with New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran as new poles over an immense area  comprising the Middle east and all of Eurasia.

Chemical Attack’ Provocation With US Participation Planned in Syria – Source – By SPUTNIK

Deir ez-Zor view (File)

© Sputnik / Mikhail Alayeddin

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BEIRUT (Sputnik) – The tensions in the country have been running high since April, when media accused Damascus of carrying out a chemical attack in the city of Douma, with US launching missile strikes against Syria without waiting for the end of an investigation into the case.

“US security services are planning provocations with the use of prohibited substances in Syria. The operation is led by a former militant of the Islamic State *[Daesh], Mishan Idris Hamash. The aim is to stage a chemical attack against civilians to be further spread in the media,” the source told Sputnik.

According to the source, the preparations began on April 23. The civilians are being shipped to a territory near Jafra oil field to participate in a staged filming of an attack scene.

The situation in Syria escalated last month, in the wake of an alledged chemical attack on the city of Douma on April 7. This incident  was used to justify airstrikes against Syria, performed by the US-led coalition, despite the fact, that Damascus strongly denied those allegations, adding that the use of chemical weapons in the capital’s suburb could have been planned by terrorist groups. Moscow later found the “victims” of the claimed attack, who told reporters they were forced to participate in the filming.The international community has voiced concerns about the use of chemical weapons inside of Syria since the alleged use of sarin gas in Damascus in 2013. After the incident Syria joined the OPCW and agreed to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal. On January 4, 2016, the OPCW confirmed in a statement, that Syrian chemical weapons are completely destroyed.

READ MORE: The Skripal and Douma Incidents Are Parts of Plan to Bring Russia Down — Chemist

*Daesh, also known as IS, ISIL, ISIS, is a terrorist group banned in Russia

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US plan of last push against ISIS raises specter of Syria partition – By RT

 US plan of last push against ISIS raises specter of Syria partition
Announcing the start of military operations against the remaining strongholds of Islamic State, the US State Department included some pointed language, hinting at de facto partition of Syria, analysts tell RT.

“The days of ISIS controlling territory and terrorizing the people of Syria are coming to an end,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday.The operations will be conducted by the US-led coalition and local partners, including the Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces.

The US will also work with Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon to “secure their borders” from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Nauert said. This is intriguing, because the only remaining IS presence is near the Iraqi border, with a pocket south of Damascus currently being cleared out by Syrian government forces.

Nauert also said the US will ensure there is a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria so that IS cannot return and the liberated populations “are not exploited by the Assad regime or its Iranian supporters.”

Last week, the US House of Representatives passed the “No Assistance for Assad Act,” or HR 4681. If approved by the Senate, it would mandate that any US funds for recovery, reconstruction or stabilization in Syria “should be used only in a democratic Syria or in areas of Syria not controlled by a government led by Bashar al-Assad or associated forces.”

Between Nauert’s statement and the House bill, a question arises on whether the US intends to allow the reintegration into the Syrian state of any areas liberated from IS.

US statements supporting the territorial integrity of Syria “are only words” that serve as cover for “plans to partition Syria,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday, after a meeting with Turkish and Iranian officials in Moscow. Lavrov had also warned earlier this year about Western plans to partition Syria.

The State Department’s language is “subterfuge,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT. The US and its allies intend to occupy the eastern part of Syria and partition the country, in order to “use the Sunnis in East Syria and West Iraq to form a barricade to stop any Iranian influence and cut off supplies to Hezbollah.”

Washington’s objectives are aligned with the axis between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Maloof added, with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu hoping the US will fight Iran for Israel.

“They will go alone if they have to and drag the US into it,” Maloof told RT. “We’re getting sucked into another war.”  

Nauert’s reference to a “future political settlement that honors the will of all Syrians, including Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, and other minorities” could mean either regime change or some form of partition, former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT. The State Department notably made no mention of Shia or Alawite Syrians.

“Even if the Syrian government headed by President Assad remains in power in the west,” Jatras said, “de facto or de jure areas will be created for Kurds and particularly Sunnis.” The reference to Turkmen could signal the possibility of permanent Turkish presence in, or even annexation of, some parts of Syria, he added.

“ISIS is a sideshow. The real US targets are the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian backers,” Jatras said. “The stage is being set for a confrontation with Iran, in which Syria is simply one theater.”

“The reference to Christians is simply cynical. It is intended to make Americans think we give a damn about Syria’s Christians, despite seven years of arming and funding jihadists for whom Christians are prime targets for murder and enslavement,” Jatras explained.

The US has approximately 2,000 troops in Syria, who are there without legal authorization. The Russian military contingent that has aided Damascus against IS and other terrorist groups arrived in September 2015 at the government’s invitation.

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City beneath city: RT films massive network of militant-built tunnels under Syria’s Douma (VIDEO) – By RT

https://www.rt.com/news/425149-douma-underground-militant-tunnels/video/5ae0c540dda4c8d75f8b45fe

 
 
The Syrian military has been combing through a vast network of tunnels built by jihadists in Douma, not far from Damascus. RT Arabic filmed vehicles easily fitting in the passages and asked locals how the militants treated them.

Located 15 meters deep under the surface, the massive tunnels are supported by metal pillars and are paneled with some sort of liner plates, creating a subway look. They stretch for kilometers under the town, located in the area of eastern Ghouta, forming an entire city beneath the city.

To complete the set, the tunnels are equipped with electricity, parking lots and workshops. They are so big that a minivan could easily move through them, as seen in the footage. The military discovered that the tunnels were specifically used to stockpile machinery and vehicles.

The militants forced the locals to build the tunnels for them by starving the people, who refused to work, Douma residents told RT. “They starved us, they harassed us,” one man said, adding that the extremists also made captives and civilians work on the tunnels. “They [the militants] would not feed those, who refused to work,” he said.

READ MORE: Moscow slams western media ‘disinformation campaign’ about OPCW experts being denied entry to Douma

The Russian military said they found a chemical laboratory operated by militants in central Douma soon after the city’s liberation. The facility, located in the basement of a residential building, had some sophisticated equipment, including an industrial chemical reactor, which the military said was used by the jihadists to create toxic agents. Vast stockpiles of various chemicals were also found in the laboratory.

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Silence of the shams: Western media puts Syrian boy’s witness account on hold – By SPUTNIK

Syrianboy

© Sputnik
Hassan Diab

If it doesn’t fit the narrative, there’s no harm in shelving it. It appears that evidence proving the purported chemical weapons attack in Douma was staged has been largely disregarded by the mainstream newsmakers in the West.

The alleged attack and the subsequent airstrikes by the US, UK and France have been dominating the Western news agenda for several weeks now.

On April 7, several media outlets reported that the Syrian army had used chlorine in Douma, killing up to 70 people and injuring hundreds. Footage showing the aftermath of the “attack” appeared on social media, showing men and women shouting, rushing and hosing down adults and children inside a hospital building.

The video has been acquired and shown by most Western news media under the tagline “Children are treated after a suspected chemical attack in rebel-held Douma, Syria” or similar headlines.

Responding to the video and the allegations, the Syrian Defense Ministry said the claims were based on hearsay and testimonies by jihadist militants, and not backed up by hard facts. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said all proofs by the West were “based on media and social networks.”

However, the footage and the “irrefutable evidence” reportedly in possession of French President Emmanuel Macron were evidence enough for the allies – US, UK and France – to conduct cruise missile strikes on a number of targets in Syria.

In his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Macron refused to reveal what that “irrefutable evidence” was. Nevertheless, the events around the alleged attack received detailed coverage by British, American and international media as essential developments of the situation in Eastern Ghouta.

Staged Participation

Proof that the Douma hospital video was staged was presented to the international media on April 18, when the Russia 24 TV channel released an exclusive interview with the Syrian boy Hassan Diab, who was originally seen in the Douma video. Hassan said he was rushed to the hospital with his mother, and when they entered the hospital, unknown people grabbed and poured water on him, placing him with other patients after that.

“We were in the basement. Mom told me that today we don’t have anything to eat and that we will eat tomorrow. We heard a cry outside, calling “go to the hospital.” We ran to the hospital and as soon as I entered, they grabbed me and started pouring water on me,” Hassan Diab said.

Hassan’s father also spoke about the incident, saying “there were no chemical weapons” and that the “militants gave them dates, cookies and rice for participating in this film.”

Left Out of the Media Picture

The interview, however, went largely unnoticed by mainstream newsmakers. In the rare cases the interview with Hassan got a mention, it was referred to as line pushed by “Russian state media.”

A precursor to the Sun’s news headline “Russian TV claims Syria chemical attack boy, 11, filmed being doused with water was tricked into taking part in return for biscuits” was the phrase: “Fake Views.”

A Times’ headline attributes the fact that Hassan was paid off with food – to Russian TV, not the boy’s father, who made the statement.

In comparison, the Times didn’t attribute mentions of the alleged Douma attack to information presented by the White Helmets, a foreign-sponsored organization operating in Syria. Moreover, if some of the Times’ headlines featured the phrase “gas attack” in quotations, the effort wears out, as seen in other titles.

Throughout the development of the Douma story, most news channels have made the effort of calling the reported event “an alleged attack” – and some still oblige. But as time passed, headlines omitting the crucial qualifier started popping up online and in television discussions.

Syrian medics ‘subjected to extreme intimidation’ after Douma attack” and “Syria attack: Chemical weapons inspectors retrieve samples from Douma” are just a couple of examples – with the latter actually referring to the fact that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) experts haven’t yet established the use of chemical weapons.

The US broadcaster Fox News posted the alleged attack video online under the headline “Disturbing video: Children being treated after chemical attack in Syria” on April 9, which indicated certainty that the attack did happen and that chemical weapons had been used. However, a search for mentions of or statements by Hassan and his father on the Fox News website gives zero results.

CNN’s coverage follows a similar scenario. Even though some of CNN’s headlines on Douma stipulate that it was a “suspected” attack, others simply define it as a “chemical attack in Syria.” There is no information on Hassan and his recollection of events that took place on April 9.

Searches on the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post return no articles telling the story of Hassan and his father.

Due Impartiality

Very little coverage has been dedicated overall to Hassan’s witness statement, in effect disproving the pretext for an international military attack.

As a consequence, international audiences were largely left out of the balanced discussion over a matter so imperative to the public. According to a recent poll, respondents in Britain mostly opposed a missile attack against Syrian military targets.

The principle of section five of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code, under which all media operate in Britain, is “to ensure that news, in whatever form, is reported with due accuracy and presented with due impartiality.” Disregarding important developments around the Douma “attack” does not appear to be in compliance with not “favoring one side over another.”

Hassan Diab may be brought to testify to the OPCW, Russia’s Permanent Representative to OPCW, Alexander Shulgin, said in a recent interview.

“At a certain point, I told my Western colleagues: we, probably, will have to use another language, since you don’t understand what we are saying. We will bring here, in The Hague, eyewitnesses who will personally tell you it was a choreographed provocation. I will do my best to have this boy speak here,” Mr. Shulgin said.

He added, however, that “everything is possible” and Hassan might not be allowed to give a statement at the OPCW.

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How EU pretends not to see Israel’s calculated slaughter in Gaza – By Ali Abunimah / Rights and Accountability (Electronic Intifada)

 ISUPPORTPALESTINE.jpg

Why is the European Union pretending not to see how Israel is deliberately killing civilians in the occupied Gaza Strip?

On Friday, Israel killed four more unarmed protesters, including 14-year-old Muhammad Ayyoub, and injured hundreds more.

This brought to more than 30 the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in its violent suppression of the Great March of Return rallies that began on 30 March and are planned to continue until Nakba Day, the 15 May commemoration of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

The victims include four children and a journalist.

Thousands more have been injured, more than 1,600 by live ammunition that has caused devastating injuries likely to leave them with lifelong disabilities.

Two weeks ago, the International Criminal Court chief prosecutor warned Israeli leaders that they could end up on trial for this violence against civilians.

But as I told The Real News on Friday, the coddling and rewards Israel receives, particularly from the United States and the European Union, means that Israeli leaders feel completely immune and are continuing to carry out these killings.

You can watch the video of that interview at the top of this page.

On Saturday, the European Union called on Israel “to refrain from using lethal force against unarmed protesters” and claimed that a “full investigation is needed to understand what happened and why” four more people, including the child Muhammad Ayyoub, were killed.

This came after weeks of European officials rationalizing Israeli violence and subtly laying blame on Palestinians for their own deaths.

But once again, the EU has utterly failed to condemn Israel’s actions and is presenting itself as bewildered about what is happening, as if there has not already been a mountain of evidence collected by independent human rights and medical organizations, including Human Rights Watch, Al-Haq, B’Tselem, Al Mezan, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Médecins Sans Frontiers and a number of UN experts concerning the horrific results of Israel’s openly declared policy to shoot people who pose no conceivable threat.

This includes direct incitement by Israeli officers to kill children:

And on top of that, the slaying of Muhammad Ayyoub was seen by eyewitnesses and caught on video, showing that the boy presented no conceivable danger to anyone when he was killed:

If that isn’t enough, the Israeli army has defended the killing of Ayyoub, stating that all shots fired on Friday “were according to the rules of engagement.”

Yet let us take the EU at its word, that it believes in the need for an independent investigation in order to “understand” what is happening and find its way out of the fog.

On 31 March, the day after Israel killed 17 Palestinians as tens of thousands took part in the first Great March of Return rallies, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini joined UN Secretary-General António Guterres in demanding “an independent and transparent investigation.”

On 18 April I wrote to Mogherini’s usually responsive press team to ask what the EU had done in the more than two weeks since its call for an investigation to make one happen.

“Please note I am not asking you to reiterate the EU’s desire, wish, aspiration, hope, belief etc, for such an investigation,” my inquiry stated. “My question now is very specific as to what actions the EU is taking.”

Three days, four killings and hundreds of injuries later, I have received no answer.

What I can say with certainty is that in the meantime EU officials and European governments continue to pour money into Israel’s arms industry.

And they have been effusively celebrating Israel’s so-called “independence” – the founding of an apartheid state that only continues to exist due to the subjugation, exculsion and regular massacres of Palestinians.

 

Why Countries Pull Out Their Bullion From the US – By Sputnik

In this Tuesday, July 22, 2014, file photo, gold bars are stacked in a vault at the United States Mint, in West Point, N.Y.

© AP Photo / Mike Groll, File

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With the Turkish Central Bank withdrawing its gold reserves from the US Federal Reserve System and shipping them to Ankara, Sputnik looks into how this move may affect the development of the world economy.

All Conditions for Crisis in Place

The global economy is struggling to cope with a barrage of hard conditions such as uncontrolled money printing, trade wars, sanctions, increasing interest rates and a decline in retail trade.

Additionally, geopolitical tensions show no sign of ceasing; Syria which was hit by the US, British and French missile attacks on April 14 provides a vivid example.

READ MORE: Gold Rush: Russia’s Reserves of Precious Metal at All-Time High

In order to circumvent the possibility of economic deterioration or new financial crises, several key major banks and governments are bracing themselves for economic calamity in advance by saving “real money” ahead of the crisis – Turkey provides a fresh example.

According to Keith Neumeyer, chairman of the First Mining Gold company, the main problem is that the governments print too much money that is not secured by gold — a tendency which he said is unlikely to change in the near future. 

READ MORE: Hungary Repatriating Tons of Gold From UK Amid Fears of Economic Crisis

He said that gold does not care whether we enter an inflationary or de-inflationary period because investments in gold are justified under any scenario.

Gold Prices May Skyrocket

The continuous printing of money may endanger the stability of the global economy and add to higher gold prices, amid both monetary factors and supply-related problems.

The global investment bank and management firm Goldman Sachs has predicted that the next few years will see a decline in global gold production.

It was echoed by Goldcorp, one of the largest gold mining companies, which suggested that by 2022, gold production will fall to the level of the beginning of the 21st century.

READ MORE: Exports of Gold From Russia More Than Doubled in a Year

The US Geological Survey, in turn, believes that with production rates at current levels, gold reserves in the interior of the Earth will be exhausted by 2034.

In this vein, speculation is rife that the combination of all these factors will cause the price of gold to skyrocket — up to 2,000 or even 3,000 dollars per ounce in the near future.

Gold Possession

Right now, about 30 percent of all reserves of developed countries are stored in gold.

The United States has 8,000 metric tons of gold, Germany — 3,000 metric tons of the precious metal, while Italy and France – 2,500 tons each.

With 1,860 tons of gold worth 80 billion dollars, Russia has outstripped China and ranks fifth in terms of gold reserves. 

READ MORE: Cryptocurrencies May Rival Gold as a Store of Value — Marketing Analyst

Building up gold stock remains a key priority of the Russian Central Bank, which buys up almost all the gold mined in the country.  Purchasing monetary gold aims to support Russia’s gold mining industry, which produces about 300 tons of precious metal per year.

How Gold May Help

As far as the financial system’s development is concerned, there is yet no feasible alternative to gold. Traditionally, its accumulation can help a country protect itself from currency risks and possible sanctions as well as provide the opportunity to earn.

The Russian Central Bank said in this regard that an increase in the country’s international reserves added to the revaluation of operations on Russian Finance Ministry accounts and the monetization of gold.

READ MORE: EU-US Trade Wars Cannot Have Any Winners — French Economy Minister

Any currency, including the dollar and the euro, is heavily burdened with debts which may finally be written off.  In the event of the collapse of the dollar system, gold is expected to retain its value.

Neumeyer expressed confidence in this connection that a global reset will happen when the governments of the world move to get rid of their debts and tie everything to the price of gold.

That’s why countries like Russia and China are accumulating gold; they know what may occur in the next few years, according to him.

Central Banks Withdraw Gold Reserves From US

According to the World Gold Council, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) purchased 187 tons of precious metal, becoming the second largest sovereign buyer of gold in the world after Russia.

Like in other countries, part of Turkey’s gold reserves — gold bars weighing 28.7 tons – were stored in the US Federal Reserve System.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the CBRT withdrew its gold reserves from the US to place it in storage facilities in Turkey, as well as the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland and the Central Bank of England.

READ MORE: ‘Trade War With China Will Hurt US, Cause Political Problems for Trump’- Prof.

Also withdrawing its gold reserves from the US were the Netherlands and Germany’s Deutsche Bundesbank which launched a program of partial repatriation of German gold that was stored in the Federal Reserve since the end of World War II in 2012.

At the end of the day, 300 tons of gold have been returned to a Bundesbank storehouse in Frankfurt am Main. As for the Netherlands, it has withdrawn about 100 tons of gold from the US Federal Reserve System.Due to the increasing interest rates of the Federal Reserve System, the US pressure on the euro and other currencies as well as growing geopolitical risks, it is possible to assume that the outflow of foreign gold reserves from the US Federal Reserve System will continue.

With Russian and China agreeing to settle trade in ruble and yuan, there are signs are that the world seeks to reduce its dependence on the dollar.

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