Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (85)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

</end editorial>



Russia update – domestic meltdown continues. Notable are increasingly violent local protests – this is not a very stable society by any measure. Other post-Soviet republics remarkably quiet, possibly as Ukraine is soaking up media attention.

Syria is getting ugly again, with the regime offensive in the North ramping up, incendiary bombing of crops, and claimed hundreds of thousands of refugees on the move. Iraqi tribunals sending ISIS war criminals to the gallows, including a number of French ISIS killers. IDF takes out a Syrian AD asset that fired on an Israeli aircraft. Israel will have another election. Libya mayhem continues. Russian meddling in Afghanistan.

The major DPRK report is a yet to be confirmed claim that key members of the DPRK Hanoi delegation were executed or sent to the Gulag. Shangri-La Dialogue. PRC/US trade war reports dominated by rare earth embargo (a strategic folly by the US over several decades), Huawei, and media spats. Tiananmen anniversary. Taiwan update. Pacrim update – Japan, Australia, Canada, etc.

EU elections and UK mayhem dominate foreign policy topics. Anti-semitism problems in Germany attributed to Middle Eastern arrivals. Balkans update. Venezuela meltdown continues while Oslo negotiations continue.

Miscellaneous capability reports, mostly programs. Facebook dominating IO topics.

Many interesting US defence policy reports, and the schism over Russia continues.


Russia / Russophone Reports


Russian National Guard spokesperson says actions of troops who injured 30 at hip-hop festival were ‘appropriate’ — Meduza

Russian National Guard representative Valery Gribakin said the actions of National Guard police officers at Moscow’s Hip-Hop Mayday festival were “appropriate to the situation.” After a small number of audience members threw tiling at National Guard troops to protest crowd control efforts, the officers began beating those around them at random, injuring 30.
Angering Anti-Corruption Crusaders, Russia Proposes Banning Access To Land Registry
A new bill would introduce fines of up to 400,000 rubles for publishing, sharing, or selling information from the registry.
Two Russian Landfill Protesters Hospitalized, Two Detained At Dump Site Near Arkhangelsk
Two protesters have been hospitalized and two others detained during an ongoing rally against the construction of a new landfill near the northwestern city of Arkhangelsk, located some 1,000 kilome…
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Russian Officials Come Up with Another Way of Undermining Small Nations
Paul Goble Staunton, May 24 – The Putin regime has attacked non-Russian peoples large and small in various ways, stripping the non-Russian republics of the right to require children take instruction in the language of the titular nationality, cutting back funding for publications and education in non-Russian languages, and discriminating against them in a variety of other ways. Now, it has come up with a new one, especially insidious because it affects a numerically small group and will be justified by some as an appropriate way of saving the Russian government money and even preventing fraud: it is forcing members of the Saami nation to go to court to prove they are Saami. The 1993 Russian Constitution specifies that citizens of that country can decide what their nationality is and declare their membership in that community whenever it may be required. That may seem completely anodyne, but problems arise because some nations get particular benefits and therefore membership is valuable. Among those nations which are given special benefits are the numerically small peoples of the North, a group of more than 26 small peoples from the Finnish border to the Bering Straits, many of whom still engage in traditional hunting and fishing which have been part of their lives since time immemorial. Under both Soviet and Russian law, members of those communities are given the right to kill more animals in hunting or take more fish out of bodies of water than are other Russians and some receive subsidies. Consequently, it is very valuable for whole peoples to get on this list and for individuals to be counted as members of those that do. Over the past two decades, many groups have tried to get on the list, seldom with success, and there have been suggestions that some individuals have been listed as members who shouldn’t have been, much as there have been suggestions in the US that some people try to claim membership in Indian tribes or Alaskan citizenship to get benefits there. The number of cases in the Russian Federation of this appears very small. Few people can or do claim such membership. The number of outsiders in the region is ever smaller, the peoples involved are anthropologically and culturally distinct, and most of these groups are small enough that anyone who tried to make a false claim would be quickly exposed and expelled. But the situation of those who really are members of some of the numerically small groups is now being undermined. There is no nationality line in the passport and so, from the point of view of Russian officialdom, no definitive answer as to who is a member of which nationality. As a result, there is plenty of room for official arbitrariness. A case has now arisen and attracted the attention of Moscow’s Novaya gazeta that suggests the Russian authorities may be set to try to reduce the number of members of the numerically small peoples of the North in order to take away their benefits, destroy their way of life and force them to assimilate (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2019/05/24/80636-dokazyvayte-saami). The paper’s correspondent, Tatyana Britskaya, reports that Saami activist Andrey Danilov raised the issue of how his nationality is to be determined with the Murmansk Oblast plenipotentiary for human rights, Mikhail Shilov. The question arose because the local natural resources ministry has refused to list his nationality on a fishing license. That may seem a small thing, but it is fundamental: Without the designation that he is a Saami, he can’t fish as he would normally do but would be charged with poaching if he took more than the limit allowed to outsiders. In the past, the ministry simply accepted declarations by him and other Saami but now it won’t. Danilov asked Shilov what he should do. The bureaucrat replied that he should go to court and prove he is a Saami. It is not entirely clear how he could do that or on what basis the Russian court could make that determination. And the very act of imposing such a requirement will keep many Saami from registering as such and leave them in a legal limbo. In his response to Danilov, Britskaya says, Shilov “with a stroke of the pen in fact suspended the action in a region of Paragraph 26 of the constitution which guarantees the right of each to define and indicate his national membership and bans any forced definition of nationality.” This is not the first such case in which officials have told members of numerically small peoples of the North to go to court. In Kamchatka, officials tried the same tactic; but there they were unsuccessful: the court held that the officials had violated the constitution. But it is unclear what will happen in Murmansk. In a comment to the journalist, the Saami activist says that more is involved here than just hunting and fishing rights of 1600 people. If the Saami do not have court-defined nationality, that will raise questions about their representation in the Murmansk Oblast government, something they agreed to as a official counter to the independent Saami parliament.
Window on Eurasia — New Series: Guards at Moscow Trash Construction Site in Shiyes Behaved ‘Like Nazis in World War II,’ Activist Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 29 – After the wall around the planned dump in Shiyes for trash from Moscow was demolished and most protesters left, approximately 60 members of private guard force attacked the remaining 20 protesters, injuring three of them to the point that they had to be sent to local hospitals. One activist said the guards had “acted like Nazis in World War II.” In a New Times article headlined “Activists Destroy Fences; Guards Destroy People,” journalist Elena Solovyeva describes the clashes which occurred two days ago at the site near Arkhangelsk and said the behavior of the guards was especially bad because they said they enjoyed the backing of local police and Moscow officials (newtimes.ru/articles/detail/181097). “If all this continues,” Viktor Vishnevsky, a leader of the Committee for the Defense of the Vchegdy, said, “in many population points of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic will begin unlimited protest actions against the illegal construction of the site. People ever more understand that there is no other way to have an impact on the authorities.” Given the behavior of the guards, the support they have from on high, and the anger of the people, “the recent declarations about the stopping of work and the commentary of the president have not been able to lower the level of protest attitudes in Arkhangelsk Oblasst and the Komi Republic. On the contrary, it is growing.” “People are certain, Solovyeva says, “that only they on their own will be able to stop the construction of the trash site” for wastes coming from Moscow. She notes that a major protest meeting is planned for June 2 in Syktyvkar, which is located “less than a hundred kilometers from Shiyes.” In the last 48 hours, conditions around the site have deteriorated with protests continuing and local police arresting four activists who oppose the continuing construction of the dump which would be the largest in Russia (t.me/mbknorthwest/2616 and znak.com/2019-05-29/na_stancii_shies_zaderzhany_chetyre_eko_aktivista_vystupayuchih_protiv_stroitelstva_poligona). In its reportage about the same events, the Tallinn-based regionalist portal Region.Expert says that after the guards moved against the demonstrators at Shiyes, several hundred people in Arkhangelsk went into the streets to show their opposition to the actions of the guards and their support for the demonstrators (region.expert/pomorye-maidan/). According to Region.Expert, such “massive” protests have passed “out from under the control of the authorities there.” And as a result, “the situation is beginning to resemble no the Moscow Bolotnaya Square protests when after the police used force, the protests ceased, but rather the Kyiv Maidan when the use of force only intensified the protest.” Moreover, the portal continues, these “protests certainly will become more massive because of the obvious lies by the powers that be. They said they were stopping the construction of the trash site until public hearings could be held and an environmental impact statement prepared, but in reality, construction there is continuing with ever more building materials being brought in.”
Russian state-owned bank stops cryptocurrency work in light of unfavorable regulatory environment — Meduza
Russia’s Sberbank has decided to suspend its plans for doing business with cryptocurrencies. Andrey Shemetov, a vice president of the bank, explained, “We were waiting for legislative action that would allow us to deal in cryptocurrencies. Because, at the moment, regulators have a negative view, we decided to suspend this plan.”
Russian Rights Group Says Golos Activist Is A Political Prisoner
Russia’s Memorial human rights center says a detained board member of the independent Golos (Voice) election-monitoring group is a political prisoner.
Trial Of ‘New Greatness’ Members Begins In Moscow
The high-profile trial of members of the New Greatness youth activist group has begun in Moscow.
Knife-Wielding Assailant Attacks Staffers At Russian Communist Party Newspaper
A knife-wielding man has attacked staffers of the Russian Communist Party newspaper in the southern city of Stavropol, leaving an editor hospitalized and wounding three others after an article he w…
Russian Blogger Charged With Insulting Authorities For Post Mocking Putin
A Russian blogger who posted a meme mocking President Vladimir Putin has been charged under a controversial new law penalizing “disrespect toward the authorities.”
Hard-Hitting Journalism: Siberian Official Body-Slams State TV Journalist
A local official in the Siberian region of Khakasia has been suspended from the ruling United Russia party and could face criminal charges for allegedly assaulting a state-television journalist.
Outside Moscow, One Man’s Bitcoin Farm Has Saddled Dozens With Electricity Blackouts, Debt
Residents of a housing estate outside Moscow are cooking food on portable stoves after their energy provider switched off electricity citing nonpayment. Turns out the head of their homeowners assoc…
Moscow Intellectuals, Dissidents Rally Around Gulag Historian Facing Trial
Prominent Russian intellectuals and Soviet-era dissidents have attended an event to support gulag researcher and historian Yury Dmitriyev, who is on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting his adop…
At a Moscow university focused on openness to innovation, censorship accusations roil a student-run talk show — Meduza
Lyubov Sobol is an attorney for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, a Russian investigative organization run by opposition politician Alexey Navalny. On May 29, Sobol said she had been invited to an interview with To the Point! Persona, a talk show run by journalism students at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE), only to have the interview cancelled two days before it was set to air. The rector of the prestigious university, which was established after the collapse of the Soviet Union to train Russian students in previously suppressed social scientific disciplines, said the student show was suspended in March. He claimed that no one had invited Sobol to the program and went so far as to say that the interview would have gone against the university’s political neutrality policy because Sobol is running for a seat in the Moscow City Duma. Sobol herself, on the other hand, has argued that the whole controversy is a result of the rector’s own City Duma campaign.
A Russian deputy wants to ban ‘Minecraft’ for its violent influence on teens. He may have confused it with ‘World of Warcraft.’ — Meduza
Vladimir Reinhardt, a deputy in the Krasnoyarsk Krai Legislative Assembly, stated on May 23 that the popular construction video game Minecraft should be banned. Reinhardt, who represents the ruling United Russia party, spoke out against the game just before the deputies were scheduled to hear a speech from the region’s lead children’s rights official, Irina Miroshnikova.
Reports of Putin Fathering Twins Test Free Speech in Russia
Kremlin moves to smash rumors in Moscow that Russian leader’s reputed ‘secret first lady,’ former gymnast Alina Kabaeva has given birth to two boys
Russian Censors Cut Gay-Sex Scenes Out Of Elton John Biopic
All intimate same-sex scenes have been removed from the Russian release of Rocketman, a new biographical film based on the life of British rock star Elton John.
Little Lev’s ‘Paradise’ Hotel
A Russian boy who learned to love hotels during frequent visits to doctors far away, has become a hotelier in his remote hometown, thanks to his mother.
Two Chinese Tourists Killed As Bus Overturns In Russian Far East
A bus has overturned in Russia’s Far East, killing two Chinese tourists and injuring the driver and 18 other passengers, including 13 who were hospitalized.
Russian Teen Detained After Attacking Girl With Ax At School
A Russian teenager has been detained after hitting a girl with an ax at a school in the Saratov region, officials say.
Soviet Vintage Cars Star In Homecoming Parade
Over 250 owners have shown off their vehicles in a parade of classic Soviet-era cars produced by the GAZ car company in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. The cars were all produced there between 1932 and 1988 and have been painstakingly restored.
Mass Death On Soviet Rails, 30 Years Later
The Soviet Union’s deadliest postwar train disaster occurred 30 years ago, claiming 575 lives and injuring 800 — according to official figures.
Russian Cosmonauts Conduct Six-Hour Spacewalk Outside Space Station
Two Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station (ISS) have exited the craft for a six-hour spacewalk to undertake scientific research and conduct maintenance and tidying-up work on their …

Central Asia / Caucasus Reports

 


 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘The Price of Dictatorship’ — A Third of Turkmenistan’s People Has Left in Last Decade
Paul Goble Staunton, May 30 – Turkmenistan, one of the most repressive countries in the world that seldom reveals much information about itself, has seen a third of its population flee abroad over the last ten years, anonymous but well-connected sources have told Radio Liberty’s Turkmen Service (rus.azathabar.com/a/29969698.html). Their flight, Moscow’s Novyye izvestiya says, represents “the price of dictatorship” and an indictment of a regime that has so oppressed its own people that so many of them have concluded they have no hope except to flee abroad (newizv.ru/news/world/30-05-2019/tsena-diktatury-za-10-let-turkmeniyu-pokinula-tret-naseleniya). According to three sources with good access, 1,879,413 Turkmens left Turkmenistan between 2008 and 2018. A sizeable portion of this number are working age adults, reducing the ability of the Turkmenistan economy to function or to pay for the large number of children and growing number pensioners. The sources say that the size of the exodus was far greater than the Turkmenistan regime expected. When it was presented with them earlier this year, it immediately classified them lest anyone would find out just how bad things are and detained some of the statistical administration officers who had prepared the study. Turkmenistan has been chary about collecting data – it had a census only in 2012 and has said it will only have another one in 2022 – and even more reluctant to release the data it has gathered. The Turkmenistan media almost never provide any reporting about the issue, although one thing that tends to confirm the exodus: housing prices are collapsing in the republic (rus.azathabar.com/a/29944031.html).
Window on Eurasia — New Series: West Prefers a Moscow-Controlled North Caucasus to an Islamic One, Shmulyevich Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 25 – Avraam Shmulyevich, an Israeli specialist on the Caucasus, says that the West clearly prefers a North Caucasus under Russian control than one that is dominated by Islamist groups, the only current alternative on offer to Moscow’s continuing dominance of the region. Shmulyevich is undoubtedly correct in his assessment and his warning that the peoples of the region should not expect Western support for any moves toward independence unless and until they come up with a secular program (rusmonitor.com/avraam-shmulevich-islamskomu-kavkazu-zapad-predpochtet-rossijjskijj-kavkaz.html). Clearly, as he says in a Youtube interview summarized by Russian Monitor, “Islam is one of the factors blocking the acquisition of independence of the Caucasus. Above all, because the idea of an Islamic Caucasus will never receive support from the West which will prefer the status quo, a North Caucasus kept within the borders of Russia and controlled by Moscow.” But in making that argument, Shmulyevich blames the peoples of the region for choosing the Islamic option rather than recognizing that many of them did so not because it was their first choice but rather because, after the West rejected them, the Muslim world was the only place prepared to support their aspirations in the 1990s. Chechnya’s Dzhokhar Dudayev advanced a secular program of state independence based to the surprise of no one who knew him on his experience as a Soviet commander of the Tartu garrison in Estonia. A major general in the Soviet air force who was a hero in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he was in no way an Islamist. But his appeals to the West for support received only expressions of concern and not the open backing he hoped for; and over time, he and even more his successors turned to the Muslim world which was prepared to support their aspirations. That set the stage for the Islamic approach in his republic. Indeed, and this is often ignored by Western experts, Ramzan Kadyrov is far more Islamist than Dudayev ever was. But Kadyrov as Russia’s agent in place is acceptable to the West while Dudayev wasn’t – and now is blamed for what he never was. Consequently, those who today say “better Kadyrov than ISIS,” as Shmulyevich puts it, are engaged in revisionism. This issue might be of only historical interest if it were not for one thing: Moscow can see that the West makes this kind of calculation and thus has a vested interest in promoting the notion that Islamism is the only alternative to Russian power in the region. As long as that is accepted, the West will remain on Russia’s side. In fact, there are many movements in the North Caucasus where Islam is far from being the moving force. In Ingushetia, for example, the protests are informed far more by secular nationalist concerns about protecting territory and human rights than by Islam; but Moscow suggests otherwise and many in the West go along. Similar points could be made about the Circassian national movement and even Chechens. Many in emigration oppose him not from Islamist perspectives but from secular ones. Unfortunately, many are not interested in recognizing that or supporting those who are still pursuing, despite all the odds, a modernist approach. In another part of his interview, Shmulyevich makes an additional point which is important to keep in mind. He says that if Putin avoids another foreign adventure, the current Russian empire could remain in place for some time. But eventually, that empire like all empires will die because the colonies will cost the center more than they benefit it. Once Russia does withdraw, he continues, many vectors are possible from a war of all against all to cooperation and progress. It is important to recognize that the latter course is possible, instead of assuming as Moscow wants the West to that it is the only thing standing between stability and Islamist disaster.
Nazarbaev Presents Nazarbaev Medals To Putin, Lukashenka, Jeenbekov In Nur-Sultan
Former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has awarded the presidents of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus a medal named after the longtime authoritarian leader during a summit of a grouping of ex-S…

Belarus Reports

 


 

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Belarusians Far More Interested in Business than Russians Are, Daneyko Says
Paul Goble Staunton, May 29 – Forty-six percent of Belarusians would like to have their own business, 23 times as many as the share of Russians making the same declaration, according to Pavel Daneyko, head of the IPM Business School, who adds that this both explains why Belarusians are unhappy now and why they can be expected to make big progress in the future. Belarusians are unhappy with the way things are now because the life around them does not correspond to their hopes in the 1990s, the business specialist says; but they are committed to values including involvement with business that bode well for the future of the country (thinktanks.by/publication/2019/05/27/pavel-daneyko-chtoby-transformirovat-belorusskoe-obschestvo-nuzhny-40-let-i-dva-pokoleniya.html and zautra.by/art.php?sn_nid=31135). That is shown, Daneyko suggests, in the results of an American study of groups invited to the US. These groups were told what the rules were. The Russians listened but came up with their own. The Ukrainians ignored the rules assuming they didn’t need any, “but the Belarusians said ‘fine’ and lived by these rules” — and thus made the most progress. According to the business specialist, despite everything, “Belarusians have greater chances for joint collective work than do Russians or Ukrainians, the result of the experience of Jewish-Belarusian relations on this territory which were able to form the very interesting deep values of Belarusians.” For all these things to be realized will require “40 years and two generations,” Daneyko says. He adds that the absence of massive privatization in Belarus and emigration of many younger Belarusians may work to the country’s advantage in the future. On the one hand, Belarusians have gravitated to those few areas where privatization has happened rather than becoming mired in nominally private but in fact state-controlled businesses. And on the other, the number of Belarusians going abroad should not be a concern. They are establishing good contacts and helping to build ties between the countries they are going to and their homeland. And they will return when it becomes more possible to work in their own country just as has happened in Poland.

Transnistria / Moldova Reports

 


 

UAWire – Moldovan President Dodon promises to ask Constitutional Court’s permission to dissolve parliament if it fails to create a parliamentary majority
Moldovan President Igor Dodon said that he would ask the Constitutional Court to dissolve parliament if fails to create a parliamentary majority. …

 


 

Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports

 


 

Russia says it’s Turkey’s duty to halt fighting in Syria’s Idlib – Reuters
The Kremlin said on Friday it was Turkey’s responsibility to stop rebels in Syria’s Idlib province from firing on civilian and Russian targets, signalling it would continue to back a Syrian government offensive there despite Ankara’s protests.
U.S., Russian Diplomats Discuss Ways For Syria To Rejoin ‘International Community’
Top U.S. and Russian diplomats are considering measures that could eventually allow Syria “to move back into the international community” if it agrees to a series of steps to help end the country’s…
UAWire – Russian Special Forces ambushed in Syria
Russian Special Forces were ambushed by Syrian rebels near the village of Khirbet al-Arus in the northwest of the Syrian Hama province, reported …
Huge Wave of Syrians Flee Intensified Bombing on Last Rebel-Held Province – The New York Times
An escalated bombing campaign on Idlib, the last rebel-held province in Syria, has driven hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, alarming aid workers.
Report: Syrian air raids hit crowded residential area | Fox News
Syria’s White Helmets say at least six people were killed and 10 remain under rubble following government air raids on a town in the rebel’s last stronghold.
Satellite images show attacks intensifying in Syria’s Idlib province – CNN
Airstrikes and fighting in Syria’s last rebel-held province have left a trail of damage visible from space. In satellite images from May 20 and May 26, swathes of fields in northwestern Idlib appear blackened, the neat lines of city streets and blocks become blurs of debris, and plumes of smoke dot the landscape.
Syria’s opposition farmlands set on fire by regime bombs, satellite images show | Fox News
The slivers that make what is left of Syria’s last rebel-held bastion have gone up in flames in recent days.
Satellite images show fields in northwest Syria on fire – Reuters
New satellite images show fields, orchards and olive groves burning in northwest Syria, where the army has waged an assault against rebels in their last major stronghold.
Exclusive: Idlib government chief urges defense against Assad attack – Reuters
Russian-backed Syrian government forces will be able to advance all the way to the Turkish border if they pierce rebel defenses in the northwest, a top opposition official said, urging Turkey to do more to shield the area from a major attack.


Iraq Courts Sentences 3 French Men to Death
Hearings push forward trials of hundreds of people captured after militant group’s defeat last year.
Fourth French ISIL member sentenced to death in Iraq | ISIS/ISIL News | Al Jazeera
Paris says it respects the sovereignty of the Iraqi authorities, but stresses France’s opposition to the death penalty.
Iraq Sentences 2 More French IS Members to Death
They are among a group of 12 French citizens who were detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in neighboring Syria and handed over to Iraq in January
France Hands ISIS Suspects to Iraq, Which Sentences Them to Hang – The New York Times
For countries struggling with what to do with their citizens who joined the Islamic State, Iraq offers a solution. But does Iraqi justice meet international standards?
Exclusive: Islamic State suspects sent by U.S. from Syria to Iraq – Reuters
U.S. forces have quietly sent at least 30 suspected foreign Islamic State fighters captured in Syria last year and in late 2017 to stand trial in Iraq, interviews with the men, Iraqi sources and court documents show.
Belgium Extradites Russian Suspected Of Fighting Alongside IS In Syria
Belgium has extradited to Moscow a Russian citizen suspected of joining the extremist group Islamic State.
Suspect in Lyon Explosion Claims Ties to Islamic State Group
A man arrested for a bombing outside a Lyon bakery that injured 13 people has told investigators that he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group


Israel Defense Forces on Twitter: “Earlier today, a Syrian anti-aircraft system fired at an IDF aircraft as it was carrying out a routine flight in Israel. The projectile landed in Syrian territory. In response, we targeted the Syrian launcher that was responsible for firing it.”
 
Israel and Syria exchange fire amid soaring regional tensions | Israel News | Al Jazeera
A soldier has been killed and several injured in Quneitra province after an Israeli air attack, says Syrian state media.
At Least 1 Dead as Syria and Israel Exchange Fire | Time
Syria said an Israeli attack against a military post on Monday killed a soldier and injured another. Israel said it was responding to fire.
Israel moves towards election rerun as coalition talks stall | Israel News | Al Jazeera
Israel may hold a general election for the second time this year, as Benjamin Netanyahu struggles to form a government.
Israel faces possible second election amid coalition crisis
Israel’s newly elected parliament is promoting a bill to dissolve itself as a deadline to form a coalition government nears with no progress in sight
Israel Edges Toward Snap Elections as Netanyahu Struggles to Form Government – WSJ
Israel moved closer to snap polls as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struggled to form a government from a fractious group of secular and religious parties after April’s elections.
Benjamin Netanyahu was Trump before Trump – The Washington Post
Both men cater to the religious right — and do so with a hypocrisy that would fell lesser men.
Israel lurches toward unprecedented political crisis, Netanyahu faces possible 2nd election
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing the possibility of having to fight a second election this year, as he struggles to form a coalition government. With a looming deadline, Israel’s newly elected parliament began drafting a bill on Monday to dissolve itself. If the bill passes, Israel would be in unchartered waters— sending the political system into…
Netanyahu’s decade-long rule in doubt as coalition talks falter | World news | The Guardian
Israeli PM has until midnight to form government but no breakthrough in sight
Binyamin Netanyahu backed into a corner after being outmanoeuvred | World | The Times
Binyamin Netanyahu looked shell-shocked walking out of the vote. Shortly after midnight in the Knesset he had just pulled off an unprecedented political manoeuvre, but it had come at a cost. Seven weeks after winning a general election he had chosen to throw the victory away, dissolve the parliament
Netanyahu fails to form government, Israel to hold new elections | Fox News
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political future entered a treacherous new period Wednesday after he narrowly failed to form a coalition government and Israel’s parliament voted to dissolve and call a new election.
Israel’s second election of 2019 will feature these key players
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to cobble together a coalition government and Israel will vote on Sept. 17 in its second election within months.
Trump voiced support for Netanyahu to continue ‘alliance’ amid the Israeli political crisis | Business Insider
President Donald Trump offered unprecedented public support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid tense chaos ahead of a possible snap election in the country.
Trump laments Netanyahu failure to form Israel government: ‘It’s too bad’ | Fox News
President Trump Thursday said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inability to form a government was “too bad,” because the Middle East has “enough turmoil.”
Trump sent a map and silly note to Netanyahu after the Israeli prime minister had his worst day in politics | Business Insider
The White House senior adviser Jared Kushner on Thursday gave Benjamin Netanyahu an interesting gift after the Israeli prime minister suffered a devastating political blow earlier in the week.
Netanyahu political crisis centers on requiring ultra-Orthodox to serve in the military
Israel was in an unprecedented political impasse Tuesday as parliament pressed forward with legislation to dissolve itself in a high-stakes showdown that could lead to another snap election. Netanyahu has until late Wednesday to present his new coalition or else Israel’s largely ceremonial president can task someone else with the job.


Libya: Flight data places mysterious planes in Haftar territory | News | Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera Arabic investigation tracks suspicious cargo flights into military bases controlled by Khalifa Haftar.
Hifter’s forces push toward Libyan capital city’s center | Fox News
A Libyan official and residents say heavy clashes are slowly nearing the center of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, as forces loyal to the military commander Khalifa Hifter battle to seize power.
Young Arabs Want Less Religion in the Middle East | Jewish & Israel News Algemeiner.com


At Taliban Talks, Lavrov Calls For Withdrawal Of ‘All Foreign Troops’ From Afghanistan
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called for the complete withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan at a meeting in Moscow attended by a Taliban delegation.
Afghan Politicians, Taliban Cite ‘Tremendous Progress’ During Moscow Peace Talks
Senior Afghan politicians and the Taliban said they made progress during peace talks in Russia, although they did not make any significant breakthrough.
Afghan Politicians, Taliban Negotiators Expected To Meet In Moscow
Senior Afghan politicians and Taliban peace negotiators are expected to attend a two-day meeting in Moscow this week.

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports

 


 

Kim Jong-un ‘Brutally Purged Officials’ After Failed Summit – The Chosun Ilbo (English Edition): Daily News from Korea – North Korea
Kim Jong-un ‘Brutally Purged Officials’ After Failed Summit
Pompeo: We’re Checking if North Korea Executed Envoy Over Failed Trump Summit
The expert visited Assange in prison and said he’s showing signs of severe emotional and physical distress.
North Korea execution reports – why we should be cautious – BBC News
Why we should be cautious about reports that North Korea has executed its key envoy Kim Hyok-chol.
North Korea Executed Members of Nuclear-Negotiating Team, Defectors Say – WSJ
The South Korean government is looking into a report that North Korea has executed several members of its nuclear negotiating team as a consequence of the no-deal outcome at February’s nuclear summit with President Trump.
The North Korean official who handed Trump a ‘very nice’ appreciation letter is reportedly now in a prison camp | Business Insider
A senior North Korean official who met President Donald Trump at the White House last year was sentenced to hard labour and ideological “re-education,” according to South Korean news organisation Chosun Ilbo.
North Korea executes 5 officials over failed Kim-Trump summit: South Korean media | Fox News
North Korea has executed five officials for their role in the failed second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to a South Korean newspaper.
North Korea Executed Envoy Over Trump-Kim Summit, Chosun Reports – Bloomberg
North Korea executed its former top nuclear envoy to the U.S. and four other foreign ministry officials in March after a failed summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.
North Korea executes envoy in a purge after failed U.S. summit: media – Reuters
North Korea executed its nuclear envoy to the United States as part of a purge of officials who steered negotiations for a failed summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, a South Korean newspaper said on Friday.
Bolton says North Korea is violating UN resolutions and refusing talks – The Washington Post
As President Trump comes to Japan, the deadlock over North Korea looms large.
John Bolton says North Korean missile tests violate UN resolutions | Fox News
National Security Adviser John Bolton on Saturday said that there is “no doubt” that recent short-range missile launches by North Korea are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions — suggesting that the White House may be looking at putting a sharper edge on their diplomatic relations with dictatorship.
North Korea slams ‘warmonger’ Bolton over missile tests comment | News | Al Jazeera
Giving up tests means relinquishing right to self-defence, Pyongyang says in response to US national security adviser.
North Korea: Bolton a “war monger” and “defective human product” for criticizing recent Pyongyang missile tests – CBS News
Pyongyang comes down hard on U.S. national security adviser after he called North’s recent missile tests violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions
North Korea says it won’t resume talks unless US changes position | Fox News
North Korea says it will never resume nuclear talks with the U.S. unless the Trump administration modifies its position on unilateral demands for disarmament.
Still angling for a deal, Trump backs Kim Jong Un over Biden, Bolton and Japan – The Washington Post
Kim Jong Un is “very smart,” Biden has a low IQ, and North Korea didn’t launch ballistic missiles, the president said.
Trump Undercuts Bolton on North Korea and Iran – The New York Times
The disconnect between President Trump and his third national security adviser has sown confusion around the world about America’s foreign policy.
Acting defense secretary breaks with Trump on North Korea missile launches
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches violate a United Nations Security Council resolution, breaking with President Trump.
Too far? Trump invokes Kim in denigrating Biden | Fox News
If Barack Obama had quoted Kim Jong Un to slap at a top Republican, the GOP would have gone haywire, and rightfully so.
Donald Trump defends dictator Kim Jong Un, bashes Joe Biden from Japan – ABC News
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
President Trump takes bipartisan heat for backing Kim Jong Un – CNN Video
President Donald Trump returned from Japan to face a storm of criticism after publicly siding with Kim Jong Un on former Vice President Joe Biden. CNN’s Jim Acosta reports there’s bipartisan outrage.
Trump facing ‘some unfair criticism’ over Kim Jong Un comments, Tom Rogan says | Fox News
Some of the blowback from President Trump’s comments about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are “unfair criticism,” according to the Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan.
North Korea has been testing ballistic missiles. So why won’t Trump use the B word? – The Washington Post
Washington and Seoul seem determined to downplay Pyongyang’s missile tests. Is it wise?
Cracks, confusion in US approach to North Korea as Trump openly defies advisers – ABC News
Cracks, confusion in US approach to North Korea as Trump openly defies advisers three months after the Hanoi summit ended with no deal


Trump warns China with Pacific show of force | World | The Times
President Trump hailed US sailors as “daring and mighty warriors in the Pacific” as he staged a show of military might with Japan aimed at China’s creeping influence across the region.Mr Trump became the first US commander-in-chief to step on board a Japanese warship when he inspected the Kaga, a he
Shanahan Heads to Asia as White House Beats Drums on Iran – Defense One
The acting defense secretary is expected to detail how the Pentagon is implementing a strategic shift away from counterterrorism.
South China Sea: US military strategy in spotlight at Shangri-La Dialogue – CNN
With China-US relations already strained amid an escalating trade war, attention is about to turn to a familiar arena — the South China Sea.
U.S., China Defense Chiefs to Lay Out Rival Visions for Asia – Bloomberg
Top American and Chinese defense officials will lay out rival visions for the Indo-Pacific region as they meet in Singapore this week amid a bruising global trade war, tensions over China’s push for technology leadership and the specter of stalled U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks.


The U.S.-China Trade War’s Global Economic Impact
As Donald Trump and Xi Jinping threaten more tariffs, the economic costs of hte trade war are piling up. Global GDP would take a $600 billion hit in 2021.
U.S. Spares China From Currency Manipulator Label Amid Trade War – Bloomberg
The Trump administration again refrained from labeling China a currency manipulator on Tuesday, a decision that leaves one of the president’s campaign promises unfulfilled but avoids further escalation in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
China is digging in its heels on protecting a state-run economy
Beijing says American complaints about its economy compel China to damage “core interests.” In other words: That’s not up for negotiation.
Why China’s US debt holdings Are Its ‘Nuclear Option’ In Trump’s Trade War – YouTube
CNBC Published on May 24, 2019 China has a big trump card in the ongoing trade war against the United States — selling off its massive holdings of U.S government debt. Here’s why the so-called ‘nuclear option’ could hurt China as much as the United States.
Trade War Latest: Trump Tactics Hit Snag as China Plays Long Game – Bloomberg
In June 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump stood between bales of crushed aluminum and a crowd of supporters in a factory outside of Pittsburgh and made a promise on trade that wasn’t hard to keep.
How web-connected is China? | ChinaPower Project
The internet has fundamentally transformed China. Learn more about the opportunities and challenges it presented for China’s long-term development.
China Commits to Trade Talks Amid ‘Groundless’ Huawei Suspicions – Bloomberg
Beijing is committed to striking a trade deal with the U.S. but it’s ready to respond with more countermeasures, said Chinese envoy Cui Tiankai, as he called the blacklisting of Huawei an “unusual” act of state power against a company.
Trump’s ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei could cut off rural Americans’ cell service
Small telecom companies serving rural areas now face billions in costs or the end of their businesses after the Trump administration effectively banned Huawei.
Huawei’s journey to becoming US tech enemy No. 1 — Quartz
Huawei’s troubles in the US started early, then deepened severely since Trump was elected.
Huawei urges Washington to halt ‘illegal action’ | World | The Times
Huawei, the Chinese tech giant, has warned Washington that its sanctions could affect billions of consumers and urged a US court to throw out legislation that bans federal agencies from buying its products. The Chinese company called on Washington “to halt illegal action against it”, and filed a m
Chinese tourism to the U.S. falls for first time in 15 years – CBS News
The number of Chinese tourists dropped by almost 6% last year amid trade frictions between the U.S. and China
Chinese tourism to US falls after Beijing issues travel warning | TheHill
Chinese tourism to the United States dropped for the first time in 15 years after Beijing warned of the potential dangers in visiting the U.S.
Chinese media turning up the heat as US-China trade war drags on – ABC News
China’s state media had been mum on the trade dispute. But now, the rhetoric is heating up and popular American content, like the
Anchors From Fox and Chinese State TV Hold Live Debate on Trade – The New York Times
Experts say the debate between Trish Regan and Liu Xin will help a Communist Party-controlled television network raise its profile in America, where it has struggled to gain a foothold.
Fox, Chinese TV Hosts Hold Debate After Online Fight Goes Viral – Bloomberg
A Fox Business Network host and a broadcaster for Chinese state television sparred over key trade issues on a live debate broadcast by the U.S. network, after their online fight went viral on Chinese social media.
China Threatens Sweeping Blacklist of Firms After Huawei Ban – Bloomberg
China said it will establish a list of so-called “unreliable” entities it says damage the interests of domestic companies, a sweeping order that could potentially affect thousands of foreign firms as tensions escalate after the U.S. blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co.


‘Don’t say we didn’t warn you’ – a phrase from China signals the trade war could get even worse
The biggest Chinese newspaper made a warning to the U.S. using a phrase it only used twice in history, both of which involved full-on wars.
If we can’t challenge China, no one can, says only US rare earths mine
“If we can’t be economic, there’s no hope for the U.S. industry,” says James Litinsky, co-chairman of the Mountain Pass Materials mine.
Trade War: U.S. Fighter Jets in China’s Rare-Earth Firing Line – Bloomberg
China’s grip on the global market for rare-earth metals gives it the ability to target American weaponry in its trade war with the U.S.
China Has Rare Earths Plan Ready to Go If Trade War Deepens – Bloomberg
Beijing has readied a plan to restrict exports of rare earths to the U.S. if needed, as both sides in the trade war dig in for a protracted dispute, according to people familiar with the matter.
China drops heavy hint it is about to pull the trigger on its most powerful weapon in the trade war | Business Insider
China dropped its most obvious hint yet that it will restrict exports of rare earths to the US as a strategy in the trade war, a move that could cripple the American tech, defence, and manufacturing industries.
China makes veiled threat about withholding rare earth minerals
A Chinese official warned that products made from the country’s rare earth materials should not be used against China’s development.
China willing to meet reasonable rare earth demand from other countries – Reuters
China is willing to meet reasonable demand for rare earths from other countries, but it would be unacceptable that countries using Chinese rare earths to manufacture products would turn around and suppress China, its commerce ministry said.


Tiananmen protests were not ‘suppressed,’ Chinese government says – CNN
The massacre of unarmed citizens by soldiers in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, should not be referred to as “suppression,” a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman told reporters Thursday.
New Documents Show Power Games Behind China’s Tiananmen Crackdown – The New York Times
A book released in Hong Kong reveals how after the 1989 massacre, China’s top officials united to denounce an ousted leader and embrace a darkly wary worldview.
On the run after Tiananmen Square – BBC News
Dan Wang was a student leader at the Tiananmen Square protests in China in 1989. After the violent crackdown by the security services he was at the top of the ‘most wanted’ list.


John Bolton’s Taiwan Meeting: A Good Sign | National Review
The advocates of engagement have the better case, and they always have.
China rages against Bolton meeting as anti-invasion drills begin in Taiwan – CNN
The Chinese government has slammed Washington for engaging with Taipei and ordered the Trump administration to cease diplomatic engagements with the island, after a highly unusual public meeting between top officials from the US and Taiwan.
Taiwan lands aircraft on highway as part of military drills – ABC News
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
Taiwan Converts a Superhighway to a Fighter Runway
The island nation is preparing to carry on the fight in the event regular airstrips are closed.


Reading Between the Lines: The Next Spratly Legal Dispute | Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative
China has made no secret of its intention to eventually declare straight baselines around the rest of its claimed features in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands.
Testing the waters: China’s maritime militia challenges foreign forces at sea
What makes up China’s maritime militia, and how secret of an organization is it really?
China, Japan boats engage in cat-and-mouse chase near disputed Islands – UPI.com
A Chinese coast guard ship chased away a Japanese fishing vessel carrying a Japanese politician near the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyutai Islands.
In Trump’s Japan Visit, Golf, Sumo Wrestling — And A Raft Of Policy Differences : NPR
A Monday press conference with President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe showed the two countries struggling to manage differences over issues including Iran, North Korea and trade.
Donald Trump and Abe’s friendship day: golf, sumo and barbecue – CNNPolitics
Hours before President Donald Trump was set to begin a day of male bonding with his Japanese counterpart, he issued a tweet underscoring his lingering divides with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over security matters.
Australian helicopters targeted by lasers in South China Sea – CNN
Australian military helicopters were targeted with lasers during operations in the South China Sea this month.
Australian navy pilots struck by lasers in South China Sea – AOL News
A witness says Australian navy helicopter pilots were hit by lasers while exercising in the South China Sea, forcing them to land as a precaution.
Huawei Versus Trump Is a Huge Challenge for Europe’s Spies – Bloomberg
The EU wants to present a united front on the Chinese 5G supplier, but its member states need to get over their reluctance to share intelligence. 
China says hopes Canada understands consequences of siding with U.S. – Reuters
China hopes Canada understands the consequences of siding with the United States and doing its bidding, China’s foreign ministry said on Friday, after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called for the release of two Canadians detained in China.
China tells Canada of ‘consequences’ of helping US
BEIJING — China says Canada needs to be aware of the consequences of aiding the U.S. in a case involving the Chinese tech giant Huawei that is believed to have sparked the detentions of two Canadians in China.
Rogers vice chairman calls for banning Huawei from Canada’s 5G network: Bloomberg – Reuters
Canadian telecom provider Rogers Communications Inc’s vice chairman, Philip Lind, said on Thursday that Huawei Technologies Co should be banned from Canada’s 5G network, Bloomberg reported.
Huawei Should Be Banned From Canada’s 5G, Rogers Vice Chair Says – Bloomberg
Huawei Technologies Co. poses too big of a threat to Canada and should be banned from its 5G network, according to the vice chairman of Rogers Communications Inc.
Mahathir: We try to use Huawei technology ‘as much as possible’
As many countries grapple with how seriously to take U.S. warnings that Huawei’s technology can’t be trusted, Malaysia’s leader says the answer is unambiguous for his country.
Military Operations In Myanmar Constitute War Crimes, Says Amnesty International : NPR
A report released Wednesday concludes government troops are instigating violent clashes, extrajudicial executions, conducting arbitrary arrests, torturing prisoners and destroying historical sites.

Foreign Policy Reports

 


 

European Elections Will Be A Test For Nationalist Parties Hoping To Remake The EU : NPR
“I believe this is the first time since the beginning of European integration that this European Union could actually break apart,” center-left Dutch politician Frans Timmermans warned this month.
How European Politics Is Fracturing – Foreign Policy
Sunday’s vote shows that mainstream centrist parties are losing their traditional constituencies as voters hunger for new voices.
European Parliamentary Election Results: Understanding What They Mean | National Review
The legacy parties continued to decline and the populist right advanced only so far. Now, the pro-EU left may grow more assertive.
E.U. elections don’t matter much. But the anger behind this one will. – The Washington Post
The populists did well, but so did the Greens. What to take away from a chaotic day across Europe.
Europe’s old guard is punished by voters demanding change – CNN
If nothing else, Europe’s fractured voters have made one thing clear — they want things to change.
Opinion | Reasons for Hope and Concern in Europe’s Elections – The New York Times
The far-right populists did somewhat worse than expected, but mainstream political parties took a beating.
EU Leaders Starting to Pick Bloc’s Top Chiefs
Germany, France at odds on new choice as president of European Commission, executive arm of the 28-nation European Union
EU Commission: France and Germany differ on Brussels’ top job – BBC News
France and Germany differ as leaders consider who takes the key EU roles after parliamentary elections.
Merkel and Macron Already in Disagreement Over Top EU Job – Bloomberg
With the race for the top jobs in the European Union heating up, Chancellor Angela Merkel ran into an early diplomatic setback as her German pick for the presidency of the bloc’s executive arm got roundly snubbed.
Macron Chastened as French Voters Hand Narrow Victory to Le Pen – Bloomberg
French President Emmanuel Macron suffered a narrow defeat to Marine Le Pen’s nationalist movement in Sunday’s European parliamentary elections.
European Election: Populists fare badly in Netherlands – exit poll – CNN
Dutch Pro-European parties are predicted to triumph in the European Parliament election against populists, an exit poll on Thursday has unexpectedly revealed.
European elections 2019: Dutch Labour celebrate after vote – BBC News
The centre-left Labour party hails a “bizarre comeback” in European elections based on exit polls.
Brexit Party surges as Europe’s centrists lose majority in EU
The upending of the traditional order was particularly noticeable in the UK, where Nigel Farage’s single-issue Brexit Party took a third of the votes.
Nigel Farage: How election success brings Brexit crusader’s career full circle – BBC News
The Brexit Party’s EU elections success has made Nigel Farage the UK’s most talked-about politician again.
ECB warns of sharp falls in asset prices if trade tensions escalate
Growing uncertainty about global economic growth could lead to “bouts of high volatility” in financial markets, the ECB warned.
There’s Too Little Outcry When a Government Blocks the Internet – Defense One
For its own citizens’ safety, and for grand strategy’s sake, the U.S. government needs to up the pressure.


Theresa May’s Resignation Throws a Fractured Britain Into Further Turmoil – The New York Times
The prime minister’s departure throws Britain into an unpredictable quandary after three years of trying and failing to pull the country out of the European Union.
Scottish government publishes independence referendum bill – media – news world | UNIAN
Legislation to enable a second referendum on independence has been published by the Scottish government, as Nicola Sturgeon said another vote before 2021 would give Scotland “the opportunity to choose to be an independent European nation – rather than have a Brexit future imposed upon us.” Nicola Sturgeon says second vote before 2021 would give people chance to reject Brexit.
Theresa May’s Resignation Raises Chances of British General Election
Boris Johnson, frontrunner to succeed May, stakes out a hardline Brexit position as rivals and longtime foes scramble to block him
Theresa May: A Prime Minister Defined and Defeated by Brexit
Theresa May became prime minister in 2016 with one overriding goal: to lead Britain out of the European Union
Race to succeed May centres on ‘no deal’ Brexit battle – Reuters
The prospect of a “no deal” Brexit was fast becoming the central battle of the race to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday, as environment minister Michael Gove became the latest candidate to declare.
Race to succeed UK PM May centers on ‘no deal’ Brexit battle – Reuters
The prospect of a “no deal” Brexit was fast becoming the central battle of the race to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday, as environment minister Michael Gove became the eighth candidate to declare.
In Contest to Succeed Theresa May, Stars Are Aligning for Boris Johnson – The New York Times
The divisive, charismatic Mr. Johnson, the ex-foreign secretary, is the leading candidate to succeed Mrs. May as Britain’s prime minister. The only person who can stop him may be Mr. Johnson himself.
Fury as Brexit-wrecking MPs plot to stop Boris Johnson winning leadership
Hardcore Remainers in shady deal with BoJo enemies to keep him out of No10.
Boris Johnson to face court for alleged Brexit lies – CNN
The leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as British Prime Minister has been ordered to appear in court to face allegations he lied to the public during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign.
Boris Johnson to Face Court Questions About Brexit Claims
Judge summons former Foreign Secretary to court to answer questions about possible misconduct in public office during the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign
Boris Johnson Is Ordered To Face Accusations That He Lied To The Public : NPR
A British court is ordering Boris Johnson to face accusations that while holding public office, he repeatedly lied by saying Britain paid £350 million each week to be in the EU.
Boris Johnson Has Star Quality, but Can He Run a Government?
Johnson has never made a secret of his ambitions to be Prime Minister, announcing them even as a teenager at Eton
Tory leadership contest: Michael Gove pledge on EU citizenship applications – BBC News
Tory contender promises “open and generous” offer to EU nationals if he becomes prime minister.
Tory leadership: Matt Hancock latest candidate to enter race – BBC News
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is the latest contender for the Tory leadership, with more expected.
Tory leadership contest: Jeremy Hunt warns against no-deal Brexit ‘suicide’ – BBC News
The foreign secretary says a no-deal policy could see the Tories “annihilated” in a general election.
Philip Hammond warns Tories over pursuing no-deal Brexit | News | The Times
Philip Hammond has hinted that he would help bring down a Conservative government in order to block a no-deal Brexit, in an intervention that will pile pressure on Boris Johnson. The chancellor distanced himself from Tory leadership contenders who in the wake of the Brexit Party’s European election
UK premiership contender pitches British citizenship for 3 million EU nationals | Fox News
Michael Gove threw his hat into the ring to succeed Theresa May as Conservative Party leader over the weekend.
UK has growing list of candidates trying to succeed Theresa May
It’s not quite as crowded as the Democratic presidential primary, but the number of contenders to succeed Theresa May as the UK’s prime minister is growing. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Saturday became the latest candidate for the job to oversee the UK’s chaotic and long-stalled Brexit.
Who is Boris Johnson, the man poised to be the next British leader?
Boris Johnson is widely expected to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, and therefore the prime minister.
Britain’s European Elections: Strange Claims | National Review
We have entered an era in which (to borrow a phrase from the Irish writer Kevin Myers) the truth becomes “whatever you’re having yourself.”
Labour antisemitism row: Equalities and Human Rights Commission launches formal inquiry | News | The Times
Britain’s equalities watchdog has launched a formal investigation into whether the Labour Party has unlawfully discriminated against Jews. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) announced this morning that it will investigate whether Labour and its employees have acted unlawfully over all
Senior Labour figure Peter Willsman suspended over antisemitism remarks | News | The Times
A member of Labour’s ruling body has been suspended after blaming the party’s antisemitism crisis on Israel. Peter Willsman, who was re-elected to Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) by party members last summer, said the rows over antisemitism were “all lies”, that rabbis who had criticised
Dominic Raab releases unseen pictures of his Jewish father who fled the Nazis to attack Labour | Daily Mail Online
Mr Raab says his Jewish father Peter (pictured) fled the Nazis in 1938 came to Britain aged six – but believes Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are not standing up for ‘free and tolerant democracy’.
Pomp and Protests: Trump’s State Visit to Britain
With Prime Minister May on her way out, Trump will visit Queen, mark 75th anniversary of D-Day
More migrants needed to plug skills gap | News | The Times
Britain is so lacking in architects, web designers and vets they should be put on a shortage occupation list used by ministers to allocate skilled work visas, migration advisers recommend today.It is part of a dramatic expansion of the list driven by bosses saying they are having difficulty finding


Merkel Digs in Heels as She Sees Successor Not Up to the Job – Bloomberg
Angela Merkel has given up hope on her heir apparent and is hunkering down in office in the face of growing turmoil in Germany’s ruling party.
Germany’s Political Establishment Looks Fragile After E.U. Vote – The New York Times
Both parties in Angela Merkel’s governing coalition suffered losses in the European Parliament election, raising questions about the future.
Angela Merkel warns against dark forces on the rise in Europe – CNN
In an exclusive interview with CNN, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says “Germany can and will not uncouple itself” from the dark forces that are finding mainstream support in Germany and other parts of the world.
Angela Merkel: We must face up to the spectors of our past – CNN Video
In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there is still work to be done in fighting anti-Semitism and intolerance in Germany.
Merkel: German police have to guard every synagogue, Jewish school and day care center | TheHill
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview airing Tuesday that police have to guard every synagogue, Jewish school and day care center in her country.
Germany new, old shame
“I can’t tell Jews to wear the kippah everywhere all the time in Germany,” announced that country’s commissioner for anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, on…
Felix Klein: German official warns against wearing the Jewish kippah – The Washington Post
U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell helped lead the call for more people to wear the traditional skullcap in the country.
German Newspaper Prints Cut-out Paper Kippah After Jews Warned Against Wearing Skullcap
Germany’s commissioner on anti-Semitism controversially advised against wearing the kippah “all the time.”
Germany’s Bild newspaper prints cut-out kippah in campaign against anti-Semitism – CNN
German newspaper Bild published a cut-out kippah skullcap on its front page Monday, urging readers to show their solidarity with the country’s Jewish community in the face of rising anti-Semitism.
Germans urged to wear Jewish skullcap ahead of anti-Israel protests – CNN
Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner has asked all citizens to wear the kippah in solidarity with the Jewish community, in the run-up to planned anti-Israel protests Saturday.
Anti-Semitic Attacks on the Rise in Germany
Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner has advised Jews that certain parts of the country may be dangerous


European Vote Reveals an Ever More Divided France – The New York Times
The party of Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader who lost decisively to President Emmanuel Macron two years ago, defeated his party in the European Parliament voting.
Top French Journalist Questioned by Intelligence Service
Increasing Numbers of Journalists Being Questioned by the Government
Spain is back: Sanchez’s Socialists return to EU top table – Reuters
Buoyed by two electoral victories in a month, Spain’s Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez wants to thrust his country back into the heart of European Union decision-making after years of domestic woes that undercut Madrid’s sway.
Auschwitz protesters get prison time for naked stunt
The District Court in Krakow confirmed on Tuesday that the man who killed the sheep, Adam Bialiatski, was sentenced a week ago to a year in prison, while a second man, Mikita Valadzko, was given eight months.


Julian Assange is moved to hospital wing of Belmarsh prison after losing weight | Daily Mail Online
The Wikileaks founder (pictured this month) who was not at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today, is said to have suffered ‘dramatic weightloss and ill health since being jailed for skipping bail.
WikiLeaks’ Assange too ill to appear via video link in U.S. extradition hearing – Reuters
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was too ill on Thursday to appear via video link from a British prison in a hearing on an extradition request from the United States, his lawyer said.
Assange suffering psychological torture, would face show trial in U.S.: U.N. expert – Reuters
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has suffered psychological torture from a defamation campaign and should not be extradited to the United States where he would face a “politicized show trial”, a U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday.
Assange Suffering ‘Psychological Torture,’ Says U.N. Rights Expert
The expert visited Assange in prison and said he’s showing signs of severe emotional and physical distress.


Serbia places forces on alert after Kosovo police operation in Serb-populated north – Reuters
Serbia ordered its troops on full alert on Tuesday and Russia accused Kosovo of provocation after a Kosovan police anti-crime operation in a region populated mainly by Serbs led to clashes.
Tensions Rise After Police Operation In Northern Kosovo
Kosovo’s police for detained several officers and border guards they said were suspected of organized crime in the mainly Serbian northern part of the country. Belgrade said this was a provocation and put its military on high alert.
Incensed By ‘Racist’ Comments, Kosovo Says It Is Banning Serbian PM
Kosovo’s government says it is banning Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic from entering the country after comments she made that Pristina took as being “racist.”
Policing The Police: Romanian Journalist Defies Death Threats
Senior Romanian police officers have resigned after claims that they ordered death threats against a journalist probing plagiarism at the Police Academy. Amid growing concerns about declining media freedom in Romania, Emilia Sercan insists she will continue her work.
Kosovo Declares Russian UN Worker Persona Non Grata
Kosovo has proclaimed a Russian UN worker persona non grata and ordered him expelled from the country.


Venezuela’s inflation rate hits 130,060% – CNN
Venezuela’s economy is in shambles and the country has plunged into political chaos. The dysfunction is so great that basic economic data has been hard to come by.
Why Venezuela’s Regime Hasn’t Collapsed
Venezuela’s opposition cannot oust Nicolás Maduro if it does not first break up the military-civilian alliance that is keeping him in power. At dawn on April 30, Venezuelan opposition leaders Juan Guaidó and Leopoldo López appeared at a military base in Caracas and called on citizens and the military to begin the “final phase” of ousting President Nicolás Maduro. Opposition leaders had called on citizens to rise against the government before, but their decision to appeal directly to the military was seen as a game-changer. By sunset that same day, however, López and his family had sought refuge in the Spanish embassy and Guaidó had gone silent for several hours. It was all but certain that the attempted uprising had failed. What happened? Some have suggested that Guaidó, who has mounted a direct challenge to Maduro’s presidency since January, did not manage to project enough of a sense of confidence and inevitability for the uprising to gather momentum. Others have claimed that, forced by rumors that the government was going to issue an arrest warrant, Guaidó had jumped the gun and acted a day earlier than he and several military leaders had agreed on, spooking his allies in the armed forces. The truth, however, is more complex.
From Colombia, Venezuelan defectors arm themselves to ‘liberate’ their homeland – Reuters
Wearing camouflage shirts and combat boots, a Venezuelan militia group stands in formation in the Colombian city of Cucuta as their commander, a former Venezuelan army sergeant, outlines plans to seize towns across the border before heading to Caracas to help oust President Nicolas Maduro.
Norway says Venezuelan talks making progress | Fox News
Norway’s government on Wednesday praised progress made in talks between representatives of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and the political opponents trying to oust him, even as tensions mounted back home.
Norway Sees Progress in Venezuelan Peace Talks
Negotiators in Oslo hope to find solutions to Venezuela’s political and economic crises
The military of the Russian Federation are in Venezuela to help Maduro defend against the United States – Ambassador Zaemsky
Russian troops in Venezuela are helping the Nicholas Maduro regime to prepare for possible threats from the United States. This was stated by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Venezuela, Vladimir Zaemsky, reports Tsenzor.NET with reference to AFP . “The Venezuelan government is in a state of anxious waiting, because the US has repeatedly threatened to use force against the country,” said Zaemsky, noting that it is precisely because of this that Venezuelan security officials must be sure that their weapons are in working condition. According to Zaemsky, Russian military experts teach Venezuelans “to maintain their equipment’s combat readiness and teach them how to best use it.” He also noted that according to the law, the Russian military is allowed to be in Venezuela in accordance with an agreement signed between the countries in 2001. The Russian diplomat stressed that despite all the preparations, he believes in a peaceful solution to the crisis through “dialogue and the search for a compromise.” As is known, the political and socio-economic crisis continues in Venezuela since January, caused by the confrontation between President Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaydo, the opposition leader and the chairman of the country’s parliament, which most Western countries, including the United States, have been recognized as interim Venezuelan president. Recall, on April 30, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Russia supports the Maduro regime in Venezuela because of greed and the desire to return their money, as well as because of the solidarity between non-democratic regimes. At the same time, according to him, a number of high-ranking officials of Maduro are ready to renounce it.
Russia says it is ready to play role in Venezuela crisis talks in Oslo – Reuters
Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday that Moscow was ready to play a role in talks between the Venezuelan government and opposition in Oslo if the participants felt it was useful.
Guaidó, Maduro To Send Delegates To Norway For Talks On Venezuelan Crisis : NPR
Representatives for President Nicolás Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó are slated to hold direct talks in Norway this week aimed at breaking months of political gridlock.
Norway Says Venezuela Mediation to Resume Next Week
Announcement is indication that negotiation track is gaining momentum after months of escalating tension between Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido
Venezuelan Negotiators Return to Norway for Talks
Representatives of the government and the opposition are in Oslo for talks to resolve the crisis
Norway says Venezuela government, opposition to hold new round of talks – Reuters
Norway said on Saturday that representatives of Venezuela’s government and opposition will return to Oslo next week following an initial round of preliminary talks about how to address the country’s political crisis.
Venezuela crisis: Delegates to meet for Norway peace talks – BBC News
Government and opposition delegates are returning to Norway to try to resolve the political crisis.
UAWire – Maduro promises to bring 4G to Venezuela with Russia’s help
President Nicolás Maduro during his speech at the exhibition of innovations and technologies of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces said that Venezuela wants to increase country’s telecommunications capabilities and create a 4G communication system with the help of Russian and Chinese technologies, reports Venezolana de Television TV channel. Maduro stated that the National Corporation for telecommunications and postal services was established. It will be headed by Jorge Marquez who is the head of the Monitoring and Supervision Unit of the Public Administration of the Presidential Cabinet. Maduro also noted that Venezuela has already engaged in satellite-based telecommunications and he has also asked to make every effort to ensure that the country has a fast Internet connection. “I gave orders to attract the investments which will allow raising telecommunications to a new level in cooperation with the Chinese technologies, Huawei technologies, as well as technologies of Russian companies and to make 4G system a reality in Venezuela , so that Venezuela would have fast communications, Internet, and telephone systems,” said Maduro. The President did not specify which Russian companies Caracas wants to cooperate with. He also did not specify the amount of money that is planned to be invested in the project. He also said that the restrictions imposed by the US against Huawei are “an aggressive step.” Last week, the US Department of Commerce blacklisted Chinese company after President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to “deal with the threat posed by the unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of information and communications technology… supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries”. However, Huawei can still operate in the US for 90 days.
Venezuela’s gas shortages create days-long lines – CNN
For the last two weeks, people from several states in Venezuela have described severe gas shortages, a once unthinkable problem. It’s not the first time that the country has suffered gas shortages, but those were blamed on bad distribution and logistical inefficiency. This time, as citizens find themselves queuing for days at the gas stations, many are starting to fear there simply is not enough oil for all.
In Venezuela, criminals feel the pinch of an economic crisis
In something of an unexpected silver lining to the country’s all-consuming economic crunch, experts say armed assaults and killings are plummeting in one of the world’s most violent nations, as costs are impacting criminals, too.
‘Crazy Boys’ gang says Venezuela too broke to make muggings worth it
The Venezuelan political and economic crisis has hit a tipping point: gangs no longer can afford to mug people.
US boycotts UN disarmament conference after Venezuela takes presidency | Fox News
The U.S. on Tuesday walked out of a U.N. disarmament conference in Geneva to protest Venezuela assuming the presidency.
Let the Monroe Doctrine Die – Foreign Policy
The Trump administration is committing national security malpractice in Latin America by resurrecting a policy that has outlived its purpose.

 


 

Capability / Strategy / History Publications

 


 

Air Force wants to expand tactical data network to space
Viasat has been awarded a contract to develop the first Link 16 capable spacecraft, which will allow the military to expand the Link 16 network to beyond-line-of-sight communications.
The Pentagon is Trying to Secure Its Networks Against Quantum Codebreakers – Defense One
The Defense Information Systems Agency is exploring new encryption strategies that could withstand an attack from quantum computers.
How secure is the intelligence community’s IT supply chain?
Concerned over threats to the acquisition supply chain from foreign actors, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence included the establishment of a supply chain risk management task force in the latest Intelligence Authorization Act, approved May 14.
Pentagon hits pause on redesign of critical homeland missile defense component
The Pentagon is taking a strategic pause on its Redesigned Kill Vehicle — a key future component of the Ground-Based Interceptors, which make up the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System designed to defend the homeland against possible threats from North Korea and Iran.


RIP F-35 and F-22: China Claims It Has Radar That Can Detect Stealth Aircraft | The National Interest
Should the Air Force be worried? 
Navy F-35C May Carry More Weapons Now That It’s – “Ready for War” – Warrior Maven
Lockheed engineers say the new “internally carried” firepower would massive increase attack options
The Air Force Will Start Using F-35s to Simulate Stealth Enemy Aircraft
Older U.S. planes just can’t properly act as stand-ins for stealth-capable aircraft.
This F-16’s New Paint Job Looks Like a Russian Superfighter
The F-16 may not have much in common with the Su-57, but at least it has the right look.
Now F-35s Are Getting in the Sky Dong Game
Pilots can’t stop (won’t stop) drawing penises in the clouds.
F-35 Dogfight Accidentally Resulted in a Sky Penis, Officials Say | Military.com
Six F-35 Joint Strike Fighters simulating aggressor air training accidentally created contrails that resembled a penis.
B-52 Squadron Commander Fired over Penis Drawings in Bomber Cockpits | Military.com
Lt. Col. Paul Goossen was relieved from duty after sexually explicit and phallic drawings were discovered.
An Air Force sky penis to rival the Navy’s own?
A pic of a sky phallus apparently drawn over Ramstein Air Base fails to match the clean elegance of the Navy’s sky penis drawing last year.
How F-22s Would Wage War Against China | The National Interest
Here comes the “rapid raptor.”
F-22 and F-35 Would Never Have Happened (Had These Planes Been Picked Instead) | The National Interest
We break them down.
The Dogfighter: Why Russia’s Su-35 Fighter Won’t Be An Easy Target for Anyone
The maneuverability of the Su-35 makes it an unsurpassed dogfighter. However, future aerial clashes using the latest missiles (R-77s, Meteors, AIM-120s) could potentially take place over enormous ranges, while even short-range combat may involve all-aspect missiles like the AIM-9X and R-74 that don’t
Mariusz Błaszczak on Twitter: “Five generation fighters are already on the horizon. Today we sent a request for quotation (RFQ) to our American partners regarding the purchase of 32 F35A aircraft along with a logistics and training package. It’s time to replace post-Soviet equipment with the most modern fighters!”
 
Trump announces Japan’s purchase of 105 new F-35 stealth aircraft – Defence Blog
U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Japan plans to buy almost 105 new F-35 Lightning ll stealth fighter jets. “The United States supports Japan’s efforts to improve its defense capabilities, and in recent months we have sent them a large amount of military equipment,” Trump said at a press conference, announcing Japan’s intention to buy 105 US-made stealth warplanes, giving it the largest F-35 fleet of any US ally. According to the American leader: “(They’re) stealth because the fact is you can’t see them.” The U.S. Defense industry is developing and fielding a family of fifth-generation strike fighter aircraft integrating stealth technologies with advanced sensors and computer networking capabilities for the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy, eight international partners, and four foreign military sales customers. The family is comprised of three aircraft variants. The Air Force’s F-35A variant will complement its F-22A fleet and is expected to replace the air-to-ground attack capabilities of the F-16 and A-10. The Marine Corps’ F-35B variant will replace its F/A-18 and AV-8B aircraft. The Navy’s F-35C variant will complement its F/A-18E/F aircraft. As of December 2018, the prime contractor has delivered 264 production aircraft. The Japanese government first placed an order for 42 F-35As in December 2011. Still, by the time December 2018 rolled around, the existing order was updated. At the time it was reported that Tokyo would be adding 63 F-35As and 42 F-35B variants to its order, in addition to the already placed request for 42 F-35As.
Germany to take up European next-gen fighter funding next week
Defense officials hope to have approval in time for the Paris Air Show in mid-June.
Spanish defense contractors are itching to get a piece of FCAS
Madrid is expected soon to formally join the Franco-German quest for a sixth-generation fighter.
Saab CEO sees ‘huge interest’ in T-X trainer aircraft following US Air Force deal
The T-X production facility that Swedish defense group Saab is building in West Lafayette, Indiana, “will become one of our major sites,” Håkan Buskhe told reporters.
Gripen E testing ahead of schedule, vendor claims
The first aircraft for Sweden will be delivered this year to the test and evaluation force made up of personnel from Saab and the Swedish Air Force.
Saab: First GlobalEye plane for UAE will be ready next spring
The aircraft is currently being tested in Granada, Spain, where weather conditions more closely resemble those of the client than in Sweden.
US Seeks Technology to Help Allies Avoid Bombing Civilians – Defense One
Pentagon officials are looking for tools and methods that can be declassified and shared with international partners.
Press Releases :: IAF successfully test fires aerial version of BRAHMOS missile


Without an effective air wing, why even have an aircraft carrier in the first place?
CSBA Senior Fellow Bryan Clark explains the radical changes, including extensive use of unmanned aircraft and other new manned types, that are needed to enable a carrier air wing to succeed in a future conflict.
Lockheed drops bid to design FFG(X)
Lockheed Martin’s decision leaves four contenders for the FFG(X) program.
When it comes to missile-killing lasers, the US Navy is ready to burn its ships
A Hawaii-based destroyer will be the first surface combatant to integrate a laser.
Are U.S. Submarines Vulnerable? | RealClearDefense
The most survivable leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear Triad of bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) are the submarines. …
Is Britain buying a warship? Depends who you ask.
British lawmakers are clashing with defense officials over an international competition for logistics ships.


SOFIC 19 – DefendTex Drone-40 – Soldier Systems Daily
The Drone-40 is the most amazing thing I saw at this year’s SOFIC. Made by DefendTex, it is a low-cost, programmable 40 mm munition, providing kinetic or ISR options.
General Dynamics unveils next-gen precision-guided mortar systems during exhibition in Canada – Defence Blog
General Dynamics has unveiled its next-generation of precision-guided mortar systems during the 21st session of CANSEC 2019 in Ottawa, Canada. Defense, security and aerospace giant showcased Roll Controlled Guided Mortar (RCGM) design at the CANSEC defense trade show in Ottawa. According to the company’s presentation, in today and tomorrow’s conflicts there is a greater need for increased precision on target with reduced collateral damage. General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems’ 81mm Roll Controlled Guided Mortar (RCGM) provides an affordable, flexible solution to meet that need. Target coordinates are programed into the RCGM using a portable GPS setter. The fuze is set manually to proximity, point detonate, or delay modes. Once the mortar is launched the on-board GPS acquires satellites and determines the mortar’s position and vertical reference (up). Based on continuous GPS updates, the auto-pilot calculates corrections and sends commands to the canards to continuously maneuver the mortar toward the target. Upon impact the mortar detonates in the desired mode. In 2012 a tactical demonstration of 16 live rounds was completed, achieving CEP of less than five meters at ranges from 980 to 4000 meters.
A Drone Captured Video From Inside a Rocket Artillery Barrage [Finnish BM-21 clone]
A new video shows one of the most fascinating and terrifying weapons in modern military arsenals: the multiple rocket launcher. The video shows a full barrage of nearly 240 artillery rockets launched by Finnish artillerymen, their five-inch rockets training orange flames at night. A second barrage impacts at the edge of a forest, flower-like explosions throwing lethal shrapnel in all directions. It’s one of the most effective examples of the power of artillery ever recorded.
Doping Soldiers So They Fight Better – Is It Ethical? – Defense One
The U.S. military is constantly using technology to build better ships, warplanes, guns, and armor. Shouldn’t it also use drugs to build better soldiers?


Boeing CEO: ‘We apologise to the families’ – BBC News
Dennis Muilenburg gives his first interview since the two 737 Max crashes that killed more than 300 people.
Boeing CEO apologizes to victims’ families after 737 Max crashes
Boeing 737 Max planes are grounded worldwide after the two crashes since October killed a total of 346 people.
Boeing admits it ‘fell short’ on safety alert for 737 – BBC News
Boss Dennis Muilenburg says the US aircraft maker is now fixing the problems.
Even if the FAA clears Boeing 737 Max jets to fly, Americans may not get on board – CBS News
A new study found less than a fifth of the people surveyed would definitely fly on a Max in the first six months of its return to service
United Airlines will cancel more Boeing 737 Max flights – CNN
United Airlines now plans to cancel all flights involving Boeing 737 Max planes until August — a month longer than previously announced.
‘It will be a crash for sure’: Ethiopian Airlines pilot reportedly warned senior officials that pilots needed more training on Boeing 737 Max – AOL News
Three months after the pilot delivered the warning, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed and killed all 157 people on board.


Rare color footage brings D-Day memories alive, 75 years on | WTOP
As veterans and world leaders prepare to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day next week, these surprising color images bring an immediacy to wartime memories. See photos.
D-Day’s 75th Anniversary Renews Interest in Some Classrooms 
Historians and educators worry that the World War II milestone is losing its resonance with today’s students

 


 

IW/EW/IO/Cyber/Social Media Reports

 


 

Nancy Pelosi video: Why it took Facebook so long to act – CNNPolitics
It took Facebook more than a day to downgrade a doctored video making House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look like she was slurring her words — and the video itself remains on the site, with copycats proliferating.
‘Shame on Mark Zuckerberg’: Facebook enraged lawmakers again after evading questions about its year from hell | Business Insider
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was roasted once more by lawmakers after declining to answer their questions at an international committee hearing in Canada.
Facebook chief Zuckerberg snubs Canadian Parliament; lawmakers issue summons – The Washington Post
Facebook executives could face a contempt vote for not appearing before Parliament.
Comic: how to have better arguments about the environment (or anything else)
To solve our global problems we must learn to think beyond our tribes.

US Domestic Policy Reports

 


 

US Air Force meets its goal to shave a century off its weapons development schedules
Now comes the real challenge: making sure these programs stick to their quicker timelines.
Shanahan addresses prevention of sexual harassment at Naval Academy graduation
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan delivers the commencement address to the 2019 graduating class of the U.S. Naval Academy.
Senators push for Army’s full ownership of terminal missile defense system
Will the Army get full ownership of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System? Senate authorizers want it to happen.
Mike Pence delivers West Point commencement address | TheHill
Vice President Mike Pence told U.S. Military Academy graduates on Saturday that they will fight for America at some point in their lives.
Senators introduce new bill to out-innovate China
By coordinating standards and offering new shared resources, bipartisan legislation attempts to build a tangible advantage in artificial intelligence.
Furious lawmakers aim to block Trump’s Saudi arms sales | TheHill
Lawmakers who are furious about President Trump’s decision to circumvent Congress and sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies are now searching for a way to thwart the sale.
Navy reviewing ‘Make Aircrew Great Again’ patches seen during Trump’s visit
The Navy is reviewing whether service members violated Defense Department policy or regulations by wearing “Make Aircrew Great Again” during President Trump’s visit in Japan.
U.S. service members seen wearing MAGA-inspired patches at Trump speech may have violated DOD rules – CBS News
The patches could fall under the DoD’s strict guidelines against showing partisanship
The US Navy Didn’t Take My Reporting Seriously – Defense One
Emails obtained using a FOIA request reveal how naval officers really feel about critical reporting.
The Leading Narratives on War-Crimes Pardons Are Wrong – Defense One
Troops are not merely victims of war, nor do pardons destroy justice. But there’s a deeper threat here.
How the Pentagon can get more innovation from universities
Is the Pentagon ready to expose itself to the vulnerability of failure, and if so, what is an acceptable failure?
Command and General Staff College ranked among nation’s top 500 community colleges


Trump: ‘We’ll be going to Mars very soon’ | Fox News
President Trump said Monday that the United States will be “going to Mars very soon” as he announced new cooperation between the U.S. and Japan in sending humans to space, though he did not give a timetable.


If your hot take from Mueller was obstruction or impeachment, you weren’t listening | TheHill
It remains to be seen whether Mueller’s emphasis on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election will get the “attention” of “every” American.
U.S. Special Counsel Mueller Says Charging Trump With A Crime ‘Was Not An Option’
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has said that charging President Donald Trump with a crime “was not an option” as he spoke for the first time since the conclusion of his two-year investigation …
Mueller’s Statement on Trump and Russia Will Help the President – Bloomberg
The special counsel has nothing more to say, which is a promise or a threat, depending on your view of the president.
Mueller, in First Comments on Russia Inquiry, Declines to Clear Trump – The New York Times
Though he did not rule out congressional testimony, the special counsel also said that he would only testify about the facts already in the report.
Gregg Jarrett: The two faces of Robert Mueller, and Trump’s presumption of guilt | Fox News
Special Counsel Robert Mueller refused to make a decision to charge the president in a court of law but was more than willing to indict him in the court of public opinion. 
Robert Mueller’s statement made the Democrats look like cowards
Democrats must impeach Trump. Mueller’s press conference makes them look like cowards.
Trump speaks out about his order to declassify intelligence information related to the Russia probe [Video]
President Trump says he is being transparent.
Trump Says Russia Helped Him Win Election, But Then Reverses Himself
U.S. President Donald Trump has said that Russia helped him win the 2016 election, a comment that contradicted months of angry denials.
John Brennan’s prized Russia informant abruptly said to be imperiled by William Barr’s new power
The need for secrecy was so great that CIA Director John Brennan hand-delivered information from a critical informant close to Russian President Vladimir Putin in an envelope to President Barack Obama in August 2016.


Allan Patience | Are we seeing the beginning of America’s fragmentation? | John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations
In his 2014 book Dangerous Allies, Malcolm Fraser issued Australians with a timely warning. He pointed out that the America with which Australia had signed the ANZUS treaty way back in 1951 is a very different country to the “great and powerful friend” we imagined it to be at the end of World War II. Its internal politics are riven with religious fundamentalisms, factionalised political parties, gun-toting madmen culturally and politically licensed by the NRA and elements in the Republican Party, narrowly-conceived identity politics, worsening economic divides, decaying cities, a class-based culture of populist resentment, and major cultural and political differences emerging among the states in the Union.
Ex-Trump campaign adviser on Tillerson remarks: Trump will ‘pick a fight with anybody’ | TheHill
A former senior campaign official weighed in on President Trump’s attack on former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during an appearance on “Rising.”
US intelligence partners wary of Barr’s Russia review – CNNPolitics
Key allies who share intelligence with the United States could soon be dragged into the middle of Attorney General Bill Barr’s politically-charged Justice Department review of how the Russia investigation began.
Mark Meadows views fresh ‘Strzok coverup’ material at DOJ
Rep. Mark Meadows said he was at the Justice Department to review new information about former FBI agent Peter Strzok.
Senate panel wants to see secure 5G network experimentation
The Senate Armed Services Committee wants to ensure the Department of Defense can take advantage of the next generation of wireless technology, 5G.
Omar’s socialist supporters denounce Seattle-area protesters as ‘fascist’ | Fox News
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s weekend appearance at a Seattle-area fundraiser for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) drew protesters as well as socialist counter-protesters who praised the embattled congresswoman.
President Trump takes aim at ‘low IQ individual’ Joe Biden as 2020 race heats up | Fox News Video
Trump embraces Kim Jong Un’s criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden; reaction and analysis from the ‘Special Report’ All-Star panel.
Angela Merkel to Address Harvard’s Graduating Class
Event caps several days of activities that included speeches from former US Vice President Al Gore and former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

 

2 thoughts on “Russia / Strategy Ad Hoc Media Update (85)

  1. Who is dropping incendiary bombs on the crops in Syria? Don’t tell me Assad! Russia is more likely, probably because they want to create another destabilizing refugee crisis in Europe. I doubt the Americans even have incendiary bombs any longer. They have Napalm, but that is another thing. Do you have incendiary bombs or do you not? If the answer is Not then you are in the clear and you can much more easily avoid any accusations, and more important you can accuse Russia with emphacy. It could also be Iran but I don’t think so. If Russia blames Assad following your accusation of Russia, then you could just mention who Assad got ”his” incendiary bombs from.

  2. May I suggest that you drop all the earlier links in your articles? It is confusing. And if you drop them you would create incentives for more comments in the commentary field.

Comments are closed.