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The UK is akin to a woman past her prime.

A toothless crone, well past her prime by 70 years. Kind of rabid too. Perhaps it should be put down.
The UK is akin to a woman past her prime.
Media Watch / CNN Cancels On San Diego TV Station After They Report Border Wall Works
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 11, 2019, 09:43:25 AM »
CNN Cancels On San Diego TV Station After They Report Border Wall Works

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 01/11/2019 - 11:03

A local San Diego television station said on Thursday that CNN invited them to provide a "local view" of the existing wall at the US-Mexico border, only to cancel after past reports from the station showed that the wall is an effective method of combating illegal immigration.

San Diego border wall

"Thursday morning, CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if one of our reporters could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown," begins a report by local San Diego station KUSI.

"KUSI offered our own Dan Plante, who has reported dozens of times on the border, including one story from 2016 that was retweeted by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, and posted on," the report continues.

Fencing along US-Mexico border between the Otay Mesa and San Ysidro ports in San Diego

"We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work," it concludes. "We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs, and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it."


 Thursday morning, @CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if a reporter could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown. After we informed them about our past reports, they declined to hear from us.

More info:

7:37 PM - Jan 10, 2019

Acosta mocked

On Thursday, CNN's Jim Acosta was ridiculed over social media after his report from a steel wall from the border "didn't show anything resembling a national emergency."

"I found some steel slats down on the border," tweeted Acosta. "But I don’t see anything resembling a national emergency situation.. at least not in the McAllen, Texas, area of the border where Trump will be today."

Acosta was widely mocked by conservatives for proving that border walls work. House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), Donald Trump Jr., and even the President himself poked fun at the CNN White House correspondent.
The World Below / "We Don't Take Orders From Bolton": US Withdrawal From Syria Begins
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 11, 2019, 09:36:47 AM »
"We Don't Take Orders From Bolton": US Withdrawal From Syria Begins

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 07:50

Contrary to assurances from Trump's National Security Advisor, neocon John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who suggested earlier this week that US troops would remain in Syria for at least a little while longer, the Associated Press reported on Friday that the US has begun the process of removing the 2,000 soldiers based in northeastern Syria.

Citing information provided by activists with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the withdrawal officially began Thursday night local time. A convoy of about 10 armored vehicles and some trucks left the town of Rmeilan into drove into Iraq. Col. Sean Ryan, spokesman for the coalition fighting the Islamic State group, later confirmed that the US has started "the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria."

Trump's abrupt decision last month to order US troops out of Syria angered former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned over the decision, and stoked fears that Trump was abandoning the Kurds to a massacre by Turkish forces, who have vowed to pick up the slack in Syria when it comes to fighting ISIS.

"These have been folks that have fought with us and it’s important that we do everything we can to ensure that those folks that fought with us are protected," Pompeo said of the Kurds while visiting Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, after talks in Baghdad.

After launching a campaign of airstrikes against ISIS in 2014, President Obama deployed troops on the ground the following year to combat ISIS, which at the time controlled large swaths of northeastern Syria. Since then, the group has been beaten back, and now control only 1% of their former territory.

Initially, Trump had said the pullout would be complete within a matter of weeks, but plans became murky after the Pentagon requested four months to complete the withdrawal. Last night, the Wall Street Journal reported that the withdrawal would begin immediately.

Scores of ground troops are headed toward Syria to help move troops out, and a group of naval vessels headed by the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge is headed to the region to back up troops at the vulnerable moment they are leaving the country, the officials said. The Kearsarge carries hundreds of Marines, helicopters and other aircraft.

"Nothing has changed," one defense official said. "We don’t take orders from Bolton."

To account for shifts in plans, the military will stage the personnel and equipment needed for a possible withdrawal, rather than move the U.S. forces out. Troops tasked to help with the eventual withdrawal already are in the area, in places like Kuwait and al-Asad air base in western Iraq.

After expressing his immense displeasure with the US's walk-back of its withdrawal plans, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who recently resorted to threatening the US over their plans to linger in Syria - will no doubt be glad to hear about this.
The World Below / US says Syria withdrawal has begun; Russia doubtful
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 11, 2019, 09:29:43 AM »
US says Syria withdrawal has begun; Russia doubtful

Fri Jan 11, 2019 08:12AM [Updated: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:29AM ]

(FILES) This file photo taken on December 30, 2018, shows a line of US military vehicles in Syria.(Photo by AFP)

The US says it has begun the process of withdrawing from Syria but Russia cast doubt on the claim Friday, saying it thinks Washington wants to stay in the Arab country.

President Donald Trump last month unexpectedly announced a US troop withdrawal from Syria, with US military spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan announcing Friday that the pullout had begun.

The US "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria. Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troop movements," he said.

Ryan's announcement came a day after a US military official said the United States had removed some equipment from Syria.

"I can confirm the movement of equipment from Syria," the unnamed official was quoted as saying by AFP, but declined to provide further details "for security reasons."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reacted to the allegation, saying he thought the United States wanted to stay on in the Arab country.

Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters that if the claims were true the territory previously controlled by the US should be transferred to the
Syrian government.

"In this regard, establishing dialogue between the Kurds and Damascus takes on particular significance. After all, the Kurds are an integral part of Syrian society," she said.

Zakharova also said Russia remains committed to an agreement it had struck with Turkey to stabilize a de-escalation zone in Syria's Idlib province, but Moscow is worried by an increase in the number of ceasefire violations there.

Trump has said he agreed to submit areas under the control of Kurdish militants to Turkey, prompting outrage among the community in northern Syria and warnings by US politicians that Washington was betraying its allies in the region.

US officials are now sending contradictory signals on the plan, prompting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to say on Thursday that his country's planned military operation against Kurdish militants in Syria would not depend on an American withdrawal.

"Let me be clear: America will not retreat until the terror fight is over," he said, adding, "For our part, our airstrikes in the region will continue as targets arise," he said in a speech at the American University in Cairo.

PressTV-Pompeo vows US will withdraw troops from Syria
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted Thursday that US troops will leave Syria.

Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday outlined conditions for US troop departure from Syria, including a provision that Turkey should guarantee the safety of YPG Kurdish militants in Syria.

Those conditions enraged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who refused to meet Bolton on his visit to Ankara early this week.

“It is not possible for us to accept and stomach the message Bolton gave from Israel," Erdogan said.

“Regarding this matter, Bolton has made a serious mistake and whoever thinks like this has also made a mistake. It is not possible for us to make compromises on this point," he added.

PressTV-'Turkey won’t accept Israel’s YPG message given by Bolton'
Erdogan rebukes Washington's national security adviser for demanding that Turkey not harm Kurdish YPG fighters in northern Syria.

Pompeo's remarks in Cairo also appeared to contradict Trump's announcement, drawing immediate criticism from Middle East experts as well as officials who served under former US president Barack Obama.

“We learned that when America retreats, chaos often follows. When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. And when we partner with our enemies, they advance,” he said.

“The good news is this: The age of self-inflicted American shame is over. And so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering. Now comes the real new beginning,” Pompeo added.

Media reports on Thursday said a draft paper outlining US plans for withdrawing from Syria included leaving troops in place at a position near the Iraqi and Jordanian border.

Most US forces are concentrated in the northeast of Syria, but soldiers also maintain a base near southern Syria in an area known as al-Tanf, on the Iraqi border.

Israel has reportedly lobbied for the Trump administration to reconsider pulling troops out of al-Tanf, and according to the London-based Middle East Eye online portal, the US withdrawal plan would leave soldiers there.

“The US is not withdrawing from the base at al-Tanf at this time,” it quoted a Turkish official, citing a document which was presented in Ankara by Bolton early this week.
The World Below / Russia Vows Response as UK Defence Chief Issues 'Warning to Putin'
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 11, 2019, 07:10:21 AM »
Russia Vows Response as UK Defence Chief Issues 'Warning to Putin'

12:32 11.01.2019(updated 13:51 11.01.2019)

© Sputnik / Natalya Seliverstova

Earlier, UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson boasted that Britain's new fleet of F-35s served as a message to the country's "enemies", including Russia, not to "mess with" Britain.

Moscow is perplexed by the militaristic tone taken by the UK Ministry of Defence, and will respond appropriately if Russia's security is threatened, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

"The statements of the Minister of Defence of Great Britain in favour of the further militarisation of British politics bring forth, at the very least, bewilderment," Zakharova said, speaking at a press conference on Friday.

"Naturally, in the event of the implementation of any measures which pose a threat to the security of Russia or that of our allies, our country reserves the right to take adequate measures in response," the spokeswoman added.

Earlier, speaking at a ceremony to announce the readiness of the Royal Air Force's new F-35 Lightning II fighters in Norfolk, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Britain's new fifth-gen planes sent a message to the UK's "enemies", including Russia. "It means don't mess with us, because we have the capability and we have the people, and we have the will to always defend ourselves," he said.

Asked directly if the new F-35s should make Russia 'scared', Williamson answered bluntly "Yes".

The UK invested 100 million pounds to secure its nine new F-35s as part of a wider 425 million pound program to upgrade the RAF's capabilities. Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, RAF Chief Sir Stephen Hillier boasted that the air force was "more lethal now than we have ever been," adding that the RAF was "now prepared to deploy this capability worldwide on operations, should the need arise."

Williamson said the UK was still committed to purchasing a total of 138 F-35s in the future. For now, he said, the UK has "the capability, with nine ready to fly, nine ready to fight. We look forward to expanding that number. We see it as both a defensive and offensive weapon."

The F-35 programme has been beset by a multitude of issues, with Britain's military no stranger to the plane's finicky nature. Last June, British defence officials expressed annoyance after a consignment of 'all-weather' F-35s for Britain failed to arrive in Norfolk, UK on time due to bad weather over the Atlantic Ocean. Defence sources also told British media that the plane has only one engine, which prevents the plane from being able to cruise to safety if something goes wrong during a flight, and that this gave cause for concern. Also last summer, an RAF staffer got in trouble after leaking secrets about the F-35 programme via the Tinder dating app.

The US grounded its entire fleet of F-35s late last year in the wake of a crash. Earlier, Congressional accountants warned that the F-35 programme still has some 966 flaws, including over 100 critical defects which can injure or kill pilots or otherwise jeopardise the aircraft's security.

Beginning development in 2001, Lockheed Martin's F-35 programme has posted mach-level expenses; it is estimated to cost a staggering $1.5 trillion over its entire lifetime, making the jet by far the most expensive piece of military hardware ever created or fielded. As of 2018, about 300 planes have been delivered to various branches of the US armed forces, as well as those of its British, Israeli, Australian, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, and South Korean allies.

R ~ 'Asked directly if the new F-35s should make Russia 'scared', Williamson answered bluntly "Yes".' This punk is as devious as a snake. Hopefully someone will take him on a mission over anywhere in an F35. Even without an adversary he risks death by asphyxiation or technical malfunction. Doubt he takes a ride in his newly purchased death machines.

The World Below / Large US troop deployment in Kirkuk causes Iraqi outcry
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 11, 2019, 07:03:02 AM »
Large US troop deployment in Kirkuk causes Iraqi outcry

Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:05AM [Updated: Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:30AM ]

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) meets with Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) chief Masoud Barzani
in the capital  of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, Erbil, on January 9, 2019. (Photo by AP)

The United States military has made a large troop deployment to military bases near the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, causing outcry among the local population.

The troops have been stationed predominantly at the K1 airbase situated 15 kilometers away from the city, Press TV's correspondent in Kirkuk said on Thursday.

The deployment is said to have happened on the pretext of countering remaining Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

Hashd al-Sha'abi spokesperson Ali al-Hussaini denounced the presence of the US forces, saying that the city faced no terrorist threat and Americans had no reason to be there.

"Deploying US forces in Kirkuk or any other city is unacceptable. This is violating the treaty between the US and Iraq," said Hussaini.

The city experienced relative calm since Iraqi Kurds handed over positions to Iraqi troops in October 2017.

"All ethnicities here live in peace, the presence of foreign forces here may disturb the peace in Kirkuk," said a local resident.

Another local expressed doubt about the reason for the foreign military presence.

"We're not in need of foreign forces because the Iraqi military, Hashd al-Sha'abi, Peshmerga forces and police are enough. We live in peace with our brothers."

On Thursday, Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) were also deployed in Kirkuk .

The ISOF deployment was in response to rising tensions after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) flag was illegally raised over a political party headquarters building, signaling unfounded Kurdish claims to the city.

PressTV-Iraq deploys troops in Kirkuk over Kurdish flag dispute
Iraq has deployed special forces in Kirkuk after the raising of Kurdish flag over a political party headquarters triggered tensions.

The rising tensions in Kirkuk come as Pompeo visited the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, Erbil, after visiting Baghdad on Wednesday.

“These have been folks that have fought with us and it’s important that we do everything we can to ensure that those folks that fought with us are protected,” said Pompeo during the trip.

The visit was part of a Middle East tour aimed at assuring US allies of continued American presence in the region despite earlier remarks made by US President Donald Trump calling for a regional troop withdrawal.

R ~ I can only hope that Trump is happy to have Pompeo run around the middle east running his mouth off rather than have this particular enemy of his close at hand. Of course he causes nothing but agitation and resentment and then skedadles back to the US with tales of the wonder that is the American Military. Easy enough to leave our 'heroes' behind to deal with the crap he leaves in his wake. Seeing the size of this pompous ass, 'wake' is perfectly apropos.
‘Most of them are gay’: Duterte urges Vatican to allow its ‘useless’ priests to have boyfriends

Published time: 11 Jan, 2019 00:06
Edited time: 11 Jan, 2019 00:10

Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Manila, Philippines © Reuters / Soe Zeya Tun

The Catholic Church must embrace homosexual kinship among the clergy, Philippines’ leader Rodrigo Duterte has said in his latest attack on the Vatican… just after calling on the population to rob and even kill “useless” bishops.

Duterte, who has in the past openly revealed having been sexually molested by a priest, once again criticized the Catholic Church on Thursday, this time for allegedly suppressing the widespread homosexual tendencies of its clergymen – and dared the “sons of b***hes” in the Vatican to abolish celibacy.

Most of them are gay... They should come out in the open, cancel celibacy and allow them to have boyfriends.

The Holy See had functioned just fine for over one thousand years before the Church adopted a policy of clerical celibacy at the Second Lateran Council in 1139. 73-year-old Duterte is an open supporter of same-sex unions, who has even acknowledged fiddling with the notion of becoming a bisexual. He has repeatedly called on the Church to abolish the centuries-old canon law, suggesting that it only fuels homosexual tendencies among clergymen. Last month Duterte boldly estimated that “almost 90 percent” of Catholic priests were homosexuals.

Duterte’s vocal tics against the Catholic Church have become somewhat a signature of his presidency. Just before his speech this week, the president called on the faithful to steal from and, if the need arises, to even kill the bishops.

“Hey you bystanders, when the bishop passes by, stage a holdup because he has lots of money, that son of a b**ch,” Duterte said on Wednesday.

“Kill all those bishops there. They are useless,” the president added, recalling how a priest had once called him a demon during a sermon and had even wished for his death.

Duterte has been at odds with the country’s Catholic Church even since before he took office in 2016. Church leaders have repeatedly condemned his vulgar rhetoric and his fierce crackdown on his country’s drug culture, which has left thousands of people dead in alleged extrajudicial killings.
The World Below / US will ‘expel every last Iranian boot’ from Syria: Pompeo
« Last post by Rudi Jan on January 10, 2019, 08:41:33 AM »
US will ‘expel every last Iranian boot’ from Syria: Pompeo

By News Desk - 2019-01-10

BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:30 P.M.) – The U.S. will not be providing any reconstruction funds to Syria until all Iranian troops are withdrawn from the country, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a press conference in Cairo on Thursday.

According to Pompeo, the US will work with allies to “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria.

Pompeo continued that due to former President Barakat Obama’s Middle East policies, Iran was able to strengthen their presence inside the region.

The U.S. Secretary of State would then add that the U.S. will not retreat from its terror fight until all Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh) and Al-Qaeda terrorists were eradicated.

“America will not retreat until the terror fight is over. We will labor tirelessly alongside you to defeat ISIS, al-Qaeda and other jihadists that threaten our security and yours,” he added.

R ~ Trump needs an executive gag order. His cabinet is making him look weak and ineffective. We can at least be spared a president that is whipped two years in. My hope he would take things in hand is fading day by day. The funny thing about Pompeo's remark is that Syria doesn't want USG reconstruction. He's is a belligerent mouthpiece that makes us all cringe by his boorish rhetoric.
‘Total waste of time’: Trump walks out of shutdown talks with Democrats

Published time: 9 Jan, 2019 20:43
Edited time: 9 Jan, 2019 21:29

US President Donald Trump ©  Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump walked out of the negotiations with congressional Democrats, declaring it a “total waste of time” after they repeated their refusal to fund any sort of wall on the border with Mexico.

“Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump tweeted, referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California). “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

Donald J. Trump

 Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!

12:34 PM - Jan 9, 2019

After the meeting, Schumer and Pelosi denounced Trump for refusing to reopen the government, just as they had the previous evening.

"Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn't get his way," Schumer told reporters outside the White House on Wednesday.

Federal workers are “as disappointed as we are that Democrats are unwilling to engage in good-faith negotiations,” Vice President Mike Pence told reporters after the meeting.

The US government has been partially shut down for almost 19 days, after Senate Democrats refused to back a Republican-majority House bill that would allocate $5.7 billion to building the border wall. Democrats took over the House on January 3, and have proposed bills to reopen the government, but have rejected any funding to the wall, ever, calling it “immoral.”

“This is a crisis... it is a humanitarian crisis, it is a security crisis,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said. “And the reality is that walls work.”

Some 800,000 federal workers will soon miss their first paycheck, and each sides has accused the other of ignoring their needs and interests.

Prior to the meeting, Trump said he would be willing to declare a national emergency if the talks with Democrats failed. Asked by ABC reporter Jonathan Karl if he would be willing to reopen the government for the sake of federal workers, Trump asked him if he would do so in his place.

"If you would do that, you should never be in this position, because you'd never get anything done,” the president said.

R ~ Not only a waste of time but those two are a waste of space.

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