Justin Ling at VICE
The Liberal Party Has Scheduled More Than 100 Cash-For-Access Events in 2016 Alone
If you wanted an audience with Finance Minister Bill Morneau during his two-night engagement in Vancouver this past April, it would have cost you between $1,000 and $1,500.
If you were looking for facetime with the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister for Infrastructure and Communities, in Surrey in February, that would run a cool $500.
But for some quality time with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau himself, at one of his 16 fundraising events held in 2016—which have been dubbed by the media 'cash-for-access' events—you'll likely be paying the maximum allowed: $1,525.
These details, which come from a breakdown of every Liberal Party fundraiser and "appreciation event" for deep-pocket donors held in 2016, shows that the governing party has been charging a hefty sum to be in the same room as a senior member of the Canadian government.
All-told, the Liberals have held 89 fundraisers so far this year, and have another 10 scheduled for October and November. The list includes all fundraisers with ministers and parliamentary secretaries, as well as the one event with the prime minister's senior advisor, Gerry Butts.
For quality time with Butts, Trudeau's right-hand man, in Charlottetown in August, it would be a steal at just $125.
Most events also have special pricing for youth members, or for those who are already donating large amounts to the party.....
Andre Akulov at Strategic-Culture.org
Djibouti Turns into Springboard for US Military Intervention
The US is dramatically increasing the tempo of its military operations in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa), especially in the Horn of Africa.
Djibouti has an important role to play in the military planning. The small republic guards the entrance to the Red Sea and Suez Canal to make it a perfect springboard for launching military interventions in Africa and the Middle East.
Housing 4,000 military and civilian personnel, Camp Lemonnier, the US military base in the country, is the hub of a network of American drone bases in Africa. It is used for aerial strikes at insurgents in Yemen, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as exercising control over the Bab-el-Mandeb strait - a strategic maritime waterway linking the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean through the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. In 2014, America signed a new 20-year lease on the base with the Djiboutian government, and committed over $1.4 billion to modernize and expand the facility in the years to come.
According to Stars and Stripes, the US Air Force deployed F-16 fighters and KC-135 to Djibouti in July. Until the publication, the information had been kept secret. The aircraft remain on standby amid concerns over the situation in South Sudan, including threats to the lives of American citizens there. In July, about 50 combat-equipped troops were sent to protect US diplomatic personnel amid widespread violence and civil unrest in that country. The US has provided assistance in form of training and equipping of the elite presidential guard; employment of foreign instructors to teach army recruits; development of riverine forces; training of commandos. This aid is rendered despite the fact that South Sudan uses child soldiers.
Under Obama, this country receives waivers to the prohibition on US security assistance under the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA), despite recent reports by UNICEF that children in the country are forcefully recruited into the armed forces. ....
Terrorists attacked #SyrianArmy positions in #Aleppo's south-west using rockets with poison gas - source https://t.co/dFB5k1AAIT #Syria pic.twitter.com/JeEvVVO3gg— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) October 30, 2016
Prof Michel Chossudovsky at GlobalResearch
Clinton's no-fly zone over Syria will not save lives, it will lead to war with Russia
In a Senate Arms Services Committee hearing, Dunford said, responding to questions from Republican Senator Roger Whicker (Mississippi)
“Right now, Senator, for us to control all of the airspace in Syria it would require us to go to war, against Syria and Russia,… That’s a pretty fundamental decision that certainly I’m not going to make.” (Senate Armed Services Committee, September 22, 2016, emphasis added)
At the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton reasserted her commitment that if elected president, she would implement a no-fly-zone, intimating that the objective was to “save lives”:
“I think a no-fly zone could save lives and could hasten the end of the conflict. I am well aware of the really legitimate concerns you have expressed from both the president and the general,” Clinton said in response to a question from Fox News debate moderator Chris Wallace.
“This would not be done just on the first day. This would take a lot of negotiation and would also take making it clear to the Russians and Syrians that our purpose here was to provide safe zones on the ground … I think we could strike a deal and make it clear to the Russians and the Syrians that this was something that we believe was in the best interest of the people on the ground in Syria.” (Fox News, emphasis added)...
Mother Agnes and Vanessa Beeley speak to RT
Amb Craig Murray at his blog
Blanket Corporate Media Corruption
....I was in Washington last month to chair the presentation of the Sam Adams Award to heroic former ex-CIA agent and whistleblower John Kiriakou. There were on the platform with me a dozen or so former very senior and distinguished officers of the CIA, NSA, FBI and US Army. All now identify with the whistleblower community. There were speeches of tremendous power and insight about state abuse, from those who really know. But as usual, not one mainstream media outlet turned up to report an award whose previous winners and still active participants include Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.
Similarly my statement of definite knowledge that Russia is not behind the Clinton leaks has caused enormous interest in the internet. One article alone about my visit to Assange has 174,000 Facebook likes. Across all internet media we calculate over 30 million people have read my information that Russia was not responsible for these leaks. There is no doubt whatsoever that I have direct access to the correct information.
Yet not one single mainstream media journalist has attempted to contact me.
Why do you think that might be?....
Description at video post: Saudis are deliberately bombing farms in Yemen, which may lead to survivors starving when the war is over. 357 strikes in 20 provinces targeted farms, animals, water infrastructure, food stores, agricultural banks, markets and food trucks, with 60% of the population already dependent on food aid. Post-war Yemen may totally rely on food imports most probably coming from Gulf States. According to international law targeting infrastructure objects is a war crime.
Yet it’s not stopping Britain and the US from helping Saudi Arabia.
Archbishop of Aleppo Mgr. Jean-Clement Jeanbart (translation from Italian at GlobalResearch)
US Sponsored “Moderates” “Have Sown Terror Everywhere”:
Testimony of the Archbishop of Aleppo
The whole world is terrified at the sight of the images from Aleppo that the mass media have been presenting in recent days. Many of our friends abroad are concerned and want to hear from us. We are living tragic moments in our history and what’s happening here continues to make Aleppo and its people suffer, people that for more than five years have been unable to have peace, so harassed and massacred by armed groups that have come from all over the world, to conduct a self-styled holy war, in a country governed (according to them) by atheists and infidels!
For five years now the terrorists here have been calling the shots, where the civil authorities of the country have not managed to be present. They have sown terror everywhere, killed tens of thousands of innocent people, destroyed thousands of factories, businesses and institutions of public services, looted houses and stolen, without any concern, assets of the country and the citizens. They have have made victims of many innocent people, kidnapping and brutally murdering countless peaceful people, including nuns, priests and even bishops.
This still going on today: this morning a dozen shells fell in two of our residential areas, causing further destruction and in one neighborhood, numerous deaths and injuries.
Battles are raging on the outskirts of the city: the rebels from the “Al-Nusra Front” are attempting to take positions in areas considered strategic, almost completely depopulated and almost entirely destroyed, that they seized and held until last June at the city’e edge. ...
...The hardest thing for Christians who are currently present in Aleppo would be the prospect of having to live, morning and evening, in anxiety in this situation of insecurity: destabilizing disconcerting uncertainty. They are afraid for the next day, and the future of their children troubles them greatly. Imagine that one day a Muslim fundamentalist state would be imposed on them — for them this is an unbearable nightmare.
This is why we turn to our brothers in France and throughout the West, and we beg you to help us ensure that this does not happen. We are not asking you to make war for us, but only to end the unjust claims of your allies that want to impose antiquated laws, laws that are unbearable for the people of the twenty-first century who want to be free to choose their culture, their style life and, finally, their faith. We call on our brothers in France to pray for us and all women and all men concerned about human dignity and love of freedom, to come to our rescue to save our dear country from the depth of the fundamentalist regime they are trying to put us in. Please help us to continue to live in dignity on this blessed land of our birth!........
#cdnpoli #tcot #TOpoli I wonder why the pipeline cud not have been planned https://t.co/nOg8J1tW18 better than this. pic.twitter.com/WASdiyQ33j— MariaS Nunes (@Dodocanspell) October 28, 2016
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
There’s no question Baghdad needs to take back Mosul from ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. It could not do it before. In theory, the time is now.
The real question is the conflicting motivations of the large “who’s who” doing it; the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division; the Kurdish Peshmerga, under the baton of wily, corrupt opportunist Barzani; Sunni tribal lords; tens of thousands of Shi’ite militias from southern Iraq; operational “support” from US Special Forces; “targeted” bombing by the US Air Force; and lurking in the background, Turkish Special Forces and air power.
Now that’s a certified recipe for trouble.
Much like Aleppo, Mosul is – literally – the stuff of legend. The successor of ancient Nineveh, settled 8000 years ago; former capital of the Assyrian Empire under Sennacherib in the 7th century B.C.; conquered by Babylon in the 6th century B.C.; a thousand years later, annexed to the Muslim empire and ruled by the Umayyads and the Abbasids; the key hub, from the 11th to the 12th century, of the Atabegs medieval state; a key Ottoman hub in a 16th century post-Silk Road spanning the Indian Ocean all the way to the Persian Gulf, the Tigris valley, Aleppo and Tripoli in the Mediterranean.....
#cdnpoli #tcot #TOpoli London mayor's intent is 2enable the spread of islam, just like leaders of EU/US/Canada/Aus https://t.co/DfItPtZBGy— MariaS Nunes (@Dodocanspell) October 28, 2016
Mark Taliano at GlobalResearch
Life in Syria, as Recounted by a Syrian
Stories from Syrians are conspicuously absent from mainstream propaganda stories.
I asked Ammar about life in Syria, and this is what he wrote:
“As everyday morning my sister was going to the university when a bloody Takfiri Salafi Wahhabi suicide bomber blew up bomb car at the bus stop which led to the martyrdom and injury of many civilians and university students who were going to their exams , after 10 minutes another suicide bomber blew up himself at the same place taking advantage of the gathering of people and ambulance teams, usually when a terror attack happens we call all family members and friends to make sure they all are ok . but this time no one answered! Then we started looking for her in hospitals . . . the shock was in the bloody views there ; many burned bodies and human body parts were on the ground , there i saw my sister a body without soul . . .”
Almost every new story from the West demonizes Vladimir Putin. Ammar, however, has direct contact with Russian agencies. This is his assessment.
“about Russian aid , I see the biggest humanitarian aid provided by our Russian brothers is fighting the US NATO founded brutal terrorism and supporting Syrian armed forces against western backed barbarian terrorism as well standing with Syria in International forums furthermore the Russian aid for in need Syrian civilians represented in food like rice , sugar , tea , canned meat and fish and medical aid that includes medicines, emergency medical supplies, antibiotics and medical products for the treatment of a variety of diseases as well they brought a doctors who made physical check up to needy people. these aid were distributed directly by Russians to needy people thanks to American European sanctions against Syrian people and against Syrian economy , prices got so expensive , economical situation became harder, targeting Syrian infra structures by the illegal US-led coalition aircrafts also Looting and theft Syrian industrial plants and then Sold cheaply to Turkey by their mercenaries. All these reasons iincreased the suffering of Syrian people moreover targeting Syrian central bank and Syrian pound caused to lose a lot of Syrian pound purchasing value.”....
Tim Johnson at McClatchyDC
The strange tale of a dating site’s attacks on WikiLeaks founder Assange
....A company representative, identifying herself as Hannah Hammond, emailed Assange’s Swedish and British legal agents offering $1 million for him to appear in a five-minute tongue-in-cheek television advertisement. In a subsequent exchange Sept. 19, the representative wrote that “the source of the $1,000,000 is the Russian government.”
In a curious twist, she offered what she said were three facts about Assange’s London attorney that are “unknown to the public,” including details inside her home and an event in her son’s life, suggesting a capability to conduct surveillance.
Taylor, the Assange lawyer, said the details appeared “to create the impression that the members of his team were under close surveillance and/or to bolster the bona fides of the claim that the offer was linked to a State. Its inclusion does appear quite menacing.”
A lawyer identifying himself only as “James” responded the next day, slamming the offer as an “elaborate scam designed to entrap” Assange and embarrass him for ties to Russia.
The dating site representative sought to pull the veil off “James.”
“Julian: We know it’s you writing. The offer expires at midnight, October 31st 2016,” she wrote back on Sept. 21, according to copies of the emails posted by WikiLeaks on its website.
By early October, toddandclare.com went on the offensive. It filed a civil complaint in a British court against Assange, seeking 295 pounds sterling – about $359 – in damages because it said it could no longer use his services due to the “child sex offenses in Nassau.”
The suit, said Taylor, Assange’s lawyer, “seems to be designed to evade defamation law in the U.K. They’ve put highly noxious information knowing that it would be made public.”
The global tussle between the online dating company and WikiLeaks went public in mid-October when the anti-secrecy group voiced public doubt on whether toddandclare.com actually existed, or served only as a vehicle to attack Assange.....
From Catholic World Report at Off-Guardian
Syrian Catholics denounce Western media
biased reporting on Aleppo
What's wrong with the planet? Saudi Arabia to be reelected to UN Human Rights Council
As the death toll in Yemen surpasses 10,000, Saudi Arabia, one of the principal parties in the conflict, is poised to be reelected to the UN human rights body. Saudi airstrikes are responsible for the majority of the nearly 4,000 civilian deaths in Yemen.
A secret ballot vote at the UN General Assembly on Friday will select the 14 members of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), or a third of its 47 members. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, China, and Japan are running for the four seats from the Asia-Pacific region, and are all expected to secure seats.
Riyadh's term at the UNHRC would be the third in a row, and its presence at the body has been increasingly puzzling to human rights groups, given its record of twisting arms at the UN to hush up its rights abuses.
#cdnpoli #tcot #TOpoli MSM won't tell u that US killed 22 Somali soldiers + civs in "friendly fire". https://t.co/T3gjNjMDm2— MariaS Nunes (@Dodocanspell) October 26, 2016
Ann Wright at ConsortiumNews
It’s like we are back to the 1800s when the U.S. Army rampaged against Native American tribes across the American West. The militarized police and the use of the National Guard this week in responding to the Standing Rock Sioux Native American challenge in North Dakota to big oil and its dangerous pipelines reminds one of Custer’s Last Stand against Sitting Bull.
In fact, the portrait of Sitting Bull is on one of the most popular t-shirts available to supporters of the “water protectors,” as those are known who protest yet one more oil pipeline that crosses sensitive watershed areas and major rivers of the United States.
Four days last week, I joined hundreds of Native Americans and social justice campaigners from around the United States and around the world, in challenging the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL), the 1,172-mile, $3.7 billion dollar scar across the face of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.
Last week, I photographed the area along Highway 6 south of Bismarck where the Energy Transfer Partnership contractors were busy digging the trench for the “Black Snake” as the pipeline is called.
I also counted 24 police cars returning to Bismarck at shift change around 3 p.m., a huge number of state law enforcement personnel and vehicles dedicated to protection of corporate business, instead of the rights of citizens.
Huge machines were chewing up the earth near water sources for all of North Dakota. The pipeline was rerouted from near Bismarck so if the pipeline breaks it would not endanger the water supply of the capital city of the state. But it was relocated to where it will cross the Missouri River and will jeopardize the water supply of the Native Americans and all Americans living in southern North Dakota and downstream of the Missouri River.....
Max Blumenthal at Alternet
Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria
Posing as a non-political solidarity organization, the Syria Campaign leverages local partners and media contacts to push the U.S. into toppling another Middle Eastern government.
......By partnering with local groups like the Syrian civil defense workers popularly known as the White Helmets, and through a vast network of connections in media and centers of political influence, The Syria Campaign has played a crucial role in disseminating images and stories of the horrors visited this month on eastern Aleppo. The group is able to operate within the halls of power in Washington and has the power to mobilize thousands of demonstrators into the streets. Despite its outsized role in shaping how the West sees Syria’s civil war, which is now in its sixth year and entering one of its grisliest phases, this outfit remains virtually unknown to the general public.
The Syria Campaign presents itself as an impartial, non-political voice for ordinary Syrian citizens that is dedicated to civilian protection. “We see ourselves as a solidarity organization,” The Syria Campaign strategy director James Sadri told me. “We’re not being paid by anybody to pursue a particular line. We feel like we’ve done a really good job about finding out who the frontline activists, doctors, humanitarians are and trying to get their word out to the international community.”
Yet behind the lofty rhetoric about solidarity and the images of heroic rescuers rushing in to save lives is an agenda that aligns closely with the forces from Riyadh to Washington clamoring for regime change. Indeed, The Syria Campaign has been pushing for a no-fly zone in Syria that would require at least “70,000 American servicemen” to enforce, according to a Pentagon assessment, along with the destruction of government infrastructure and military installations. There is no record of a no-fly zone being imposed without regime change following —which seems to be exactly what The Syria Campaign and its partners want......
Saudi-led airstrikes kill 27 civilians across Yemen provinces
At least 27 civilians, mostly children and women, were killed on Saturday in three Yemeni provinces by airstrikes from a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, officials and residents said.
Early Saturday morning, the Saudi-led air strikes hit residents' homes in two villages of al-Sharaf and Mabaran in al-Salo district of the southwestern province of Taiz, killing 10 villagers on the spot and flattering several mud-brick houses to the ground, according to the local officials and the residents.....