Blog Archives

Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!

ahok

By Andre Vltchek

February 16, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “NEO” –  They call him “Ahok”, and according to many, he is the best thing that ever happened to Jakarta – this enormous, polluted and until recently unloved capital city of Indonesia.

Very loosely translated, “Ahok” is an abbreviation of the Chinese words (yes, he is ethnic Chinese). The meaning is: “never stop learning” (ban-hok), a piece of advice given to him by his greatest role model – his father.

And learning he is! Instead of just doing what his predecessors have been doing for decades – aimlessly travelling to Western Europe, the United States and Japan, ‘Ahok’ goes where he can actually really discover things that are implementable in his city, one so full of grave problems – China and Latin America.

Before him, almost everyone gave up on Jakarta. The city’s reputation was terrible, and the verdict and diagnoses of many became short and dark: “Beyond salvation, beyond repair!”

Jakarta has been suffering all imaginable ills: from endemic corruption, toxic bureaucracy and inefficiency, to the epic traffic jams, pollution, deadly annual floods (due to its terrible drainage system), lack of modern garbage collection and garbage processing, appalling filth (rivers and canals clogged with trash, waste covering sides of the roads), notorious lack of green spaces and parks, and the almost total lack of cultural institutions. Public transportation could be described at best as a joke.

The most talented brains were leaving. Expats found it impossible to convince their families to follow them to the “Big Smoke” (one of the city’s nicknames), and most of them decided to settle in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, ‘commuting’ to Jakarta on a weekly basis.

Capitalist and pro-Western to the core, Jakarta has been offering some of the most cynical images of social inequality on Earth: posh 5-star hotels and shopping malls, and deadly slums in their vicinity. Poor people simply ceased to exist; their plight didn’t matter.

Then came ‘Ahok’!

*

In just over two years, Jakarta has changed. Its infrastructure has been getting better: there are new green areas and parks, and new public transportation projects. Canals and rivers are being cleaned and the drainage is improving (as a result, during the rainy seasons, the floods are not reaching their previous devastating levels).

But above all, there is now hope. It lifts and it transforms the entire city and its surrounding areas. Expectations of the people are suddenly high.

Mr. Khairul Mahadi, a retired civil servant, is content:

“In my opinion, there is great progress achieved under Ahok’s leadership, especially when it comes to the public services. There are also some significant changes in work ethics of the local government. Their services are faster, and the culture of bribes is almost gone.”

Mr. Anton Hinawan, an architect, agrees:

“The most important thing about his leadership is that the local government’s budget is not used for bribes and corruption. Funds are now used for development, and it is visible. I’m very optimistic, and I support his leadership. If elections are fair, he should have no problems of winning.”

Elections are right around the corner, scheduled for February 15, 2017. ‘Ahok’ is supported by over 40%, which is nearly double the backing enjoyed by the next most popular candidate.

But ‘Ahok’ is stepping on too many feet, and his anti-corruption drive is not necessarily popular with the ‘elites’ of the country. Even less so are his attempts to relocate and house the poor, and to provide them with adequate medical care.

His enemies are ingenious and venomous.

Now he is on the election trail, but he is also facing a trial for ‘defaming Islam’, a twisted case brought against him by his political opponents and based on a gross manipulation of the language.

To make things worse, some Indonesians loathe him for being ethnically Chinese, in a country that is known for its racial intolerance, for the genocides in East Timor and Papua, and countless anti-Chinese pogroms.

Still, most of Jakarta residents are pragmatic. The Governor’s performance seems to be much more important to them than his race or religion.

*

Ms. Mustika Purwanegara, a professor at the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) is all praises for ‘Ahok’:

“I admire what he has been doing for Jakarta. He is a great leader, and he works for the people, unlike what we have here in West Java. Other cities in Indonesia should be following his example.”

But is he doing too much, in such a short time? Can he really survive in a country that is constantly dragged down by inertia and by the corruption rooted in Suharto’s era?

Mr. Rachmad Mekaniawan, the CEO of a construction management company, ‘Ciria Jasa’:

“’Ahok’ is insane! But Jakarta needs truly a crazy person as a leader. Who else would dare to start tackling, for instance, seemingly unsolvable problems of capital’s traffic congestion by beginning to build various modern modes of public transportation?”

Mr. Mekaniawan is an ‘Ahok’ fan, but even he is uncertain about whether the governor can get re-elected, with all those powerful political and economic forces trying to derail his campaign.

Several years ago, in a backroom of a restaurant, a prominent Indonesian businessman told me, that no comprehensive public transportation network would ever be allowed to grow in Jakarta, because the foreign car and scooter makers had already totally corrupted the city government. An effective mass transit scheme would significantly reduce their profits.

Still, ‘Ahok’ dares. Now there are ten-carriage secondhand Tokyo subway trains running on rapidly improving commuter rail tracks, two elevated LRT lines are being constructed, the airport rail link is about to open by the end of 2017, and 11 previously notorious bus-ways are receiving new and modern vehicles.

Suddenly there is hope, but there is also fear.

Late in the evening, I visited his Rumah Lembang in Central Jakarta, a support center for the ‘Ahok’s campaign’. There I informally spoke to his two volunteer aides, one Muslim, one Christian.

The atmosphere was tense. It was clear that what is taking place in Jakarta is having an enormous impact on the entire Indonesia. People all over this vast archipelago are watching, and beginning to demand the same changes that are taking place in the capital.

“Do you expect the elections to be manipulated?” I asked.

“Yes… We see that there is definitely such a possibility,” I’m told by Mr. Rekky Silalahi. He continues:

“Those who are determined to vote for ‘Ahok’ are already facing some serious problems: like getting their election cards issued…”

“What if the elections are rigged? Would there be an explosion?” I wanted to know.

“There would be a big one,” I was told. “If he’d lose fairly, than it’s ok. If rigged, there would be huge trouble.”

Southeast Asia is boiling, awakening: Thailand before the coup, Philippines under the present administration, and now Jakarta, the enormous and scarred capital city of perhaps the most complex nation in the region.

Here, changes have come with the new and enlightened leaders. Some of them have managed to plant fragile seeds of hope, something that had not been done for decades, under the Western-sponsored dictatorships and pseudo-democracies. After that, the expectations of people grow very quickly. And with the expectations comes a strong determination to fight for, to defend even those small gains that have already been made.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. View his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46466.htm

Ok To Bomb Them But Don’t Ban Them

iraqi-boy

By Jimmy Dore Show

January 31, 2017

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46349.htm

 

The Netherlands Welcomes Trump In His Own Words

Video

The whole world was watching for the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States: Donald J. Trump. Because we realize it’s better for us to get along, we decided to introduce our tiny country to him. In a way that will probably appeal to him the most.

Posted January 24, 2017

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46291.htm

 

Click

Ashley Judd : Nasty Woman Speech At Anti Donald Trump Protest

 

Video

Judd, reciting a poem by 19-year-old Nina Donovan, spoke to a crowd estimated at a half a million people who have descended on the nation’s capital to protest Trump on his first full day as president.

Judd, a self-proclaimed “loud, vulgar, proud woman,” went to the extreme of comparing Trump to Hitler and referring to his Cabinet picks as “Nazis renamed,”

Posted January 23, 2017

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46285.htm

Edward Snowden Talks About FBI’s COINTELPRO, CIA’s MK-ULTRA And Black Lives Matters

snowden

Video – acTVism Munich

Whistleblower Edward Snowden talks about the history of intelligence agencies and some notable whistleblowers.

Posted January 9, 2017

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46272.htm

Video: “Smog Perfume”, How China Resolve’s its Pollution Crisis

Global Research, January 19, 2017
Green Peace Asia

http://www.globalresearch.ca/video-smog-perfume-how-china-resolves-its-pollution-crisis/5569671

How the Israel Lobby Influences British Politics

israeli-lobby-uk

Video

A six-month undercover investigation reveals how Israel penetrates different levels of British democracy.

Posted January 15, 2016

Part 2

In part two of The Lobby, our undercover reporter joins a delegation from the Israeli Embassy at last year’s Labour Party Conference. The programme reveals how accusations of anti-Semitism were made against key Labour Party members – and how a former official at the Israeli Embassy was upset when her background was revealed.

Part 3

In part three of The Lobby, our undercover reporter travels to the Labour Party Conference, revealing how accusations of anti-Semitism by group within Labour targeted Israel critics and saw some investigated.

Part 4

In part four of The Lobby, the senior political officer at the Israeli Embassy in London discusses a potential plot to ‘take down’ British politicians – including a Minster of State at the Foreign office who supports Palestinian civil rights.

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46231.htm

END MSM -Proof that all news stations get their stories from a single source

3 Facts the National Media Isn’t Telling You Aleppo

aleppo-facts

Video By Ben Swann

Free Syrian Army Disbanded.

Posted December 27, 2016

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46110.htm

Rafael Correa’s Moving Farewell to Fidel

goodbye-fidel

Video

‘Fidel will continue to live in the faces of the children who go to school, in the sick whose lives are saved, in the workers who own the fruits of their labors.’

Posted December 03, 2016

Farewell to Fidel

Tariq Ali reflects on the life of Fidel Castro, the revolutionary who stood up to America and won.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45964.htm

Michael Hudson: Donald Trump Wants to Make the 1% Even Richer

Video – Real News

Economist Michael Hudson explains how economic terms like capital gains are deployed to mislead the public about who is benefiting from economic policy and where wealth is going

November 21, 2016

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45890.htm

Trump Foreign Policy Team will Target Iran

John Pilger: ‘The Truth Is… There Was No One To Vote For’

john-pilger-2

Video – Going Underground

John Pilger tells us what has been revealed by Trump winning the US election. Plus, what does a Donald Trump presidency mean for the Middle East?

Posted November 10, 2016

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45823.htm

Prof. Michael Hudson on Hillary Clinton and the US Elections

michael-hudson

Video

Prof. Michael Hudson, economist and author of ‘Killing the Host- How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy’, speaks to Ross Ashcroft about the difficult choice faced by Americans in the upcoming US elections.

Posted October 31, 2016

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45765.htm

Trump’s election will be the biggest “F—ck You” in human history – Michael Moore

mmoore-trump

Video

“On November eight the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth be handed a ballot, close the curtain and take that lever or felt pen or touch screen and put a big f*cking ex in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to up end and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives”

October 25, 2016

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45735.htm

Newt Gingrich “This Election Is Rigged”

newt

Video

“If Mr, Trump loses it will be because of a massive conspiracy or fraud not because more Americans voted for someone else”

Posted October 17, 2016

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45694.htm

For Indigenous Lenca People in Honduras, Rebellion Is a Centuries-Old Story

How Long are People Going to be Willing to Live in this Illusion?

By Michael Hudson

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45654.htm

David Stockman: Media Destroyed Donald Trump as a Candidate

Video

Clinton “stands for everything that is wrecking this country” “There will be a market crash, there will be a recession”

Posted October 11, 2016

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45648.htm

 

George Carlin – The Illusion Of Choice

george-carlin-quote

Video

George Carlin (1937 – 2008). R.I.P.

Posted October 07, 2016

 

Truth About Education, Politicians, Elections And The Elite That Owns You

 George Carlin Exposing The USA

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45627.htm

Everything Is A Rich Mans Trick

‘Indispensable Nation’ Hillary Clinton Pitches American Exceptionalism

Video

Clinton made a case for US exceptionalism, calling America “the global force for freedom, justice and human dignity.”

Posted August 31, 2016

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45395.htm

Video: Hillary Clinton, A Threat to All Humanity. World War III is “On the Table”. Her Candidacy Must be Opposed

Global Research, July 24, 2016
Hillary_Clinton_24338774540-400x266

The world looks on in horror as Hillary Clinton heads to Philadelphia to be nominated as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the presidency.

Yet still the leading lights of the so-called “progressive” movement argue that it is the left’s duty to vote for this neocon warmonger.

But the consequences of this strategy may well lead directly to nuclear war. This is the GRTV Backgrounder on globalresearch.ca

The nuclear option is on the table.  Hillary Clinton constitutes an existential threat against all of humanity.

Her candidacy must be opposed. 

Produced by James Corbett

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/video-hillary-clinton-a-threat-to-all-humanity-world-war-iii-is-on-the-table/5537686

 

Is The Bible Still Relevant Today?

Video

Richard Dawkins and other scholars discuss the Bible.

Posted July 23, 2016

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45173.htm

 

Cruz Gets Booed For Not Endorsing Trump

Video

The crowd chanted “endorse Trump” as Cruz went through his prepared remarks without explictly endorsing Trump. “Endorse Trump! Endorse Trump!” Cruz offered an awkward laugh as Trump upstaged him, then Cruz walked off the stage.

Posted July 21, 2016

Here’s Ted Cruz promising to endorse Trump, H/T Gateway Pundit: March, 2016

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45158.htm

Louis Farrakhan on Hillary Clinton

Video

farrakhan-clinton

“That’s a wicked woman”

Posted July 09, 2016

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article45072.htm

Video: What Does Vladimir Putin Think of Donald Trump?

By RT
Global Research, July 08, 2016
RT

Ted Cruz Works For The Enemy

Video

Gary Heavin, drops a 30-kiloton atomic truth bomb on Ted Cruz’s image as a devout Christian

Posted May 03, 2016 – Via The Daily Bail


TRANSCRIPT

Jim, can I share a truth with you?

I’m watching the political process, and so many people are elevating Ted Cruz up—based on his Christianity.

Well, I know Ted Cruz. He’s my senator, and I vetted him at dinner one night about 7 or 8 months ago. And as much as I would love to say, “Hey, we’ve got a like believer.” The way the political process works is that they give us two of their choices so that we have the illusion that we’re participating in who our leaders are.

Ted Cruz works for the Enemy.

He works for the Establishment Republicans. And I know this from talking with him, where he tried to argue that going into Ukraine, and that sending our kids and our treasure into Ukraine, was a good idea. And when I brought up to him that, “Hey, we funded the overthrow of the elected government of the Ukraine; and we did it for the monied interests. And it’s about supporting the military-industrial spending; it’s about supporting the bankers; it’s about supporting the food companies that are creating GMO foods that they wanna bring into the Ukraine.”And when the debate was over—keep in mind that he was the national debating champion—he had no explanation to defend his position on things.

And furthermore, you know his wife is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which is a globalist organization. In fact, she was part of a team that was working on a North American union. He has—if you look at his published advisors—two of them are CIA Directors. It’s a Who’s Who list of the Insiders. His wife Heidi is a member of the Bush team. He is an insider’s insider. One more thing, if this isn’t enough, he got caught not many weeks ago because he didn’t reveal a loan that he got Goldman Sachs and from Citibank for his campaign.

He works for the enemy.

 

Cruz: Trump ‘Utterly Amoral…Pathological Liar’

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44575.htm

 

Click for

The White Helmets – Al Qaeda With A Facelift

white-helmets
Video

‘The White Helmets’, fake ‘Syrian humanitarian group, exposed as an al Qaeda support group headed by a British military man and funded by the US Government. Short documentary by Steve Ezzedine, drawing on research by Vanessa Beeley.

Posted May 02, 2016

 

 

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44568.htm

 

Syria: New Influx of Al Qaeda Terrorists from Turkey

Global Research, April 28, 2016
Screen-Shot-2016-04-27-at-10.07.10-AM-400x222

The pro-government forces supported by Russian warplanes continued their operations against terrorist groups in the Lattakia province near the border with the neighboring province of Idlib. Reports said Al-Nusra militants sustained heavy casualties in cliashes with the SAA and the NDF in the outskirts of Kabani on April 26. Up to 45 militants were killed and injured.

In Damascus, the loyalist forces liberated from ISIS militants the Badr Brigade Base near the Dumayr Military Airport. The operation was a part of the ongoing efforts to secure the area of the Syrian capital.

The Russian warplanes conducted air raids against the militant positions near the villages of al-Mansoureh and Khan al-Assal in the Western part of the province of Aleppo. The Russian Air Force also targeted terrorists near the hilltop town of Tal al-Eis. The Syrian Arab Air Force conducted raids against the terrorist positions at the Western outskirts of the Aleppo city including Rashedeen 4.

ISIS seized 5 villages from the the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat Al-Shamiya militants in Northern Aleppo: Tahmoul, Jariz Kafrah, Fayruziyah, Tilal Al-Hussein and Dudiyan. Thus, the ISIS forces are successfully advancing in the direction of Azaz.

We remember, the tensions between ISIS and other militants escalated in Northern Syria after the FSA and its allies violated the ceasefire with the group in an unsuccessful attempt to expand the influence in the border region.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, militants of the al-Nusra Front terrorist group keep on arriving in the north-eastern regions of the Syrian province of Latakia from the territory of Turkey.

Russian Centre for reconciliation in cooperation with the Syrian government provided humanitarian aid to civilians, which had been evacuated from the Idlib province to the city of Latakia. Refugees have received about 2 tons of humanitarian cargos. Specialists of the UN and Red Crescent supported by Syrian leadership have delivered humanitarian convoy to al-Rastan in the province of Homs.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-new-influx-al-qaeda-terrorists-from-turkey/5522151

“Moderate” FSA and Al Qaeda Militants Repel Syria (SAA) Offensive in Aleppo Province

Global Research, April 13, 2016
South Front
al-nusra-leader-killed-syria-400x262

Al Nusra and FSA militants repelled the pro-government forces’ offensive on the strategic town of Al-Eis and the al Eis hilltop in the Aleppo province on April 12.

According to ground reports, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hezbollah units supported the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) in this operation. Pro-militant sources report that from 50 to 70 pro-government soldiers were killed in the clashes. However, these numbers haven’t been confirmed by photos or videos. In turn, the Syrian government forces have reportedly killed over 250 al Nusra militants in Southwestern Aleppo during the past week. The loyalist forces will make another attempt to liberate Al-Eis today.

The SAA and the NDF repelled an attack of al-Nusra and its allies on a strategic highway linking Damascus to Quneitra in Southern Syria. Al-Nusra militants advanced on the al-Salam highway from four directions: Filat al-Azm, al-Khalil Farm, Marmala and al-Mansha al-Sanayeh. However, their attempts failed.

Meanwhile, the Syrian forces cut off another supply line belonged to al-Nusra and Jeish al-Islam in Eastern Ghouta capturing several sites along the Tal Sawwan-Hawsh Al-Farah road. This allowed the SAA to impose a fire control on the road. Now, the Syrian forces are preparing an operation to liberate Tal Kurdi.

Unconfirmed reports argue that the Syrian government is redeploying troops to conduct an operation in the militant-held Jisr Al-Shughour. However, such operation will be hardly possible while the situation remains tense in Aleppo.

Last week, unveri able number of Yazidi Kurdish fighters arrived at a training camp in Sinjar District, west of Mosul to begin military training at a camp run by the PKK-linked Yazidi Protection Forces (YBS). The PKK will reportedly stay in Sinjar until the recapture of all Yazidi areas and Mosul.

ISIS remains operational in the areas northeast and northwest of Ramadi. ISIS attacked and launched indirect fire into residential areas in Ramadi, Khalidiyah, and Habaniyah. Iraq’s security forces also confirm firefights with militants.

If you’re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via:https://www.patreon.com/southfront

 

Right sector promises to execute Poroshenko in dark vault

Pravda.Ru

57764

AP Photo

The Ukrainian radicals promised to shoot the Ukraine’s President given a recent offshore scandal.

The Right Sector claimed that if a new revolution started, the President Petro Poroshenko would not manage to escape from the country, “an execution in a dark vault would await him”. The Right Sector spokesman Artyom Skoropadsky said that the execution “would be carried out by a group of young Ukrainian military men or members of the National Guard”.

Radical groups got to open threats to Poroshenko after the referendum failure in the Netherlands on the Ukraine’s joining the EU as well as data on the President’s business assets.

According to the ICIJ and OCCROP revelations, the Ukrainian President created three offshores in 2014 to restructure its Roshen company. It was also noted in the investigation that he didn’t mention in his 2014 fiscal declaration data on a new offshore company, investments in authorised capital of oversee firms, and benefits he got abroad.

Pravda.Ru

Read article on the Russian version of Pravda.Ru


Kiev junta to hire Right Sector nationalists to kill

 

 

http://www.pravdareport.com/news/world/ussr/ukraine/12-04-2016/134145-poroshenko-0/

Syria: Major SAA Military Counter-terrorism Operation in Aleppo Province, Support of Russian and Iranian Advisers

Global Research, April 07, 2016
South Front 6 April 2016


On April 5, a Syrian Su-22 fighter-bomber was downed by militants in the village of Tel Eis in Southern Aleppo. Tel Eis has been under control of Al Nusra and Free Syrian Army units which operate in serried ranks in this area. A pilot rejected from the warplane, but he was captured and, according to initial reports, killed by militants. Further reports said that the pilot, Khaled Sa’id of Latakia City, is alive and the work is underway to rescue him.

Following the incident with the Su-22, the loyalist forces supported by Russian warplanes and helicopters conducted a new attempt to liberate Tel Eis and pushed militant groups from the village. Additionally, Russian warplanes conducted air raids on along the Banes-Tal Al-‘Eiss road.

The liberation of al-Eis set a foothold for further advances to cut of M5 highway which links Aleppo with parts of the Idlib governorate and grants access to M4 Highway heading to Latakia.

Pre-military reports indicate that the loyalists are deploying forces – mainly SAA, NDF and Hezbolalh units supported by Iranian and Russian military advisers – to the province of Aleppo to conduct a military operation in the provincial capital. Aleppo’s joint operations room in a statement asked the people to leave the regions where groups that ignore the ceasefire are presented

Order Professor Tim Anderson’s international bestseller directly from Global Research

Video: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. Geopolitical Standoff between Turkey and Russia?

Global Research, April 06, 2016
South Front 5 April 2016
67540-300x210

After 22 years, the shaky Armenian-Azeri ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region fell apart overnight on April 2 with both sides of the front using mortars, artillery, armored vehicles, battle tanks and multiple rocket launchers. Azerbaijan also uses UAVs and helicopters.

Baku and Yerevan blame each other for triggering the hostilities in the mountainous area. However, the most intense fighting on April 2 and April 3 were observed in Martakert (регион) where the Azeri troops were advancing on forces of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, an unrecognized state which is de-facto a province of Armenia.

On April 4, clashes continued with the both sides reporting about successes. For example, Azerbaijan released a statement that it seized the village of Mataghis. The Nagorno-Karabakh military denied this and noted the depth of Azerbaijani advancement doesn’t exceed 300 meters anywhere.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry says Armenians have lost 170 troops and 12 armored vehicles, 3 battle tanks and an artillery battery. In turn, the Nagorno-Karabakh military reported that 18 Azeri battle tanks 3 IFV, 6 UAVs and 2 helicopters have been destroyed and 300 Azeri troops have been killed. Videos and photos from the battlefield confirm high intense clashes.

On April 4, Azerbaijan set conditions for ceasefire in the troubled region, saying that Armenia must withdraw from “occupied territories.” In turn, Armenia said it would recognize the region’s independence if the situation on the ground worsens.

The conflict complicates matters for all powers inching into the Caucasus, especially for Russia, Iran and Turkey that also involved in the Syrian war.

Russia has a military base in Armenia. Turkey immediately supported Azerbaijan’s stance and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the disputed region will ‘inevitably’ return to Azerbaijan. Iran shares borders with both sides of the front. If the peaceful solution isn’t found fast, the ongoing fighting could develop into a wider conflict destabilizing the Caucasus, dramatically.

SouthFront recommends this video entitled “Foreign Policy Diary – Nagorno-Karabakh Standoff: geopolitical struggle in the Caspian Sea region” (02.10.2015):

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Fforeign-policy-diary-nagorno-karabakh-standoff-geopolitical-struggle-in-the-caspian-sea-region%2F&pid=33

Bad luck island: How Obama was snubbed in Cuba


Raul Castro did not allow Barack Obama to clap him on the shoulder.
The incident turned out to become just about the main event of the whole journey of the American leader to Cuba.
After the press conference Obama wished to clap his Cuban colleague on the shoulder. However, Raul Castro caught the hand of the American leader and gave a wave in the air.
As we reported, Barack Obama was in Cuba on a state visit. This event has already been called as a historic one. The American leaders have not visited the island for over 80 years. As Obama said, his visit became a symbol of the end of Cold War.

Pravda.Ru

http://www.pravdareport.com/video/23-03-2016/133909-cuba-0/

China Expands Security Reach in Central Asia. Counterterrorism and Beijing’s “One Belt One Road” Initiative

Global Research, March 22, 2016
South Front 22 March 2016
120531_china_flag1-400x266

Video and transcript

China is taking steps to protect its economic interest and political influence in the Central Asia. On Mar.1, Beijing proposed a joint counter terrorism mechanism with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan as a project to boost regional security.

This initiative is clear signal that China is seeking to become more involved in security issues beyond its borders. In long terms, it will also fuel China’s political influence in the region.

China’s economic interests in the region is spreading through the region largely because of its One Belt, One Road initiative. The goal of the initiative is to develop rade and transit links among Central and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe. However,many of those interests could easily be undermined by local threats especially in Central and South Asia.

https://southfront.org/wp-content/plugins/fwduvp/content/video.php?path=https%3A%2F%2Fsouthfront.org%2Fforeign-policy-diary-china-expands-security-reach-in-central-asia%2F&pid=321

In Afghanistan and Pakistan militant groups have increase operations and the whole region is suffering from instability fueled by social problems and corruption of local governments.

China’s counterterrorism project is meant to address the growing threat militancy in the region. There are no details of the proposed mechanism’s structure, scope or funding. Nonetheless, Afghanistan has already voiced its support for the idea. Others regional countries have also shown great interest in stabilizing Afghanistan to prevent terrorist groups and refugees from flowing across their borders. It’s likely that the initiative’s potential members want to ensure that China’s $45 billion investment package for infrastructure, energy and transit projects called ” the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor” is realized. In comparison with other China’s activities in the region, the newest counterterrorism project creates a multilateral security framework leading only by China. Considering the mechanism would not fall under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s authority, it could be concluded that China is ready to increase the stakes in order to increase its expansion in the region.

However, proposing a counterterrorism mechanism is not the same as establishing one. It would be wrong to expect that the project will become successful rapidly.

According to experts, the most possible first steps are intelligence sharing and increasing cross-border counterterrorism capabilities which will boost coordination of of counterterrorism operations conducted in border areas.

Moreover, world powers involved into the region, especially the US, would have mixed feelings about China’s plans.

The US has been already expanding its presence in the Central Asia using the Afghan crisis to involve more Central Asian states into own sphere of influence. Meanwhile, the US is developing alliances in order to counter China in the Asia-Pacific region with special attention to the South China Sea. Thus, the proposal itself marks an important shift in Beijing’s role in this geopolitical standoff. China has given a clear signal that it’s ready to defend its foreign reach.

The different security and military initiatives could become a common part of its One Belt, One Road project.

Watch: Bernie Sanders: ‘We Are Doing Something Very Radical in American Politics’

Video – [FULL SPEECH]

After Bernie Sanders was projected to lose the first three of the five Mini Super Tuesday states to Hillary Clinton, he turned the focus to his own campaign in an hour-long speech to supporters in Phoenix, Arizona, tonight, saying his campaign has “defied all expectations.

March 16/17, 2016

Bernie Sanders Had a Phenomenal Night — Here’s Why

By Tom Cahill

March 17, 2016 “Information Clearing House” – “U.S.Uncut“- Despite Bernie Sanders losing all five states in last night’s primary contests, he’s within striking distance of Hillary Clinton. And if Sanders wins the upcoming Western primaries, he could erase Clinton’s lead and become the new front-runner for the nomination.

At the end of the night, Hillary Clinton increased her delegate lead by about 100, still leaving Sanders plenty of room to eliminate her advantage in the 24 remaining states. A candidate needs 2,383 delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination, and as of March 16, Clinton only has 1,139 delegates to Sanders’ 825. Less than half of the pledged delegates have been selected thus far.

All of the states most favorable to Clinton have already voted, including the entire deep south, and the states most favorable to Sanders are still on the calendar. If anyone should be worried about their chances at the nomination waning over time, it’s Hillary Clinton.

Furthermore, it’s most important to note that going into these favorable states, Bernie Sanders only needs 58% of the remaining pledged delegates. And considering he picked up 67.7% of the vote in Kansas, 64.3% in Maine, and a thundering 86.1% in his home state of Vermont — shutting out Clinton entirely from the 15% delegate threshold — this is not as impossible as the doomsayers predict.

He also squeaked above the 58% figure with 59% of the vote in Colorado and 61.6% in Minnesota, and he scored a respectable 57.1% in Nebraska. He received 60% back in New Hampshire and has come in virtual ties in many other states outside of the South thus far, meaning he’s beaten the target a total of six times.

Sanders also continued to bolster his argument for electability in the general in tonight’s contests. Among groups that hold special significance in general elections, like young voters and independents, Sanders performed particularly well. For example, 70 percent of independents in Illinois voted for Sanders over Clinton. And despite Clinton pulling out a narrow win in Illinois, Sanders still won the under-45 bloc by a vast margin:

What all this means is that Bernie Sanders is still well within striking distance of the nomination as more Sanders-friendly states take to the polls throughout the Spring. The primary season is only halfway over, and the remaining states are overwhelmingly favorable to Sanders in that they’re blue states with large populations of Democratic-leaning independents and voters under 45.

In fact, out of the 17 states Sanders has lost, it’s important to remember that Barack Obama still beat Hillary Clinton in 2008 despite losing 21 states. Florida and Ohio, which Clinton won last night, also went for Clinton in 2008. According to New York Times election results, Clinton beat Obama in Florida by 17 points. She also beat Obama in Ohio by a 10-point margin in 2008. Sanders’ loss in those states isn’t that devastating in context.

Nationally-renowned pollster Nate Silver carved out a path for Sanders to win the nomination, showing which states the Vermont senator had to win, and by what margins, to remain competitive. Silver doesn’t list Delaware and Maryland as must-win states for Sanders, meaning he could theoretically lose those states and two others while still remaining competitive throughout the remainder of the primary season.

If Sanders and Clinton are neck-and-neck in national polls, Sanders can still win the nomination if he wins the upcoming Western contests by comfortable margins. Many of the Western states are caucuses, where Sanders traditionally does well. Three of Sanders’ last four landslide victories — Kansas, Maine, and Nebraska — are caucus states. While Western states are traditionally polling deserts at this stage, donations from certain geographical regions help shine a light on how favorable the West is for Sanders. it should be noted that six of the top 10 citiesthat donate the most money per capita to the Sanders campaign are in Western states that have yet to vote:

Graphic from the Seattle Times

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida superdelegate who has endorsed Sanders, explained in a recent Huffington Post blog that the second half of this primary season — after March 15 — could be referred to as “Presidential Primary Version 2.0.” Grayson agrees that Sanders’ best states are in the months to come:

Democratic presidential primary 2.0 elects a total of 2033 pledged delegates. If Bernie Sanders wins those races (and delegates) by the same 60-40 margin that he has amassed in primaries and caucuses outside the “Old South” to date, then that will give him an advantage of 407 pledged delegates. That is more — far more — than the current Clinton margin of 223. [Ed. Note — Margin is now 314, but the math still works out. Again, Sanders’ target is about 58%.]

Almost 700 pledged delegates are chosen on June 7 alone. It seems unlikely that either candidate will accumulate a margin of 700 pledged delegates before then. So this one may come down to the wire.

Fasten your seat belts. It’s going to be a wild ride.

Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact Tom via email at tom.v.cahill@gmail.com.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44446.htm

Iran’s Military Capabilities: Technical Cooperation with Russia and China

Global Research, March 11, 2016
South Front 10 March 2016

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Iran has one of the Middle East’s largest militaries. While its military is strong enough to prevent any plans of an intervention in the republic, the conditions of the Iranian military equipment and used technologies aren’t the best. The long period of sanctions have prevented Tehran from effectively upgrading its arms and military equipment, leaving it behind regional powers such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates which have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on some of the most advanced weaponry on the international market.

Decades of sanctions have also made it difficult for Iran to source spare parts to repair and maintain its existing military equipment, particularly the air force and navy. According to repots, about 80% of the Iranian Air Force needs repair works, about 20% of the Iranian Air Force isn’t not operationally ready. Tehran has proved remarkably adept at maintaining their weaponry and machinery relying on domestically sourced modifications and upgrades. However, maintaining aging equipment from multiple origins in unfriendly environment has been a complicated task.

In the past Iran has relied on the size of its military and its developed asymmetric capabilities. Now, It is reasonable to expect Iran will seek to restore a more conventional balance of capabilities in its military by procuring better weaponry. Estimating Iran’s domestic industry, Tehran will need outside sources to improve its military capabilities. Even with renewed access to the international market, Iran has a little chance to procure any significant amount of defense equipment from Western countries. Continued policy differences and opposition from regional rivals effectively block Iranian access to U.S. and European defense markets.

Russia and China are the only countries that can provide the advanced weaponry that will compare with that of Iran’s neighbors. And Moscow looks well positioned to become the primary supplier for Iranian defense needs. Russia holds an edge over China in key areas such as surface-to-air missile technology and air superiority fighter aircraft. And in Syria, everybody has seen a live demonstration of Russian equipment in battlefield operations.

Tehran is already in significant negotiations with Moscow. A S-300 surface-to-air missile system deal has recently been made and the system appears to be on the verge of being delivered. There are also reports about the talks between Tehran and Moscow on supplying Russian-made Su-30 fighter jets T-90 tanks to Iran. The both systems are used in Syria.

Both Russia and Iran will benefit from the military cooperation. Iran needs to upgrade its conventional weaponry, and Russia is looking for new arms markets. If a strong relationship between Tehran and Moscow become a fact, rapidly, the technological gap between Iran’s military and its regional rivals will narrow shifting the regional balance of power.

Help South Front if you can! PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via:https://www.patreon.com/southfront

http://www.globalresearch.ca/irans-military-capabilities-technical-cooperation-with-russia-and-china/5513345

Message from Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

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Pravda.Ru#sthash.DkuBY5pp.dpuf

Message for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2016

UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

This year’s celebration of International Women’s Day is the first within the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are confidently asserted in that Agenda as intrinsic to progress.

The new Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals include a specific goal to achieve gender equality, which aims to end discrimination and violence against women and girls and ensure equal participation and opportunities in all spheres of life. Important provisions for women’s empowerment are also included in most of the other goals. 

In conjunction with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, more than 90 governments have answered UN Women’s call for action to “Step It Up for Gender Equality”. Heads of State and Government have pledged concrete and measurable actions to crack some of the fundamental barriers to the achievement of gender equality in their countries.

Unanimously at the 59th Commission on the Status of Women in 2015, governments reaffirmed the Beijing Platform for Action. Businesses large and small are committing to, and implementing, shifts in culture and practice that foster greater equality and opportunity. Women individually, and civil society together, have called for lasting and transformative change by 2030.

With these unprecedented expressions of political will, the countdown to substantive gender equality by 2030 must begin, accompanied and underpinned by monitoring of accountability and evaluation of progress.   

We draw strength from this solidarity as we face world events such as severe population displacement, extreme violence against women and girls, and extensive instability and crises in many regions.

To arrive at the future we want, we cannot leave anyone behind. We have to start with those who are the least regarded. These are largely women and girls, although in poor and troubled areas, they can also include boys and men.

Women and girls are critical to finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty, inequality and the recovery of the communities hardest hit by conflicts, disasters and displacements. They are at the frontline of the outbreaks of threatening new epidemics, such as Zika virus disease or the impact of climate change, and at the same time are the bulwark to protect their families, work for peace, and ensure sustainable economic growth and social change. 

On International Women’s Day, we reiterate the greater participation of women as one of the necessary conditions for an inclusive Agenda 2030. Their leadership is insufficiently recognized but must emerge with greater participation in decision-making bodies. Each one of us is needed-in our countries, communities, organizations, governments and in the United Nations-to ensure decisive, visible and measurable actions are taken under the banner: Planet 50-50: Step It Up for Gender Equality.

We build on the commitments that have already been made by all governments. We also build on the legacy of determined and vocal participation by the small group of founding women from all parts of the world, who were in San Francisco in 1945 when the UN Charter was adopted. They laid the foundation for all that has followed in the struggle for the fulfilment of women’s rights. 

The participation of women at all levels and the strengthening of the women’s movement has never been so critical, working together with boys and men, to empower nations, build stronger economies and healthier societies. It is the key to making Agenda 2030 transformational and inclusive.

Happy International Women’s Day.

 

 

 

 

Miss International must be loyal to other countries

 

 

http://www.pravdareport.com/news/world/08-03-2016/133743-phumzile_mlambo_ngcuka-0/

Hillary’s Worst Nightmare Comes True Thanks to the US Justice Department

Global Research, March 08, 2016

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Zerohedge reports that The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.

In the video below, Gary Franchi of the Next News Network goes further into the topic:

Washington’s Neocon Occupation Upholds The Illusion Of Choice In The Two-Party Duopoly

Global Research, March 05, 2016
Mint Press News 2 March 2016

Bush-Cheney-Wolfowitz-400x266Maybe you haven’t noticed, but Washington is occupied by neocons.

Seeking world domination, they’re steering the U.S. empire toward endless wars abroad. Back at home, they feed an illusion of freedom, democracy and choice presented by the two-party system.

They may seem like two distinct parties, but make no mistake: The Democratic and Republican Parties function more like a single party that promotes the interests of corporations, special interest groups and foreign governments — all of which profit from more war and human exploitation.

Perhaps nowhere are the similarities more striking than in the past two neocon administrations to occupy the White House.

The Grand Old Party’s George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror,” then gave the world the Iraq War, Guantanamo Bay, CIA “black sites,” and a drone program, among a host of other ills.

Seizing on the American people’s weariness of military adventurism and interventionism abroad, Barack Obama got himself on the Democratic ticket in 2008, campaigning on a platform of “change” and “hope.”

That change never really came to pass, though. Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, dropped over 23,000 bombs on the Middle East in 2015 alone. Guantanamo remains open and Bush’s drone program across Africa and the Middle East has grown more deadly.

Obama even out-Bushed Dubya by expanding the “War on Terror” to benefit the military-industrial complex. He allowed for the strengthening of extreme right-wing militias and governments, the emboldening of Gulf monarchies and apartheid Israel, and the development of a foreign policy agenda that’s become increasingly aligned with al-Qaida.

Sure, the Iran deal was finally secured under Obama, but the Russian bear also re-emerged under his watch, with the destabilization of Ukraine re-igniting the Cold War and the nuclear arms race.

Here to talk more about the neocon Republicans and Democrats pulling the strings in Washington is Daniel McAdams, director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace, a non-partisan initiative led by former politicians, policy advisers and even former Bush aides who oppose U.S. interventionism and work to educate the public about the neocon takeover of America.*

In this episode of “Behind the Headline,” host and MintPress News Editor-in-Chief Mnar Muhaweshtalks to Daniel McAdams, director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace, about how the two-party system fulfills the neocon war agenda and discuss what’s holding third-party candidates back from bringing about real lasting peace.

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