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Showing posts from January 9, 2016

Reality Peeks Through in Ukraine

Exclusive: With corruption rampant and living standards falling, Ukraine may become the next failed state that “benefited” from a neoconservative-driven “regime change,” though the blame will always be placed elsewhere – in this case, on the demonized Russian President Putin, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Nearly two years since U.S. officials helped foment a coup in Ukraine – partly justified by corruption allegations – the country continues to wallow in graft and cronyism as the living standards for average Ukrainians plummet, according to economic data and polls of public attitudes.

Even the neocon-oriented Wall Street Journal took note of the worsening corruption in a Jan. 1, 2016 article observing that “most Ukrainians say the revolution’s promise to replace rule by thieves with the rule of law has fallen short and the government acknowledges that there is still much to be done.”

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. (Photo credit: Ybilyk)

Actually, the numbers suggest som…

Saudi Arabia’s Dangerous Decline

Much of Official Washington still toes the Saudi line against Iran – in part because Israel shares that hostility – but that antagonism is putting the world at greater risk as Saudi Arabia demonstrates increasingly reckless and barbaric behavior, the sign of a declining power, says Trita Parsi.

By Trita Parsi

The escalating tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the story of a declining state desperately seeking to reverse the balance of power shifting in favor of its rising rival.

History teaches us that it is not rising states that tend to be reckless, but declining powers. Rising states have time on their side. They can afford to be patient: They know that they will be stronger tomorrow and, as a result, will be better off postponing any potential confrontation with rivals.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia and his entourage arrive to greet President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House…

N. Korea demonstrates new submarine ballistic missile test (VIDEO)

North Korea has released a video showing what the country claims to be a successful submarine-launched ballistic missile test last month. It comes two days after Pyongyang claimed to have tested its newly developed miniaturized hydrogen bomb.

As part of an almost an hour long package into N. Korean military preparedness, the Korean Central Television showcased a segment of a ballistic missile launch carried out from a submarine on December 21. The video showed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observing the launch, as the missile cleared the clouds.

The submarine-launched ballistic missile featured in the video was allegedly the KN-11, currently being developed by the North. According to the initial Washington Free Beacon (WFB)report earlier this week that missile was fired off a submerged the port city of Sinpo, where the country is building a Sinpo class submarine.

This is the second time in the last few months that the North has tried to demonstrate the capabilities of the missile, with…

Rebel Militants Repelled by Syrian Army, Russian Jets in Latakia Province

Supported by Russian air strikes, the Syrian Army has reportedly managed to regain control of a spate of strategic areas in the western province of Latakia.

Taking the Ground Back: Syrian Army Further Liberates AleppoWith the help of Russian air strikes, the Syrian Army and the country's National Defense Forces (NDF) won back an array of strategic areas in western Syria's Latakia province, according to the Iranian news agency FARS.

Dozens of militants were killed and many more wounded after the Syrian troops launched an offensive on terrorists based in the mountainous regions of Latakia province, where the army took control of Tal Kherba, Al Juba and Height 1023, among other areas.

"The Syrian army and the NDF continued to advance against the terrorist groups north of Lattakia and took back Heights 292, 296 and 387. The pro-government forces also won back the Heights 465, 342 and 489 near the newly-liberated village of al-Sarraf," FARS quoted…

North Korea says South's propaganda broadcasts push situation to 'brink of war'

By James Pearson and Ju-min Park

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's loudspeaker broadcasts aimed at North Korea push the rivals to the "brink of war," a top North Korean official has told a propaganda rally, in the isolated country's first official response to the sonic barrage across its border.

North Korea's fourth nuclear test on Wednesday angered both the United States and China, which was not given prior notice, although the U.S. government and weapons experts doubt the North's claim that the device it set off was a hydrogen bomb.

In retaliation for the test, South Korea on Friday unleashed a ear-splitting propaganda barrage. The last time South Korea deployed the loudspeakers, in August 2015, it triggered an exchange of artillery fire.

"Jealous of the successful test of our first H-bomb, the U.S. and its followers are driving the situation to the brink of war, by saying they have resumed psychological broadcasts and brought in strategic bombers,"…

Mexican security forces recapture 'El Chapo' Guzman in early morning raid

AFTER an early morning raid in northwestern Mexico's Sinaloa State's town of Los Mochis by Mexican police and marines on Friday, Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera was recaptured, six months after his second prison break.

The news was broken by President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took to Twitter, saying "Mission accomplished. We got him. I want to inform all Mexicans that Joaquin Guzman Loera has been arrested."

In a second message, he thanked security forces for this "important victory...for Mexico."

In a raid on a house in Los Mochis at 6am, security forces exchanged shots with suspected accomplices of Guzman, leaving at least five dead and six captured, the Secretariat of the Navy announced Friday.

Mexican daily El Universal reported that authorities were currently submitting Guzman to genetic and photographic tests to fully ascertain whether they have arrested the right man.

The raid was planned after receiving a tip-off that arme…