2020-07-12: News Headlines

_____ (2020-07-12). The Fall of Plahotniuc and a New Hope for Moldova. strategic-culture.org In June 2019, the small landlocked nation of Moldova found itself in a life or death struggle between two opposing futures: Oligarchs like the notorious Vladimir Plahotniuc had worked diligently for years to bring this nation into the hull of the collapsing NATO-EU Titanic while nationalists sought to re-align Moldova's future with the new emerging Multipolar Alliance led by China and Russia. | The greatest moment of decision (until now) occurred in June 2019 when elections resulted in a three-way split between a pro-Russian Socialist Party, the pro-EU ACUM and another pro-western Democratic Party run by the arch…

Ted Snider (2020-07-12). How Many Ways Can Israel Wage War on Iran Before the Media Reports Israel Is Waging War on Iran? commondreams.org Satellite images of Natanz Nuclear Plant. (Photo: Google [before] and Iran International [after]) | www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_special_coverage/public/views-article/thumbs/natanz-iran_5031346-1024×576.jpg

teleSUR (2020-07-12). Russia Successfully Completes COVID-19 Vaccine Trial. telesurenglish.net Russia's health authorities Sunday announced that the country has successfully concluded the clinical trial of a vaccine against COVID-19 in a group of volunteers, becoming the first country to successfully complete this fase. | RELATED: | "At this stage, the safety of the vaccine was demonstrated. It corresponds to the safety of vaccines that are currently on the market, " First Moscow State Medical University Sechenov's Institute o…

yenisafak (2020-07-12). Russia's Nornickel reports another fuel leak in Arctic. yenisafak.com A subsidiary of Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel said on Sunday that up to 20 tonnes of aviation fuel had leaked from its pipeline in the Arctic.Arctic environment security has been in the spotlight at Nornickel's assets since another leak of 21,000 tonnes of diesel from Nornickel's power plant near the city of Norilsk on May 29."A pipeline owned by Norilsktransgaz was depressurized while pumping aviation fuel in the area of Tukhard settlement," Norilsktransgaz said in a statement."According to the preliminary data, as a result of the depressurization, which lasted about 15 minutes, there was a spill of up to…

Gareth Porter (2020-07-11). How the Pentagon failed to sell Afghan government's bunk 'Bountygate'. zcomm.org Another New York Times Russiagate bombshell turns out to be a dud, as dodgy stories spun out by Afghan intelligence and exploited by the Pentagon ultimately failed to convince US intelligence agencies…

RT (2020-07-11). Trump wants Christopher Steele, UK spy behind 'Russiagate' dossier 'tried and thrown into jail'. rt.com US President Donald Trump has called for the extradition, trial and imprisonment of disgraced British spy Christopher Steele, whose scandalous allegations against the president helped kickstart the 'Russiagate' investigation. | "This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail," Trump said of Steele on Saturday, calling the British snoop a "sick lier [sic] who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC!" | This man should be extradited, tried, and thrown into jail. A sick lier who was paid by Crooked Hillary & the DNC!

RT (2020-07-11). Saint Petersburg records big spike in June deaths as Covid-19 epidemic continues. rt.com The mortality rate in Saint Petersburg, Russia's second-biggest city and former capital, reached a 10-year high in June. According to the city civil registry office, 7,106 people died – far higher than 4,575 last year. | In addition, according to Russian news service Interfax, the city's death rate exceeded 6,000 people just three times in the last ten years – January 2016, January 2017, and March 2018. | The high death rate in Saint Petersburg is likely worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. The metropole ranks second among Russian regions – behind only Moscow – and official figures show that the city saw 1,520 d…

RT (2020-07-11). 'Another phony hit job': Trump slams NYT for 'made up' story about alleged Russian bounties in Afghanistan. rt.com A sensational New York Times report which alleged that Russia paid the Taliban to target US forces in Afghanistan was pure fabrication, Donald Trump has claimed after the Pentagon and intel agencies dismissed the story. | The claim that Moscow had placed bounties on US and coalition troops operating in Afghanistan, first reported by the Times last month, has been widely discredited by senior military and intelligence officials. Defense Secretary Mark Esper testified earlier this week that "all the defense intelligence agencies have been unable to corroborate that report." | Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gener…

RT (2020-07-11). So, no UFOs or secret arms tests? Investigators say they've uncovered true cause behind mysterious Dyatlov Pass deaths in 1959. rt.com The gruesome, unexplained deaths of Soviet hikers at the Dyatlov Pass in 1959 have inspired countless theories about UFOs and even secret military tests. Now, Russian sleuths have revealed that nature's wrath killed the group. | Nine graduate students from a local technical university in the Urals region, led by Igor Dyatlov, embarked on their ill-fated hiking trip in February of that year. Being experienced and well-equipped for the journey, they were planning to cover 350km on skis through extremely harsh terrain in the northern Ural Mountains. | It was all going fine initially and many happy photos left by…

RT (2020-07-11). 'A slap in the face of all Christianity worldwide': Conversion of Hagia Sophia into mosque infuriates Russian Orthodox Church. rt.com The Russian Orthodox Church has criticized Turkey's leaders for revoking the museum status of "one of the greatest Christian shrines," Istanbul's famous Hagia Sophia, accusing Ankara of playing politics. | Read more | | Founded by the Christian emperor Justinian, the Hagia Sofia was consecrated in the year 537, as a Byzantine cathedral. For almost a thousand years, it operated as a church — sometimes Orthodox, sometimes Catholic — before being converted into a mosque in 1…

RT (2020-07-11). Anti-Trump camp in meltdown over VIDEO of dancing Roger Stone after his prison term's commuted. rt.com Political huckster Roger Stone celebrated the commutation of his prison sentence in typically flamboyant style: by gyrating to music in a video that went viral and hit a raw nerve with his opponents and those of President Trump. | Ensnared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's 'Russiagate' probe, Stone was sentenced in February to three years in prison for interfering with the investigation and tampering with witnesses — charges the long-time Republican maintained were baseless. Trump commuted his sentence on Friday — a move that doesn't overturn his conviction, but spares him a stint behind bars. | Fa…

Sonali Kolhatkar (2020-07-11). Instead of Focusing on Bounties, Why Doesn't the U.S. End the Afghan War? zcomm.org Lawmakers are outraged over a recent story alleging that Vladimir Putin may be paying off Taliban soldiers to kill U.S. troops. But why are those troops still in Afghanistan?>

_____ (2020-07-11). As Long as Mass Media Propaganda Exists, Democracy Is a Sham. strategic-culture.org Caitlin JOHNSTONE | "A majority of Americans believe that Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan last year amid negotiations to end the war, and more than half want to respond with new economic sanctions against Moscow, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday," "Overall, 60% of Americans said they found reports of Russian bounties on American soldiers to be 'very' or 'somewhat' believable, while 21% said they were not credible and the rest were unsure,"

teleSUR (2020-07-11). Russia Offers Latin America a Drug to Cure COVID-19. telesurenglish.net Russia's Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) director Kiril Dmitriyev Saturday announced Latin American countries will be the firsts to receive the drug Avifavir for COVID-19 treatment. | RELATED: | The Russian Embassy in Guatemala, along with with the RDIF, officially presented Avivafir for Latin America and the Caribbean. | "Many countries don't have any antiviral drugs, and Russia is prepared to meet those nations' needs," Dmitriyev assured…

sputniknews (2020-07-11). Venezuela Receives Shipment of 840,000 Packages of Insulin Drugs From Russia. sputniknews.com MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A humanitarian shipment from Russia containing 840,000 packages of insulin drugs has arrived in Venezuela, the deputy health minister of the South American country Gerardo Briceno said during an appearance on the state-run VTV broadcaster on Saturday.

sputniknews (2020-07-11). 'Bring Back Steele': Trump Demands Extradition of Author of Notorious 'Russia Hoax' Dossier to US. sputniknews.com The Steele Dossier, paid for by the leadership of the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton, accused Trump of conspiring with Russia leading up to the November elections in 2016 on the basis of unreliable sources. However, nobody responsible was ever charged over the dossier, despite it being proved to contain unsubstantiated claims.

_____ (2020-07-11). The U.S. Doesn't Need Another Cold War to Improve Itself. strategic-culture.org This is likely to lead to many violations of civil liberties committed in the name of national security. | Daniel LARISON | Hal Brands It is true that there was significant progress on civil rights during…

_____ (2020-07-11). Unwrapping the Riddle of Srebrenica. strategic-culture.org Churchill's famous dictum about the Soviet Union, that it was "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma," is arguably just as applicable to Srebrenica. July 11 this year will be the twenty-fifth anniversary of that landmark event of the Yugoslav wars which the late Prof. Edward Hermann, speaking somewhat less poetically than Churchill, had called "the greatest triumph of propaganda at the close of the twentieth century." | Whether we choose to view Srebrenica as a criminal investigation to sort out who and at whose direction executed prisoners of war, or as a political provocation to lay the groundwork fo…

yenisafak (2020-07-11). Russia reports 6,611 new coronavirus infections. yenisafak.com Russia on Saturday reported 6,611 new coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 720,547.The country's coronavirus crisis response centre said 188 people had died from the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,205.Russia said 497,446 people have recovered from the virus.

Jeffrey St. Clair (2020-07-10). "I Could Live With That": How the CIA Made Afghanistan Safe for the Opium Trade. counterpunch.org Jimmy Carter later confessed in his memoirs that he was more shaken by the invasion of Afghanistan than any other event of his presidency, including the Iranian revolution. Carter was convinced by the CIA that it could be the start of a push by the Soviets toward the Persian Gulf, a scenario that led the president to seriously consider the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Melvin Goodman (2020-07-10). The Washington Post and Its Cold War Drums. counterpunch.org The Washington Post has taken its Cold War campaign against China, Russia, and Iran to a new level. In the Sunday edition of its Outlook section,…

Anand Naidoo (2020-07-10). The Heat: U.S.-Russia ties. america.cgtn.com The Russia factor. How will relations between United States and Russia fare in an all-important election year?>

RT (2020-07-10). Iran warns of consequences for any 'foreign elements' proven to be involved in mysterious Natanz nuclear-facility incident. rt.com Iran has vowed consequences for any foreign power that might have been involved in the recent incident at the Natanz uranium-enrichment site. The blast came amid a series of incidents at other Iranian vital sites. | "It is still too early to talk about and make any judgment regarding the main cause and reason for the blast [in Natanz], and relevant security bodies are investigating all the details of the incident," Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said on Friday to reporters. | If they conclude that foreign elements have been involved, they will announce it, and there will be consequences.

RT (2020-07-10). New evidence shows FBI knew General Flynn was not 'agent of Russia' but prosecuted him anyway. rt.com President Donald Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn was "not acting as an agent of Russia" by the FBI's own determination, yet the Mueller probe was based on that claim and his legal odyssey still continues. | New evidence provided by the Justice Department to Flynn's legal team this week, and made public on Friday as part of a court filing, shows that the FBI determined Flynn wasn't a Russian agent, and believed he did not deliberately lie to agents during his January 2017 interview. | A handwritten document shows the officials believed there were no reasonable grounds for prosecution under…

RT (2020-07-10). Trump commutes sentence of ally Roger Stone, sentenced to 6 years in 'Russiagate' probe. rt.com US President Donald Trump has commuted the 'Russiagate' sentence of Roger Stone, a political operative who briefly worked on his 2016 campaign, just as Stone was ordered to report to prison to serve time behind bars. | Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone in February to 40 months in prison for obstruction of justice, another 18 months for witness tampering, and 12 months for making false statements to Congress — but the sentences are to run concurrently, so the maximum time Stone would have spend behind bars is three and a half years. | The charges stemmed from the investigation by special counsel Rob…

RT (2020-07-10). Netherlands to take Russia to European Court of Human Rights over 'role' in MH17 crash. rt.com The Dutch government has said it will file a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It alleges that Moscow played a part in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014. | "Today, the Dutch government decided to bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for its role in the downing of Flight MH17,"

RT (2020-07-10). Russia & China veto Western resolution on keeping Syria-Turkey border crossings open, but Moscow's counter-proposal fails. rt.com A Russian UN Security Council resolution on Syrian-Turkish border crossings has been rejected, after Moscow and Beijing vetoed a draft by Western members who sought to reopen the checkpoints outside of government control. | The international body, working in an online format due to the coronavirus pandemic, rejected the Russian proposal with four votes in favor, seven against, and four abstentions. It is the fourth time that a vote on the rival measures has failed, with the council struggling to reach a compromise as the mandate of the border crossings expires on Friday. | Earlier on Friday, 13 out of 15 Secur…

RT (2020-07-10). New evidence shows the FBI knew General Flynn was not 'agent of Russia' but prosecuted him anyway. rt.com President Donald Trump's first national security adviser Michael Flynn was "not acting as an agent of Russia" by the FBI's own determination, yet the Mueller probe was based on that claim and his legal odyssey still continues. | New evidence provided by the Justice Department to Flynn's legal team this week, and made public on Friday as part of a court filing, shows that the FBI determined Flynn wasn't a Russian agent, and believed he did not deliberately lie to agents during his January 2017 interview. | A handwritten document shows the officials believed there were no reasonable grounds for prosecution under…

RT (2020-07-10). Dutch lawsuit with ECHR alleging Russia played part in MH17 downing will only further 'complicate' search for truth — Moscow. rt.com Russia had nothing to do with the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, but it'll work with the European Court of Human Rights if the Netherlands files a law suit, Moscow has said. | Earlier on Thursday, the government of the Netherlands announced that it was planning to take Russia to the Strasbourg Court, alleging that Moscow had played "a role" in the plane crash six year ago, in which 298 lives, mostly of Dutch citizens, were lost. | Russia's Ministry of Justice countered in a statement that the ECHR hadn't yet informed it of the Dutch complaint. But if it's filed eventuall…

RT (2020-07-10). Trump commutes sentence of ally Roger Stone, jailed for 6 years in 'Russiagate' probe. rt.com US President Donald Trump has commuted the 'Russiagate' sentence of Roger Stone, a political operative who briefly worked on his 2016 campaign, just as Stone was ordered to report to prison to serve time behind bars. | Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Stone in February to 40 months in prison for obstruction of justice, another 18 months for witness tampering, and 12 months for making false statements to Congress — but the sentences are to run concurrently, so the maximum time Stone would have spent behind bars is three-and-a-half years. | The charges stemmed from the investigation by Special Counsel Rob…

WSWS (2020-07-10). The collapse of the New York Times' "Russian bounties" campaign. wsws.org Less than two weeks after it kicked off a media frenzy, the Times published an editorial effectively conceding that there was no factual basis for its reporting that Russian military intelligence had paid bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers.

Elijah Magnier (2020-07-10). Iran prepares retaliation for Israeli acts of sabotage. thealtworld.com Iran has postponed announcement of those it has concluded were responsible for the sabotage at the Natanz nuclear centrifuge facility and probably other sites. However, high ranking personnel in Tehran say that "investigations have concluded and the latest explosions may well have been related; indications are that Israel, plus another Middle Eastern country, are involved. Iran is studying its suitable and inevitable retaliation". | According to the source, "this has been confirmed beyond any doubt as an act of sabotage. The explosion at Natanz was destructive but security forces managed to thwart further attacks…

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich (2020-07-10). JCPOA: The Iran Nuclear Deal that Wasn't. globalresearch.ca July 14th, 2020, marks the fifth anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Agreement, often referred to as the Iran Nuclear Deal (or simply the Deal) — the Deal that wasn't. It was yet another attempt …

Scott Ritter (2020-07-10). Iran explosions: Did Israel and the US just start a cyber war? thealtworld.com Explosions rocked a pair of Iranian factories involved in the manufacture of centrifuges for its nuclear program, and the development of advanced ballistic missiles. Iran suspects a cyberattack by either the US, Israel or both. | A series of

teleSUR (2020-07-10). China And Russia Promise Strong Mutual Support. telesurenglish.net China's President Xi Jinping and Russia's President Vladimir Putin Wednesday agreed to support each other in several areas to strengthen their relations as integral strategic partners. | RELATED: | Both presidents held a telephone conversation in which Xi emphasized how in the most difficult moments of the fight against COVID-19, China and Russia helped each other. | "China is ready to continue working with the Russian si…

Paul Craig Roberts (2020-07-10). Has the Durham Investigation of the Russiagate Hoax Been Deep-Sixed? thealtworld.com I never had any expectation that the Trump Justice (sic) Department would investigate the Obama DOJ, FBI, and CIA officials who commited felonies while creating the Russiagate hoax that was intended to drive President Trump from office. The Washington Establishment never lowers the boom on its own. | Attorney General William Barr and US Attorney John Durham are establishment figures. So are the alleged targets of their investigation. But Trump is not an establishment figure. He challenged the establishment openly in his inaugeration speech, and the establishment has been after him ever since. | The alleged invest…

IMEMC Staff (2020-07-10). Israeli Security Summon Fatah Member for Interrogation in Jerusalem. imemc.org Israeli security services in the internationally-recognized occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem, summoned, on Thursday, a representative of the Fatah party, Shadi Matour, for interrogation. Official Palestinian News Agency (Wafa) said that Matour was summoned to the Muskobiya interrogation and detention center, also known as the Russian compound, shortly after he and …

_____ (2020-07-10). A New Tonkin Gulf Incident In The Making? popularresistance.org While the American public, the media, and Congress have largely been focused on the Covid pandemic, demands for racial justice, and other domestic concerns in recent months, the US military has been mobilizing all of its capabilities for a massive show of force in waters abutting China. Every Pacific-based US submarine is now deployed in the area; two nuclear-powered carriers and their escort ships are conducting naval maneuvers there; the Air Force has sent B-1 bombers overhead; and the Army is practicing to seize Chinese-claimed islands. | In the most provocative of these efforts, the carriers Nimitz and Ronald…

sputniknews (2020-07-10). UNSC Fails to Adopt Russian Draft Resolution to Deliver Syria Aid via 1 Crossing for One Year. sputniknews.com The previous resolution submitted by Russia was also blocked in the UNSC, with the United States, UK, Germany, France, Estonia, Belgium, and the Dominican Republican voting against the measure.

_____ (2020-07-10). China's Reasonable Proposal for Arms Control and Washington's Duplicity. strategic-culture.org China underscored this week that it is willing to engage in negotiations with the U.S. to reduce nuclear arsenals and to underpin strategic stability. However, the offer comes with the caveat that Washington must first reduce its arsenal to the level of China's before Beijing will engage in such talks. | That is an eminently reasonable and logical proposal. The starting point is to look at the existing balance of forces. While the U.S. and Russia each possess about 6,000 nuclear warheads, China's arsenal is

_____ (2020-07-10). VIDEO: Is Russia European? strategic-culture.org Is Russia a part of Europe? According to the map its origins definitely lay in Europe. But it sees itself unique | civilization with influence beyond its current constricted borders. Watch the video and read more in the

yenisafak (2020-07-10). Russia warns of growing nuclear war threat. yenisafak.com The risk of a nuclear war has risen significantly in recent years because of the US unwillingness to reaffirm its impossibility, the Russian foreign minister said on Friday."We are particularly concerned about the two-year-old refusal of the Americans to reassert the fundamental principle,…

yenisafak (2020-07-10). Putin, Russian Security Council discuss Libyan crisis. yenisafak.com "The situation in Libya was discussed with an emphasis on the absence of alternative to a ful settlement in this country," the Kremlin said in a statement on its official website following the meeting.Libya has been torn by civil war since the ouster of late ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.Libya's new government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by warlord Khalifa Haftar's forces.The UN recognizes the Libyan government headed by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj as the country's legitimate authority.

yenisafak (2020-07-10). Dutch government to file suit against Russia over downing of MH17. yenisafak.com The Dutch government on Friday said it would file a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights over the downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine six years ago.The Netherlands, home to roughly two-thirds of the victims, holds Russia responsible for the crash on July 17, 2014. The Kremlin has consistently denied involvement.A letter to parliament said the Netherlands was filing the case at the European court to achieve "truth, justice and accountability" for all 298 victims.

Gary Leupp (2020-07-09). "Pinning Down Putin" Biden, the Democrats and the Next War. counterpunch.org The latest Foreign Affairs features a piece by former Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, "Pinning Down Putin: How a Confidant America Should Deal With Russia." A protege of former secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton, she is a notorious "liberal interventionist," married to neocon pundit Robert Kagan. She is perhaps best known

Daniel Falcone (2020-07-09). Cold War with China and the Thucydides Trap: a Conversation with Richard Falk. counterpunch.org Should there be a Second Cold War an alleged US concern for human rights would indeed become another ongoing tool of propaganda. In this interview, International Relations scholar Richard Falk breaks down the grave dangers and prospects for a New Cold with China. Falk worries that tensions and rivalries both regionally and economically could result

Peter Koenig (2020-07-09). Russia did it Again: Chasing the Bounty Hunters. dissidentvoice.org Russia did it again. This time it's paying to kill Americans. How criminal! Such things only Americans would do — Washington, the Pentagon, CIA…. Because killing and have killed is in their mindset and bloodstream. That's what criminals do: They project their own crimes onto others. The latest NYT reporting is, "It's not the Taliban …

_____ (2020-07-09). The Latest 'Russiagate' Bombshell Took One Week To Be Exposed As Dud. popularresistance.org Within just one week the recent attempt to revive 'Russiagate' has failed. It was an embarrassing failure for the media who pushed it. Their 'journalists' fell for obvious nonsense. They let their sources abuse them for political purposes. | On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published stories which claimed that Trump was informed about alleged Russian bounty payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers and did nothing about it: | A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops, in a strik…

sputniknews (2020-07-09). General Milley Tells US Congressional Panel No Evidence of Russian Bounties in Afghanistan. sputniknews.com WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has no direct evidence of the alleged Russian bounties offered to Taliban* militants to kill US soldiers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said in congressional testimony.

_____ (2020-07-09). Israel's Attacks On Iran's Nuclear Sites Signal A New Phase Of Conflict. popularresistance.org Over the past week, mysterious explosions and fires have wracked key infrastructure connected to Iran's nuclear programme at Natanz and Parchin, key facilities engaged in uranium enrichment and the production of rocket fuel for ballistic missiles. | The US and Israel have accused Iran of violating UN resolutions and the nuclear deal in testing new ballistic-missile technology. Although Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly denied any intent to create nuclear weapons, even going so far as to issue a fatwa against it, Iran's enemies are convinced it plans to "go nuclear". | The recent attacks…

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