Mexican Soldiers Cross Into U.S. And Hold Border Patrol Agents At Gunpoint; Obama Ignores Incident

Mexican Soldiers Draw Guns On U.S. Agents – WorldNetDaily

The U.S. government is taking no action on an “unbelievable foray” in which two Mexican soldiers came across the border near Sasabe, Ariz., and held U.S. Border Patrol agents at gunpoint for half an hour, according to a government watchdog organization.

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Judicial Watch said that after the 35-minute “tense confrontation,” Jan. 26, the Mexican soldiers retreated south across the border “as if nothing ever happened, and the Obama administration just let it slide.”

Judicial Watch, which keeps an eye on government behavior, such as the mega-million dollar vacations for the Obamas, said that incident was , which obtained government documents with details of the incident.

According to a Border Patrol foreign military incursion report and a letter from Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, the Mexican soldiers retreated when the U.S. agents drew their weapons and summoned assistance.

The report said the Mexicans “misidentified themselves to border agents, claiming to be pursuing drug smugglers.”

Judicial Watch said, however, the Mexican soldiers aren’t chasing drug smugglers but instead are protecting cartels as they transport their cargo into the U.S. through the desert.

The incident, said Judicial Watch, is just the latest in a long string of incursions by the Mexican military into the U.S.

Records from the Department of Homeland Security show Mexican military incursions occur often and go unpunished by the U.S., Judicial Watch said.

The problem has only gotten worse over the years.

DHS documents reveal 226 incursions by Mexican government personnel into the U.S. occurred between 1996 and 2005. In 2007 alone, there were 25 incursions.

The fact that guns were drawn makes the January incident one of the most serious incursions in recent years, the Times said.

The report said Mexican embassy officials denied soldiers were involved. But they changed their story later to say the camouflage-wearing personnel were “part of a counter-narcotics operation.”

Mexican officials told the newspaper soldiers from both countries occasionally cross the border, and “both countries understand that this is something that happens as part of normal activities.”

U.S. officials in the Mexico City embassy said the incursions by the military are “unintentional,” and Kerlikowske announced no action was needed.

But Judicial Watch previously has documented Mexican police officers who had been warned not to enter the U.S. crossed the border and “arrested” two subjects.

During that incident, the officers also “threw rocks at a group of people.”

Judicial Watch described another previous incident in which a resident of Arivaca, Ariz., saw five men land a helicopter and get out, dressed in black and wearing masks and body armor.

“They had the word ‘Mexico’ on their sleeves and on the back of their shirts was some lettering starting with the letter ‘A.’ Three of the men had automatic fire rifles and the other two were armed with pistols.”

They eventually left.

Judicial Watch also cited another case: “A few years ago police in Phoenix, Ariz., reported that three members of Mexico’s army conducted a violent home invasion and assassination operation that killed one person and littered a neighborhood with gunfire. The Mexican military officers were hired by one of that country’s renowned drug cartels to carry out the deadly operation, according to Phoenix police officials, who confirmed the soldiers were armed with AR-15 assault rifles and dressed in military tactical gear.”

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Female Lawyer Trainee Falsely Accused Boyfriend Of Rape 11 Times To Avoid Taking Bar Exams

Trainee Lawyer ‘Falsely Accused Boyfriend If Rape 11 Times To Avoid Taking Her Bar Exams’ – SWNS

A trainee lawyer hoping to qualify as a barrister cried rape 11 TIMES – to get out of taking her Bar exams, a court heard.

Rhiannon Brooker, 30, falsely accused her boyfriend of repeatedly raping and assaulting her which saw him arrested, charged and held in custody for 30 days, it was said.

But detectives could not find any evidence that Paul Fensome, 46, had carried out the crimes and arrested Brooker.

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It then emerged that she had used the allegations as “extenuating circumstances” in a failed attempt to dodge her exams, Bristol Crown Court heard.

She is now standing trial for 11 false claims of rape and nine of assault, two of which include imprisonment allegations.

David Bartlett, prosecuting, said: “The prosecution says that one of the reasons for her false allegations was that she was living an active social life in Bristol and not doing the work required to pass the assessments, so she falsified the allegations in order to give substance to her extenuating circumstances forms.”

The court heard how “confident and outspoken” Brooker took a Bachelor of Law degree at Birmingham City University before moving to Bristol in September 2010.

She attended the University of the West of England (UWE) in the city in order to take her BVC qualifications to become a barrister.

Brooker, who lived in Frampton Cotterell, South Glos., at the time of the alleged offences, claimed Mr Fensome, whom she met in Birmingham, objected violently to the move.

Mr Bartlett told the court that, shortly before her move to Bristol, Brooker appeared at a convenience store where she worked with injuries and complained her boyfriend had assaulted her.

While at UWE she told fellow students she had been assaulted and raped and occasionally sported physical injuries, but had not reported the matter to police.

She finally went to police in May 2011 following a visit to the Royal United Hospital in Bath but all the allegations were denied by railway signalman Mr Fensome.

Brooker consented to police examining her medical records from hospitals or clinics she had attended, and took photos of her injuries.

The court was told allegations involving false imprisonment and assault at her home were countered with “cast iron alibis” by Mr Fensome.

On other occasions texts from his phone, telephone cell site analysis and his work shift patterns all either undermined or disproved further allegations.

Mr Bartlett said: “Whilst in respect of some allegations there was no independent evidence either to confirm what she had said or undermine it, on other occasions independent evidence either undermined or disproved her account.

“Eventually the Crown dropped the numerous charges against Paul Fensome because, taken as a whole, the evidence showed that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

“Expert opinion was obtained which suggested that those injuries of Brooker that were photographed were self-inflicted.”

She claimed Mr Fensome forced her to have sex a number of times, and on one occasion she told a friend she had lost a baby because her boyfriend had punched her in the ribs, the court heard.

While at UWE it is alleged she told friends that facial injuries and bruising she had were as a result of her attempts to end her relationship, which Mr Fensome would not allow.

In March 2011 she was assessed by an independent domestic violence advisor, who tried to encourage her to involve police and log events.

The court heard Brooker only sat the first four of her 12 assessments for her BVC course and persuaded the Extenuating Circumstance Committee to let her sit all at a later date.

Although she failed the exams because she went beyond time limits for the retakes.

After withdrawing her allegations Brooker confirmed they were false, and admitted that injuries seen by witnesses, including her friends and doctors, were self-inflicted, the court heard.

She denies 20 charges of doing an act tending, and intended, to pervert the court of justice between May 2011 and January 2012.

The case continues.

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Historians Claim They Have Proof That A Chalice On Display In A Spanish Museum Is The Holy Grail

Jewel-Encrusted Goblet Found Gathering Dust In Tiny Spanish Museum ‘Touched The Lips Of Jesus And Is In Fact The Holy Grail’ Say Two Historians With Evidence To Prove It – Daily Mail

It is a mystery dating back millennia.

But apparently, the long-lost Holy Grail has finally been found – on display in a Spanish museum.

The onyx chalice has been sat in the Basilica of San Isidoro in Leon, north Spain, for 1000 years – touted to visitors as a goblet belonging to 11th century Queen Urraca.
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But in fact, there is ‘no doubt’ it contains the cup which touched the lips of Jesus Christ, two historians claim.

In an explosive book charting three years of ‘scientific research’, Margarita Torres and Jose Ortiza del Rio reveal there is conclusive evidence from scrolls in Egypt that confirm their theory.

The onyx vessel made between 200 BC and 100 AD, they claim, is trapped inside a bejewelled medieval chalice.

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According to two medieval documents written in Arabic, it was stolen from Jerusalem by Muslims, who gave it to the Christian community in Egypt.

Centuries later, in around 1050 AD, it was sent as a gift to King Fernando I of Castile to thank him for sending aid during a famine, they say.

By that point, it had been concealed with opulent decorations.

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Gold inside, with patterns etched around the edges, the revered ornament is covered with pearls, emeralds, amethysts and sapphires, which the Egyptian kings will have designed to honour the well-liked Fernando.

It was housed and used in the Basilica of San Isidoro, where it remained in storage until it was put on display in the museum which opened in the 1950s.

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Ms Torres, a history professor at the University of Leon, said: ‘The only chalice that could be considered the chalice of Christ is one which went via Cairo to León, and this chalice did so.

‘This is a very important discovery because it helps solve a big puzzle.

‘We believe this could be start of a wonderful stage of research.’

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Obama Regime Released 68,000 Convicted Criminal Aliens In 2013

Report: Obama Administration Released 68,000 Convicted Criminal Aliens Last Year – Daily Caller

The Obama administration is threatening public safety by deliberately hampering immigration law and releasing aliens with criminal records, according to a new review of internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement data.

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A Center for Immigration study to be released Monday and obtained in advance by The Daily Caller, found that last year ICE reported nearly 722,000 encounters with illegal or criminal immigrants. But ICE officers filed immigration charges against less than 195,000 aliens.

“According to ICE personnel, the vast gap between the number of encounters reported and the number of aliens put on the path to removal exists because officers are not permitted to file charges against aliens who do not fall into the administration’s narrowly defined criteria for enforcement, regardless of the criminal charges or the circumstances in which the alien was identified,” the report, authored by CIS director of policy studies Jessica Vaughan, reads.

Since June 2011, when the first of the Obama administration’s “prosecutorial discretion” policies were put in place, the report adds, interior ICE arrests have declined by 40 percent.

“The Obama administration and anti-enforcement activist groups have tried to portray the number of departures as ‘record-breaking’ and indicative of robust immigration enforcement. They have tried to support this claim by showing that the number of departures credited to ICE is higher than ever before,” the report reads. “However, an independent analysis of ICE records obtained in a lawsuit showed that ICE was able to achieve these ‘record’ departures only because the agency was taking credit for removing a large number of individuals who were apprehended by the Border Patrol. Such cases made up the majority of ICE’s reported deportations in 2013, but they had never been counted that way in previous administrations.”

Indeed, as the review highlights, many aliens with criminal convictions have simply been released.

In 2013 some 68,000 criminal aliens were released – or 35 percent of all criminal aliens ICE reported encountering, according to the report. ICE field offices with the highest rates of criminal releases were San Antonio (79 percent), New York City (71 percent), Washington, D.C. area (64 percent), and Newark, N.J (60 percent).

“These figures suggest that despite claims of a focus on public safety, the administration’s prosecutorial discretion criteria are allowing factors such as family relationships, political considerations, or attention from advocacy groups to trump criminal convictions as a factor leading to deportation,” the report reads.

The data is sure to further frustrate critics of the Obama administration’s immigration policies that much more.

Including Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions who says the “[Department of Homeland Security] is a department in crisis” and is calling on DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson to “reject the President’s demands to weaken enforcement further and tell him that his duty, and his officers’ duty, is to enforce the law – not break it.”

“As Homeland Secretary, Mr. Johnson is tasked with ensuring the public safety and the rule of law. But Secretary Johnson is not meeting these duties,” Sessions said statement to TheDC. “American citizens have a legal and moral right to the protections our immigration laws afford – at the border, the interior and the workplace. The administration has stripped these protections and adopted a government policy that encourages new arrivals to enter illegally or overstay visas by advertising immunity from future enforcement.”

“Comments from top Administration officials, such as Attorney General Holder’s claim that amnesty is a civil right, or Vice President Biden’s claim that those here illegally are all U.S. citizens (apparently including someone whose visa expired yesterday), demonstrate the administration’s increasing belief in an open borders policy the American public has always rejected,” he added.

According to Vaughan, Congress should initiate an official look into the impact of the administration’s prosecutorial discretion policies.

“The Obama administration’s deliberate obstruction of immigration enforcement, in which tens of thousands of criminal aliens are released instead of removed, is threatening the well-being of American communities,” she said.

To Sessions, however, it is Republicans who must work to hold the administration accountable for its rejection of the law.

“The Administration’s lawless policies have not only impaired public safety but increased economic suffering for millions of vulnerable Americans by depriving them of their jobs and wages,” he said. “Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats continue to empower this lawlessness. Republicans must work to end it.”

Other key findings in the review include:

* In 2013, ICE charged only 195,000, or 25 percent, out of 722,000 potentially deportable aliens they encountered. Most of these aliens came to ICE’s attention after incarceration for a local arrest.

* ICE released 68,000 criminal aliens in 2013, or 35 percent of the criminal aliens encountered by officers. The vast majority of these releases occurred because of the Obama administration’s prosecutorial discretion policies, not because the aliens were not deportable.

* ICE targeted 28 percent fewer aliens for deportation from the interior in 2013 than in 2012, despite sustained high numbers of encounters in the Criminal Alien and Secure Communities programs.

* Every ICE field office but one reported a decline in interior enforcement activity.

* ICE reports that there are more than 870,000 aliens on its docket who have been ordered removed, but who remain in defiance of the law.

* Under current policies, an alien’s family relationships, political considerations, attention from advocacy groups, and other factors not related to public safety can trump even serious criminal convictions and result in the termination of a deportation case.

* Less than 2 percent of ICE’s caseload was in detention at the end of fiscal year 2013. About three-fourths of the aliens ICE detained in 2013 had criminal and/or immigration convictions so serious that the detention was required by statute.

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Obama Regime Covertly Providing Russia With Free High Tech Military Equipment (Video)

Obama Administration Caught Giving Free High Tech Military Equipment To Russia – Gateway Pundit

This is not 21st century behavior.

The Obama administration has been secretly giving Russia free Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), a tactical force-on-force trainer, which uses a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat for soldiers.

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While slapping Russia publicly on the wrist, the Obama Administration has been giving Russia FREE high tech military equipment.

Judicial Watch reported:

Behind closed doors the U.S. government is giving Russia free military equipment – also used to train American troops – even after President Obama announced punitive sanctions against Moscow and, more importantly, a suspension in military engagement over the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.

The secret operation was exposed this week by members of Congress that discovered it in the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request. It turns out that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been providing the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), the federal legislators say. The U.S. military uses MILES for tactical force-on-force training because it has a system of lasers and dummy ammunition to simulate ground combat.

It’s a crucial, military-grade technology that’s similar to a “laser tag” available in some commercial markets, according to one of the outraged lawmakers (Oklahoma Republican Jim Bridenstine) that helped uncover the scandal. Bridenstine, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has joined forces with Ohio Republican Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, to demand an end to the program. Along with about a dozen other House colleagues they penned a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who oversees the agency carrying out the “irresponsible military equipment transfers” to Russia.

The Obama administration’s planned supply to the Russian Federation is a grave mistake given the recent invasion of Ukraine launched by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, the legislators point out. “It is difficult to imagine a worse time to provide military-grade technology employed by the U.S. Marine Corps, Army, and Special Operations Forces to Russia than when it has illegally invaded Ukraine and is violating the intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty,” the letter to Moniz says. “To make matters worse, it is our understanding from the budget documents that the Department has been, and continues to propose, providing this technology to Russia free-of-charge.”

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Joe Biden: Illegal Aliens Are Already American Citizens (Video)

Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce yesterday werein he remarked that people who’ve come to the United States illegally are already Americans.

You know, the eleven million people living in the shadows, I believed are already American citizens,” he said.

Biden then attempted to quote Theodore Roosevelt in support of his insane view:

Teddy Roosevelt said it better. He said Americanism is not a question of birthplace or creed, or a line of descent. It’s a question of principles, idealism and character.

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Of course, crazy Joe not only misquoted the former President, he also failed to finish the quote.

Here’s what Roosevelt actually said:

Americanism is a question of spirit, conviction, and purpose, not of creed or birthplace. The politician who bids for the Irish or German vote, or the Irishman or German who votes as an Irishman or German, is despicable, for all citizens of this commonwealth should vote solely as Americans.

Oh, and Teddy wasn’t referring to illegal aliens who sneak across our borders in the dead of night when he made that statement. But then, Democrats never let little things like proper context distract them from making their ludicrous points.

Just in case some of you are interested in what our nation’s 26th President really thought about immigrants and Americanism, here’s a few more quotes for your consideration.

In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American.

There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all.

If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.

We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.

The effort to keep our citizenship divided against itself, by the use of the hyphen and along the lines of national origin, is certain to breed a spirit of bitterness and prejudice and dislike between great bodies of our citizens. If some citizens band together as German-Americans or Irish-Americans, then after a while others are certain to band together as English-Americans or Scandinavian-Americans, and every such banding together, every attempt to make for political purposes a German-American alliance or a Scandinavian-American alliance, means down at the bottom an effort against the interest of straight-out American citizenship, an effort to bring into our nation the bitter Old World rivalries amd jealousies and hatreds.

Let us say to the immigrant not that we hope he will learn English, but that he has got to learn it. Let the immigrant who does not learn it go back. He has got to consider the interest of the United States or he should not stay here. He must be made to see that his opportunities in this country depend upon his knowing English and observing American standards. The employer cannot be permitted to regard him only as an industrial asset.

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Obama Disapproval Number Reaches New High

Disapproval Of Obama Climbs To New High – The Hill

Nearly six in 10 people disapprove of President Obama’s job performance in a new poll by The Associated Press, the highest rating recorded by the newswire.

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According to the AP-GFK survey released Wednesday, 59 percent disapprove of Obama’s job performance, while 41 percent approve.

A similar poll released by the news outlet in January found 45 percent approved of him, while 53 percent disapproved.

Other recent polling has found Obama’s disapproval rating slightly lower, remaining in the low 50s. A CBS News poll Tuesday showed 50 percent disapproval, while Gallup has his disapproval at 52 percent.

In the AP poll, only 40 percent approve of Obama’s handling of international relations, a new low. The newswire notes that Obama’s handling of foreign policy is usually neutral.

Fifty-seven percent dislike his handling of the situation in Ukraine, where the Crimean region of the country voted this month to gain independence and join Russia.

The Obama administration has imposed sanctions on a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials who it found violated the sovereignty of Ukraine. Obama has also signed an executive order authorizing sanctions on some sectors of the Russian economy.

Fifty-four percent said they dislike Obama’s interaction with Russia.

The president is in Europe this week as he makes the case for continued condemnation of Russia’s moves, which the United States has described as a violation of international law.

About nine in 10 survey respondents support sanctions against Russia for its annexation of Crimea. The public is split on whether the sanctions should be strengthened or are about right.

Most people have no opinion on providing monetary aid to Ukraine. Twenty percent support it, while about 30 percent oppose it.

The poll surveyed 1,012 people in online interviews. It contains a 3.4-percent margin of error.

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Putin’s Approval Rating Hits 80 Percent – Big Peace

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Vladimir Putin’s popularity is cresting again in his native Russia, according to the independent Levada Center. His approval rating now stands at 80%, with only 18% of Russians disapproving. The last time Putin was so popular in Russia was in 2008, after he won a war with Georgia and Russia’s oil sales were giving a huge boost to the economy.

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President Asshat Secretly Negotiating Away U.S. Sovereignty

Obama Secretly Negotiating Away U.S. Sovereignty – Weasel Zippers

Consumer protections and the use of domestic law in the U.S. may drastically change as President Obama forges ahead with two secretive international deals that impact major aspects of the economy, privacy and beyond.

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Wednesday, Obama defended a proposed mega free-trade zone between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and the European Union.

“I have fought my entire political career, and as president, to strengthen consumer protections. I have no intention of signing legislation that would weaken those protections,” Obama said during a visit to the EU headquarters in Brussels.

Obama was responding to criticism of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, which the U.S. has been negotiated with the EU since last July.

Besides creating the world’s biggest free-trade zone, the TTIP will also bring about closer cooperation between EU and U.S. regulatory bodies while more closely integrating the two economies.

One leak about the TTIP revealed a proposed “Regulatory Cooperation Council” that would evaluate existing regulations in the U.S. and EU and recommend future rules while coordinating a response to the current regulations.

Writing in the left-leaning the Nation magazine, foreign policy analyst Andrew Erwin said the TTIP was less about reducing tariffs and “more about weakening the power of average citizens to defend themselves against corporate labor and environmental abuses.”

Erwin took particular issue with a section in the TTIP called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, which stipulates foreign corporations can sue the government utilizing a special international tribunal instead of the country’s own domestic system that uses U.S. law.

“The tribunals are not accountable to any national public or democratically elected body,” wrote Erwin.

Last December, a coalition of more than 200 environmentalists, labor unions and consumer advocacy organizations drafted a letter asking for the Investor-State Dispute Settlement section to be dropped.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported earlier this week that some American companies “are concerned that protections for investors will not be part of a deal.”

While Obama is negotiating the TTIP largely in secret, talks continue to forge ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. The expansive plan is a proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The agreement would create new guidelines for everything from food safety to fracking, financial markets, medical prices, copyright rules and Internet freedom.

On Tuesday, the leaders of Canada and Japan reportedly met on the sidelines of a nuclear summit at the Hague to discuss the TPP.

The TPP negotiations have been criticized by politicians and advocacy groups alike for their secrecy. The few aspects of the partnership leaked to the public indicate an expansive agenda with highly limited congressional oversight.

A New York Times opinion piece previously called the deal the “most significant international commercial agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995.”

Last October, the White House website released a joint statement with the other proposed TPP signatories affirming “our countries are on track to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.”

“Ministers and negotiators have made significant progress in recent months on all the legal texts and annexes on access to our respective goods, services, investment, financial services, government procurement, and temporary entry markets,” the White House said.

The statement did not divulge details of the partnership other than to suggest a final TPP agreement “must reflect our common vision to establish a comprehensive, next-generation model for addressing both new and traditional trade and investment issues, supporting the creation and retention of jobs and promoting economic development in our countries.”

Secrecy

In February, the Open the Government organization sent a letter to Obama blasting the lack of transparency surrounding the TPP talks, stating the negotiations have been “conducted in unprecedented secrecy.”

“Despite the fact the deal may significantly affect the way we live our lives by limiting our public protections, there has been no public access to even the most fundamental draft agreement texts and other documents,” read the letter.

The missive was signed by advocacy groups such as OpenTheGovernment.org, Project On Government Oversight, ARTICLE 19 and the Global Campaign for Freedom of Expression and Information.

The groups warned issues being secretly negotiated include “patent and copyright, land use, food and product standards, natural resources, professional licensing, government procurement, financial practices, healthcare, energy, telecommunications, and other service sector regulations.”

Lack of oversight

Normally free-trade agreements must be authorized by a majority of the House and Senate, usually in lengthy proceedings.

However, the White House is seeking what is known as “trade promotion authority” which would fast track approval of the TPP by requiring Congress to vote on the likely lengthy trade agreement within 90 days and without any amendments.

The authority also allows Obama to sign the agreement before Congress even has a chance to vote on it, with lawmakers getting only a quick post-facto vote.

A number of lawmakers have been speaking out about the secret TPP talks.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., recently proposed legislation requiring the White House to disclose all TPP documents to members of Congress.

“The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations – like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America – are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement,” said Wyden.

However, Obama has so far refused to give Congress a copy of the draft agreement.

Regulates food, Internet, medicine, commerce

The TPP is “more than just a trade deal,” wrote Lori Wallach and Ben Beachy of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch in a New York Times op-ed last June.

“Only 5 of its 29 chapters cover traditional trade matters, like tariffs or quotas. The others impose parameters on nontrade policies. Existing and future American laws must be altered to conform with these terms, or trade sanctions can be imposed against American exports.”

Wallach and Beachy spotlighted several leaks in the proposed TPP text, including one that would regulate the price of medicine.

“Pharmaceutical companies, which are among those enjoying access to negotiators as ‘advisers,’ have long lobbied against government efforts to keep the cost of medicines down. Under the agreement, these companies could challenge such measures by claiming that they undermined their new rights granted by the deal.”

Amnesty International USA warned draft TPP provisions related to patents for pharmaceuticals “risk stifling the development and production of generic medicines, by strengthening and deepening monopoly protections.”

Another leak revealed the TPP would grant more incentives to relocate domestic manufacturing offshore, Wallach and Beachy related.

Jim Hightower, a progressive activist, wrote the TPP incorporates elements similar to the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Hightower wrote the deal would “transform Internet service providers into a private, Big Brother police force, empowered to monitor our ‘user activity,’ arbitrarily take down our content and cut off our access to the Internet.”

Indeed, Internet freedom advocacy groups have been protesting the TPP, taking specific issue with leaked proposals that would enact strict intellectual property restraints that would effectively change U.S. copyright law.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation argued the TPP would “restrict the ability of Congress to engage in domestic law reform to meet the evolving IP needs of American citizens and the innovative technology sector.”

In a petition signed by more than 30 Internet freedom organizations, the group warned the TPP would “rewrite global rules on intellectual property enforcement.”

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Deadly Ebola Virus Spreading Fast In West Africa

Terrifying Ebola Outbreak Spreading Fast – WorldNetDaily

The Ebola virus that has killed at least 59 people of the 80 who initially contracted it in Guinea now threatens all of West Africa, as health officials in Liberia try to determine if recent deaths there are connected.

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Six cases have been reported of which five have already died, including a child, Liberian Health Minister Walter Gwenigale said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse.

There was a suspicion that Ebola had migrated to Canada, with one victim hospitalized this week with a fever and bleeding, but health officials said tests for Ebola were negative.

The World Health Organization said the case may be severe malaria.

The World Health Organization reports the Ebola virus that causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever, or VHF, can produce outbreaks with a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.

The WHO has documented the Ebola virus is transmitted from wild animals to humans, with the capability of spreading through the human population.

Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus, and, most alarming, there is no effective medical treatment or preventative vaccine for either animals or human beings.

Many Americans first heard about Ebola – including its terrifying symptoms, virulence and communicability – in author Richard Preston’s 1995 No. 1 New York Times bestseller, “The Hot Zone.”

The BBC reported Tuesday that Guinea has now banned the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the disease, according to Rene Lamah, Guinea’s health minister.

Lamah explained to the BBC that people who eat the bats often boil them into a spicy pepper soup sold in village stores where people gather to drink alcohol. Other ways of preparing bats to eat include drying them over a fire.

The WHO reports Ebola first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in a village in Yambuku, Congo, situated near the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

“Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals,” the WHO website notes.

“In Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found dead or ill in the rainforest.”

The WHO warns of burial ceremonies in which the deceased person can play a role in the transmission of Ebola. The transmission of the disease via infected semen can occur up to seven weeks after clinical recovery.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn the symptoms of Ebola include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. Some patients also experience a rash, red eyes, hiccups, cough, sore throat, chest pain, difficulty breathing and swallowing, as well as bleeding inside and outside of the body.

After an incubation period of between two and 21-days, the Ebola virus can cause death a few days after the virus appears in particularly virulent cases in which the body organs shut down and internal bleeding becomes unstoppable.

People who fall sick with the disease tend to vomit, have diarrhea, and suffer both internal and external bleeding, explained Dr. Peter Piot, the founding executive director of UNAIDS and under secretary-general of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008, in a Reuters report.

Piot is the microbiologist and physician who co-discovered Ebola and now directs the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The Ebola virus has alarmed international health officials because the frequency of international air travel has increased the possibility the outbreak in one nation might quickly be transmitted to other countries by patients in the incubation phase.

Guinea, one of the world’s poorest nations, ranked 156 of 187 countries in the 2013 United Nations Human Development Index, or HDI, based on cross-country data from the United Nations Population Division, UNESCO, and the World Bank.

The CDC has identified five subspecies of Ebola. Four of the five have caused disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus. The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), is known to cause disease only in nonhuman primates.

According to a Stanford University report, the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, known as “Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe,” killed more people that World War I. An estimated 20 to 40 million people worldwide died, making it the most lethal epidemic virus documented in the 20th century.

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How To Save The Internet (Gordon Crovitz)

How To Save The Internet – Gordon Crovitz

It’s been a good month for Vladimir Putin : He got Crimea and the Internet.

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Gallows humor is not the only possible response to the Obama administration plan to give up U.S. control of the Internet to a still-to-be-determined collection of governments and international groups. Congress should instruct President Obama that if the Internet ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Authoritarian governments led by Russia and China long ago found ways to block access to the Internet for their citizens. Under the new Obama plan, these regimes could also block access to the Internet for Americans.

There is recent precedent: Authoritarian governments tried to block new Internet top-level domains beyond the familiar .com and .org and .net. Saudi Arabia sought to veto the addition of .gay as being “offensive.” It also tried to block .bible, .islam and .wine. Under U.S. control, the Saudis were denied their wishes. With some new post-U.S. system of governance, will .gay websites be removed from the Internet?

The plan announced on March 14 would have the U.S. give up control of the “root zone file” of the Internet and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or Icann. This root of the Internet stores all the names and addresses for websites world-wide, while Icann controls Web addresses and domains. The U.S. has used this control to ensure that websites operate without political interference from any country and that anyone can start a website, organize on Facebook or post on Twitter without asking permission.

It’s easy to imagine a new Internet oversight body operating like the United Nations, with repressive governments taking turns silencing critics. China could get its wish to remove FreeTibet.org from the Internet as an affront to its sovereignty. Russia could force Twitter to remove posts by Ukrainian-Americans criticizing Vladimir Putin.

The plan announced by the Commerce Department set off enough alarm bells that officials felt obliged last week to issue a follow-up news release denying the U.S. is “abandoning the Internet” and pledging “nothing could be further from the truth.” But it still has no plan to safeguard the Web against authoritarian governments. Nor is there any reassurance in a letter to the editor in Monday’s Wall Street Journal from the head of Icann, Fadi Chehade. He says the Internet’s “billions of diverse stakeholders all deserve a voice in its governance,” and he remains on record saying that “all governments are welcome” in whatever the new governance process turns out to be.

Hearings on U.S. protection for the Internet were quickly called for the House starting in early April. One topic should be whether the executive branch of government has the unilateral authority to transfer control over Internet addresses and root zone management of domains.

Congress doubted that the president could do this on his own when the issue was considered in 2000. The General Accounting Office, now called the Government Accountability Office, concluded it was “uncertain” whether Congress has to pass a law. The Property Clause of the Constitution says Congress must pass legislation to effect a transfer of government property. Arguably the president could no more transfer the valuable control over the naming and domains of the Internet than he could give Alaska back to Russia.

Contacted by this columnist last week, a spokesman for the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said the agency reviewed this legal issue and concluded the administration can act without Congress but refused to share a copy of the legal analysis. Congress should ask for a copy and do its own analysis.

Congress also could tell the Commerce Department not to carry out its plan. In 2012, both the Senate and House passed a unanimous resolution to keep the Internet “free from government control.” That happened as the Obama administration was being outfoxed by Russia and China, which hijacked the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union to legitimize control over the Internet in their countries. Protecting the Internet may be the most bipartisan issue in Congress.

Meanwhile, at a meeting over the weekend in Singapore to plan a post-U.S. system, sources say Icann’s Mr. Chehade upset the “multistakeholders” in attendance by presenting a PowerPoint slide dictating a new structure that minimizes accountability for Icann. After pushback, Mr. Chehade withdrew his slide, but his intentions are clear.

The alternative to continued U.S. authority is control by an international body dominated by authoritarian regimes. In a law review article about Icann in 2000, “Wrong Turn in Cyberspace,” Michael Froomkin wrote that “It is hard to see how an undemocratic solution based on the international system in which a tyranny’s vote is as valid as a democracy’s vote would be a material improvement on Icann itself.”

Congress should quickly come to the same conclusion and act to save the Internet.

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Egyptian Court Sentences 529 Obama-Backed, Muslim Brotherhood Extremists To Death

Egypt Sentences 529 Morsi Supporters To Death – Times Of Israel

A court in Egypt on Monday sentenced 529 supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to death after a mass trial, judicial sources said.

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Islamist backers of Morsi are facing a deadly crackdown launched by the military-installed authorities since his ouster in July, with hundreds of people killed and thousands arrested.

The sentence was delivered in the second hearing of a trial which began on Saturday in Minya, south of the capital.

Of those sentenced, 153 are in detention and the rest are on the run, the sources said, adding that 17 others were acquitted. The verdict can be appealed.

Those sentenced are among more than 1,200 Morsi supporters on trial in Minya. A second group of about 700 defendants will be in the dock on Tuesday.

They are accused of attacking both people and public property in southern Egypt in August, after security forces broke up two Cairo protest camps set up by Morsi supporters on August 14.

They are also charged with committing acts of violence that led to the deaths of two policemen in Minya, judicial sources said.

The accused include several leaders of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, including its supreme guide Mohamed Badie.

Morsi, Egypt’s first elected and civilian president, was ousted by the army on July 3 in a move that triggered widespread unrest across the deeply polarised nation.

Hundreds of people died in the August assault on the two Cairo protest camps and in subsequent clashes that day.

Rights group Amnesty International says at least 1,400 people have been killed in violence across Egypt since then, and thousands more have been arrested.

Morsi is himself currently on trial in three different cases, including one for inciting the killing of protesters outside a presidential palace while he was in office.

Morsi was removed after just 12 months as president following mass street protests against his rule amid allegations of power grabbing and worsening an already weak economy.

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Corpses Of Murdered Babies Incinerated To Help Heat British Hospitals

Aborted Babies Incinerated To Heat UK Hospitals – London Telegraph

The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.

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Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.

Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’

At least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.

The programme, which will air tonight, found that parents who lose children in early pregnancy were often treated without compassion and were not consulted about what they wanted to happen to the remains.

One of the country’s leading hospitals, Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, incinerated 797 babies below 13 weeks gestation at their own ‘waste to energy’ plant. The mothers were told the remains had been ‘cremated.’

Another ‘waste to energy’ facility at Ipswich Hospital, operated by a private contractor, incinerated 1,101 foetal remains between 2011 and 2013.

They were brought in from another hospital before being burned, generating energy for the hospital site. Ipswich Hospital itself disposes of remains by cremation.

“This practice is totally unacceptable,” said Dr Poulter.

“While the vast majority of hospitals are acting in the appropriate way, that must be the case for all hospitals and the Human Tissue Authority has now been asked to ensure that it acts on this issue without delay.”

Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, has written to all NHS trusts to tell them the practice must stop.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, has also written to the Human Tissue Authority to ask them make sure that guidance is clear.

And the Care Quality Commission said it would investigate the programme’s findings.

Prof Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said: “I am disappointed trusts may not be informing or consulting women and their families.

“This breaches our standard on respecting and involving people who use services and I’m keen for Dispatches to share their evidence with us.

“We scrutinise information of concern and can inspect unannounced, if required.”

A total of one in seven pregnancies ends in a miscarriage, while NHS figures show there are around 4,000 stillbirths each year in the UK, or 11 each day.

Ipswich Hospital Trust said it was concerned to discover that foetal remains from another hospital had been incinerated on its site.

A spokeswoman said: “The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust does not incinerate foetal remains.”

She added that the trust “takes great care over foetal remains”

A spokesman for the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that trained health professionals discuss the options with parents ‘both verbally and in writing.’

“The parents are given exactly the same choice on the disposal of foetal remains as for a stillborn child and their personal wishes are respected,” they added.

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Leftist Rag Blames Inability To Find Malaysian Jet On – WAIT FOR IT – Man-Made Climate Change

Lib Rag Mother Jones Blames Inability To Locate Flight 370 On “Man-Made Climate Change” – Weasel Zippers

The left has become a bad parody of itself.

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Via Mother Jones:

Scientists say man-made climate change has fundamentally altered the currents of the vast, deep oceans where investigators are currently scouring for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, setting a complex stage for the ongoing search for MH370. If the Boeing 777 did plunge into the ocean somewhere in the vicinity of where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, the location where its debris finally ends up, if found at all, may be vastly different from where investigators could have anticipated 30 years ago.

The search of 8,880 square miles of ocean has yet to turn up signs of the missing flight.

Even if the fragments captured in satellite images are identified as being part of the jet, which Malaysian officials say deliberately flew off course on March 8, investigators coordinated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority will still have an enormous task to locate remaining parts of the plane and its flight recorders. Among the assets deployed in the search – including a multinational array of military and civil naval resources – are data modelers, whose task will be reconciling regional air and water currents with local weather patterns to produce a possible debris field. “Data marker buoys” are being dropped into the ocean to assist in providing “information about water movement to assist in drift modeling,” John Young from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority told a press conference in Canberra on Thursday.

While longer-term climate shifts are unlikely to play into day-to-day search and rescue efforts, these large climate-affected currents – among them the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the world’s most powerful ocean system – are an essential factor in oceanographers’ understanding of the literal undercurrents of search operations.

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*VIDEO* Bill Whittle: Gulliver, Unbound


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U.S. Government Paying Male Prostitutes In Mexico For Not Getting STDs

U.S. Gov’t Study Pays Mexican Male Prostitutes For Not Getting STDs – CNS

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is spending $398,213 on a project studying whether paying male Mexican sex workers for being free of sexually transmitted diseases will increase condom use.

The study, “Conditional Economic Incentives to Reduce HIV Risks: A Pilot in Mexico,” began in June 2011 and is funded through the end of May 2014.

“The working hypothesis is that a program with modest economic incentives to stay free of sexually transmitted infections (STI) can be implemented among MSW (male sex workers) to incentivize condom use and reduction of sex partners,” the abstract of the study says. “We hypothesize that CEI (conditional economic incentives) treatment groups will exhibit greater program participation and retention rates as compared to the control group.”

The study includes male sex workers in Mexico City, who first must attend a workshop on the benefits of condom use and “condom negotiation” before they are broken up into smaller groups.

According to the study abstract, one group of 100 individuals will “receive low incentive ($200 pesos/each time) only if they are free of STIs at months 6 and 12.”

Another group of 100 will receive high incentives “($500 pesos/each time) if they are free of STIs at months 6 and 12.”

The control group of 100 does not receive any money regardless if they are STI free or not.

Attempts by CNSNews.com to contact Project Leader Dr. Omar Galarraga of Brown University to discuss the study went unreturned.

However, some early results of Dr. Galarraga’s findings were recently published in The European Journal of Health Economics.

A Brown University article on the publication quotes Galarraga: ‘We’re trying to prevent HIV from spreading and we are trying to save money,’ said public health economist Omar Galarraga, assistant professor of health services policy and practice and lead author of the study published in the European Journal of Health Economics.”

“We want to make sure that every dollar spent has the greatest impact.”

“Through detailed questionnaires administered to 1,745 gay men 18-25 years of age, Galarraga and his colleagues in Mexico’s Institute for Public Health (INSP) found that at a rate of $288 a year, more than three-quarters of the men would attend monthly prevention talks, engage in testing for sexually transmitted infections, and pledge to stay free of STI’s with testing to verify that. To obtain a similar level of participation among the 5.1 percent of the sample who were male sex workers, the price was much lower: $156 a year.”

“The target population seems generally very well-disposed to participate in these types of programs at prices which are consistent with other social programs currently in place in Mexico for preventing other health risks,” Galarraga said.

When questioned about the goals of the study, NIH replied, “NIH research addresses the full spectrum of human health across all populations of Americans. Research into unhealthy human behaviors that are estimated to be the proximal cause of more than half of the disease burden in the U.S. will continue to be an important area of research supported by NIH.”

“Only by developing effective prevention and treatment strategies for health-injuring behaviors can we reduce the disease burden in the U.S. and thus, enhance health and lengthen life, which is the mission of the NIH.”

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Putin Sending Ships, Long-Range Bombers To Latin America; Plans New Bases In Cuba, Venezuela And Nicaragua

Putin’s Quiet Latin America Play – The Hill

Away from the conflict in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is quietly seeking a foothold in Latin America, military officials warn.

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To the alarm of lawmakers and Pentagon officials, Putin has begun sending navy ships and long-range bombers to the region for the first time in years.

Russia’s defense minister says the country is planning bases in Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, and just last week, Putin’s national security team met to discuss increasing military ties in the region.

“They’re on the march,” Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) said at a Senate hearing earlier this month. “They’re working the scenes where we can’t work. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”

Gen. James Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command said there has been a “noticeable uptick in Russian power projection and security force personnel” in Latin America.

“It has been over three decades since we last saw this type of high-profile Russian military presence,” Kelly said at the March 13 hearing.

The U.S. military says it has been forced to cut back on its engagement with military and government officials in Latin America due to budget cuts. Kelly said the U.S. military had to cancel more than 200 effective engagement activities and multi-lateral exercises in Latin America last year.

With the American presence waning, officials say rivals such as Russia, China and Iran are quickly filling the void.

Iran has opened up 11 additional embassies and 33 cultural centers in Latin America while supporting the “operational presence” of militant group Lebanese Hezbollah in the region.

“On the military side, I believe they’re establishing, if you will, lily pads for future use if they needed to use them,” Kelly said.

China is making a play for Latin America a well, and is now the fastest growing investor in the region, according to experts. Although their activity is mostly economic, they are also increasing military activity through educational exchanges.

The Chinese Navy conducted a goodwill visit in Brazil, Chile and Argentina last year and conducted its first-ever naval exercise with the Argentine Navy.

Meanwhile, the U.S. had to cancel the deployment of its hospital ship USNS Comfort last year.

“Our relationships, our leadership, and our influence in the Western Hemisphere are paying the price,” Kelly said.

Some experts warn against being too alarmist, and say Russia, China and Iran do not have the ability or desire to project military power beyond their borders.

Army War College adjunct professor Gabriel Marcella said Russia’s maneuvering is more about posturing than a real threat.

“Latin America is seen as an opportunity to challenge the United States in terms of global presence,” he said. “They want to show the flag to assert their presence and say they need to be counted on the world stage.”

Other experts said the encroachment of rivals has huge economic implications for the U.S., which has more trade partners in Latin America than in any other region in the world.

“[Russia’s presence] serves to destabilize what has become a more stabilized, middle class continent with an increasing respect for the rule of law… Any type of unsettling of that environment will scare off investors,” said Jason Marczak, deputy director at the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

“Market economies and democracies are fundamental for trade, for jobs, and for stable investment environments,” he said.

Marczak noted the instability in Venezuela, which is facing civil unrest from anti-government protestors.

“In Venezuela, a lot of the money that’s been able to prop up President Chavez and now Maduro has been Chinese money,” Kelly said.

So far, 31 protestors have been killed in clashes with government security forces.

“I see a real degradation in what used to pass as Venezuelan democracy. There’s less and less of that now,” Kelly said.

And while Chinese investment in Latin America could have positive aspects for the region, it could also make it more difficult for U.S. official to push labor and environmental safeguards that it argues are building blocks for democracy, Marczak said.

Angel Rabasa, a senior political scientist at RAND, said cuts to the defense budget are going to accelerate a long trend of U.S. neglect and disengagement with Latin America.

According to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), there are 10 countries in Latin America that currently have no U.S. ambassador because they either haven’t been nominated yet or confirmed, a sign that the region is seen as a low priority.

“We will be losing the ability to influence developments in a region that is very important to us because of proximity,” Rabasa said.

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*VIDEO* CNN Finally Goes Full-Blown Batshit Crazy


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Vlad Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern For Russian Minority

As Ted Cruz Predicted: Putin Eyes Estonia; Signals Concern Of Russian Minority – Gateway Pundit

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Today Russia signaled concerns of the large Russian minority in Estonia.

Reuters reported:

Russia signaled concern on Wednesday at Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority, comparing language policy in the Baltic state with what it said was a call in Ukraine to prevent the use of Russian.

Russia has defended its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by arguing it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders, so the reference to linguistic tensions in another former Soviet republic comes at a highly sensitive moment.

Russia fully supported the protection of the rights of linguistic minorities, a Moscow diplomat told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, according to a summary of the session issued by the U.N.’s information department.

“Language should not be used to segregate and isolate groups,” the diplomat was reported as saying. Russia was “concerned by steps taken in this regard in Estonia as well as in Ukraine,” the Moscow envoy was said to have added.

Ted Cruz warned about this earlier today.

Today his sights are set on Ukraine, but if he continues undeterred tomorrow it could be Estonia, Latvia, Moldova, Romania, the Czech Republic, or Poland. Meeting his challenge now with strength, not appeasement, would be the best way to ensure that this does not happen, and that we do not squander our hard-won Cold War victory over the Soviets.

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Your Daley Gator Crimean Annexation News Roundup

Masked Forces Storm Ukrainian Navy HQ, Raise Russian Flag and Detain Commander – The Blaze

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Masked Russian-speaking troops on Wednesday seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula in what they said was a bid to defuse tensions.

Ukraine’s military, which is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, has come under increased pressure since the region was nominally incorporated into Russia on Tuesday.

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Members of the Crimean pro-Russian self-defense forces climb up to take down a Ukrainian flag, right, and a Ukrainian navy flag, left, at the Ukrainian navy headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Crimea’s self-defense forces on Wednesday stormed the Ukrainian navy headquarters in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, taking possession without resistance a day after Russia signed a treaty with local authorities to annex the region. In center is a Russian flag. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)

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Crimean pro-Russian volunteers in military fatigues line up in a square in front of a statue of Vladimir Lenin, next to the Council of Ministers of Crimea’s building, in Simferopol, on March 14, 2014, two days ahead of the referendum over Crimea’s bid to break away from Ukraine and join Russia. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on March 14 that Russian President Vladimir Putin will make no decision on Ukraine until after Sunday’s referendum on the region of Crimea. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL LEAL OLIVAS AFP/AFP/Getty Images

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Russian soldiers stand guard near Ukranian soldiers walking inside the Ukranian navy headquarters in Simferopol on March 18, 2014. Russia’s Constitutional Court unanimously ruled on March 19, 2014 that President Vladimir Putin acted legally by signing a treaty to make Crimea part of Russia, in an essential step in the Russian legal process towards ratifying the treaty. AFP PHOTO/ Filippo MONTEFORTE

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The several hundred militiamen who captured the base in Sevastopol met no resistance. Sevastopol is also the home port of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and tens of thousands of Russian-led troops are now patrolling Crimea.

It came a day after a confrontation between Ukrainian soldiers and pro-Russian militia left two dead.

The Russian-speaking troops, who arrived on the base after the storming, wore helmets, flak jackets and uniforms with no identifying insignia. By afternoon, they were in full control of the naval headquarters, a set of three-story boxy white concrete buildings with blue trim. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, Ukrainian servicemen remained on the base.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said no one was injured in the raid, which it said was led by pro-Russian militiamen and Cossacks.

The ministry said in its statement that Rear Adm. Sergei Haiduk was detained by unknown people after the storming of the fleet headquarters. The Russian state ITAR-Tass news agency reported that he was being questioned by Crimean prosecutors.

Ukraine’s defense minister and deputy prime minister had planned to travel to Crimea on Wednesday in what they said was a bid to avert an escalation in hostilities.

The prime minister in Crimea warned after the announcement of their departure that they would be turned back, however.

“They are not welcome in Crimea,” Sergei Aksyonov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “They will not be allowed to enter Crimea. They will be sent back.”

Interfax later cited Welfare Minister Lyudmila Denisova as saying the officials had been denied entry to Crimea. She said an emergency session of the National Security and Defense Council will held in response.

At the Ukrainian navy headquarters, an Associated Press photographer said the militiamen took down the gate and made their way onto the base. They then raised the Russian flag on the square by the headquarters.

The unarmed militiamen waited for an hour on the square and, following the arrival of the commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, they took over the building.

The AP photographer was able to enter the headquarters and saw the militia roaming around while the Ukrainian servicemen were packing up and leaving.

On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty to incorporate Crimea into Russia following a referendum Sunday in which residents of the region overwhelmingly backed the move.

Jubilant crowds in Moscow and other cities across Russia hailed the annexation, while Ukraine’s new government called Putin a threat to the “civilized world and international security,” and the U.S. and the European Union threatened tougher sanctions against Moscow. On Monday, Washington and Brussels targeted Russian and Crimean officials with visa bans and asset freezes.

Russian news agencies on Wednesday cited Constitutional Court chairman Valery Zorkin as saying the treaty signed by Putin has been ruled valid, thus formally clearing another hurdle for Moscow to annex Crimea. The treaty now only requires ratification by the Russian parliament.

A Ukrainian serviceman and a member of a militia were killed by gunfire in the incident in Crimea on Tuesday.

It is unclear whether the militiaman was a Ukrainian citizen. Although Moscow has insistently denied it has not deployed its own troops in Crimea, people in the peninsula have reported seeing a large number of military vehicles with Russian plates.

Thousands of troops under apparent Russian command took over Crimea two weeks before Sunday’s hastily called referendum, seizing Ukrainian military bases, blockading others and pressuring Ukrainian soldiers to surrender their arms and leave.

Putin insisted Russia’s military presence in Crimea was limited to those stationed under the terms of a treaty with Ukraine that allows Russia to have up to 25,000 troops at its Black Sea fleet base. Ukraine claims that Russia deployed further forces, however, and expressly went against its request for troops to remain confined within their barracks.

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Related article:

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Russia Confiscates Half Of Ukrainian Fleet In Crimea Including Submarine – Gateway Pundit

Twenty Ukrainian ships were confiscated by the Russians.

Unian.net reported:
(Article was translated)

Those ships and vessels, which are now in the Crimea will formally first in the so-called “maritime self-defense force” of the Crimea, and then in the Battle of the Black Sea Fleet of Russia.

Up to 20 warships and support vessels of the Naval Forces of Ukraine (VMSU) may enter into operation in the Black Sea Fleet of Russia, told RIA Novosti Chairman of Russian State Duma Committee on Defense, former Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov.

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Biden’s Turn To Warn Russia With A Sternly Worded Statement – Weasel Zippers

I’m sure Russia is riddled with fear.

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) – Issuing an outright warning to Moscow, Vice President Joe Biden declared Wednesday the United States will respond to any aggression against its NATO allies, as Russia’s neighbors looked warily to the escalating crisis in nearby Ukraine.

Standing side by side with a pair of Baltic leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania, Biden said the U.S. was “absolutely committed” to defending its allies, adding that President Barack Obama plans to seek concrete commitments from NATO members to ensure the alliance can safeguard its collective security.

In a jab at Russia, he said the U.S. stands resolutely with Baltic states in support of the Ukrainian people against Russian aggression.

“Russia cannot escape the fact that the world is changing and rejecting outright their behavior,” Biden said, after meeting in Vilnius with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite and Latvian President Andris Berzins.

Biden’s comments came at the close of a two-day trip to Lithuania and Poland with a two-pronged theme: Sending a stern message to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the U.S. won’t abide Russian intervention in Ukraine, and reassuring fretful NATO allies that the U.S. and others will come to their defense if necessary.

“We’re in this with you, together,” Biden said.

Amid the tough talk from Biden and the Baltic leaders, Russia’s annexation of Crimea was increasingly looking like a foregone conclusion.

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Jubilant Putin Urged To Snatch Back Belarus And Kazakhstan As Demonstrations Celebrating Crimea Secession Erupt Across Russia – Daily Mail

Russian politicians and media were last night demanding Vladimir Putin goes further by grabbing back more former Soviet regions and states.

The nationalistic frenzy whipped up by the return of Crimea – in defiance of the West – has led to calls on state-run TV for Moscow to take back oil and gas-rich Kazakhstan and authoritarian Belarus as well as more slices of a battered Ukraine, already filleted by the Kremlin.

Putin was last night riding the crest of an adulatory wave after righting what many Russians see as an historical wrong and reintegrating Crimea and the Black Sea fleet headquarters of Sevastopol back in to Russia after a gap of 60 years.

Senior politicians openly mocked Western sanctions and discounted Putin’s assertion that he did not seek more of Ukraine as long as the West stops seeking sway in his backyard.

The Russian strongman defiantly told a joint session of the Russian parliament that he would not accept NATO ‘next to our home or on our historic territories’.

Accusing the West of hypocrisy in pushing for self-determination for Kosovo but denying Crimea, he said the peninsula had been ‘robbed’ from Russia in Soviet times while ‘regions of Russia’s historic south’ were only now Ukrainian because of a Bolshevik blunder.

In an emotional and historic address he said: ‘In the hearts and minds of people, Crimea has always been and remains an inseparable part of Russia.’

Putin has succeeded in uniting many of his foes behind him but last night it also appeared he had unleashed a tidal wave in favour of more land grabs.

Senior politician Sergei Mironov hailed ‘the great day when the gathering of Russian lands began’.

Sergey Zheleznyak, deputy chairman of lower house, demanded Russian ‘support’ for other Ukrainian regions.

‘We cannot feel calm and happy as long as we realise how our brothers in other regions of Ukraine are suffering,’ he said.

A prime time TV talk show speculated about restoring the sovereign states of Belarus and energy-rich Kazakhstan in a substantial remaking of the Soviet Union, while also calling for the historically Russian cities of Donetsk and Odessa in Ukraine to be returned.

Meanwhile a campaign was underway for the breakaway republic of Transdniestria – in Moldova – to follow Crimea back into the embrace of the Russian bear.

With some parliamentarians in tears during Putin’s historic speech – when he officially welcomed Crimea and Sevastopol back to Russia – only his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, caught napping during the barnstorming address, failed to join the patriotic fervour punctuated by standing ovations.

Politicians queued up to pour scorn on Western sanctions with deputy speaker Sergey Zheleznyak branding them a ‘kindergarten measure’ and close Putin ally Igor Sechin accusing the U.S. and EU of ‘hysteria’.

Stage-managed patriotic celebrations were marked across Russia’s nine time zones yesterday.

In Moscow, residents were urged by officials to fly Russian flags from their balconies to ‘celebrate’ the return of Crimea.

Ukraine watched helplessly as Putin and Crimean leaders penned an agreement restoring the territory to Russia.

Senior diplomat Yevhen Perebyynis warned: ‘What has made the entire world shudder is the real rebirth of Russian imperialism, for which nothing is sacred, neither internationally recognised borders of sovereign states, nor the rights and freedoms of citizens, nor international obligations.’

Kiev protested that the move ‘has nothing in common with law or democracy or common sense’.

But in a warning to the world, the country’s foreign ministry said: ‘Putin’s address very clearly demonstrates just how real the threat is that Russia poses to international security and international security.’

Ukrainian volunteers were queuing to sign up for a newly-created National Guard amid fears that the threat of invasion from Russia remains, or that Putin will use alleged ‘saboteurs’ to spark riots and political protests in major cities.

Kiev claimed it had uncovered ‘convincing evidence of the participation of Russian special services in organizing unrest in the east of our country.’

Last night it was claimed a Ukrainian naval officer was shot twice in the leg seeking to defend a naval facility from pro-Moscow attack in Crimea.

But Putin insisted: ‘The residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia with a request to protect their rights and their lives. We could not have rejected their appeal and left them in trouble.’

He complained that the fall of the USSR left Russia ‘the biggest divided nations in the world’ with millions of compatriots waking up in a foreign country.

In Ukraine, ethnic Russians were undergoing ‘forced assimilation’ in a country where ‘neo-Nazis’ played a key role in decision making.

Western diplomats saw him as using rhetoric which could act as justification for future military adventures to restore other areas of the old USSR.

But Putin told Western leaders to ‘stop the hysteria’ and respect his country’s national interests. ‘They keep trying to drive us into a corner’, and could have grabbed Sevastopol for themselves.

NATO members ‘are great guys, but it’s better for them to come visit us in Sevastopol, than for us to visit them there’.

Crimean clocks are to be switched back two hours later this month, so they tick by Moscow time. Putin ordered three official languages in his new province – Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar.

The Kremlin last night began pouring roubles into Crimea but was eyeing the seizure of 20 warships in the Ukrainian navy which are stranded here.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev – often seen as a Putin critic – hailed Crimea’s vote to join Russia as a ‘happy event.’

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The British House of Commons Supports Additional Sanctions Against Russia – Washington Free Beacon

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While answering questions in the British House of Commons Prime Minister David Cameron was asked by Opposition Leader Ed Miliband, “Does the Prime Minister agree with me that the referendum was illegal, and in direct violation of the terms Ukrainian constitution? Does he all so share my deep concern following the news that a Ukrainian servicemen were shot and killed at a military base in Crimea yesterday?”

Prime Minster David Cameron responded, “Well the right honorable gentleman is absolutely correct that the referendum in the Crimea was illegitimate and illegal. It was brought together in the 10 days and held at the point after Russian Kalashnikov. This can not be accepted legitimatized by international community.”

When asked if he would support further sanctions on the Russia Federation David Cameron answered:

We said if the Russian Federation did not take part in a contact group with the Ukrainian government to take forward discussions, then asset freezes travel bans should follow. Those have been put in place at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday. And I believe further action should be taken at the European Council of Ministers which I will take part in on Thursday. I also think we should be responding to the fact of this annexation. That we said that if there was further action to destabilize the Ukraine and this annexation is that action, further consequences need to follow. We need to set that out, on Thursday, in concert with our European partners and at the same time I think we need to put down a very clear warning that if there was further destabilization for instance, going into the eastern Ukraine in any way, then we would move to a position of sorts of economic sanctions that we discussed in The House last week.

Opposition Leader Ed Miliband told Prime Minster Cameron that he would have the full support of the House of Commons to enact, “for the toughest possible diplomatic and economic measures against the Russian Federation given the totally illegitimate actions they have taken.”

Prime Minster David Cameron finished his remarks by indicating he would be open to expelling Russia from the G-8.

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Beaten Obama Turns His Back On The World – Michael Goodwin

The words came out of my mouth before I could stop them. “I feel sorry for Obama,” I said. As my wife looked at me in disbelief, I quickly added a correction. “Well, almost.”

Beset by failures at home and abroad, the president cuts a lonely and sad figure these days. His aura of grief reflects his profound loss.

His worldview crashed headlong into reality, and reality won. Obamaism is dead, may it rest in peace.

That’s sad for him, but hold the tears – his loss is mankind’s hope. If Obama wakes from his utopian visions and faces the truth, there is a fighting chance to reverse America’s slide and keep the peace.

But first, he must come to grips with the historic dimensions of what has happened, and I’m not sure he’s capable of it. The signs aren’t encouraging.

In many ways, Vladimir Putin’s grab of Crimea is as significant as the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 35 years ago.

Then-President Jimmy Carter quickly understood he had been wrong to trust the Soviets, and shifted to offense. His January 1980, speech was defiant and bold. Compared to Obama’s timid rebukes of Putin, Carter sounded like Churchill rousing Great Britain against Hitler.

Obama is still stuck in the belief that Putin is either crazy, or secretly looking for a way to save face and end the confrontation. He hasn’t accepted Putin for what he is because to do so would mean acknowledging that Obama’s whole approach to international relations has been a mistake.

The world, meaning friend and foe alike, already knows the president is uncomfortable with American power. The result is that his once-magical ability to inspire with words is now an international punch line because they are just words. He promised change and delivered disaster.

From Syria and Iran to North Africa and North Korea, the abdication of American leadership is proving calamitous. And now Putin’s move in Europe demolishes once and for all any illusion that Obama’s election would herald a turning point for mankind. Instead of people the world over beating their swords into plowshares, the 21st century is turning out to be a chaotic and bloody mess.

“The tide of war is receding,” Obama insisted.

Like so many of his pronouncements, he was confusing the ideas in his head with reality. It is not clear if he knows the difference.

The world looks to America, and America looks away. “It it is time to focus on nation-building here at home,” he declared, as though the Earth would take care of itself in a one-big-happy-family kind of way.

It turns out that the committee system is no better at running the global order than it is at running a corner grocery.

Somebody has to take the lead and assume responsibility for success. Somebody has to set the rules and enforce them.

That somebody used to be America, and it is no accident that when America led, the Earth became a better place for more people. The seven decades after World War II marked a historic era of peace and stability around the globe.

As Robert Kagan wrote in “The World America Made,” his 2012 book, “The most important features of today’s world – the great spread of democracy, the prosperity, the prolonged great-power peace – have depended directly and indirectly on power and influence exercised by the United States.”

But the reverse is also true, and that is what we are witnessing today. As Kagan put it, “when American power declines, the institutions and norms American power supports will decline too.”

All is not lost – yet. But Obama must take off his rose-colored glasses and face the facts.

Putin is his most immediate test. The president’s wrist-slap sanctions at a few functionaries were predictably dismissed, and widely regarded as a sign of weakness. That can only embolden the would-be czar.

Even worse was the timing, with talks on Iran’s nuclear program starting again. Bet the farm the mullahs will take their cue from whether Putin pays a serious price for carving up a country.

If he gets away with it, the Iranians won’t even bother to pretend to care what Obama says. Why should they?

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Thanks Barack… China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet

China, Russia, And Iran Want A Crack At Controlling The Internet – Breitbart

Each passing day sees more resistance to the Obama Administration’s announced handover of Internet domain supervision to an as-yet undetermined global agency. There’s still plenty of support for the move as well, but the pendulum seems to be swinging against it this week.

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This morning we heard from a few Republican critics of the Internet handover. National Journal adds Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) to the list:


“If the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever,” wrote Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Castro argued that the world “could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, called the announcement a “hostile step” against free speech.

“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the internet looks and operates,” she said in a statement.

It’s hard to argue with Mr. Castro’s point; there will be no way for the United States to regain oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers once it’s been handed off to some global body. And there are good reasons for Rep. Blackburn to worry about what the composition of that global body might be, as National Journal notes “China, Russia, Iran, and dozens of other countries are already pushing for more control over the Internet through the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.”

The Administration has promised that it won’t accept foreign governments controlling ICANN, and has specifically promised the International Telecommunications Union won’t be involved. And we all know how calmly and logically these decisions tend to be made, once they’re handed off to the “international community.” Just look at how swimmingly the United Nations’ effort to halt Russian annexation of Crimea is going!

It’s somewhat annoying to hear American supporters of the ICANN handover doing their level best to validate the narrative that their own country can no longer be trusted with oversight of the Internet, while actual users point out that U.S. supervision has been working out quite well, as in these quotes from a Politico story:

If the agency hadn’t relinquished its oversight, the ITU could continue to argue that ICANN functioned as a pawn for the U.S. government, said former Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), who oversaw the Energy and Commerce subcommittee with jurisdiction over ICANN. “This will reduce the level of global controversy.”

The uncertain path forward still has some in the business community concerned.

“I don’t see how the future ends up being better than the last decade of responsible stewardship by the U.S.,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of the trade association NetChoice, which counts Yahoo and Facebook as members. “Once the contract leverage is gone, what’s to prevent ICANN from being more significantly influenced by [specific] governments… The devil is in the details.”

So let’s hear those iron-clad, foolproof plans to keep authoritarian regimes from getting their hands on ICANN once America casts it adrift into the uncertain waters of the international community.

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