Friday, June 2, 2017

Video Report - ISIS Is Selling Syria's Antiquities to the West

Video Report - Protecting the planet - without the US

Video Report - Can the EU go it alone? - Inside Story

Video Report - "i'ts A complete DISASTER!" CNN Politics Panel ANGRY REACTION To Trump's Latest ACTIONS


Video - Putin takes part in plenary session of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Putin's Full Interview on Macron, Trump, Europe, Russia & Middle East to Le Figaro. May 31, 2017

Video Report - "Men in dark suits" rule the US - Putin on Deep State

Video Report - Putin: We don't protect Assad, we protect Syria from becoming Libya

Video Report - Putin meets with heads of intl news agencies at SPIEF

Pakistan - Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy bags another international award

Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who has multiple international awards to her credit including the Academy Award, has been bestowed with another honour.
This time around, she has won a journalism award for her efforts to chronicle untold abuses despite so much risk involved. She has bagged the prestigious Knight International Journalism Award 2017 for her reporting across the world for the past two decades.
“It is a great honour for me to be awarded the Knight International Journalism Award,” Obaid-Chinoy noted in a press statement. “I began writing for newspapers in Pakistan when I was 14 years old and produced my first documentary film at the age of 21. Throughout my career I have strived to investigate stories that make people deeply uncomfortable, in the hope that they will spark conversations that will eventually lead to changes in attitudes.”

The award was recently announced by the International Center for Journalists [ICFJ] in Washington, D.C. and recognizes her struggle to chronicle the human toll of extremism that has made a major impact. Obaid-Chinoy’s efforts to highlighting the practice of honour killing in Pakistan led to a legislative change in the country. Winners will be honoured on November 9, this year, at ICFJ’s Awards Dinner in Washington, DC which will hosted by CNN Political Anchor, Wolf Blitzer.

Pakistan - Sartaj Aziz fails to satisfy Senate on Saudi alliance’s mandate

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday insisted that Pakistan is free to choose which activity of the Saudi-led Islamic military alliance it wants to participate in or not but failed to satisfy the Senate on the mandate of the 41-nation coalition.
Responding to a calling-attention notice moved by PPP’s Farhatullah Babar, Aziz said the Saudi foreign minister conveyed to him two years ago that member states would be free to decide if they want to take part in or abstain from any activity of the alliance.
“When it was announced back in 2015, it was clarified [by Saudis] that it would be a coalition rather than an alliance, which requires a formal agreement. It was also clarified that all members will decide by themselves which activity they would participate in and which they would not,” he said.
According to him, these activities could include political consultations, intelligence-sharing, capacity-building, developing counter-narrative and military cooperation.
Despite being known for his articulate style, Aziz this time did not have answers to queries put forward by opposition members and the Senate chairman, particularly about the perception of the Saudi coalition about Iran.
The adviser struggled to satisfy such apprehensions, prompting Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani to reiterate his earlier ruling on placing terms of reference (ToRs) for the coalition before parliament for a thorough debate. Aziz was either elliptical or termed some pointed questions hypothetical. Most of what he stated before the upper house was limited to information provided to the Government of Pakistan one and a half years back when the Saudis formally invited Islamabad to join the coalition. “At that time we were also told that a meeting of defence ministers will formulate programmes and mechanisms for this coalition. Since no such meeting has taken place, no ToRs have been formalised yet,” he said.
However, he insisted that Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iran statements and the final declaration of last week’s Arab-US summit were of a political nature and did not suggest this coalition would be asked to use force against Iran.

Afghanistan - Out Of Control

Fifteen hundred kilogrammes of explosives packed into a truck led to the death of 80 and injured an additional 400 in Kabul on Wednesday. Beyond this, the deadly bombing, reportedly targeting the Green Zone – which houses embassies, diplomatic offices, residences and the Resolute Support Mission compound – in the diplomatic district caused millions of private property damage within a stone’s throw from some of the most key areas in the country. With terrorists making it to Afghanistan’s most populated cities and causing colossal damage to both life and property, questions regarding the capability of the current government to minimise the violence caused by extremism will continue to be raised.
Some of Kabul’s residents are now taking to the streets asking for the resignation of the National Unity Government leaders President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah. They are not to be blamed however, if the government cannot even protect its citizens in the country’s capital, can it be expected to establish its writ across the country? The relative security of the capital was seen as proof of the government’s good work in the country. But now that the chaos has spilled over into Kabul making it just as dangerous as the rest of Afghanistan, can a fractured government hold on to the country when bombing after bombing is pulling the country apart at the seams?
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident as of yet, but at this point, it doesn’t even matter, because the Afghan government has not been able to control any of them.
Western powers will no longer look to provide more support than a few thousand soldiers – the injection of further troops by the US and NATO will also not provide relief from attacks such as this – the Afghan government and security forces have to find an answer to this conundrum on their own, but this looks more impossible by the day.

Pakistan refuses to play ‘blame game’ with Afghanistan over recent terror attack

By Carlo Muñoz

Islamabad is refusing to play the blame game with its Afghan neighbors over who was responsible for Wednesday’s massive suicide attack in Kabul, which left hundreds of civilians wounded or dead.
“It is outright barbaric terrorism, and we should condemn it with all the might that we have,” Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S. Aizaz Chaudhry said during an interview Thursday. Wednesday’s attack should serve to “strengthen our resolve” to work with Kabul on counterterrorism operations, he added in an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times.
But Mr. Chaudhry vehemently denied accusations by Afghan intelligence that the Pakistani-based Haqqani Network was responsible for the massive truck bomb, which killed 90 people and wounded over 400 and decimated Kabul’s diplomatic sector.
Operating from safe havens in northwest Pakistan’s infamous North Waziristan region, Haqqani Network earned a reputation throughout the war for its well-calculated and savage attacks against U.S., Afghan and allied troops in mainly in eastern and central Afghanistan. Kabul has also alleged the group receives training and support from Pakistan’s intelligence services.
The Haqqani Network “is on the run, as far as we are concerned,” in the wake of large-scale counterterrorism offensives in North Waziristan and elsewhere within Pakistan’s volatile tribal region, Mr. Chaudhry said.
“They have moved into Afghanistan and need to be taken care of there,” he added. “Scapegoating Pakistan for failures in Afghanistan will not help” the security situation in either country, he said.
“It is too simplistic to say all of these [problems] are because of Pakistan … and we have not entered into this blame game because of that,” Mr. Chaudhry noted.
Officials with Afghanistan’s intelligence agency known as the National Directorate of Security claim a Haqqani suicide bomber drove an explosive-laden sewage tanker truck toward the chain of checkpoints and blast walls ringing the secure Green Zone sector in downtown Kabul.
As one of the most secure areas in central Kabul, the Green Zone is home to the U.S. Embassy, the Afghan presidential palace as well as several foreign embassies. After attempting to breach the secure zone, the bomber detonated his deadly ordnance near the German Embassy as the surrounding streets were packed with rush-hour traffic.
The attack was one of the worst suicide attacks to hit the capital since U.S. and NATO forces ended combat operations in the country back in 2014.
But on Thursday, Mr. Chaudhry noted that only Afghan intelligence officials had linked the Haqqanis to Wednesday’s blast, adding the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had yet to endorse the findings.
He also questioned how Afghan intelligence officials were able to determine responsibility for the strike so quickly. “If you were so good, that within seconds [of the attack] you can know who did it, then you should have also known when they were coming,” he quipped.
The bombing underscored the continued violence Afghans face across the country from extremist groups over the course of the 15-year war there. President Trump’s national security team is still wrangling with a new battle plan for Afghanistan.
The White House is reportedly weighing a plan to send an additional 3,000 to 5,000 troops into Afghanistan. Should NATO match Washington’s proposed force increases for the Afghan mission, as many as 10,000 new U.S. and NATO troops may be heading to the country.
Roughly 8,400 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, the majority of which are advising Afghan forces under Operation Resolute Support.

Pakistan - Bilawal declares PM responsible for current power outages

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has on Wednesday said that the prime minister is responsible for the ongoing load-shedding within the country.
He let it be known while addressing a function in connection to the inauguration of 100 megawatt power plant in Nooriabad.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was of the opinion that accusing the past governments for the current power outages is wrong.
He went on to say that the countdown has begun for the ruling party.
PPP Chairman also accused PML-N for politicizing the country s progress.

Bilawal expressed that even if the ruling party gets away with JIT, the masses will kick them out of the political scenario.
He professed that if the power policy of PPP was acted upon, the current situation wouldn’t have been witnessed today.