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Green Beret Warns: “Skepticism Will Vanish When The Power Suddenly Fails Across The US”

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces ) via,
It should be obvious, now, even to the most vocal and acetic naysayers that no matter how much they try to declare that not…

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ISIS Urges Supporters To Poison Food At US Grocery Stores

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

After urging its supporters in the west to turn cars into weapons, guidance that inspired terror attacks in the UK, Spain and France, ISIS is now calling for sympathizers to poison the food in US supermarkets with cyanide, according to SITE.  

In recent days, channels associated with the terrorist army have posted calls for attacks on Europe, Russia and the United States to mark the occasion of the Islamic “Sacrifice Feast” Eid al Adha. In the third part of an English-language series on jihad, IS advised would-be attackers to inject food for sale in markets with cyanide poison. According to Spiesa, the organization has tested these methods on prisons, causing horrifically painful deaths.

“The Islamic State group used prisoners as “human guinea pigs,” carrying out chemical weapons experiments in order to plan for attacks against the West, documents found in Mosul have revealed. The papers detailing the tests, which led to the agonizing deaths of prisoners, were discovered at Mosul University in January when it was recaptured by Iraqi special forces. The documents verified by United States and British forces were detailed by The Times in a report published Saturday.


Prisoners had their food and water contaminated by the sprinkling of chemicals found in easily accessible pesticides. The US and Britain now fear that the same methods could be used on a larger scale to contaminate food supplies in the West.”

Aside from the obvious death toll, we imagine that a terror attack in an American grocery store would annihilate billions in grocery stock market cap, adding to the industry’s Whole Foods Market-inspired woes. Investors who once saw grocers as an oasis in the troubled retail sector are increasingly balking now that Amazon has promised to use sensors and automation to save on staffing costs and undercut rivals on pricing. And the terror threats won’t help.

In other Islamic State news, a convoy of 17 buses carrying Islamic State terrorists and their families has been stranded in the Syrian desert since Thursday as the US, Russia, and Syria debate its fate: attack the convoy or allow it to pass?

In an unusual deal, the convoy of Islamic State fighters and their families was allowed to exit their contested stronghold along the Syrian-Lebanese border under the watch of the Lebanese and Syrian armies and Hezbollah after being defeated. As first announced by Hezbollah’s Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in a speech Monday night, the deal involved the transportation of 26 wounded and 308 ISIS fighters, along with 331 civilian family members via buses and ambulances to Syria’s eastern province.

The images of the convey of terrorists helplessly stranded in the desert is perhaps the biggest blow to their propaganda.

At the same time, the group is struggling for relevance with a resurgent Al Qaeda, which is encouraging supporters to sabotage trains and other public infrastructure in the US – specifically the New York City subway.

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20,000 Rohingya in no-man’s land battle hunger, disease

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
SHEHAB SUMON | Special to Arab News
Wed, 2017-09-06 04:41

BANDARBAN, BANGLADESH: In front of them, border guards block entry to Bangladesh. Behind them, the Myanmar Army plants deadly land mines to prevent their return.
Bandarban is the exotic jewel in Bangladesh’s tourist crown. Today, it is a nightmare no-man’s land for 20,000 Rohingya desperate for food, water and medical help.
Shab-e-Meraj, 26, crossed the shallow Tombru river holding her two-month-old daughter Noor Kaida, who was suffering from fever. She sought help from the Medecins Sans Frontieres medical aid agency.
About 300 men and women, all thin and starving, waited in queues to see the MSF doctors.
Meraj used to live in the village of Raimmyakhali in Rakhine state in Myanmar. She said soldiers torched their homes with the help of Buddhist villagers. It took her three hours to walk to the border.
Her husband Mohammed Noor, a day laborer, fled here with nine members of his family when the bloodshed in Racine began. Now they survive mostly on dry food offered by villagers and local volunteers.
Meraj said: “There is no way I can return to that hell.”
For kilometers, as far as the eye can see, there are makeshift houses on the hilltops of this border area, where 20,000 Rohingya have been trapped for more than a week. “We are trying our level best to provide them with food and drinking water,” said local government official Jahangir Aziz. “This morning I have distributed 2kg of rice, lentils, onion etc for each family that took shelter in my district.”
However, food supplies in the village market had been exhausted because of the refugees, he said. “I am afraid of deterioration in the law and order situation. All the educational institutions are closed for Eid Al-Adha but classes will resume from tomorrow. I don’t know how the students will attend the classes. My whole area has turned into a dustbin.”
The local authorities have set up four tube wells to provide clean drinking water for the refugees, and several more are planned. A local philanthropist started work on providing 10 lavatories.
Small trucks carrying relief goods move through the narrow roads. Aid agency volunteers are trying to provide basic support, and Red Cross workers distribute drinking water in plastic bags, but they cannot cope with the demand.
The trapped Rohingya are among 150,000 who have fled Myanmar, according to AFP. Many are sleeping in the open air and are in dire need of food and water after walking for days to reach safety. “There is an urgent need for emergency shelters and for land to build these shelters on,” said Vivian Tan, spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency.
“These people have walked for days. Some of them haven’t eaten for days since they left. They survived on rain water and groundwater.”
Bangladeshi rights campaigner Nur Khan Liton said a “massive humanitarian crisis” was unfolding. “People are staying in refugee camps, on the roads, school yards and under open sky. They are clearing forest to create new settlements. There is an acute crisis of water and food,” he said.

Main category: 
Rohingya who fled violence to Bangladesh recount horror
Suu Kyi and Myanmar face chorus of anger over Rohingya crisis
India’s Modi heads to Myanmar as Rohingya refugee crisis worsens

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Period Of Uncertainty Under Donald Trump Appears To Never End

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Authored by Alex Gorka via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Has anybody recently seen President Trump in the flesh instead of photos circulated on internet or daily tweets?  Has a quite putsch taken place in Washington? Some people say they’ve  heard it on the grapevine. As rumors have it, the president is isolated and actually destitute of power by the «old guard». Is it possible? You never know.

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N., once enjoyed regular access to President Donald Trump. He was among candidates for the positions of national security adviser and state secretary. The president told him he was welcome anytime. He wanted to share his views on the Iran deal with Trump but couldn’t get in. Bolton says he requested a meeting with the president and was turned down. He believes the snubbing is the result of the ongoing struggle between different fractions vying for Trump’s ear. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis advocate a more moderate approach to foreign policy than Bolton who is known as a hawk.

«Trump is on house arrest» says Mike, journalist Cernovich cited by Breitbart. «I kept digging into it and I kept hearing the same thing over and over again», he said.

One may not believe Mike Cerovich, who is known as a right wing muckraker, but the rumors about Trump being isolated in the White House have been going around for some time, at least among the alt right. According to the Prissy Holy’s report for Freedom Daily, «Ever since Trump got elected as president, there’s been no shortage of Republican traitors working behind the scenes to bring him down. Our suspicions about House Speaker Paul Ryan were confirmed several days ago, after Wikileaks exposed how he was one of 6 Republicans that Hillary bought off in order to form an alliance against Trump».

There are more reports about the role of Paul Ryan. True or not, the gist of the matter is that the Trump’s voters are greatly frustrated over the president. With the sensational victory scored, the winner has got nothing. None of the pre-election promises have been carried out.

Immigrants of all races and faiths keep on coming, the wall with Mexico appears to be a pipe dream, no tax reforms have been implemented, Obamacare is still alive, the Iran deal is effective as it was before the Trump’s inauguration, and the relations with Russia are far from being improved. In substance, nothing has changed since the Obama’s days. Under Trump, the United States is getting militarily involved in more foreign conflicts that have no relation to the America’s national security. It‘s only natural to ask whether there is any difference between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

The voters feel deceived. They have started to look for ways to escape from reality. It makes them invent the stories about the good king undermined by his courtiers. And they are looking for fall guys. In this regard, the name of National Security Adviser, Herbert McMaster, is often cited. They believe he keeps in touch with Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications under Obama. The people close to Ben Rhodes are believed to be responsible for the leaks. Some think the president suffers from dementia.

Their feelings are hurt by the president’s giving the cold shoulder to his electoral base. The members of the alt-right feel they played a large part in making Donald Trump president. True, it was important to look like the president of all Americans after the inauguration but time went by and the president never expressed his gratitude.

Pro-Trump media feel offended. They fought hard for him but the president has not even condescended to give any of them an exclusive interview. But he did give an interview to Maggie Haberman of the New York Times – the newspaper that strongly attacked him during the election campaign. In that interview Trump distanced himself from the supporters. He also distanced himself from Steve Bannon, the informal leader of alt-right and his former adviser who has recently resigned. Looks like the president is getting sucked into the very same swamp he promised to drain.

Rush Limbaugh, an American radio talk show host and conservative political commentator, believes that the Washington establishment – both Democrats and Republicans – are involved in a «silent coup» against President Trump. »These people are trying to take this president out,» he told his national radio audience after the failure of the Senate to pass a bill to replace ObamaCare.

Alt right feel hurt and abandoned. Using Breitbart to express their feelings, they are looking for a new idol. Richard Spencer, one of the founding fathers of the alt-right, has decided to run for office.

Some people of the presidential retinue tapped him on the shoulder and told him to go on with the diplomatic war against Russia and close its three outposts in the United States.  Instead of fighting terrorists – something the president promised to do – he keeps on spoiling the relationship with Russia in contrast with what he promised to do during the presidential race. There are things which are hard to explain. Something’s happening behind the certain and it’s impossible to know exactly what it is.

There is no foreign policy and nothing is clear with one thing said and something different done. Many key positions in State Department and other agencies to shape foreign policy are vacant. People come and go to make the administration look like a revolving door. Sabastian Gorka, who served as President’s Deputy Assistant, is a good example.

These are the days of turmoil and strife in Washington. This instability affects the policy on Russia. Under the circumstances, no tangible improvement of Russia-US ties is possible. Wait and see is the only thing to do. The United States appears to be unpredictable and unnegotiable – it’s the only thing that’s certain.

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Sudanese presidential advisor: We will not attend Africa conference with Israel

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Sudanese Vice President Ibrahim Al-Senoussi confirmed that his country would not be part of the African-Israeli conference which is scheduled to be held in late October in Togo. In private statements to Quds Press today, Al-Senoussi said: There is no way that Sudan would participate in a conference which Israel would be part of and there is absolutely no way that Sudan would normalise its relationship with the Israeli occupation. Al-Senoussi, who is a former secretary-general of the Popular Congress Party a partner in the government, stressed that “Supporting Palestine is a central issue for both the Sudanese Government of National Unity and all Sudanese people.” Al-Senoussi added that, for decades, Sudan has resisted Israel’s progress in Africa. Sudan resisted […]

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HRW calls for inquiry into torture of Hirak activists in Morocco

September 6, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Human Rights Watch today called on Morocco’s King to press for effective investigations into allegations of torture of Hirak Rif protesters at the hands of the police. According to a report by the organisation, King Mohammed VI has “appeared to whitewash the police’s handling of the unrest in Al-Hoceima”, the main city in the Rif region, in his speech to the nation on 30 July. The King said that security forces showed “self-control and commitment to the law.” The king’s comments ignored reports by forensic doctors who examined a group of detainees arrested around the Rif protests and found injuries they said corroborated the detainees’ accounts of police violence.   Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director, […]

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Thanks, Mnuchin: Lego Slashes 1,400 Jobs As Sales Of “Batman” Toy Sets Falter

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

Lego cemented its status as a vaunted turnaround story with the success of the “Lego” movies which – fun fact – were produced by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

But after nearly a decade of expansion, the company announced Tuesday that it will be cutting 1,400 jobs as it struggles with weak demand for a new line of “Batman” play sets that’s contributing to its worst downturn in more than a decade. The cuts, the company’s first in 10 years, would be tantamount to letting 8% of its workforce go. The move came after Europe’s largest toymaker said Tuesday that sales in the first half fell 5 percent to 14.9 billion kroner.

“We’re losing momentum and we’re losing productivity,” Chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said on a conference call. “We have built an increasingly complex organization. This could ultimately lead to stagnation or decline.”

According to Bloomberg, Lego is suffering its biggest crisis since 2003 and 2004, when the maker of colorful plastic bricks reported record losses. After a turnaround led by Knudstorp that transformed the struggling brand into the world’s most-profitable toymaker, sales have slumped anew as children spend more time on digital devices. Predictably, the shift has created tumult in the C-suite amid rapid executive turnover.

The company, which is controlled by the family of Danish billionaire Kirk Kristiansen, promoted Chief Operations Officer Bali Padda to succeed Knudstorp as CEO as of Jan. 1, but said last month that he’ll be replaced Oct. 1 with Niels B. Christiansen, the former boss of Danish engineering giant Danfoss A/S.

Knudstorp has said he’s taking responsibility for creating an organization with “too many layers and overlapping functions,” a move that prevented the company from realizing its “growth potential.”

Retailers have started to complain about the weak Lego sales, which are suffering from “significant weakness in demand.” “The Lego Batman Movie,” an animated film featuring the superhero and the company’s bricks, hasn’t generated the toy sales that Toys R Us or Lego expected, he said.

According to Bloomberg, Knudstorp declined to comment on the performance of the Lego Batman products, though he said they made “a positive contribution” to first-half results. Lego’s Star Wars product line “remains one of our top categories globally, but it has slightly declined for us this year,” he said. Knudstorp said brands that Lego invented, including Lego City, Lego Friends, Lego Duplo and Lego Technic, were the best performers in the period. Still, the company’s net income in the first half declined by 3 percent to 3.4 billion kroner.

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Florida on edge, evacuations coming as Hurricane Irma nears

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
The Associated Press
Tue, 2017-09-05 03:00

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida: Hurricane Irma’s size and strength put the entire state of Florida on notice on Tuesday, and residents and visitors prepared to leave in anticipation of catastrophic winds and floods that could reach the state by this weekend.
Throughout South Florida, officials readied evacuation orders and people raided store shelves, buying up water and other hurricane supplies. Long lines formed at gas stations and people pulled shutters out of storage to protect their homes and businesses.
Parker Eastin filled up his gas tank at a busy fuel station. He and his girlfriend said they decided to plan well in advance after seeing what Hurricane Harvey did to Texas.
“We ordered water off Amazon because the stores were out and also ordered food,” said Eastin, a 43-year-old lawyer who has lived in Florida 12 years. “Seeing the devastation in Texas is a sad reminder that you have to take the events very seriously.”
Irma’s winds were 185 mph (297 kph) on Tuesday, a strong Category 5 storm, and forecasters say it could strengthen more as it neared the eastern-most Caribbean islands, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The storm had the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean and posed an immediate threat to the small islands of the northern Leewards, including Antigua and Barbuda, as well as the British and US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
The last major storm to hit Florida was 2005’s Wilma, its eye cutting through the state’s southern third as it packed winds of 120 mph (193 kph). Five people died.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties to give local governments “ample time, resources and flexibility” to prepare for the storm.
In the Keys, a chain of 42 low-lying islands that includes Key West, government officials said visitors would be told to leave Wednesday and residents should be out by the following day.
“This is not one to fool around with,” said Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark, whose county covers the Florida Keys.
Under a mandatory evacuation order, no one is forced by police or other government agencies to leave, but anyone who stays should not expect to be rescued if they are in danger, officials said. The island chain only has one highway connecting it to the mainland.
Keys residents are famous for riding out hurricanes, but Randy Towe, who owns a recreational fishing company in the Keys, said Irma is different.
“I’ve talked to a lot of Conchs (Keys natives) whose families have lived here a hundred years and they say this certainly might be a big one,” said Towe, who has lived in the Keys 36 years.
He said owners of large boats secured them in canals by tying them to mangrove roots. Smaller boats were put on trailers and into storage. He plans to evacuate with his family if Irma’s forecast doesn’t change.
The deadliest storm to hit the Keys struck on Labor Day in 1935. More than 400 people died in winds estimated at 185 mph (297 kph) and a storm surge of 18 feet (5.5 meters). Bridges and railroad beds were washed away, cutting off the middle and lower Keys except by sea and air.
In 1960, Hurricane Donna hit the Keys on Sept. 10 with sustained winds of 140 mph (225 kph) and storm surge reached 13.5 feet (4 meters). Four people died.
On the Florida mainland, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez urged tourists to cut their vacations short and said residents may be asked to leave as early as Wednesday.
“The potential is too great for us not to take action right now,” Gimenez said.
Publix, the state’s largest grocery chain, said its South Florida stores were packed with customers and bottled water was in particular demand along with bread and canned goods.
“Even as the aisles are emptying, we are trying to replenish as quickly as possible,” spokeswoman Maria Brous said.

Main category: 
Irma strengthens to Category 5 hurricane
Caribbean girds for Hurricane Irma threat
Category Two Hurricane Irma forms in eastern Atlantic: US

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North Korea nuclear test ‘caused landslides’

September 6, 2017 rbksa 0
Wed, 2017-09-06 04:39

SEOUL: North Korea’s weekend nuclear test triggered landslides in the detonation area and beyond, satellite pictures showed Wednesday, but left no crater visible from a collapse.
The underground blast on Sunday caused a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey, and was followed a few minutes later by another with a magnitude of 4.1, leading to suggestions that the rock over the site had caved in, potentially releasing radioactive material into the atmosphere.
Pyongyang said the test was of an H-bomb that could be fitted onto a missile, heightening tensions over its weapons ambitions and prompting global condemnation.
The respected 38 North website, which is linked to Johns Hopkins University in the US, published satellite images taken Monday showing changes in the surface at the Punggye-ri test site where the ground had been lifted into the air by the tremors, and small landslides going into stream beds.
“These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than what we have seen from any of the five tests North Korea previously conducted,” it said.
“There does not appear to be any evidence of a collapse crater, as might have been suggested from the post-test tremor,” it added.
South Korea’s defense minister has estimated the yield from the explosion at 50 kilotons, while 38 North said it was currently believed to be 100 kilotons or more. Japan has put it at 120 kilotons, eight times the size of the US device that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
Seoul’s nuclear safety agency said Wednesday it had not detected traces of radioactive materials, such as xenon gas, in soil, water and air samples following the blast.
Background radiation in South Korea appeared not to have been affected by the test, it added.

Main category: 
S. Korea seeks bigger warheads, N. Korean ICBM reportedly on the move
Lady in pink: The Internet cannot get over this veteran North Korean news anchor
Putin warns of ‘global catastrophe’ in N.Korea impasse

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US Bitcoin Exchange Coinbase Hits 10 Million Users

September 6, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

After two (and soon three) “generational” market crashes, Joe Sixpack may have lost interest in the stock market (or at least in single names, the transfer of bagholder rights from institutions to retail investors via ETFs is doing just fine), but when it comes to chasing torrid, upward price momentum, US retail investors are doing their best frenzied Chinese housewife impression now that they have discovered the next big bubble thing, and it’s called bitcoin. And nowhere is America’s sudden infatuation with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and all other “coins” which can make (or break) a hedge fund’s annual return in days if not hours, more obvious than on Coinbase, the US bitcoin exchange, which has just hit a remarkable 10 million registered users, all of whom are there for just one thing: to trade, but mostly buy, crypto currencies.

The San Francisco startup has seen tremendous growth in 2017, adding thousands of users per day and handling increasing levels of trading volume. Last month, CEO Brian Armstrong announced that the company had raised $100 million during its latest funding round, giving the company a valuation of $1 billion, making it first “bitcoin unicorn” according to Cryptocoinsnews. A few weeks later, following the latest burst higher in bitcoin, Coinbase has surpassed 10 million registered users. In the last three weeks of August, the bitcoin exchange added an astonishing 800,000 users as the bitcoin price briefly rose above $5,000. According to data from the Coinbase website, the exchange and wallet service has also recently surpassed $20 billion in total volume.

While many bitcoin veterans have panned Coinbase for its simplistic approach to trading (no limit orders, no shorting, etc) and exorbitant fees, some actually enjoy the minimialist, if expensive, experience: one user on reddit, btcltc77, referred to the exchanges as the “McDonald’s of Bitcoin banking.”

Coinbase is still the most mainstream way of buying Bitcoin. It’s the McDonald’s of Bitcoin banking.

That, and the implied safety net from its increasingly bigger venture backing, appears to be working and has made Coinbase the go-to site for millions of armchair cryptocurrency investors.

To be sure, Coinbase has not been without its challenges as it marched toward this impressive goal. Throughout the year, it has been embroiled in an ongoing legal dispute with the IRS over whether it should have to release personal client information to the agency.

It has also struggled to scale its business operations as fast as it has gained users, resulting in multiple outages throughout the year during periods of extreme market volatility, with many clients noting that one can determine if bitcoin is crashing without knowing the price, simply because the exchange is offline.

Moreover, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been flooded with 4,700% more complaints about Coinbase so far in 2017 than it did in all of 2016 (which is understandable in light of the surge in users). More than a third of the grievances have come from users who said they were unable to access their money when promised. Many also complained about other transaction or service problems. Accusations of fraud represented less than 15% of the complaints.

Coinbase, which was founded in 2012, said in June that it’s working to improve customer support. The exchange has grappled with a slew of performance issues, including outages, slow load times and a flash crash in ether, the second most valuable virtual coin.

“Over the past few months, we’ve seen an unprecedented increase in the number of customers signing up to use Coinbase,” wrote the company’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong, in a June 6 blog post. “As a result, our systems have been pushed to the limit. This has caused many customers to have a negative experience.”

The company has pledged to devote Q3 (not to mention spending some of that brand new $100 million) to focusing on operational excellence, scaling, and an improved customer experience. It probably won’t rush though: since it has a near monopoly on the retail crypto market in the US, as long as bitcoin keeps rising new clients will keep pouring in, no matter how much they complain about the underlying infrastructure.

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