Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How Vladimir Putin Is Using Donald Trump to Advance Russia's Goals | Turkey pushes into Syria, draws criticism from US for not targeting ISIS - Business Insider | US Suspects Russia Behind Computer Hacking in 2 State Election Databases

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How Vladimir Putin Is Using Donald Trump to Advance Russia's Goals

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What’s more, it’s increasingly clear that after the DNC hack the Kremlin is relishing, even quietly flaunting, its newfound role as a meddler in U.S. politics. After years of U.S. influence over Russian affairs, especially in the chaotic 1990s, it is sweet revenge for the Kremlin to be cast once again as global puppet master. And most fundamentally, the Kremlin’s support for Trump is part of a longstanding strategy to sow disruption and discord in the West. Whether it’s by backing French ultra-nationalists, Catalan separatists or the Brexit campaign, or boosting Donald Trump’s chances by blackening the Democrats, the Kremlin believes Russia benefits every time the Western establishment is embarrassed.
Russia's brazen cyberattack on the DNC servers was “a cyber psy-op,” according to Brian Whitmore of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “At least one of Moscow's goals is apparently to force the United States to treat it as an equal superpower,” Whitmore wrote in the influential Power Vertical blog. “Suddenly, for the first time since the Cold War, Russia occupies center stage in a U.S. election. Suddenly, there are global headlines about the threat of Russian hackers.”
The forensics of the DNC hack point to two things—first, that two well-known Russian hacker groups with connections to that country’s intelligence services were responsible for the break-in, and second, that when the material was released through WikiLeaks, the Russians made little effort to disguise their hand in the heist. A detailed report in July by the hacker-watcher collective CrowdStrike stated that one group, Fancy Bear (or APT 28), gained access to the DNC database in April. The other, Cozy Bear (or APT 29), broke in as early as June 2015. According to Alexander Klimburg, a cybersecurity expert at the Hague Center for Strategic Studies and author of the forthcoming bookDark Web, APT 28 is associated with Russia’s GRU military intelligence and APT 29 with its Federal Security Service, or FSB. “Our team considers them some of the best adversaries out of all the numerous nation-state, criminal and hacktivist/terrorist groups we encounter on a daily basis,”blogged CrowdStrike’s chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch. “Their tradecraft is superb, operational security second to none.”
Last year, APT 28 hacked the State Department, the White House and the civilian email of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was also involved in hacks of French TV and the 2014 meltdown of a German steel foundry after malware infected its systems, an attack known in cyberwar circles by the chilling clinical term “cyber-to-physical effect.” The DNC hack, then, was just one of several “very forward-leaning attempts to signal to the West Russia’s cyber capabilities,” says Klimburg. “They often don’t care about being discovered. Indicating that you are behind something is part of the operation.”
When CrowdStrike first fingered the Russians, an internet user calling himself Guccifer 2.0 claimed that he, not the Russian government, was the culprit. Guccifer attempted to signal his non-Russianness by using an ordinary French Hotmail account—the cyber equivalent of disguising yourself in a Groucho Marx false nose—but the metadata on the documents he provided were found to contain Russian signatures, including “Felix Edmundovich,” the first names of Soviet secret police founder Felix Dzerzhinsky.
Foreign intelligence agencies have been found snooping on American political campaigns before. In 2014, Chinese hackers broke into Romney’s servers, for instance. But the DNC hack has elevated such interference in politics to a frightening extent. “I just want to underscore how unprecedented this is—using espionage to influence an American presidential election crossed a new level of intervention,” says McFaul.
Trump addresses supporters at a campaign rally on August 1 in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Temperamentally, Putin and Trump don’t have much in common, but the two have mutual support for each other; Trump has routinely praised the Russian president as a leader, and Kremlin-sponsored propaganda outlets like Sputnik and RT have lavishly supported the U.S. presidential candidate. John Moore/Gett

Don’t Bad-Mouth the Boss

What’s in Project Trump for Putin is clear. But the more puzzling question is how Trump became Putin’s man in Washington. Former CIA Director Mike Morell wrote in The New York Times that Putin “recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation” with flattery. But the truth is more nuanced. Trump’s pro-Putinism goes back to at least 2007, when he told CNN that the Russian strongman was doing “a great job” rebuilding Russia. Trump was pushing real estate deals in Moscow at the time and, according to one Moscow-based American businessman who negotiated with him, Trump’s admiration for Putin was rooted in “pure self-interest…. He was looking to make friends and business partners” among Russia’s politically connected elite. “Oligarchs aren't going to do business with anyone who bad-mouths the boss,” explains the real estate developer, who requested anonymity because of his ongoing Russian investments.
Trump’s affinity for the Kremlin deepened after he launched his political career in 2014. Trump has surrounded himself with advisers with deep connections to the Putin regime. Trump’s chief foreign policy adviser, Carter Page, once ran the Moscow office of Merrill Lynch and advised the Russian energy giant Gazprom (in which he still owns shares, Page said in March). Page’s company, Global Energy Capital, continues to work with Russian investments—and Sergey Yatsenko, Gazprom’s former deputy chief financial officer, works for GEC as an adviser. Since both companies have suffered grievously from the sanctions the U.S. and EU imposed against Russia over its annexation of Crimea, Page is a passionate advocate of lifting them—something Trump has said he will consider.
On July 7, Page took time off from the Trump campaign to give a speech at Moscow’s New Economic School, where he slammed America’s “often hypocritical focus on democratization” and praised Russia’s policy of “noninterference” and “respect” for its neighbors. “Page toed the [Kremlin] party line,” says one senior Moscow expatriate professional who attended Page’s talk. “He’s a believer…. It’s common among Western businesspeople in Russia to be pro-Putin. But it’s rare to hear it from someone at the top of Republican politics.”
Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, a Trump adviser and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, is a regular guest on RT, the Kremlin’s conspiracy-theory-minded English-language propaganda channel. He has refused to say if he’s on RT’s payroll, but last year Flynn flew to Moscow to attend the station’s 10th anniversary gala, where he sat two chairs away from Putin. Michael Caputo, a public relations adviser who helped run Trump’s New York primary campaign, lived in Russia in the 1990s, and Gazprom’s media arm contracted him to improve Putin’s image in the United States. Richard Burt, a former U.S. ambassador to Germany during the 1980s who is known for his strong skepticism of the U.S.’s commitment to its NATO allies (Burt appeared in a panel discussion in April on the topic “Does America Need Allies?”), reportedly helped draft at least one Trump speech where the candidate blasted NATO’s “free rider problem,” according to Politico.
Burt is chairman of the advisory council of The National Interest, a publication of the Center for the National Interest, a strongly pro-Russian think tank based in Washington. The CNI has long partnered with the Kremlin-backed Institute for Democracy and Cooperation, a think tank in New York devoted to promoting Moscow’s interests. In May 2014, the two institutions held a joint press conference defending Russia’s position in Ukraine. In April, Trump chose the CNI as the venue for his first major foreign policy speech, and the audience included Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.
Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has longstanding ties to Ukraine’s Kremlin-backed former President Viktor Yanukovych, advising on campaigning for his Party of Regions in the 2006 parliamentary elections and paving the way for Yanukovych’s ascent to prime minister and then the presidency, from which he was ousted in 2014 amid massive pro-EU protests. Ukrainian parliamentarian Serhiy Leshchenko wrote in The Guardian that he had seen “so-called ‘shadow accounting’ documents” that show “a total of $12.7m of payments made to Manafort” by the Party of the Regions, at least $2.2 million of which, according to the AP, was channeled to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012. Manafort denies any wrongdoing, though the very public discussion of his Ukrainian business connections certainly played a part in his being sidelined as Trump’s campaign manager in mid-August.
During his time at the helm of the Trump campaign, Manafort played a crucial role in hauling the Republican Party’s official position away from its traditionally anti-Russian stance. According to The Washington Post, Trump campaign staffers gutted a proposed amendment to the Republican Party platform that called for the U.S. to provide “lethal defensive weapons” for Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression, defying a strong GOP consensus on the issue.
Paul Manafort, former campaign manager for Trump, speaks to the press during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 18. During his time on the Trump campaign, Manafort was instrumental in moving the Republican party away from its traditionally anti-Russian stance. Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty
Trump has business ties in Russia that go back to 1987, when he and his then-wife, Ivana, visited Moscow to scope out a luxury hotel joint venture with the USSR’s state tourism agency Intourist, according to his memoir The Art of the Deal. That deal came to nothing, but Trump returned in 1996 to negotiate a high-end condominium project with U.S. tobacco giant Liggett-Ducat. Trump “talked a big game,” recalls the American real estate developer, who has direct knowledge of the negotiations. “But what was needed was not New York real estate connections but Moscow political connections…. Trump didn’t have those.” In 2005, Trump took another crack at a now-booming Russia, hoping to build a Trump Tower on the site of a former pencil factory. He partnered with Bayrock Group, a New York–based developer that had co-developed the Trump SoHo and Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to pull together financing. Bayrock’s CEO was Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former deputy head of the Soviet Ministry of Commerce’s hotel department, who had made money running high-end tourist hotels in Turkey. The deal failed—in part because of Arif’s choice of Soviet-born Felix Sater (later Satter) to run Bayrock’s Moscow operation. Sater had served prison time for slashing a man’s face in a 1991 Manhattan brawl—“He got into trouble because he got into a barroom fight which a lot of people do,” Trump once said in a court deposition—and in 1998 was convicted for fraud over associations with White Rock Partners, a Mafia-connected New York stock brokerage. (Arif was detained in Turkey in October 2010 on suspicion of organizing sex parties for wealthy businessmen and Eastern European models aboard a $60 million yacht once used by the nation’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, according to charges filed by prosecutor Yusuf Hakki Dogan. Arif was cleared of all charges the following year.)
After the Bayrock debacle, Trump had better luck selling high-end real estate to wealthy Russians in the West. “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” Donald Trump Jr. told a real estate conference in 2008. “We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” Among those deals was the sale of a mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, to Russian fertilizer billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $95 million in 2008, according to Florida property records. In the wake of several bankruptcies, Trump found it hard to raise money in the West, so he gathered money from Russian and Kazakh investors for his Trump SoHo and three other Bayrock projects. Salvatore Lauria, a partner of Sater’s in White Rock Partners, helped gather $50 million in investments for Trump SoHo that included, according to a lawsuit against Bayrock, “unexplained infusions of cash from accounts in Kazakhstan and Russia.”
Trump’s latest set of Russian partners are the most high-rolling—Aras Agalarov and Emin Agalarov, real estate developers born in Baku, Azerbaijan, who paid Trump to organize the 2013 Miss Universe competition in Moscow. They also signed a deal to build a Trump Tower in the Russian capital, though the building has not yet got off the ground. The Agalarovs have received several contracts for state-funded construction projects, and Putin personally awarded Aras Agalarov the Order of Honor of the Russian Federation soon after the Miss Universe pageant. Trump told a National Press Club lunch in Washington in 2014 that during his trip to Moscow the previous year he had spoken “indirectly and directly” with Putin, “who could not have been nicer.” In fact, Putin never showed up at the gala, and the two have never met.
But even the Agalarovs are far from Russia’s big leagues of power and money. “It’s bizarre that people are talking about Trump’s Russian business interests, because he never made it in Russia,” says the Moscow-based American real estate developer. “He tried to become a player, but he didn’t know the right people.”
From left, Donald Trump, Aras Agalarov, Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and Musician Emin arrive at the 2013 Miss USA pageant at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on June 16, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Michael Stewart/WireImage
Despite Trump’s lack of significant business success in Russia, his political career has made him an important part of Putin’s wider strategy to weaken the West and court conservatives around the world into a grand anti-liberal alliance headed by Russia. In August, Moscow hosted a gathering of nationalist and separatist activists from all over Europe and the U.S.—part of an ongoing effort to encourage anti-EU and anti-NATO political groups, including Greece’s Golden Dawn, Bulgaria’s Ataka and Hungary’s Jobbik. As Vice President Joe Biden warned in a speech in Washington last year, “Putin sees such political forces as useful tools to be manipulated, to create cracks in the European body politic which he can then exploit.”
To Putin’s mind, the campaign is a way of pushing back against what he sees as meddling by Washington and Brussels in his backyard, from allegedly encouraging anti-Putin protests in Moscow in 2011 to fomenting the pro-European Maidan uprising in Kiev in 2013 that led to the ousting of President Yanukovych (and put Paul Manafort temporarily out of a job). Putin “honestly believes that the U.S. is trying to overthrow him,” says Kremlin-connected political technologist Gleb Pavlovsky, who advised Putin until 2011.
“In the eyes of Russian elites, Western aggression must be met with a response,” argues Eugene Rumer, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Russia and Eurasia Program and a former national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the U.S. National Intelligence Council. “Hacking into DNC computers…is simply payback for Western media reports about elite corruption in Russia. It helps boost the Russian narrative that money and politics go hand in hand everywhere, and that Russia is no different from the United States or other Western countries whose governments are critical of Russia.”

The Billionaire Stooge

Temperamentally, Putin and Trump don’t have much in common. Putin is a steely, shy, highly controlled career KGB man who has spent his life in disciplined institutions and got his break not through public politics but by being a perfect courtier to Boris Yeltsin. The other is a freewheeling dealmaker with a taste for the trappings of wealth, beautiful women, publicity of any sort and a deep need for the acclaim of crowds. But both are brilliant opportunist tacticians with a cynical attitude about the truth, willing to cherry-pick facts to build narratives that suit their purpose. Trump more closely resembles Russian or Ukrainian oligarchs—though he is much poorer than most of them—insofar as he has hijacked a political movement to fuel his personal ambition and boost his business interests.
The Kremlin’s support of Trump—offered in the form of backing from propaganda channels like RT and Sputnik—is electorally insignificant. Even the covert revelations of the DNC hack didn’t make much of a dent in Clinton’s ratings (though WikiLeaks founder and RT contributor Julian Assange promises devastating new findings in October). What’s truly disturbing is the cyberwar methods used by the Kremlin to disrupt the election—and the wider and more sinister political program that the Kremlin is pursuing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin waits to greet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Konstantin Palace, August 9, in Strenla, Saint Petersburg. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty
“The target of the hacks wasn’t just Clinton,” Eerik-Niiles Kross, the former head of Estonian intelligence, wrote in a recent essay in Politico. “Nor is Moscow much interested in supporting Trump (willing useful idiot though he may be). What the Russians have in their sights is nothing less than the democratic fabric of American society and the integrity of the system of Western liberal values…. The political warfare of the Cold War is back—in updated form, with meaner, more modern tools, including a vast state media empire in Western languages, hackers, spies, agents, useful idiots, compatriot groups, and hordes of internet trolls.”
In other words, Trump is merely a useful stooge in the Kremlin’s grand design to encourage NATO disunity, U.S. isolationism and the breakup of Europe. In practice, all the effort of Russian-sponsored hackers, think tankers and propaganda channels is unlikely to have much real effect and on balance have probably harmed Trump’s chances of getting into the White House. But the effort is real. As Kross put it, “Russia is effectively using our democracies and our systems of rule of law against us…. America, welcome to the war.”
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Lithuania FM: EU Sanctions on Russia Should Stay - Voice of America

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Voice of America

Lithuania FM: EU Sanctions on Russia Should Stay
Voice of America
Slovakia's prime minister, Robert Fico, called on the EU to end the sanctions after meeting President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, saying they had harmed both the EU and Russia but influenced absolutely nothing." "My immediate reaction to comments like ...

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" FBI Warns of New Election System Hacks; Last Minute Federal Court Battles Over Voting Rights: 'BradCast' 8/29/2016 " - Brad Blog (blog)

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FBI Warns of New Election System Hacks; Last Minute Federal Court Battles Over Voting Rights: 'BradCast' 8/29/2016 "
Brad Blog (blog)
First up, a new report today from investigative journalist Michael Isikoff warns of recent intrusions, believe to be by foreign entities, into voter registration systems in both Illinois and Arizona. The report cites an "FBI Flash" warning [PDF] from ...

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Obama to Meet China's Xi, Turkey's Erdogan Next Week

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President Barack Obama will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan next week for the first time since the attempted coup in Turkey in July, the White House said.

Venezuelans Mobilize for Recall Vote

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Thousands of Venezuelans are descending on Caracas in a last-gasp effort by the opposition to force President Nicolás Maduro to hold a referendum on his rule—a vote he is fiercely resisting, as polls say it would secure his ouster.

Turkish Offensive Blindsided U.S.

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Behind the scenes, coordination between the U.S. and Turkey broke down at senior levels, according to officials, indicating the countries weren’t as aligned on the mission against Islamic State as their statements suggested.

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Estonia fails to elect head of state in presidential vote

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Estonia’s presidential election is heading into a second round Tuesday after no candidate got the required two-thirds majority in a parliamentary vote.

Venezuela accuses US, opposition of planning coup

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Venezuela is accusing the United States and the country’s political opposition of planning a coup for Thursday, the day that government opponents have called a march to demand a recall vote against socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

University: Mexican president copied texts in thesis

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The university that granted Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto a law degree in 1991 has acknowledged he copied texts and ideas without crediting their authors in his thesis.

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Turkey-Backed Rebels Expel Kurdish Forces From Syrian Towns 

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BEIRUT (AP) — Rebels backed by Turkey made major gains Sunday in northern Syria, expelling Kurdish-led forces from towns and villages as part of a determined campaign by Ankara to push the militants east of the Euphrates River.
At least 35 civilians were killed, according to activists. The dramatic escalation of Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war last week aimed to help the Syrian rebels drive the Islamic State group out of the border town of Jarablus. But it also is aimed at U.S.-allied Kurdish forces that have gained control in recent months of most of the territory along the Turkey-Syria border.
The fighting pits Turkey, a NATO ally, against a U.S.-backed proxy that is the most effective ground force battling ISIS militants in Syria in the 5-year-old civil war. It leaves Washington in the tough spot of having to choose between its two of its allied forces, and is likely to divert resources from the fight against ISIS.
A Turkish soldier was killed by a Kurdish rocket attack late Saturday, the first such fatality in Turkey’s ground offensive dubbed Euphrates Shield that began Aug. 24.
Speaking at a rally in the border town of Gaziantep, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his military is committed to fighting terrorism in Syria and Iraq.
Turkey, he said, also is determined to “uproot” the Syrian Kurdish group, calling it a terrorist organization. But he didn’t specify a goal for the fight against the Kurdish forces.
Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the militants of the Islamic State group, but the airstrikes that began Saturday marked the first time it has targeted Kurdish-led forces in Syria.
“We will support all work to clean Syria and Iraq of Daesh,” Erdogan told the rally, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS. “That’s why we are in Jarablus, that’s why we are in Bashiqa (in Iraq). If necessary, we will not shy away from taking responsibility in the same way in other areas.”
Turkey has troops stationed in Bashiqa in northern Iraq, and it was not clear if his reference to Jarablus means he intends to base his troops there.
Erdogan then turned his focus to the main Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, known as the PYD.
“We are as determined about the PYD, the separatist terror organization’s Syrian wing,” he said. Ankara views the PYD and the militia affiliated with it, which forms the backbone of the U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces, or SDF, as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency that is raging in southeastern Turkey.
“We will continue until we uproot this terror organization,” Erdogan told the rally.
A spokesman for a Syrian rebel group said the Turkish-backed offensive will continue south of Jarablus to clear IS and Kurdish forces from northeastern Aleppo. Turkish leaders have vowed to drive both IS and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, away from the border.
Turkey’s military said Sunday its warplanes killed 25 Kurdish “terrorists” and destroyed five buildings used by the fighters in response to attacks on advancing Turkish-backed rebels in the Jarablus area.
Various factions of the Turkey-backed Syrian rebels said they had seized several villages and towns from Kurdish-led forces south of Jarablus, including Amarneh, where fighting was fiercest in recent days.
The Kurdish-led forces “must pull back to the east of the Euphrates. We will fight all terrorist groups, including (the Kurdish-led fighters) … in all of northeast Aleppo,” said Capt. Abdel-Salam Abdel-Razzak, a spokesman for the Nour el-Din el-Zinki group.
Turkish-backed fighters will move south of Jarablus, toward Manbij and beyond, he said.
Earlier this month, the Kurdish-led SDF crossed the Euphrates and drove ISIS militants out of Manbij, a key supply hub south of Jarablus, after a 10-week campaign. Both Turkey and the United States have ordered the YPG militia to withdraw to the east bank of the river. YPG leaders say they have, but their units advise the Syrian Democratic Forces, and it is not clear if any remain west of the Euphrates.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the bombing killed at least 20 civilians and four Kurdish-led fighters in Beir Koussa, a village about nine miles (15 kilometers) south of Jarablus, and left another 15 dead in a village to the west.
SDF spokesman Shervan Darwish said the airstrikes and shelling began overnight and continued Sunday along the front line, killing many civilians in Beir Koussa and nearby areas. He said the bombing also targeted the village of Amarneh. He said 50 Turkish tanks were taking part.
The Kurdish Democratic Union Party condemned the attack on the village. It also condemned what it said was international silence regarding “Turkish occupation” of Syria.
The Syrian state news agency SANA reported that 20 civilians were killed and 50 wounded by Turkish artillery and airstrikes, calling it “encroachment” on Syrian sovereignty under the pretext of fighting IS. Turkey is a leading backer of the rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, but both Ankara and Damascus share concerns over Kurdish ambitions for autonomy.
Syrian warplanes renewed their bombing of the besieged al-Waer neighborhood in the central city of Homs. An activist in the neighborhood of Bebars al-Talawy said there were at least a dozen airstrikes, killing one person.
The neighborhood came under attack Saturday, including incendiary bombs that killed two children, a brother and sister. Images of doctors treating other children for their burns were posted on social media sites. The district’s hospital was bombed and taken out of operation earlier this month.
Human Rights Watch said it had documented the use of incendiary weapons in at least 18 different instances between June and August in rebel-held areas. The group blamed Russian and Syrian joint military operations room for the use of such weapons in violation of international law.
The al-Waer neighborhood of nearly 75,000 people has been under siege since March and has been one area that U.N agencies have reported difficult to access. An aid convoy reached the area Aug. 25.
According to residents, the escalation followed recent threats by soldiers at checkpoints that the Syrian government’s patience was running out with the district, the last rebel holdout in the city.
It also follows the evacuation of Daraya, a Damascus suburb, as part of a deal struck between the government and rebels after a bombing campaign and siege.
The Homs Local Council appealed to the U.N. envoy to Syria to negotiate a truce for al-Waer, condemning the government’s “siege policy” that aims to force residents and fighters to surrender.
Associated Press writer Zeynep Bilginsoy in Istanbul and Mucahit Ceylan in Karkamis, Turkey, contributed to this report.

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Uzbek Dictator Islam Karimov Suffers a Brain Hemorrhage

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MOSCOW (AP) — The Uzbek president’s daughter says her father is in the hospital with a brain hemorrhage.
President Islam Karimov’s daughter Lola Karimova posted a message Monday on Instagram, saying her father suffered a brain hemorrhage Saturday and is now in stable condition in intensive care. She said it was too early to make any predictions about his recovery. Karimov, 78, has ruled the former Soviet republic in Central Asia since 1989.
Uzbekistan’s government issued an unusual statement Sunday announcing Karimov’s hospitalization but gave no details about the nature of his illness.
Under Karimov, Uzbekistan became tightly controlled by his security services. Independent reports from the country are rare.

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17-Year-Old Dies After Hickey From Girlfriend Causes Stroke

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A 17-year-old boy in Mexico City has reportedly died after a hickey he received from his girlfriend caused a stroke.
Doctors believe the suction of the hickey—or love bite—resulted in a blood clot, which traveled toJulio Macias Gonzalez’s brain and caused a stroke, the Independent and local Mexican media reported. The teenager had convulsions while eating dinner with his family after hanging out with his 24-year-old girlfriend and later died, the newspaper said.
This is at least the second reported incident of a hickey causing a stroke. A hickey had caused a 44-year-old New Zealand woman to have a non-fatal stroke, according to a 2010 study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal. Researchers at the time called the medical condition “a rare phenomenon.”

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3,000 migrants rescued at sea off Libyan coast – video

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Over 3,000 migrants are rescued on Monday off the coast of Libya with the majority of them hailing from Eritrea and Somalia. One of the 20 boats contained over 700 refugees that were rescued 13 miles from Sabratha, Libya. They were rescued by two NGO’s and the Italian navy in the Mediterranean Sea
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Duterte takes war on drugs to the stage - Yahoo News

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Yahoo News

Duterte takes war on drugs to the stage
Yahoo News
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a National Heroes Day commemoration at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery) in Taguig city, Metro Manila in the Philippines August 29, 2016. REUTERS/Erik De Castro. More. MANILA ...

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Mexico's Top Police Chief Out After Execution Allegations - New York Times

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The Independent

Mexico's Top Police Chief Out After Execution Allegations
New York Times
MEXICO CITY — Mexico's president dismissed the chief of the federal police force Monday, less than two weeks after the country's human rights commission released a scathing report alleging federal police "executed arbitrarily" at least 22 suspected ...
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Former Chicago Official Gets 10 Years in Red-Light Camera Case - Wall Street Journal

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Wall Street Journal

Former Chicago Official Gets 10 Years in Red-Light Camera Case
Wall Street Journal
CHICAGO—A former Chicago transportation official embroiled in a corruption scandal over the award of a lucrative contract for red-light cameras was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday. John Bills, 55 years old, who served as the No. 2 in the city's ...
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Americans say they want to see candidate tax returns (because they don't like Donald Trump) - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Americans say they want to see candidate tax returns (because they don't like Donald Trump)
Washington Post
A new poll from Monmouth University includes a bit of data that will quickly be embraced by supporters of Hillary Clinton. It has been 440 days since Donald Trump has failed to release his tax returns — but 6 in 10 likely voters say that it's very or ...

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Uzbekistan's Future Uncertain After Karimov Is Hospitalized

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Uzbek President Islam Karimov is receiving treatment after suffering what his daughter said was a cerebral hemorrhage. He is the only leader the country has had in 25 years of independence, and the line of succession is far from clear. (RFE/RL)

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Page 4

Erdogan: Turkey To Press On With Syria Operation, Despite U.S. Warning

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will press ahead with its military operation in Syria until the Islamic State (IS) extremist group and the Kurdish Syrian fighters “cease to be threats for our citizens."

Knowing the Risks, Some Syrian Rebels Seek a Lift From Turks’ Incursion 

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The Turkish incursion into Syria has buoyed the groups under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, but those fighters are under no illusions that their new allies support their revolution.

John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman denied parole for 9th time 

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Uzbek President Islam Karimov suffers stroke

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Islam Karimov - president of Uzbekistan since 1991 - is in intensive care recovering from a brain haemorrhage, his daughter says.

Syria war: US warns over Turkish-Kurdish violence

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The US says fighting between Turkey, pro-Turkish rebels and Kurdish-aligned forces in northern Syria is "unacceptable" and must stop.

Dubai ruler's spot check finds empty desks

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Red faces in the Dubai civil service as Sheikh Mohammed's early-morning tour finds nobody at work.

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