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Thursday March 23rd – Open Thread →
Freedom Watch Notifies Congress of “Deep State” Intelligence Whistle-Blower – full pdf…
Posted on March 22, 2017 by sundance
Freedom Watch notifies congress of a “Deep State” intelligence community whistle blower, Dennis Montgomery, with hundreds of millions of documents showing CIA and FBI and Intelligence Committees were spying on, and conducting surveillance on, American citizens for political purposes.
Mr. Montgomery is trying to use a legal “whistle-blower” process and not follow the same approach as Edward Snowden.
View this document on Scribd
BOOM=> House Intel Chair: We Cannot Rule Out That Sr. Obama Officials Were Involved in Trump SurveillanceJim Hoft Mar 22nd, 2017 2:51 pm 394 Comments
BOOM!House Intelligence chair, Devin Nunes confirmed that President-elect Trump and his transition team were surveilled between Election Day and Inauguration Day.
Information was “incidentally collected” about people involved in Trump transition; surveillance not related to Russia probe. This was highly unethical behavior for a sitting president.
REPORTER: Can we rule out senior OBAMA Admin officials were involved in ?
NUNES: “No we can not”
Trump's Links To Convicted Felon Who Stabbed A Man With A Margarita Glass Just Got Weirder
Felix Sater wanted to “promote” a company Donald Trump Jr. invested in.
By Ben Walsh
NEW YORK ― Felix Sater has stabbed a man in the face with a broken margarita glass, run a $40 million mob-linked stock scam out of a storage unit, and been an FBI informant.
Sater’s name has also come up repeatedly in connection to President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and willingness to take funding from unsavory partners. The Huffington Post has found previously unreported connections between Sater and the Trump family through a company called Global Habitat Solutions. GHS claimed to manufacture a proprietary homebuilding material, but in fact took its photos of its purported product directly from Titan Atlas, a twice-defunct venture that Donald Trump Jr. co-founded and invested in.
HuffPost found that GHS, along with two other Sater-owned entities, United Biofuels Company LLC and Sands Point Partners GP LLC, are dormant shelf corporations that sell no products and have no customers.
Sater has a long-running association with the Trumps. He has worked in Trump’s towers on Fifth Avenue and Wall Street, and carried a Trump Organization business card identifying himself as a senior adviser to Trump. He financed Trump properties while working at Bayrock, a company with ties to an alleged money laundering scheme. He has even boasted about searching for new Trump-branded ventures in Russia with Ivanka and Donald Jr., and worked with Trump’s personal lawyer to backchannel a Russian-backed Ukraine peace plan to the White House.
Despite these numerous connections, Trump said in 2013 that if Sater “were sitting in the room right now, I wouldn’t know what he looked like.” Trump Organization lawyer Allen Garten told the Financial Times last year that he “had no reason to question” where Bayrock got its money.
Sater also came up at Monday’s House Select Intelligence Committee hearing, in which FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the bureau is “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) asked if he was aware of Sater’s relationship with Trump and his involvement in stock fraud. Comey declined to answer.
These so-called shelf corporations highlight the opaque business endeavors and personal relationships that have thrust Sater into two of the overlapping scandals plaguing Trump.
After The Huffington Post asked Sater about these companies and several other items on his resume, he took many of his 21 social networking profiles and personal websites down “for maintenance” or made them private. Sater said that he no longer held the advisory roles at two Turkish construction companies, an oil company in Turkmenistan, a real estate company whose chief executive is awaiting trial on fraud charges in Russia, and the Trump Organization that had been listed on his resume as continuing to the present.
Before it was taken down, GHS’s website was full of mockups of houses, supposedly built with its proprietary material, that were identical to those on Titan Atlas’ site. Until it shuttered in 2014, Titan Atlas made concrete building panels using a license from EVG, an Austrian company.
Sater told HuffPost he used the images and product descriptions with the permission of Jeremy Blackburn, Titan Atlas’ co-founder, who gave him a disk containing the company’s promotional materials. Trump Jr. introduced him to Blackburn, Sater said, but Sater is not sure if Trump Jr. was aware of GHS’s connection to Titan Atlas.
Garten, the Trump Organization lawyer, told HuffPost that Titan Atlas “has nothing to do with the Trump Organization,” and that Trump Jr. was “simply an investor in Titan with no involvement in the day-to-day operations of the company.”
An entity controlled by the Trump Organization, which Trump Jr. now runs, is now the owner of the title to Titan Atlas’ property after taking over a $3.65 million loan guaranteed by Trump Jr., Blackburn and a third investor in the company. Blackburn has a checkered financial history and has declared personal bankruptcy, the Charleston Post and Courier’s David Slade reported in 2014.
Sater described his relationship with Titan Atlas as “like being a reseller” for its products. “I was looking to promote modular housing and they had a good program for modular housing,” Sater said. “If I had gotten an order, I would have bought from them .”
But GHS never got an order for the homebuilding products, never bought any products from Titan Atlas, and ― despite having a website that described an active company with a manufacturing operation ― GHS has done “no business in six years,” Sater said. The address on GHS’s website was a co-working space in New York on the 21st floor of 590 Madison Avenue, which Sater and the landlord both said he no longer occupies.
590 Madison Avenue is connected to Trump Tower through an atrium, a benefit that another Trump associate with connections to Russia, Carter Page, has extolled.
Page, Trump’s former Russia adviser who took a campaign-approved trip to Moscow last year, has an office in the same co-working space on the 21st floor of 590 Madison Avenue. In a response to a Senate inquiry, Page detailed how he took advantage of his proximity to Trump Tower. “I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Café, had coffee meetings in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spent many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year,” he wrote.
Page told HuffPost he has never heard of Sater or GHS. Sater said he had never heard of Page’s company, Global Energy Capital, and only knew of Page through news reports.
GHS, however, is not registered in New York state filings to this posh-seeming Manhattan address. Its offices are listed as 130 Shore Road, Suite 200, in Port Washington.When a Huffington Post reporter visited the address, it was a UPS store with P.O. boxes but no office suites.
Sater said he had simply failed to update GHS’s website. “I’ll fix it up,” he said. “I would not want to give anyone the wrong impression anyway.” A few hours after HuffPost spoke to Sater on Monday afternoon, GHS’s formerly public website was password-protected.
The GHS website at least tried to create the impression of being an active business; the website for another Sater project, the Sands Point Partners GP LLC, looks like a hastily incomplete copy of a Dreamweaver template. The 16 photos ostensibly showing the company’s real estate portfolio are pictures of buildings that Sands Point doesn’t own, labeled “Test Portfolio Item 1,” “Test Portfolio Item 2,” and so on. Similarly, the headshots of Sands Point’s executives show executives at a Boston-based software company who have never worked for Sands Point, labeled “Team Member 1,” “Team Member 2” and so on for all eight fictional members of the executive team.
Folks, Donaldof Trumpler's intricate web of his relationship with his motherland Russia is getting wierd and wierder !!! By the Day !!!
Lawmaker says U.S. foreign surveillance 'unmasked' Trump associates
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee set off a political firestorm on Wednesday when he said the communications of members of Donald Trump's transition team were caught up in incidental surveillance targeting foreigners.
Representative Devin Nunes said at a news conference that it was possible President Trump's own communications were also intercepted and disseminated among U.S. intelligence agencies.
The White House seized on Nunes' remarks, which had cited anonymous sources, to bolster Trump's unproven assertion that former President Barack Obama's administration spied on the incoming president. Nunes himself said there is no proof of that, as have other lawmakers of both parties and the FBI director.
A short while later, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer cited Nunes' comments at his White House news briefing.
"I do think it is a startling revelation, and there's a lot of questions that need to get asked," Spicer said.
Democrats denounced Nunes' statements as highly unusual from the chairman of an intelligence committee, with the top Democrat on the committee saying its members had not been informed and implying that Nunes was giving political cover to the president.
Intelligence reports about the communications appeared to "unmask" the identity of the Trump associates and the names were widely shared among the agencies, Nunes said. He said it was possible Trump's own communications were also collected.
The National Security Agency routinely collects electronic communications on foreigners through a variety of surveillance tools. But information about Americans is also sometimes incidentally gathered, such as when someone is communicating to a foreign target.
Typically the names of Americans are made anonymous, or masked, in foreign intelligence reports unless an intelligence agency determines the identity of that person is relevant to national security or a criminal investigation. It was unclear why the reports Nunes cited contained unmasked names.
A U.S. government source said it was logical, if not normal, that communications from Trump aides would have been incidentally intercepted by U.S. agencies after his election, given that they would have an interest in talking to foreign governments. Trump took office on Jan. 20.
Two days ago, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, told a hearing of Nunes' committee that his agency was conducting a criminal investigation of potential links between Trump associates and Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election to benefit Trump.
"I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions the intelligence community ... collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition," said Nunes, who was himself on Trump's transition team.
Nunes said he was referring to intelligence reports of communications collected under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
"I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team," he said.
Trump said he felt "somewhat" vindicated by Nunes' announcement after being briefed by Nunes. FBI head Comey on Monday said that Trump's claims were groundless.
According to Nunes, the conversations in question were collected legally in November, December and January.
In an interview with CNN, the committee's leading Democrat, Adam Schiff said, "The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he's going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both."
Nunes' remarks appeared tied to a line of questioning from Republicans during Monday's hearing about the importance of identifying and prosecuting those responsible for intelligence leaks.
Republicans have focused much of their discussion of the issue on the release of the names, or "unmasking" of Trump associates in the investigation. Trump fired his former national security adviser, General Mike Flynn, after the revelation that he had spoken to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, during the transition - which was leaked to the press after those calls were caught by surveillance intercepts.
Nunes appeared to suggest intelligence reports about intercepts other than Flynn's conversations existed.
Former intelligence officials and Democrats said Nunes' announcement was highly unusual from the chairman of an intelligence committee.
Schiff said he was not consulted by Nunes before his news conference. Nunes' decision to share the information with the White House before informing the committee was a "profound irregularity," Schiff said, adding that "a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way."
Schiff said the unmasking of a U.S. person may be appropriate in the context of an investigation.
U.S. intelligence agencies have accused Russia of seeking to influence the presidential election in Trump's favor against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton by hacking computer systems and spreading disinformation. Russia denies the allegations.
Nunes said he was "very concerned" about whether U.S. intelligence agencies were spying on Trump. He briefed Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan before the news conference and went to the White House to share the information.
Admiral Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, was asked by Republicans at Monday's hearing about the agency's policies for "unmasking" the names of Americans whose communications were incidentally collected under foreign surveillance programs.
Rogers said that 20 NSA employees, including himself, have the authority to unmask the identity of an American’s communications, and that senior officials at the CIA, FBI and Justice Department can make such a request. Asked how many Americans had been unmasked since June 2016, Rogers said he did not know.
And we haven' either....
Schiff: There is now 'more than circumstantial evidence' of Trump-Russia collusion
By Madeline Conway
03/22/17 06:15 PM EDT
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that there is “more than circumstantial evidence now” to suggest that President Donald Trump’s campaign may have colluded with Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election, but he would not offer details.
“I can tell you that the case is more than that,” Schiff told Chuck Todd on MSNBC. “And I can’t go into the particulars, but there is more than circumstantial evidence now.”
When Todd followed up, asking if he had “seen direct evidence of collusion,” Schiff would not say so directly, but insisted that he has seen some “evidence that is not circumstantial” and is worth investigating.
“I don’t want to go into specifics, but I will say that there is evidence that is not circumstantial and is very much worthy of investigation, so that is what we ought to do,” Schiff said.
The FBI is currently investigating any links between the Trump campaign and Russia and whether the two parties coordinated with Russia’s suspected cyberattacks on Democratic Party officials before the election.
Trump and his aides have repeatedly denied any such wrongdoing. While Democrats have been raising questions about the president’s relationship with Russia for months, no public evidence has emerged to tie him or his associates directly to the cyberattacks.
So basically, what you are saying and admitting is that indeed and without a doubt, Donaldof Trumpler and his Legion of Minions were involved with the Russians?....
You are months behind...we knew that.....already.....
McCain: House panel lost 'credibility' to handle Russia probe
Sen. John McCain said Wednesday that a special committee was needed to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials because the House Intelligence Committee lost "the credibility to handle this alone."
The Senate Armed Services Chairman was highly critical of the public feuding between House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes, a Republican, and ranking Democratic member Rep. Adam Schiff, who traded explosive statements Wednesday regarding their panel's investigation into Trump-Russia ties.
"It's a bizarre situation," the Arizona Republican senator, speaking to MSNBC's Greta Van Susteren, said of the ongoing probe. "I think that this back and forth and what the American people have found so far is that no longer does Congress have the credibility to handle this alone."
The topic burst into the limelight earlier Wednesday when Nunes (R-Calif.) declared that Trump transition officials, and potentially President Donald Trump himself, had been inadvertently brought under surveillance following the president's victory in November.
Schiff (D-Calif.) panned the comments during a press conference later Wednesday, questioning their legitimacy and Nunes' decision-making.
“The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both,” Schiff said.
McCain, however, said both men had erred in their statements, while stressing that he did not feel Russia achieved their goal of "affecting the outcome" of the 2016 election.
"There is no substantiation for what Chairman Nunes said, nor is there substantiation for what Congressman Schiff said," McCain added.
In an interview Thursday on the "Today" show, McCain reiterated that Nunes' public statements were highly unusual.
"I have not seen anything like it, and it’s very disturbing," McCain said.
AP Exclusive: US probes banking of ex-Trump campaign chief
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. Treasury Department agents have recently obtained information about offshore financial transactions involving President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as part of a federal anti-corruption probe into his work in Eastern Europe, The Associated Press has learned.
Information about Manafort's transactions was turned over earlier this year to U.S. agents working in the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network by investigators in Cyprus at the U.S. agency's request, a person familiar with the case said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss a criminal investigation.
The Cyprus attorney general, one of the country's top law enforcement officers, was made aware of the American request.
A spokesman for Manafort did not immediately respond to questions from the AP.
Manafort, who was Trump's unpaid campaign chairman from March until August last year, has been a leading focus of the U.S. government's investigation into whether Trump associates coordinated with Moscow to meddle in the 2016 campaign. This week, the AP revealed his secret work for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago.
Federal prosecutors became interested in Manafort's activities years ago as part of a broad investigation to recover stolen Ukrainian assets after the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych there in early 2014. No U.S. criminal charges have ever been filed in the case.
It was not immediately clear what time period was covered under the government request for information about Manafort's financial transactions in Cyprus. Manafort was known to route financial transactions through Cyprus, according to records of international wire transfers obtained by the AP and public court documents filed in a 2014 legal dispute in the Cayman Islands.
In the 2014 case, Manafort used Cypriot shell companies as part of a nearly $19 million deal with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to purchase Ukrainian cable television provider Black Sea Cable. Deripaska said that after taking the money, Manafort and his associates stopped responding to Deripaska's queries about how the funds had been used.
As part of their investigation, U.S. officials were expected to look into millions of dollars' worth of wire transfers to Manafort. In one case, the AP found that a Manafort-linked company received a $1 million payment in October 2009 from a mysterious firm through the Bank of Cyprus. The $1 million payment left the account the same day — split in two, roughly $500,000 disbursements to accounts with no obvious owner.
There is nothing inherently illicit about using multiple companies as Manafort was doing. But it was unclear why he would have been involved with companies in Cyprus, known for its history of money laundering before joining the European Union, with unclear sources of the money flowing in to them and with such secrecy surrounding the firms' connections to Manafort.
A Treasury Department spokesman, Stephen Hudak, declined to answer the AP's questions about Manafort's records. "We often get press inquiries concerning individuals and our policy is to never confirm, nor deny the existence, or non-existence, of any potential investigation," Hudak said.
Cypriot officials said further information would have to come to the agency through a formal request to the Cypriot Ministry of Justice and Public Order — under a mutual legal assistance treaty — although no request has been made, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.
Democrats on Capitol Hill who are part of two congressional investigations of Trump associates said the new disclosures about Manafort's work for the Russian billionaire guarantee that Manafort will be sought as a key witness in upcoming hearings. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who is a member of the Senate intelligence committee, said revelations about Manafort's work were "serious and disturbing."
The AP's reporting about Manafort's activities "undermines the groundless assertions that the administration has been making that there are no ties between President Trump and Russia. This is not a drip, drip, drip," said Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier of California, a member of the House intelligence committee. "This is now dam-breaking with water flushing out with all kinds of entanglements."
The White House said Trump had not been aware of Manafort's work on behalf of Deripaska, a close Putin ally with whom Manafort eventually signed a $10 million annual contract beginning in 2006. "To suggest that the president knew who his clients were from 10 years ago is a bit insane," Press Secretary Sean Spicer said. "I don't know what he got paid to do," Spicer said, adding, "There's no suggestion he did anything improper."
Spicer declined to comment Thursday on the information about the offshore financial transactions.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, known as FinCEN, was established in 1990 and became a Treasury Department bureau soon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. It collects a vast repository of records that financial institutions are required to report under the Bank Secrecy Act, such as suspicious activity reports and currency transaction reports, and assists law enforcement agencies in helping analyze complex data.
The agency is a part of an international network of so-called financial intelligence units that share information with each other in money laundering and terrorism financing investigations. It's work has been critical in helping officials piece money trails together and identify leads for criminal investigators.
Sure enough, there he was, saying exactly that, just now. Fool.
A police officer is led away from the scene after she tries to revive her colleague who was stabbed in the attack on Wednesday afternoon
Even as mothers text to check their children are safe. Including my own, worrying about me as I sit overlooking the scene, feeling fearful of this place where monsters lurk and steal lives away in an instant. For nothing.
I would ask Sadiq to stop talking. Empty words. Meanwhile, banning pictures of women in bikinis on the Underground. How does that help?
Please, no hashtag, no vigil, no tea lights. I am begging you not to light up Parliament in the colours of the Union.
Because we are not united. We are wrenched asunder.
The patriots of the rest of England versus the liberals in this city. The endless tolerance to those who harm us, (while the Home Office tries to shift the focus of public fear to white terror) — versus the millions like me who face the truth, with worried families and hopeless hearts, who feel the country sinking.
We are taken under the cold water by this heavy right foot in the south, a city of lead, so desperately wedded to the multicultural illusion that it can only fight those who love the country the most, blame those who are most proud to be British, and shout racist at the 52%.
Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing St after the attacks. Katie Hopkins says it is time to admit that multiculturalism has not worked
This place is just like Sweden. Terrified of admitting the truth about the threat we face, about the horrors committed by the migrants we failed to deter — because to admit that we are sinking, and fast, would be to admit that everything the liberals believe is wrong.
That multiculturalism has not worked. That it is one big fat failure and one big fat lie.
President Erdogan of Turkey said there is a war being waged between the crescent and the cross. But he is wrong. Because the cross is not strong. We are down on bended knee, a doormat to be trodden on, a joke only funny to those that wish us harm.
The war is between London and the rest of the country. Between the liberals and the right-minded. Between those who think it is more important to tip-toe around the cultures of those who choose to join us, rather than defend our own culture.
Katie Hopkins says these incidents are no longer unusual, but commonplace
How many more times?
And how many more attacks must pass before we acknowledge these are no longer the acts of ‘extremists’? That there is no safe badge with which to hold these people at arm’s length, in the way the liberals casually use the term 'far-right' for anyone who has National pride.
These events are no longer extreme. They are commonplace. Every day occurrences.
These people are no longer extremists. They are simply more devout. More true to their beliefs. Beliefs which will be supported endlessly across our state broadcaster for the next few months until we buy into the narrative that one religion is not to blame.
That in fact we should blame Brexit supporters. For believing in a Britain. As it was before.
Anything but the truth.
This is why there is no anger from me this time, no rage. No nod for those who pretend we will not be cowed, even as they rush home to text their mum they are safe. No surprise that the city of which I was so proud is now punctured by fear, and demarcated even more formally by places we cannot tread; there were always parts in which a white woman could not safely walk.
Sadiq Khan should 'stop talking' according to Katie Hopkins, who says his words are empty as we are 'wrenched asunder'
Now I feel only sadness, overwhelming sadness.
I will walk over the river tonight and look to the Thames, to the Union flag lowered at half mast, and the Parliament below, and I will wonder, just how much longer we can go on like this.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4340290/Truth-t-like-says-KATIE-HOPKINS.html#ixzz4c9viumvP
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Welcome to London: We can say we’re not afraid, light candles and make hearts of our hands but the truth is that we can’t go on like this, says KATIE HOPKINS
By Katie Hopkins for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 17:44 EDT, 22 March 2017 | UPDATED: 20:30 EDT, 22 March 2017
They stood in the centre of Brussels. Row on row.
Hands held high, making hearts to the heavens. Showing the slaughtered they were not forgotten. Reminding themselves they were here with love. Looking to show humanity wins. That love conquers all.
They lay in the centre of London, face down where they fell. Stabbed by a knife, rammed with a car, flung, broken, into the Thames, life bleeding out on the curb.
And the news came thick and fast.
An injured woman is assisted after a man drove a 4x4 into pedestrians along Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon
A car rammed deliberately into pedestrians on the bridge. Ten innocents down.
A police officer stabbed at the House of Commons. Confirmed dead.
Another woman now, dead at the scene.
Shots fired. An Asian man rushed to hospital.
People make hearts with their hands during a ceremony in Belgium to commemorate the first anniversary of the bomb attacks in Brussels
A woman, plucked from the water.
And I grew colder. And more tiny.
No anger for me this time. No rage like I’ve felt before. No desperate urge to get out there and scream at the idiots who refused to see this coming.
Not even a nod for the glib idiots who say this will not defeat us, that we will never be broken, that cowardice and terror will not get the better of Britain.
Because, as loyal as I am, as patriotic as I am, as much as my whole younger life was about joining the British military and fighting for my country — I fear we are broken.
Not because of this ghoulish spectacle outside our own Parliament. Not because of the lives rammed apart on the pavement, even as they thought about what was for tea. Or what train home they might make.
Bystanders stop to give people mouth to mouth after the driver mowed them down. Katie Hopkins says we are now a broken London
But because this is us now.
This is our country now.
This is what we have become.
To this, we have been reduced.
Because all the while those forgiving fools in Brussels stood with their stupid hands raised in hearts to the sky, another mischief was in the making. More death was in the pipeline.
'A guy came past me with a big knife and just started....
As the last life-blood of a police officer ran out across the cobbles, the attacker was being stretchered away in an attempt to save his life.
London is a city so desperate to be seen as tolerant, no news of the injured was released. No clue about who was safe or not.
Liberals convince themselves multiculturalism works because we all die together, too.
An entire city of monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Blind. Deaf. And dumb.
Members of the civil protection outside the damaged front of Brussels Airport, in Zaventem, a year ago today. The attacks left dozens dead and hundreds injured
Immersed in a seething pit of hatred, hidden in pockets of communities plagued by old animosities and ancient strife.
These people may have left their lands. But they have brought every tension, every conflict, every bit of fight here with them.
The Afghans hate the Somalias who loathe the Eritreans. As it was before, it is now. London is a city of ghettos behind a thin veneer of civility kept polished by a Muslim mayor whose greatest validation is his father's old job.
I see him now, penning a missive about how London is a beautiful and tolerant city, how we are united by shared values and understanding, and how we will not be cowed by terror.
From France 24. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
It’s been one month since the Iraqi government launched its operation to retake western Mosul from the Islamic State group.
The government says more than 180,000 people have fled the fighting in the western half of the city.
For those who remain, food and supplies are scarce – and they face the constant threat of being used by the jihadists as human shields.
But the Iraqi forces also stand accused of causing civilian casualties. FRANCE 24’s team on the ground reports.
A programme prepared by Florence Viala and Jessica Sestili:
Post your commentary below.
By John Lee.
Iraq has ranked 117th out of 155 countries in the latest World Happiness Report.
The report, produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), contains analysis from leading experts in the fields of economics, neuroscience, national statistics, and describes how measurements of subjective well-being can be used effectively to assess national progress.
Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), said:
“The World Happiness Report continues to draw global attention around the need to create sound policy for what matters most to people – their well-being.
“As demonstrated by many countries, this report gives evidence that happiness is a result of creating strong social foundations. It’s time to build social trust and healthy lives, not guns or walls. Let’s hold our leaders to this fact.”
Top of the list of happiest countries were:
… while at the bottom were:
Central African Republic
Iran ranked 108th, while Libya came in at 68th.
The full report can be downloaded here.
(Source: World Happiness Report)
Post your commentary below.
By John Lee.
Iraqi oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi has confirmed that the Ministry of Oil is working to reestablish the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC), following ratification by the cabinet of the draft resolution to reestablish the company.
The original INOC was founded in the 1960s, but was incorporated into the Ministry of Oil in 1986.
The ministry is also working to establish a national gas company and national refineries company.
(Source: Ministry of Oil)
Post your commentary below.
Jordan and Iraq have signed minutes of a Jordanian-Iraqi joint committee meetings which entails boosting trade exchange and speeding up construction of the oil pipeline between the two countries.
The protocols also encompassed encouraging Iraqi investors in Jordan and opening the border post of Turabil, the main crossing point between Jordan and Iraq, and identifying fees exempted Jordanian products that would harm the domestic Iraqi industry and agriculture sectors.
Both sides also agreed on facilitating registration procedures and registration status of Jordanian medicine in Iraq, and accelerating the issuance of drug testing and analysis results by the laboratories of the Iraqi Ministry of Health.
Further, the Iraqi side requested Jordan’s assistance in establishing, developing, managing and marketing of industrial estates, in addition to making up a perception to sett up a Jordanian-Iraq joint industrial zone.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yarub Qudah, who singed the minutes on behalf of Jordanian side, said in a statement : “Providing facilities, encouraging Iraqi investors in Jordan and expediting the construction of the Jordan-Iraqi oil pipeline topics featured prominently during the discussions”.
The minister said that Jordan and Iraq are bound by historic and brotherly relations which “we aspire to cementing them” in different domains.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Minister of Industry, Mohammed Shia ‘Al Sudani, said in an interview with Petra’s correspondent in Baghdad, that “We agreed on completing preparation for establishing the industrial zone by the Jordanian side, and forming a committee to follow up on works and proposals to boost cooperation between the two countries.”
Post your commentary below.
The state-owned Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC) has announced a tender for the purchase of two tankers; a” handy size” 20,000-25,000 DWT and VLCC tanker of 180,000-240,000 DWT:
(Source: Ministry of Oil)
Post your commentary below.
An Iraqi court today sentenced the director of the Jalawla Bank in Diyala province to 10 years in prison for embezzling 4 billion dinars.
"An absentee verdict was issued against the former director of the Rafidain Bank - Jalawla branch - serving 10 years in prison; for his embezzlement of more than 4 billion dinars of public money," the Integrity Commission said in a statement Thursday (January 19, 2017).
"The Criminal Court of Diyala issued an absentee ruling against the convicted (ARRA), former director of the Rafidain Bank branch in the district of Jalawla, Diyala province; for the crime of embezzling the amount of (4,063,646,769) billion dinars of public money."
"The amounts that the fugitive convicted of embezzlement represents the pensions allocated to the beneficiaries through the bank for the years (2006 to 2014)."
"The court, as a result of its evidence and evidence, and after reviewing the recommendations of the investigative committee in the Office of the Inspector General of Rafidain Bank and the statements of witnesses, as well as the presumption of escape of the convict, reached the sufficient conviction to criminalize the accused on the basis of the provisions of Article (315) of the Penal Code. "
"The decision of the absentee court ruling is based on the provisions of article 182 / a fundamentalism, which also includes two paragraphs, the arrest of movable and immovable convict funds, and giving the injured party the right to seek compensation once the decision has been reached."
The organization was in control of Jalawla in the province of Diyala, in mid-2014, but succeeded Peshmerga forces after fierce battles to recover from the hands of Dahesh before the end of the same year.
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 23 strikes consisting of 25 engagements against ISIS targets:
Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed a wellhead.
Near Shadaddi, a strike suppressed an ISIS tactical unit.
Near Raqqa, 18 strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and an ISIS staging area; destroyed four command-and-control nodes, three tanker trucks, three ISIS-held buildings, an oil storage tank, a vehicle-borne bomb, an ISIS headquarters, a fighting position and an ISIS media facility; and damaged four supply routes.
Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed two wellheads and an oil inlet manifold.
Strikes in Iraq
In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of 35 engagements against ISIS targets, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
Near Beiji, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building.
Near Mosul, three strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units; destroyed 11 tunnels, 10 fighting positions, three mortar systems, a rocket-propelled-grenade system, an artillery system and a heavy machine gun; damaged 12 supply routes, three fighting positions, three tunnels and a vehicle; and suppressed four ISIS tactical units.
Near Tal Afar, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed an ISIS headquarters and a vehicle-bomb facility.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.
The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.
Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.
The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
(Source: US Dept of Defense)
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Five engineers from the Ministry of Water Resources at the Mosul Dam project in Iraq and one engineer from Trevi S.p.A., the construction company working on the project, recently completed three weeks of training with a U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Data Management Reach Back Team.
They learned about a Nashville District developed Mosul Dam Geographic Information Systems model, the GIS software, and the geology model of Mosul Dam.
Lt. Col. Stephen F. Murphy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District commander, said geologists and engineers from the Civil Design Branch and instructors from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), customized a series of training seminars at the Nashville District Headquarters for the Mosul Dam project.
“We are happy you are here and glad to be a part of this program that will assist in helping you understand the many functions of this software,” said Murphy to the engineers.
“The classes were put together so that they would have the underlying skills they need in order to work the Mosul model and understand what we put together, how to use it and how it can be expanded in the future,” said Vanessa Bateman, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Civil Design Branch.
Bateman said her team and deployed engineers from the Nashville District coordinated the training.
According to Bateman, the Nashville District has the training, knowledge and experience to coordinate instructors, provide classes, train and provide data needed. Since the builders of the Mosul model are in the district, this makes it easier to bring the engineers to the United States.
Bateman said using a software platform comprising a GIS model, a relational database and linked documents such as spreadsheets, reports, photographs and scanned drawings, the Corps has applied its expertise in geotechnical engineering design, engineering geology and construction to provide project engineers with a wide range of visualized project information.
“One of the things about this software and training is that it will allow them to get a good look at what their requirement needs for GIS information and data management,” said Bateman.
Bateman added that the team collected data from reports, drawings and photos from Mosul provided by the government of Iraq and Ministry of Water Resources and put it into a GIS format. The team then developed one conceptual model that was used during training and is currently being used by the construction project. It is a living model which is continually updated as new data are generated by the grouting program.
The Mosul Dam is Iraq’s largest dam and the Middle East’s fourth largest reservoir. It is positioned on the River Tigris, 31 miles north of Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city with a population of 1.5 million people. Mosul Dam creates an eight mile long reservoir and holds back 8.9 million acre-feet of water.
The two mile long earth-fill dam was built in the 1985 and is a critical energy and water source. It was constructed on a foundation of soluble rock that can continuously dissolve, resulting in the formation of cavities and underground voids. This has made it necessary for the project to have almost continuous grouting since it was constructed. If the dam failed it would inundate the nearby city of Mosul. It would also inundate major cities farther downstream including Baghdad.
According to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) report in September 2007, the dam required “extraordinary engineering measures” – namely constant re-grouting operations — to fill in the holes and “maintain the structural integrity and operating capability of the dam.”
Bateman said the Iraqi engineers were provided a copy of the Mosul model, which they uploaded to their computers and will take back for use on Mosul Dam. She said each day of class they worked on the models, specific functions, asked specific questions and then took their up-to-date model back to the project.
“We loaded all the GIS database information they will need to run the model pf Mosul Dam and it’s very similar to that of the Wolf Creek Dam model in the Nashville District,” said Bateman. “Since they have worked on these models throughout their training, it is easier for them to understand and translate to others when they return home,” said Bateman.
The Wolf Creek Dam Rehabilitation project is the most similar to Mosul Dam. Located on the Cumberland River in Russell County, Kentucky, it was classified in high risk of failure in 2005. The dam badly needed repair and the scope of repair had never before been performed in the world. Like Mosul, it was an earthen dam placed on a karst foundation. While the final repair at Wolf Creek was the construction of a cutoff wall, large amounts of grouting were completed at the site before the wall was constructed.
The $594 million rehabilitation project at Wolf Creek included construction of a concrete wall 4000 foot long, 275 foot deep and a minimum two feet thick on the upstream side of the earthen section of the dam.
After completion of the project, engineers and geologists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Civil Design Branch received the 2013 USACE Innovation of the Year Award for their notable efforts on the Wolf Creek Information Management System. During the project, the Corps team of geologists became experts in developing, implementing and maintaining the Wolf Creek Information Management System through GIS.
“Working with GIS and proper data management is key to understanding your project and maintaining data if there is a need for further repairs,” said Bateman.
During the training visit to the Nashville District, the goal for the Iraqi engineers was to learn how to apply the GIS model and geographic understanding to create technical products to convey site conditions.
“This training has helped me better understand underlying geology and I am anxious to get back to the Mosul Dam and get to work, this training has been very good for me,” said Safaa Al-Grbawi, an engineer from the Ministry of Water Resources and State Commission for Dams and Reservoirs in Iraq.
The engineers gained great benefits from understanding and learning about the Mosul Dam Geographic Information Systems model, the software, underlying geology, how the Corps evaluates those conditions, and makes key decisions.
“Our projects are very similar to what they have going at Mosul Dam,” said Bateman. “They could directly relate their experiences to ours, and I think helping them understand modeling was extremely valuable.”
The success of the trip would not have been possible without the collaboration between several Corps districts. The engineers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Corps for the time and effort that was put into ensuring their trip was informative and beneficial.
“I really think it was a great moment spent collaborating and learning from fellow engineers from around the world,” said Bill Walker, geological engineer at the Nashville District. “They have an enormous task at Mosul Dam, and I hope much of the information they gained from their training here will help them successfully complete that mission.”
Corps instructors included Baron Worsham, civil engineer; Laurel Blackman, geologist; Vanessa Bateman, geological engineer and Amy Gilley, geologist. ESRI instructors included Chris Magnuson and Mike Rink.
Mosul Dam Engineers included Safaa Al-Grbawi, Hussein Al-Hasani, Alaa Al-Nuaimi, Waleed Al-Hadidi, Geologist Ismat Mohamad and Zaher El-Hajj Zaher, a civil engineer from Trevi- S.p.A, Italy.
(Picture Credit: Mark Rankin)
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Global satcom specialist Marlink, based in France, UK-based service integrator Defaultroute and Iraqi Internet service provider Abr Al Manara have announed that they have joined forces to deliver a groundbreaking hybrid digital connectivity service resulting in a multi-million US dollar contract for a major Iraqi oil and gas company.
Overcoming the challenges of poor terrestrial infrastructure, the partners will seamlessly integrate Marlink’s Terralink VSAT service with MEO satellite services in addition to fibre Internet connectivity. The hybrid digital network approach provides levels of redundancy and service available not seen before in Iraq, with the end-customer enjoying a near-100% SLA for always-on connectivity.
Harnessing the power of Marlink’s extensive global network, the integration of Marlink’s advanced Terralink VSAT services within the sophisticated hybrid digital network enables the partnership to deliver unmatched high-speed connectivity.
As the Service Integration partner, Defaultroute’s Quality Assurance and Service Delivery Management expertise will ensure smooth running of all aspects of the network, working closely with Marlink to deliver high bandwidth on Terralink VSAT that will support end-users in Iraq to develop a more collaborative work environment through connectivity.
The hybrid digital network creates the platform for more digitalisation of commercial and industrial operations in Iraq, with provision of high bandwidth for a variety of applications including logistics operations, safety & security with surveillance and remote monitoring, and emergency response.
Defaultroute will co-operate with Abr Al Manara on delivery of the MEO satellite services and fibre connectivity part of the network. Abr Al Manara operates 70% of the commercially available MEO satellite bandwidth over Iraq and is able to provide in-country compliance, licensing and logistics due in part to its eight-year partnership with Alsalam State Company / the Ministry of Communication.
“Defaultroute set out nine months ago to bring together key partners that were aligned with our quality standards and could be open and flexible with us to ensure that we could give our customers the best possible service,” said Vince Davies, Defaultroute. “Our partnerships help to provide ‘Peace of mind’ to the customer regarding quality and compliance while ensuring we can deliver the best technical solution for the most reliable service.”
“A big part of the success of this joint venture is the mutual understanding between the partners when it comes to operating together within the complex Compliance and Licensing laws in Iraq. Abr Al Manara and its parent company have been operating in Iraq since 1976 so we know this better than anyone. We believe this is just as important as the technology we bring together as partners,” said Michael Iwanow, COO Abr Al Manara.
“Our partnership with Defaultroute and Abr Al Manara is the foundation for delivery of the fastest, most reliable Internet connectivity available in southern Iraq. Terralink VSAT adds significantly to the value proposition as it provides the most stable bandwidth and redundancy for the development of hybrid digital networks in the region,” said Danny Côté, President Enterprise, Marlink.
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Ms Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh MP, Trade and Investment spokesperson for SNP, gives Keynote Speech to members at Council Meeting Dinner of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC): “Huge potential for growth in Iraq”:
Thank you very much for that warm welcome, and the invitation to speak to you all this evening.
If it wasn’t already challenging enough to address such a senior and knowledgeable audience, I was delighted to hear that I’d be introduced by my friend and fellow Member of Parliament, Mr Salmond.
Who wouldn’t feel overjoyed to give a speech to so many representatives from major oil companies in front of the man who created the Royal Bank/BBC*oil index during his time as Chief Economist for the Royal Bank of Scotland?*At least we can all console ourselves that this career achievement, which is still running today, was set up by the Rt. Hon Member for Gordon 34 years ago.*He must have been some child prodigy..
I’ve been asked to touch on three issues with you this evening:
How to persuade the under-utilised*Scottish oil, gas and engineering sector to bring their expertise and trade to Iraq.
To give my “speculative*thoughts” on a second Scottish referendum and EU situation?
And finally, how to get more*Women in business
I have to say that my thoughts on our constitutional situation are less speculative today than they were yesterday morning, but I’ll come to that in a moment.
The full speech can be read here.
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The Iraqi Cement Company in coordination with the National Investment Commission (NIC) are pleased to announce the investment opportunities for :
Fallujah White Cement Plant
Babil Cement Plant
The Lime Plant in the Holy City of Karbala
We invite specialized Iraqi, Arab and International companies, investors and financers to participate in these investment opportunities to rehabilitate and upgrade these plants, on basis of partnership in management, production and increase of production capacities.
Regarding the needs of these plants productions, the importance of meeting the Iraqi market, the economic feasibility and the privileges achieved to the investor including provision of raw materials at suitable prices.
The investment profile can be obtained from the Iraqi State Cement Company (HQ), at non- refundable price of (150000 I.D) one hundred fifty thousand Iraqi Dinar.
The company is ready to provide detailed information and facilitate the visit to plants.
We would like to mention that offers must match the conditions stated in the investment profile.
Offers must be handed as two separated offers (Technical and Financial) >
All attached document must be certified officially by the official department in the countries related to those companies beside the official Iraqi embassy in that country.
Notice , the price equation of cement is applied to preserve price fluctuation in cement market .
Offers should be presented by the end of the work day of (Wednesday the 3rd May 2017, 12:00 O’clock).
For more details, please visit the company’s website : www.icsc.gov.iq
Or visit the company’s HQ on the following address: Iraq- Baghdad- Al Za’faraniya
(Picture: Kirkuk Cement Plant)
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