Former US diplomat liable in slavery, sex trafficking case

Author: 
The Associated Press
Mon, 2017-07-31 03:00
ID: 
1501543797121827000

ALEXANDRIA, Virginia: A former US diplomat who worked at the US Embassy in Yemen was found liable for the second time Monday for enslaving and sexually trafficking a woman who worked as a housekeeper.
The Washington Post reported a jury in Alexandria, Virginia, agreed that Linda Howard and late husband Russell Howard forced an Ethiopian maid into sexual slavery in 2008. Linda Howard, who left the State Department in 2013, was ordered to pay $3 million in damages to the woman, who lives in Virginia. Howard’s husband died in 2012.
Linda Howard denied the allegations and argued the woman couldn’t sue for civil damages under a human trafficking law that didn’t pass until 2008. According to a court document, the woman began working for the Howards in 2007. She alleged she was raped twice daily by Russell Howard and that Linda Howard also joined in the sexual abuse.
Five years ago the couple was found liable in the same court for trafficking another Ethiopian housekeeper in 2008. They were ordered to pay her $3.3 million. However, the couple had already fled from Arlington, Virginia, to Australia. They contested the judgment there, settling in 2015.
___
Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

Main category: 
Continue reading »

AUD/USD Rally to Unravel on Wait-and-See RBA

The RBA rate decision may generate a bearish reaction in AUD/USD if the central bank shows a greater willingness to retain the record-low cash rate throughout 2017.The post AUD/USD Rally to Unravel on Wait-and-See RBA appeared first on Forex news – Bin…

The post AUD/USD Rally to Unravel on Wait-and-See RBA appeared first on fastforexprofit.com, الفوركس بالنسبة لك.

The post AUD/USD Rally to Unravel on Wait-and-See RBA appeared first on Forex news forex trade.

Continue reading »

Iran stalling probe into attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions: Official source

Author: 
Arab News
Tue, 2017-08-01 05:23
ID: 
1501543438081814000

JEDDAH: Iranian authorities are stalling on an investigation into the violent mob attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in 2016, an official source at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday.
The source told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that “Iran authorities have also resorted to blackmail to gain diplomatic privileges inside the Kingdom even though the ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been severed.
“They have resorted to fraudulent tactics. Iran, despite an initial approval, has denied a Saudi team entry into Iran as part of the Iranian team investigating the attacks on the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad. The Saudi team was delegated to work alongside the Iranian authorities to inspect the two Saudi facilities and finalize the processes relating to them,” he said.
In an apparently coordinated effort, Iranian mobs stormed both the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and Consulate in the city of Mashhad on January 2, 2016. They ransacked offices and set the embassy and consulate buildings on fire, and desecrated the Saudi flags.
The attacks came two days after the execution in Saudi Arabia of a Shiite leader, who had been convicted of the crime of terrorism.
Saudi Arabia severed its ties with Iran as a result of the attacks.
Riyadh has sought an investigation into the crime, which had been condemned by the international community.
One and a half years on, the investigation has not prospered, according to the Saudi Foreign Ministry source.
“Such acts of procrastination reflect Iran’s behavior and policy, its disrespect of international laws and conventions, and violation of the inviolability of the diplomatic mission premises, tactics Iran had used for more than 38 years,” the official said.
Iran has also been fomenting chaos in the Mideastern region, sending troops to support Syrian strongman, interfering in Iraq’s affairs, arming Houthi militias in Yemen, and trying to incite sedition in others parts of the Gulf region.

Main category: 
Continue reading »

Trump Saw A Disturbing Video, Then He Shut Down The CIA’s Covert Syria Program

While we’ve carefully documented the dynamics in play behind Trump’s decision to end the CIA’s covert Syria program, as well as the corresponding fury this immediately unleashed among the usual hawkish DC policy wonks, new information on what specifically impacted the president’s thinking has emerged.

Thomas Joscelyn, a Middle East analyst for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains in the August edition of The Weekly Standard:

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump was shown a disturbing video of Syrian rebels beheading a child near the city of Aleppo. It had caused a minor stir in the press as the fighters belonged to the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, a group that had been supported by the CIA as part of its rebel aid program.

 

The footage is haunting. Five bearded men smirk as they surround a boy in the back of a pickup truck. One of them holds the boy’s head with a tight grip on his hair while another mockingly slaps his face. Then, one of them uses a knife to saw the child’s head off and holds it up in the air like a trophy. It is a scene reminiscent of the Islamic State’s snuff videos, except this wasn’t the work of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s men. The murderers were supposed to be the good guys: our allies.

Trump pressed his most senior intelligence advisers, asking the basic question of how the CIA could have a relationship with a group that beheads a child and then uploads the video to the internet. He wasn’t satisfied with any of the responses:

Trump wanted to know why the United States had backed Zenki if its members are extremists. The issue was discussed at length with senior intelligence officials, and no good answers were forthcoming, according to people familiar with the conversations. After learning more worrisome details about the CIA’s ghost war in Syria—including that U.S.-backed rebels had often fought alongside extremists, among them al Qaeda’s arm in the country—the president decided to end the program altogether.


Screenshot of the horrific video of a CIA-backed Syrian group beheading a boy named Abdullah Issa.

At the time the beheading video surfaced (July 2016), many in the American public naturally wanted answers, but the story never really picked up much momentum in the media. As Joscelyn describes, it caused nothing more than “a minor stir in the press.” The State Department seemed merely satisfied that the group responsible, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, claimed to have arrested the men that committed the gruesome crime, though nothing more was known. Absurdly, a US government spokesperson expressed hope that the child-beheading group would “comply with obligations under the law of armed conflict.”

The only press agencies that publicly and consistently challenged the State Department at the time were RT News and the Associated Press, yet even these attempts didn’t get picked up beyond the confines of the State Department’s daily briefing. When the AP’s Matt Lee initially questioned spokesman Mark Toner as to whether Zenki would continue to receive any level of US assistance, Toner casually replied “it would give us pause” – which left Lee taken aback.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t just the US government which had aided Zenki, but as fighting in Aleppo raged it became a favored group among both the mainstream media and prominent think tank pundits. One of the UK’s major broadcasters (Channel 4) even went so far as to attempt to delete and hide its prior online content which sought to normalize the beheaders as “moderate” and heroic once news of the video got out.

Controversial, but @AbuJamajem is largely right:

– “In #Syria, U.S. Can Keep Its Hands Clean or Get Things Done”https://t.co/vYzwH0mWXB

— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) August 22, 2016

Among think tankers, Zenki’s most prominent public supporter, frequently presenting the terror group as actually representative of Syria’s “secular” and supposedly democracy-promoting armed opposition (even after the beheading video emerged), was Charles Lister. Lister was finally confronted not by mainstream media, but by AlterNet’s Max Blumenthal at a DC event held by the (largely Gulf funded) Atlantic Council.

Only by the time of this January 2017 public forum, and after being persistently questioned, did Lister awkwardly back off his previous enthusiastic promotion of Zenki:

We can imagine that Trump saw other things beyond the shocking Zenki beheading video which made him fully realize the utter criminality of the CIA program (Thomas Joscelyn further emphasizes that Trump came to understand the full scope of CIA cooperation with al-Qaeda in Syria).

The only question that remains is who in the CIA or Obama-era State Department should be prosecuted first?

The post Trump Saw A Disturbing Video, Then He Shut Down The CIA’s Covert Syria Program appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Continue reading »

Trump Saw A Disturbing Video, Then He Shut Down The CIA’s Covert Syria Program

While we’ve carefully documented the dynamics in play behind Trump’s decision to end the CIA’s covert Syria program, as well as the corresponding fury this immediately unleashed among the usual hawkish DC policy wonks, new information on what specifically impacted the president’s thinking has emerged.

Thomas Joscelyn, a Middle East analyst for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explains in the August edition of The Weekly Standard:

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump was shown a disturbing video of Syrian rebels beheading a child near the city of Aleppo. It had caused a minor stir in the press as the fighters belonged to the Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement, a group that had been supported by the CIA as part of its rebel aid program.

 

The footage is haunting. Five bearded men smirk as they surround a boy in the back of a pickup truck. One of them holds the boy’s head with a tight grip on his hair while another mockingly slaps his face. Then, one of them uses a knife to saw the child’s head off and holds it up in the air like a trophy. It is a scene reminiscent of the Islamic State’s snuff videos, except this wasn’t the work of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s men. The murderers were supposed to be the good guys: our allies.

Trump pressed his most senior intelligence advisers, asking the basic question of how the CIA could have a relationship with a group that beheads a child and then uploads the video to the internet. He wasn’t satisfied with any of the responses:

Trump wanted to know why the United States had backed Zenki if its members are extremists. The issue was discussed at length with senior intelligence officials, and no good answers were forthcoming, according to people familiar with the conversations. After learning more worrisome details about the CIA’s ghost war in Syria—including that U.S.-backed rebels had often fought alongside extremists, among them al Qaeda’s arm in the country—the president decided to end the program altogether.


Screenshot of the horrific video of a CIA-backed Syrian group beheading a boy named Abdullah Issa.

At the time the beheading video surfaced (July 2016), many in the American public naturally wanted answers, but the story never really picked up much momentum in the media. As Joscelyn describes, it caused nothing more than “a minor stir in the press.” The State Department seemed merely satisfied that the group responsible, Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki, claimed to have arrested the men that committed the gruesome crime, though nothing more was known. Absurdly, a US government spokesperson expressed hope that the child-beheading group would “comply with obligations under the law of armed conflict.”

The only press agencies that publicly and consistently challenged the State Department at the time were RT News and the Associated Press, yet even these attempts didn’t get picked up beyond the confines of the State Department’s daily briefing. When the AP’s Matt Lee initially questioned spokesman Mark Toner as to whether Zenki would continue to receive any level of US assistance, Toner casually replied “it would give us pause” – which left Lee taken aback.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t just the US government which had aided Zenki, but as fighting in Aleppo raged it became a favored group among both the mainstream media and prominent think tank pundits. One of the UK’s major broadcasters (Channel 4) even went so far as to attempt to delete and hide its prior online content which sought to normalize the beheaders as “moderate” and heroic once news of the video got out.

Controversial, but @AbuJamajem is largely right:

– “In #Syria, U.S. Can Keep Its Hands Clean or Get Things Done”https://t.co/vYzwH0mWXB

— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) August 22, 2016

Among think tankers, Zenki’s most prominent public supporter, frequently presenting the terror group as actually representative of Syria’s “secular” and supposedly democracy-promoting armed opposition (even after the beheading video emerged), was Charles Lister. Lister was finally confronted not by mainstream media, but by AlterNet’s Max Blumenthal at a DC event held by the (largely Gulf funded) Atlantic Council.

Only by the time of this January 2017 public forum, and after being persistently questioned, did Lister awkwardly back off his previous enthusiastic promotion of Zenki:

We can imagine that Trump saw other things beyond the shocking Zenki beheading video which made him fully realize the utter criminality of the CIA program (Thomas Joscelyn further emphasizes that Trump came to understand the full scope of CIA cooperation with al-Qaeda in Syria).

The only question that remains is who in the CIA or Obama-era State Department should be prosecuted first?

The post Trump Saw A Disturbing Video, Then He Shut Down The CIA’s Covert Syria Program appeared first on crude-oil.news.

Continue reading »