Other Sources

Facebook and the ethics of moderation

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 6:55am
We examine Facebook's challenge in moderating content. Plus, the people monitoring the social web.

The seasonal climate of Sri Lanka

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 6:49am
With the onset of the southwest monsoon, the island country could be faced with even more flooding and landslides.

Rival factions clash in Libya's Tripoli

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 6:47am
At least 52 Government of National Accord fighters killed, shattering period of relative calm in the capital.

ISIL: Target Russia

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 6:30am
Thousands of ISIL fighters are training in the mountains of Afghanistan, plotting an attack on the Kremlin.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel suspend hunger strike

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 6:09am
Deal struck with Israel after intense talks hailed as 'victory' for Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for 40 days.

Duterte makes rape 'joke' for martial law troops

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 5:56am
Philippines' president reassures soldiers who might be accused of committing abuses under Mindanao island martial law.

The future of oil jobs in the Middle East

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 5:42am
What will OPEC's production cut extension mean for energy jobs in the region?

Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike in Israel After 40 Days

World News (NY Times) - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 5:09am
A leader of the strikers confirmed the end of the hunger strike, timed to coincide with the beginning of Ramadan, the holy Muslim month of fasting.

Top rebel commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat killed in Kashmir

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 5:04am
Massive anti-India protests and clashes erupt in Kashmir after Hizbul Mujahideen leader is shot dead by security forces.

Ramadan: Saudi, 33 countries declare Saturday first day

Al Jazeera - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 4:33am
Ramadan Mubarak! Saudi Arabia officially declares May 27 as the first day of Ramadan. Pakistan, India start on Sunday.

Cheese-rolling veteran hopes to match all-time record

BBC News - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 4:28am
Chris Anderson has won 17 races in 12 years and is just three races shy of the current record holder.

Taliban Car Bomb Targeting Elite Afghan Force Kills at Least 12

World News (NY Times) - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 3:58am
Some officials put the death toll as high as 18 after the explosion in a crowded bazaar.

ICYMI: Did you miss any of these stories?

BBC News - Sat, 27 May 2017 - 1:58am
Here are three things that happened this week that you might not have seen.

Top 5 Questions about Kushner’s back channel to Moscow

Informed Comment - Fri, 26 May 2017 - 11:41pm

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

In a meeting with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US, WaPo reveals that Jared Kushner asked that a private, encrypted back channel be set up to the Kremlin. The report is based on a leak to a WaPo reporter from last December, which the paper has only recently managed to verify.

The story raises large numbers of questions, and is hard to understand except as an indication of something fishy going on.

1. Who leaked the information to the Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima that Kushner made this request of Kislyak, back in December of 2016? Was it someone, as alleged, at the National Security Agency or the CIA who heard the information from a tap on Kislyak?

2. Why did Kislyak reveal this request to the Kremlin on an open channel that he must have known was under US surveillance? Was he trying to sink Kushner or Trump? Is there some sort of double sting going on?

3. Why did Kushner (and Trump?) want a secret back channel to Moscow? For what purpose? What did they want to discuss with Vladimir Putin that they did not want US intelligence to know about?

4. Michael Flynn is alleged to have told Kislyak around the same time that Trump would lift sanctions on Russia that Obama had slapped on because of the annexation of the Crimea. What did Russia do for Trump as a quid pro quo? Was the back channel related to the lifting of sanctions?

5. Kushner is known to have been involved in manipulating social media into supporting Trump or dissing Clinton. Is his mastery of psy-ops related to his role with Russia? It is alleged that fake news about Hillary was fed to RT and Sputnik by an undercover pro-Trump team, and that RT etc. then broadcast it to social media, targeting states Trump needed. Was Kushner a conduit to Russia in this regard?

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

Washington Post: “Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret channel with Kremlin”

California woman sues Jelly Belly Candy claiming beans were full of sugar

The Raw Story - Fri, 26 May 2017 - 11:28pm
LOS ANGELES—A San Bernardino County woman has filed suit against the Jelly Belly Candy Co. claiming that she was duped into buying and eating sugar-filled jelly beans when she thought she was devouring performance-enhancing “Sport Beans” instead. Jessica Gomez filed a federal class-actio...

Ex-CIA head: ‘If an American intelligence officer had done’ what Kushner did ‘we’d consider it espionage’

The Raw Story - Fri, 26 May 2017 - 11:16pm
Appearing on MSNBC late Friday night, a former head of the CIA expressed disbelief at the revelation that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, proposed a secret back-channel communication line between the White House and the Kremlin. Speaking with host Lawrence O’Donnell, ...

The fascinating ways in which scientists are trying to get inside the mind of a terrorist

The Raw Story - Fri, 26 May 2017 - 11:15pm
What makes mass murder possible? Terrorists have a different sense of morality than most people—even when compared to other murderers. Pexels In the wake of the recent Manchester terrorist attacks, in which 22 people—mostly parents, teenagers, and children as young as eight years old—were murdered b...

Here’s how climate change might literally be keeping us up at night

The Raw Story - Fri, 26 May 2017 - 11:10pm
Americans will lose quality sleep as temperatures rise. No rest for the wicked. Pixabay During October, 2015, it was abnormally hot in San Diego. Daytime temperatures soared into the high 90s, and evenings were only modestly cooler. Night after night, the heat kept Nick Obradovich awake. His friends...

Next step in Russia probe: A meeting between Comey and Mueller

The Raw Story - Fri, 26 May 2017 - 10:57pm
WASHINGTON — Sometime soon the abruptly fired man who first announced that the FBI was investigating whether Donald Trump’s campaign cooperated in Russian interference in the 2016 election will meet with the man who now runs that investigation. They won’t need much in the way of introduc...

Kushner 'discussed secret line to Moscow' - US media reports

BBC News - Fri, 26 May 2017 - 10:52pm
Donald Trump's son-in-law reportedly talked about the idea with the Russian ambassador in December.
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