#AceNewsReport – Oct.09: The syndrome – a set of ailments that includes migraines, nausea, memory lapses and dizziness – came to public attention in 2016 after dozens of diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, complained of the symptoms.
#AceDailyNews says according to Reuters Berlin police are investigating ‘Havana syndrome’ cases at U.S. embassy after family members have been affected worldwide …..
In response to a report by the news magazine Der Spiegel, Berlin police said they had since August been investigating an “alleged sonic weapon attack on employees of the U.S. Embassy”, but declined to provide further information.
#AceNewsReport – July.03: The pull-out could signal that the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan is imminent: But the withdrawal from the sprawling base, north of Kabul, comes as the main jihadist group, the Taliban, advances in many parts of Afghanistan.
#AceDailyNews reports that in Bagram that the US and Nato forces leave key Afghanistan base on Thursday but according to AFP: U.S air force was still using Bagram on Thursday and President Joe Biden has said US forces will be gone by Sept.11: 2021: the deadline is the anniversary of the attacks on America in 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people.
The attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda, an international jihadist group then based in Afghanistan with the support of the Taliban, who had been in control of the country since the 1990s. A US-led coalition invaded the Afghanistan later that year to defeat both groups now how can the West fight terror after leaving
America now wants to end its longest war with its huge cost in human lives and vast expense, and is leaving security to the Afghan government.
Some 2,500-3,500 US troops were thought to be still in Afghanistan until recently, and they are due to depart along with some 7,000 other coalition troops, leaving fewer than 1,000 American soldiers in the country.
Meanwhile, a resurgent Taliban, buoyed by the expectation of the foreign withdrawal, has overrun dozens of districts, amid fears that a new civil war could erupt after the departure of foreign forces in year of violence on the road to peace
A top target for the Taliban Bagram is a bellwether of what’s to come: This symbol of American military might was once a stronghold of Soviet forces. Now Afghan security forces will soon confront the challenge of securing this sprawling city within a city. Bagram is vital – in symbolic and strategic ways. Taliban fighters, advancing in districts across the country, have this prize in their sights. Even last October, residents of the town which has swelled all around it told us the Taliban were already in their midst.On a recent visit to the base, as the US packed up, we heard how Afghan security forces saw it as a mixed blessing.
There’s a wealth of military assets within its walls; but that treasure is a top target for Taliban, not to mention corrupt commanders and others eying this fortune: For the countless Afghans whose lives and livelihoods have long banked on this base – and who now feel abandoned – Bagram’s new chapter is deeply worrying. Why is Bagram so important?
The airfield, built up by the Soviets when they occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s, and named after a nearby village, lies around 40km (25 miles) north of Kabul: The US-led coalition forces moved in during December 2001, and it was developed into a huge base capable of holding up to 10,000 troops.
It is served by two runways, the most recent of which is 3.6km long, where large cargo and bomber aircraft can land: It has 110 parking spots for aircraft, which are protected by blast walls, and had a 50-bed hospital with a trauma bay, three operating theatres and a modern dental clinic, the Associated Press reports.From May 2021:
Top US commander General Scott Miller reflects on Nato forces’ time in Afghanistan ahead of its departureIts hangars and buildings included the main prison facility for people detained by US forces at the height of the conflict, which became known as Afghanistan’s Guantanamo – after the infamous US military prison in Cuba: Bagram was one of the sites identified in a US Senate report on the CIA’s interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects, including the use of torture, carried out in detention facilities: Bagram ex-detainees say they still bear the scars
What happens next? An official ceremony to mark the handover of Bagram is expected to be held on Saturday, an Afghan official told Reuters news agency. About 650 US troops are expected to remain in the country, the Associated Press reports, to provide protection for diplomats and help guard Kabul’s international airport, a vital transport hub for the landlocked country:
They are guarding the airport alongside troops from America’s Nato ally Turkey, while a new agreement for its security is negotiated with the Afghan government: The airport’s US protection includes a counter-rocket, artillery, mortar system and the troops to operate it, as well as helicopter support.Other American troops will guard the US Embassy in Kabul.Military analysts say the ability of the Afghan government to maintain control over Bagram will be vital to its efforts to defend Kabul and push back the Taliban.
While the Taliban stopped attacks on coalition forces after signing an agreement with the US in February of last year, they have continued fighting government forces. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, welcomed the US withdrawal from Bagram, telling AFP news agency it would “pave the way for Afghans to decide about their future between themselves” that a war is thought to have taken the lives of more than 47,000 Afghan civilians and nearly 70,000 Afghan troops, as well as the lives of 2,442 US soldiers and more than 3,800 US private security contractors, and 1,144 soldiers from other coalition countries. The Costs of War project at Brown University, which analyses America’s wars this century, estimates that the war has cost America a total of $2.26tn (£1.64tn).
#AceNewsReport – Apr.10: Imam Khamenei’s Instagram account also released a video in which His Eminence reiterated that Tehran is in no hurry for Washington to come back to the nuclear agreement.
Imam Khamenei: Verification of US Sanctions Removal Means Iran Should Be Able to Sell Its Oil: The talks, taking place in Vienna in the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are chaired by an official appointed by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.
Imam Khamenei’s remarks came in a post on his Instagram page on Thursday as an Iranian negotiating team is in the Austrian capital city of Vienna to discuss conditions for the revival of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], with other signatories to the deal: https://t.me/reuters_news_agency/72596 Reuters Wire News, [Apr 9, 2021 at 12:35 PM]
Iran nuclear deal participants to continue talks next week- EU BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Officials from Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and Britain will continue talks on the return of the United States to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran next week, after “constructive exchanges” this week, the European Union said on Friday.
“Verification [of US sanctions removal] means [being capable of] selling oil in an official manner, with ease and under normal conditions, and its money be received by Iran,” His Eminence added.
His Eminence added that the signatories of the nuclear agreement failed to abide by their commitments under the deal, noting that the decision by the Iranian government and parliament to rollback Tehran’s nuclear commitments was right.
Imam Khamenei stated that commitment on one side should be reciprocated by commitment on the other side and the US must remove all sanctions if the West wants Iran to return to JCPOA compliance.
His Eminence also noted that Tehran will return to full compliance with the nuclear deal once it verifies sanctions have been really removed by the US.
Imam Khamenei said other signatories to the deal have no right to set conditions for Tehran as long as they have not fulfilled their obligations, emphasizing that this is Iran’s definitive policy from which Tehran will not step back.
The United States began imposing heavy economic sanctions against Iran in 2018 after former US President Donald Trump scrapped the JCPOA, which was signed by Iran and world powers, as a result of which Iran was barred from economic transactions with the rest of the world, including selling its oil and receiving its money.
While the Trump administration described its anti-Iran measures as the “maximum pressure” policy, Tehran slammed the measures as “economic war,” “economic terrorism” and also “medical terrorism,” maintaining that the sanctions have severely harmed Iranians but failed to bring the nation to its knees.
The new US administration of Joe Biden has conceded that the so-called maximum pressure campaign has failed, promising to replace it with a new policy, but it has so far failed to take any practical steps in that direction and has actually followed suit with Trump-era policies toward Iran.
Iran remained fully compliant with the deal for an entire year but as the remaining European parties failed to fulfill their end of the bargain, Tehran began in May 2019 to scale back its JCPOA commitments in several steps under Articles 26 and 36 of the accord covering Tehran’s legal rights.
#AceNewsReport – This ruling destroys NSA program Treasure Map,” Binney said on Friday. “This is their program to locate every device on the network all the time: Binney said the ruling was also historic because it appeared the Supreme Court was starting to catch up with the enormous advances in cyber and surveillance technologies of recent decades……………..As a result of the decision, Binney added, perhaps the Supreme Court will not be “bamboozled” by lies from the NSA, FBI, and Justice Department related to collecting and using content and meta-data on US citizens………Senator Patrick Leahy said in a press release on Friday that the Supreme Court rescued Congress from a failed attempt to protect cellphone users from government snoopers #AceNewsDesk reports
Whistleblower Explains How US Court Ruling to Affect NSA ‘Treasure Map’ Project
The US Supreme Court ruling upholding the right to digital privacy will destroy the National Security Agency’s “Treasure Map” project which is designed to map the entire global internet to locate all devices on earth, former NSA Technical Director and whistleblower Bill Binney told Sputnik.
However, he added, US lawmakers cannot rely on justices forever to keep privacy rights intact amid seismic shifts in digital technology…………William Binney worked for the NSA for 36 years, retiring in 2001 as the technical director of world military and geopolitical analysis and reporting. He designed and created many of the NSA’s collection systems and later exposed major aspects of the agency’s blanket surveillance programs…………Sputnik: Whistleblower explains how #US court ruling to affect @NSAGov ‘treasure map’ project https://t.co/IRY3s47DQRhttps://t.co/Bwdb9XtHFE
#AceWorldNews – NORTH KOREA:Dec.21 – North Korea proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyber-attack.
The proposal was seen by analysts as a typical ploy by the North to try to show that it is sincere, even though it knows the U.S. would never accept its offer for a joint investigation.
#AceWorldNews – UPDATE: – SOUTH KOREA – Dec.03 – Fishermen have recovered 11 more bodies from the western Bering Sea Wednesday in the area where a South Korean fishing ship sank earlier this week, AP said.
#AceWorldNews – AFGHANISTAN – Nov.28 – Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament approved two agreements on Thursday with the US and NATO, allowing about 12,500 troops to remain in the country, AFP said.
The lower house of parliament approved the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US, and a similar pact with NATO, on Sunday.
President Ashraf Ghani signed the deals on his first day in power, while previous president, Hamid Karzai, had vigorously resisted the move.
#AceWorldNews – WASHINGTON – Nov.21 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry canceled plans Friday to pull back from talks with Iran about the country’s nuclear program – a shift that suggested some hope of movement on the protracted negotiations.
Kerry is staying in Vienna to continue negotiations with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and others at the negotiating table, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
#AceWorldNews – YEMEN – Nov.09 – A new Yemeni government is set to be sworn in Sunday, despite opposition from the General People’s Congress (GPC), the ruling party in the country’s parliament led by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and the Houthis, a powerful Shia rebel group that controls much of south Yemen.
#AceWorldNews – PHILIPPINES (Manila) – October 22 – A US Marine accused of murdering a transgender woman was moved to the Philippines’ military headquarters Wednesday, AFP said, citing officials.
US Marine Accused of Murder of Transgender Woman Moved to Manila Miltary HQ
US helicopter delivered Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton to Camp Aguinaldo in Manila and will be jointly guarded by American and local troops, according to military chief General Gregorio Catapang.
“He will be detained in a 28-cubic-meter van that was installed inside the facility and he will be sleeping in a military-type cot bed with an air conditioning system,”Catapang said.
#AceWorldNews – GENEVA – October 21 – Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for “real-world” testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe, a top World Health Organization official said Tuesday.
Dr Marie Paule Kieny, an assistant director general for WHO, said clinical trials that are either under-way or planned in Europe, Africa and the U.S. are expected to produce preliminary safety data on two vaccines by December.
#AceNewsServices – LIBYA(Benghazi) – October 19 – The governments of the US and four European allies – the UK, France, Germany and Italy – have called for an end to the ongoing violence in Libya that they “strongly condemn”.
Their joint statement, released on Saturday, said that there was “no military solution” to the crisis and, in accordance with a UN Security Council resolution 2174 on ceasefire in Libya, the countries “stand ready to use individual sanctions.”
Dozens of people have been killed recently during three days of conflict in the eastern city of Benghazi in fighting between Islamist militias and government forces.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES (New York) – October 18 – On the day before the most crucial round of Iran’s diplomatic talks with world powers on achieving a solution to the impasse of its nuclear program, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei has found time again to bash the Western countries involved in the talks by accusing them of instigating a rift among Muslims by “creating the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”
Behrooz Behbudi, Founder of the Centre for a Democratic Iran, Comments:
“The evil Britain has created the ISIS and al Qaeda to confront the Islamic republic of Iran and the Islamic awakening across the world,” Khamenei claimed in a speech on Monday.
“America, Zionism, and especially the veteran expert of spreading divisions – the wicked government of Britain – have sharply increased their efforts of creating divisions between the Sunnis and Shia,” he said.
The speech, marking the Shia Muslim religious holiday of Eid Al Ghadir, was posted on his website, where he has also published video footage showing his recovery from a recent prostate surgery.
The Centre for a Democratic Iran, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to promote and pursue an independent, peaceful and democratic Iran, followed these events with great interest.
CDI Founder, Behrooz Behbudi, offered his thoughts:
“In parallel with every foreign and domestic policy that the self-declared moderate administration of Hassan Rouhani has been taking to get Iran out of the socio-economic calamities that the eight years of Ahmadinejad rule has created, one can clearly see a deliberate hard-line policy by Khamenei to derail a return by Iran and the Iranians to peace and prosperity, however minimal given Rouhani’s allegiance to the regime.
However, Khamenei’s “radicalism” and ranting against Western powers is in fact a facade that is aimed at concealing his political and leadership weaknesses, as well as demonstrating his paranoia about the roots of the problems among the Muslims of the Middle East.
In raging against the US and Britain in his speech Khamenei is deliberately acting as a political player to distance himself from the behind the scene deals that his regime officials are making with world powers, with the help of the Russians as their mediators.
Islamic State is undoubtedly a threat to the peace and security of the Middle Eastern nations as well as the West, as we have watched their barbaric acts with horror on our TV screens.
However, by claiming that “the ISIS has been set up to confront the Islamic republic,” Khamenei – who incidentally refers to himself as the Caliph of Shia Muslims – wants us to forget that a similar type of extremist ideology in the name of Islam has for long actually been practiced by the very regime that he leads in Iran.
Furthermore, it is a well-known fact among Iran’s political forces that Khamenei owes his leadership status more to behind the scene power broking tactics by former president Rafsanjani than anything else, as his credentials as a cleric have never been accepted by Iran’s religious establishment, a complex that he has long concealed by advocating his bankrupted “political Islam”.
Since ascending to power and turning into an absolute religious leader and skilled political player, Khamenei has managed to dominate the political scene of Iran by empowering the Revolutionary Guard, the Basij militias and the security and intelligence organs of the regime around his “anti-American-Israeli” paranoia.
In reality, as world powers begin a new round of negotiations with the Islamic republic over the nuclear issue, they are effectively trying to reach a deal with another fundamentalist “Islamic State” that is ruling Iran with Khamenei at its Caliph in the name of the medieval system of Velayat-e Faqhi, or the Islamic government.
The irony remains however that Western powers are at the same time mulling over whether to involve the military forces of this dictatorship in Iran to help them overthrow the barbarism of the ISIS in its neighboring country in an act of appeasement to Khamenei and his associates in the Revolutionary Guard.
You cannot ask one dictator to join your forces to fight against another dictator in defence of freedom and humanity.
#AceWorldNrews IRAN (Tehran) – October 17 – Iran is reportedly mulling a compromise over its nuclear program, suggested by the United States, AP reports.
The proposal, detailed by two unnamed diplomats, would allow Tehran to keep more uranium enrichment centrifuges than previously demanded by the US if the country agrees to shrink its stockpile of low-enriched uranium.
Iran is reportedly in talks with Russia about possibly moving its stockpile.
The number of centrifuges left intact has become a major sticking point for negotiators, with Iran insisting on maintaining some 10,000 while the US looks to limit the number to a few thousand and increase the amount of time it would take to develop a bomb.
#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES (Washington) – October 15 – About 5,000 chemical weapons were recovered or destroyed in Iraq following the 2003 invasion but the Pentagon chose to keep the findings top secret, it has emerged.
U.S. troops DID find chemical weapons in Iraq – but Pentagon kept it secret: Discovery of 5,000 warheads and shells ‘was hushed up because they were not weapons of mass destruction’
An investigation by The New York Times has revealed that U.S. forces happened across the hidden caches of warheads, shells and aviation bombs between 2004 and 2011.
Cache: Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians prepare unexploded ordnance for demolition at a safe disposal area near Baghdad in 2003. It has now been revealed that about 5,000 chemical weapons were found in Iraq between 2004 and 2011 but the public was never told
But the information wasn’t made public for several embarrassing reasons including the fact some of the weapons were U.S.-made, troops were seriously injured discovering them, plus they had been sitting dormant since the 1980’s and therefore didn’t support President George W. Bush’s rationale for going to war.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES – October 13 – Even though Islamic State militants in Syria have no aircraft to speak of, the US’s top military commander says establishing a no-fly zone may be part of the campaign.
#AceWorldNews – CHINA – October 12 – China has surpassed the US in terms of GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), becoming the largest in the world by this measure, International Monetary Fund estimates show.
‘ Chinese Purchasing Power Outstrips United States. Though United States has greater GDP’
In 2014 China reached $17.6 trillion or 16.48 percent of the world’s purchasing-power-adjusted GDP, while the US made slightly less, 16.28 percent or $17.4 trillion, the FT reported citing IMF data.
PPP is recognized as the best way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services. Thus a trillion US dollars are worth a lot more in China than in the US.
On the purchasing power basis, China is overtaking the US right about now and becoming the world’s biggest economy, according to the forecast.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.
According to IMF estimates, in 2015 the gap between China and the US will increase to almost a trillion dollars: Chinese GDP PPP will amount to $19.23 trillion against $18.286 trillion in the US.
However in terms of a real GDP the United States remains the undisputed world leader with $16.8 trillion output, significantly outpacing China with $10.4 trillion.
#AceNewsServices NORTH AMERICA: On October 02 a new CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force report, North America: Time for a New Focus, asserts that elevating and prioritizing the Canada-Mexico-U.S. relationship offers the best opportunity for strengthening the United States and its place in the world.
“It is time to put North America at the forefront of U.S. policy,” the report says. “The development and implementation of a strategy for U.S. economic, energy, security, environmental, and societal cooperation with its two neighbours can strengthen the United States at home and enhance its influence abroad.”
The Task Force proposes a comprehensive set of recommendations for deepening North American integration, concentrating on four pivotal areas—energy, economic competitiveness, security, and community. These include:
Capitalizing on North America’s promising energy outlook. The North American countries need a regional energy strategy to strengthen the continent’s energy infrastructure, expand energy exports, support Mexico’s historic reforms, improve safety, and encourage harmonized policies to promote energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions.
“For economic, environmental, and diplomatic reasons, the Task Force recommends that the U.S. government encourage increased energy connections with Canada and Mexico. The U.S. government should approve additional pipeline capacity, including the Keystone XL pipeline,” the report says. “The Task Force also proposes that the United States end restrictions on energy exports, including oil and LNG (liquefied natural gas).”
Bolstering economic competitiveness through the freer movement of goods and services across borders. Upgrading infrastructure and policies across borders would interconnect national economies securely and efficiently. Recognizing trilateral economic interests, the United States should also include Canada and Mexico in its negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other free trade agreements.
“The United States’ ability to compete in a dynamic and competitive world economy would be strengthened by enhanced economic ties with Canada and Mexico,” the report explains. “The Task Force recommends working toward the free and unimpeded movement of goods and services across North America’s common borders.”
Strengthening security through a unified continental strategy and “continuous border innovation.” While working toward the goal of a unified security strategy for North America, the United States and Canada should support Mexican efforts to strengthen the democratic rule of law, dismantle criminal networks, contribute to the development of resilient and cohesive communities, and reduce arms smuggling and drug consumption.
“The United States should shift from border-centric security toward a strategy of combining perimeter protection with security in depth through the use of intelligence, risk assessment, shared capabilities, and joint actions throughout the region,” the report says.
Fostering a North American community through comprehensive immigration reform, workforce development, and the creation of a mobility accord to facilitate the movement of workers. The U.S. Congress should pass comprehensive immigration reforms. To better aid the movement of North American workers, the three countries should also create a North American Mobility Accord, expand visas for skilled workers, streamline recognition of professional credentials, and develop a regional educational innovation strategy.
“The Task Force strongly recommends the passage of comprehensive federal immigration reform that secures U.S. borders, prevents illegal entry, provides visas on the basis of economic need, invites talented and skilled people to settle in the United States, and offers a pathway to legalization for undocumented immigrants now in the United States,” the report says.
Chaired by David H. Petraeus, retired U.S. Army general and chairman of the KKR Global Institute, and Robert B. Zoellick, former president of the World Bank Group and chairman of Goldman Sachs’s International Advisors, the Task Force is composed of a diverse and distinguished group of experts that includes former government officials, scholars, and others. The project is directed by CFR Senior Fellow for Latin America StudiesShannon K. O’Neil.