Apr 17

NASA discovers most Earth-like planet in 'Habitable Zone'

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By RT

NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has found an Earth-sized planet within the habitable zone of the star it orbits, the space agency announced Thursday.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: rt.com/usa/nasa-kepler-planet-habitabal-zone-256/

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Apr 17

Gun Rights and 'Justice Stevens' Foolishness'

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By Damon Root

Earlier this week I noted a Washington Post op-ed by
John Paul Stevens, where the retired Supreme Court justice called
for a constitutional amendment that would
effectively abolish
the individual right to keep and bear arms.
If he had has way, Stevens said, he would rewrite the Second
Amendment to read: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to
the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and
bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be
infringed.” That op-ed has now prompted a timely letter to the
editor from Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute and one
of the three libertarian lawyers (Clark Neily and Alan Gura are the
others) who conceived and litigated District of Columbia v.
Heller
, the landmark 2008 case which definitively rejected
Stevens’ troubling interpretation of the Second Amendment. Here is
what
Levy had to say
:

Former justice John Paul Stevens offered a truly radical
proposal to amend the Constitution. He would limit gun rights to
persons serving in the militia and only during their times of
service. So, the District again would be able to tell my
ex-clients, who justifiably feared for their safety in their
drug-infested neighborhoods, that they could not keep a handgun at
home for self-defense. Responsible citizens who are concerned about
extremist views on gun rights should condemn Justice Stevens’s
foolishness.

Source: reason.com/blog/2014/04/17/gun-rights-and-justice-stevens-foolishne

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Apr 17

Obamacare Sign Ups Hit 8 Million, Demographic Mix Falls Short of Target

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By Peter Suderman

President Obama took another victory lap
celebrating his health care law today, announcing at an afternoon
press conference that 8 million people had signed up for health
coverage through the law’s insurance exchanges. Obama also hammered
Republicans for refusing to work with him on making needed changes
to the law. The message was clear, if not exactly cogent: Obamacare
is working, and the problem with the GOP is that they won’t help
him fix it.

It’s the latest in Obamacare victory celebrations from the White
House, which has taken an increasingly confident tone regarding the
law in the last few weeks as sign-ups unexpectedly surged at the
very end of the first open-enrollment period. I say “unexpectedly”
because while the administration’s own projections did foresee some
increased activity in the last month, they did not anticipate the
size of the spike that ended up occurring.
Via Vox
, here are the White House’s month-to-month projections
compared with actual sign-ups.

The White House’s recent declarations that Obamacare is now a
success have rested heavily (though not exclusively) on a single
figure: the total number of sign-ups recorded. That number, of
course, still doesn’t tell us how many people are actually
enrolled, since enrollments must be paid and 15-20 percent of
people who sign-up are reportedly not paying their first month’s
premium (although even with a 20 percent reduction it still results
in about 6.4 million enrollments). Nor does it tell us how many
enrollments were previously uninsured.

Nor does the 8 million sign-ups
statistic tell us the answer to what is arguably the most important
figure of all: the demographic mix of sign-ups. I say arguably
because, while some may differ, that is in fact what White House
Press Secretary Jay Carney argued just four months ago.

“Whatever the total figure is of people who enroll by March
31st, the aggregate number,” he
said
in early January, “the total number is not as important as
the overall makeup that you see in that population.”

Carney’s statement came in response to a question about how many
sign-ups were between the ages of 18 and 34, a demographic of
younger and presumably healthier plan beneficiaries whose
participation has been considered critical to the success of the
law: The administration’s goal, based on Congressional Budget
Office estimates, was for 39 percent of the final tally to be
between the ages of 18 and 34. The “worst-case scenario,” according
to a Kaiser Foundation analysis cited by the administration was if
only 25 percent of the final tally was in that age cohort.

As it turns out, we do have information about sign-ups in that
age group, and the demographic mix is much closer to the worst-case
scenario than it is to the administration’s target. About 28
percent of the sign-ups are between the ages of 18 and 34,
according to a White House fact sheet. If, as Carney said in
January, that number is much more important than the total number
of sign-ups, then that’s probably a bad sign for
Obamacare.

Source: reason.com/blog/2014/04/17/obamacare-sign-ups-hit-8-million-demogra

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Apr 17

Albuquerque Civilian Police Oversight Members Resign: Can’t Keep Lying to the Community

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By Ed Krayewski

poopers

On the same day the Department of Justice (DOJ)
released its findings on civil rights violations at the Albuquerque
Police Department (APD), the city told its Police Oversight
Commission (POC) that it couldn’t rule against whatever the police
chief decides about complaints against cops.

Three members of the commission complained about their
toothlessness in letters of resignation this week.
Via KOAT
:

“The city attorney’s office addressed the POC on April
10, 2014, and stated that we have no power to decide against the
APD Chief or against the independent review officer’s findings
regarding citizens’ complaints,” reads [one of the quitting
members, Jonathan] Siegel’s letter. “I cannot continue to pretend
or deceive the members of our community into believing that our
city has any real civilian oversight.”

The city’s response pointed to the DOJ’s findings about the role
an “effective” oversight commission can play and said the
government was “hopeful” the City Council would work with the
DOJ on “continued efforts to reform and implement needed changes.”
The DOJ,
in fact
, called Albuquerque’s “broken civilian oversight
process” one of the “deficiencies” that contributed to the use of
excessive force. No charges were announced by the DOJ in
conjunction with the findings of a pattern and practice of
excessive force by members of the APD.

The fight over robust civilian oversight’s an old story in
Albuquerque. As the Washington Post Radley Balko
explains
at The Watch blog
, the cycle of police abuse, cover-up, and
scandal has been going on for some time. One reform- minded police
chief brought in in 1998 to fix that generation’s problem of police
abuse was then railroaded out of the department just three years
later with the help of Albuquerque voters.

More on Albuquerque’s problems
at Reason 24/7
.

Source: reason.com/blog/2014/04/17/albuquerque-civilian-police-oversight-me

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Apr 17

Harry Reid Calls Cliven Bundy Supporters “Domestic Terrorists”

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By yihan
Paul Joseph Watson | “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism”.

Source: www.infowars.com/harry-reid-calls-cliven-bundy-supporters-domestic-terrorists/

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Apr 17

Michigan Mayor Rejects Atheist’s Request To Place ‘Reason Station’ Inside City Hall

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By UPI – United Press International, Inc.

WARREN, Mich. (UPI) — A Michigan mayor has turned down an atheist’s request to place a “reason station” inside the atrium of city hall which would “promote free thought” and the “use of reason” because he claims it would disrupt an existing prayer station.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts denied Freedom From Religion member Douglas Marshall’s request in a letter.

“To my way of thinking, your group is strictly an anti-religion group intending to deprive all organized religions of their constitutional freedoms or at least discourage the practice of religion. The City of Warren cannot allow this,” Fouts wrote. “Also, I believe it is group’s intention to disrupt those who participate in the Prayer Station which would also be a violation of the freedom of religion amendment. For these reasons, I cannot approve of your request.”

Marshall said that he expected six people to come to the reason station.

“I do view this as a violation of my free speech rights,” Marshall told the Detroit Free Press. “It seems to me that the mayor allows free speech in the atrium as long as he agrees with the speech. If he doesn’t, he denies speech he doesn’t agree with in the atrium.”

This is not the first time Fouts has rejected one of Marshall’s proposals, so he wasn’t all the surprised with the mayor’s letter and “more or less expected” it.

He plans to visit with counsel to “determine what my options are.”

The post Michigan Mayor Rejects Atheist’s Request To Place ‘Reason Station’ Inside City Hall appeared first on Personal Liberty.

Source: personalliberty.com/michigan-mayor-rejects-atheists-request-to-place-reason-station-inside-city-hall/

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Apr 17

Dog Fingered As Culprit After Six Months Of Tire Slashings In England

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By UPI – United Press International, Inc.

BRAMPTON, England (UPI) — Residents of a neighborhood in England were finally able to discover who was responsible for six months of tire slashings — but the culprit was a bit of a shock.

Jess the border collie.

A camera was set up to catch the vandal and it captured CCTV footage of Jess biting tires and causing puncture wounds in the rubber during her daily walk.

Her owners, the Morgans, had been letting her off leash and didn’t notice that it was happening.

“We are both just mortified,” Jean Morgan told the Daily Mail. “She is the most obedient and affectionate dog we have ever had and it is just shocking to hear this terrible news. We are very distressed by what has happened. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the CCTV footage. To think that Jess has done this has made me feel very sad.”

The Morgans have reimbursed their neighbors for the damage.

“From now on though, we will have to start to walk her on her lead,” Morgan said. “Border collies are hard working dogs, and are trained to nip sheep. I think she must get over-excited when she has had a good run.”

The post Dog Fingered As Culprit After Six Months Of Tire Slashings In England appeared first on Personal Liberty.

Source: personalliberty.com/dog-fingered-as-culprit-after-six-months-of-tire-slashings-in-england/

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Apr 17

Astronomers spot most Earth-like planet yet

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By kurtnimmoadmin
ksbw.com | “This is the best case for a habitable planet yet found.”

Source: www.infowars.com/astronomers-spot-most-earth-like-planet-yet/

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Apr 17

Kansas City Jewish community center shooter was an FBI informant

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Glenn Miller, the former North Carolina Ku Klux Klan leader, arrested in the Kansas City Jewish Community Center shootings that killed three people on Sunday, has been identified previously as an FBI informant. The FBI is known to have infiltrated the Klan time and time again since the civil rights days, during a period when J. Edgar Hoover had set his sights on flushing out supposed commies and ending the career of Martin Luther King. Miller testified for the government in a major trial where the Feds sought to convict leaders of the Far Right. In his book, A White Man Speaks Out, he claims to have been an FBI informant.

Miller is a former Vietnam vet who was a member of the American Nazi Party before turning to the North Carolina Klan. He was in the Klan caravan involved in the Greensboro massacre in 1979, where the Klan opened fire on civil rights marchers. He then formed the White Patriot Party, claiming by 1985 to have a membership of 2500 and offices in six southern states. He ran for governor of North Carolina in 1984 and got 5,000 votes.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277572-Kansas-City-Jewish-community-center-shooter-was-an-FBI-informant

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Apr 17

EFF: It’s Hard to Get The Whole Story In The One-Sided Surveillance Court

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By Electronic Frontier Foundation

This article, written by activist Nadia Kayyali and attorney Kurt Opsahl, was originally published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation on April 16.

While most courts in the United States are adversarial—each party presents its side and a jury, or occasionally a judge, makes a decision—in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), only the government presents its case to a judge. While typically two opposing sides work under public review to make sure all the facts are brought to light, in the FISC the system relies on a heightened duty of candor for the government. As is illustrated all too well by recent developments in our First Unitarian v. NSA case, this one-sided court system is fundamentally unfair.

In March, after we learned that the government intended to destroy records of Section 215 bulk collection relevant to our NSA cases, we filed for a temporary restraining order in the Federal court in San Francisco. We also filed a motion to correct the record with the FISC, since it was a FISC order requiring the destruction of bulk metadata after five years that was at issue.

Following the emergency hearing on our motion, the San Francisco federal court ordered the government to preserve the evidence. On the same day that the federal court issued its order, the FISC issued its own strongly worded order in which it granted our motion and mandated the government to make a filing with the FISC explaining exactly why it had failed to notify the Court about relevant information regarding preservation orders in two related cases, Jewel and Shubert. This omission influenced the FISC’s decision on the government’s request for relief, and the FISC was not happy about it.

On April 2, the DOJ made its filing. The government’s statements in this document deserve close attention because they illustrate in high-definition the failures of the FISC’s one-sided system.

The response essentially says that in hindsight, it is clear to the government why the FISC would have wanted to know about the Jewel and Shubert orders. But the government’s filings show that it unilaterally decided it was right about its interpretation of the legal theories in these cases. In so doing, it failed to live up to the heightened duty of candor present in ex parte proceedings by failing to inform the FISC that this was disputed. In essence, the government narrowly interpreted the causes of action in the Jewel complaint, excluding the Section 215 surveillance purportedly authorized by the FISC, and thereby narrowing the evidence it would preserve. By making a decision about what facts were relevant, the DOJ attorneys elevated themselves into the role of a judge.

The government apologized to the FISC for its omission, but it also continues to inaccurately portray the controversy over the legal theories our cases. In fact, the DOJ uses this filing to again present their interpretation of the disagreement over the scope of the cases, failing to mention the various arguments we have made on that issue before Judge White in San Francisco. The DOJ calls our view “recently-expressed,” attempting to create the impression that the DOJ had no idea that there was any controversy until 2014. They neglect to mention that we wrote in a 2010 brief that the “government defendants’ assertion that ‘plaintiffs do not challenge surveillance authorized by the FISA Court’ … misconceives both plaintiffs’ complaint and the role of the district court ….”

If this had been a normal court proceeding, each side would present their position in the most favorable light, and the judge would decide who is right. In the FISC, however, this balanced system breaks down. This one-sided system allows for no accountability except in the rare circumstance where the affected parties can raise the issue with the court. Indeed, in most cases, the arguments and the decision are kept secret, and no one can second-guess the government.

This is why we continue to urge Congress to change the laws governing how FISC operates. At a minimum, significant court decisions must be made public, and a privacy advocate should be a part of the process. These improvements won’t bring the same kind of balance that can come with an adversarial system, but could at least deliver a semblance of fairness to the process.

The post EFF: It’s Hard to Get The Whole Story In The One-Sided Surveillance Court appeared first on Personal Liberty.

Source: personalliberty.com/eff-hard-get-whole-story-one-sided-surveillance-court/

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Apr 17

Civilians say they can’t ‘continue to pretend’ they have power over Albuquerque police

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By RT

Half of the commission that conducts oversight of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Police Department has resigned in protest follow a scathing report from the United States Department of Justice.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: rt.com/usa/albuquerque-police-oversight-resign-260/

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Apr 17

Ukraine PM changes tune - promises more power to regions

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Ukraine’s prime minister went on a charm offensive Friday as he visited the country’s southeast, pledging to give regions more powers and to defend the rights of Russian speakers.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk met with regional officials who once opposed his new government in Kiev, but not with protesters occupying government buildings in Donetsk or Luhansk.

“There are no separatists among us,” said Gennady Kernes, mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, where the government recaptured a building taken over by protesters earlier in the week. Kernes and other officials asked Yatsenyuk to allow votes on autonomy for their regions but not on secession.

Ukraine’s government has resisted federalization, saying that would lay the groundwork for the country’s breakup.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277573-Ukraine-PM-changes-tune-promises-more-power-to-regions

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Apr 17

How The Recession Changed America’s Car-Buying Attitudes

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By kit
Forbes | Used car market triple the size of new car market.

Source: www.infowars.com/how-the-recession-changed-americas-car-buying-attitudes/

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Apr 17

Federal Judge: BLM Engaged In A Criminal Conspiracy Against Ranchers

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By kit
Kit Daniels | Court opinion exposes BLM’s true intent against Cliven Bundy.

Source: www.infowars.com/federal-judge-blm-engaged-in-a-criminal-conspiracy-against-ranchers/

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Apr 17

CIA Working On Proxy War Against Russia in Ukraine

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By kurtnimmoadmin
Kurt Nimmo | Considering the CIA’s track record we can expect a covert war to be excessively bloody and brutal.

Source: www.infowars.com/cia-working-on-proxy-war-against-russia-in-ukraine/

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Apr 17

Another marker of psychopathy on the increase? Ireland: Animals' deaths at cliffs 'planned and sinister'

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A live horse was discovered near where rotting carcasses of around 17 animals were found at the base of cliffs in what has been described as a “planned and sinister” act.
It was initially thought the horse was also dead but it started moving and a vet had to put it down, as it was in a very bad condition.

Clare ISPCA officer Frankie Coote described the deaths of the animals – 10 horses, four cattle, and three calves – at the base of Baltard Cliffs in Doonbeg, Co Clare, as “planned and sinister”.

Up to 15 of the animals were found close together at the bottom of the isolated cliffs, while another dead horse lay close by.

The case is being investigated by four separate authorities.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277568-Another-marker-of-psychopathy-on-the-increase-Ireland-Animals-deaths-at-cliffs-planned-and-sinister

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Apr 17

Obama: We are preparing additional sanctions against Russia

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By RT

United States President Barack Obama said Thursday afternoon that his administration is prepared to take further action against Russia if an agreement reached earlier in the day in Geneva concerning the crisis in Ukraine fails to materialize.
Read Full Article at RT.com

Source: rt.com/usa/obama-press-conference-ukraine-268/

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Apr 17

Psychopath? Police announce person of interest in 21 animal deaths

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Thanks to more than a dozen tips, South Bend Police have developed a single person of interest in the investigation of 21 animals found dead in an alley near the 700-block of E. Indiana Ave.

Police did not name the person of interest, but say multiple tips named the same individual as a possible suspect.

Examinations are still being performed on the small animals at Purdue University, to determine exactly how the animals died. Physical evidence from the scene is also being processed.

Source: www.sott.net/article/277569-Psychopath-Police-announce-person-of-interest-in-21-animal-deaths

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Apr 17

Ukraine, E.U., Russia, U.S. Reach Deal on Calming Tensions

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By Matthew Feeney

Today, diplomats from the European Union, Russia, the U.S., and
Ukraine
met in Geneva
to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. After the
meeting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign
Minister Sergei Lavrov announced that the parties had agreed to the

following
:

  • That all “illegal armed groups” in eastern Ukraine must
    immediately lay down their weapons.
  • That all “illegally seized buildings” in eastern Ukraine must
    immediately be returned to that nation’s authorities.
  • That all protesters in eastern Ukraine, who have been pushing
    to join the Russian Federation, will be granted amnesty by the
    Ukrainian government unless they are judged to be guilty of capital
    offenses.

Background on pro-Russian activists in eastern
Ukraine

On April 6 pro-Russian activists
stormed government buildings
in eastern Ukraine. The activists
flew a Russian flag over a regional government building in Donetsk,
which is in the same province ousted president Viktor Yanukovych
comes from, and seized security offices in Luhansk, a city which
lies about 15 miles to the west of the Russian border.

The next day pro-Russian activists in Donetsk declared an
independent
“people’s republic”
and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said
that the seizure of government buildings in eastern Ukraine was
being organized by Russia in order to orchestrate an excuse for the
sort of military intervention seen in Crimea.

Writing in Time
magazine, Simon Shuster outlined why a Russian invasion of eastern
Ukraine would be very different to the invasion of Crimea:

For one thing, Ukraine will defend itself. In February, when
pro-Russian gunmen seized the Crimean parliament and installed a
separatist leader, Ukraine did not have a central government
capable of stopping them. The revolutionaries in Kiev, the capital,
had only toppled the old regime a week before, and they were
too busy deciding who would lead the nation to mount any defense of
Crimea. The picture since then has changed. Ukraine’s institutions
are functioning, and though the country’s economic affairs are
hardly in order, it does have a police force and a military command
structure to throw into the fight.

More from Shuster:

The demographics of eastern Ukraine also would not lend
themselves to a secessionist referendum. According to the most
recent census held in 2001, ethnic Ukrainians make up nearly 60% of
the population in Donetsk and Luhansk, and more than 70% in
Kharkiv, compared to only 24% in Crimea, where the majority are
ethnic Russians. So it is hardly likely that a referendum in these
eastern regions would result in a decision to break from Ukraine
and join Russia, at least not by the overwhelming majority that was
seen in Crimea last month.

More importantly, such a referendum could only be held if Russia
first manages to occupy these regions, kick out the Ukrainian
security forces and install a separatist government that could push
ahead with a Crimean-style plebiscite under the gun. That would
mean a Russian land invasion and, most likely, the start of a
full-scale war that would cost many lives on both sides, pitting
the armies of two fraternal nations against each other, nations
that share ties of culture, religion, language and oftentimes
blood.

Though Russia would surely win such a conflict, the conquered
territory of east Ukraine would be much harder to defend.

Last week pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine ignored the
Ukrainian government’s demand
to negotiate or face force, and
two days ago Ukraine launched an “anti-terror
operation”
against the separatists. However, as
The Guardian
reported, Ukrainian troops were sometimes
turned back by residents:

The situation has been repeated several times now across east
Ukraine following Kiev’s announcement of its anti-terrorist
operation at the weekend: Ukrainian troops and their hardware are
blocked by angry residents, who stop them in their tracks and
convince them to turn round or even withdraw.

On Wednesday, pro-Russian militia captured six Ukrainian
infantry fighting vehicles and, allegedly, 60 soldiers in
Kramatorsk, driving them to nearby Slavyansk with a Russian flag
flying.

The moment was a symbolic victory for pro-Russian forces in a
conflict so far confined to isolated shootouts. Two people have
been confirmed dead.

But defence experts in Kiev warned not to rule out the Ukraine
government’s “anti-terrorist” campaign, as the elite special forces
designated to lead the operation had yet to see significant action.
The troops most likely had orders not to attack civilians, they
said.

The seizure of the six fighting vehicles was a huge black eye
for Kiev, especially after some of the Ukrainian troops reportedly
defected to the pro-Russian side.The acting defence minister,
Mykhailo Koval, was on Wednesday on his way to east Ukraine.

Throughout the crisis in eastern Ukraine the Russians have been

building up their military presence
near the Ukrainian
border. Yesterday NATO
members agreed to increase its air patrols in the Baltics and
deploy warships in response. This morning Putin said on live TV
that he had the right to send troops into
Ukraine
but added that he hopes he won’t have to do so:

“The people in the eastern regions have started arming
themselves,” Putin said in response to a question about the
Ukrainian crisis. “And instead of realizing that something isn’t
right in the Ukrainian state and moving toward a dialogue, [the
government in Kiev] began threatening more force and even moved in
tanks and planes against the peaceful population. This is yet
another very serious crime of Ukraine’s current rulers.” He then
reminded viewers that the Russian parliament has given him approval
to send troops into Ukraine. “I really hope that I’m won’t be
forced to use that right,” he says.

Jews ordered to register in Donetsk

Today it was reported by Ukrainian and Israeli media that Jews
in Donetsk were being asked to “register” with separatists in the
city. From
USA Today
:

Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets
that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own
and pay a registration fee “or else have their citizenship revoked,
face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” reported Ynet
News, Israel’s largest news website.

Donetsk is the site of an “anti-terrorist” operation by the
Ukraine government, which has moved military columns into the
region to force out militants who are demanding a referendum be
held on joining Russia. The news was carried first by the Ukraine’s
Donbass news agency.

John Kerry has confirmed that the leaflets were sent out and
called the development “grotesque.” The leaflets are signed by
Denis Pushilin, chairman of Donetsk’s government, who has denied
any connection to their content. From
Fox News
:

Kerry’s comments follow a report in Israel’s Ynet News that a
leaflet was circulating in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk,
demanding that Jews register — as well as provide a list of
property they own — or else face deportation and revocation of
citizenship. Pro-Russian activists have asserted partial control
over some government buildings in that city.

Ynet reported that the notices, sent as the Passover holiday
began, were signed by Denis Pushilin, chairman of Donetsk’s
temporary government — though Ynet reports that Pushilin confirmed
the flyers came from his organization, “but denied any connection
to the leaflet’s content.”

Over at
The New Republic
, Julia Ioffe notes that the registration
mentioned in the leaflets is not being enforced:

…the Jews of Donetsk and eastern Ukraine may have been asked
by a leaflet to register, but it has not been enforced nor are any
Ukrainian Jews registering themselves. If that changes, I’ll be all
over it, but so far, you can breathe easy. No Holocaust 2.0 just
yet.

Ukrainian and Russian languages in Ukraine

Russian is spoken by many people in eastern Ukraine. Map of
majority languages in Ukraine based on 2001 census data
below.

However, as Matthew Light, an assistant professor in the
department of political science at the University of Toronto, and
Maria Popova, an assistant professor in the department of political
science at McGill University,
point out
, there are distinctions between Ukrainian and Russian
speakers in Ukraine:

First, the overwhelming majority of Ukrainian citizens speak and
understand both languages. Ukrainian- and Russian-speakers have
lived in proximity for centuries. Many people slip back and forth
easily between the two languages, and tell jokes and sing songs in
both of them. Ukraine is the bilingual country Canada aspires to
be.

Second, Ukraine’s civic identity does not depend primarily on
language. Even among Ukrainians who prefer to speak Russian, only a
minority consider themselves ethnic Russians. Many Russian-speakers
proudly identify as Ukrainians. Indeed, while most Russian-speaking
Ukrainians want cordial ties with Russia, most envision those ties
as good neighborly relations, trade, cultural exchange, and free
movement between two independent countries. Only minorities in the
south (10 to 20 per cent of the population) and east (15 to 33 per
cent) support either the unification of Russia and Ukraine or the
annexation of their home region by Russia. Thus, support for
separatism is actually lower in eastern and southern Ukraine than
in Quebec. Surveys conducted in March show that only 15 per cent in
the south and east support Russia’s seizure of Crimea. Even former
president Viktor Yanukovych, a Moscow ally and a Donetsk native,
has called on Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine.

Third, Ukraine’s current national unity problems are not the
product of prior separatist conflict. Contrary to Russian claims,
before the current protests in eastern Ukraine, the region was not
showing signs of separatism. Eastern and southern Ukrainians
accepted the legitimacy of Viktor Yushchenko, a president with a
strong base in western Ukraine. Secessionist parties were marginal.
The electorate participated eagerly in national elections.
Politicians from the south and east vied for national power and
made their careers on the national stage – former Presidents Leonid
Kuchma and Mr. Yanukovych, and former Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko all hail from the east.

Reason on Ukraine

Steve Chapman on
Obama and the appeasement myth
.

Yours truly on whether
we are making too much
of the east-west divide in
Ukraine.

Zenon Evans on the recent “anti-terror operation.”

And much
more
.

Source: reason.com/24-7/2014/04/17/ukraine-eu-russia-us-reach-deal-on-calmi

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Apr 17

Relax! Ukraine is not ordering its Jews to register

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Today, the Western press caught up with the Ukrainian rumor mill: apparently, the People’s Republic of Donetsk had ordered all Jews over the age of 16 to pay a fee of $50 U.S. and register with the new “authorities,” or face loss of citizenship or expulsion. This was laid out in officious-looking fliers pasted on the local synagogue. One local snapped a photo of the fliers and sent it to a friend in Israel, who then took it to the Israeli press and, voila, an international scandal: American Twitter is abuzz with it, Drudge is hawking it, and, today in Geneva, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry slammed the fliers as “grotesque.”

The Donetsk Jewish community dismissed this as “a provocation,” which it clearly is. “It’s an obvious provocation designed to get this exact response, going all the way up to Kerry,” says Fyodr Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs. “I have no doubt that there is a sizeable community of anti-Semites on both sides of the barricades, but for one of them to do something this stupid – this is done to compromise the pro-Russian groups in the east.”

Source: www.sott.net/article/277571-Relax-Ukraine-is-not-ordering-its-Jews-to-register

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