California: SB-1424 Internet: Social Media: False Information: Strategic Plan






California: SB-1424 Internet: Social Media: False Information: Strategic Plan


April 9th, 2018

Via: Jon Rappoport:

This bill would require any person who operates a social media, as defined, Internet Web site with a physical presence in California to develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Web site. The bill would require the plan to include, among other things, a plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories, the utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories, providing outreach to social media users, and placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

(a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.

(b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.

(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.

(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.

(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

(c) As used in this section, “social media� means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.















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Russian Deputy DM: Blackjack strategic bomber to get 1000km range-boost and ‘special coatings’

A Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bomber

    

All Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers are scheduled to undergo “deep modernization,” the Russian Defense Ministry says. The upgrade will involve installation of new engines that will significantly boost their flight range.

The new engines are expected to be 10 percent more energy efficient. This would ultimately allow the bombers to fly 1,000 kilometers further, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov told journalists while visiting the engine manufacturing company located in Samara, Russian.

Nowadays, the long-range aircraft can already cover a distance of more than 12,000 kilometers without refueling. Its record distance without refueling has reached 18,000 kilometers.

The first bombers are expected to be equipped with new engines in 2021, the deputy defense minister said. The modernization of the Tu-160 airplanes is not, however, limited to the engines.

“We are going to… carry out deep modernization of the planes [that are currently] in service when only the fuselage would remain while all the avionics equipment and engines would be replaced,” Borisov said. He added that the Russian strategic bomber aircraft park is expected to be fully upgraded by 2030.

The modernized Tu-160 will be stealthier thanks to “special coatings.”It is also set to include new weapons that will outmatch their predecessors.

“One cannot even compare the Tu-160 aircraft equipped with the X-55, X-555 and X-101 missiles and a plane that we are hoping to get by 2030 equipped with new air-delivered ordnance that would have completely different effective distance,”Borisov said, commenting on the ministry’s plans. The overall effectiveness of the strategic bombers is expected to increase by 60 percent due to the modernization, Russian media reports, citing the military.

READ MORE: Boost to nuclear triad: Putin hails upgraded Russian strategic bomber

The Tu-160, which is nicknamed the ‘White Swan’ in Russia, and designated as ‘Blackjack’ by NATO, is the largest combat aircraft in the world, with maximum takeoff weight of around 275 tons. Russia’s military announced the decision to resume production of the bombers back in 2015 after it was stalled for more than a decade.

The first modernized version of the Tu-160 with new engine and digital onboard equipment was rolled out of the hangar in November of last year. In January 2018, it underwent its first flight trials, witnessed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia currently has a fleet of 11 regular Tu-160s and five upgraded Tu-160s. The bombers are expected to hit the production line in the early 2020s. The defense ministry plans to purchase at least 50 bombers of the kind.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/380668-Russian-Deputy-DM-Blackjack-strategic-bomber-to-get-1000km-range-boost-and-special-coatings

Failure of intelligence: Why Russia’s new strategic capabilities come as a shock to US intelligence community

missile misil

    

The United States of America spends something like $80 billion annually on intelligence gathering and analysis. When the CIA was founded by the National Security Act in 1947 the intention was to create a mechanism that would warn about an imminent threat. The memory of Pearl Harbor in 1941, when Japan attacked the U.S. naval base was still fresh, and the legislation was popularized by the slogan “no more Pearl Harbors.”

In spite of the dedication of considerable resources and manpower, there have been some major intelligence failures in the past seventy years, starting with the inability to anticipate the breakout of the Korean War and including the embrace of false intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. But the most recent failure is perhaps more consequential than either Korea or Iraq.

On March 1st, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke before his country’s Federal Assembly plus a large group of both local and foreign journalists, outlining his plans for the economy and also dealing with other domestic issues should he be reelected later this month. The final third of the presentation was on national defense and, in its substance, was clearly directed at a global audience, particularly the United States.

He explained

“During all these years since the unilateral U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty [in 2001] we have been working intensively on advanced equipment and arms, which allowed us to make a breakthrough in developing new models of strategic weapons.”

He was referring to the RS-28 Sarmat ballistic missile, which has almost unlimited range and ultra-high speed, enabling it to employ trajectories including strikes coming over the South Pole that can defeat existing American Anti-Ballistic Defense systems. Russia has also produced and deployed a hypersonic glider weapon system Avangard.

But the real game changer is the Russian ability to negate America’s ability to project power through its navy. The already deployed air-launched Kinzhal anti-ship missile has a range of 2000 kilometers and a hyper-sonic speed that makes it nearly impossible to intercept. The development has made America’s thirteen aircraft carrier groups obsolete. President Putin made clear that Russia now has an overwhelming military advantage in cruise and ballistic missiles that are capable of penetrating U.S. defenses.

The new reality may or may not impel policymakers in Washington to approach Moscow and seek a new round of negotiations for arms control, but the real shock deriving from the Putin announcement is the failure of the intelligence community to anticipate the developments and advise their significance. Some of the new systems were hardly secret, with development of the Sarmat, for example, known to western governments for a number of years.

There will no doubt be a blame game in Washington over the inability to learn of Russia’s arms programs, but the questions that probably will not be asked relates to the intelligence agencies themselves and their capabilities, or lack thereof. It is no secret that organizations like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have seen their basic missions change since 2001. An organization that used to pride itself on its ability to conduct classic espionage operations involving recruiting and running spies suddenly heard from policymakers that those skills were no longer in demand. Many officers who were made redundant or forced to retire were precisely those individuals who had cut their teeth on running operations directed against the old Soviet Union. They had the language and cultural skills necessary to collect information on Russia. With their departure, those capabilities also largely vanished.

Instead of spying, American intelligence agencies working mostly against what was broadly described as “terrorism,” used technology to locate potential targets and kill them. The CIA’s Clandestine Services, once the haven of its spies, became under President Barack Obama, a largely paramilitary operation focused on military solutions rather than espionage. This process was accelerated under Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan, who worked assiduously to reduce the influence of the former spies within the Agency. Brennan reportedly had once wanted to become a spy but was kicked out of the training program as “unsuitable.”

So, has America learned that its intelligence agencies are doing all the wrong things and that the national defense strategy is unsustainable because the Russian-American relationship is now on a new footing? Possibly, but it is perhaps more likely that Washington will avoid asking the hard questions.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/379583-Failure-of-intelligence-Why-Russias-new-strategic-capabilities-come-as-a-shock-to-US-intelligence-community

Argentina’s relationship with Russia suddenly becomes ‘strategic’



 


It seems that Russia has lost its influence in Argentina after the rise of pro-Western President Mauricio Macri to power. All of a sudden, Macri announced the continuation of strategic cooperation with Russia, and opened the doors of the country for such Russian state-run giants of the atomic and gas industries as Rosatom and Gazprom.

After leftist forces left the governments of Argentina and Brazil, the split in MERCOSUR on the issue of Venezuela, the death of Fidel Castro, Rafael Correa’s departure from politics, it seemed that the loss of Russia’s influence in Latin America was a matter of a short time. President Vladimir Putin did not said nothing about Brazil during the last BRICS summit.

However, President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, has recently paid a visit to Moscow and this event dispelled pessimism. After his victory in 2015, all of Argentina’s agreements with Russia were suspended. Those agreements include such projects as the Atucha nuclear power plant, the sale of Su-24 interceptor aircraft, and the construction of a GLONASS station. It was rumoured that the Chinese quickly intercepted Russia’s atomic interests in Argentina.

Nevertheless, as a results of the visit to Moscow on January 23-24, the President of Argentina unexpectedly stated that the relations between Russia and Argentina were “strategic.”

“We are especially interested in developing ties in the fields of energy, agricultural industry, infrastructure, logistics, mechanical engineering, including in the railway sector, because Russia has an expensive experience in this,” Argentine President Mauricio Macri said in an interview with TASS.

“There are Russian companies like Rosatom and Gazprom that want to participate in the energy sector of Argentina, and we are opening doors for them,” Macri added.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in the exploration and production of uranium in Argentina, to make Argentina become a world producer of uranium.

Is Macri turning into a pro-Russian politician? Russian projects are attractive indeed. Rosatom provides a full complex of construction and maintenance for the nuclear power plant – from the extraction and raw materials supplies to repairs and equipment replacement. The GLONASS system is an excellent addition to GPS that will take Argentina to “Russian space.”

Secondly, Russia transfers technology, while China attracts its suppliers and contractors. Thirdly, it is obvious that the US is leaving the region against the background of Trump’s isolationist policy and decreasing economic assistance to the countries of the region. The US has been terminating long-term contracts with its neighbours across the continent and building protectionist barriers.

A recent Gallup poll showed that the approval of the actions of the US administration dropped in all countries of Latin America to an average of 24% in 2017 (in Argentina – to 13%).

Russia is open to supplies of traditional Latin American exports, including from Argentina, against the backdrop of the war of sanctions.

“We (Argentina) are striving to become a strategic supplier. We are ready to supply meat, fruit, beans to Russia. During the meeting with Vladimir Putin, we talked about the opportunities that the agreement on cooperation between MERCOSUR and the Eurasian Economic Union can give,” Macri said in Moscow.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Mora, director of the Latin American Program at the International University of Florida (FIU), was quick to say that the Russians were planning to interfere in elections in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and Brazil.

As we can see, Russia does not need to promote its candidates anywhere. Argentine President Macri has shown that a candidate of any geopolitical orientation will seek cooperation with Russia, because Russian projects create jobs, transfer advanced technologies, and Russia is always there to help in time of need. For example, Russia offered its help to Argentina to search for the missing submarine.

Leading researcher of the Center for Iberian Studies of the Institute of Latin America of the Russian Academy of Sciences, candidate of historical sciences Naila Yakovleva, told Pravda.Ru that the Russian government runs pragmatic and sensible policies, whereas Russian corporations offer profitable deals.

“Russia does not compete with Argentina on foreign markets, we have different goods and different exports. Latin America is no longer a priority for the United States these days, and Russian positions in the region can now be represented very favourably. Trump’s protectionism opens additional opportunities for Russia, and this is a unique moment that we need to take advantage of,” the expert added.

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Argentina’s relationship with Russia suddenly becomes ‘strategic’



 


It seems that Russia has lost its influence in Argentina after the rise of pro-Western President Mauricio Macri to power. All of a sudden, Macri announced the continuation of strategic cooperation with Russia, and opened the doors of the country for such Russian state-run giants of the atomic and gas industries as Rosatom and Gazprom.

After leftist forces left the governments of Argentina and Brazil, the split in MERCOSUR on the issue of Venezuela, the death of Fidel Castro, Rafael Correa’s departure from politics, it seemed that the loss of Russia’s influence in Latin America was a matter of a short time. President Vladimir Putin did not said nothing about Brazil during the last BRICS summit.

However, President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, has recently paid a visit to Moscow and this event dispelled pessimism. After his victory in 2015, all of Argentina’s agreements with Russia were suspended. Those agreements include such projects as the Atucha nuclear power plant, the sale of Su-24 interceptor aircraft, and the construction of a GLONASS station. It was rumoured that the Chinese quickly intercepted Russia’s atomic interests in Argentina.

Nevertheless, as a results of the visit to Moscow on January 23-24, the President of Argentina unexpectedly stated that the relations between Russia and Argentina were “strategic.”

“We are especially interested in developing ties in the fields of energy, agricultural industry, infrastructure, logistics, mechanical engineering, including in the railway sector, because Russia has an expensive experience in this,” Argentine President Mauricio Macri said in an interview with TASS.

“There are Russian companies like Rosatom and Gazprom that want to participate in the energy sector of Argentina, and we are opening doors for them,” Macri added.

A memorandum of understanding was signed in the exploration and production of uranium in Argentina, to make Argentina become a world producer of uranium.

Is Macri turning into a pro-Russian politician? Russian projects are attractive indeed. Rosatom provides a full complex of construction and maintenance for the nuclear power plant – from the extraction and raw materials supplies to repairs and equipment replacement. The GLONASS system is an excellent addition to GPS that will take Argentina to “Russian space.”

Secondly, Russia transfers technology, while China attracts its suppliers and contractors. Thirdly, it is obvious that the US is leaving the region against the background of Trump’s isolationist policy and decreasing economic assistance to the countries of the region. The US has been terminating long-term contracts with its neighbours across the continent and building protectionist barriers.

A recent Gallup poll showed that the approval of the actions of the US administration dropped in all countries of Latin America to an average of 24% in 2017 (in Argentina – to 13%).

Russia is open to supplies of traditional Latin American exports, including from Argentina, against the backdrop of the war of sanctions.

“We (Argentina) are striving to become a strategic supplier. We are ready to supply meat, fruit, beans to Russia. During the meeting with Vladimir Putin, we talked about the opportunities that the agreement on cooperation between MERCOSUR and the Eurasian Economic Union can give,” Macri said in Moscow.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Mora, director of the Latin American Program at the International University of Florida (FIU), was quick to say that the Russians were planning to interfere in elections in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and Brazil.

As we can see, Russia does not need to promote its candidates anywhere. Argentine President Macri has shown that a candidate of any geopolitical orientation will seek cooperation with Russia, because Russian projects create jobs, transfer advanced technologies, and Russia is always there to help in time of need. For example, Russia offered its help to Argentina to search for the missing submarine.

Leading researcher of the Center for Iberian Studies of the Institute of Latin America of the Russian Academy of Sciences, candidate of historical sciences Naila Yakovleva, told Pravda.Ru that the Russian government runs pragmatic and sensible policies, whereas Russian corporations offer profitable deals.

“Russia does not compete with Argentina on foreign markets, we have different goods and different exports. Latin America is no longer a priority for the United States these days, and Russian positions in the region can now be represented very favourably. Trump’s protectionism opens additional opportunities for Russia, and this is a unique moment that we need to take advantage of,” the expert added.

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Putin eyes supersonic civilian airliner based on Tu-160 strategic bomber

Russia had a supersonic passenger plane, the Tu-144, but it operated for less than a decade and was ruled economically unfeasible. The same happened to the only other similar aircraft, the British-French Concorde, which made its last flight in 2003.

After witnessing the test flight of the Tu-160, Putin suggested civilian supersonic aircraft could see a revival in the current economy.

“The Tu-144 was taken off production because an airline ticket cost must take into consideration the average salaries in a country. The situation is different now. There are big companies which could operate such an aircraft,” he said.

The president mused that Russia could make a civilian version of the Tu-160.

The newest supersonic bomber, the ‘Pyotr Deynekin’, is currently undergoing producer trials at the Gorbunov air plant in Kazan. Once certified, the nuclear-capable aircraft will join a fleet of 11 regular Tu-160s and five upgraded Tu-160s and form the air part of the Russian nuclear triad.

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Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/416955-putin-supersonic-civilian-airliner/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

SAA Liberates Abu Dhohour Strategic Military Airport from the CIA

SAA Soldiers with Tank
SAA Soldiers with Tank

In a major blow to the US plot to destroy and divide Syria, the Syrian Arab Army and its allies liberated the strategic Abu Dhohour Military Airport southeast of Idlib from the CIA and its mercenaries in Nusra Front.

The General Command of the Syrian Armed Forces issued a statement confirming the liberating of Abu Dhohour Military Airport in a series of military operations that also cleaned more than 300 towns and villages from the Nusra Front terrorist organizations and encircled the remnants of ISIS, both branches of al-Qaeda operating in Syria under the banner of the FSA, the forefront of the CIA.

General Command of Syrian Armed Forces Statement on the Liberation of Abu Dhohour Military Airport

Transcript of the Statement:

‘Statement issued by the General Command of the Syrian Arab Army and Armed Forces.

After a series of qualitative (military) operations, units of our (Syrian) Armed Forces, in cooperation with the supporting forces and allies, have completed its operations successfully and took control of Abu Dhohour Military Airport in southeast Idlib countryside.

Engineering units are now dismantling and removing the mines, IEDs, and other explosives planted by the terrorists in the area.

Abu Dhohour Airport is the second largest military base north of Syria, it has a great strategic importance being positioned between Aleppo, Hama and Idlib provinces.

The importance of this achievement comes from being the culmination of the liberation of 300 towns and villages in the countrysides of Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo.

It has also resulted in cornering ISIS terrorist group in the area between Khanaser, Abu Dhohour, Sa’an, and Hamra, and to secure a second main road between Hama and Aleppo in addition to Khanaser Road.

The combat operations carried out by our combat units led to the destruction of the elite units of the terrorist organizations of the so-called organization of the Front of Victory and associated factions, and it was a severe blow to it and its regional and international supporters.

The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces affirms its determination to continue to carry out its national duty to eradicate terrorism, thwart the schemes of its sponsors and supporters, and restore security and stability to all the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Damascus on 21 January 2018
General Command of the Army and Armed Forces’

The latest incursion by Turkey didn’t deter the Syrian Arab Army from continuing its task and restoring a vital airport that can be used to support all the SAA and its allies military operations and logistics in the north and especially the northwest of Syria. We are still looking forward to the liberation of Meng Airbase which will turn the whole calculations upside down for NATO, their regional stooges and their mercenary terrorist groups.

Source Article from http://www.syrianews.cc/saa-liberates-abu-dhohour-airport/

‘Kurds are pawns in US strategic games’

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) say they could join the government army if they’re allowed to form a federal state in the north of the country.

The statement came after Turkey claimed the US president had promised to stop arming Kurdish forces.

However, there’s apparently no clear position from the White House on the matter. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the US is ready to “stop providing military equipment to certain groups” in Syria during a briefing on Monday.

Nicolas J. S. Davies, author, and political analyst, says Washington’s pronouncements on the issue of arming the Kurds shouldn’t be taken at face value.

“[The White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee] could be referring to Al-Qaeda linked armed groups in Idlib province in the northwest who have received thousands of tons of weapons over the years – mostly paid for by the Saudis but facilitated by the CIA to get all those weapons delivered mostly from the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe,” Davies said.

“If the White House isn’t letting on who it is they are talking about, somebody should ask them,” he continued.

“Obviously, [Trump] is under pressure from Turkey to do that and the Turks actually were the ones who said that he had told them that he was going to stop arming the Kurds. I think we have to wait and see exactly what this means,” he added.

In Davies’ view, “we should be very conscious that most of the arming of rebel groups in Syria by the US or its allies was done covertly. So, whatever they are saying publicly is not necessarily the whole story.”

He said that there are “a lot of holes” in statements both from the military and from the White House “that are big enough to drive ships, planes and trucks loaded with weapons through.”

“The US has a long history of supporting different Kurdish factions when it suits them and then pulling the plug when it no longer fits the US interest,” Davies pointed out.

“This goes all the way to the 1970s when the Iraqi government was fighting Kurdish rebels in Iraq and the US and Iran – which was still ruled by the Shah at that point – were supporting the Iraqi rebels. But then at a certain point in March 1975, Iran cut off the support for the Iraqi Kurdish rebels. And all the US relief and support going to the Kurdish refugees that had been coming through Iran just dried up overnight. And when the US House Intelligence Committee asked Henry Kissinger about this, he very famously told them that ‘covert action should not be confused with missionary work.’ In other words, this was not about helping these Kurdish refugees, it was about using them as pawns in the US policy to destabilize Iraq,” he said.

He went on to recall that later when Saddam Hussein came to power, the situation was reversed.

“The US supported him, and by then, at the same time, there was a revolution in Iran and Iran stopped being a US ally. But the Kurds have been pawns in these strategic games that the US have been involved in for decades in that part of the world,” he told RT.

Daoud Khairallah, professor of International law at Georgetown University, Washington says he would not be surprised at all if the US stopped supporting the Kurds.

“The US realizes that its support of the Kurds has antagonized and alienated Turkey – its tradition ally. The US realizes that it doesn’t stand on solid legal grounds in Syria. If the fighting is to go on with the Kurds as a means for whatever reasons, the Kurds would not stand a chance either to become independent – because everything around them, the entire environment is hostile to them – and the US would be in a very difficult position supporting only trouble in Syria,” he told RT.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/411179-kurds-sdf-us-turkey/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS