This Week in the World Affairs Brief:

SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: FEAR TRUMPS FREEDOM

Scottish independence is a wonderful and ancient dream but Scotland is no longer the land of tough fighters like William Wallace and his band. It’s become soft and modern—with both feet deep into the media, business and globalist establishment. This past month, the UK Powers That Be (PTB) pulled out all the stops to play upon people’s fears about independence. Even the Queen was rousted out to campaign against independence, in a non-committal sort of way. Every major political hack in the UK was beating the drums of fear, trying to persuade Scotland not to leave the Union they so often complain about. It worked. Fear (or perhaps comfort with the status quo) trumped freedom—although there was some evidence of vote fraud. You can request a one-time free sample of the briefs by sending an email to editor@worldaffairsbrief.com.

Also:

  • Ukraine Truce not Holding
  • Congress Goes Along with Undeclared War on ISIS
  • The Yahoo Case and Secret Courts
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Daily News

Reported US-Syrian Accord on Air Strikes

posted by askousen - Sunday, September 21 2014
A problem with President Obama's plan to expand the war against ISIS into Syria was always the risk that Syrian air defenses might fire on U.S. warplanes, but now a source says Syria's President Assad has quietly agreed to permit strikes in some parts of Syria, reports Robert Parry. — Consortium News

Inspector General Reveals Millions Wasted on Unused Afghan Communications Towers

posted by askousen - Sunday, September 21 2014
...The plan initially started in 2010 as an effort to enhance cell phone and TV broadcast reception in southern Afghanistan, and the initial limit set for the cost was $2 million. The plan was delayed when all the bids came in dramatically higher, and in August of 2011, the State Department cancelled the project. It was immediately uncancelled and they were eventually built in 2012 for $7.2 million. — Antiwar.com

Opinion: A New Era in Anti-Submarine Warfare

posted by askousen - Sunday, September 21 2014
...A future increase in submarine construction and operations by both countries are not the only development of concern in the undersea domain. Internationally, the development and use of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) for military, education, and commercial use are expanding. In the military realm, developed countries are exploring UUV deployment from submarines that will create a new dynamic in the undersea domain. As autonomous technology becomes more mature, UUVs will also operate independently in areas of potential crisis or strategic importance. With a future increase in UUV operations, the ability to track UUVs in the undersea will be equally difficult and require improved sensor and processing capability. — USNI News

Eric Frein's Neighbors: 'We're Prisoners In Our Own Homes'

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 20 2014
Jill Nobles is a single mother living in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, seven miles from the home of alleged cop killer Eric Frein. Less than two weeks ago, she felt safe -- now she clutches her pepper spray when she leaves the house, unsure if cops will block off her route back when she returns at night. It has been almost eight days since Frein, 31, allegedly ambushed two Pennsylvania state troopers at the police barracks near his home, killing one of them. As local, state and federal authorities continue their manhunt for the suspect, the community's tension grows. Nobles, who is trying to obey officials' requests that local residents stay inside, told HuffPost Crime on Saturday morning that she's still terrified. — Huffington Post

U.S. and Canadian Fighter Jets Intercept 8 Russian Planes: Official

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 20 2014
American and Canadian fighter jets scrambled this week to investigate why Russian planes were flying in international airspace west of Alaska - on the same day Ukraine's president addressed lawmakers in Canada and Washington, D.C. While the encounter was professional and without confrontation, the number and type of Russian planes intercepted was unique, a senior defense official told NBC News on Friday. Two American fighter jets intercepted six Russian planes, including two fighter jets, over the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday, while Canadian fighter jets intercepted two Russian Bear long-range bombers on Thursday over the ADIZ, the official said. — NBC News

San Diego judge denies request for license scans

posted by askousen - Friday, September 19 2014
A judge on Thursday tentatively denied a technology entrepreneur's request for license plate data collected on his own vehicle from police scanners, the latest legal setback for advocates seeking more disclosure on vast networks of law enforcement cameras used to track drivers' whereabouts. — AP

EPA's Wood-Burning Stove Ban Deals Blow to Rural Homes

posted by askousen - Friday, September 19 2014
...n October, attorneys general for some of the most liberal states - Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and Oregon - filed suits against the EPA seeking restrictions on wood-burning heaters. The environmental group Earthjustice jumped on the bandwagon and filed its own suit against the federal agency. The suit sought to force the EPA "to update clean air standards that limit emissions from new outdoor wood boilers, furnaces, and other similar sources that discharge large volumes of smoke and soot," said Earthjustice, which filed the action along with other environmental and health groups, including the American Lung Association, Environmental Defense Fund, Clean Air Council, and Environment and Human Health, Inc. The new EPA mandate has all the markings of a "sue-and-settle" scheme between the government and environmentalists, critics charge. — NewsMax

US court renews NSA surveillance program

posted by askousen - Friday, September 19 2014
A US court on Friday reauthorized the National Security Agency's controversial phone collection allowing it to carry out the program for another three months. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), which oversees spy agencies, renewed the NSA's authority to continue to warrantlessly collect "metadata" in bulk about people’s phone calls, federal bodies have said. — Press TV

Shedding Light on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

posted by askousen - Friday, September 19 2014
...Despite the declassification and release, portions of the documents remain sealed and classified to this day, unknown even to our team. The released documents underscore how we had to fight every step of the way to challenge the U.S. Government’s surveillance efforts. At one point, the U.S. Government threatened the imposition of $250,000 in fines per day if we refused to comply. — Yahoo Global Public Policy/Yahoo

Top U.S. Military Official Admits: Our Arab Allies Are Funding ISIS

posted by askousen - Friday, September 19 2014
During his testimony in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee, America's top military official General Martin E. Dempsey admitted that the United States' Arab allies in the middle east are funding ISIS. — Infowars.com

Ukraine ratifies EU deal, offers special status to rebels

posted by askousen - Friday, September 19 2014
Ukraine ratified a sweeping agreement with the European Union on Tuesday - an issue at the heart of the Russia-West crisis over its future - and sought to blunt the independence drive of Russian-backed separatists by offering them temporary and limited self-rule. But though Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko savored a historic triumph with parliament's seal of approval for the EU deal, his peacemaking efforts drew derision from separatists and some mainstream politicians, while his military reported three more deaths of Ukrainian servicemen despite an 11-day ceasefire. — Reuters

New Zealand denies it was planning mass domestic spying

posted by askousen - Tuesday, September 16 2014
New Zealand was preparing to conduct national covert surveillance last year, a US investigative journalist has said. The claims by former Guardian newspaper reporter Glenn Greenwald were denied by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. The report was based on information disclosed by former US National Security Authority (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, who said the government had planned to exploit new spying laws. — BBC

Ukraine Offers 'Special Status' for East to End War

posted by askousen - Tuesday, September 16 2014
The Ukrainian government has offered a package of concessions to eastern rebels aimed at ending the ongoing civil war in the nation, declaring a three year "special status" for the eastern oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk. — Antiwar.com

British PM heads to Scotland hoping to boost 'No' vote

posted by askousen - Tuesday, September 16 2014
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday makes his last visit to Scotland ahead of this week's independence referendum, hoping to boost the "No" vote, with polls predicting a very tight race. The "Yes" and "No" camps are racing to win over undecided voters ahead of the historic poll on Scottish independence on Thursday, with top bands playing a gig urging a vote for leaving Britain. — Yahoo News

New data center protects against solar storms and nuclear EMPs

posted by askousen - Tuesday, September 16 2014
In Boyers, Pa., a recently opened 2,000-sq.-ft. data center has been purpose-built to protect against an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), either generated by a solar storm or a nuclear event. balticservers data center Data Center News The company that built the facility isn't disclosing exactly how the data center was constructed or what materials were used. But broadly, it did say that the structure has an inner skin and an outer skin that use a combination of thicknesses and metals to provide EMP protection. — Computer World

Exclusive: Two Apple medical trials shed light on how HealthKit will work

posted by askousen - Tuesday, September 16 2014
...Stanford University Hospital doctors said they are working with Apple to let physicians track blood sugar levels for children with diabetes. Duke University is developing a pilot to track blood pressure, weight and other measurements for patients with cancer or heart disease. — Yahoo News

Illegal Aliens in the US Get Passport & Social Security Numbers in One Day - Legals must Wait

posted by askousen - Monday, September 15 2014
...If mom was an illegal alien freshly arrived from Mexico, she would be getting her passport and visa on the same day, and from the Social Security office. That is exactly what happened to a busload of Mexicans who arrived from Laredo in Memphis, Tennessee. According to the video posted by therightscoop.com (see below), an American citizen confronted some of the members of the group who spoke no English, had been in the U.S. one day, but already had Social Security numbers and new Mexican passports issued not by the Mexican Consulate, but by the Social Security office in Memphis. — Freedom Outpost

Fluoride FOIA Revealing

posted by askousen - Monday, September 15 2014
Documents that have been obtained through Freedom of Information Requests reveal the behind-the-scenes workings of government agencies in dealing with citizen concerns regarding water fluoridation. These documents raise questions about the objectivity of individuals within these agencies and indicate a need to get to the true motivations behind the lack of objectivity in these organizations. — Nidel Law

Israel Bans Fluoride

posted by askousen - Monday, September 15 2014
...While the debate over water fluoridation has many layers, the most fundamental is that adding fluoride to water is a medical treatment, and a forced one at that because this substance is difficult to remove from your water. As Professor Arnon Afek, director-general at the Health Ministry, told the Jerusalem "Individuals have the right to decide if they want it [fluoride] or not - We cannot force people - The ministry supported it for over 40 years, but this is a new era. The world has changed, and we can educate parents." This new era has ushered in many similar decisions from countries and communities around the globe seeking to protect their citizens from this avoidable neurotoxic poison. — Dr. Mercola

'Moderate' Syria Rebels Sign Non-Aggression Pact With ISIS

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 13 2014
Today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that ISIS and other significant rebel factions, including both Islamist and "moderate" groups, have signed a mutual non-aggression pact in a Damascus suburb. The pact was said to have been brokered by al-Qaeda's Jabhat al-Nusra, and agrees that all sides will respect a truce until the destruction of the "Nussayri" regime, a pejorative term for Alawites. — Antiwar.com

White House: 'We Are at War With ISIS'

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 13 2014
Yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry loudly objected to the characterization of the new US war on ISIS as a "war," insisting it isn't technically a war. The argument appears to have been totally pointless, as the White House confirmed that, indeed, "we are at war with ISIS." — Antiwar.com

U.S.-led coalition seeks to exclude Iran from fight against Islamic State

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 13 2014
...The question of Iran's participation has become a distraction for the Obama administration as it seeks to build a diverse international support base for a military and diplomatic campaign against militants that have laid claim to territory in Iraq and Syria. Secretary of State John F. Kerry says Iran should not attend a conference about the militant threat that will be held Monday in Paris, although invitations are up to France. — Washington Post

Israel tells US it will act if IS reaches Jordan

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 13 2014
...According to the report, Israel believes US airstrikes in Iraq have already yielded results on the ground, helping Kurdish forces make inroads in recapturing territory overtaken by the extremist group. The TV report did not specify what actions Israel might take if Islamic State started impacting upon Jordan, but Israel is wary of its eastern neighbor being challenged by the brutal terror group, and would seek to guard against further inroads that would directly threaten Israel. — Times of Israel

Israeli intelligence veterans refuse to serve in Palestinian territories

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 13 2014
...The largest intelligence unit in the Israeli military, Unit 8200 intercepts electronic communications including email, phone calls and social media in addition to targeting military and diplomatic traffic. The signatories say, however, that a large part of their work was unrelated to Israel's security or defence, but appeared designed to perpetuate the occupation by "infiltrating" and "controlling" all aspects of Palestinian life. — The Guardian

Analysis: Both Parties in Congress Play It Safe

posted by askousen - Saturday, September 13 2014
Seven weeks before the elections, Republicans and Democrats are both playing it safe, willing to make short-term sacrifices of long-held positions in hopes of maximizing their chances for victory at the polls....On the other side of the political divide, Obama recently delayed an order to increase the number of immigrants allowed to stay in the country even though they are here illegally. The retreat came after Senate Democrats expressed concern that immediate action could inflame voters who oppose easing current rules, and ensure the defeat of their candidates in key Senate races. That means that House Republicans who recently voted to sue President Barack Obama for what they say is his failure to obey the Constitution seem likely to hand him new war powers to combat militants seeking an Islamic state. — AP

9/11 After 13 years Paul Craig Roberts

posted by askousen - Friday, September 12 2014
The tragedy of September 11, 2001, goes far beyond the deaths of those who died in the towers and the deaths of firefighters and first responders who succumbed to illnesses caused by inhalation of toxic dust. For thirteen years a new generation of Americans has been born into the 9/11 myth that has been used to create the American warfare/police state. The corrupt Bush and Obama regimes used 9/11 to kill, maim, dispossess and displace millions of Muslims in seven countries, none of whom had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. ...A generation of Americans has been born into a police state in which privacy and constitutional protections no longer exist. — PaulCraigRoberts.org

Why no one should use brokerage accounts

posted by askousen - Friday, September 12 2014
...SIPC's website says, "SIPC protects customers if their brokerage firm fails." Nothing could be farther from the truth. Investors in brokerage accounts that fail due to fraud can be forced to pay back to a SIPC-appointed trustee huge sums, indeed far more than what they contributed to their accounts. Wall Street pays SIPC's bills. So when a SIPC-appointed trustee sues innocent victims?, every dollar the trustee takes ?in is a dollar less Wall Street has to pay out. Thus, Wall Street uses SIPC to further defraud people it's already defrauded. — PBS News Hour

The Huge Hidden Risks To Your Brokerage Account -- Reply To SIPC's CEO

posted by askousen - Friday, September 12 2014
Stephen P. Harbeck, President and CEO of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) has written a strongly worded response to my Forbes column entitled "Close Your Brokerage Account." A longer version of this column entitled, Why No One Should Use Brokerage Accounts was published by PBS NEWSHOUR. I respond below to each of Mr. Harbeck's statements on a line-by-line basis. — Forbes

Yahoo resisted NSA Prism requests -- US government threatened $250,000 daily fines

posted by askousen - Friday, September 12 2014
...Just like Google and Microsoft, Yahoo is keen to let it be known that it tried to stick up for the privacy rights of its customers. A new cache of documents -- stretching to War And Peace baiting 1,500 pages -- from seven years ago shows just how much of a fight Yahoo tried to put on its users' behalves. Way back in 2007, the US government started to request information about users from a number of online companies. Yahoo was one of the companies who -- initially, at least -- refused to comply, and tried to fight the government in court. Some of the documents that have just been released give an insight into not only Yahoo's attempts to avoid handing over user data, and the company's fight to make the secret court papers publicly available. One particularly interesting little scrap of information included in the paper is the fact that the US government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 for failing to comply with requests for information. Not as a one-off fine, but as a recurring, daily fine. A fine of a quarter of a million dollars per day for failing to hand over information about customers. — Beta News

10 Signs That ISIS is a Scripted Psyop

posted by askousen - Friday, September 12 2014
...What are these things and what are some of the surreal oddities surrounding ISIS? Let's examine: 1. Professional Camera, Editing Software and Skills Incredibly, despite being savages that only want to kill for apparently no specific burning reason other than that fact that you are not ISIS, ISIS has at least some kind of production department that can skillfully provide what could be considered Hollywood-style editing (of supposed beheading videos) with multiple camera angles, consistent daylight on their subjects and proper daylight mode video exposure. They clearly have the skills for setting up multiple cameras and using those precise angles for their production department. In order to put out these supposed beheading videos, they also had to make sure that the sounds were just right and that there was no shaking of the camera. — Activist Post