This Week in the World Affairs Brief:

THE “ANTI-TRUMP” MOVEMENT FALTERS

After Donald Trump’s resounding win in the five Northeastern state primaries, winning about 60% of the Republican vote, the anti-Trump forces surrounding Ted Cruz and John Kasich are resorting to desperate measures that have sown confusion in their ranks instead of unity. The “Never Trump” movement was initially confident of stopping him from reaching a first round victory of 1237 delegates, but that prospect is dimming with each Trump victory. Trump is even leading in the polls in Indiana, which Cruz desperately needs to win if he is going to deny Trump the nomination and set a precedent for the remaining primaries. With yesterday’s violent riot against Trump at a rally in So. California, instigated and organized by radical Latinos, it appears the establishment is prepared to foment social unrest in order to sow fear in the minds of Americans about a Trump presidency. You can request a one-time free sample of the briefs by sending an email to editor@worldaffairsbrief.com.

Also:

  • Clinton is Immune from Prosecution
  • War Back in Full Swing in Syria
  • Challenge to US Military Superiority by the East
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Daily News

Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya's Sarin to Syrian Rebels

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
The great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in two previous articles in the London Review of Books ("Whose Sarin?" and "The Red Line and the Rat Line") has reported that the Obama Administration falsely blamed the government of Syria's Bashar al-Assad for the sarin gas attack that Obama was trying to use as an excuse to invade Syria; and Hersh pointed to a report from British intelligence saying that the sarin that was used didn’t come from Assad's stockpiles. — Strategic Culture

Donald Trump starts the general election behind Hillary Clinton by a mile

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
[The media offense against Trump has already started. Polls before the news about Trump clinching the nomination are hardly conclusive as they must have been polling people about hypotheticals which they could already see coming.] ...Speaking of huge gaps! White voters prefer Donald Trump, as they have since last June. But non-white voters vastly prefer Hillary Clinton -- at this point by a 67-point margin. (Sanders leads with this group by a smaller margin.) — Washington Post

Trump is the GOP nominee

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
As predicted in this space yesterday, Donald Trump rolled to a big win in Indiana and Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP presidential race. Trump is now on track to hit the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot in Cleveland in July. The focus now shifts to how Republicans will deal with the fact that Trump — who is neither a fiscal nor a social conservative - is their standard bearer. Some began on Tuesday to line up behind the Manhattan-based brand manager. The RNC officially acknowledged Trump as the victor. But there are plenty of big names - including Cruz - who have not lined up behind Trump and may never do so. — Politico

How Zuma, the smiling spy, controls South Africa

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
...One senior ANC source, who did not wish to be named for fear of retribution, said the key to Zuma's power was his lock over the party, regardless of his standing among the public. "So-called experts have been saying Zuma is finished for years but they don't have a clue how politics here works," said the ANC official. "People ask, how does Zuma survive? No one asks, how does Vladimir Putin survive?" — Reuters

First Take: Ted Cruz 'too strategic for his own good'

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
...But that deft maneuvering also led to his undoing. Voters noticed when Cruz initially chummed up with Trump, then a few months later denounced him as a pathological liar. His backroom dealings to win delegates in some states gained media attention. The beginning of the end seemed to come last week when his campaign announced a baffling alliance with Kasich over Indiana votes that fizzled as quickly as it started. — Rick Jervis/USA Today

Sanders wins Indiana, keeping his movement alive

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
...The win in Indiana will help with that effort. "I sense a great deal of momentum," Sanders told reporters in Indiana after the results were in. "We understand -- and I do not deny it for one second -- that we have an uphill battle in front of us," he said. But there is a "path to victory, although it is a narrow path." Nonetheless, because the Democrats distribute delegates proportionately according to each candidate's vote totals, the primary results will have little impact on the actual race. The two candidates will split Indiana's 83 pledged delegates roughly in half. That result benefits Clinton, who is closing in on a delegate majority. — LA Times

Hillary Clinton's Growing Problem With Independents

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton faces a mounting challenge among independent voters following months of attacks from rival Bernie Sanders. An April Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that Mrs. Clinton's favorability rating among independents had dropped 15 percentage points in the last four months alone. — WSJ

Leaked Papers: White House Resorts to Blackmail in TTIP Trade Negotiations

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
[A 240-page document described as an excerpt from the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)shows that Washington threatened to cut off market access to European car exports unless the EU agreed to purchase genetically engineered agricultural products from the US. More than half of the member-states of the European Union have taken steps to ban the sale or import of genetically modified crops over concerns regarding their long-term health impacts. The secret TTIP negotiations, which were leaked by the leftist environmental group Greenpeace, also show efforts by Washington to alter various EU regulations dealing with environment and consumer concerns. Some European commentators believe that the leak may doom European approval of the pact. ] — Sputnik News

Yahoo chief's $55m severance package revealed

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
[When Marissa Mayer was appointed CEO of Yahoo in 2012, she announced an ambitious program to turn around the ailing tech company by optimizing its content for mobile devices. This strategy did nothing to arrest the search engine company's decline: From 2008 to 2015 its net sale revenue plummeted from $7.2 billion to $4.6 billion, from which Mayer drew a salary last year of $36 million in cash and benefits. In February, Yahoo announced that it was selling its core business assets, and several info-tech companies – including Verizon - and the owner of Britain's Daily Mail newspaper has expressed interest. Mayer and the rest of the internet media company's upper management team have negotiated severance packages in the event that the sale results in the loss of their jobs. Mayer would reportedly receive $54.9 million in cash, stock, and benefits.] — BBC

Men win settlement after fight with Detroit police officers

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
Two Detroit men who got into a fight with police in a restaurant three years ago have been given a six-figure damage award following a civil trial. After the officers followed Tywonn Mitchell and Navian Moore into the Grand Coney Island restaurant, one of them poked Moore in the chest without cause or explanation. Moore slapped the officer’s hand away, and a fight began, which was captured by the restaurant’s security cameras. The college students were charged with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. However, the charges were dropped after the local Fox affiliate broadcast the security camera video, which depicted the event much differently than the version found in the official report filed by the officers. Of course the settlement cost will be paid by the taxpayers. — Fox 2 Detroit

Venezuela Resorts To Changing Time Itself To Survive Socialism As Food Shortages and Power Outages W

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
When heavily socialist countries collapse, and they always do, it is always interesting to watch what they do near the end. Venezuela is the latest and its activities have gotten more bizarre by the day. A few weeks ago, as we reported, the Central Bank of Venezuela blamed hyperinflation on a website. Then they began flying in plane loads of Venezuelan Bolivars! Yes, we are not kidding. Flying in “money” in cargo planes to cure hyperinflation one-ups Helicopter Ben Bernanke! Then it became too expensive to print the Venezuelan bolivar, as it cost more to print pictures of dead criminals on pieces of paper than the paper cost itself. — Dollar Vigilante

Venezuela hikes minimum wage 30 percent amid economic crunch

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
The socialist government of Venezuela cannot keep the lights on, store shelves filled, or print its own money, but it continues to believe that it can create wealth by decree. President Nicolas Maduro has responded to surging inflation and economic contraction by issuing an order raising the country's minimum wage by 30 percent, effective May 1. The official minimum wage would be $1,051 Bolivars a month, which at the artificial parity proposed by the government is $1,500. On the black market – which actually sets the prices for consumer goods – that figure translates to roughly $50 a month. — Seattle Times

Killer airwaves: Russia starts trial of electromagnetic warfare system

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
...It uses brand-new algorithms of electronic jamming with expanded combat capabilities and modernized command module design. The complex consists of multiple jamming modules exercising long-range impact on enemy command system with a powerful and complex digital signal [Despite the vague jargon, by this pro-Russian site, the Russian's have been developing new jamming weapons, but these are not ground-based EMP (electromagnetic pulse), as the beginning of the article seems to lead on.] — Russia Today

'A pretend scientist in a bow tie': Climate-change denying Weather Channel founder SLAMS Bill Nye

posted by askousen - Wednesday, May 4 2016
John Coleman, Weather Channel founder, attacked TV star Nye Friday Nye had criticized 'Climate Hustle,' which denies man-made climate change 'It's not in the world's interest,' Nye said of the documentary film Coleman, who introduces the movie was 'offended' that Nye is so popular Nye has a BS in Mechanical Engineering, but is not a scientist — The Daily Mail

Please, FBI - you're our last hope: The Democratic Party's future rests upon your probe of Hillary C

posted by askousen - Monday, May 2 2016
... This should tell you something about the state of our Republic. This should also tell you something about the rule of law in our country. If anyone else in the U.S. government owned a private server storing Top Secret intelligence, for the sake of "convenience," they'd be in jail. Lt. General Michael Flynn made that case on CNNw ith Jake Tapper. The mere notion that Hillary Clinton could face criminal indictments is simply unrealistic to many voters, and I explain here what the Clinton campaign and supporters think of you and your organization. There used to be a time in U.S. history when FBI investigations were bad for campaigns; now it's not even a speed bump for the former Secretary of State. — Open Letter/Salon.com

California Signs Law Allowing Illegals To Vote

posted by askousen - Monday, May 2 2016
A California state bill was just signed in to law by Gov. Jerry Brown, that will register and allow illegal aliens to vote in US Elections. The New Motor Voter Act (A.B.1461) that is now law in California, automatically registers residents of California to vote at the DMV. According to the law and a report by the Washington Times, "The New Motor Voter Act automatically registers to vote all eligible voters when they obtain or renew their drivers licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles instead of requiring them to fill out a form." "The goal is to ease barriers to voting, but election-integrity advocates warn that the measure could inadvertently add millions of illegal voters to the rolls given that California allows undocumented aliens to obtain drivers licenses." — Raw Conservative

Technology SITREP: the Iskander-M Operational-Tactical Missile System

posted by askousen - Monday, May 2 2016
[This pro-Russian site lists the idealized capabilities of the Intermediate ballistic missile, Iskandar M]..."Operational-Tactical" refers to the missions and capabilities of what is a family of missiles which can be fired from the Iskander Transporter erector launcher (TEL) which includes ballistic as well as cruise missile and short range as well as intermediate range missiles. The actual numbers are, of course, kept secret, but it appears that the range of these missiles can, depending on the model and configuration, be anywhere between 250km to 500km and with some variant capable of reaching 2000km. According to Wikipedia, the missile is a "stealthy" one, meaning it has a very small radar cross section, it can execute evasive maneuvers with 30G turns, it flies at hypersonic speeds (max 6-7) and it can be remotely controlled from ground operators, UAV and even AWACS aircraft. The missile also uses satellite guidance and optical terminal guidance. Best of all, it’s accuracy is officially an excellent a 5-7 meters, which means that in reality the Russian (non-export) variant probably has a 2-3 meter CEP. The missile’s conventional warhead types include including a cluster munition warhead, a fuel-air explosive enhanced-blast warhead, a tactical earth penetrator for bunker busting and an electro-magnetic pulse device (EMP) for anti-radar missions (source). The missile can also carry a 5-50 kiloton nuclear warhead. — The Saker

Global Drone Arms Race Spreading Quickly

posted by askousen - Monday, May 2 2016
...China in particular has embraced their use. A report from 2011 indicated that there were at least 280 active drones, and that China was also experimenting with autonomous drone swarms (you can read that story in a previous update posted below). Now Chinese media is announcing the first successful test of a combat-ready stealth drone called "Sharp Sword." The new stealth drone goes beyond surveillance capabilities and marks China’s first known weaponized UAV. It has been noted that it could be used in conjunction with China's first aircraft carrier that went operational in 2012. While not specifically mentioned, this development could mirror the United States' first successful test of an autonomous drone landing at sea aboard its own aircraft carrier. — Activist Post

Top Gun 2016: Russia's Super-Advanced Fighter Jet Enters Service This Year

posted by askousen - Monday, May 2 2016
The fifth generation T-50 fighter jet, also known as the PAK FA, is set to enter service with the Russian Armed Forces later this year. The plane is expected to be equipped with highly advanced X-74M2 cruise missiles, according to the Russian military news network Zvezda. The X-74M2 is a supersonic missile which has a speed of more than Mach 4, which means that the missile is capable of reaching targets in just few seconds, preempting the possibility of its detection by enemy aircraft radar systems, according to Zvezda. — Sputnik News

India tests 1st nuclear-propelled ballistic missile submarine

posted by askousen - Monday, May 2 2016
India's first submarine capable of firing nuclear ballistic missiles, the INS Arihant, is undergoing sea acceptance trials and will be commissioned after their completion, the Navy has announced. "INS Arihant is now undergoing sea acceptance trails as it had already passed several deep sea diving drills. The submarine will be commissioned after completing all the sea trials," said H.C.S. Bisht, Vice Admiral of the Indian Navy. [India has developed closer ties with Russia during their rearmament] — Russia Today

Pentagon Details Chain of Errors in Strike on Afghan Hospital

posted by askousen - Saturday, April 30 2016
Dispatched to eliminate a compound swarming with Taliban fighters, the AC-130 gunship circled above the Afghan city, its crew struggling to figure out where exactly to direct the aircraft's frightening array of weaponry. Missile fire had forced it off course, and now the gunship's targeting systems were pointing it to an empty field, not an enemy base. About 1,000 feet to the southwest, however, the crew spotted a collection of buildings that roughly matched the description of the Taliban compound provided by American and Afghan forces on the ground. Nine men could be spotted walking between the buildings. [The US has been accused a few times lately for attacking hospitals. Some wonder if they aren't trying to discourage groups like Doctors Without Borders from helping their opponents.] — NY Times

U.S. Military Investigates And Finds Itself Not Guilty Of War Crimes In Afghan Hospital Bombing

posted by askousen - Saturday, April 30 2016
The Pentagon said on Friday that its attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last October was not a war crime because the attack was not intentional. The military released a redacted 3,000-page internal investigation into the deadly bombing, which destroyed the only free trauma center of its kind in the country’s northern region and killed 42 patients, staffers and caretakers. "The label 'war crimes' is typically reserved for intentional acts," Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, said on Friday. "The investigation found that the tragic incident resulted from a combination of unintentional human errors and equipment failures, and that none of the personnel knew that they were striking a medical facility." — Huffington Post

House Committee Votes to Require Women to Register for Draft

posted by askousen - Saturday, April 30 2016
By a close 32-30 vote, the House Armed Services Committee approved a bill on April 27 that would require women to register for the draft. Amazingly, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) voted against the measure, which he introduced only to prompt a discussion about the Pentagon’s decision in December to eliminate restrictions against women serving in combat roles in the military. Hunter probably never thought that a majority of members of the committee would actually vote to approve the bill, H.R. 4478. The California congressman, a former Marine who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, even gave his bill an ominous name that should have discouraged its passage: the "Draft America's Daughters Act of 2016." The House Armed Services Committee has 36 Republican members and 27 Democrats so the measure passed with Republican support. A roll call is not available as we write. — The New American

Russia defends intercept of U.S. reconnaissance plane over Baltic

posted by askousen - Saturday, April 30 2016
Russia said on Saturday it had sent a fighter plane on Friday to intercept a U.S. aircraft approaching its border over the Baltic Sea because the American plane had turned off its transponder, which is needed for identification. The Pentagon said the U.S. Air Force RC-135 plane had been flying a routine route in international airspace and that the Russian SU-27 fighter had intercepted it in an "unsafe and unprofessional" way. CNN reported that the Russian jet had come within about 100 feet (30 meters) of the U.S. plane and had performed a barrel roll. [Do the Russian planes probing US and EU air defenses keep their transponders on?] — Reuters

Demonstrators, police face off at tense protest outside Trump event in California

posted by askousen - Saturday, April 30 2016
Protesters opposed to Donald Trump clashed with police outside a hotel here in the San Francisco Bay area Friday ahead of a speech by the Republican front-runner, escalating tensions as eggs were thrown at authorities and one group burned the billionaire in effigy. [The WP doesn't mention that most of the protestors were latinos, whose animosity against Trump is very high due to his campaigning on building a wall. Trump had to take a separate path into the event and said "It felt like crossing the border"] — Washington Post

Sanders has less to say about Clinton, more to say about contested convention

posted by askousen - Saturday, April 30 2016
...Yet as he'd done since Tuesday, Sanders trimmed some of his criticism of Hillary Clinton. The crowd still cheered when Sanders said he'd challenged "the entire Democratic establishment and the most powerful political organization in this country." But Sanders did not give them as many cues to jeer Clinton as he'd given audiences in New York and Pennsylvania. He shot most of his ammo at Republicans, and a "fringe" agenda to let more money into politics and lower taxes for the rich. — Washington Post

The US Is Dropping Bombs Quicker Than It Can Make Them

posted by askousen - Wednesday, April 27 2016
...The Pentagon has had months to deal with it. "We're expending munitions faster than we can replenish them," USA Today quoted Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh as saying in December. Since then Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has asked Congress to include funding for 45,000 smart bombs in the Defense Department's 2017 budget. But it could take a while to rebuild the stockpile. — Public Radio International

NASA - Doubling Sea Level Rise By Data Tampering

posted by askousen - Wednesday, April 27 2016
NASA has doubled 1880 to 1980 sea level rise since Hansen 1983. In 1983, NASA showed very little sea level rise after 1950. Now they show rapid sea level rise from 1950 to 1980. — Real Climate Science.com

China's chilling plan to use social credit ratings to keep score on its citizens

posted by askousen - Wednesday, April 27 2016
...At the core of China's Internet agenda lies the so-called "social credit system". This system, which is currently in the planning phase, seeks to leverage the explosion in personal data generated through smartphones, apps and online transactions in order to improve citizens' behaviour. According to a planning document published by the State Council last year, its objective is to improve "sincerity" in government affairs, commerce and social interactions. The principle is simple: Individuals and businesses will be scored on various aspects of their conduct -- where you go, what you buy and who you know -- and these scores will be integrated within a comprehensive database that not only links into government information, but also to data collected by private businesses. — CNN

How Bernie Sanders' Strategy Will Evolve Going Forward

posted by askousen - Wednesday, April 27 2016
... A major part of Sanders' strategy now seems to be appealing to those superdelegates as well, who do not technically vote until the convention and will likely be the ones to officially put either candidate over the edge. There has been little evidence so far that many party elites are considering switching their allegiances at this late stage. Still, the senator made his pitch today, citing the excitement around his campaign, the large crowds he draws, and how well he does with independents as reasons he is better positioned to represent the Democratic Party. Sanders added that even if he did not win, his team would fight through the end and try to win to as many delegates as possible in order to put pressure on the party and Clinton. — ABC News