International Olympic Committee Suspends Russia From 2018 Games

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWS)

 

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Russians won’t compete in the Pyeongchang Olympics under their own flag, if they compete at all, following a decision from the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday.

The IOC’s executive board announced that it has suspended the Russian Olympic Committee, a move that effectively bans the country almost two months before the opening of the Games, but created a path for individuals to compete as neutral athletes.

Those athletes will be designated as “Olympic Athletes from Russia,” and wear a uniform with that designation. They will compete under the Olympic flag and the Olympic anthem will play at any ceremony.

“As an athlete myself, I am feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes from all (National Olympic Committees) who are suffering from this manipulation,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

He continued, “This decision should draw a line under this damaging episode and serve as a catalyst for a more effective and more robust anti-doping system led by WADA.”

The decision marked the first such sanction by the IOC for doping.

Watch: Live stream: IOC announces decision on sanctions against Russia

Related: Russia’s repeated denials on doping fit Putin’s narrative, experts say

The IOC’s executive board reached the decision after receiving a report from a commission chaired by Samuel Schmid, which confirmed “the systemic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia” during the Sochi Olympics.

“We have never seen any such manipulation and cheating and this has caused unprecedented damage to Olympism and to sports,” Schmid said.

The IOC’s decision also included the following sanctions:

  • The “Olympic Athletes from Russia” will be determined by a panel chaired by Valerie Fourneyron, the chair of the Independent Testing Authority that was recently established. It’s unclear when that panel will issue decisions on who is eligible to compete, but the IOC criteria require that those athletes in consideration must have undergone all pre-Games testing recommended by a taskforce advising anti-doping efforts before Pyeongchang.
  • The criteria also include that athletes must not have been disqualified or declared ineligible for a previous anti-doping rule violation, a provision that seems unlikely to withstand appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The IOC attempted to enforce the same criteria before Rio, but a CAS panel struck it down as inconsistent with a prior ruling.
  • Vitaly Mutko, the then Minister of Sport, and Yuri Nagornykh, his deputy, were excluded from the Games for their roles.
  • ROC President Alexander Zhukov was suspended as an IOC member.
  • The ROC will reimburse the IOC for costs of the investigations and it will contribute $15 million to the establishment of the Independent Testing Authority.
  • Additionally, Bach said the IOC would attempt to organize ceremonies in Pyeongchang for the reallocation of medals from Sochi “to try to make up for the moments they have missed from the finish line or on the podium.”

It’s unclear whether any Russian athletes will compete as the country’s officials have said it would boycott if the IOC adopted such a decision. Should Russia boycott the decision, it would mark the first time it has missed the Olympics since boycotting in 1984.

“First of all, an Olympic boycott has never achieved anything,” said Bach, a gold medalist in 1976 in fencing who could not defend his title in 1980 because East Germany boycotted.

“Secondly, I don’t see any reason there for a boycott by the Russian athletes because we allowed the clean Russian athletes there to participate and to show that there are clean athletes in Russia. And in this way, we think that these clean Russian athletes can be more about building a bridge into the future of a cleaner sport than erecting a new wall between Russia and the Olympic movement.”

The collective action comes as an IOC commission has disqualified 25 Russian athletes from Sochi, resulting in the loss of 11 medals.

That commission, chaired by IOC member Denis Oswald, was tasked with handling individual cases.

But in the first reasoned decision released by the Oswald Commission, it accepted the findings in a report from Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren. His report last year that revealed state-sponsored doping in Russia that included sample tampering during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

McLaren’s report showed more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in a broader system to dope athletes and cover up positive tests.

That Oswald Commission called the Russian doping system “one of the worst ever blows against the integrity and reputation of the Olympic Games.”

Ultimately, the IOC’s acceptance of the evidence that Russian had run the system led it to a different decision than it reached last year when it sought to balance collective responsibility with individual justice.

Before Rio, the IOC opted not to ban Russia. Instead, it gave criteria about the eligibility of athletes and left the decisions to the international federations that govern each sport. Those decisions were reviewed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and a majority of the Russia delegation ended up competing.

“At the time of Rio, we have not the opportunity to follow due process,” Bach said.

“At the time of Rio, it was furthermore, mainly about the failure in the Moscow laboratory. Now it’s about the manipulation in an Olympic laboratory in Sochi.”

While hewing to the right of clean athletes to compete, Tuesday’s decision placed the collective responsibility on the Russian system.

The IOC’s decision is one that had been supported by more than three dozen anti-doping organizations, including the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

“Over the past three years, a high stakes game of chicken has been played between those willing to sacrifice the Olympic ideals by employing a state-directed doping program to cheat to win and, on the other side, athletes unwilling to stand silent while their hopes and dreams were stolen and the Olympic Games hijacked,” USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement. “Today the IOC listened to those who matter most – and clean athletes won a significant victory.

“While it is a sad day for the damage done to universal inclusion the Games represent, today’s decision recognizes the power of clean athletes and the principle of fair play. We will continue to stand with clean athletes in demanding justice and reform to the global anti-doping system to ensure this type of intentional state-supported fraud is never allowed to happen again.”

Syrian Regime Withdrawal from Geneva Talks Embarrasses Moscow

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Syrian Opposition: Regime Withdrawal from Geneva Talks Embarrasses Moscow

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017 – 11:00
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura meets Syrian opposition delegation members attending the opening of a new round of peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland. (Reuters)
London, Geneva – Asharq Al-Awsat

Spokesman for the Syrian opposition delegation at the Geneva talks said that the regime’s withdrawal from the negotiations last week was an embarrassment to Russia.

“I don’t think that those who support the regime are happy with such a position being taken by the regime. This is an embarrassment to Russia,” Yehya al-Aridi said on Monday at the hotel where the opposition delegation is staying in Geneva.

“We understand the Russian position now. They are… in a hurry to find a solution.”

The delegation left the UN-backed talks in Geneva on Friday, blaming the opposition’s demands that regime leader Bashar Assad should play no role in any interim post-war government.

There was no immediate comment from Russian officials at the talks on the withdrawal of the regime delegation.

Russia helped to turn the Syrian war in Assad’s favor and has become the key force in the push for a diplomatic solution. Last month Russian President Vladimir Putin said a political settlement should be finalized within the UN Geneva process.

The opposition, long wary of Russia’s role, now accepts it. Western diplomats say Putin’s Syria envoy Alexander Lavrentiev was present at the Riyadh meeting last month where the opposition drew up its statement rejecting any future role for Assad.

Asked if the opposition was willing to compromise on Assad’s role in any post-war government, Aridi said his delegation’s demands were based on the wishes of the Syrian people, reported Reuters.

“I believe that our mere presence in Geneva is in itself a compromise. We are sitting with a regime that has been carrying out all these atrocities for the past seven years. What other compromise could we make?”

A source close to the regime delegation told Reuters on Monday that Damascus was still studying the feasibility of participation in the talks and when a decision was reached it would be sent through ordinary diplomatic channels.

(Humor Poem) Donald ‘Jailhouse’ Trump

DONALD ‘JAILHOUSE’ TRUMP

 

Pennsylvania Avenue is used to being paved with lies

But it ain’t seen nothing like this frauds Turkey Jive

He’s got a Pinocchio nose and those tiny little hands

Couldn’t find the truth if he was grabbing with both hands

Got that Turkey Gobble neck and that big wide behind

 

Molestual Congress and the Clinton’s ain’t got nothing on him

Coward refused to wear the Uniform, now he’s in charge of them

Was his Daddy a Goose stepper or only the head of the NYC Klan

He’s just a ‘robbing hood’ except all the stolen money goes to him

Career of stealing from Charity’s and investors, all the same to him

 

Presidents Putin and Jinping playing this clucking Moron like a clown

Maybe he can teach Russian to the Guards when he’s Leavenworth bound

Alphabet Soup is getting tired of his mouth and his little Tweety brain

Will habitual lying and destruction of justice be where he will gain his fame

Deserving end, Donald, Hillary and Sessions doing life in the same jail cell

 

Israel targets Syrian military base

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Israel targets Syrian military base – Syrian state TV

A Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft defence system at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria, on December 16, 2015.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionFile photo: A Russian Pantsir-S1 anti-air defence system in Syria, 2015

Israel launched surface-to-surface missiles at a military installation outside the Syrian capital Damascus overnight, Syrian state TV reports.

The attack caused damage but two missiles were intercepted, it added.

The Israeli military has not confirmed it carried out the strike.

UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights earlier reported explosions near Damascus, which it said were caused by a suspected Israeli missile attack.

The extent of the damage is not yet clear although the TV report spoke of “material losses” at the base.

Head of the Syrian Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told the AFP news agency the strike destroyed an arms depot – but his group did not know who it belonged to.

Israel has hit weapons sites before, in a bid to prevent arms being transferred to Syria’s Lebanese ally Hezbollah. Arms convoys in particular have been singled out by the Israeli air force.

According to the Syrian Observatory the attack took place near El-Kiswah, a few miles south of Damascus.

Last month the BBC revealed a claim that Iran was building a permanent military base near the town.

A series of satellite images showed construction at the location of the alleged base, which was made known to the BBC by a western intelligence source.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously warned that Israel would not allow Iran to establish any military presence in Syria.

Related Topics

The Ridiculous B.S. Jewish Families Had To Deal With Growing Up In Russia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF DOLLY AT ‘KOOLKOSHERKITCHEN’)

Hi, my name is Dolly. Actually, I am Devorah Yentl, but when I was born, clerks in communist Russia were not allowed to record names like that on a birth certificate. So the woman said to my mother, “Little girl, go and come back with a good Russian name.” My mother was little, that much was true, and at 4’11” she did look like a teenager. She wasn’t timid, though, and she did come back with a good Russian name, Dolly. As you can see, it starts with a D and ends with an L. To the clerk’s exasperated whisper, “But it’s still foreign!” she calmly opened a book she brought with her. Leo Tolstoy, the Russian classic, had Princess Dolly among his main characters in Anna Karenina. You couldn’t argue with Tolstoy, and thus it was duly recorded, in memory of my two great-grandmothers. Lest you think it only happened to Jews, I will refer you to a documentary about a famous Russian actress Lyudmila Gurchenko whose father wanted to name her Lucy. The clerk flatly refused to record a foreign name, suggesting “modern soviet names” Lenina, Stalina, Lelud (Lenin Loves Kids), or Dazdraperma (Long Live May 1st). They finally settled on an old Russian Lyudmila, but throughout her long and eventful life she was known as Lucy.

It wasn’t easy to keep kosher in communist Russia. You couldn’t go to a kosher store and buy anything, from soup to nuts, with a Hecksher,  the way it is in the US.  Here, chicken is already shechted for you, and cows conveniently label their own parts as “beef for stew.” As Yakov Smirnov used to say in the eponymous TV sitcom, “What a country!” For us, Cholov Israel meant my Zeide actually watching the milking process.  And when the shoichet was retired because his hands were shaking, Zeide would buy live chickens and shecht them himself. Since childhood, I was taught how to salt a chicken to drain all blood out of it, to make it kosher. When I bought my first kosher chicken in a Jewish store in America, I brought it home, cut it open, and to my horror, found a small clot of blood! I salted it and left it to drain as I had been taught. For quite a few years after that, I kept “kashering” kosher meat, just in case.

I am semi-retired, I love to cook, and I now have time on my hands to share my recipes and exchange new food ideas. My recipes are different from traditional American Jewish food. I invite you to explore, to experiment, and by all means, to get your kids involved in the magical fun of transforming this-that-and the other into something delicious to grace your table. This is truly better than I-pad, so what’s a little mess made by little hands, when there is lots of love and laughter!

This blog is dedicated to my children who have been incredibly supportive throughout an ordeal of my father’s illness and – Acharon, acharon… – to the memory of my father, a beautiful person loved by all.

A concentration camp victim identifies a SS guard, 1945

((Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Harold Royall).)

(THIS ARTICLE IS A COPY PASTE OF THEIR ARTICLE)

Russian survivor liberated U.S. Army in Buchenwald camp in Germany identified a former guard who were brutally beating prisoners. April 14, 1945. Colorized version. The original photograph.

Russian survivor liberated by the U.S. Army in Buchenwald camp in Germany identified a former guard who were brutally beating prisoners. April 14, 1945. Colorized version. The original photograph.

The picture depicts a liberated Russian inmate pointing an identifying and accusing finger at a Nazi guard who was especially cruel towards the prisoners in Buchenwald camp (original picture). There’s something really fascinating about this picture. We can only see so much of the prisoner’s expression here, but that finger means so much. Days, maybe even hours earlier, that prisoner might have been afraid to cross paths with or even make eye contact with this man. Now he’s casting an accusatory finger that’s as well as pointing a gun at the back of the man’s head, and the defeated look on his face seems horribly aware of that.

That medal on the guard’s chest looks like a World War One imperial wound badge, meaning this guard fought for the German Imperial Army during the Great War. The badge is the black variant (3rd class, representing Iron) and was given to those wounded once or twice by hostile action (including air raids), or frostbitten in the line of duty.

After the outbreak of World War II, Buchenwald continued to house political prisoners and, later, Poles and Russians. Most inmates worked as slave labourers at nearby work sites in 12-hour shifts around the clock. There were some 18,000 prisoners after Kristallnacht, 11,000 on the eve of the war, 63,000 by the end of 1944, and 86,000 in February 1945, when Buchenwald became the destination for some of the inmates forcibly evacuated from Auschwitz.

Although there were no gas chambers, hundreds perished each month from disease, malnutrition, exhaustion, beatings, and executions. Camp records indicate that throughout its existence some 240,000 prisoners from at least 30 countries were confined at Buchenwald. At least 10,000 were shipped to extermination camps, and some 43,000 people died at the camp.

(Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum / Harold Royall).

Trump Betrays Israel Again: Gives Russia Top Secret Information Again

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

((oped) IS TRUMP THE SINGLE BIGGEST FOOL IN THE WHOLE WORLD?) (trs)

 

ISRAEL’S INFO ALSO LED TO BRIEF US BAN ON LAPTOPS ON PLANES

Trump divulged to Russia details of a daring Israeli raid in Syria — report

Vanity Fair sheds new light on the nature of the information the president handed over to Moscow, and on the damage done to the US-Israel security relationship

A handout photo made available by the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 10, 2017 shows US President Donald J. Trump (C) speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC. (HO / RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY / AFP)

A handout photo made available by the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 10, 2017 shows US President Donald J. Trump (C) speaking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC. (HO / RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY / AFP)

US President Donald Trump revealed details of a daring top-secret mission into northern Syria by Israel’s Mossad spy agency and elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit in a May meeting with Russian officials, sticking a dagger into the robust Israeli-American intelligence-sharing apparatus, according to a report Thursday.

The account, published in Vanity Fair based on information from unnamed sources the magazine described as “experts on Israeli intelligence operations,” sheds new light on both the highly sensitive covert operation deep in the heart of Syria and the damage done to the security relationship between the allies after the president revealed the secret information while apparently bragging about the quality of his intelligence reports.

A number of details about the operation, which involved an Israeli intelligence source that uncovered an Islamic State plot to use laptops to bomb planes, have already been reported on.

According to the Vanity Fair account, two Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters carrying Israeli commandos and Mossad agents flew into northern Syria, as part of a mission to insert a listening device to spy on an Islamic State cell that was devising new methods of carrying out bombing attacks sometime at the end of last winter.

The troops and spies were dropped off and transferred to jeeps, in which they drove to their target, where the commandos patrolled while the Mossad agents planted the device. The commandos and agents then raced back to the helicopters and returned to Israel undetected, the report said.

Soldiers run to a helicopter during an exercise in northern Israel simulating a war with the Hezbollah terrorist group in September 2017. (Israel Defense Forces)

Several days later, signal intelligence troops from Israel’s Unit 8200 were reportedly able to listen in on an Islamic State soldier explaining how to make and use the laptop bombs, apparently devised by Saudi explosives mastermind Ibrahim al-Asiri.

Ibrahim al-Asiri (Wikipedia)

Despite having been warned by US officials that Trump had been “leveraged” by Moscow and could pass sensitive info to the Russians, Israel shared the information with the US intelligence community, sparking the temporary ban on bringing laptops out of several Middle Eastern countries.

The report did not name the location or exact date of the operation, but Trump, in recounting details of it to Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador to the US, during an oval Office meeting on May 10, did reveal the location, Vanity Fair said, potentially endangering assets Israel had on the ground.

Just as worrisome for Israel, though, was the idea that the Russians could pass the information on to their Iranian or Syrian allies.

The Israeli government has not officially confirmed that it is the source of the reportedly leaked intelligence. Yet Trump’s indiscretion sparked anger in the Israeli intelligence community, prompting calls by some for a scaling back of intelligence sharing with the US.

Illustrative undated image posted on a militant website on January 14, 2014, shows Islamic State fighters marching in Raqqa, Syria. (AP, File)

“Trump betrayed us,” the magazine quoted a senior Israeli military official as saying. “And if we can’t trust him, then we’re going to have to do what is necessary on our own if our back is up against the wall with Iran.”

Former heads of the Mossad have also publicly railed against the US president and implied that officials today should be far more guarded about the types of intelligence they pass along to their American counterparts.

“If tomorrow I were asked to pass information to the CIA, I would do everything I could to not pass it to them. Or I would first protect myself and only then give it, and what I’d give would be totally neutered,” Shabtai Shavit, who led the Mossad in the 1990s, said in a phone interview with The Times of Israel in May.

He described the US president as a “bull in a china shop” — or as the Hebrew version of the expression goes, an “elephant in a china shop” — cavalierly passing along information to Russia without first being properly briefed and unwittingly violating the unwritten codes of conduct of espionage.

Earlier reports said an Israeli intelligence asset embedded in the terrorist group had provided the tip-off that eventually led to the laptop ban, and that Trump’s information-sharing possibly put that asset’s life in danger.

Facing criticism over the leak, Trump admitted he had given information to the Russians, though he asserted in a tweet he had the right to do so. At the time, the source of the confidential material hadn’t yet been confirmed, but while media reports pointed first at Jordan, speculation quickly turned to Israel as being the original provider.

The US president then seemed to inadvertently confirm that Israeli operatives were the source of the intelligence in an off-the-cuff remark to journalists during his visit to Israel at the end of May: As he headed into a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump volunteered that he had “never mentioned the word Israel” in his conversation with the Russian foreign minister.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

READ MORE:

Robert Mueller Is The Worlds Best Hope For Survival: Imprison Trump

Trump Is The Biggest Idiot The World Has Ever Seen In The White House: And The Most Dangerous

 

The world that we all live in is a very dangerous place, I think that almost all of us would agree with that reality. One thing that the ‘free world’ has been able to do is to at least somewhat rely upon has been the steady hand of the American President. Even when the American people did not agree with the political parties in power I think that at least we felt that our President wasn’t stupid enough to start a nuclear war while we were sleeping. With this current President do you really feel like he has the people’s best interest at the center of his intentions?

 

Donald Trump has made it plain that he believes that he is the smartest and the most important person in the whole world, he has said this several times. During the campaign, he often bragged about how he knew more about the events in the Middle East than what the Generals knew. We all knew that he was/is a total egomaniac and we all knew that he is a habitual liar. This is one of the things that we knew he had in common with Hillary, so us voters had to choose between which total fraud and crook we wanted to have as our next President. Trump pretty much removes any possible doubt about how totally ignorant he is about pretty much every issue in the world. Personally, I cannot stand Hillary Clinton but the one thing, and probably the only thing that she grades higher on that Trump is that at least she is smart, Trump has proven himself to be mentally unhinged, his stupidity is a huge part of what makes him so dangerous to the whole world.

 

As a devout Christian, I cannot condone hoping that he would do the world a huge favor and just fall over dead. I have come to the reality that what I hope will happen is that Robert Mueller can hurry up and charge Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Ivanka Trump, and Jarred Kushner with as many felonies as possible as quickly as possible. I totally believe that they are guilty of fraud, tax evasion, tax fraud, lying to Congress and a whole slew of other crimes that some Congressmen have detailed in their attempt to impeach this moron. This includes their working with the mass murderer President Putin of Russia in his helping Trump win the 2016 election. President Putin, unlike Donald Trump, is not stupid. Mr. Putin would know that the best avenue to steal the election for Mr. Trump was to not only to have ‘fake news’ stories put all over the T.V., Radio, and the internet but the real goal was to tap into the election systems of some of the states. By turning three or four of the state elections that the Democrats/Hillary took for granted that they would win, states like Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and or Michigan that Mr. Trump would win the Electoral College count even though he would still lose the actual vote count. I personally believe that within the next ten years at the most, this fact will come out into the open.

 

I believe that if Mr. Trump has not gotten us into a nuclear war with North Korea and with China by the time that the 2018 elections are held next November that the Republicans will lose both the Congress and the Senate and once that has happened the fickle frauds in the Republican Senate will go ahead and vote to impeach the fraud. But, I am hoping that Mr. Mueller is able to get the White House Swamp cleared out well before twelve months from now. Of course, this is saying that there even is a White House twelve months from now. I believe that if this idiot is still in Office twelve months from now, there may well not be. I do not believe that the Republicans in the Senate have the testicles at this time to join the Democrats to do what the whole world needs them to do and that is to impeach him before he gets the whole world glowing.

Russian News outlet RT has registered as an agent of a foreign government in America

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Why has RT registered as a foreign agent with the US?

A man tries on a VR goggles at the stand of Russia's state-controlled broadcaster RT during the 10th Russian Internet Week in Moscow on November 1, 2017.Image copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image captionA man tries on a VR goggles at the RT stand during Russian Internet week

News outlet RT has registered as an agent of a foreign government in America, after years of accusations that it was a propaganda arm of the Russian government. So what is RT and why has it become the subject of fierce debate in the US?

It was a late February afternoon when millions of Americans’ phones and laptops started buzzing with breaking news from the White House.

“Gen Flynn was fired amid the scrutiny…”

“The White House national security adviser fired…”

President Trump had asked National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to leave the White House, said the reports. Flynn had misled Vice-President Pence about his contacts with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

It was the first resignation in the new presidential administration. But one media outlet, RT, reported it differently: “General Flynn retires as National Security Adviser”

Misleading headlines are only one part of RT’s approach to news, which makes the American government and analysts believe it is just an arm of the Kremlin.

What is RT?

RT, originally Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today), began broadcasting internationally in 2005 in English, Arabic, and Spanish as a subsidiary of RIA Novosti, one of three Russian state-owned news broadcasters.

The broadcaster focused on Russia-related news reports and said its goal was to improve the image of the country in the US. At its launch, it promised a “more balanced picture” of what Russia is.

Several years later, it shortened its name to RT and began focusing on US news, positioning itself as an alternative to US mainstream media on both online and US cable television.

In late December 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin dissolved RIA Novosti and transferred all its subsidiaries to a new organization International News Agency Russia Today.

On the same day, Putin appointed a well-known but controversial media figure, Dmitry Kiselev, as the general director of the new organisation.

Dmitry KiselevImage copyrightAFP
Image caption Dmitry Kiselev and three other presenters interviewing Prime Minister Medevey in 2008

Mr. Kiselev was placed on the EU’s individual sanctions list in 2014 for being a “central figure of the government propaganda supporting the deployment of Russian forces in Ukraine”, including false claims of US State Department involvement.

He is also known for his homophobic views, including saying gay people should be banned from being blood or organ donors.

“In case of car accidents, their hearts must be buried or burnt and never used to save someone’s life,” he told Russian TV show in 2012.

A few American media personalities, the most prominent being Larry King, have presented programmes on RT America’s television network.

What’s the evidence of their Russian government connections?

“The edge between journalism and propaganda is very thin, especially, if we are talking about the media which is founded by the government,” says Lata Nott, the Newseum Institute’s executive director.

“Not all materials of RT are propaganda, but it is very clear that they have only one angle and they have never criticised their own government.”

RT’s major problem, Nott says, “is lack of transparency regarding sources of their budgeting”.

It is all very unclear.

RT uses production companies to produce content for an American audience. The company operates the same way in the UK.

The production company registered with the US government, T & R Productions LLC, is owned by Mikhail Solodovnikov. But a recent report by the Atlantic Council named two different production firms in the US, both owned by Russian-born businessman Alex Yazlovsky.

In the registration, Solodovnikov notes his firm’s funding comes from TV Novosti, and admits the Russian government finances the organization. But Solodovnikov also says he is not “sufficiently aware of who supervises, owns, directs, controls or subsidizes” TV Novosti.

RT doesn’t make its supervisory board public, according to the Atlantic Council report, and while it reports annually to the Russian Ministry of Press on its expenditures, their financial statements are not made public.

American intelligence agencies have a low opinion of the network. Ex-CIA director James Clapper has called RT “a mouthpiece of Russian governmental propaganda,” whose assets and executives are closely tied to Vladimir Putin.

An unclassified version of a January US intelligence report points to RT and Russian-backed website Sputnik as a key part of Russian interference with the US election, arguing the outlet served “as a platform for Kremlin messaging”.

“The Kremlin staffs RT and closely supervises RT’s coverage, recruiting people who can convey Russian strategic messaging because of their ideological beliefs,” the report states.

It also details close links between editorial management and the Russian government and cites RT and Sputnik’s ramping up of pro-Trump and anti-Clinton stories around March 2016, including Russian talking points that Clinton’s election would lead to a war between US and Russia.

What happened between RT and Twitter?

Twitter recently banned RT from advertising on the platform, citing the CIA report, said they will invest $1.9m they received from the outlet from advertising to support research into limiting misinformation on the platform.

However, RT Twitter accounts are not banned from Twitter.

Sean Edgett, acting general counsel at Twitter,Image copyright GETTY IMAGES
Image captionSean Edgett, acting general counsel at Twitter, answered questions in front of Congress last week

RT has accused Twitter of “forgetting to tell the US Senate it pushed RT to spend big bucks on election ad campaign”, sharing an advertising pitch Twitter had made to RT, and accused the platform of being part of a “coordinated attack on Russian media and freedom of speech”.

What’s FARA and why is the US government forcing RT to register?

The US government requires all agencies, individuals and organizations controlled or funded by international governments and undertake a political activity, to be registered with the justice department under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (Fara).

Fara began as a reaction to attempts by Nazi Germany to spread propaganda inside the US. In the 1940s, the Soviet news agency TASS and later newspapers Izvestia and Pravda were registered as agents of the Soviet government.

Since the law was enacted, 221 Russian companies have registered as foreign government agents, including a travel agency, a postal service, and numerous financial institutions.

RT claims that it is a “publicly funded” media outlet, similar to the BBC or Germany’s Deutsche Welle and would qualify for an exemption.

But to prove the exemption, the Atlantic Council writes, RT would need to disclose its finances, board members and show evidence of editorial independence from the Russian government.

Other international media outlets are registered as agents of foreign governments, including China Daily, NHK Cosmomedia, and KBS Korean Broadcasting System.

This week, RT decided to register under Fara.

“Between legal action and registration (as a foreign agent), we have chosen the latter,” tweeted RT editor Margarita Simonyan.

“Congratulates the US [on its] freedom of speech and all those who still believe in it,” Simonyan added.

Registering as a foreign agent doesn’t mean RT will be forced to stop broadcasting, but it will need to label all US material “on behalf of” the Russian government.

Related Topics

Trump Says U.K. First, Putin Says Iran First, Xi Says Egypt First

Trump Says U.K. First, Putin Says Iran First, Xi Says Egypt First

 

Before you freak out, or, think that I have done flushed my brain down a toilet I need to let you know that, no, of course they didn’t say any such a thing. So, why did I say such things in the headline? There are two simple reasons, first, to draw your attention to the article, two, to make people think a little bit. The first is self-explanatory. Now, concerning the second of the two reasons. Anyone who reads my articles knows quite well that I believe that Donald Trump is the biggest idiot and the biggest ass to sit in the Oval Office since Andrew Jackson back in the first half of the 18 hundreds, and friends, that is really saying a whole lot because we have really had a lot of trash as Presidents in our Nations History.

 

There are many people, it seems mostly Democrats, who think that it is a horrible slogan that Mr. Trump came up with during his primary run, “America First.” Here is where I have to say that you folks who are ragging him over this slogan, you are quite goofy yourself. What the heck was the man suppose to say, England First, or Mexico First? Just what do you think any politician at any level, of any country, should do? If President Putin at the next Russian election started putting out propaganda saying that the Russian people and government need to start putting Iran, or Syria first, do you think that even in Russia that he would win the election? Possibly even worse, it would probably get him shot. Even as powerful as President Xi Jinping is in China if he came out with a policy saying China is going to start putting Egypt or North Korea before the people of China do you honestly believe that he would live five more years to finish out his term?

 

What I am getting at is that you folks here in the U.S. that are whining about Mr. Trumps ‘America First’ slogan are showing the world just how big of dummies you are. Also, the U.S. Media outlets who fall in line with such ignorance help fuel Liberal stupidity in European countries and in a few other Nations as well. For politicians and for the people of every Country on Earth, if you are not putting your country first, then you are truly a traitor to every person in your Country. For we folks who are Christians or Jewish, we all need to look at the teachings of Scriptures. You should know very well that we are supposed to cater to the needs of our families first and once our families are secure and safe, then we are to be charitable from the inside out. By this, I mean our family, our community, then outward, such as our County, our State, our own Country, then the world. We are to take what we really need from our own work, our own earnings, then use the rest to help others. This is where we are told not to hoard, not to store up for many years ahead for ourselves, but to use the extra that we have to help others. This is why we are told that charity covers many sins.

 

Even though I know that Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue about the teachings of the Bible it does not mean that everything he says is incorrect, most everything, but not all things. As our President, Mr. Trump is supposed to ‘Put America First’, if he is not doing so, then he is a traitor to the American people. Unfortunately, I personally do not believe that this ‘slogan’, to him, is anything but a slogan, something he thinks his voter base wants to hear. Personally, I have no doubt of any kind that Donald Trump, his Dad, and his adult kids, as well as his son in law Mr. Kushner, have done, or will do, anything except and ONLY, put themselves first, always! Yet in U.S. politics, do you honestly expect anything except selfishness?

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