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Plot Thickens: Pentagon Now Facing More Scrutiny Over $766 Million Task Force

The Pentagon is scrambling to justify its actions in restricting the government watchdog investigating a $766-million task force in Afghanistan — with more controversy seemingly erupting by the day. Now there are allegations that Defense Department officials retaliated against a whistleblower and news of several ongoing criminal investigations. Earlier this month, we reported that the Pentagon was making it difficult for the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction to investigate reports of gross waste and mismanagement by the now-defunct, five-year Task Force for Business Stability Operations. One of its projects, a gas station, cost 140 times what it should have.
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Lobbyists, in Strategy Session, Conclude That Refugee Crisis “Helps Us” Defeat Regulations

In an audio recording of a strategy session obtained by The Intercept, major trade association lobbyists discussed how the refugee crisis has changed the political dynamics in Washington to their advantage. In the conference call held last week, lobbyists representing a number of high-polluting industries agreed that the battle between Congress and President Obama on refugee policy will give them the cover they need to attach a legislative rider to the omnibus budget bill that rolls back newly expanded clean water regulation.
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Profound Political Disunity Is Now Pitting Rising Elites Against Fading Elites

As I have often noted, historian Michael Grant identified profound political disunity in the ruling class as a key cause of the dissolution of the Roman Empire. Grant described this dynamic in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a book I have been recommending since 2009.
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8-minutes of videos: ISIS = Israeli Secret Intelligence Service, just like OIL = Operation Iraqi Liberation; joke’s on We the People until .01% arrests

OIL (Operation Iraqi Liberation) was the official name of what the US was doing in Iraq, as Mugsys RapSheet’s 1-minute video reminds us:
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Top U.S. Air Defense Commander: Turkey’s Shootdown of Russian Jet “Had to Be PRE-PLANNED”

Lt. General Tom McInerney is an expert on handling threats from fighter jets.
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Obama signs $607 billion 'defense' bill, despite Guantanamo restrictions

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed a 607-billion-U.S.-dollar annual defense policy bill despite its continued ban on transferring detainees from the Guantanamo Bay military prison to the United States. Blasting the Republican-controlled Congress for maintaining language that hampers the closure of the Guantanamo military prison in the bill, Obama called the restrictions contained in the bill "unwarranted and counterproductive."
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Spain Braces for its Biggest Corporate Insolvency… Ever!

Spain is about to experience its biggest corporate insolvency ever. Unlike Bankia and all of Spain’s other bankrupt savings banks, Abengoa, a Seville-based multinational specialized in renewable energy and “environmental services,” is unlikely to receive a taxpayer-funded bailout – at least not just yet, not with general elections looming in less than a month’s time. Following yesterday’s announcement that the company was seeking preliminary protection from creditors, Abengoa’s bonds and shares went into freefall. It was a financial bloodbath. According to S&P Capital IQ LCD, its euro-denominated 8.5% notes due 2016 plunged 38.5 points to 25.5 cents on the euro, after having been up at 93 cents on the euro only two weeks ago.
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Puerto Rico Is About To Default: Your Complete Guide To An Island Debt Debacle

Last week, we brought you the latest from Puerto Rico’s debt debacle. The commonwealth is desperately trying to restructure some $72 billion in debt while staring down a $354 million bond payment due on December 1. As we discussed at length on Friday, some $270 million of what’s due next week is GO debt guaranteed by the National Public Finance Guarantee Corp. Defaulting on that is bad news and as Moody’s warned earlier this month, a missed payment on the commonwealth’s highest priority obligations “would likely trigger legal action from creditors, commencing a potentially drawn-out process absent swift federal intervention.”
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Meet The Man Who Funds ISIS: Bilal Erdogan, The Son Of Turkey's President

Russia's Sergey Lavrov is not one foreign minister known to mince his words. Just earlier today, 24 hours after a Russian plane was brought down by the country whose president three years ago said "a short-term border violation can never be a pretext for an attack", had this to say: "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident and believe this is a planned provocation" by Turkey. But even that was tame compared to what Lavrov said to his Turkish counterparty Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier today during a phone call between the two (Lavrov who was supposed to travel to Turkey has since canceled such plans).
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Myopia Epidemic: Kids Urged to Drop Devices and Go Outside — Or Risk Blindness

Kids' screen-time a short-sightedness risk Children are being urged to go outside and take a break from handheld devices or risk short-sightedness. Maxime Jalbert Locke has been told to spend more time outdoors. The 11-year-old has also been told to limit time on devices. The reason? He has been diagnosed with myopia.
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Police Officer Threatens to Arrest American for Calling Politician a “Liar”

A former city councilman who won summary judgment after a police chief threatened to arrest him for criticizing a public official has settled with the police chief and the Northern California City of Cotati. George Barich, who describes himself as a former newspaper editor, attended an April 2014 City Council meeting where he called city Planning Commissioner Neil Hancock a “liar,” to which Hancock retorted, “You’re the liar,” according to Barich’s January lawsuit in Federal Court.
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China Opening “The World’s Biggest Animal Cloning Factory”

The world’s biggest animal “cloning factory” is due to open in China, producing one million calves a year, sniffer dogs and even genetic copies of the family pet.
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British Government Compensates Women Who Spent Years in Fake Relationships with Undercover Cops

Back then, the public knew little about a covert operation that had been running since 1968. Only a limited number of senior police officers knew about it. Kennedy was one of more than 100 undercover officers who, over the previous four decades, had transformed themselves into fake campaigners for years at a time, assimilating themselves into political groups and hoovering up information about protests that they had helped to organise.
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Footage Reveals Who Shot Down Russian Rescue Helicopter at Syrian Border – And It Looks Pretty Bad

Footage provided by the FSA purportedly shows Syrian rebels using a U.S.-made TOW missile to finish off a rescue helicopter sent to secure pilots ejected from a downed Russian Su-24 fighter jet. While Russian fighter pilots descended by parachute from a plummeted Su-24, footage allegedly shows Syrian rebels shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and trying to kill them in the air – a violation of the Geneva conventions.
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German Government Covered Up Terror Attack at Soccer Stadium

German authorities covered up the fact that explosives were found during an attempted terror attack at a soccer stadium earlier this week, according to an eyewitness who was told to keep quiet about what he saw. Bild newspaper has published the testimony of a paramedic who saw an explosive device in an ambulance before the Germany vs Netherlands game which was canceled on Tuesday night after French intelligence tipped off German authorities about an impending attack involving three bombs to be detonated at the stadium and another two at a bus stop and a train station.
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Reporters' car hit by anti-tank missile on Syria-Turkey border (video)

A Russian journalist has filmed the moment the car he was sitting in was hit by an anti-tank missile in Syria. Three reporters were injured when the shell struck the car on Monday in the village of Dagmashlia near the border with Turkey. The video shows the pro-Assad Syrian army waving on the press convoy as they approached the front lines before the missile strikes without any warning.
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Freemasons fixed inquiry into Titanic to protect Establishment, claims secret archive that lists two million members - including Winston Churchill - and reveals secretive group of elites ruled society for 200 years

The records are due to be published online by genealogy service Ancestry. While the Masonic connections of figures such as Sir Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, Lord Kitchener, Rudyard Kipling and Edward VIII are known, the records offer the first comprehensive view of the reach of Freemasonry at the height of the British Empire.
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These 3 judges hold the fate of the Internet in their hands

Next week, a federal appeals court in Washington will hear one of its biggest cases of the year, one whose outcome will directly affect how Internet providers can alter your experience online.
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Report confirms Nestlé ties to slave labour

Swiss food giant Nestlé is vowing to stamp out any forced labour used in its supply chain in Thailand after a probe confirmed workers were toiling in slave-like conditions to catch and process fish for the company's products. "Nestlé is committed to eliminating forced labour in our seafood supply chain in Thailand," executive vice president of operations Magdi Batato said in a statement sent to AFP on Tuesday.
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