Thursday, October 31, 2019

World News Briefs -- October 31, 2019

Reuters: Trump impeachment effort passes first test in split Congress

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S. armored vehicles were seen on Thursday near the Syria-Turkey border in a part of northeastern Syria where they had not been observed since early October when Washington announced the withdrawal of American forces, according to a witness and Reuters video footage.

A military source from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) described the movement as a patrol running between the towns of Rmeilan and Qahtaniyah, which is 20 km (12 miles) to the west. The source said it would “not be a one-time” event.

The witness saw the U.S. military vehicles outside the town of Qahtaniyah, roughly 6 km (4 miles) south of the border.

Read more ....


Fierce clashes erupt between Syrian army, Turkish-led forces.

'Best bad option': Syria Kurds brace for regime return.

US-Turkey alliance in downward spiral as Congress mulls sanctions.

Iraq president says PM willing to quit, vows poll after new law.

Khamenei says US stoking 'chaos' amid Iraq, Lebanon protests.

Lebanon protesters fight on amid political deadlock.

Lebanon's Hezbollah, France call for new government.

U.S. envoy for Iran says Tehran spent $16 billion on 'militias' in Iraq, Syria: Al Arabiya.


N. Korean leader sends condolences to Moon over mother's death.

Pompeo says U.S. must confront China's Communist Party.

Mongolia arrests 800 Chinese citizens in cybercrime probe.

Indian Kashmir officially loses its autonomy, with flag and constitution thrown out. Modi’s government strengthens hold on India-administered Kashmir.

Afghan woman politician sees Taliban talks as only hope for future.

Halloween protests in Hong Kong: police fire tear gas in Mong Kok, Central and Sheung Wan as people denounce alleged force brutality and march against mask ban.

At least 73 dead in Pakistan after fire burns commuter train.

Fire rips through Shuri Castle on Japan's Okinawa island, destroying historic buildings.


Frontline clashes ebb and flow as Libya's war hits impasse.

At least 78 people killed in Ethiopian protests last week: prime minister's office.

Guinea counter-rally backs president's constitutional bid.

South Sudan declares state of emergency in flood-hit areas.

Italy to renew deal with Libya to block migrants.

Sisi suggests floating Egypt military firms on stock exchange.

Record 45 million people in southern Africa facing food crisis: U.N. agencies.


Spain offers to host COP25 climate change summit after Chile's withdrawal.

Brexit: UK political leaders clash in campaign bid. British election campaign kicks off on no-Brexit day.

Offering 'real change', UK Labour's Corbyn vows to oust Conservatives.

Nord Stream 2: Go-ahead for Russian gas pipeline angers Ukraine.

Spain election campaign starts with Catalonia as battleground.

Angela Merkel visiting India to bolster ties amid China's growing clout.

EU leaders face legal action over Czech PM's alleged conflict of interest.

Migrants in Greece living in 'horrible' conditions, says Europe rights watchdog.


House approves Trump impeachment procedures.

Trump slams 'witch hunt' after House impeachment vote.

Bolton will not voluntarily testify, says his lawyer.

Firefighters battle new blazes in California.

OAS begins Bolivia election audit after street clashes turn deadly.

Bolivia's post-election clashes turn deadly as two are killed.

Oil production paralyzed as Venezuela's electricity crisis worsens.


ISIS names new leader, confirming al-Baghdadi's death – reports.

Pentagon: Islamic State still dangerous despite Baghdadi's death.

US official predicts Islamic State will replace slain leader.

Pentagon releases images of al-Baghdadi raid.

Pentagon: US on alert for possible 'retribution attacks' following al-Baghdadi raid.


Quarter of world's pig population 'to die of African swine fever'.

Vauxhall fears after car giants Fiat and PSA announce merger.

Saudi Aramco flotation 'coming soon'.

Boeing grounds dozens of 737 'NG' models after cracks found.


RussInSoCal said...

Former Obama apparatchik outed as “whistleblower”

RealClearInvestigat ions is disclosing the name because of the public’s interest in learning details of an effort to remove a sitting president from office. Further, the official's status as a “whistleblower” is complicated by his being a hearsay reporter of accusations against the president, one who has “some indicia of an arguable political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate" -- as the Intelligence Community Inspector General phrased it circumspectly in originally fielding his complaint.

Federal documents reveal that the 33-year-old Ciaramella, a registered Democrat held over from the Obama White House, previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan, a vocal critic of Trump who helped initiate the Russia “collusion” investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Further, Ciaramella (pronounced char-a-MEL-ah) left his National Security Council posting in the White House’s West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media. He has since returned to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

“He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump,” said a former NSC official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Also, Ciaramella huddled for “guidance” with the staff of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, including former colleagues also held over from the Obama era whom Schiff’s office had recently recruited from the NSC. (Schiff is the lead prosecutor in the impeachment inquiry.)

And Ciaramella worked with a Democratic National Committee operative who dug up dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, inviting her into the White House for meetings, former White House colleagues said. The operative, Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American who supported Hillary Clinton, led an effort to link the Republican campaign to the Russian government. “He knows her. He had her in the White House,” said one former co-worker, who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter.

With Ciaramella’s name long under wraps, interest in the intelligence analyst has become so high that a handful of former colleagues have compiled a roughly 40-page research dossier on him. A classified version of the document is circulating on Capitol Hill, and briefings have been conducted based on it. One briefed Republican has been planning to unmask the whistleblower in a speech on the House floor.

On the Internet, meanwhile, Ciaramella's name for weeks has been bandied about on Twitter feeds and intelligence blogs as the suspected person who blew the whistle on the president. The mainstream media are also aware of his name.

Anonymous said...

ok. you may know his name via "unnamed sources" but he is no longer needed for confirmation about quid pro quo...there are now lots and lots of testimony about what had taken place and we now have first-hand statements!
so: this is no longer needed

Bob Huntley said...


Anonymous said...

And as the NYT has admitted, Whatever Vindman supposedly added to ellipsis does not substantially change the document.

Fact: Ukrainian aided the Democrats during the 2016 election.

Fact: If we are going to address election interference, we should address Ukrainian election interference.

Therefore, Trump was doing very well to address Crowdstrike in the call with Ukraine.