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06 Jan 2019 21:36

movingtarget
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08 Jan 2019 10:48

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/erdogan-mistaken-syrian-kurd-fighters-safety-190108094851818.html
Erdogan: US 'seriously mistaken' on Syrian Kurd fighters' safety

Turkish leader blasts US adviser Bolton over security demands for Kurdish militia in Syria in turn for US withdrawal.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks in Ankara on Tuesday on the handling of armed groups in northern Syria and the US' planned pullout of its forces there.

During his visit to Israel on Sunday, Bolton set conditions for the US pullout from Syria that included Turkey guaranteeing the safety of Kurdish fighters who spearheaded the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, ISIS).

"We cannot accept the message Bolton gave from Israel, we cannot be deceived by it," Erdogan said in a speech to his AK Party.


So much for that then! Geezus!
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10 Jan 2019 14:10

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2019/01/09/What-lies-beneath-foiled-bids-to-smuggle-Turkish-arms-to-North-Africa-.html
Libyan authorities on Monday said they seized a shipment of Turkish arms into Libya through the country’s port of Misurata, the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported.

An official from the Misurata port customs said it had “managed to seize a shipment of weapons containing Turkish pistols inside a container with some household items and children’s toys used as camouflage,” in a move that marks a violation of the UN resolution banning the sale and transfer of arms to Libya.

The shipment contained 556 cartons, each containing 36 pistols, which is equivalent to about 20,000 pistols, officials noted, failing to give information on the sender or recipients.

The Libyan army accuses Ankara of supporting terrorists and armed militias in order to fuel chaos the country.

The incident marks the second seizure of Turkish weapons in less than a month.

The discovery last month of 3,000 Turkish-made guns and more than four million bullets hidden in shipping containers arriving in the Libyan port of Khoms revealed a new element to Turkey’s neo-Ottoman effort to again become a major player in the Middle East, the Jerusalem Post said.
...
(Turkey’s foreign minister) Cavusoglu sought to minimize the incident and accused unnamed Arab countries of supplying tanks, missiles and drones to Libya.

According to a UN report, a dozen countries, Turkey among them, are supplying weapons to both sides in violation of the embargo.

“Turkey had sided with Islamic parties led by the Muslim Brotherhood immediately after the fall of Gaddafi,” wrote Mazel. “Those parties won the first parliamentary elections held the following year. Ankara maintained its support when they lost the subsequent elections in 2014.”

The fact that Ankara was helping Islamic organizations involved in the ensuing civil war was already known. In 2013, Greek customs agents found Turkish-made weapons in a Libya-bound ship that had sought shelter from a storm in a Greek port. There have been similar discoveries since, showing a clear pattern of attempts to provide arms to these organizations.
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10 Jan 2019 22:57

Israel opens Apartheid Highway - the road with a wall down the middle.

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5444712,00.html
Israel inaugurated a new highway in the West Bank on Thursday that features a large concrete wall segregating Israeli and Palestinian traffic.

One side of Route 4370—located northeast of Jerusalem—will be open to Israeli vehicles only, while the other half will only be open to Palestinian traffic. Critics have branded it an "apartheid" highway, saying it is part of a segregated road system that benefits Jewish settlers.
...
Israeli officials inaugurating the new road on Wednesday touted it as a means of better connecting West Bank settlements north of Jerusalem to the city.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called the highway "an example of the ability to create coexistence between Israelis and Palestinian while guarding (against) the existing security challenges."

The Palestinian Authority said in a statement that the "apartheid" road "poses a challenge to the credibility of the international community."


Image

Coexistence?! :rolleyes:
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User avatar Robert5091
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11 Jan 2019 10:03

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/middle-east/article/2181716/us-led-coalition-says-syria-withdrawal-has-begun
The US-led military coalition in Syria has begun pulling out troops, a spokesman said on Friday without elaborating on locations or timetables.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the coalition had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the northeastern province of Hasakeh.


They're coming home!
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User avatar Robert5091
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12 Jan 2019 07:37

https://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html
Syrian state news agency says Israeli jets hit ammunition warehouse at Damascus airport, adding most Israeli missiles intercepted by Syrian air defenses; Syrian Observatory says Israel also targeted Hezbollah missile deport in Al-Kiswah area.

Syrian air defenses intercepted missiles reportedly fired by Israeli fighter jets on Friday night, according to state news agency SANA, causing damage but no casualties.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said the attack was broader than usual, targeting areas ranging from the eastern Damascus suburb of Dmeir to Al-Kiswah south of capital all the way to the village of Dimas in the west near the Lebanon border. It also said Israeli fighter jets were also operating in Lebanese airspace.


https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/israel-fires-missiles-damascus-airport-syria-state-media-190112061043686.html
The last Israeli attack reported by the state media was on December 25, when a missile attack wounded three Syrian soldiers.

A senior Israeli official said in September Israel had carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria in the last two years.


So this is how every Iranian boot will be expeled from Syria?
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User avatar Robert5091
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12 Jan 2019 15:00

An old chestnut from 2016 but still moving through the courts, unless you know better https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/9-11-lawsuits-against-saudi-arabia-flow-federal-court-under-n736066
At least seven lawsuits alleging Saudi government support and funding for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have landed in federal courts in the six months since Congress opened the door to such litigation over the fierce opposition of former President Barack Obama.

A suit consolidating some of those actions was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, representing the families and estates of about 800 of the 2,996 people killed in the attacks.

It alleges that the Saudi government helped pay for the operation through its alleged funding of al-Qaeda terrorist camps and its logistical support for the group's transport of weapons, people and money around the world.

The suit, which doesn't specify damages, alleges that the money and support were channeled through nine Saudi government-supported charities — including the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, part of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.


Apart from killing Khashoggi, the Saudis helped with such good natured work as Iran-Contra.

edit - update with a hand from Google - https://www.kreindler.com/Recent-Developments/Kreindler-Files-9-11-Terror-Lawsuit-Against-Saudi-Arabia.shtml
Kreindler has stood with our clients for the past fifteen years in a tremendously challenging litigation to hold those responsible for 9/11 to account. Kreindler partner Jim Kreindler is the Co-Chair for the wrongful death and personal injury cases on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee. Kreindler partner Andrew Maloney serves as Liaison Counsel. They have worked tirelessly with the other members of the Plaintiffs’ Committee and advocates in Washington D.C. to push for JASTA’s passage.

Summary of key events since we filed suit

October 2018: The Dept. of Justice tells the court that the FBI will begin to produce formerly classified documents, including some that we requested. There will be three "tranches" of document production, with the final group of documents expected in January 2019.

September 2018: U.S. Senate unanimously passes a resolution calling for the declassification of the United States Government's 9/11 documents.


Back in August, a not to surprising revelation - https://28pages.org/2018/08/01/exclusive-fbi-told-former-agent-not-to-help-9-11-victims-build-case-against-saudi-arabia/
A retired FBI counterterrorism agent with a notable role in the story of 9/11 says the FBI’s Office of the General Counsel told him not to cooperate with attorneys representing 9/11 victims in their suit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because it could harm U.S.-Saudi relations.

In an exclusive interview with 28Pages.org, Kenneth Williams, author of an ignored July 2001 memo warning that Osama bin Laden may be training pilots in the United States, explains why he has now decided to ignore the FBI’s instructions, and illustrates how the failure to share critical information continued into the 9/11 investigation—possibly to the benefit of the kingdom.


Stick on top of this in New York, a story from Florida about a Saudi family with "connections" - https://www.floridabulldog.org/2018/07/u-s-appeals-court-to-consider-how-much-public-should-be-allowed-to-know-about-9-11/
Florida Bulldog sued the government two years ago after the FBI did not respond to its 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for commission records. The records were sought after the Meese Commission tried to discredit without much explanation a stunning April 16, 2002 FBI report the Bulldog had forced the FBI to release through an earlier FOIA suit.

That heavily censored FBI report said that a Saudi family who fled their Sarasota-area home two weeks before 9/11 – leaving behind their cars, clothes, furniture and other belongings – had “many connections” to “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.” The report flatly contradicted FBI public statements that its Sarasota investigation had found no connection to the 9/11 plot.

Both the Justice Department and the nonprofit South Florida news organization are appealing rulings last year by Miami U.S. District Judge Cecilia Altonaga.
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13 Jan 2019 19:42

https://www.palestinechronicle.com/top-israeli-army-official-admits-to-bombing-thousands-of-targets-in-syria-video/
The outgoing Israeli Army chief of staff has acknowledged that Israel has been bombing Syria on a “near-daily” basis for years, in a massive military campaign allegedly aimed at degrading Tehran’s supposed military buildup in the region.

The Israeli Army rarely acknowledge striking specific targets in Syria but its outgoing chief of staff just openly confessed to running a large-scale bombing campaign in its neighbor’s territory.

In 2018 alone, Israel dropped around 2,000 bombs on alleged Iran-linked targets, Gadi Eisenkot told the New York Times in his final interview as chief of staff of the Israeli Army, before he retires next week.

Confessing to carrying out strikes on a “near-daily” basis, Eisenkot said:
“We struck thousands of targets without claiming responsibility or asking for credit.”

While the Syrian government repeatedly accuses the Jewish state of constantly violating its sovereignty and aiding the terrorists by their raids in the country’s airspace, Eisenkot claimed the Israeli actions are justified – and that, anyway, neither Damascus nor Tehran can do anything about it.

We have complete intelligence superiority in this area. We enjoy complete aerial superiority. We have strong deterrence and we have the justification to act.

While a tragedy involving civilian airliners was averted last month, similar Israeli tactics led to horrific consequences before. On September 17, Israeli jets put Russian Il-20 recon plane into the path of Syrian air defense interceptor missile after failing to give Moscow enough warning of a strike on Syrian targets.

The Israeli tactics resulted in the deaths of all 15 Russian crew on board and compelled Moscow to supply Syria with S-300 missile defense systems. Russian also warned that, in the event of any threat to its servicemen deployed in the country, it will jam radio and satellite signals from military aircraft approaching from the Mediterranean, which seemingly forced Israel to slightly adjust its bombing routine and routes.

Yet, despite repeated dangerous behavior in the air, Israel continues to intrude in Syrian airspace under the “the campaign between wars” military strategy which envisions a continuous and lengthy engagement to degrade an enemy’s military capabilities. Developed by Eisenkot, the tactic was given the green light by the cabinet in January 2017.

Since then Israel carried out thousands of sorties, allegedly striking “over 1,000 Iranian targets.” Yet Damascus claims the majority of Israeli missiles and bombs are being routinely intercepted by the Syrian air defenses. No official details or visual proof of the Israeli raids’ results has ever been presented, except for the time when Israel rushed to disavow any blame for the downing of the Russian plane and shifted the blame for the tragedy onto Damascus and Tehran.


So are these air strikes going down as US coalition or just not being reported? "We have complete intelligence superiority" means the Israelis/US have hacked everyone or someone's been bribed/blackmailed. I would expect a covert US/Israel military partnership.
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15 Jan 2019 10:37

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190115_20/
As a senior North Korean diplomat in charge of negotiations with the United States travels to an international conference, attention is focused on what she will say about a possible second summit meeting between the leaders of the two countries.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui showed up at Beijing's airport from Pyongyang on Tuesday.

She told reporters that she is going to Sweden to attend a global conference, but she did not answer questions about whether she would be meeting US officials.


Wait a moment. We've just put the Yeminis up in a swanky hotel, now the North Koreans. :D

(maybe they'll pay up for the 1,000 Volvo cars they still owe Sweden for from 1974 - that's $302 million US and raising https://www.thelocal.se/20170306/strange-but-true-north-korea-owes-sweden-millions-for-volvos-from-the-1970s )
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15 Jan 2019 10:44

https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2182167/chinas-corporate-default-storm-continues-rage-start-2019-after
Two weeks into 2019, five Chinese companies are already likely to default on 3.5 billion yuan (US$446.25 million) worth of debt, after a record US$17 billion default wave took the country by storm in 2018 amid a worsening economic slowdown and soaring refinancing costs facing the cash-starved private sector.

The intensive wave of bond failures looks like a continuation of a default storm in 2018.

Last year, defaults on corporate bonds soared nearly fourfold from 2017 to an all-time high of 120 billion yuan. The value also exceeded the combined amount of the previous four years, as defaulted corporate bonds totalled 86 billion yuan from 2014 to 2017.

Cash-starved companies have come up with an innovative way to make repayments. Chuying Agro-Pastoral Group said in November that it had reached an initial agreement with creditors to repay the interest portion with ham or pork gift packages.


If this spreads, then things could get nasty quickish like.
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18 Jan 2019 09:17

https://www.thedailybeast.com/russia-detains-belarusian-model-who-claimed-she-had-evidence-of-election-meddling?ref=home
A Belarusian model who claimed to have evidence of the Kremlin's efforts to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election was detained by Russian authorities upon arrival in Moscow on Thursday, Radio Free Europe reports. Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, and four others were detained by plainclothes officers at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport after they were deported from Thailand. A witness told the website she saw Vashukevich arguing with officials upon being detained. An anonymous law enforcement source cited by Russian state news agency TASS said the four were detained on suspicion of “recruiting for prostitution.” Vashukevich and others were arrested by Thai officials on charges related to their teaching of a sex training course in the country. While she was imprisoned, Vashukevich claimed she had evidence of Russian meddling in the U.S. election gleaned from her affair with Kremlin-linked oligarch Oleg Deripaska. According to CBS News, Vashukevich never produced the evidence.
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21 Jan 2019 10:41

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/21/israeli-military-strikes-iranian-targets-inside-syria
Israel has struck several targets in Syria as part of its increasingly open assault on Iran’s presence there, launching an hour of air attacks over Damascus on a second consecutive night of military action.

The Israeli military said its fighter jets had attacked the Iranian targets early on Monday, which included munitions stores, a position in the Damascus International airport, an intelligence site and a military training camp.

They also targeted Syrian defence batteries after coming under fire, the Israeli military said.
...
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is hoping to win a fifth term in elections on 9 April, has been playing up military sorties into Syria that Israel had previously preferred to keep quiet. “We have a permanent policy to strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt us,” he said on Sunday.


Elections coming up and Bibi goes out with his "tough man" talk - quelle surprise! Let's hope, post-election, that Israel's government actually tries to talk to it's neighbours and stop bombing them.

see also https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5450266,00.html

Edit- http://tass.com/world/1040895
Israel used the mechanism of urgent contacts with the Russian military during strikes against targets in Syria last night, Israel Defense Force spokesman Jonathan Conricus told a news briefing for foreign media on Monday.

"The deconfliction mechanism in Syria is supported by both parties - Israel and Russia. It is being used at the moment while we are having this conversation. It was routinely employed in accordance with the standard procedures last night," Conricus said.

After the Israelis caused a Russian plane to be shot down this strange "warning system" to the Russians (Iran's best buds) must mean that the defence systems are forewarned? Therefore despite all the attacks, the reported killed and damage done is less then one would expect. Is this really a show for Israeli domestic consumption?
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21 Jan 2019 11:49

which 2 major powers are still technically at war after the 3/4 century since the hostilities stopped ? not a big news for some - russia and japan...they never signed a peace treaty, b/c japan demands 4 islands occupied by russia in the wake of them defeating japan. one side calls them the kurils, and the other northen islands...

based on some sources, there is a movement towards the resolution. but, as is typical in such cases the sides involved, release different bits about the progress. the japanese seem to spin the optimistic note and the russians the opposite.

i was interested in the issue long ago, b/c it was imo a no brainer for russia to trade the barely inhabited, rich in nothing islands for the badly needed economic injections in their far east....but it never happened.
DJPbaltimore:'John Kerry is an honorable person and would not call out the Russians if there was not evidence', 'the 2 of you are russia stooges'
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User avatar python
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Re:

21 Jan 2019 12:48

python wrote:which 2 major powers are still technically at war after the 3/4 century since the hostilities stopped ? not a big news for some - russia and japan...they never signed a peace treaty, b/c japan demands 4 islands occupied by russia in the wake of them defeating japan. one side calls them the kurils, and the other northen islands...

based on some sources, there is a movement towards the resolution. but, as is typical in such cases the sides involved, release different bits about the progress. the japanese seem to spin the optimistic note and the russians the opposite.

i was interested in the issue long ago, b/c it was imo a no brainer for russia to trade the barely inhabited, rich in nothing islands for the badly needed economic injections in their far east....but it never happened.



From the Russian Revolution ... founding of CCP ... Japanese Wars ... Chinese Civil War ... wow!!! Eastern SU, Japan and NE China ... fascinating part of the world. As an aside ... Vladivostok to Harbin to Shanghai. Little Moscow in the Roaring 20s of Shanghai. Heady stuff. Fascinating.
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21 Jan 2019 14:30

The Kuril Islands dispute is a long running saga. The fuzzy declaration at the end of WW2 has caused the problems. The Ainu people stuck in the middle are the real losers - bit like the Koreans after the Korean War.

At least it's not so drastic as the Spratley Islands conflict

Edit - update - I knew Shell were drilling etc in the area and I see Gazprom, Rosneft and Norway's Statoil are drilling in the Okhotsk Sea to the north of the Kuril Islands (see https://www.oedigital.com/component/k2/item/14749-gazprom-starts-okhotsk-sea-drilling )

This is probably the reason why Russia is not interested in discussing the return of the Kuril Islands.
Last edited by Robert5091 on 21 Jan 2019 23:24, edited 1 time in total.
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21 Jan 2019 20:30

aphronesis
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Re:

21 Jan 2019 22:04

aphronesis wrote:https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/01/deng-xiaoping-china-mao-communist-party

I just say a couple of the websites you frequent have also added me to there readership. I enjoy lots of the content.
A personal question to you..I see this vantage point about what China is..also I see that many of your points are about the level of failure in the experiment we call capitalism.
My question is there anything pure? Socialism,Communism,Capitalism..? Can you point me to a place where some philosophic overlay is in place and is working? Your barbs about capitalism are well founded in my opinion..is this a headline anywhere..?
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oxfam-report-wealth-inequality-poverty-tax_us_5c408586e4b027c3bbbeb91d
Unchained
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21 Jan 2019 23:53

Just like Trump, the Israeli press are getting a bashing before the upcoming elections -

'They won't decide'
You can expect something similar from Trump soon! :D

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5450596,00.html
The problem that threatens the future of the free media in Israel is not in the abuse that prominent journalists receive on social media or in political campaigns. Journalists at this status are not fragile beings. They understand that what they are allowed to say, so can the politicians they criticize.

The problem is the delegitimization of the institution of journalism with the rejection of its vital role in a democratic society. Here there are some similarities between the United States and Israel. In both countries, there are anti-media politicians, who suffer from a serious persecution complex and bothersome legal woes. Both countries have a long-honored tradition of free, critical media, which continues to exist even when large parts of the public are unhappy with it.

Trump and Netanyahu seek to take advantage of the suspicions toward the media to get more votes. The motive is similar, but the results are different: in the United States, the media is currently enjoying immense prosperity. A sympathetic media or a contrarian media: the interest in Trump helps everyone's bottom line. Netanyahu is less interesting to the Israeli public.
...
How to silence some journalist and praise the rest—that is the challenge.


Trump sticks with Fox which is his method.
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User avatar Robert5091
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Re: Re:

22 Jan 2019 02:03

Unchained wrote:
aphronesis wrote:https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/01/deng-xiaoping-china-mao-communist-party

I just say a couple of the websites you frequent have also added me to there readership. I enjoy lots of the content.
A personal question to you..I see this vantage point about what China is..also I see that many of your points are about the level of failure in the experiment we call capitalism.
My question is there anything pure? Socialism,Communism,Capitalism..? Can you point me to a place where some philosophic overlay is in place and is working? Your barbs about capitalism are well founded in my opinion..is this a headline anywhere..?
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oxfam-report-wealth-inequality-poverty-tax_us_5c408586e4b027c3bbbeb91d


Pure? Not really. Some people have pure models of communism but they're not implemented on any kind of a major scale. Beyond the level of commune really. I think for a lot of the writers in the sites I link, people I know, etc. the idea is that the notion of social alternatives have been successively pushed so far beyond the pale in the past 50 or 70 years that most people not only can't conceive of them, but they react to them with hostility.

At least they used to. A lot of current polling in the US suggests that much of the population is actually receptive to many basic "socialist" policies around health care, etc. It's really the wealthy and their media who have an interest in buying politicians to act otherwise and convincing the population that these aren't positive or desirable practices and social programs that are in no way counter to a positive life. And for many left activists the idea is simply to keep spreading awareness and the possibility with the understanding that it may not take place or catch hold in our lifetimes.

And I'm personally past the point of radicality. I'll spend a night in lockup for a protest if it comes to it (although it's easy enough to avoid), but I'm not doing time in prison or actively courting the FBI for my political principles. Maybe in a European country, but the penal/justice system here is too miserable for that. There are other ways to raise awareness.
aphronesis
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23 Jan 2019 06:31

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko now involved in Deripaska's escorts case.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-sex-worker-who-could-hold-keys-to-mueller-probe-freed-from-moscow-jail?ref=home
Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska’s nemesis, the 28-year-old Belarusian self-declared “seductress” and “huntress of billionaires” known as Nastya Rybka, just got out of jail in Moscow.

And Deripaska must have thought things were going so well.

As we now know, he worked hard to keep her locked up in Thailand, or Russia—wherever, as long as she would quit telling her stories and showing her videotapes about him talking American politics, Trump politics, with a deputy prime minister of Russia at the height of the U.S. elections.

Whether Rybka’s information sheds light on the Russia collusion investigation or not, the fact that Deripaska used to be a client of jailed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort makes those conversations highly suspicious.
...
So what is it about Rybka that so ignited Deripaska’s wrath? When she was arrested in Thailand last year, she managed to post video from what looked like the back of the police van threatening implicitly to publicize more revelations about Deripaska’s role in Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

After her deportation, when she was arrested in Moscow, Rybka issued a statement apologizing to Deripaska and Prikhodko and promising Deripaska that she would not publish anything more that might compromise the oligarch. So she clearly assumed that her fate was in his hands. As Navalny observed: “All the illegal and truly horrible things that are happening to Nastya Rybka now are the personal work of Oleg Deripaska.”

Perhaps thanks to the intervention of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, who today publicly demanded Rybka’s release, she and Kirillov are free, although their case is still pending.
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