Plane sinks in melting asphalt at Moscow airport

RIA Novosti / Alexandr Kryazhev

As temperatures peaked at 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday, an S7 flight from Domodedovo Airport enroute from Moscow to Novosibirsk took off at 16:00 local time instead of a scheduled take-off at 11:15.

“At 11.15 our aircraft, Boeing 737, had to take off,” Evgeny, a passenger on board the flight told Komsomolskaya Pravda. “However, we were informed that the flight is delayed by 45 minutes due to the fact that the plane still has not arrived. At 11.50, when it finally arrived, we were allowed to go on board. The Boeing then drove off and having left the airport building stood up to wait in line for take-off.”

The Boeing 737 could not take off, since the rear landing gear was stuck in a pothole about 10-15 centimeters deep as the heat melted asphalt underneath the weight of the plane.

“But when it came time to fly, he could not budge. The asphalt melted and rear wheels sunk in it by 10-15 centimeters,” Evgeny says.

The passengers had to disembark as the maintenance crew worked on getting the plane back in take-off mode.

“Abnormally high temperatures have led to minor defects to the local seat covers of aircraft parking,” Daria Korshunova, a spokeswoman for the airport told Komsomolskaya Pravda. Korshunova also said that flights coming in and out of Domodedovo airport were not affected.

The temperatures in Moscow region are expected to climb in the coming days. Wednesday’s forecast calls for 31-33 C in the city, with 35 C predicted by the weekend. Meanwhile ecologists from environmental monitoring agency issued a “red” alert pollution warning.

The warning extends to those suffering from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, pregnant women and the elderly. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the city for July 29 was in 2010 when the air hit a scorching 38.2 C (100 F).

Every two hours, some 600 specially equipped trucks spray the streets of the Russian capital to cool the pavement. Water is also being handed out to metro passengers and at railway stations.

“In the subway, at 10 stations where there are problems in terms of temperature based on historical observation, paramedics are stationed there,” Maksim Liksutov, the head of Moscow’s Transportation Department was quoted by Moscow city portal, FlashNord.

Liksutov also said that “184 metro stations are equipped with water coolers, as well as water distributors at all Moscow’s railway stations.” In addition, Moscow authorities announced that specially designed “cool rooms” are available for public use in the center of the city.

Moscow’s health authorities said that since the beginning of the heat wave, only 2-3 people a day have asked medical assistance related to heat strokes, in comparison to over 7,000 patients that seek medical care in Moscow daily.

Meanwhile in Japan, a heatwave there has taken away the lives of at least 15 people over the past week. Over 8,000 Japanese sought medical attention with heatstroke symptoms, official figures showed Tuesday, AFP reports.

As 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures struck the island nation with high humidity on Saturday, nearly 8,600 people went to emergency rooms for heat-related symptoms by Sunday, Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. Fifteen people have died.

In 2013 Japan experienced its hottest summer on record, with a record 41 degrees C (105.8 Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country, causing tens of thousands to suffer heat-related symptoms.

Feds doled out millions towards Tor online anonymity tools

Reuters / Kacper Pempel/

In fact, the large majority of the money gifted to the Tor Project has its origins in the State Department and the Department of Defense.

According to the Guardian, the US government delivered a little more than $1.8 million to Tor last year – an increase over the $1.2 million given in 2012. Some of that money was direct – the State Department issued $256,900 while the National Science Foundation donated $100,325 – but most of it was delivered through third parties and non-profit organizations.

“The two largest single grantors of federal money were SRI international, a non-profit research and development centre that aims to bridge the gap between abstract research and industry, and Internews Network, an international non-profit that funds programmes supporting democracy and human rights,” wrote Alex Hern at the Guardian. “The latter gave $555,413 in funding originally from the US Department of State, while the former gave $830,269 in funding ultimately stemming from the US Department of Defense.”

Also known as “The Onion Router,” Tor is a free internet browser that allows users to bypass online censorship as well as avoid surveillance. Although the browser was initially released back in 2002, it has gained notoriety ever since revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the US intelligence agency to be collecting large amounts of data on individuals. Snowden himself has recommended Tor to users looking to keep the government at bay.

Last year, a separate Guardian report revealed that the NSA and the United Kingdom’s GCHQ have made multiple attempts to break through Tor’s privacy settings, with limited success. As RT reported recently, Russia is also attempting the same, with its Interior Ministry offering $111,000 to anyone who can help the government crack the network.

Meanwhile, a report by PandoDaily in July showed that most of those involved with developing Tor – itself a project built in coordination with the Navy – were funded by and still used by the US government.

The website raised concern over the possibility that a conflict of interests could exist, since so much money for the project comes from the state. According to the project’s tax documents, Tor aided the Defense Department in areas related to “communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.”

As effective as Tor can be, it isn’t perfect. In May, Microsoft security expert Andy Malone said that while the network itself is still effective, there are weak points that can be taken advantage of by data collectors.

“At the moment the Tor network’s security has never been broken, but there are flaws around it that can be exploited,” Malone said at the time.

“Tor leaks do occur through third-party apps and add-ons, like Flash. If I was doing forensics on you and thought you were on Tor I wouldn’t attack the network I’d attack the weak areas around it.”

Shock and terror: Islamic State boasts mass executions in Iraq (GRAPHIC)

Screenshot from Islamic State video

The Islamic State, formerly known as ISIS/ISIL, stormed through areas of northern Iraq last month, building on territory they had already seized in western Iraq and Syria.

The 36-minute video clip was released for the Eid holiday marking the end of Ramadan, sheds a disturbing light on the mentality of the Islamic State extremists and the methods they use as the organization presses on with its campaign of hatred and murder.

The video begins with IS fighters sweeping through a town in quick hit raids. The insurgents then stand over dozens of terrified Iraqis many of whom are only teenagers. One militant mocks a soldier for wearing civilian clothes over his uniform and then shoots him dead.

Other soldiers are then led to a pit in the desert and murdered one by one. A jihadist, not satisfied that they are dead, then does the round again. Most of the men appear to be deserters from the Iraqi army.

Other sequences from the IS propaganda video include a commander firing up militants with promises that paradise awaits them, when they take the city of Samarra, which is only 100 km north of the capital Baghdad.

Some of the prisoners were led to the edge of a river where each one was shot in the head with a pistol and then shoved in.

The footage also shows the insurgents moving into a town in pick-up trucks and US Humvees, seized from the Iraqi army last month, although it is not clear if this actually is Samarra, which is still reportedly in Iraqi government hands.

Islamic State militants gain ground by driving past other vehicles and opening fire randomly on passengers who then lose control of their vehicles or lie dead on the seats in pools of their own blood.

The video also shows IS bulldozing mosques and blowing up Shiite shrines.

MORE: ISIS jihadists demolish mosques, shrines in northern Iraq (PHOTOS)

Islamic State insurgents appear to avoid heavy clashes and therefore casualties by conducting quick, ruthless and indiscriminate operations and by using psychological warfare.

READ MORE: Jihadists attract investors, fighters with annual reports & glossy PR

On Tuesday the Islamic State secured another strategic victory by blowing up a bridge between Tikrit and Samarra, as well as severing a tunnel which was also used by the Iraqi military.

Iraqi government troops have tried and failed to recapture Tikrit from the militants. As the Iraqi army proves to be increasingly inept and ineffective, Shiite militias now rival government forces in their will and ability to confront Sunni insurgents.

Iraqi Christians have also fled the IS controlled city of Mosul, the second biggest in Iraq, following threats of execution if they did not convert to Islam or pay a religious tax.

The only forces making headway or at least holding their ground in the battle against the IS insurgents are the Kurds to the north and the forces of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Islamic State militants in Syria briefly captured the Al-Shaar gas field near Homs and killed at least 200 Syrian army soldiers before it was recaptured by President Assad’s forces Monday.

Pakistani man sues UK govt for complicity in decade of torture

AFP Photo / Asif Hassan

In a lengthy 60-page document drawn up by his legal team, the 31-year-old Yunus Rahmatullah describes the torture and inhumane treatment he was subjected to after his capture in Iraq by UK special forces in 2004. Shortly after the detention, Rahmatullah was stationed with American troops. He was subsequently transferred to Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison before being sent to Bagram jail in Afghanistan.

In a statement of claim, the Pakistani’s lawyers argue he was beaten unconscious and stripped using a pair of scissors to shred his clothes. Later on, a soldier poured water on Rahmatullah’s face, after covering his mouth and nose with a cloth to create a “sensation of drowning”. While hooded and chained, the man lost consciousness as was forcefully attacked and hurled against a wall, the document reveals.

The 31 year-old was also hung upside down and “repeatedly dunked into a tank of water”, according to the court document. At one particular juncture, he was taken into a room and presented with a distressing scene of “six or seven naked detainees piled on top of each other,” the statement notes.

On one occasion, Yunus was wrapped tightly in duct tape from head to toe, according to his lawyers. He was also allegedly kept in solitary confinement in an unsanitary cell populated with rats and cockroaches, and denied any form of daylight for years.

READ MORE: UK journalists could be labeled ‘terrorists’ for attempting to uphold public interest

Following his decision to protest this inhumane treatment with a hunger strike, Rahmatullah was force-fed on six different occasions. Other than restricted communication with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) representatives, he had absolutely no contact with the external word – including his own family – until 2010.

British special forces’ decision to hand Rahmatullah over to US soldiers – who covertly transferred him to Afghanistan – defied an international law agreement signed by the US and Britain. The agreement highlights the rights of war prisoners and civilian detainees as outlined in the Geneva Conventions.

Rahmatullah’s lawyers condemned British authorities’ treatment of their client. The UK government’s “servants and agents” were “recklessly indifferent to the illegality of their actions,” they told the high court.

The former captive is believed to have first been detained at Camp Nama, a secret prison facility in Baghdad that British troops helped to run. Initially a covert operation, his capture wasn’t disclosed to British MPs until 2009. Rahmatullah was released without charge by American authorities in May 2014.

In 2011, Britain’s court of appeal ruled that Yunus had been unlawfully detained and ordered a writ of habeas corpus to be issued – the ancient British right to be released from arbitrary detention. However, in the Supreme Court the UK government’s lawyers subsequently argued that British ministers had no power to ensure Rahmatullah was released from Bagram. They were successful in their case.

‘A disgraceful episode in UK history’

Legal director at UK human rights group Reprieve, Kat Craig, recently visited Rahmatullah.

“Yunus Rahmatullah has been through 10 years of frankly unimaginable horror. Now that he has finally been able to speak freely to his lawyers, there is no longer any doubt that the British government bears responsibility for his torture and illegal rendition to Bagram”, she said on Tuesday.

“Yunus was robbed of ten years in the prime of his life; a time when he wanted to find a career, choose a partner and build a family”,
she added.

“The government must now come clean about the full extent of British involvement in this disgraceful episode in our history – only then will Yunus be able to move on and try to rebuild his life”, she concluded.

The British government claims Yunus’ case is currently under state investigation. But Yunus’ lawyer, Rosa Curling, expresses serious doubt over these claims.

READ MORE: Senate report points to UK ‘complicity’ in US extraordinary rendition

“The UK government states it is investigating our client’s allegations of wrongdoing by UK soldiers. However, to date, the UK government has refused to investigate its role in the decision taken to transfer our client in to US custody, when it knew there was a real risk such a transfer would expose him to torture, mistreatment and abuse”, she said on Tuesday.

Curling sharply criticized British authorities’ treatment of Yunus, emphasizing he was unlawfully transferred to the US base. The UK government’s subsequent failure to initiate proper steps to ensure he was returned safely is utterly unacceptable, according to Curling.

“This case exposes a catalogue of errors on the part of the Brits, which have ruined a young man’s life,” she insists. “Justice must now be done, and done swiftly.”

​Top Ebola doctor dies of virus in Sierra Leone

AFP Photo / Seyllou

Khan, who has treated more than 100 patients, died on Tuesday afternoon. “It is a big and irreparable loss to Sierra Leone as he was the only specialist the country had in viral hemorrhagic fevers,” said Brima Kargbo, chief medical officer.

Khan has been hailed as a “national hero” by the Health Ministry. Sierra Leone’s president was due to visit the treatment center he ran in the north eastern town of Kailahun, Reuters reports.

Khan’s death follows the deaths of dozens of local health workers and the infection of two US medics in neighboring Liberia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Ebola has killed at least 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, since the beginning of the outbreak back in February.

READ MORE: Ebola outbreak in W.Africa ‘totally out of control’

The virus is highly contagious and has no cure. Its symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, which then develops into internal and external bleeding. The disease has characteristically had a fatality rate of 90 percent but in this outbreak it stands at 60 percent.

Despite a broad range of international help in fighting the disease, weak health systems in some of the world’s poorest countries are struggling to contain the outbreak. On Monday US President Barak Obama said that US agencies would step up their support to help contain the virus.

In an effort to stop the further spread of the disease, West African airlines have suspended flights in the region.

Togo based Asky Air has cancelled flights from Sierra Leone and Liberia, as panic spread after the first death was reported in the Nigerian city of Lagos, Africa’s biggest city with a population of 22 million.

The airline also said it would no longer be taking food on in Guinea, where the Ebola virus was first identified. Asky Air also announced that any passengers boarding in Guinea would be checked for symptoms of the disease.

While Arik Air, Nigeria largest carrier, has also stopped flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Officials have also tried to contain the virus by isolating patients, and trying to educate populations on how to avoid transmitting the disease.

However, their efforts have been hampered by porous borders, satellite outbreaks and a widespread distrust of health workers and modern medicine among local people.

German synagogue attacked as Gaza-related death threats, hate speech surge

Reuters / Athit Perawongmetha

READ MORE: ‘No children left in Gaza!’ Right-wing Israeli mob mocks deaths in anti-Gaza chant (VIDEO)

Three arsonists threw Molotov cocktails at the Bergische Synagogue in the western German town of Wuppertal early Tuesday morning in an attempt to burn it down, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung daily reports.

A neighbor phoned the police after seeing flames near the synagogue at about 2:15am.

Police said it found broken bottles by the entrance to the doors of the synagogue and arrested an 18-year old man in connection with the incident.

No one was injured in the attack and there was little visible damage on the outside of the building.

The synagogue, which was built in 1897, was burned to the ground during the Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938 and then rebuilt.

In a separate incident, a rabbi in Frankfurt am Main received death threats during a phone call last week.

A man, believed to be a Palestinian, threatened to kill 30 Jews if his family in Gaza was harmed, Dieter Graumann, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on Israeli military offensive in Gaza

Both incidents happened amid a backdrop of increasing anti-Semitism in Germany.

According to Monika Schwarz-Friesel, who is leading a research project into anti-Semitism on the internet at Berlin’s Technical University, there has been a huge increase in anti-Jewish sentiment online.

“Hatred of Israel unites writers of all classes. Three percent of letters were anonymous and came from the far-right scene,” Schwarz-Friesel said.

She added that many of the insults were “falling back on old stereotypes”, with people using phrases like “usurer”, “child murderer” and “global conspiracy.”

Schwarz-Friesel examined 14,000 letters sent to the Israeli Embassy in Berlin and to the Central Council of Jews in Germany, but her current project is focusing on anti-Jewish feeling on the internet.

“The Internet has become the primary distribution medium for the new anti-Semitism,” the Technical University said in a statement Monday.

Meanwhile as violence spirals out of control across the Middle East, there has been a spike in attacks on Mosques and against Germany’s Muslim population. The assaults are said to be mainly waged by the far-right radicals.

Attacks on mosques have jumped 50 percent since 2011, the Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung newspaper reported Tuesday. According to the paper, there were 36 such attacks in Germany in 2013.

The situation in Germany is reflected across the rest of Europe. In Brussels four people were murdered outside the Jewish museum in May.

Vladimir Sloutsker, the president of Israeli Jewish Congress, told members of the Knesset and foreign diplomats Monday that the situation facing Jews in Europe is “simply intolerable, unacceptable and inexcusable.”

Meanwhile in Gaza, at least 100 Palestinians have been killed on Tuesday alone after Israel beefed up its military operation, according to local health officials.

READ MORE: Israel intensifies Gaza shelling, warns of ‘protracted campaign’

​Crime (Israel) and Punishment (Russia)

Heavy smoke and fire billow following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 29, 2014.(AFP Photo / Ashraf Amra )

He remains dead set on achieving his version of a Final Solution to Gaza. With or without “pressure”.

So what’s left for the Fab Five after having their illustrious Western collective behinds solemnly kicked? They decide to dump Gaza and instead SANCTION RUSSIA! AGAIN! How brilliant is that as an exit strategy?

Spectacular non-entity Tony Blinken, who doubles as deputy national security adviser to Obama, was keen to stress to Western corporate media that the unruly Eurotrash mob is now “determined to act”. No, not against Israel because of Gaza; against Russia because of Ukraine. Such a lovely Orwellian symmetry; the extended Two Minutes Hate from Israel towards Gazans morphs into the extended Two Minutes Hate from the “West” towards Russia, mirroring the extended Two Minutes Hate from Kiev towards Eastern Ukrainians.

Not even Hollywood could come up with such a plot; Israel gets away with unlawful premeditated mass murder of civilians, while Russia gets framed for an airborne mass murder of civilians that has all the makings of being set up by the Kiev vassals of Russia’s Western“partners”.

Here I have exposed how sanctions, sanctions, sanctions is the one and only official Obama administration “policy” on Russia. On top of the next EU sanctions, coming soon, the US is piling up – what else – more sanctions. After all, Washington is so “concerned” that Moscow will sooner or later invade Ukraine; that would certainly, and finally, answer all those In God We Trust prayers.

The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate
Was not that one was obliged to act a part, but
That it was impossible to avoid joining it…
A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness,
A desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in.
With a sledgehammer, seemed to flow
Through the whole group of people
Like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will
into a grimacing, screaming lunatic

George Orwell, 1984

Where we stand now

Let’s follow the facts. Washington from the get-go said it was Putin’s missile that downed MH17. They swore they had evidence. Like in “We know. Trust us”. The historical record for the past 60 years at least shows they cannot be trusted. There was never any evidence. Just spin.

Moscow, via the Defense Ministry, presented hard evidence. And called for an unbiased international investigation. Washington ignored it all – the call and the hard evidence.

The US Navy, crammed with state of the art missile defense radars, has been roaming the Black Sea for weeks now. As much as the Russians, they have tracked every particle flying over Ukraine. The NSA goes for signals intelligence; the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency goes for phenomena in the imagery realm; the Defense Intelligence Agency adds Humint; there’s the CIA; and there’s the all-seeing, all-knowing Director of National Intelligence (DNI). How come all this trillion-dollar Full Spectrum Dominance apparatus cannot come up with a single, conclusive piece of evidence?

The only risible “evidence” presented so far pictures the acronym salad of US intel agencies spending their time actively reading blogs and Twittering. As in the State Department head in Kiev twittering satellite imagery the New York Times parroted “proved” Russia is shelling Ukraine from across the border. The proverbial “senior US officials” even had to tersely admit on the record they have no proof whatsoever about “Putin’s missile”. If they had, NATO would be already flipping burgers in Red Square.

Based on the wealth of info now in the open, the top probability causing the MH17 tragedy was a R-60M air-to-air missile shot from a Ukrainian Su-25 – and not a BUK (there’s also the possibility of a double down; first a R-60M and then a BUK). The R-60M is very fast, with an ideal engagement distance of up to 5 km. That’s how far the Su-25 detected by the Russians (they showed the graphics) was from MH17.

SBU – Ukrainian intel – for its part confiscated the recordings of Kiev control tower talking to MH17. That would certainly explain why MH17 was overflying a war zone (Malaysian Airlines revealed they were forced to). Hefty bets can be made the recordings are now being “doctored”.

Then there are the black boxes, which will not de decoded by the Malaysians or by the Dutch, but by the Brits – acting under Washington’s orders. As The Saker summed up the view of top Russian specialists, “the Brits will now let the NSA falsify the data and that falsification will be coordinated with the SBU in Kiev which will eventually release the recordings who will fully ‘confirm’ the ‘authenticity’ of the NSA-doctored recordings from the UK.” To make it more palatable, and erase suspicions about Anglo-American foul play, the Dutch will announce it. Everyone should be forewarned.

NATO heads, for their part, are droolin’. Kiev’s forces/militias will hold “joint exercises” with NATO in Ukraine in slightly over a month from now, on September 1; red alert applies, because this is when Poroshensko said the slow motion ethnic cleansing of Donbass will be finished.

As for the R2P (“responsibility to protect”) angle, it sounds quite improbable. True, Moscow can always say that unless the slow motion ethnic cleansing of Donbass stops, they will recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics. In that case, Moscow would be replaying Abkhazia and South Ossetia; a de facto R2P backed by military muscle. Under international law – which Washington never respects, by the way – this is not the same as “invading” Ukraine. The frankly scary Samantha Power would obviously freak out – but that’s a dose of her own medicine. It would indeed be comparable to what the Americans are doing to the benefit of those Salafi-jihadis in Syria; and better yet, to what the US did in Kosovo.

The $50billion vultures

And now, on top of sanctions, Moscow also has to contend with a massive $50 billion theft attempt. The International Arbitration Court in The Hague found that the Kremlin’s pursuit of Yukos and its main shareholder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a decade ago was politically motivated. Moscow can’t appeal – but it will pursue all legal avenues for trying to get it “set aside”.

Well, it’s The Hague’s decision itself that is political. Khodorkovsky was found guilty not only by the Russian judicial system but also by the European Court of Human Rights. Yukos and Menotep shareholders were and remain a bunch of oligarch gangsters – to put it mildly.

So here’s the Empire of Chaos once again in action, manipulating a Dutch court after literally stealing Germany’s gold and fining France for selling warships to Russia. In this case though, the “West” has more investments in Russia than the Russian government in the West. Payback could be a bitch – as in Moscow, for instance, freezing all US and EU energy investments especially in the new ultra-profitable frontier, the Arctic oil fields. Western Big Oil will never allow this to happen. BP is already on the record saying more sanctions is madness.

This could go on forever. The bottom line: the Russian state simply won’t allow itself to be robbed by a dodgy ruling on behalf of a bunch of oligarchs. In parallel, a case can be made that not only the Return of the Living (Neo-Con) Dead but also substantial sections of the deep state in DC and environs – as well as “Western” plutocracy – want to provoke some sort of NATO war against Russia, sooner rather than later.

And in another parallel line, Moscow rumor has it that the Kremlin finds this protracted post-Yukos battle just an afterthought compared to the economic war about to convulse Europe and eventually pit Europe against Russia; exactly what the Empire of Chaos is praying – and working – for. “Two Minute” Hate? Talk about hours, days, weeks, and years.

‘Gap in the system’: ICAO to set up task force on flight safety after MH17 tragedy

Reuters / Edgar Su

The UN body governing civil aviation on Tuesday hosted a top-level meeting of international aviation groups amid concerns there is a gap in safety regulations of civil flights. The meeting comes on the heels of the July 17 downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, which killed all 298 on board.

LIVE UPDATES: Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane crash in Ukraine

Top officials of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Directors General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Airports Council International (ACI) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO) have agreed to “urgently review” ways of safety threat identification and prevention as regards to flights passing over conflict zones.

ICAO head, Raymond Benjamin, said at the Tuesday briefing that the agency will convene a high-level safety meeting with its 191 member states in February 2015. In the meantime, a task force on the issue is due to be set up by ICAO.

The member states have been formally reminded of their responsibilities to address any potential risks to civil aviation in their air space, the official said.

According to Benjamin, the MH17 crash showed there is a pressing need for information and intelligence sharing on threats that can potentially affect the safety of passengers and crew members.

However, states are often unwilling to disclose such information, especially when it comes to sensitive military data.

According to a European-based airline industry source quoted by Reuters, “some countries will never, ever say there is a problem with their airspace even if there really is a problem with their airspace.”

“Airlines do not have CIA operatives working for them. At the end of the day, airlines have to decide whether to fly or not based on accurate information,” the source said on condition of anonymity, adding that the lack of intelligence sharing “does not make it easy for airlines.”

Following the MH17 disaster, global airlines are going to push for “neutral information” on whether to use or avoid airspace over conflict zones, the source said.

The loss of the Boeing 777 on July 17 had “exposed a gap in the system,” IATA director general, Tony Tyler, said at the Tuesday briefing. Even the information considered sensitive by the governments can be “sanitized” in a way which will make it accessible to airlines and ensure the security of flights, he said.

Tyler also referred to the issue of states keeping airspace open to maintain a revenue stream of air navigation fees, saying that he was sure “no country, no civilized person, would put a few dollars ahead of the value of human lives.”

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian authorities are facing many questions in the ongoing international investigation of the MH17 flight crash. While Kiev and Washington officials have accused eastern Ukrainian anti-government militia and even Russia for downing the passenger plane, Moscow has presented evidence of a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet approaching the MH17 shortly before the catastrophe, and published satellite images of Ukrainian BUK missile systems stationed in the area.

Private militias patrolling US-Mexico border raise concerns

Reuters / Eric Thayer

In a new report by the San Antonio Express-News, the newspaper obtained more than 30 photographs from unnamed members of the militia, showing numerous individuals sporting semi-automatic rifles, masks, camouflage and tactical gear.

The Express-News noted that “dozens of members” are depicted in the images, sometimes talking to agents from Customs and Border Patrol. In one photo, a CBP agent can be seen giving directions to armed militia members operating a vehicle.

Although the CBP has not commented on these recent images, last month it spoke out against those gathering around the border aiming to keep watch over immigrants attempting to cross the border. The agency said it does not “endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands, as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”

Update on border militias with new photos, Van de Putte weighs in, Perry declines comment http://t.co/HAOy2gW5qF pic.twitter.com/XxJKNCIqGM

— Kolten Parker (@KoltenParker) July 28, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also declined to address the situation, but Democratic State Senator Leticia Van de Putte condemned the new evidence, saying that “pointing guns at children solves nothing.”

“Local law enforcement and federal Border Patrol agents have been clear,” she added to the Express-News. “The presence of these outside independent militia groups does nothing to secure the border; it only creates an unsafe situation for law enforcement officials that are protecting our communities. Unfortunately, the vile rhetoric of my opponent inspires misguided efforts.”

The militias have described their plan to patrol the borders as a response to the massive spike in undocumented minors entering the American border illegally. As RT has reported, nearly 60,000 minors have crossed into the United States since last October, sparking calls from anti-immigrant groups for their deportation. Pro-immigrant supporters, meanwhile, have described the situation as a humanitarian crisis and that the US should shelter the kids while they’re in the country.

New photos show dozens of border militia members with rifles, camo and masks: http://t.co/hR7IA5zFV3 by @KoltenParker pic.twitter.com/hYOD61DNSW

— mySA (@mySA) July 28, 2014

As the US government debates exactly how to address the situation, one militia “commander” named Chris Davis told the Express-News that any action to secure the border will be done in a “legal and lawful manner.”

Still, Davis – who was discharged from the Army in 2001 – has raised concern over militia activity, particularly in a 21-minute YouTube video posted last month. As reported by The Monitor, Davis explained how his team would handle immigrants attempting to cross the border:

“You see an illegal. You point your gun dead at him, right between his eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the border or you will be shot,’” he said.

American Intelligence Officers Who Battled the Soviet Union for Decades Slam the Flimsy “Intelligence” Against Russia – 7.29.14

Senior U.S. Intelligence Officers: Obama Should Release Ukraine Evidence Preface: With the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine turning a local civil war into a U.S. confrontation with Russia, former high-level U.S. intelligence veterans released a statement today … Continue reading