1. World from mikenova (22 sites): World – TIME: Malaysia Launches Sale of Superyacht Linked to the 1MDB Scandal

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(KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia) — Malaysia’s government has launched a one-month auction for a luxury yacht bought with money stolen from the multibillion-dollar looting of a state investment fund.

The sale that began Monday came nearly three months after Indonesia returned the $250 million yacht, Equanimity, after seizing it off Bali in February in cooperation with the U.S. FBI. The U.S. Justice Department, one of several foreign agencies investigating a massive graft scandal at the 1MDB fund, had listed the yacht among the assets it could seize and sell to recover stolen funds.

Ong Chee Kwan, a lawyer for 1MDB, says the government has opened bids for the yacht following a lengthy court process. Once the auction ends Nov. 28, he said Monday the government could make a decision on the sale within a week.

World – TIME

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): World – TIME: Missing Lion Air Plane Crashed Into the Sea With 188 Passengers and Crew on Board

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(JAKARTA) — Indonesia’s disaster agency says a Lion Air passenger jet crashed into the sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta and was carrying 188 passengers and crew.

Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho posted photos on Twitter of debris including a crushed smartphone, books, bags and parts of the aircraft fuselage that had been collected by search and rescue vessels that have converged on the area.

He said the flight was carrying 181 passengers, including one child and two babies, and seven crew members.

Indonesian TV broadcast pictures of a fuel slick and debris field.

World – TIME

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Indonesia says plane crashes in Java Sea with 188 aboard, wreckage found

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A Lion Air flight with at least 188 people on board is believed to have sunk after crashing into the sea off Indonesia’s island of Java on Monday, shortly after take off from the capital on its way to the country’s tin-mining hub, officials said.

Reuters: World News

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Video Mix from mikenova (4 sites): 1. VIDEO NEWS from mikenova (71 sites): AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos: Today in History for October 29th

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From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:39

(29 Oct 2018) Highlights of this day in history: ‘Black Tuesday’ on Wall St. as the Great Depression begins; Osama bin Laden admits ordering the Sept. 11th attacks; Suez crisis heats up Mideast; McKinley assassin executed; John Glenn returns to space. (Oct. 29)

Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
Website: https://apnews.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AP
Facebook: https://facebook.com/APNews
Google+: https://plus.google.com/115892241801867723374
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/APNews/

AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos

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Video Mix from mikenova (4 sites)


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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Indonesia says Lion Air passenger flight crashes off Sumatra

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Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said on Monday a Lion Air passenger flight from Jakarta, the capital, to the city of Pangkal Pinang off the island of Sumatra, had crashed into the sea.

Reuters: World News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): World – TIME: Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Sacked Over Alleged Assassination Plot as the Nation Edges Toward Crisis

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(COLOMBO) — Sri Lanka’s president said Sunday he sacked his prime minister mainly because of the alleged involvement of a Cabinet minister in a plot to assassinate him.

In a televised address to the nation, President Maithripala Sirisena said a person questioned by investigators had revealed the name of a minister in an alleged plot to assassinate him and a former defense secretary.

He said the only choice for him under the circumstances was to dismiss Ranil Wickremesinghe and invite his former nemesis and ex-strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa to take over as prime minister and form a new government.

“This information (received by investigators) contains a number of details hitherto hidden to the people,” Sirisena said. “The informant has made a statement regarding a Cabinet minister involved in the conspiracy to assassinate me.”

He did not reveal the name of the minister nor details of the alleged plot and did not explain why he considered the claims credible.

Sirisena’s supporters have talked for weeks of an alleged plot to assassinate him, but Sunday was the first time Sirisena had commented publicly on it.

A police informant named Namal Kumara who first came out with the alleged assassination plot told reporters Sunday that Wickremesinghe and his Cabinet colleague, former army commander Sarath Fonseka, were behind the assassination plot.

There was no immediate comment from Wickremesinghe or Fonseka on the allegation.

The alleged plot has been under police investigation, but no arrests have been made.

Wickremesinghe has called Sirisena’s move to sack him unconstitutional and said he can prove his majority support in Parliament.

On Saturday, Sirisena suspended Parliament in an apparent move to give Rajapaksa time to try to muster enough support to survive any no-confidence vote.

The speaker of Parliament urged Sirisena to safeguard Wickremesinghe’s rights.

Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said in a letter to Sirisena on Sunday that the continued suspension of Parliament would have “serious and undesirable consequences.”

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington is following the events in Sri Lanka “with concern” and called on Sirisena to reconvene parliament.

Meanwhile, one person died and two others were wounded on Sunday in a shooting at the Petroleum Ministry, in the first violent incident since the political turmoil began on Friday with the sacking of Wickremesinghe.

Pushpa Soyza, a spokeswoman at Colombo National Hospital, said three people were admitted to the hospital following the shooting, and one of them had died.

Arjuna Ranatunga, who was petroleum minister under Wickremesinghe, said one of his security guards opened fire when Rajapaksa supporters mobbed him and protested against him entering the ministry premises.

Opposition lawmakers, supporting the new prime minister, asked Wickremesinghe to vacate his official residence or face a forcible eviction.

Hundreds of Wickremesinghe supporters continued to gather outside his official home on Sunday for the second consecutive day, waving party flags and denouncing Sirisena and Rajapaksa. Buddhist monks performed religious rites to invoke blessings on Wickremesinghe.

Jayasuriya said in the letter that he received “a request to protect the rights and privileges” of Wickremesinghe “until any other person emerges from within Parliament as having secured the confidence of Parliament.” He said the request came from two senior lawmakers from the sacked prime minister’s party.

“This request is especially important in the context where various persons are reported to have issued threats via the media,” Jayasuriya said, adding that “the forcible takeovers” would have “serious international implications.”

Tensions have been building between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe for some time, as the president did not approve of some of the economic reforms being introduced by the prime minister. Sirisena was also critical of investigations into military personnel accused of human rights violations during Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which ended in 2009.

World – TIME

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): World – TIME: Syria Reopens Its National Museum After It Was Closed 6 Years Amid Civil War

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(DAMASCUS, Syria) — Syrian officials, foreign archeologists and restoration specialists attended the reopening ceremony of the Syria’s National Museum in the heart of Damascus on Sunday, more than six years after the prominent institution was shut down and emptied as the country’s civil war encroached on the capital.

The reopening of the museum was hailed as a return to normal life by Syrian officials, eager to cash in on the Syrian armed forces’ military victories against armed groups, who had only recently shelled Damascus and threatened the seat of the government in the capital, coming only miles from the presidential palace.

Over successive military advances, and with the backing of allies Russia and Iran, Syrian troops moved in on rebel holdouts on the outskirts of Damascus expelling the armed groups to the north and restoring calm.

“The opening of the museum is a genuine message that Syria is still here and her heritage would not be affected by terrorism,” Syrian Minister of Culture Mohamed al-Ahmad told reporters and visitors. “Today, Damascus has recovered.”

Among the antiquities on display are murals from the 2nd century Dura-Europos in Syria’s east, textiles from central Palmyra and statues of the Greek goddess of victory from the south.

Syria’s conflict, raging since early 2011, has been detrimental for the country’s rich heritage.

Authorities shut down museums and safely stored away over 300,000 artifacts, but some sites were still destroyed by the Islamic State group, damaged by the fighting or looted.

Head of the General Directorate for Antiquities and Museums, Mahmoud Hammoud, said four of the five sections of the museum will be opened to showcase hundreds of archaeological findings that date back to the prehistoric, historical, classical and Islamic eras. He said some artifacts restored or seized by Syrian authorities will also be on display.

More than 9,000 artifacts were restored and reclaimed since the war began, he said, noting that the museum needs renovation and funds. He said hundreds of thousands of important artifacts and sculptures were smuggled abroad during the crisis.

Visitors would be able to watch as specialists restore hundreds of artifacts reclaimed from Palmyra, which Islamic State militants overtook for months destroying some of the world’s most famous monuments.

Bartosz Markowski, a Polish specialist in conservation of stone sculpture and architectural detail, said he had been working in Palmyra before the war broke out.

“I am saving heritage, mostly in Palmyra, where I have been working before the crisis,” he told The Associated Press. “I came right after liberation and helped with urgent conservation and protection of destroyed objects in Palmyra… There is still a lot of damage in Palmyra.”

For Markowski, reopening the Damascus museum was “symbolic.”

“When life is coming back, we are opening the museums,” he said.

Claus Peter Hasse, the director of the Islamic Art Museum in Berlin, said he felt safe traveling between Damascus and Aleppo, Syria’s commercial heart and ancient city, also damaged by the war.

“Of course, it’s a tragic situation to see so many tragedies around, but at the moment, we don’t see difficulties,” he said.

The former Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums, Maamoun Abdul-Karim, who had overseen the campaign to hide artifacts in safe places, said the country needs years, major capabilities, and millions of dollars to reopen all museums nationwide.

He said hundreds of artifacts would return to the classical wing inside the museum, including those relating to the Greek and Roman period, while other wings would reopen soon.

“In fact, this was a very big victory for the country,” he said. “When all museums reopen nationwide, then we can say that the crisis in Syria ended.”

World – TIME

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Counterintelligence from mikenova (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Brazil: Bolsonaro Elected New President

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Far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) was elected Brazil’s new president with 55.14% percent of the valid votes.

In this second round of the elections, Bolsonaro defeated center-left Fernando Haddad, of the Workers’ Party (PT), the political heir of former President Lula. Haddad received 44.86% percent of the valid votes.

Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro’s race was marked by polarization and allegations regarding the spread of fake news.

After the publication of a story on newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, Haddad demanded measures from the authorities over the alleged funds provided by a group of pro-Bolsonaro executives to fire off mass messages against the PT.

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) accepted the requests to investigate lodged by the Workers’ Party and the Democratic Labor Party (PDT). However, it rejected the party’s petitions for preliminary injunctions barring Bolsonaro from running and banning his campaign from being able to share news on any social media, especially WhatsApp. Bolsonaro’s campaign members denied any wrongdoing.

The Federal Police also opened an inquiry to investigate the spread of fake news by two companies at the request of the country’s Prosecutor-General Raquel Dodge.

Eurasia Review

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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Brazil: Bolsonaro Elected New President

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Far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro, of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) was elected Brazil’s new president with 55.14% percent of the valid votes.

In this second round of the elections, Bolsonaro defeated center-left Fernando Haddad, of the Workers’ Party (PT), the political heir of former President Lula. Haddad received 44.86% percent of the valid votes.

Fernando Haddad and Jair Bolsonaro’s race was marked by polarization and allegations regarding the spread of fake news.

After the publication of a story on newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, Haddad demanded measures from the authorities over the alleged funds provided by a group of pro-Bolsonaro executives to fire off mass messages against the PT.

The Superior Electoral Court (TSE) accepted the requests to investigate lodged by the Workers’ Party and the Democratic Labor Party (PDT). However, it rejected the party’s petitions for preliminary injunctions barring Bolsonaro from running and banning his campaign from being able to share news on any social media, especially WhatsApp. Bolsonaro’s campaign members denied any wrongdoing.

The Federal Police also opened an inquiry to investigate the spread of fake news by two companies at the request of the country’s Prosecutor-General Raquel Dodge.

Eurasia Review

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Counterintelligence from mikenova (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Welcome To The New Age Of The Strongman – Analysis

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By Rafael Salazar

In the latest political lurch to the right, Jair Bolsonaro, self-confessed defender of the military dictatorship Brazil suffered under from 1964 to 1985, is expected to win the country’s presidential elections this month. Opinion polls show Bolsonaro, who racked up 46% of the vote in the first round, maintaining a healthy 18 percent lead over his leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, just days ahead of the second-round vote on 28 October.

Despite his openly racist, homophobic, and misogynist views, Bolsonaro’s strategy of standing on an anti-establishment ticket has helped him attract voters who are frustrated by the political corruption and violent crime which has plagued Brazil for decades.

And, while Bolsonaro’s rise to prominence can be largely attributed to the series of economic, social and political crises that have dogged Brazil in recent years, it also fits into a global trend that has legitimized the rule of so-called ‘strongman’ figures such as the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte and Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán. So, why are despots and dictators of every political persuasion enjoying a renaissance?

Bolsonaro’s success reflects the global rise of populism

For Bolsonaro supporters, the appeal lies in his populist roots. Emerging from the military rank-and-file to serve in congress after Brazil’s twenty years of dictatorship, Bolsonaro has never attempted to hide his radical right-wing views – from his claim that he would rather his son die in a car accident than be gay to his belief that Afro-Brazilians are “no use, even to procreate.” His willingness to voice his opinions, no matter how outrageous and offensive, and his ability to leverage the nascent nationalism of his citizens echoes that of other bombastic leaders like Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro’s success can’t be seen in isolation: the mixture of overt bigotry and vows to crack down on crime and corruption that he has carefully honed is resonating with the Brazilian electorate, as it is increasingly resonating in a diverse swath of nations around the world. Over the last two decades, populist parties – often dangling the prospect of a return to prosperity– have enjoyed a staggering surge in support.

A reaction to progressivism and economic shocks

One of the most worrying aspects of the new strongman phenomenon is its near-universal spread, across continents and the political spectrum. In China, Xi Jinping has used his anti-corruption campaign to consolidate his own power by loosening presidential term limits, while Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has just won another term as prime minister by promising to protect the country’s ‘national’ values in the face of liberalism and the perceived threat from unchecked migration.

Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić has cast himself as a reformer while his praise of accused war criminal Milosevic betrays the nationalist roots he has never fully cast off. But populism isn’t only the flavor-of-the-month in Europe’s post-communist states; it’s also gaining a foothold in affluent societies such as Sweden and Denmark, where social tolerance and liberal attitudes are deeply ingrained.

As Western societies have become more liberal on numerous social issues, those who are entrenched in what they call “traditional values” have felt threatened, making them more likely to turn to strongman leaders who promise to restore national pride and old-fashioned ideals.

Operating above the law

This increased public support in turn emboldens authoritarian leaders, persuading them of their own invincibility— a dangerous cocktail which often leads to egregious human rights infractions and worse. The grisly killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has underscored crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s determination to wield power at all costs. Attempts by the Saudi authorities to distance themselves from Khashoggi’s murder, initially by denying the journalist’s death and later by suggesting it was the consequence of a brawl gone wrong, have only served to further illustrate the administration’s contempt for international law.

In a similarly macabre vein, President Rodrigo Duterte recently admitted his role in authorizing extrajudicial killings as part of his controversial war on drugs in the Philippines. Duterte has employed the most draconian crime-fighting measures, even claiming that he personally killed three men, while dismissing the advancement of human rights and democracy as a tool of modern imperialism. It’s a toxic return to illiberal principles which is stifling progress in what was once a prosperous region.

Digging in for the long term

Even autocrats from the past are haunting their countries anew. 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled Malaysia with an iron fist from 1981 to 2003, pulled off a surprising victory this spring to become prime minister again. Mahathir has worked to shake off the shadows of his first premiership, which was characterized by media censorship, nationalist policies, and interference in the judiciary—most notably when Mahathir oversaw a purge of the Supreme Court which left lasting scars on Malaysia’s judicial system, and when he sacked his deputy and had him imprisoned on trumped-up sodomy charges. Despite campaigning as an unlikely reformer, thus far Mahathir’s new stint as PM – from his casual anti-Semitism to his obsessive persecution of his predecessor Najib Razak – seems uncomfortably similar to his previous regime.

In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega is also presiding over his second administration, marked by a brutal subjugation of protestors and the free press. Once the poster-boy of the Sandinista rebels, he has since morphed into the very kind of fascist dictator he helped to overthrow. Ortega has vowed to remain in office until scheduled elections in 2021, unleashing “Operation Clean Up”—a brutal campaign by squadrons of masked gunmen to beat and sexually assault the hundreds of thousands of protestors calling for him to step down.

Mahathir and Ortega’s political resurrections show that not only are countries choosing to elect new authoritarian candidates like Bolsonaro, they’re also returning to those who symbolized repression and tyranny in the 1980s. With the strongman ascendant, it’s ordinary people who are likely to be crushed underfoot – a development which should profoundly concern the entirety of the free world.

 

The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the authors are theirs alone and don’t reflect the official position of Geopoliticalmonitor.com or any other institution.

Eurasia Review

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1. US Security from mikenova (86 sites): Eurasia Review: Welcome To The New Age Of The Strongman – Analysis

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By Rafael Salazar

In the latest political lurch to the right, Jair Bolsonaro, self-confessed defender of the military dictatorship Brazil suffered under from 1964 to 1985, is expected to win the country’s presidential elections this month. Opinion polls show Bolsonaro, who racked up 46% of the vote in the first round, maintaining a healthy 18 percent lead over his leftist rival, Fernando Haddad, just days ahead of the second-round vote on 28 October.

Despite his openly racist, homophobic, and misogynist views, Bolsonaro’s strategy of standing on an anti-establishment ticket has helped him attract voters who are frustrated by the political corruption and violent crime which has plagued Brazil for decades.

And, while Bolsonaro’s rise to prominence can be largely attributed to the series of economic, social and political crises that have dogged Brazil in recent years, it also fits into a global trend that has legitimized the rule of so-called ‘strongman’ figures such as the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte and Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán. So, why are despots and dictators of every political persuasion enjoying a renaissance?

Bolsonaro’s success reflects the global rise of populism

For Bolsonaro supporters, the appeal lies in his populist roots. Emerging from the military rank-and-file to serve in congress after Brazil’s twenty years of dictatorship, Bolsonaro has never attempted to hide his radical right-wing views – from his claim that he would rather his son die in a car accident than be gay to his belief that Afro-Brazilians are “no use, even to procreate.” His willingness to voice his opinions, no matter how outrageous and offensive, and his ability to leverage the nascent nationalism of his citizens echoes that of other bombastic leaders like Donald Trump.

Bolsonaro’s success can’t be seen in isolation: the mixture of overt bigotry and vows to crack down on crime and corruption that he has carefully honed is resonating with the Brazilian electorate, as it is increasingly resonating in a diverse swath of nations around the world. Over the last two decades, populist parties – often dangling the prospect of a return to prosperity– have enjoyed a staggering surge in support.

A reaction to progressivism and economic shocks

One of the most worrying aspects of the new strongman phenomenon is its near-universal spread, across continents and the political spectrum. In China, Xi Jinping has used his anti-corruption campaign to consolidate his own power by loosening presidential term limits, while Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has just won another term as prime minister by promising to protect the country’s ‘national’ values in the face of liberalism and the perceived threat from unchecked migration.

Serbia’s Aleksandar Vučić has cast himself as a reformer while his praise of accused war criminal Milosevic betrays the nationalist roots he has never fully cast off. But populism isn’t only the flavor-of-the-month in Europe’s post-communist states; it’s also gaining a foothold in affluent societies such as Sweden and Denmark, where social tolerance and liberal attitudes are deeply ingrained.

As Western societies have become more liberal on numerous social issues, those who are entrenched in what they call “traditional values” have felt threatened, making them more likely to turn to strongman leaders who promise to restore national pride and old-fashioned ideals.

Operating above the law

This increased public support in turn emboldens authoritarian leaders, persuading them of their own invincibility— a dangerous cocktail which often leads to egregious human rights infractions and worse. The grisly killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has underscored crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s determination to wield power at all costs. Attempts by the Saudi authorities to distance themselves from Khashoggi’s murder, initially by denying the journalist’s death and later by suggesting it was the consequence of a brawl gone wrong, have only served to further illustrate the administration’s contempt for international law.

In a similarly macabre vein, President Rodrigo Duterte recently admitted his role in authorizing extrajudicial killings as part of his controversial war on drugs in the Philippines. Duterte has employed the most draconian crime-fighting measures, even claiming that he personally killed three men, while dismissing the advancement of human rights and democracy as a tool of modern imperialism. It’s a toxic return to illiberal principles which is stifling progress in what was once a prosperous region.

Digging in for the long term

Even autocrats from the past are haunting their countries anew. 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled Malaysia with an iron fist from 1981 to 2003, pulled off a surprising victory this spring to become prime minister again. Mahathir has worked to shake off the shadows of his first premiership, which was characterized by media censorship, nationalist policies, and interference in the judiciary—most notably when Mahathir oversaw a purge of the Supreme Court which left lasting scars on Malaysia’s judicial system, and when he sacked his deputy and had him imprisoned on trumped-up sodomy charges. Despite campaigning as an unlikely reformer, thus far Mahathir’s new stint as PM – from his casual anti-Semitism to his obsessive persecution of his predecessor Najib Razak – seems uncomfortably similar to his previous regime.

In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega is also presiding over his second administration, marked by a brutal subjugation of protestors and the free press. Once the poster-boy of the Sandinista rebels, he has since morphed into the very kind of fascist dictator he helped to overthrow. Ortega has vowed to remain in office until scheduled elections in 2021, unleashing “Operation Clean Up”—a brutal campaign by squadrons of masked gunmen to beat and sexually assault the hundreds of thousands of protestors calling for him to step down.

Mahathir and Ortega’s political resurrections show that not only are countries choosing to elect new authoritarian candidates like Bolsonaro, they’re also returning to those who symbolized repression and tyranny in the 1980s. With the strongman ascendant, it’s ordinary people who are likely to be crushed underfoot – a development which should profoundly concern the entirety of the free world.

 

The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the authors are theirs alone and don’t reflect the official position of Geopoliticalmonitor.com or any other institution.

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Counterintelligence from mikenova (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Shrinking Democratic Space In Kashmir – Analysis

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By Ritu Sharma*

The Indian Government has been for long using elections as an indicator of normalcy in Kashmir. But, if the Urban Local Bodies elections in the Valley after a gap of 13 years are anything to go by, it explicitly points towards a shrinking democratic space. The exercise of democracy primarily driven by the older generation is being seen as irrelevant by the youngsters, who are opting for ‘virtual militancy’ to protest against injustices – both real and perceived.

The Centre has been smug for being able to organise the municipal polls after more than a decade. The mainstream regional parties have stayed away from the elections and in a sad reminder of the 1990s, in many places people have disassociated themselves from the elections by making announcement through mosques. The result has been that in the four phases of the Municipal Elections 2018 held in Kashmir, the voting percentage has failed to touch double digits.

The apathy of the Centre has been reflected in this administrative response to the political aspiration of the youth in the valley. It could not have been more apparent as Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik talked about a “foreign educated person becoming Srinagar mayor” even before the polling started.

The arrogance with which the Central government has reacted to the boycott by the mainstream parties of Kashmir, has only made the parties more redundant in the conflict matrix. The space has now been ceded to the separatists and militants. The “hot pursuit” policy of the security forces is seen in the echelons of power to have been paying dividends with militants being killed every other day. While it is understood that killing of a person, who has picked up gun, is inevitable; the number of casualties suffered by the security forces have also spiked. So far 71 security personnel and 54 civilians have been killed in these encounters.

The Indian Government has a bigger challenge at hand that it will be coming face to face sooner than later. The latest census says 63 per cent of the valley’s male residents are under the age of 30 and 70 per cent are below the age of 35. For these youngsters participation in democracy has become undignified and the narrative of dignity in death has become alluring. The age group from 17-25 years is the recruitment age for militants in Kashmir. It is not ideology, but an age against India. In such a scenario, the question that needs to be asked is not how many militants have been killed but, how many new militants are being created.

In an uncanny similarity to the 1990s, scores of teenagers are running away from their homes to pick up guns. But, what is different this time is that instead of remaining in hiding, the first thing they do is post their photographs in military fatigues and brandishing guns on social media. Most of them well educated have died at the hands of security forces without committing any act. However, the Indian Government is repeating the mistakes of the early years of insurgency by constantly ignoring the frustration of the young generation. The need of the hour is to prevent militancy and not just killing militants.

The Indian Government has to understand that the Kashmir unrest has been passed on to the fourth generation, which has no stakes in the democracy and they are a generation of rebels with low tolerance for injustice. They are a generation that has not seen normalcy and are not afraid of bullets. Hence, the situation demands a change in strategy. The stand of ‘No talks’ have resulted in the number of militants going up from the all-time low of 78 in 2013 to nearly 360 in 2018. And the spike in number is despite the fact that since January 1, 2018 a total number of around 170 terrorists/infiltrators have been eliminated in the State so far.

The Narendra Modi-led government needs to realise that the show of brute strength in Kashmir might endear it to the non-Kashmiri population, but it would push the present Kashmiri generation to a point of no return. Framing of the Kashmir conundrum as ‘Hindu India vs Muslim Kashmir’ and branding all aspirations of Kashmiris as ‘anti-national’ has resulted in this impasse. The first step is the age-old advice that peace practitioners have been giving – talk, even though no solution might be in sight in immediate future. The template for this has already been presented by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee – ‘Insaniyat, Jamooriyat and Kashmiriyat’ (Humanity, democracy and Kashmiriat).

Secondly, stop projecting every episode of discontent in the Valley as grand design of dismembering the country that further inflames hatred in the rest of India against Kashmir. The hatred has denied the mainstream political parties the elbow room to conduct politics that sometimes would involve paying platitudes to the aspirations of the Kashmiris. To simplify, a Tamil politician would sometime give statements that would be in contravention to the national policy. The Union Government many a times has accommodated their concerns about the Tamilians in Sri Lanka or pay heed to their reservation against Hindi as national language. Hence, now is time for the government to salvage democracy and save the political structure from collapsing.

Salvaging democracy would entail devolution of power to local level. For a society aspiring for autonomy, granting of some power would be a bigger confidence building measures. Also peaceful protests by people should be allowed to happen as the Supreme Court has rightly articulated that protests are safety valve for democracy. We are denying the young population of Kashmir of any means to vent their angers or frustration. They are arrested for venting their anger on social media, Public Safety Act is slapped against them for stone-pelting or for attending the funeral of slain militants. The expansion of democratic space would not result in shrinking of separatist politics in Kashmir or resolution of India’s problem with Pakistan. This would have to be dealt with over a period of time. The first step now is cool down the tempers both in the valley and the rest of the India.

*Ritu Sharma has been a journalist for nearly a decade covering defence and security issues. She has worked with the Press Trust of India, The New Indian Express and the Indo-Asian News Service. She has done her Masters in Conflict Studies from Germany and is presently in Kashmir to research for her book.

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): Reuters: World News: Bolsonaro will focus on Brazil pension reform, bilateral trade: Guedes

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Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro’s top economic advisor and proposed economy minister, Paulo Guedes, said on Sunday that reforming the country’s costly pension system would be a top priority for his government.

Reuters: World News

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1. World from mikenova (22 sites): World: Syria reopens national museum closed 6 years by civil war

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Syria’s National Museum, closed and emptied more than 6 years ago as civil war encroached on Damascus, reopens with officials hailing the event as sending a message that the country’s heritage will not be lost

World

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): golosamerikius’s YouTube Videos: Настоящее Время. Америка

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1. Russia from mikenova (112 sites): Russia Video News from mikenova (11 sites): golosamerikius’s YouTube Videos: Настоящее Время. Америка

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From: golosamerikius
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Counterintelligence from mikenova (50 sites): Eurasia Review: US Officially Charges Suspect In Synagogue Attack That Killed 11 People

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(RFE/RL) — A man suspected of conducting a shooting rampage that killed 11 people in a synagogue in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania has been charged with 29 criminal counts.

Prosecutors on October 27 said Robert Bowers, 46, had been charged with crimes that included the use of a firearm to commit murder and obstructing the exercise of religious beliefs.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said federal hate crime charges that “could lead to death penalty” would be filed.

Police say Bowers, armed with a semiautomatic rifle and three handguns, entered the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh early on October 27, yelling, “All Jews must die” as he opened fire.

At least six other people, including four police officers, were wounded before the man was arrested.

Authorities said the suspect was hospitalized in fair condition with gunshot wounds, apparently inflicted by responding officers.

Officials said Bowers had made anti-Semitic posts on a right-wing social media platform, including one shortly before the attack.

Posts referenced false conspiracy theories that suggested the Holocaust — in which 6 million Jews died — was a hoax.

President Donald Trump told reporters during a visit to Illinois for a political rally that he would travel to Pittsburgh but did not provide details.

Trump condemned what he described as an act of “hate,” and praised the actions of law enforcement for doing “an outstanding job.”

He said such shooters should receive the death penalty and “suffer the ultimate price.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among world leaders to condemn the attack and offer condolences.

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Counterintelligence from mikenova (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Gold Demand Up 42% In Expectation Of Geopolitical Shift

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Central banks around the world are turning to gold as an alternative to the US dollar, which they see as being undermined by America’s aggressive trade policy and geopolitical uncertainty.

Demand for gold was up 42 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2018 among central banks, the World Gold Council (WGC) statistics say. Russia and Turkey are the largest net buyers.

Central banks added a net total of 193.3 tons of bullion in the half of 2018, an 8 percent increase from the 178.6 tons bought in the same period last year. This marks the strongest six months for central bank gold buying since 2015, the WGC notes.

As of the first half of 2018 central banks increased their gold holdings to $1.36 trillion, around 10 percent of global foreign exchange reserves, the WGC said. An analyst has told RT that the reason behind the move is a wish to diversify from the greenback.

“The United States has long used the dollar to put pressure on competitors. This has always caused anger in the world community. And now the fight against the dollar has reached Europe,” said Eldiyar Muratov, President at Singapore Castle Family Office.

“Russia has stepped up buying gold in its reserves in the face of new US sanctions and a possible disconnection from the dollar system,” added the analyst.

According to Muratov, a similar strategy is now being observed in many countries in Europe and Asia. China, Turkey, Venezuela, Iran, Qatar and Indonesia, are aimed at de-dollarization of economies and foreign trade. All these countries are significantly increasing their gold reserves, the expert says.

As the WGC notes in its report, gold buying is not only about hedging currency risks. “In an environment of heightened geopolitical tensions, gold is an attractive asset because it is not anyone else’s liability and does not carry any counterparty risk,” the report says.

“Gold is already a familiar asset class for central banks, but the changing nature of the gold market – with ever-growing consumption coming from developing economies – means that gold is increasingly aligned with emerging market economic patterns. Central banks may increasingly recognize that the rules of the game are changing.”

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Counterintelligence from mikenova (50 sites): Eurasia Review: Election Pains Of A Polarized America – Analysis

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With the arrest of Cesar Altieri Sayoc, the suspect in the nationwide bombing campaign against critics of President Donald Trump who mailed more than a dozen improvised explosive devices to former President Barack Obama and ex-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, to former CIA director John Brennan and actor Robert De Niro, is symptomatic of the serious divides within the United States just before the mid-term elections are due to take place.

Now the multiple shootings at the synagogue in Pennsylvania deepen the divides and there’s greater attention on the role of President Trump and what he says and how that inspires others to commit acts of violence. This division in American society is extremely dangerous and unsettling as it affects other key issues as the elections approach. To be sure, more actors will probably be expressing themselves in various ways over the coming days, which will only complicate the poll and the emotions surrounding this critical time in modern American history.

The opening paragraphs may be dramatic but they are necessary. What comes next is an attempt to look at what appears to be seven national divisions. The first — the order is not significant — is the pro-Trump anti-Trump divide, which is a deep slice across the US political, social and economic landscape. Next is the white vs. minority divide, where race is engrained in thought across the country. There’s also the women vs. men breakdown which covers all gender-related issues and sexual assault. Then there is the red vs. blue divide that continues to contort our daily news. Coastal and urban vs. rural divides are about differences of opinion of intellectual values. Then of course there’s wealthy vs. poor and, finally, old vs. young (on issues such as entitlement and inheritance).

These gulfs are causing seven splits across several arcs of America’s social identity, which is inviting violence and domestic terrorism. The latest bomb threats are but one of the indicators found under several of the above categories. School shootings and other types of violence by external actors complicate the above divides by sharpening debate with the tragic loss of life.

Given the mass media’s powerful influence to the point of causing a loss of civil discourse on television and social media, former norms are now in tatters. With one info-op style campaign after another attempting to influence public opinion about a host of issues ranging from voting to the latest Trump statement to the terrorism of the last few days, the impact on the American psyche is acute. Workplaces, public spaces, and commercial outlets are facing more hostile outbursts and temper tantrums. Some households are also affected by divisions that may produce lasting animosities between family members.

One or more of the seven attributes could have a multi-generational impact. The timeline of the above seven divides depends on a number of variables that will involve perhaps sudden events that may continue to shock or sharpen animosity in more frequent bursts.

Crossing these seven divides are upcoming events in America: the post-US election midterm results, and the potential release of the Mueller Report. What Trump does next is equally critical because of the multitude of possibilities given the results of the November election. The impact of upcoming events will electrify the seven divides enough to have cascading effects.

Of course the Pittsburgh attack raises two issues: anti-Semitism and gun control. It is a reminder once again that anti-Semitic violence is still to the fore in the US.  Even as shootings in the country reach epidemic proportion, federal level attempt at gun control in this environment is unlikely to be effective in this contemptuous time. Research has shown there is a necessity for more robust gun laws at the local level —  that has to be the road to follow.

Several decades ago Soviet propaganda joked about how eventually America’s divides would allow the Soviet Union to win. Racism, crime, and corruption were major themes of now classic Soviet-era poster art. During the Cold War these posters were prominent features of the Kremlin’s information war. Today many of these ideas are erupting in plain sight. Of course, many of these issues have existed through America’s history in various times of divide. But this cycle is different, and with those variants there is mounting anxiety at what the future will bring.

Importantly, many of the above splits have been non-existent or hidden from sight. Inequality, poverty, gaps between the wealthy and the poor, discrimination, and hatred have all been part of the landscape. Now these are front and center-stage. Fixing these divides remains elusive but strategies are being thought out. To be sure, American discourse across the country will be more verbally combative and unpleasant until there is a broader awareness of these divides by Americans themselves.

As the November 6 elections approach the impulse to whip up the political intensity for the clash at the polls will be complicated by political, economic, and social factors in the coming days. Events such as the mail-bomber may very well both aid and complicate the forthcoming American poll.

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