Newsbud Daily Picks

George Soros Responds To Hungary’s Plan To “Map” Soros’ Network of Influence

The Hungarian government has resumed its campaign against Hungarian-American billionaire philanthropist George Soros and his support for migration. The government’s “national consultation” includes a survey sent to Hungarian households about a so-called “Soros Plan” — which the government says is being carried out by the European Union — as well as billboards and television ads. Goran Buldioski, director of Soros’ Open Society Initiatives in Europe, says Soros and his foundations support “more coherent and humane policies for helping to resettle migrants fleeing oppression and violence in their homelands” but that “there is no such thing as a global conspiracy against Hungary.”

Secretary Mattis Is Off Base: US Military Presence in Syria Has No Legal Grounds – Editorial

Although the US has many times stated that its target is IS only, it appears that its intentions may go beyond the stated objective. In fact, Washington is seeking to retain post-conflict zones of influence within the country, where the American presence is illegal. Asked at a press-conference on Nov. 13 if the US military will stay or leave Syria, US Defense Secretary James Mattis stated, “We're not just going to walk away right now before the Geneva process has cracked.” He stressed the importance of the Geneva settlement process held under the auspices of the UN, saying “we got to get the UN-brokered effort in Geneva to take this thing forward.” Answering a question about the legal grounds for the US presence in the country, the secretary explained “You know, the UN said that ISIS — basically we can go after ISIS. And we're there to take them out.”

China Is Testing Weapons That Can Reach The US In 14 Minutes

Zhao Wei, a senior scientist working on the project, said researchers aimed to have the facility up and running by around 2020 to meet the pressing demand of China’s hypersonic weapon development program. “It will boost the engineering application of hypersonic technology, mostly in military sectors, by duplicating the environment of extreme hypersonic flights, so problems can be discovered and solved on the ground,” said Zhao, a deputy director of the State Key Laboratory of High Temperature Gas Dynamics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.
The ground tests will significantly reduce the risk of failure when test flights of hypersonic aircraft start.

There’s No Such Thing as a Clean War – Editorial

In an age in which we are awash in poseurs, pundits, propaganda, and outright lies, much of it emanating from various news outlets that shamelessly chase eyeballs and clicks like junkies after the last needle on earth, it’s helpful to be reminded from time to time what a magnificent craft journalism can be if it’s done right. After a heroic 18-month investigation, a team from The New York Times Magazine has blown the myth of our clean and careful air-war against Daesh militants to smithereens. Between April 2016 and June 2017, we visited the sites of nearly 150 airstrikes across northern Iraq, not long after ISIS was evicted from them. We toured the wreckage; we interviewed hundreds of witnesses, survivors, family members, intelligence informants and local officials; we photographed bomb fragments, scoured local news sources, identified ISIS targets in the vicinity and mapped the destruction through satellite imagery. We also visited the American air base in Qatar where the coalition directs the air campaign. There, we were given access to the main operations floor and interviewed senior commanders, intelligence officials, legal advisers and civilian-casualty assessment experts. We provided their analysts with the coordinates and date ranges of every airstrike — 103 in all — in three ISIS-controlled areas and examined their responses. The result is the first systematic, ground-based sample of airstrikes in Iraq since this latest military action began in 2014.

Amid The Carnage In Yemen, Civilians Also Face Consequences of The US War on Terror

Six months after US Navy Seals raided their village in search of al Qaeda jihadis, neither the mental or physical wounds endured by the Adhal family are healing. Twelve-year-old Othman Mohammed Saleh al Adhal spoke quietly, focussing on the middle distance rather than his interviewers, as he recounted what happened in tiny Adhlan in Yemen’s Marib province on 23 May. “I was sleeping outside because it was hot,” he said.

Afghanistan Betting on Transit Corridor to Europe via Caucasus

Eurasia has no shortage of ambitious, difficult-to-implement transit route projects in the works. But even in that crowded field, a $2 billion corridor connecting Afghanistan to Europe via the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus stands out. On November 15, officials from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey signed an agreement in Ashgabat to build what they called the Lapis Lazuli Corridor. The aim of the agreement is to simplify customs and transportation procedures along the route, giving Afghanistan a new, relatively attractive route to ship its products to Europe.

KSA Recalls Envoy To Germany Over Lebanon Comments

Saudi Arabia has summoned its ambassador in Germany home for consultations over comments allegedly made by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel during a meeting with his Lebanese counterpart, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. The Saudi ministry said the government would deliver a protest note to Germany's ambassador in Riyadh over what it said were "outrageous and unjustified" comments by Gabriel. It did not single out the remarks it was referring to. The German foreign ministry quoted Gabriel on its website as telling his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil "Germany stands firmly by Lebanon's side". He reportedly added: "Another trouble spot is the last thing that people in the Middle East need now."

Amazon’s New ‘Secret Region’ Promises Easier Sharing of Classified Data

Amazon Web Services unveiled a cloud computing region for the CIA and other intelligence community agencies developed specifically to host secret classified data. The AWS Secret Region will allow the 17 intelligence agencies to host, analyze and run applications on government data classified at the secret level through the company’s $600 million C2S contract, brokered several years ago with the CIA. AWS already provides a region for the intelligence community’s top secret data.

Dark Cloud: Inside The Pentagon’s Leaked Internet Surveillance Archive

The UpGuard Cyber Risk Team can now disclose that three publicly downloadable cloud-based storage servers exposed a massive amount of data collected in apparent Department of Defense intelligence-gathering operations. The repositories appear to contain billions of public internet posts and news commentary scraped from the writings of many individuals from a broad array of countries, including the United States, by CENTCOM and PACOM, two Pentagon unified combatant commands charged with US military operations across the Middle East, Asia, and the South Pacific.

Coup in Zimbabwe: A Win-Win For China – For Now

Did Beijing give the go-ahead to remove Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe? Nobody is saying. But it is suspicious that Zimbabwe’s army chief General Chiwenga visited China a few days before he moved against Mugabe. Presumably, nobody in Beijing told him ‘no.’ China has huge investments in Zimbabwe – including tobacco, diamonds, and power generation – and is by far the country’s largest benefactor.

DOD Conference Bill Passed…Yet We’re Less Safe & Poorer – Video

Massive spending on the US global military empire does not equal peace and prosperity for Americans, but the opposite. The new DoD authorization bill has passed in its final form and it is truly enormous...

All-Clear Then? UK Intelligence, Cops to Probe Themselves Over Terror Attacks

A senior counterterror consultant in the UK has told Sputnik that proposed new anti-terror laws tread dangerous ground as a probe by British intelligence and law enforcement has been criticized as "investigating themselves." An inquiry by British police and the spy agency MI5 and into their own conduct in the lead-up to several terrorist attacks in the UK in 2017 is expected to be published soon and will likely clear the agencies of responsibility for mistakes that allowed the attacks to happen.

Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve: Who Is Jerome “Jay” Powell?

Donald Trump is placing yet another multimillionaire in a position of power. On November 2, 2017, the president nominated Jerome Powell—whose $112 million net worth already makes him the richest person at the Fed—to serve as the next chair of the Federal Reserve. The “Fed” is the nation’s central bank, and wields enormous power over the American economy and financial system by setting interest rates, determining the money supply, and regulating banks and financial institutions. Trump’s cabinet—which includes two billionaires and eleven multimillionaires—is already the wealthiest in history, so Powell should fit right in.

5 Unbelievably Stupid Ideas Governments Actually Tried – Video

Ask anyone who's ever worked in the public sector: With a never-ending stream of taxpayer money and no competition in sight, governments are a breeding ground for stupid ideas. In fact, coming up with a list of all the idiocy that governments have inflicted on the world would be an impossible task, so let's just narrow it down to five really stupid government ideas...

China Is The World’s Biggest Energy Market Mover

China is the biggest importer of crude oil to date. It is also the biggest single investor in renewable energy. However you look at it, China has become the most dominant player on several markets, including coal, oil, and renewable energy, plus electric cars—it is already the biggest car market in the world. And this will continue to be so, it seems, for the foreseeable future and even beyond. In an overview of Chinese energy developments for Bloomberg Businessweek, analyst Liam Denning calls China an energy gorilla that will maintain its size until at least 2040, consuming less fossil fuels and investing more in renewable energy. That’s pretty much what IEA said in its latest World Energy Outlook, and it probably didn’t surprise anyone. China has been swinging markets for a while now.