This Week in the World Affairs Brief:

IOWA PRIMARY—IN HOT DISPUTE

The results from the first state primary, Iowa, are in and already there are signs of vote tally manipulation. Ted Cruz came in first with Donald Trump barely making second place ahead of a suspiciously strong Marco Rubio. Trump initially graciously conceded the victory but quickly turned around the next day saying Cruz “stole” the election and demanded a recount. Trump may be right about the election being stolen, but it wasn’t because of the minor mistake by Cruz’s campaign team in one precinct. Trump failed to notice the glaring discrepancy between his lower numbers in the 5 precincts that Rubio won where Rubio’s numbers were almost 10 points higher than polls predicted—a prominent clue of vote count manipulation. All of this was meant to undermine Trump’s frontrunner status and encourage infighting between the two top candidates which was achieved in spades. All indications point to the fact that the results in Iowa, tallied by a biased Microsoft app, were skewed in favor of Rubio—not Cruz. You can request a one-time free sample of the briefs by sending an email to editor@worldaffairsbrief.com.

Also:

  • More on Oregon Shooting
  • Syrian Peace Talks Collapse
  • Hillary’s Email Scandal
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Daily News

US demands end to Russia strikes after Syria talks collapse

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
...On the ground, nearly 40,000 people have fled an offensive this week by President Bashar al-Assad's regime north of the city of Aleppo, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor. Assad's forces also entered two Shiite villages that were under siege by rebels, prompting what state news agency SANA called "mass celebrations" in the streets of Nubol and Zahraa. [Ceasefires are often used in these conflicts to give the favored side a strategic advantage -- in this case the "rebels". Looks like Assad's forces and Russia weren't playing that game, and the US and UN are taking them to task for it in the news as much as possible.] — Reuters

Billions pledged for Syria as tens of thousands flee bombardments

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
..."With people reduced to eating grass and leaves and killing stray animals in order to survive on a day-to-day basis, that is something that should tear at the conscience of all civilized people and we all have a responsibility to respond to it," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the conference. [It really is awful what the US and Saudi-armed war machine is doing to create and exacerbate the war on the people within Syria.] United Nations agencies are appealing for $7.73 billion to cope with the Syrian emergency this year, and countries in the region are asking for an additional $1.2 billion. [How much of this aid will go to helping the anti-Assad fighters?] — Reuters

Trump calls for Iowa election do-over

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
..."Ted Cruz didn't win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated," he wrote. The inflammatory accusation marked a reversal for Trump, who on Monday night delivered a concession speech thanking Iowans for his second-place finish and congratulating Cruz. On Tuesday night in New Hampshire, he told reporters he was "very happy with what happened in Iowa." But by Wednesday, Trump was laying out a list of accusations. He pointed to a mailer sent by the Cruz campaign headlined "voting violation" and resembling an official notice. The mailer showed recipients their history of voting or not in past caucuses, along with the turnout record of their neighbors, and drew complaints from Iowa's secretary of state. [Trump is probably right about the results being off, but it is probably much more than just these little actions by individuals within the Cruz campaing (still, Ted should be more careful who he chooses to join his team).] — Houston Chronicle

The Plausibility of Ted Cruz

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
It's rare for a politician to be overshadowed in victory, and even rarer when that victory is actually an upset. But Ted Cruz managed that trick in Iowa: Despite pulling out a victory when almost everyone expected Donald J. Trump to win, he found himself overshadowed twice in the coverage that followed- first by Trump's unexpected flop, and second by Marco Rubio's unexpectedly strong third-place finish. [One of the most establishment papers endorsing Cruz? Not really, just another way of bashing Trump, boosting Rubio and defending the results of the Iowa Caucus which by many indicators was thrown to damage Trump. Watch for Cruz to be dismantled after Trump is out of the way.] — NY Times

Video Shows Planned Parenthood Executive Sought to Hide Profits from Baby-Parts Sales

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
A new video released by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) appears to show how Planned Parenthood uses accounting gimmicks to hide profits created through the sale of body parts of aborted babies. A financial benefit "is what staff and management need to see," says an executive at a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas. — Breitbart

Ryan asks conservatives: Don't revolt in 2016

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
...Ryan was warmly received at Heritage, but his call for unity included a mild rebuke for the conservatives who have hounded GOP leadership in recent years. He issued it while warning that conservatives may have to ignore some of President Obama's unilateral executive actions, which Ryan described as "distractions" designed to prevent the Republican party from uniting around a conservative agenda. [Why would Ryan have to lead off with this if his agenda was truly conservative?] — Washington Examiner

TPP protesters shut down central Auckland as ministers sign controversial deal

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
Central Auckland has ground to a halt as trade ministers signed the TPP today. All streets around Sky City Convention Centre and motorway on and off ramps leading to the central business district have been blocked by protesters. Former Green MP Sue Bradford was in a protest group that had partially blocked access to the Auckland Harbour Bridge from the city. — New Zealand Herald

'Reject this pathetic deal' Nigel Farage slams PM for 'utter surrender' to EU dictatorship

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
...He'd hand over the British Parliament's sovereignty and make us subject to EU law that supersedes our own, even if it is against our national interest. Mr Cameron would want to subjugate our own Supreme Court to the European Court of Justice. He would handicap our country by allowing only foreign bureaucrats to negotiate trade deals on our behalf, rather than our own elected government. And most damningly of all, he would vote to open up our borders to nearly half a billion people. — Nigel Farage/UK Express

Rick Santorum drops presidential bid, endorses Marco Rubio

posted by askousen - Thursday, February 4 2016
...He is the third Republican presidential candidate to drop out after Monday's caucuses. Mike Huckabee ended his campaign that night, and Rand Paul suspended his campaign Wednesday morning. — CNN

Quinnipiac poll: First-time caucusgoers boost Trump, Sanders in Iowa

posted by askousen - Monday, February 1 2016
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump holds a 7-point lead over rival Ted Cruz in Iowa, fueled by first-time GOP caucusgoers, according to a new poll. Trump leads Cruz, 31 to 24 percent, in the Quinnipiac poll released Monday morning. Marco Rubio has 17 percent, while no other GOP candidate has double-digit support, with Ben Carson the closest, at 8 percent. — The Hill

Was Zika outbreak caused by release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Brazil?

posted by askousen - Monday, February 1 2016
...The insects were engineered by biotechnology experts to combat the spread of dengue fever and other diseases and released into the general population of Brazil in 2012. — UK Mirror

New Technologies Give Government Ample Means to Track Suspects, Study Finds

posted by askousen - Monday, February 1 2016
For more than two years the F.B.I. and intelligence agencies have warned that encrypted communications are creating a "going dark" crisis that will keep them from tracking terrorists and kidnappers. Now, a study in which current and former intelligence officials participated concludes that the warning is wildly overblown, and that a raft of new technologies - like television sets with microphones and web-connected cars - are creating ample opportunities for the government to track suspects, many of them worrying. — NY Times

EU's Tusk says to present new proposal in Britain talks on Tuesday

posted by askousen - Monday, February 1 2016
European Council President Donald Tusk said he would present on Tuesday a "new settlement" proposal in talks with Britain on reforms aimed at keeping the country in the 28-nation bloc. The move came after British Prime Minister David Cameron met on Sunday with Tusk, who chairs the meetings of EU states' leaders and plays a key role in seeking a compromise around London's demands for a better membership deal. — Reuters

Oregon Standoff - Rancher Lavoy Finicum Shot Dead by Police

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
...Individuals who have been close to the occupation – but who asked not to be identified at this time - note that: 1) McConnell was the only participant (other than Miss Sharp) to be released, and, unlike Sharp, he has been an active, armed participant in the occupation, and was the driver of the vehicle carrying Ammon Bundy; 2) McConnell was very hasty, after his release, to put up a video on his Facebook page backing up the story being given to the media by the federal authorities who had just carried out the "murder" of a suspect who is alleged to have had his hands in the air. Both of these facts, say the McConnell critics, point to one of two probable explanations: Either he is a police informant/agent provocateur who was assigned to infiltrate the occupation, or; he was sufficiently leaned on by prosecutors and FBI, with threats of life imprisonment, if he didnt "cooperate" - with one of his first tasks being to come out with a statement that would support the official FBI narrative and neutralize the eyewitness testimony of Victoria Sharp. — The New American

US-NATO Invade Libya to Fight Terrorists of Own Creation

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
...As has been explained by geopolitical analysts since 2011, terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and their various rebrandings are far from being the West's true adversaries. Besides being funded, armed, and backed by the West's closest and oldest Middle Eastern allies – particularly the Saudis and Qataris - these terrorist organizations serve a two-fold purpose. First, they serve as a mercenary army with which the West fights targeted nations by proxy. Second, they serve as a pretext for direct Western military intervention when proxy war fails or is not an option. — New Eastern Outlook

Clintons's $200,000 an Hour Pay From Goldman Sachs is Nothing to Laugh At

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
...Democratic voters, who are concerned about the undue power of Wall Street over the economy and the government, might think twice about how seriously to take Clinton's campaign promises to reign in Wall Street, particularly in light of her opposition to Elizabeth Warren's bill to reinstate a modern-day Glass Steagall Act, after it was repealed by Bill Clinton. — The Hill

20 Dead, 200 Hospitalized After Reports US Lab "Leaks" Deadly Virus In Ukraine

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
...Outbreak of deadly virus continues and Friday 22.1.2016 Vice-Commander told new information from epidemic: "We keep registering new facts of growing the epidemics of acute respiratory infections among the Ukrainian military. Just since the beginning of this week more than 200 Ukrainian military have been taken to civil and military hospitals of Kharkov and Dnepropetrovsk. It is important to repeat that the DPR intelligence previously reported the research being carried out in a private laboratory in the locality Shelkostantsiya, 30 km away from the city of Kharkov, and involving US military experts. According to our information, it is there where the deadly Californian flu strain leaked from," Basurin said. — ZeroHedge

Stage is set for Syria peace talks as opposition arrives in Geneva

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
... The 17-strong team from the Saudi-backed Higher Negotiation Committee (HNC), including political and militant opponents of Assad in the country's 5-year-old civil war, is expected to have a first meeting with the U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura on Sunday, setting up the first peace talks in two years. Muslat said the HNC insisted on implementation of a U.N. resolution demanding all sides allow aid access, release detainees, end sieges and stop targeting civilian areas. [Some reports say that the anti-Assad fighters are hiding out among civilians, sometimes keeping them from leaving -- essentially holding them hostage.] — Reuters

Killing of Oregon wildlife refuge occupier reignites protesters

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
BJ Soper has never supported the nearly monthlong occupation of a national wildlife refuge by armed anti-government activists. He sympathized with their frustrations about the federal government, but he thought calm negotiation was a better strategy. Then on Tuesday, an Oregon state trooper shot and killed LaVoy Finicum, a cowboy-hat-wearing grandfather who acted as the occupiers' spokesman. Now Soper is furious, and he's calling for people from all over the country to come to Burns to show their outrage at Finicum's "ambush." — Chicago Tribune

Head of NSA's Elite Hacking Unit: How We Hack

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
.... "Our key to success is knowing that network better than the people who set it up," he said. "We need that first crack and we'll look to find it." "Don't assume a crack is too small to be noticed, or too small to be exploited," he said. "We need that first crack, that first seam. And we're going to look and look and look for that esoteric kind of edge case to break open and crack in." — ABC News

The State Department: Hillary Clinton's email correspondence contained 'top secret' material

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
...The Friday announcement was significant because it appeared to undercut Clinton's argument in recent months that she was merely the victim of a bureaucratic squabble between overly strict analysts at the intelligence agencies and more reasonable reviewers at the State Department. — Washington Post

'Exoatmospheric kill vehicle' designed to crash into nuclear missiles heading for the US tested over

posted by askousen - Sunday, January 31 2016
...The missile shield system is supposed to protect America from attacks, but it has failed to hit targets in many tests. Later this year, an interceptor will try to destroy an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target armed with countermeasures for the first time. — Daily Mail

Ted Cruz's Closest Counselors Are Neocons

posted by askousen - Friday, January 29 2016
Recently, Infogram published brief but illuminating biographies of several of Cruz's key foreign policy advisors. The information disclosed in these revelations could trouble many constitutionalists otherwise keen on the senator and who rely on him to restore the rule of law to the White House. — The New American

Cruz rips Fox debate moderators

posted by askousen - Friday, January 29 2016
Turning to moderator Chris Wallace, Cruz said, "I would note that the last four questions have been, 'Rand, please attack Ted. Marco, please attack Ted. Chris, please attack Ted. Jeb, please attack Ted.' — The Hill

Mexican cops again at center of a mass disappearance

posted by askousen - Friday, January 29 2016
For more than two weeks, the parents of five missing young people have been living inside a Mexican state prosecutor's office in an attempt to pressure authorities to find their children. — AFP

10 Publishers Account For Half Of All Online News

posted by askousen - Friday, January 29 2016
...The biggest online news publisher for the U.S. audience was MSN, owner of MSN.com, with just over 27 billion combined page views across mobile and desktop, followed by Disney Media Networks, owner of ESPN and ABC News, with 25.9 billion. Time Warner, owner of CNN and Bleacher Report, had 14.8 billion, followed by Yahoo with 10.3 billion, and Time, Inc. with 10.2 billion. A bit further down the totem poll were CBS Corp., owner of Cnet.com, with 9.9 billion combined page views; NBC Universal, with 9.5 billion; Matt Drudge, with 8.5 billion; Advance Publications, with 8 billion; and Fox Entertainment Group, owner of Fox News, with 7.9 billion. [Impressive showing by alternative News source the Drudge Report drudgereport.com] — Media Post

Is a secret sniper killing off Isil's high command in Libya?

posted by askousen - Friday, January 29 2016
... But after a string of assassinations of its local henchmen, the Islamic State's new "Caliphate" in the Libyan city of Sirte is abuzz with talk that an anti-Isil sniper is at work. In recent weeks, no fewer than three Isil commanders in Sirte have been shot dead from long range, according to local media. [It takes a lot of information for sniper to operate. Which person to target, where that person goes normally, etc. Not likely this shooter is working alone.] — Telegraph

Tsarnaev lawyers file appeal of Boston Marathon bombing conviction

posted by askousen - Friday, January 29 2016
...Tsarnaev's attorneys did not spell out the grounds on which they were seeking to overturn his conviction and sentence. — Reuters

FBI releases video footage of LaVoy Finicum shooting

posted by askousen - Friday, January 29 2016
A video released by the FBI on Thursday evening appears to show Robert "LaVoy" Finicum reaching for a pocket that police say contained a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun. [The video is shot from a long way away. It is hard to see what is going on, except that LaVoy's arms were up most of the time. A sniper comes out of the trees and shoots him - probably the shot to the head that killed him] — Oregonian

Where was the FBI during the armed standoff in Oregon? Out of sight, but listening and watching

posted by askousen - Thursday, January 28 2016
...A significant amount of the FBI's information used to charge Ammon Bundy came from an activist named Pete Santilli, who was living inside the refuge and broadcasting live his conversations with fellow activists. To demonstrate a conspiracy, the government has a lower burden than it would with similar charges, such as aiding and abetting, or solicitation. A conspiracy charge in federal court does not require the underlying offense to have taken place, so prosecutors can charge the defendants based on their statements, without proving they actually committed a crime. That is where Santilli's broadcasts proved so useful to the FBI. — LA Times