This Week in the World Affairs Brief:

SHOOTDOWN OF MH17–A MAZE OF CONTRADICTIONS

It now seems doubtful that we will ever find out the truth about who shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 that was flying over war-torn Ukraine. Virtually all of the claims proffered by Ukrainian, Russian, rebel and even US sources are contradictory and can’t all be right. Rather than provide raw data from a trustworthy source, we see only evidence that has been manipulated or interpreted so as to blame either Ukraine or Russia. Some even say the facts suggest an outside black operation that placed a bomb on board. Establishment media sources can’t independently verify any of these claims because access to the evidence is highly restricted and the site contaminated by scavenging. In the end sorting out the blame for this shoot-down won’t make any difference. There is no significant up-tick in sentiment for a larger war or appetite for direct confrontation with Russia, so any apparent motive for intentionally shooting down this civilian flight in order to blame the other side falls flat on its face. The only explanation is that this was a mistake. It’s hard to see how anyone benefits from this tragedy. You can request a one-time free sample of the briefs by sending an email to editor@worldaffairsbrief.com.

Also:

  • Israeli-Hamas War—Media Bias and Civilian Deaths
  • British Hypocritically Complain about Weapons for Russia
  • Jim Willie’s Hype about Germany Joining BRICS
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Daily News

Bad News: UN Disabilities Treaty Has Returned-Stronger than Ever

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 30 2014
...This United Nations treaty says "in all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." Not "parental rights," as our U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. But "best interests of the child," a legal term only used during divorce and abuse and neglect cases. Government officials could use this section to override parental decisions for their child with a disability. Other provisions of this treaty threaten U.S. sovereignty, promote abortion rights, and require a national registry of all children with disabilities (the term "disability" isn't even defined). — HSLDA - Home School Legal Defense Association

Loopholes Blunt Impact of U.S., EU Sanctions Over Ukraine

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 30 2014
The economic sanctions that the U.S. and European Union imposed Tuesday against Russian banks were designed to severely punish a key part of Russia's economy. But their immediate impact is likely to be relatively muted. The U.S. sanctions don't include Russia's biggest bank, and the EU carved out a loophole for big parts of the banks. — WSJ

Jeff Sessions: House Border Bill Is a 'Surrender To a Lawless President'

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 30 2014
Senator Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) denounced the House Republican border bill as a "surrender to a lawless president" because the legislation does not include any language to prevent President Obama from expanding his unilateral legalization of illegal immigrants. — National Review

Personal Privacy Is Only One of the Costs of NSA Surveillance

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 30 2014
There is no doubt the integrity of our communications and the privacy of our online activities have been the biggest casualty of the NSA's unfettered surveillance of our digital lives. But the ongoing revelations of government eavesdropping has had a profound impact on the economy, the security of the internet and the credibility of the U.S. government's leadership when it comes to online governance. — Wired.com

Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees

posted by askousen - Tuesday, July 29 2014
..."About one third of all the CO2 emitted by mankind since the industrial revolution has been put into the atmosphere since 1997; yet there has been no statistically significant increase in the mean global temperature since then," the two MPs state. "By definition, a period with record emissions but no warming cannot provide evidence that emissions are the dominant cause of warming!" The other nine MPs disagreed, however, and outvoted the two sceptics to firmly endorse the IPCC view. But it's perhaps worth noting the two rebels' description of themselves as "scientists by training" - which they both are - and the fact that they have far more relevant scientific education than most of the alarmist MPs who outvoted them. — UK Register

Chinese Missile Forces Pose Threat to U.S. in Future Conflict

posted by askousen - Tuesday, July 29 2014
China's advanced cruise and ballistic missiles pose a significant threat in future conflict with the United States, the chief of naval operations (CNO) warned last week. Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the CNO, also said during a security conference Friday that China is building a second aircraft carrier that could be deployed in the not too distant future. — Washington Free Beacon

VA Officials Will Get Millions of Dollars in Bonuses Under House-Senate Agreement

posted by askousen - Tuesday, July 29 2014
A House-Senate agreement on how to reform the broken Department of Veterans Affairs will let the VA hand out up to $360 million in bonuses to its employees each year, even though the House voted just weeks ago to strip all VA bonuses through 2016. — The Blaze

DEMOCRATS WANT VOTES; REPUBLICANS WANT CHEAP LABOR

posted by askousen - Tuesday, July 29 2014
The invasion of illegal aliens across our southern border is no extemporaneous event. It is a cold, calculated, and cunning attempt to fundamentally change America. The Obama Administration has sent a loud and clear signal to our neighbors to the south that illegals are welcome, that they won’t be sent home, and that they will be provided either real or de facto amnesty--especially if those illegals are minors. The result is a torrent of illegals pouring over the border into the United States. These illegals are being housed, fed, given medical care, and are being transported to destinations throughout the U.S. Few are being deported. Several military installations have been essentially turned into daycare centers and nurseries, and according to several published reports, up to 70% of U.S. Border Patrol personnel are now being assigned to administrative duties in an attempt to process the hundreds of thousands of illegals that have amassed at the border. — Chuck Baldwin/News With Views

Hamas and North Korea in secret arms deal

posted by askousen - Monday, July 28 2014
Hamas militants are attempting to negotiate a new arms deal with North Korea for missiles and communications equipment that will allow them to maintain their offensive against Israel, according to Western security sources. Security officials say the deal between Hamas and North Korea is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and is being handled by a Lebanese-based trading company with close ties to the militant Palestinian organisation based in east Beirut. — Telegraph

10,000 Bodies: Inside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Crackdown

posted by askousen - Monday, July 28 2014
[editor's note: new attempt brewing for US war on Assad?]...Syria has dismissed Caesar's photographs as fabrications. In January, before U.S. investigators judged the photos authentic, Syria's Ministry of Justice said many of the dead shown in the photos were civilians and soldiers killed by "terrorist groups." It branded Caesar a fugitive lacking credibility, and said the photo trove was part of a campaign instigated by enemies of the nation. Syrian officials at the U.N. didn't respond to requests for further comment. — WSJ

Obama Seeks to Dramatically Broaden US War on Terror

posted by askousen - Monday, July 28 2014
...The news that President Obama was looking at getting Congress to remove the 9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), as well as the 2002 AUMF that led to the invasion and occupation of Iraq, was initially seen as a possible climbdown from the position of eternal American warfare. Instead, White House officials are now saying that the old 9/11 AUMF is "outdated" and less useful in their current warmongering, primarily because it is so difficult to spin factions that didn’t exist 13 years ago as something to do with 9/11. The "repeal" is really a cover for what they are now calling the 'evolving" of the global war on terrorism, and the introduction of a new, broader authority for the president to attack whatever flavor-of-the-week enemy he can get the terrorist label to stick to. — Antiwar.com

Libya Civil War Escalates, Foreigners Flee Country

posted by askousen - Monday, July 28 2014
Libya's growing civil war continued to escalate throughout the weekend, with at least 36 people killed in fighting in Benghazi and dozens of others, all Egyptian nationals, were killed in a rocket strike in Tripoli.Tripoli has seen fighting over control of their airport for over a week, and nations throughout the world are urging their citizens to leave Libya as soon as possible. Getting out isn't always easy, however. — Antiwar.com

House Republicans: Libya mess reflects failed U.S. policy

posted by askousen - Monday, July 28 2014
House Republicans blamed the rushed evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Libya on poor leadership by the Obama administration and said Saturday's withdrawal will complicate any plans to restore order there. — USA Today

U.S. evacuates Libya embassy after 'free-wheeling militia violence'

posted by askousen - Monday, July 28 2014
The United States evacuated its embassy in Libya on Saturday, driving diplomats across the border into Tunisia under heavy military escort after escalating clashes broke out between rival militias in Tripoli. — Reuters

North Korea Fires Short-Range Missile into Sea

posted by askousen - Saturday, July 26 2014
South Korea's Defense Ministry says North Korea has fired a short-range ballistic missile into waters off its east coast. The launch is the latest in a slew of missile and rocket tests the North has been conducting in recent weeks. — Time

Barack Obama has already checked out of his job

posted by askousen - Saturday, July 26 2014
The degree to which Barack Obama is now phoning it in - sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term, amid golf rounds and dinner parties - is astonishing — Telegraph

Vans May be New Form of Transportation for Illegals, as Feds Attempt to Avoid Scrutiny

posted by askousen - Saturday, July 26 2014
It appears that many illegal immigrants in California are being transported by federal agents via van caravans instead of large Department of Homeland Security (DHS) buses. Dropping off illegal immigrants from vans, rather than buses, may serve to draw less attention and scrutiny from local residents, many of whom remain resistant to the dumping of foreigners in their communities. — Breitbart

Obama Eyes Major Immigration Move

posted by askousen - Saturday, July 26 2014
The President may be preparing to provide temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants When President Obama issues executive orders on immigration in coming weeks, pro-reform activists are expecting something dramatic: temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for perhaps several million undocumented immigrants. — Time

GOP Senator: Obama To 'Effectively End Immigration Enforcement'

posted by askousen - Saturday, July 26 2014
The Obama administration is preparing to effectively "nullify" the immigration laws of the United States through an executive action, says one Republican senator. As Time reported Thursday, President Obama appears prepared to provide millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. work authorization via executive orders: When President Obama issues executive orders on immigration in coming weeks, pro-reform activists are expecting something dramatic: temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for perhaps several million undocumented immigrants. If the activists are right, the sweeping move would upend a contentious policy fight and carry broad political consequences. — Weekly Standard

DARPA Wants New Technology to Predict "Societal Unrest"

posted by askousen - Saturday, July 26 2014
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting companies to provide new technology that would allow the U.S. Department of Defense to predict future "societal unrest" by keeping track of "all human activities that can be measured." — Infowars.com

Gun-toting psychiatrist shoots suspect who killed Pennsylvania hospital employee: police

posted by askousen - Friday, July 25 2014
...The hospital has a policy barring anyone except on-duty law enforcement officers from carrying weapons anywhere on its campus, a spokeswoman for the Mercy Health System said.... But Yeadon Police Chief Donald Molineux said that "without a doubt, I believe the doctor saved lives." "Without that firearm, this guy (the patient) could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition," the chief said. — NY Daily News

Obama takes on 'corporate deserters,' steps up drive to close tax loophole

posted by askousen - Friday, July 25 2014
Striking a populist stand ahead of the midterm elections, Obama is demanding "economic patriotism" from American corporations that seek overseas mergers to avoid U.S. taxes. Obama and congressional Democrats are pushing to severely limit such deals, a move resisted by Republicans who argue the entire corporate tax code needs an overhaul. — Sun Times

Ted Cruz Questions Whether Obama Is Boycotting Israel By Grounding Flights

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 23 2014
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) suggested Wednesday that the Obama administration was conducting an "economic boycott" of Israel in order to force an immediate halt to its latest military incursion into the Gaza Strip, which has been marked by escalating death and destruction since it began earlier this month. In a sharply worded statement released by his office, the conservative firebrand questioned why the Federal Aviation Administration had extended its prohibition on U.S. flights heading to Israel's main airport in Tel Aviv for a second day in a row. — Huffington Post

Report Cites 'Aggressive' Islamic Push in British City's Schools

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 23 2014
First there was an anonymous letter outlining an Islamic takeover of British schools in Muslim neighborhoods ominously called Operation Trojan Horse. Then the letter was found to be riddled with inaccuracies and widely deemed to be a hoax. Now a report by a former antiterrorism chief suggests that some of the concerns raised by the letter - fake or not - may in fact be real, the latest twist in a tortured debate about how to reconcile Islam and Britishness in a country that has one of Western Europe's largest Muslim communities. — NY Times

Texas State Sen: More Illegals Enter than People Born in State Each Week

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 23 2014
...Patrick said "we didn't have this great wave of young people" before President Barack Obama unilaterally enacted his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) plan in 2012, which was when the number of illegal immigrants coming across the border spiked even as the murder rates in Central American nations declined. — Breitbart

Lois Lerner's Hard Drive Was 'Scratched' Then 'Shredded'

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 23 2014
... The IRS claims that it lost Lerner's emails from 2009 to 2011 including emails to and from the White House, when her computer crashed in the midst of the agency's conservative targeting program. The IRS also claimed in a transcribed interview that many other IRS employees who worked under Lerner in her Washington, D.C. department and its Cincinnati-based affiliate also experienced computer crashes that deleted their emails, bringing the total number of crash victims to "less than 20." — Daily Caller

Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down as Kiev accuses Moscow of sending more arms to separatists

posted by askousen - Wednesday, July 23 2014
...The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said two Sukhoi-25 fighters were shot down Wednesday afternoon over an area called Savur Mogila. The planes may have been carrying up to two crew members each, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky. The pilots ejected from the planes but it is not known if they survived, Fox News confirms. A search party is out looking for them. — Fox News

Hollande Defies Critics Over Warship Sale to Russia

posted by askousen - Tuesday, July 22 2014
France is forging ahead with plans to supply Russia with at least one powerful warship despite objections from the U.S. and other allies, President François Hollande said, while dangling the possibility he might cancel the delivery of a second vessel....France is determined to hand over the first of two Mistral-class carriers capable of launching helicopter, tank and missile attacks from the sea, dramatically boosting Russia's military capability. — WSJ

Obama Admin. Says Health Subsidies Will Continue

posted by askousen - Tuesday, July 22 2014
..The Obama administration immediately declared that those policyholders will keep getting financial aid for their premiums as it seeks review of the ruling. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the decision would have "no practical impact" on tax credits as the case works its way through further court appeals. — ABC News

Court Strikes Down Obamacare Subsidies

posted by askousen - Tuesday, July 22 2014
A major pillar of Obamacare crumbled under the gavel of a federal appeals court on Tuesday, which ruled that billions of dollars of government subsidies are illegal. The three-judge panel struck down premium subsidies used by 36 states, ruling that the Affordable Care Act doesn't allow the IRS to dole out the subsidies in federal insurance exchanges, and that customers must pay out of pocket for the full insurance cost. The ruling is the result of a wording glitch in the ACA—as written it says subsidies should be paid to those who purchase through an "exchange established by the state." This restricts premium tax credits to state-run exchanges. The government is expected to appeal. — Daily Beast