The October Surprise: ……… surprises Clinton. Will it be the last?

On Friday 28th. October 2016 at 1300 hours US East Coast time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey reopened the Clinton E-Mail scandal investigations. Just eleven days before the US elections, this was a move that is NOT insignificant. Comey suggested that additional material relevant to the closed investigation had come to light, namely four computers belonging to Clinton’s senior adviser Huma Abedin and her estranged husband Anthony Weiner, the sacked former Democrat Congressman.

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Given the extreme circumstances, of any such investigation happening just 11 days out from the US elections, will have on the election outcome, one must assume that highly significant new material has come to light, that casts direct questions on the abandoned Clinton E-Mail investigations. The stock markets have certainly reacted with between half and one percent downward correction.

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Tip of the Iceberg: Russian Use of Power in Syria

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Russians are determined to reacquire some of the status once enjoyed by the Soviet Union of yore. They believe Western carelessness is to blame for the rise of Islamic State, and are using the Syrian theater to demonstrate their strategic capability.

russia-air-force-in-syriaBECA

Russia’s status in the Middle East has changed remarkably in recent years. Some go so far as to argue, with some justification, that it has become the most powerful superpower in the region, or at least within the context of the Syrian conflict. The main reason for this has been Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to invest significant resources in the region, coupled with his willingness to take significant risk.

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Syria: The Rebellion Begins to Crumble over the past 3 weeks

 

 

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Firepower

Since September 2015 Russian airpower has been supporting the Syrian government has is accused by rebels and aid workers (both local and foreign) of causing most of the civilian casualties of air and artillery attacks. That comes to as many as 9,000 dead rebels and civilians so far. Nearly half of the dead are civilians. Since it began in 2011 the Syrian fighting is believed to have killed at least 400,000 with at least 2,000 dead in September 2016.

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