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5 things you may have missed while the media was obsessing over Russia

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The UK’s snap election ended  in a hung Parliament.

While the American media was obsessing over president Donald Trump’s connection to Russia, and former FBI head James Comey’s testimony in front of senate intelligence committee. A snap election in the UK which was called early by Teresa May, something that PMs can do in parliamentary systems. She was expected to win easily over leading competition labour Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and bolster her majority. All to strengthen the impending Brexit negotiations. However the election has officially ended in what’s called a “hung Parliament” where no party will control a majority of seats. This also means it may not be clear who the prime minister will be going forward as the PM has to resign if it is clear that they; “cannot command a majority of the House of Commons on votes of confidence or supply, or if they lose a confidence motion in the House of Commons.” This would be the case if the may administration cannot strike a deal with one of the other parties to form a coalition government.There have been a number of times during the twentieth century when no party had a majority. In 2010, the last time a British general election resulted in a hung parliament, negotiations to form a coalition government only took five days. Minority governments don’t normally last long as they force PM’s to rely on votes from other parties to do anything, like agreeing to the terms of the Brexit talks with the EU, which are scheduled to begin in just over a week, and something the Tories have already committed to.

Russia and China May Digitize Their Currencies With The Blockchain

China and Russia are investigating the potential of Ethereum as the base protocol for a digital Yuan and Ruble. Currently, the Royal Chinese Mint, the subordinate unit of China Banknote Printing and Minting, is testing Ethereum and its ERC 20 token standard to digitize the renminbi (RMB) or the Chinese yuan.Apart from the Chinese government, Russia is also looking into Ethereum and its potential in the finance sector. Although technical specifications and details of the Russian central bank’s national digital currency project remains undisclosed, in 2016, the Bank of Russia announced the development of an Ethereum-based interbank blockchain prototype called Masterchain. Some of the largest commercial banks in Russia participated in the pilot test, and the Bank of Russia’s Deputy Governor recently expressed her optimism toward cryptocurrency.

Russian president Vladimir Putin met Ethereum’s young founder Vitalik Buterin on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum last week and supported his plans to build contacts with local partners to implement blockchain technology in Russia, according to a statement on Kremlin’s website.

Speaking at the Economic Forum, Putin said that “the digital economy isn’t a separate industry, it’s essentially the foundation for creating brand new business model” and discussed means to boost growth long-term after Russia ended its worst recession in two decades. Adoption of Ethereum in Russia has been brisk also in the private sector: last week, Bloomberg reports that Russia’s state development bank VEB agreed to start using Ethereum for some administrative functions

The ‘Intercept’ faces strong criticism after ‘Leak” Source Reality Leigh Winner arrested.

The Intercept recently published a “leaked” five page NSA analysis about ‘alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Its reporting outed the leaker of the NSA documents. That person, R.L. Winner, has now been arrested and is likely to be jailed for years if not for the rest of her life. There is no way to tell if the Intercept revealed their source’s identity intentionally or just by sheer incompetence.The Intercept should know a bit or two about operational security. Sending (and publishing) the leaked documents as finely scanned PDF’s The source that provided the document had no operational security at all. She printed the document on a government printer. All (color) printers and photo copiers print nearly invisible (yellow) pattern on each page that allow to identify the printer used by its serial number. The source used email from her workplace to communicate. All this creates to me a third possibility that this was set up by the left-deep state elements in the NSA in attempt to frame Russia through a patsy who used the intercept as a vehicle because of it’s position as a hip independent news agency the story may be more likely to be accepted as true. Either way – the incident confirms what skeptics had long determined:The Intercept is not a trustworthy outlet for leaking state secrets of public interests.

ISIS Recruiter Who Radicalized London Bridge Attackers Was Protected by MI5

The terrorists who rampaged across London on the night of June 3 were part of a wider extremist network closely monitored by MI5 for decades. Khuram Butt was known to counter-terrorism police and MI5, who investigated him in 2015. According to an investigation by Middle East Eye, from 2011 to around early 2013, MI5 operated an “open-door” policy for Britons to travel and fight in Libya and Syria. Foreign fighters told MEE that their travels had been facilitated by Britain’s security services. This narrative is problematic. Security sources speaking outside of official press statements have pointed to a somewhat different reality: that both Bakri and Choudary had ties to MI5. In his book The Way of the World, reporter Ron Suskind recounts how he was told by a senior MI5 officer that Bakri had long been an informant for the security service, who “had helped MI5 on several of its investigations.”

Bakri confirmed the same in an interview with Suskind.

“Bakri enjoyed his notoriety and was willing to pay for it with information he passed to the police,” wrote Suskind. “It’s a fabric of subtle interlocking needs: the [British authorities] need be in a backchannel conversation with someone working the steam valve of Muslim anger; Bakri needs health insurance.”

Bakri’s ties with British intelligence to support foreign operations, moreover, go back decades.

U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syria’s northern city of Raqqa with white phosphorus, a internationally banned weapon.

Xinhua News, China’s state press agency, reported that “Tens of civilians were killed on Thursday when the U.S.-led airstrikes targeted Syria’s northern city of Raqqa with white phosphorus,” citing a report from Syria’s Sham FM radio.White phosphorus is described as an “incendiary and toxic chemical substance used as a filler in a number of different munitions that can be employed for a variety of military purposes.” The chemical was banned internationally after the 1980 Protocol on Incendiary Weapons restricted the “use of incendiary weapons as a means or method of warfare during armed conflict.” The use of chemical weapons is clearly prohibited in international armed conflicts. The International Committee of the Red Cross noted that “employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices is listed in the Statute of the International Criminal Court as a war crime.”While it is not likely that the United States will fully address the reports, it should be noted that by remaining silent, the mainstream media is also reminding the public of its hypocritical nature.