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American Resistance To Empire

Timoshenko pushing for impeachment of incumbent Ukrainian president

Timoshenko pushing for impeachment of incumbent Ukrainian president

According to Article 111 of Ukraine’s Constitution, the Ukrainian president can be ousted from his post through an impeachment process in the event of committing high treason or another crime

Leader of Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna Party Yulia Timoshenko

© AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

KIEV, February 26. /TASS/. Leader of Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna Party and presidential contender Yulia Timoshenko has said that she had embarked on initiating impeachment proceedings against the country’s current President Pyotr Poroshenko.

“We declare that we are beginning impeachment proceedings against the president along with other factions that support us,” she said in the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday.

Timoshenko added that journalists earlier published an investigation, which revealed the involvement of Poroshenko and his entourage in allegedly smuggling spare parts for the Ukrainian army from Russia at over-inflated prices.

“This is actually assisting the enemy and destroying the Ukrainian army. This is a cognizable case. We believe this falls under Section 111 of the Criminal Code (high treason),” she asserted.

According to Article 111 of Ukraine’s Constitution, the Ukrainian president can be ousted from his post through an impeachment process in the event of committing high treason or another crime. However, to do that, a special mechanism is required, which should be enshrined in a special impeachment law that Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has been unable to pass since 1996.

Timoshenko earlier said that the law on the head of state’s impeachment would be approved if she became president.

 

Pakistan shoots down 2 Indian warplanes, parades captured pilot on video

5 million tons of smoke created by 100 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons

 

40 CRPF Men Killed In Worst Terror Attack On Forces In Kashmir, India Condemns Pakistan

Indian Air Forces Extracts Revenge Inside Pakistan, On Terrorist Group, Jaish-e-Mohammad

 

Pakistan shoots down 2 Indian warplanes, parades captured pilot on video

Tensions between two of the world’s nuclear powers were raised dramatically Wednesday after Pakistan’s air force said it shot down two Indian warplanes that crossed the disputed Kashmir border and captured each of the aircraft’s pilots.

Police officials in Indian-occupied Kashmir told Reuters two Indian pilots and a civilian on the ground died when the planes crashed. The officials did not confirm the planes were shot down by Pakistani forces.

One of the pilots, named as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, was subsequently shown in a video. India’s government said it objected to “Pakistan’s vulgar display”.

He was seen in two videos, one where he appeared blindfolded and bloodied, and then a second one showing him in custody with the blindfold removed, appearing visibly more relaxed, even complimenting his captors on a “fantastic” cup of tea.

Raveesh Kumar, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, also claimed an Indian plane shot down a Pakistani fighter jet — although Pakistan denied any of its jets had been hit and photographic evidence had yet to emerge.

INDIA LAUNCHES AIRSTRIKE IN PAKISTAN-CONTROLLED KASHMIR TARGETING ‘TERROR CAMPS’

Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations released this photo of the pilot after he was shot down

Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations released this photo of the pilot after he was shot down (ISPR)

The Pakistani official said one of the Indian planes crashed in the Pakistani part of Kashmir and the other went down in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor told the Associated Press one of the pilots was injured and was being treated in a military hospital. He did not elaborate on the pilot’s injuries. Ghafoor said the other pilot was in custody.

News sites out of Pakistan posted unconfirmed pictures and videos of one of the pilots who appeared blindfolded and with a bloody nose. Pakistan’s information ministry also tweeted out apparent footage of one of the downed Indian jets as well as a message congratulating the Pakistan Air Force.

An Indian army soldier walks past the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27, 2019. 

An Indian army soldier walks past the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27, 2019.  (AP)

A senior Indian police officer said earlier that an Indian Air Force plane crashed in the Indian-controlled sector of Kashmir. No information about injuries or deaths was immediately available.

INDIA WARNS OF ‘CRUSHING RESPONSE’ AFTER KASHMIR SUICIDE BOMB ATTACK

Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said later it closed its airspace to all commercial flights as tensions with India escalated.

Indian air force spokesman Anupam Banerjee in New Delhi told the Associated Press he had no information on Wednesday’s incident.

Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month.Tensions have been simmering between the two nuclear-powers after India launched an airstrike Tuesday following a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 soldiers in India’s section of the disputed territory of Kashmir earlier this month. (AP)

In a televised address, Imran Khan, the Pakistani prime minister, warned against further escalation between the two countries.

“If we let it happen, it will remain neither in my nor [Indian prime minister] Narendra Modi’s control,” he said.

Referring to air strikes by Pakistan earlier Wednesday, he said Pakistan had been obliged to respond to Tuesday’s action by India.

Kashmiri villagers and Indian army soldiers gather near the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27.

Kashmiri villagers and Indian army soldiers gather near the wreckage of an Indian aircraft after it crashed in Budgam area, outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb.27. (AP)

“Our action is just to let them know that just like they intruded into our territory, we are also capable of going into their territory.”

Sushma Swaraj, the Indian foreign minister, said India “does not wish to see further escalation of the situation.”

Residents on both sides of the de-facto frontier, the so-called Line of Control, said there were exchanges of fire between the two sides through the night. In Pakistan’s part of Kashmir, hundreds of villagers have fled border towns.

Asian News International reported that commercial flights between Indian and Pakistani airspace are affected. Its report said Pakistan immediately stopped domestic and international flight operations from Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Sialkot and Islamabad airports.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano and The Associated Press contributed

Pharma execs offer Senate ideas to lower drug costs – except actually cutting prices

Pharma execs offer Senate ideas to lower drug costs – except actually cutting prices

  • Executives from seven pharmaceutical companies — AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi — are testifying before the Senate Finance Committee.
  • The pharma executives have a number of ideas to reduce drug prices for patients, except lowering list prices.
  • High drug prices has become a rare bipartisan issue, with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding change.

Ken Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., left, speaks as Robert Bradway, president and chief executive officer of Amgen Inc., center, and Joaquin Duato, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson, listen during a news conference outside the White House following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Ken Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer of Merck & Co., left, speaks as Robert Bradway, president and chief executive officer of Amgen Inc., center, and Joaquin Duato, executive vice president and worldwide chairman of pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson, listen during a news conference outside the White House following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

Executives from seven drugmakers laid out their ideas for lowering drug prices to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. One idea was noticeably absent: lowering drug prices.

The companies — AbbVieAstraZenecaBristol-Myers SquibbJohnson & JohnsonMerckPfizer and Sanofi — threw their support behind a number of Trump administration proposals and pitched some of their own ideas in written testimony submitted ahead of the hearing. Executives championed the investments their companies make and the lives they save, while acknowledging patients cannot benefit if they can’t afford medication.

They criticized middlemen, including pharma’s favorite target, pharmacy benefit managers, for pocketing discounts instead of passing them along to patients. They suggested changes to Medicare, including capping the amount seniors would pay for on their own at the pharmacy counter every year.

But none of the seven drugmakers committed to, or even suggested, lowering the list prices of their drugs. Some referenced these prices as simply the price that’s advertised, not what consumers actually pay.

“We’ve all seen the finger pointing,” Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in his prepared remarks. “Every link in the supply chain has gotten skilled at that. But, like most Americans, I’m sick and tired of the blame game. It’s time for solutions.”

High drug costs have become a rare bipartisan issue with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle demanding something be done. President Donald Trump has made lowering prices one of the key issues of his administration. Democrats are jockeying to prove they can lead reform.

Senators are expected to press executives during Tuesday’s hearing about recent drug price increases. AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot, Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit Executive Vice President Jennifer Taubert, Merck CEO Ken Frazier, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla and Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt are scheduled to testify.

Executives threw their support around a Trump administration proposal that would pass an estimated $29 billion in rebates paid to pharmacy benefit managers to consumers. Drug manufacturers pay PBMs the rebates for getting their drugs covered by Medicare’s Part D prescription plan.

“Today’s current drug rebate system is good for two things: driving up both drug list prices and consumer out-of-pocket costs,” Pfizer’s Bourla said, according a transcript of his prepared remarks.

A day before the hearing, JC Scott, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the PBM lobbying group, said PBMs “are the primary advocate for consumers in the fight to lower prescription drug costs.”

The health insurance lobby on Monday blasted drugmakers, saying, “many drug treatments now come with six-figure price tags.”

“Drug prices are out of control, and drug manufacturers are working relentlessly to eliminate the mechanisms in our system that hold down costs for patients,” America’s Health Insurance Plans spokeswoman Kristine Grow said in an email. “The problem is the price.”

The pharmaceutical executives said they were not in favor of another Trump administration proposal that would permit Medicare to create a new payment model that would bring drug prices in line with what other nations pay. Drugmakers are not required to negotiate prices with the federal government like in other countries, and some believe that has led to “sky high” prices.

Indian Air Forces Extracts Revenge Inside Pakistan, On Terrorist Group, Jaish-e-Mohammad

[SEE: Pulwama Attack 2019, everything about J&K terror attack on CRPF by terrorist Adil Ahmed Dar, Jaish-e-Mohammad]

19 Minutes And 12 Jets. This Is How The IAF Carried Out A Strike On JeM While You Slept.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, India launched a direct air strike on the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camps across the LoC in an attempt to avenge the lives of the 44 soldiers that were lost in the Pulwama tragedy on 14th February.

Twelve Mirage 2000 jets containing 1000 kg of explosives struck the terror camps of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Toiba in Balakot, completely obliterating them.Overall, the strike lasted for 19 minutes.

The Strike

Balakot is located 24 Km North West of Muzaffarabad and it was here that the fighter jets struck. The air strike went on till 3.53 A.M. Now, one must realise that striking Balakot is both strategic and bold because not only did the IAF cross the LoC, it also crossed the borders of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir or PoK.

The target was located inside Khyber Pakhtukhwa, and this is the first time after the 1971 war that the Indian Armed Forces attacked targets in Pakistan.

The Mode Of Operation

The surgical strike comes less than 2 weeks after the Pulwama tragedy, and it is clear that masterminds devised a clear cut strategy which would help them achieve the targets. For instance, early-warning system AWACS and Heron drones had been used. Even surveillance had been increased in the hours mounting to the attack.

This was done so as to track any movement by the Pakistani Air Force, which could stand as an obstacle to IAF’s mission.

How Did Pakistan React?

There have been reports which claimed that the Pakistani Defence did receive intelligence of the Indian Fighter Jets and may have even attempted to intercept them. However, these attempts resulted in failure.

A Pakistani Twitter user had tweeted a video, which stated that IAF had attempted to cross the LoC but failed:

Khalid khi@khalid_pk

Visuals of Pak Air Force in Action over and around Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir, and areas near LoC after failed attempt by Indian air force to intrude into Pak air space

The Aftermath Of The Strike

Soon after the strike, IAF confirmed and took responsibility for it. The Foreign Secretary’s office issued an official statement stating that IAF had received intelligence of JeM gearing up for more attacks in the future.

According to officials, at least 200 casualties have been reported. These casualties include JeM terrorists, senior commanders, trainers and jihadis.

After the strike, Pakistani F16s had also been ordered to retaliate, but the sheer size of the Indian troupe pushed them back and they were forced to scramble.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, a spokesperson for the Pakistan Army, tweeted saying that India had violated the terms of the LoC.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

@OfficialDGISPR

Indian aircrafts’ intrusion across LOC in Muzafarabad Sector within AJ&K was 3-4 miles.Under forced hasty withdrawal aircrafts released payload which had free fall in open area. No infrastructure got hit, no casualties. Technical details and other important information to follow.

By carrying out such an attack, India targeted the biggest training camp of the JeM. Updates are still pouring in, stay tuned.

‘Sick & twisted’–US Senator Rubio Tweets Are Terroristic Threats

‘Sick & twisted’: US Senator Rubio tweets picture of Gaddafi’s murder as a threat to Maduro

‘Sick & twisted’: US Senator Rubio tweets picture of Gaddafi’s murder as a threat to Maduro

US Senator Marco Rubio has posted a picture of the brutal murder of late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a less-than-subtle threat to Venezuela’s Maduro. Twitter blasted Rubio as a manic warmonger… who has extremely poor taste.

The two pictures –one showing Gaddafi while still in power, the other showing the Libyan leader being tortured minutes before his brutal murder– were posted by Sen. Rubio (R-FL) on Twitter without any caption. Yet, given his open calls for an armed insurrection in the Latin American country to depose President Nicolas Maduro, the message was clear.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Iran says West turns Mideast into “powder keg” via arms sales

Iran says West turns Mideast into “powder keg” via arms sales

Israeli Arab youths clash with policemen at Kfar Kanna village in north Israel on Nov. 9, 2014. (Xinhua File photo)

TEHRAN, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the West has turned the Middle East into a “powder keg” through arms sales to the Arab countries in the region, Press TV reported.

Over the past year alone, the West sold weapons worth 100 billion U.S. dollars to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, said Zarif.

“The weapons did not bring security to anyone,” he added.

The Iranian minister made the remarks in a foreign policy speech at the University of Tehran.

Since the United States withdrew from the 2015 landmark Iranian nuclear deal last May, Iran has been under unprecedented sanctions from Washington.

Iran has also repeatedly denied the West’s criticism of its alleged “interfering” policies in the region.

Skirmishes Broke Out On Venezuela’s Colombian and Brazilian Borders, But No Sign of US Forces

Venezuela Breaks Relations with Colombia as Guaido Tries to Force Aid In

Skirmishes broke out on the Colombian and Brazilian borders but efforts to bring in aid have so far been unsuccessful.

By Paul Dobson

Venezuelan soldiers patrol the Brazilian border that the Venezuelan government ordered closed on Friday (AP)

Venezuelan soldiers patrol the Brazilian border that the Venezuelan government ordered closed on Friday (AP)

Merida, February 23, 2019 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that Venezuela is breaking diplomatic relations with neighbouring Colombia and gave Colombian diplomats 24 hours to leave the country.

“My patience has run out, we can’t keep allowing Colombian territory to be used for attacks against Venezuela,” he stated to the crowd. “You are the devil himself [Colombian President] Ivan Duque,” he added.

His comments came at a large anti-imperialist rally in Caracas held under the slogan ‘Hands off Venezuela.’

Tensions have reached new heights along the Venezuelan-Colombian border after self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido pledged that aid would enter the country on Saturday “no matter what.” The aid, which is being supplied by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and stockpiled in the Colombian border city of Cucuta, the Brazilian border city of Boa Vista, and on the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curacao, consists of basic food products such as lentils and flour, as well as basic personal hygiene products estimated to meet the needs of 5,000 people for roughly 10 days.

Caracas has denounced the move as a precursor for a US-led military intervention into the country and proceeded to shut down the borders with Dutch Caribbean Islands, Brazil and Colombia on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively. This stance has been supported by both the Chinese and Russian governments, with Russian foreign office spokespersons telling reporters Friday that the “aid” scheme “resembled those in Iraq and Libya.” Moscow also accused Washington of arming the Venezuelan opposition.

Chavistas turned out in force in Caracas this Saturday (@Manueldelborneo / Twitter)
Chavistas turned out in force in Caracas this Saturday (@Manueldelborneo / Twitter)

During his speech at the end of the rally, Maduro declared that the “coup d’état” initiated by Juan Guaido 30 days ago had been “defeated” and told his followers that they are “on the right side of history” before challenging Guaido to compete in elections.

Maduro also promised to apply justice against anyone who violates Venezuelan law, citing a number of right-wing activists who led isolated incidents of violent protests at the Colombo-Venezuelan border towns of Urena and San Antonio in Táchira State Saturday. The violent protests set fire to a public bus and burnt tyres in the streets in an attempt to open the border crossing.

Finally, Maduro reiterated earlier reports that his team are coordinating US $2 billion worth of “technical humanitarian assistance” channeled through the United Nations, as well as receiving 7.5 tonnes of medicine from Russia.

“Of course there are problems in Venezuela,” he told the crowd, “But who is going to solve them? Mr Trump? Or the Venezuelans?”

Saturday’s pro-government mobilisation in Caracas was one of the largest pro-government rallies seen in recent weeks. There were also rallies of pro-government supporters on the Colombian-Venezuelan border during the day and opposition marches in Caracas and other cities.

Opposition marchers rally on the Francisco Fajardo highway in Caracas (@Segovia Bastidas / Twitter)
Opposition marchers rally on the Francisco Fajardo highway in Caracas (@Segovia Bastidas / Twitter)

 

Juan Guaido led efforts to force the entry of the so-called humanitarian aid at the Colombian border along with volunteers. They were – at the time of writing – unsuccessful.

International support from US-aligned governments was also prominent on the border, with Colombian President Ivan Duque and Chilean President Sebastian Pinera both present. US President Donald Trump and former Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton also backed Guaido’s efforts via Twitter.

The International Red Cross, however, voiced further criticism of the border actions taken by Guaido, this time denouncing the illegal use of its symbols by Guaido’s followers on both the Brazilian and Colombian borders. The Red Cross had previously joined the United Nations in describing the aid plan as “politicised.”

The opposition leader fled Venezuela to Colombia early Saturday through non-official border crossings, defying a travel ban applied against him two weeks ago by the Supreme Court.

The tense day saw a handful of skirmishes between right-wing activists left in Colombia after Friday’s “Live Aid” concert and the Venezuelan military. Despite the activists flanking the “aid” trucks as they approached the closed border in Simon Bolivar international bridge, the trucks were able to pass the checkpoints, as tear gas and rubber bullets were used to repel the opposition militants, with witnesses reporting the use of molotov cocktails and other weapons in attempts to try to force entry into Venezuela.

In the early afternoon, an aid truck attempting to cross the border in Urena was burnt mid-bridge some distance away from the Venezuelan border checkpoint, with the Venezuelan government and the opposition trading accusations concerning responsibility. No deaths were reported on the Colombian border, but a number of wounded are receiving medical attention.

A truck is set on fire on the international bridge connecting Venezuela and Colombia, as Guaido’s followers tried to storm their way into Venezuelan territory (Courtesy)

A truck is set on fire on the international bridge connecting Venezuela and Colombia, as Guaido’s followers tried to storm their way into Venezuelan territory (Courtesy)
Brazilian and Caribbean borders remain closed

At Venezuela’s southern Brazilian border and northern sea border in the Caribbean Sea, efforts at forcing the entrance of the “aid” were equally unsuccessful.

A tense standoff in Pacaraima on the Venezuelan-Brazilian border resulted in trucks coming from Boa Vista being blocked. The region had seen two deaths Friday when indigenous citizens apparently supporting the entry of the “aid” confronted a military convoy en route to the border, and there were unconfirmed reports of four more deaths in the sector Saturday.

In the Dutch overseas territory of Curacao, authorities did not allow the departure of the “aid”-carrying ships without Caracas’ assurances of the safe travel of the ships.

Military remains loyal

Attempts to bring in aid were accompanied by appeals for the Venezuelan armed forces to back Guaido’s efforts. In the early hours of Saturday, three rogue National Guardsmen drove two armoured cars into the barrier on the Venezuelan side of the Simon Bolivar bridge, before fleeing on foot to the Colombian side of the border, only to be joined by another soldier later on. A Venezuelan police officer and an Chilean photo-journalist were wounded in what eyewitnesses described as an deliberate effort to run down civilians near the barrier.

Unconfirmed claims later in the day from Colombian migration offices suggested that 23 Venezuelan soldiers had abandoned their posts during the day, but no more details have been made available.

Venezuelan authorities were quick to dismiss the incident involving the four soldiers as a staged media show by the opposition which looked to sow chaos on the closed border.