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  • File: Russian S-300 air defense missile systems drive during a Victory Day military parade marking the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

    Both Jerusalem and Washington warned Russia on Monday evening against its declared intention to provide the Syrian military with advanced surface-to-air missiles within two weeks, saying the move would further destabilize the region and increase already high tensions.

    Israel’s high-level security cabinet was set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the latest developments.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the decision to provide Syria with the S-300 system in a phone call Sunday.

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    THE WHITE HOUSE

    Office of the Press Secretary

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    September 23, 2018
     

    WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ALLEGATIONS MADE IN THE NEW YORKER ARTICLE ON JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH

    “This alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen, and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth, and defending my good name—and the reputation for character and integrity I have spent a lifetime building—against these last-minute allegations.” – Judge Brett Kavanaugh
     

    The accuser, Deborah Ramirez, admits in The New Yorker’s piece that there were “significant gaps” in her memories about the event. 

    • “She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident.”
    • “Ramirez acknowledged that there are significant gaps in her memories of the evening…”
       

    By The New Yorker’s own admission, Ramirez was reluctant to speak with certainty on the allegation. 

    • “In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty.”
       

    It took six days of “assessing her memories” for Ramirez to say she recalled Kavanaugh committing the alleged incident, and that came only after consulting with an attorney provided by the Democrats. 

    • “After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections…” 
    • “Senate aides from Ramirez’s home state of Colorado alerted a lawyer, Stanley Garnett, a former Democratic district attorney in Boulder, who currently represents her.”
       

    The New Yorker admits it has not confirmed through eyewitnesses Kavanaugh was even present at the party and other students who knew Kavanaugh said they never heard of the incident. 

    • The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party.”
    • “In a statement, two of those male classmates who Ramirez alleged were involved in the incident, the wife of a third male student she said was involved, and three other classmates, Dino Ewing, Louisa Garry, and Dan Murphy, disputed Ramirez’s account of events…” 
    • “We were the people closest to Brett Kavanaugh during his first year at Yale. He was a roommate to some of us, and we spent a great deal of time with him, including in the dorm where this incident allegedly took place.”
    • “Some of us were also friends with Debbie Ramirez during and after her time at Yale. We can say with confidence that if the incident Debbie alleges ever occurred, we would have seen or heard about it—and we did not.” 
       

    Further, those classmates said that the allegations in the story would be completely out of character for Kavanaugh.  

    • “The behavior she describes would be completely out of character for Brett.”
       

    A former student who was best friends with Ramirez said she never told her about the incident despite how close they were. 

    • “The former friend who was married to the male classmate alleged to be involved, and who signed the statement, said of Ramirez, ‘This is a woman I was best friends with. We shared intimate details of our lives. And I was never told this story by her, or by anyone else. It never came up. I didn’t see it; I never heard of it happening.’”

     

  • Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov (Photo: RT)

    Op-ed: The Russian Defense Ministry has now heaped full blame on Israel for the fact that Syria downed a Russian spy plane while trying to repel an IAF attack. A closer analysis of the report reveals a string of lies and half-truths to cover up for the incompetence and blunders made by Russian and Syrian operators of their own air defenses.

    The most striking thing about the report produced by the Russian Defense Ministryabout Syria’s downing of the Russian spy plane in Latakia last week which has been blamed on Israel is the fact that it ignores the findings of the investigation conducted in Israel that were presented by the IAF chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin and Israeli intelligence officials who accompanied him to Moscow in a bid to lower the ensuing tension.

  • An Israeli military delegation meets with Russian officials in Moscow on September 20, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

    Moscow on Sunday blamed Israel for the downing by Syrian anti-aircraft fire of a Russian spy plane during an Israeli air raid in Syria last week, saying its military had been misled by the Israel Defense Forces about the time and location of the airstrike.

    In a press briefing, the Russian defense ministry rejected the findings of the IDF about the incident and insisted that the Israeli pilots who conducted the raid on a Syrian military facility in Latakia used the Russian reconnaissance aircraft as cover during their assault — something Israel has repeatedly denied.

    It also said Israel did not give Russia sufficient warning time ahead of the attack, and that it did not accurate information on the specific target of the attack. The Russian plane was thus unable to move out of the target area in good time, it said.

    “The actions of the Israeli fighter pilots, which resulted in the loss of life of 15 Russian servicemen, either lacked professionalism or were an act of criminal negligence, to say the least,” said Russian defense ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov.

  • In this file photo taken on Saturday, March 4, 2017, the Russian Il-20 electronic intelligence plane of the Russian air force with the registration number RF 93610, which was accidentally downed by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli air strike, flies near Kubinka airport, outside Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Marina Lystseva)

    The Israeli military on Sunday rejected the Russian defense ministry’s claim that it was entirely to blame for the downing of a Russian spy plane by Syrian air defenses during an Israeli strike last week, reiterating that Syria was at fault.

    In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces maintained its version of events — that the Russian reconnaissance plane was shot down as a result of indiscriminate Syrian anti-aircraft fire — and said it would continue to act to prevent terrorist groups from obtaining advanced weapons.

    “The full, accurate and factual details are known to the Russian military professionals involved in the matter, and from them it is clear that the deconfliction mechanism worked and did so in a timely manner (as it has for the past two and a half years),” the IDF said Sunday evening, referring to a hotline between the two militaries meant to avoid such inadvertent clashes and casualties.

  • China Israel flags. (photo credit: INGIMAGE)

     As China seeks to implement its “Belt and Road” projects in the Mediterranean, some Israeli analysts are raising alarm over what they see as a Chinese intrusion into sensitive areas of Israeli defense and key commercial industries.

    On the defense front, the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), a Chinese company, is set to take over the management of a new privately constructed seaport in Haifa bay in 2021. After helping expand the port in the last few years, the company will be granted a 25-year contract to run it.

    Haifa’s harbor is also a strategic port of call for US Navy ships in the region. When SIPG takes over a commercial section of the harbor, this means that Chinese personnel will be in close proximity to US naval ships and installations, raising questions about security risks, including the potential for Chinese espionage and the stealing of vital industrial and defense secrets. In this respect, the Chinese takeover of even one part of the harbor could cause a significant rift with Israel’s long-time and most vital ally—the US

  • Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday called the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh "a man of integrity with impeccable credentials.”

    Pence dismissed the sexual misconduct allegations that have roiled Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing at a gathering of evangelical activists in Washington.

    “Honestly, the way some Democrats have conducted themselves during this process is a disgrace and a disservice to the Senate and the American people,” the vice president said.

  • Russian fighter jets on the tarmac at the Russian Hmeimim military base in Latakia province, in the northwest of Syria, February 16, 2016. (AFP/STRINGER)

    Russia’s defense ministry said on Saturday that it would publish the findings of an initial investigation into the downing by Syria earlier this week of a Russian jet carrying 15 military personnel near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, which set off a diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Jerusalem.

    The aircraft was destroyed by Syria’s Russian-made S-200 air defense system, as it attempted to respond to an Israeli air strike. All 15 crewmen aboard were killed.

    “The minute-by-minute timeline of the tragedy will be given with a presentation of objective data from the radars’ data handling system about the air situation in Syria on September 17 and actions of Israel’s air force in the area of the crash,” the ministry said in a statement cited by the TASS news agency.

  • Former prime minister Ehud Olmert meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris on September 21, 2018 (YouTube screenshot)

    The ruling Likud party on Saturday blasted former prime minister Ehud Olmert for meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris, calling the Palestinian leader “the true obstacle to peace.”

    “Olmert, who offered the Western Wall to Abbas, is now also his loyal spokesman,” said a Likud official in a statement to the press.

    “The United States and many Arab countries have already realized that Abbas is the real obstacle to peace and that the meaning of his extreme demands is not peace but the destruction of the State of Israel,” the official added.

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Provocative Commentary


“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds

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