Erdogan Holding 50 US Tactical Nukes ‘Hostage’ As Trump Authorizes Sanctions

Amid all the media and pundit outrage since Turkey’s President Erdogan launched his so-called ‘Operation Peace Spring’ into northeast Syria last week, vowing to wipe out Syrian Kurdish forces who’ve long held the border areas, what’s been largely missing is acknowledgement of the uncomfortable fact that NATO ally Turkey has long hosted a major portion of America’s nuclear Cold War-era arsenal stored across Europe.
And as Erdogan threatens to “open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants” to Europe while under increased international criticism for the rapidly rising civilian death toll in Syria, The New York Times reports the following bombshell Monday: some 50 US tactical nukes are “now essentially Erdogan’s hostages”.

The Times cites growing alarm by top State and Energy Dept. officials over what the publication likens as a “disastrous” and confusing break from US policy in northern Syria, given not only further expected destabilization in the region, but worsening and unpredictable ties with Erdogan’s Turkey, given Trump is now preparing to sign into effect severe sanctions with the aim of attempting to “limit” his military incursion.

According to the report:

And over the weekend, State and Energy Department officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating roughly 50 tactical nuclear weapons that the United States had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, about 250 miles from the Syrian border, according to two American officials.

Turkey is among a handful of European NATO allies which play host to the extensive US nuclear arsenal on European soil — a remnant and continuation of the historic Cold War build-up — when Washington was locked in battle to deter Soviet expansion in Europe, which also allowed US allies to not have to pursue their own nukes.
The further irony in all this is that Incirlik Air Base is precisely where during the opening years of the war in Syria, US intelligence and military officials teamed up with their Turkish counterparts to wage proxy war against Assad, which involved fueling the jihadist insurgencywhich birthed the very groups now slaughtering Syrian Kurds and Christians in the country’s northeast.

Those weapons, one senior official said, were now essentially Erdogan’s hostages.To fly them out of Incirlik would be to mark the de facto end of the Turkish-American alliance. To keep them there, though, is to perpetuate a nuclear vulnerability that should have been eliminated years ago.

It’s believed that across Europe the US has some 150 US nuclear weapons at various bases, “specifically B61 gravity bombs,” according to a leaked NATO report which gained widespread media coverage earlier this year.

Via Statista: “The B61 is a low to intermediate-yield strategic and tactical thermonuclear gravity bomb which deatures a two-stage radiation implosion design. It is capable of being deployed on a range of aircraft such as the F-15E, F-16 and Tornado. It can be released at speeds up to Mach 2 and dropped as low as 50 feet where it features a 31 second delay to allow the delivery aircraft to escape the blast radius.”

After it appears US special forces stationed in the northern Syria town of Kobane came under Turkish artillery fire last Friday, Jeffrey Lewis of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies observed, “I think this is a first — a country with U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in it literally firing artillery at US forces,” as cited in the Times report.

This also as Erdogan threatened last week, not for the first time: “Hey EU, wake up. I say it again: if you try to frame our operation there as an invasion, our task is simple: we will open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants to you,” he said.

We noted previously how Erdogan is feeling emboldened vis-a-vis Europe, especially given the EU’s Monday decision not to impose a Europe-wide arms embargo at the urging of France and Germany, which one top Turkish official called “a joke”.
The fact is Erdogan has all the leverage, again in the form of millions or refugees he’s threatened to flood Europe’s borders with.
And now, add to this the ultimate leverage of hosting some 50 US/NATO tactical nukes. Erdogan will indeed hold these weapons “hostage” if it comes down to it.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/erdogan-holding-50-us-tactical-nukes-hostage-trump-authorizes-sanctions?fbclid=IwAR0OJB0ZT9HZJ_ICOcN2B9jDXOaM4YJa72cQhLq3MTdTAWFHd9e7iDJmsU4

Hunger levels in Horn of Africa rise as region experiences driest summer in over 35 years

Save the Children raised warning over a major emergency in the Horn of Africa as at least 13 million people will continue to face starvation following poor rainfall that affected crops, livestock, and livelihood. The area is now experiencing its driest summer since 1981. If the efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change on the region’s food supply are not scaled up immediately, tens of millions of people could suffer from critical hunger levels.

The situation in the region is quickly deteriorating even though agencies and officials from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya have been providing aid. Reports said Horn of Africa residents might soon experience something worse than the food crisis of 2017. The number of food-insecure people all over the region is currently lower than that of 2016 and 2017. However, the numbers are feared to rise in the following months. Somalia has already seen a 36% increase in food-insecure people, compared to its number in 2018.

“There is a rise in the understanding that climate change is a factor in life and it needs to be dealt with,” said Erika Joergensen, the UN World Food Programme’s Regional Director for East Africa. “What I notice is, yes so many challenges; you have climate change, you have conflict, you have migration you have all these things but the dynamics of it, the people’s ability to invent and determination to survive and to invest what little they have in a productive manner has really struck me.”

Save the Children’s teams on the field are witnessing communities suffering, struggling to tend pastures, refill water supplies, and restore livestock. Approximately 59 000 people were evacuated in Somalia between January to May 2019 due to drought. In June 2019, the total number of people that fled drought in the Horn of Africa was about 1.8 million. These people are among the 11.6 million individuals that had to be displaced in the East and Horn of Africa due to drought, floods, and other conflicts.

The agency is highly concerned about the threats of spiking malnutrition. In Kenya, around 2.6 million people face severe food insecurity. Another 6.8 million are a step away from experiencing crisis levels. Over 600 000 children need to be treated for malnutrition. In Somalia, 2.1 million people are affected by critical food shortages, while at least 178 400 children are experiencing extreme malnourishment. In Ethiopia, 8.1 million people are in need of food aid as the numbers are feared to rise.

“Over the past year we have repeatedly called for a dramatic increase in funding, and to date this has largely fallen on deaf ears. As a result, children are facing hunger now. Across the Horn of Africa, Save the Children needs an additional 100 million dollars to meet people’s daily nutritional requirements, lifesaving health provision as well as bolster systems to support them to adapt to their climate-affected world,” said Ian Vale, Save the Children’s Regional Director in East and Southern Africa.

“The current funding gap and the failure of the international community to step up have created the conditions for this region-wide emergency. While national governments are working hard to respond to the needs, we fear the situation will only get worse in the coming months, with the upcoming El Nino weather event likely resulting in another massive spike in the number of malnourished children.”

He continued, “The impact of climate change on the lives of Ethiopians, Kenyans and Somalis is becoming more intense every year. We cannot expect children and their families in this poverty-stricken region to bear the impact of the climate crisis. This is a global issue, and we have a global responsibility to support the most vulnerable.”

Save the Children is currently conducting resilience programs across the Horn of Africa to discuss the longer-term effects of climate change. The agency is also supporting the establishment of community-based disaster management committees in Somalia. In Ethiopia, the agency helps unemployed individuals who had to give up the cattle farmer trade due to their difficult situation. In Kenya, Save the Children are supporting women-led loans and saving groups to help families start small scale businesses, tend sustainable kitchen gardens, and raise

France securing its civilians and soldiers in Syria amid the withdrawal of 1,000 US troops

France said it was taking measures to ensure the safety of its military and civilian personnel in northeastern Syria as the US begins to withdraw its forces from the area and Syria’s Kurds, abandoned, betrayed and facing a possible genocide, are battling to hold off a Turkish invasion.

President Trump has ordered a withdrawal of virtually all US forces from northern Syria after days of assurances from the Pentagon that the United States was not “abandoning” its partners in the campaign against ISIS.

“They trusted us and we broke that trust,” one U.S. Army officer who fought alongside the Kurds in northern Syria said last week “It’s a stain on the American conscience.”

French Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe said that his country’s forces would remain in Syria to battle ISIS and defend Kurdish-led forces fighting the terror group.

“The fight against ISIS is not over and continues alongside the Kurdish-led Syrian SDF,” Phillippe told French lawmakers.

“Saying things with constancy and coherence is preferable to reacting to obvious hesitations from certain players, notably our American friends,” he added.

France has been one of the main allies in the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, with its warplanes used to strike terror targets and its special forces on the ground coordinating with Kurdish and Arab fighters.

French officials have previously said that a U.S. withdrawal would force them to also leave, given they rely on U.S. logistical support.

A regional diplomatic source told Reuters on Thursday that Paris was preparing to pull out its several hundred special forces. They are operating closely with Kurdish-led forces, who are now the target of Turkey and its proxy jihadists in northern Syria. French aid workers are also in the zone.

Dozens of French ISIS terrorists and hundreds of French Muslim women and children jihadists are being held by Kurdish groups in areas close to the Turkish invasion.

Trump Signs Executive Order To Impose Sanctions On Turkey

The president also said some U.S. forces would remain in Syria, marking a reversal of his call for withdrawal from the region.

President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to impose sanctions and visa bans on top members of the Turkish government as punishment for a Turkish offensive into Syria that Trump personally gave a green light to earlier this month.

The U.S. will place sanctions on three of Turkey’s most powerful officials ― the ministers of defense, energy and interior ― and its departments of defense and energy, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Monday.

“To avoid suffering further sanctions imposed under this new executive order, Turkey must immediately cease its unilateral offensive in northeast Syria and return to a dialogue with the United States on security in northeast Syria,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Trump broke with his previous narrative of a withdrawal from Syria to end “never-ending war” and said that a garrison of U.S. troops will remain in the country at the At-Tanf outpost. He will also subject Turkish steel to increased tariffs, he added.

The Turkish military and allied militias since Wednesday have been attacking a Kurdish-controlled enclave in northern Syria that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says poses a threat to his country’s security. The U.S. has closely worked with the dominant Kurdish militia in the region, known as the YPG, since 2014 in its fight against the Islamic State. But that policy has long been controversial, especially with the Turks, because the YPG has historic ties to the PKK, a Kurdish group that has fought the Turkish state since 1984 and that the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

World powers, U.S. lawmakers and rights groups have roundly condemned the Turkish move following Trump’s support, noting that it threatens an effective partner against ISIS and could result in major human rights abuses against the more than 2 million people living in the Kurd-controlled area. Experts have also warned that the fighting could empower remnants of ISIS who have been held in camps that the Kurds could be forced to leave undefended. And the U.S. abandonment of the Kurds could bolster Syria’s brutal Assad regime, which the YPG has now turned to for help.

The Trump administration’s goal is a ceasefire, a senior administration official said in a call Monday with reporters after the announcement. The administration wants the various forces on the ground “to hold in place and to then come forward with a set of plans to resolve the underlying reasons why Turkey went in and to meet Turkey’s security needs, its legitimate security needs.”

“The president is deeply committed to ending the unnecessary violence,” another senior administration official said on the call, noting that the U.S. was monitoring violence against religious minority groups and other potential abuses.

That message is in contrast to the president’s narrative about the episode on Twitter, where he first revealed his plans for sanctions. For days, he has been suggesting the Turks and Kurds are bound to violently clash and it’s not America’s responsibility to intervene.

Vice President Mike Pence will soon be traveling to Turkey, and top Trump aides will be working on the bid for a ceasefire, officials said.

Trump’s move is unlikely to immediately halt the Turkish offensive. The Treasury and State Departments will have further work to do to sanction less-powerful individuals who might be more vulnerable to pressure, and they will likely be careful to avoid key figures in Turkish politics or the military with whom the U.S. is likely to interact in the future, given Turkey’s continued membership of the NATO alliance.

American sanctions also have relatively limited effect on Turkey because the country is far more economically reliant on the European Union, which has yet to say it will also implement sanctions over Syria and is traditionally more cautious than Washington in its dealings with Ankara.

Mother of man, 28, who died after injecting his scrotum with silicone sues his five boyfriends after they ‘forced her son to inflate his testicles to the size of a basketball’

Linda Chapman filed a lawsuit in King County, Washington, in September over the death of her son Tank Hafertepen in October 2018 of a pulmonary embolism
She claims ‘master’ Dylan Hafertepen and his ‘pups’ manipulated Tank, who emigrated from Australia to America and cut off contact with his family
He is said to have started the silicone injections in 2014 on Dylan’s command
And he continued taking them until his death as part of the alleged ‘cult’ scene
Tank, who changed his name from Jack Chapman to his pup name of Tank Heathcliff Hafertepen also had ‘Property of Master Dylan’ tattooed on his back
The complaint alleges Dylan did not tell Tank’s family that he had passed away
Chapmans also plan to sue Dylan and the ‘pups’ for the forced alteration of a will
The mother of a man who died after injecting his scrotum with silicone is suing his five boyfriends claiming they forced her son to inflate his testicles to the ‘size of a basketball

Linda Chapman filed a lawsuit in King County, Washington, in September over the death of her son Tank Hafertepen in October 2018 of a pulmonary embolism.

Along with her son Ben, Linda is are seeking punitive damages, claiming ‘master’ Dylan Hafertepen and his ‘pups’ Daniel Balderas Hafertepen, Charles Osborn, Matthew Scott, and Philip Myers helped to manipulate and humiliate Tank into injecting himself.

Tank is said to have started the silicone injections in 2014 on Dylan’s command.

He continued taking them until his death as part of the alleged ‘cult’ scene in Seattle, fronted by Dylan who required his followers to have engorged scrotums alongside other physical attributes.

The pair, who ran popular social media accounts, regularly posted photos where they are shirtless, in jockstraps and harnesses, or naked. In many of the images, the pups – including Tank – are seen with enlarged testicles.

And when asked by one of their fans how big he intended his scrotum to become Tank replied: ‘Master will decide when enough is enough.’

Jack ‘Tank’ Chapman, left, who called himself a ‘pup’, posted a contract he shared with ‘master’ Dylan Hafertepen, right, to his now deactivated Tumblr account in December 2012
Jack ‘Tank’ Chapman, left, who called himself a ‘pup’, posted a contract he shared with ‘master’ Dylan Hafertepen, right, to his now deactivated Tumblr account in December 2012

Tank, right, is said to have started the silicone injections in 2014 on Dylan’s, left, command
Tank, right, is said to have started the silicone injections in 2014 on Dylan’s, left, command
Citing wrongful death, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and civil conspiracy, the Chapmans’ lawyer Joe Murphy said: ‘They robbed her of her right to be his mother.’

Murphy told The Daily Beast: ‘We filed this suit to bring some closure and resolution. One of the most important parts to her will be discovery. She wants to know what happened. Why was she never called?’

A former submissive of Dylan speaks out
A former submissive of Dylan, Kyle Kingsbury, told Daily Mail Australia while some of the contract is standard in a submissive/dominant relationship, he found other parts deeply concerning.

‘There are a few things I would say are unique to leather and dom play, which can look like abuse – like wearing a collar,’ he explained.

‘However, Jack told us that he felt Dylan was abusive towards him. Dylan isolated Jack from his support network, and he threatened Jack with a lawsuit if he talked about their relationship. These are not signs of a healthy leather relationship.

‘Some of Jack’s friends – people who spoke out against Dylan – were blocked from speaking with Jack.

‘Others received unusual apologies, insisting that Jack had spread malicious lies about Dylan and Dylan had done nothing wrong.

‘These things crossed a line for me.

‘At some level there has to be an escape hatch so you can exchange with someone truthfully and have your needs met, and you have to be able to engage with your peers for support or a reality check.’

Tank, a ‘pup’ and Dylan, the ‘master’, lived in a polyamorous relationship with the other men at the time of his death. The ‘pups’ agreed to follow Dylan’s orders, the suit alleges.

The men all lifted weights and would begin by injecting their penises and testicles with saline for a temporary change before moving on to illegal silicone implants.

The complaint alleges Dylan did not tell Linda or Ben that Tank had fallen ill or even when he died.

Dylan even continued to post online after his boyfriend’s death as if Tank were still alive, according to reports.

Tank, who changed his name from Jack Chapman to his pup name of Tank Heathcliff Hafertepen, also had ‘Property of Master Dylan’ tattooed under his ‘master’s’ astrological sign on his lower back.

He also emigrated from Australia to America and is said to have cut contact with his family under Dylan’s instruction.

Dylan flew from the US to Australia to deliver Jack’s ashes back to his family, in a dramatic meeting filmed by The Project.

In the episode Linda confronted Dylan asking: ‘What sort of person injects into their balls… what sort of person does that?

‘Someone who feels so badly about themselves, someone who was vulnerable, who just wanted your love at any cost … and the cost of his life.’

He posted a detailed contract with his ‘master’, which said his body was the ‘exclusive property’ of his partner.

Tank posted the 2,000-word contract he shared with Dylan to his now deactivated Tumblr account in December 2012.

In it, the pair agree Dylan has complete control over Tank’s body, and can order modifications such as tattoos, scrotal inflation and steroid use.

‘Master has explicit body goals for his pup regarding their weight, their muscle mass, their measurements and their proportions,’ the contract reads.

‘Additionally, a pup will submit to all orders for body modifications, including piercings, tattoos, scrotal saline inflation as well as body growth supplements including steroids and HGH – in accordance to the wishes of the Master.’

Other parts of the contract dictate: ‘Master’s word is law and must be trusted and obeyed’.

‘In an ideal mindset/subspace, Master’s word should overwrite a pup’s internal reality and be accepted as absolute truth.’

Dylan told Buzzfeed the agreement he posted online was a work of erotic fiction.

But when the two split Tank is said to have told friends Dylan ‘physical imprisoned’ him. And the complaint alleges Dylan even tried to sue Tank during one of their breaks claiming he owed him rent and money for silicone before the pair reconciled.

In an interview with International Pup Play in May 2017 Tank said people had expressed concerns about his relationship with Dylan.

‘I have had a few people that have expressed their concerns to me over the last couple of years,’ he said.

‘There are some people that have sort of expressed their concerns early on where they’ve expressed “Jack, or Tank, you are losing your sense of self and I am worried for you”.

‘And then you’ve got other people, which have had concerns themselves but have eventually sort of come around and think, “Well, I might not necessarily always understand the choices that you make but you’re happy and I can see that and that’s the most important thing”.’

The complaint alleges Dylan, left, did not tell Linda or Ben that Tank, right, had fallen ill or even when he died
The complaint alleges Dylan, left, did not tell Linda or Ben that Tank, right, had fallen ill or even when he died
A contract Tank posted to his blog included the lines: ‘A pup’s mind is the exclusive property of his master at all times.’ He posted a detailed contract with his ‘master’, which said his body was the ‘exclusive property’ of his partner
A contract Tank posted to his blog included the lines: ‘A pup’s mind is the exclusive property of his master at all times.’ He posted a detailed contract with his ‘master’, which said his body was the ‘exclusive property’ of his partner

The Chapmans also plan to sue Dylan and the ‘pups’ for the forced alteration of a will after $200,000 from Tank’s father was left to his ‘master’ in a will written just three weeks before his death.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7571227/Mother-man-28-died-injecting-scrotum-silicone-sues-five-boyfriends.html

Mass shooting : Chicago apartment shooting leaves 4 dead at dinner table, 1 critically wounded by neighbor, police say

A Chicago man with “anger management issues” killed four of his neighbors as they ate dinner and critically wounded another in a shooting Saturday at an apartment complex on the city’s Northwest Side, police said.

The suspect, whose identity has yet to be released, was known to the victims, Chicago police said. The man was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered at the scene.

AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH

The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. when the suspect, a 67-year-old retired construction worker, went into his second-floor neighbor’s apartment and killed a family of three men and a woman who were sitting at a table eating dinner, First Deputy Superintendent Anthony Riccio told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“For reasons we yet don’t know, he opened fire on all four of those individuals, killing them all,” Riccio said, adding the suspect had lived in the building for 15 years.

He then went to a unit one floor above and shot another woman, critically injuring her, police said. Chicago police initially said that five victims were dead but later clarified that one was in critical condition and undergoing surgery.

The victims were all adults, police said. Their identities have not been released.

Riccio said neighbors described the alleged gunman as having “anger management issues.” He said the man had a history of complaints from other residents but investigators “don’t know what set him off.”

It was unclear how the man entered the apartments, but police said there was no forced entry.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the shooting “devastating” and “unfathomable” in a statement on Twitter.

“We mourn the loss, honor the victims, and continue the hard but necessary work of keeping our neighborhoods safe, and taking guns out of the hands of those who are mentally infirm,” she said.

Christian School Administrator Suspended After Questioning New LGBT Agenda


OPINION (FW) – A 74-year-old school administrator has been suspended for questioning the introduction of a pride month and the adding of a plethora of LGBT books to the school library. Maureen Griffith, who had held the position of governor, a position similar to that of a school board member in the United States, at Alperton Community School in North London since the 1990s, raised questions after being provided with a booklet on staff plans to introduce reading lists for LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

Griffith shared her concerns at a Curriculum and Standards, highlighting that “parents had not been consulted” and assured that there would be “parents with children from religious backgrounds who would object and not want their children to have this form of sex education,” according to advocacy group Christian Concern. “As a parent myself, I would not have wanted my sons to be reading LGBT books or to be involved in an LGBT Pride month,” Griffith added. READ MORE