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giovedì 23 febbraio 2017

President Donald Trump said he wanted to rebuild the US nuclear arsenal to ensure it was at the “top of the pack,” and vowed that US atomic capabilities will not fall behind any other country, friend or foe. ....

US should expand nuclear arsenal - Trump to Reuters


President Donald Trump said he wanted to rebuild the US nuclear arsenal to ensure it was at the “top of the pack,” and vowed that US atomic capabilities will not fall behind any other country, friend or foe. 
"It would be wonderful, a dream would be that no country would have nukes, but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack," Trump said in an exclusive interview to Reuters on Thursday.
“We’re never going to fall behind any country, even if it’s a friendly country,” Trump said. “We’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.”
Trump said that Russia has deployed a new cruise missile in violation of a 1987 arms control treaty, and that he would bring up the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin if and when they meet.
“To me it's a big deal,” Trump said.
He described the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) agreement to limit US and Russian strategic nuclear arsenals as a “one-sided deal” and “just another bad deal” the US has made under previous administrations.
Trump also said he was “very angry” at North Korea's ballistic missile tests, and that deploying US missile defense systems in Japan and South Korea was among the options to counter Pyongyang’s behavior.
“There's talks of a lot more than that," Trump added. "We'll see what happens. But it's a very dangerous situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion.”
The US is currently implementing a 30-year program to modernize its aging nuclear arsenal, including bombers and land- and submarine-based ballistic missiles. Critics have pointed to the program’s $1 trillion price tag, saying the country cannot afford it, according to Reuters.
“The United States will not yield its supremacy in this area to anybody,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters, when asked to clarify the president’s comments. “Our goal is to make sure that we maintain America’s dominance around the world, and that if other countries flout it, we don’t sit back and allow them to grow theirs."

da "rt.com"

MONTENEGRO....... Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic has said he expects his country to become a full member of NATO at a summit in late May. Darmanovic told Reuters news agency on February 23 that he has received "100 percent" assurance he will get the necessary backing of the U.S. Senate for Montenegro's bid to join the Western alliance. ...

Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic: "It’s going to happen, 100 percent." 
Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic: "It’s going to happen, 100 percent." 


Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic has said he expects his country to become a full member of NATO at a summit in late May.
Darmanovic told Reuters news agency on February 23 that he has received "100 percent" assurance he will get the necessary backing of the U.S. Senate for Montenegro's bid to join the Western alliance. 
Some officials have expressed concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump might oppose Montenegro’s NATO accession because of his desire to improve relations with Russia, which opposes the alliance’s enlargement in the Balkans.
"We understand that President Trump wants to make some breakthroughs in relations with Russia, especially in combating terrorism, but we can see no signs about sacrificing the principal American national interests," he said in English.
Darmanovic, a former envoy to the United States from 2010-16, said Montenegro had received bipartisan assurances on NATO membership.
"It’s going to happen, 100 percent," he said.
NATO membership has become a hot topic in the former Yugoslav republic of 650,000 people.
Last week, officials in Podgorica said they had evidence Russian government entities had been involved in an alleged plot to overthrow the government on election day in October.
Montenegro in October arrested about 20 people -- including two Russian citizens -- suspected of aiding the plot.
Western officials have also said they suspect Russia's involvement in the alleged plot.
Many in Montenegro and in the West say the aim of the coup would have been to halt the country’s drive toward NATO membership.
Russia has denied the accusations.
Montenegro's parliament on February 15 voted to strip two opposition leaders of the pro-Russian Democratic Front of immunity over their suspected involvement.
Montenegro’s bid requires ratification from all 28 NATO members. 
Only the United States, Spain, Canada, and the Netherlands have yet to do so, but that is just because of procedural reasons, Darmanovic said.
Asked why Moscow would have backed the suspected October plot, Darmanovic told Reuters, "Not to have the whole Adriatic and Mediterranean under the NATO shield, but also maybe reshaping the geopolitics of the Western Balkans."
He added it was part of Moscow’s efforts to send a message to other countries in the region looking to join the European Union and NATO. 
"Full-fledged NATO membership will be for sure the game-changer for all the stakeholders," he said. "It is not the same if you live under Article 5 or not," Darmanovic said, referring to the NATO principle that an attack against one member is considered an attack against all.
With reporting by Reuters

The Russian president has, with stolid determination, taken advantage of the world's focus on the political upheaval in Europe and the United States to quietly advance his foreign-policy agenda. On January 29, after months of (relative) quiet in Ukraine, separatist forces backed by Russia launched a large attack against the city of Avdiyivka, just north of Donetsk airport in the country's east. At least four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a single day, and the entire Ukrainian military was put on alert across the front. Since then, increased fighting and heavy casualties has again shaken faith that a cease-fire, and a permanent peace, can be established......

Russian soldiers patrol the recaptured rebel stronghold of Aleppo in Syria.
Russian soldiers patrol the recaptured rebel stronghold of Aleppo in Syria.


The world is becoming ever more tumultuous. But amid the general storm one country can be relied upon to maintain a sanguine -- and sanguinary -- course: Vladimir Putin's Russia.
The Russian president has, with stolid determination, taken advantage of the world's focus on the political upheaval in Europe and the United States to quietly advance his foreign-policy agenda. On January 29, after months of (relative) quiet in Ukraine, separatist forces backed by Russia launched a large attack against the city of Avdiyivka, just north of Donetsk airport in the country's east. At least four Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a single day, and the entire Ukrainian military was put on alert across the front. Since then, increased fighting and heavy casualties has again shaken faith that a cease-fire, and a permanent peace, can be established.
Putin's main foreign-policy goal is clearly the destabilization of Ukraine -- and he continues to do so while barely provoking a squeak of protest from the international community. And it appears that foreign-policy goal No. 2, Russian interference in Syria, is escalating, too.
It was almost a year ago, following a series of defeats for Western-backed rebel groups in Syria, that Putin declared that "the objectives [that were] set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished" in Syria. He would, he further announced, be withdrawing the "main part" of the Russian expeditionary force that had been deployed to the country to prop up Moscow's client, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and to protect its naval facility at Tartus.
The vow to withdraw proved premature, as Russia actually increased its presence and ramped up its bombing of Syria's rebels and civilians alike with an almost gleeful abandonment. But, on December 29, 2016, coinciding with a Russian and Turkish-brokered cease-fire following the recapture of Aleppo, Putin again ordered Russian forces to leave the region. Again the time seemed ripe. Following the regime's recapture of the rebel stronghold of Aleppo and several other key victories it was clear that Assad would not be overthrown; the rebels would not win. For Moscow it was "Mission Accomplished."
The beginning of 2017 accordingly saw what appeared to be a genuine withdrawal from the Mediterranean of a naval group led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov. Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, announced that "in accordance with the decision of the supreme commander of the Russian armed forces, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Defense Ministry is beginning the reduction of the armed deployment to Syria."
However, right away there were signs that once again Russia was not pulling back from Syria. Shortly after that, two U.S. officials told Fox News that Russia had deployed four new fighter jets, the Su-25 (similar to the U.S. Air Force's A-10), which is used for close air support and has reinforced armor to protect them from ground fire.
Russian air strikes, it seems, are not going to be stopping any time soon.
Permanent Stalemate
The escalation is not particularly large but it is significant. As Jonathan Spyer, director of the Rubin Center for Research on International Affairs who has reported extensively from Syria and Iraq, tells RFE/RL: "Russia is there to defend the Assad regime and ensure its continuation, and it can be expected to ensure sufficient forces to achieve this goal. Russia's presence ensures that rebel victory is no longer a possibility in the Syrian war. At the same time, Russia's end goal may well not be the forcible reunification of the entire country by Assad/Iran, but rather a semi-frozen conflict in which the regime survives."
A semi-frozen conflict -- words that echo in both Syria and Ukraine.
Any idea that Assad could regain all of Syria is absurd to the point of fantasy. But this bothers his backers Iran and Russia not one whit. Both would be happy to see a loose, truncated "Assadistan" that secures Iran's land bridge to Hizballah in Lebanon, through which it can better fight Israel by proxy for geopolitical mastery of the Middle East. Russia, meanwhile, will be satisfied with securing its naval facility and proving to the world and its own people that it can protect its client; that it is the only superpower capable of winning wars in the Middle East; and that it alone is "fighting terrorism," while positioning itself as the primary peace broker. The message will be heard, as unequivocal as it is loud: Moscow is a global player once more.
The narrative does not need to be true. Because of course Russia's stated aim -- that it entered the Syrian conflict to fight jihadism, notably in its most virulent manifestation, the Islamic State (IS) group, is largely a lie. The "global war" on jihadism is perhaps the great military trope of our age. And it is both a trope that withstands scrutiny and a war that needs fighting -- unyieldingly and relentlessly. It also, however, provides the perfect cloak for a state with imperial ambitions within which to envelope itself.
As Spyer further notes, Russia has done little to fight IS. Indeed, most of its efforts have been directed against more mainstream Syrian rebel groups fighting Assad. The primary ground partners of the Western coalition in the war against IS are the Syrian Defense Forces, which is essentially an offshoot of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), plus a few others. In truth, neither the Russians, nor Assad, nor the Iranians, nor their Sunni rebel enemies are majorly involved in the war on terror in Syria.
A 'Superpower' Returns
Nonetheless, Russia's strongman will brag about how he was able to bring disparate groups to the negotiating table to seek a permanent peace. A deal will be (or has already been) cut between Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government, and perhaps even the Trump administration in the United States. In Ukraine, Russia brags that it has pushed for a diplomatic solution to that crisis through the Minsk peace process. Even if Russia were to find permanent diplomatic solutions, either in eastern Ukraine or in the Middle East, it would be only finding solutions to problems it played a leading role in creating.
With a declining economy and a population in desperate need of placation, Russia's global ambitions will almost certainly grow unchecked for the foreseeable future. Yet as the geopolitical wheels turn it is highly likely that Russia may see improved relations with the United States and several major European powers, a reward for "fixing" these crises. This is bad news for global stability and for the liberal, Western system that has largely upheld the international order since World War II, as it only encourages Russia's crimes.
But most immediately it is bad news for the people of Syria, whose suffering seems set to continue. For them, the only foreseeable future is one of more misery -- and more death.
David Patrikarakos is a contributing editor at The Daily Beast and the author of Nuclear Iran: The Birth Of An Atomic State. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Guardian, Politico, Foreign Policy, The Spectator, The New Republic, The New Statesman, and many others.
The views expressed in this blog post do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

KYIV -- It seems that peace plans for Ukraine are everywhere these days. Amid a recent surge in violence in eastern Ukraine and yet another failed cease-fire in the nearly 3-year-old conflict are a wave of new proposals to bring peace to the crisis-stricken nation -- and from some unexpected places. The Ukrainian Army has battled against Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region since 2014, with more than 9,750 people killed and more than 1.8 million displaced in that time, according to the United Nations......

A pockmarked street in Donetsk following fighting between the Ukrainian Army and Russia-backed separatists earlier this month.
A pockmarked street in Donetsk following fighting between the Ukrainian Army and Russia-backed separatists earlier this month.


KYIV -- It seems that peace plans for Ukraine are everywhere these days. 
Amid a recent surge in violence in eastern Ukraine and yet another failed cease-fire in the nearly 3-year-old conflict are a wave of new proposals to bring peace to the crisis-stricken nation -- and from some unexpected places.
The Ukrainian Army has battled against Russia-backed separatists in the eastern Donbas region since 2014, with more than 9,750 people killed and more than 1.8 million displaced in that time, according to the United Nations.
More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers, separatists, and civilians have been killed in an uptick in fighting just since January.
The hostilities have continued despite an official peace deal known collectively as the Minsk agreements, the first of which was agreed in September 2014, followed by the second -- a reaffirmation -- in February 2015 by Ukraine, Russia, as well as the Moscow-backed separatists.
But the Minsk agreements have become unpopular and seem impervious to being implemented, leading to frustration and perhaps the flurry of new peace proposals.
Each new plan -- made by a mix of known politicians and shadowy operatives -- has sparked fierce debate in Kyiv political circles and among the Ukrainian public.
And the suspected motivations behind the peace offerings run the gamut, from personal ambition to a Kremlin plot to destroy Ukraine.
Relatives and friends react during the funeral ceremony in Kyiv for Ukrainian soldier Leonid Dergach, who was killed in renewed fighting near Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine in early February.
Relatives and friends react during the funeral ceremony in Kyiv for Ukrainian soldier Leonid Dergach, who was killed in renewed fighting near Avdiyivka in eastern Ukraine in early February.
Balazs Jarabik, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told RFE/RL that he thinks the main reason for the peace plans seems to be to weaken Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who remains in limbo between the increasingly disparaged Minsk agreements and "victory."
"Minsk is unpopular, peace is not. People are fed up with the war and the corruption [among government officials]," Jarabik said.
Some of the peace plans share similarities, while ideas in others seem to come from left field. Many of the news ones are far-fetched or wholly unacceptable to either Kyiv or Moscow.
In brief and collectively, they include:
-- Ukraine leasing the Russian-annexed Crimea to Moscow long-term, followed by a referendum to decide the Black Sea peninsula’s fate once and for all;
-- Temporarily setting aside the dispute over Crimea and Kyiv’s continued integration with the European Union and flirtation with NATO membership to focus on stopping the conflict in the east;
-- Reinstating elected officials from 2010 -- the last time nationwide elections included areas under the control of separatists -- and bringing in UN peacekeepers;
-- Allowing separatist leaders from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to be included in Minsk negotiations with Ukrainian officials and reserving the option to hold a referendum on the status of the Donbas if Kyiv doesn’t fulfill its part of the Minsk deal;
-- Bringing back Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s ousted ex-president living in self-imposed exile in Russia since 2014, to head a pro-Russian eastern region with more autonomy.
Here's a closer look at each of the plans:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and French President Francois Hollande address the media after taking part in peace talks on resolving the Ukrainian crisis in Minsk on February 12, 2015.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) and French President Francois Hollande address the media after taking part in peace talks on resolving the Ukrainian crisis in Minsk on February 12, 2015.
The Minsk Agreements 
The Minsk agreements offer a detailed, 13-point road map for settling the conflict. It begins with a cease-fire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front line, which is currently monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
After that is an all-for-all prisoner exchange, followed by local elections and an amnesty for fighters who haven’t committed heinous crimes. The sides are then to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and work toward the socioeconomic reintegration into Ukraine of the separatist-held territories.
Ukraine must also change its constitution to allow for the "decentralization" of its regions. In exchange, all "foreign-armed formations" -- for Ukraine, this means the Russian Army -- should leave and relinquish control of the border to Kyiv.
But these agreements were hashed out while Ukraine’s military was on its heels, forcing Kyiv to make several concessions. The Minsk agreements have also become unpopular because they have so far failed to bring a lasting peace.
The Kilimnik Plan
The most recent of the new peace plans came from Ukrainian-Russian political operative Konstantin Kilimnik, the one-time assistant in Kyiv to U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
Calling his plan the Mariupol Plan after the southeastern Ukrainian city that is the largest in the Donetsk region controlled by the government and which sits smack against the front line -- Kilimnik envisages it replacing the current Minsk agreements and Normandy format talks between Ukraine, Russia, Germany, and France.
Despite his connection to Manafort, who lived in Ukraine and worked as an adviser to Yanukovych for years, Kilimnik emphasized that the American strategist has had no part in this plan, which he says remains fluid.
The plan, he said, was raised by "many people who are willing to start [a] dialogue" between eastern Ukraine and the rest of the country "and this should be one of the roles of the Opposition Bloc and other opposition parties, which understand the necessity of bringing Donbas back into Ukraine." The Opposition Bloc is the revamped, pro-Moscow political faction once called the Party of Regions and led by Yanukovych.
Right now, there is no dialogue between Ukraine and the leaders of the separatist-held areas, Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Ihor Plotnitsky. Kyiv considers them "terrorists" and Kilimnik said they "have blood on their hands, [so] it will be very difficult for Poroshenko and others to negotiate with them."
However, "in theory, a figure representing Donbas, such as Yanukovych or someone else who has at least not killed people and can stop the war and fix the local economy, might be an option," Kilimnik explained.
Many Ukrainians, though, believe the former president’s hands are dripping with blood as they hold him responsible for the deaths of more than 100 protesters shot by riot police during the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv in 2014. Ukraine has charged Yanukovych with treason -- an allegation he denies.
Peace in Ukraine "is up for Ukrainians to figure out, and the only way to proceed is a national consensus and dialogue," Kilimnik said.
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych gestures as he answers journalists' questions during a press conference in Moscow on February 21.
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych gestures as he answers journalists' questions during a press conference in Moscow on February 21.
The Yanukovych Plan
Yanukovych, in an interview with a group of Western reporters on February 21, shared his own 10-page proposal, which he said he has sent to Trump and the leaders of Russia, Germany, France, and Poland, according to The Wall Street Journal and Der Spiegel.
Der Spiegel said the plan has six points leading to a resolution of the conflict.
"Four relate to the 'investigation into the crimes committed on the Maidan in February 2014,' for which he proposes a special commission to be established by the Council for Europe," the German news outlet reported. 
Yanukovych also called for the separatist leaders in Donetsk and Luhansk to be included in negotiations with Ukrainian officials. The sixth point outlines a plan for a referendum to be held on the status of the Donbas if Kyiv doesn’t fulfill its part of the Minsk deal.
The plan by Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Artemenko is the most detailed and reportedly was approved by top Putin aides, a claim denied by the Kremlin.
The plan by Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Artemenko is the most detailed and reportedly was approved by top Putin aides, a claim denied by the Kremlin.
The Artemenko Plan
Another peace plan has caused a scandal in Washington and Kyiv.
This one, proposed by Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Artemenko, is the most detailed and is believed to have landed on the desk of Michael Flynn, who resigned as U.S. national security adviser on February 13 after alleged misleading statements about conversations with the Russian ambassador in Washington in December.
The New York Times, which broke the story about the plan, cited Artemenko as saying it had been approved by top aides of Putin -- but the Kremlin on February 20 quickly denied any such tacit approval.
The plan calls for a "compromise," such as holding a national referendum on leasing Crimea to Russia. Artemenko told The New York Times the lease should be for a period of 50 to 100 years, but he told the Strana.com news site the plan suggests a lease for 30 to 50 years.
"At the expiration of this period, in Crimea, a referendum will then be held and monitored by international bodies, on which finally the question of the peninsula may be solved," Artemenko told Strana.
Artemnko’s plan calls for the return of territories controlled by Russia-backed separatists to Ukraine and an amnesty to all involved on the separatist side "except those who have committed the most serious crimes."
He said control of the Ukrainian side of the border with Russia must be returned to Kyiv, but not before a safe corridor is provided for 72 hours for those who would prefer to live in Russia.
After that, Artemenko said, the plan calls for a nationwide referendum on whether to grant the eastern regions special autonomous status. If approved, the next step would be to begin revitalizing the regions with funds from the lease agreement with Russia.
Once all of that is done, he said, then sanctions against Russia could be lifted.
Both Ukraine and Russia rejected the conditions in this deal and Crimean prosecutors even opened a "treason" case against Artemenko over the issue.
Since the revelation and the inquiry, Artemenko has denied ever passing such a plan to Trump officials and threatened to sue The New York Times in New York for libel. 
Serhiy Taruta has proposed his "three principles" plan.
Serhiy Taruta has proposed his "three principles" plan.
The Taruta Plan
Serhiy Taruta, the Ukrainian billionaire industrialist and former governor of Donetsk, proposed at the end of January his "three principles" plan to restore legitimacy, security, and trust.
It calls for reinstating the last legitimately elected Donbas officials from 2010 and appealing to the international community to recognize them. A UN peacekeeping contingent would keep the region secure while those officials work to reintegrate it with greater Ukraine.
The plan has largely been ignored by the greater Ukrainian public, but Taruta continued to push it during the Munich Security Conference last week.
Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk used an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal to put his plan forward.
Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk used an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal to put his plan forward.
The Pinchuk Plan
Billionaire oligarch Viktor Pinchuk caused a stir in Kyiv when he proposed a plan in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in late December.
Headlined Ukraine Must Make Painful Compromises For Peace With Russia, the plan laid out in the paper suggested that Kyiv set aside the issue of Crimea and hopes of European Union and perhaps even NATO membership in exchange for peace in the Donbas.
"We should also make clear that we are ready to accept an incremental rollback of sanctions on Russia as we move toward a solution for a free, united, peaceful, and secure Ukraine," Pinchuk wrote. "The Ukrainian lives that will be saved are worth the painful compromises I have proposed."
Mustafa Nayyem, a lawmaker and vocal critic of the proposal, said in doing this that "we will not save thousands of lives, but with our support and recognition, doom millions of people to legalized slavery."
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the Minsk agreements are the only way forward.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says the Minsk agreements are the only way forward.
Kyiv’s Stance
Ukrainian President Poroshenko and top officials have thus far been resistant to or else have condemned each of the proposed plans, saying the Minsk agreements are the only pathway to peace for the country. Western leaders have thus far agreed.
Against this backdrop of confusion, analyst Jarabik suggested, Ukraine risks becoming even more unstable.
"All these internal struggles will weaken Ukrainian unity and may lead to [early] elections, but the fault lines will not go away," he said.


di Christopher Miller per "Radio Free Liberty"

In Pakistan, a country where journalists are often the targets of threats and deadly attacks and have little protection from authorities, many reporters are left to fend for themselves. Now, Pakistani journalists are banding together and establishing so-called "safety hubs" where reporters can formally document cases of intimidation and physical abuse. The hubs, located in press clubs in all four provincial capitals, will then take up the cases with authorities. .....

People attend the funeral of Pakistani journalist Imran Sheikh, who was killed in Quetta in 2013. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.
People attend the funeral of Pakistani journalist Imran Sheikh, who was killed in Quetta in 2013. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.


In Pakistan, a country where journalists are often the targets of threats and deadly attacks and have little protection from authorities, many reporters are left to fend for themselves.
Now, Pakistani journalists are banding together and establishing so-called "safety hubs" where reporters can formally document cases of intimidation and physical abuse. The hubs, located in press clubs in all four provincial capitals, will then take up the cases with authorities. 
The initiative is part of an effort to highlight attacks on the media in a bid to spur authorities to protect Pakistan's estimated 18,000 journalists, many of whom face threats and violence from militant groups, criminal gangs, and even the country's own military and intelligence agencies. 
Gohar Ali, the head of the safety hub project in the volatile northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjoining lawless tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan, says they have reported more than a dozen cases of threats since the project was rolled out in January. 
'Fear More Trouble'
A large banner is plastered on the Peshawar Press Club, a two-story brick building opposite the railway station in the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The sign urges journalists facing threats and violence to come forward.
But Ali says many journalists are still afraid to report threats and violence, fearing a backlash from militants, criminals, and intelligence agents in the region. 
"The major problem is that many journalists do not mention the threat because they fear more trouble," Ali said. "This is especially the case with journalists from the tribal areas who are facing many threats."
Ali says there have been many cases where journalists have shared their concerns, but have refrained from formally documenting their complaints. 
Dilawar Wazir, a BBC reporter in Peshawar, moved with his family from the Waziristan region in the tribal areas due to persistent threats. 
A Pakistani journalist holds a poster with a photo of a news cameraman killed in a suicide bombing in August 2016.
A Pakistani journalist holds a poster with a photo of a news cameraman killed in a suicide bombing in August 2016.
The region, many parts of which are off-limits to reporters, is a hotbed for militant groups and the scene of sporadic military operations. 
"The majority of journalists have moved with their families from Waziristan because of threats and fear," says Wazir. "The homes of many journalists have been attacked in the past. They were physically attacked or their family members were threatened."
Apart from recording cases, the safety hubs also offer legal advice for journalists facing prosecution for their reporting and even provide financial assistance to the families of reporters who have been killed in the line of duty.
The project is managed by International Media Support, a development organization that works with local media in conflict areas. 
The project comes a year after journalists formed a group called Editors For Safety, vowing to report on and highlight attacks on the press in an attempt to spur the authorities and their own employers into action. 
Culture Of Impunity
Pakistan has long been among the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, with 102 reporters and media workers having lost their lives since 2005, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). The organization adds that, since 2010, 73 journalists and media workers in Pakistan have been killed: almost one journalist killed every month. 
Most of those killed were local journalists reporting on war, politics, corruption, and human rights.
In a 2016 report on Pakistan, which ranks 147th out of 179 countries on Reporters Without Borders' World Press Freedom Index, the IFJ said that an "atmosphere of lawlessness" in the country, aided by "widespread impunity," has "not only contributed to more attacks on journalists but also forced the journalists to self-censor."
"In many of the cases, there were reports suspecting Pakistan's intelligence services' involvement but the government has failed to investigate these cases and punish the murderers. With only three verdicts and one case in the court in more than 100 killings since 2005, impunity in Pakistan is at its worst."
In August, DawnNews cameraman Mahmood Khan and Aaj TV cameraman Shehzad Ahmed died at Quetta Civil Hospital when a bomb killed at least 70 people -- many of them lawyers -- among a crowd that was grieving the assassination of the head of Balochistan's Bar Association.
There have been dozens of high-profile cases of journalists targeted in Pakistan in the past decade, including U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, who was slain after his abduction in the port city of Karachi in 2002; Salem Shahzad, who was found dead in the capital Islamabad in 2011 after reporting on the infiltration of militant groups in the army; and Hamid Mir, one of Pakistan's most prominent reporters, who survived an attack on his life in Karachi in 2014.
Written by Frud Bezhan, based on reporting by RFE/RL Radio Mashaal correspondent Zaland Yousufzai

“ERAVAMO ARRIVATI ANCHE AL PCI, POI L'INCHIESTA E' STATA FERMATA DA SERVIZI SEGRETI DEVIATI” - DI PIETRO DA’ LA SUA VERSIONE SU MANI PULITE: “IL COPASIR DICE CHE L’INCHIESTA È STATA FERMATA DA UNA OPERAZIONE DEI SERVIZI SU ORDINE DI ALTISSIME CARICHE DELLO STATO. CRAXI E’ STATO CONDANNATO PERCHE’...”




 
antonio di pietro magistratoANTONIO DI PIETRO MAGISTRATO

Antonio Di Pietro è intervenuto questa mattina ai microfoni di Radio Cusano Campus, l'emittente dell'Università degli Studi Niccolò Cusano, nel corso di ECG, format condotto da Roberto Arduini e Andrea Di Ciancio.

L'ex magistrato ha detto la sua sulla questione 'stadio della Roma': "Voglio bene a Beppe Grillo e agli amici del Movimento Cinque Stelle, ma non si può volere tutto e organizzarsi per ottenere nulla. La possibilità di fare lo stadio c'è, dire che bisogna farlo da un'altra parte non c'azzecca niente. Per la prima volta esprimo delle riserve sugli amici del Movimento Cinque Stelle".
tribunale di milano mani puliteTRIBUNALE DI MILANO MANI PULITE

Su Michele Emiliano: "L'ho conosciuto da magistrato, eravamo magistrati insieme, quando l'ho conosciuto era un centravanti di sfondamento, adesso invece si è messo a fare il mediano, capisci a me. La sua è stata una scelta di opportunità,  ora mia ha creato un problema in più, ora chi devo votare? Io Emiliano sul piano personale lo voterei, poi bisogna vedere con chi si sposa...Di Emiliano tutto si può dire meno che sia uno stupido, per lui è un momento delicato, devo ancora capire se il suo è stato un atto di opportunità o di opportunismo. Senza di lui comunque la minoranza dem che se ne è andata si è sgonfiata. Lui rappresenta un personaggio importante, un'innovazione".
tangentopoliTANGENTOPOLI

Su D'Alema: "Lui conosce bene la politica, sa la politica come io so come coltivare un campo di grano. Ma nella vita arriva un momento in cui bisogna pensare a mettersi da parte, e il discorso vale anche per Berlusconi. Dovrebbe godersi quel poco o tanto che gli rimane in serenità. Hanno lasciato pure Garibaldi e Craxi, possono lasciare anche Berlusconi e D'Alema".

Su Renzi in California: "E' andato in vacanza, a farsi un po' di riposo meritato, ma dove volete che sia andato? E' andato a farsi una passeggiata con la moglie, ci sta, ma dare una valenza politica a quella che è una scampagnata mi pare un po' esagerato".

mani puliteMANI PULITE 
Su Mani Pulite, Di Pietro smentisce chi dice che non si sia voluta fare chiarezza sul PCI: "Tangentopoli si fermò davanti al Partito Comunista? Chiacchiere di chi non ci vuole stare. A parte che tangentopoli c'è ancora oggi, non si è mai fermata. E' l'inchiesta di mani pulite che si è fermata, e il perché lo spiega il Copasir, che dice che mani pulite è stata fermata da una operazione di delegittimazione portata avanti da sezioni deviate dei servizi segreti su ordine di altissime cariche dello Stato. Noi siamo arrivati fino ai segretari amministrativi di tutti i partiti e in alcuni casi anche ai segretari politici.
il pool di mani puliteIL POOL DI MANI PULITE 

Craxi non è che è stato condannato perché poteva non sapere, è stato condannato perché ha confessato e poi perchè gli abbiamo trovato dei conti in Svizzera che facevano capo a un suo amico d'infanzia che nulla aveva a che vedere col partito. Per quanto riguarda il Partito Comunista siamo arrivati a entrambi i segretari amministrativi che si erano succeduti nel tempo, Pollini e Stefanini. Poi uno è morto e l'altro è stato condannato. Craxi non è stato condannato perché non poteva non sapere, Craxi è stato condannato perché ha confessato".

di pietro colombo davigoDI PIETRO COLOMBO DAVIGO
Ancora su Mani Pulite: "Due pentiti di mafia hanno detto che io dovevo essere fatto fuori. Ma mi è andata bene, mi hanno solo delegittimato. E' una lunga storia, questa...". Sulla Pedemontana: "Si deve fare, è un'opera partita col piede sbagliato ma stiamo cercando di aggiustarla. Io do disposizione di spendere un euro solo quando ce l'ho in tasca, non intendo indebitare nessuno. Io comunque in questa carica non posso restare, tra marzo e aprile penso di lasciare, sono obbligato dalla legge a farlo".


A La Zanzara su Radio 24 parlando della scissione nel Pd. “Renzi – dice Pennacchi - è un arrogante, ma sbagliano i compagni che se ne vanno perché al primo posto viene il Paese e il partito. Non si discute, lo diceva pure Togliatti. La scissione non serve al Paese, alla sinistra e a quel poco che resta della classe operaia”. “Renzi – continua - è uno di sinistra. E’ arrogante, stronzo, ha una concezione totalitaria del potere e del partito, qui comando io e tutti sotto, è un bullo fiorentino. Se lo avessi incontrato da giovane lo avrei gonfiato di botte. Ma chi dice che è di destra sbaglia, è un alibi”. Ed Emiliano?: “Fatemi stare zitto. Sono una persona perbene, non voglio riempirlo di parolacce.....




PENNACCHIPENNACCHI

“Sono addolorato e  disperato, da giorni non riesco a scrivere. Lo dico seriamente, non scherzo. E’ la mia storia, vengo dalla classe operaia. La scissione è una cosa che mi addolora”.

Lo dice lo scrittore Antonio Pennacchi a La Zanzara su Radio 24 parlando della scissione nel Pd. “Renzi – dice Pennacchi - è un arrogante,  ma sbagliano i compagni che se ne vanno perché al primo posto viene il Paese e il partito. Non si discute, lo diceva pure Togliatti. La scissione non serve al Paese, alla sinistra e a quel poco che resta della classe operaia”. “Renzi – continua - è uno di sinistra.

RENZI PDRENZI PD
E’ arrogante, stronzo, ha una concezione totalitaria del potere e del partito, qui comando io e tutti sotto, è un bullo fiorentino. Se lo avessi incontrato da giovane lo avrei gonfiato di botte. Ma chi dice che è di destra sbaglia, è un alibi”. Ed Emiliano?: “Fatemi stare zitto. Sono una persona perbene, non voglio riempirlo di parolacce. E poi se sei di sinistra devi essere a favore del progresso tecnologico e delle trivelle”.

“Bersani? Un compagno che sbaglia – aggiunge Pennacchi – invece per la segreteria voterò per Orlando, uno che unisce e non divide”. “Non mi iscriverei mai al movimento di Rossi, Bersani e Speranza – dice ancora – perché non c’è bisogno di piccoli partiti. La scissione non serve, bisogna stare dentro il Pd”. “Grillo? Ma andasse affanculo…”, chiude Pennacchi. 
BERSANIBERSANI