Purchase of Russian S-400 system creates incompatibility issues for Turkey’s use of F-35

Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said earlier this week that Ankara had completed the purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missiles. “It is finished, the S-400 missiles have been bought. The rest is just details now,” he said in televised comments, as quoted by Reuters.

The purchase is a major concern for the US, according to Heidi Grant, the deputy undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs. Such concern comes as Turkey awaits the delivery of its first F-35s in 2018.

Defense News reported that analysts have expressed worry that Turkey operating both the F-35 and the S-400 could compromise the security of the F-35s, as the data collected by the S-400 may expose the F-35’s vulnerabilities.

Grant seemed to agree with that logic during an interview with the news outlet on Wednesday, which was given from the Dubai Air Show. “It’s a significant concern, not only to the United States, because we need to protect this high-end technology, fifth-generation technology” but for “all of our partners and allies that have already purchased the F-35,” she said.

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Traits of bad leaders and how not to acquire them

It’s great to read books and articles about what the great leaders do so that we can model ourselves on the best, and I highly recommend that.

However, it’s also worthwhile taking the time to understand what bad leaders do so that we can learn what to avoid which can be just as helpful.

Over my 25 years in leadership, here are some of the habits of unsuccessful and ineffectual leaders that I have seen, and in some cases, their justification for having them.

These are habits best avoided, if possible!

1. Believe they have all the answers

They know that the reason that they have been put in charge is that they are smarter and better than everyone else. So when it comes to deciding strategy, solving problems, or resolving issues, there is no need, or point in involving anyone else.

2. React, don’t respond

Driven by their emotions, they react quickly to situations without worrying about facts or the repercussions of their actions.

They can always show good emotional intelligence by apologizing later.

Bad leaders like to gamble and take big risks.William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

3. Take big risks, the bigger the better

They like to gamble and take big risks.  Believing in the adage “Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained” and that Smart Risk taking is for wimps.

When I questioned a decision that one boss was taking his response was, “That’s not your concern, I get paid big bucks to take the big risks and make the tough calls.”

Personally, I thought he got paid the big bucks to take the right risks and to be successful, but what did I know.

4. Believe that talking about it and doing it are the same thing

I always remember the first boss I worked for, when the CEO asked him how it was going, he said: “It’s going great, we have been discussing the problem for two days now.” The only problem was, that was two days that the business couldn’t operate, and we were no closer to finding a solution.

5. Focus on blame not solutions

It’s better to know whose fault it is so that we can fire them and make sure this doesn’t happen again.

There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance.Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

6. Believe their own PR

There is a big difference between confidence and arrogance; the former helps build trust in the leader, the latter destroys it.  As soon as you start to believe your own PR, then you are leaning more towards arrogance and starting down a path that is going to end in tears.

7. Don’t waste valuable time on planning and preparation

Sometimes you just have to dive and get it done. Don’t worry about what’s involved, or whether you’re focused on the symptom or root cause, just do it.  My favorite comment was, “we can afford to spend time and money on planning; we just need to get started.”

Which was interesting because we found the time and money to do it again correctly, after that first attempt failed badly.

8. Hire people beneath them

As a leader, it is critical that you are the most skillful and knowledgeable member of the team, that way everyone can focus on their job rather than working out how they could replace you.

I worked at one company where the boss told me that he liked to recruit from the bottom quartile because it kept the costs down. He then added, “the only problem with that was the results sucked.”

Ineffective leaders believe that a lot of short-term success will lead to long-term success.Matt Cardy/Getty Images

9. Focusing on instant success

It’s all about results, and if we find that they are not coming, then we need to move quickly on to another topic.

They believe that a lot of short-term success will lead to long-term success

10. Focus on the big picture, not the details

Don’t worry about the details, focus on the big picture, as that will keep you motivated. We all know the devil is in the details, but that could lead to concerns, a lack of belief and even worse, de-motivation.

11. Focus on weaknesses not strengths

As leaders we cannot have or show any weaknesses, so we need to work on eliminating them, or failing that, hiding them.

Stubbornness and determination are not the same.Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

12. Confuse stubbornness with determination

“Winners never quit, and quitters never win” is a great approach to achieving results.

However you’re bordering on stubbornness if your approach is failing but you refuse to change it.

13. Doesn’t play well with others

It’s hard to play well with others when you adapt a command and control approach to leadership. People like to be led not managed.

14. Think praise is for wimps

It’s ok to praise people once we have achieved success, but praising people just to keep them happy is not a good approach to building a strong, resilient team. We’ve got to be mean to keep them keen, and praising people too often makes a team soft.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

15. Take, don’t give

The more we take, the more we have, that’s how winners are made.

It’s a dog eat dog world, and we have to fight for our share.

16. Quick to criticize

If you want people to improve, you need to point out their mistakes quickly and clearly. It’s also best to do this publicly so that others can learn too.

17. Easily distracted

Never content with their current goals, they are constantly looking for the next big thing that the get involved in. I think the reason for this is that it’s much easier to start something new than to finish something important.

18. Make excuses

There are a million and one reasons why things don’t work out as planned, so it’s not always our fault, and we need to remember that so don’t become too de-motivated.

One boss told me never ever accept responsibility, as it could be career limiting, and to always have someone ready to blame or a good excuse handy.

19. Love to micro manage

It’s hard to trust everyone, so by micro-managing your staff, you can keep a close eye on things, and look to offer advice or step in if things start to go wrong.

20. Practice inconsistently

It’s great to be inconsistent because it keeps your team guessing, which in turn keeps them on their toes.  Predictability, on the other hand, can lead to complacency.

 

Read the original article on Inc.. Copyright 2016

Russian Blackjack returns

Russia unveils newly built Tu-160 supersonic strategic bomber
A newly built Tupolev Tu-160 long-range heavy strategic bomber – the first one since 1992 – was rolled out of the hangar as Russia resumes production of the world’s largest operational bomber that NATO designates as Blackjack.
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The new Tu-160, which is nicknamed White Swan in Russia, was revealed at the Kazan Aviation Factory, a branch of Moscow-based Tupolev Design Bureau, on Thursday. The aircraft was built, using parts stored since Soviet times, to establish if the factory was capable of resuming serial production of the legendary bombers.

The bomber will now undergo testing on the ground, before taking to the skies in February 2018. The serial production of Tu-160s, which remained stalled since 1992, will resume after the aircraft proves that it matches the assigned criteria, Major-General Sergey Kobylash, the chief of Russia’s Long-Range Aviation, told RIA-Novosti.

Russia’s military announced the decision to resume production of the Tu-160s in modernized Tu-160M2 variation back in 2015. The serial production of the bombers is likely to begin in early 2020s, with the Defense Ministry planning to purchase at least 50 aircraft. The modernized planes will get new improved engines, also seeing analog onboard equipment replaced with digital hardware.

“All the Tu-160 planes currently in service with the Russian Air Force will be fully modernized. Taking into account the pace of reproduction and the level of modern technology, I assume that it’s going to happen in the coming years,” Kobylash said.

Blackjack is largest combat aircraft in the world, with maximum takeoff weight of about 275 tons. It can cover a distance of more than 12,000 kilometers without refueling. The record distance it covered during one flight was 18,000 kilometers, spending more than 24 hours in the air. The bomber is equipped with variable-sweep wings, which it wedges against the fuselage when switching to supersonic speed.

READ MORE: Tycoons want to convert Russian strategic bomber into a supersonic business jet

The Tu-160 and other long-range aircraft resumed patrol flights over the Pacific and Atlantic in 2007. The bombers also proved their effectiveness during Russia’s air campaign in Syria as they took off from airfields in Russia to strike terrorist targets.

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‘Israel shouldn’t go into war with Lebanon, as we will surely win’ – Lebanese FM

Lebanon has capabilities to counter “any threat,” but only wants peace and stability in the region, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has told RT in an interview. He warned that any potential aggressor state would suffer consequences, which could reach as far as Europe.
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The Middle Eastern country has always chosen to “maintain constructive and sound policies” with its neighbors and other states in the Arab world, but this hasn’t prevented “hostile actions” against Lebanon, Bassil told RT in an exclusive interview Friday. Citing the current crisis triggered by the “unexpected” resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announced from Saudi Arabia, the official said it is a “good example [showing that] virtually anyone can start a war against us.”

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Former Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri. © Mohamed Azakir

“We are ready to act in case of such developments, but we are trying to do everything we can to prevent this from happening and to maintain a good relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Bassil said, adding Beirut would “stick to” its peaceful and diplomatic approach “unless forced to defend ourselves.” While Lebanon is against any interference in its internal affairs, it also “does not approve of any attacks by its citizens against Saudi Arabia,” he said.

However, the current situation appears to involve far more players, the foreign minister said, having mentioned Israel and the US in particular. “We should not be provoking Israel into a war simply because it is likely to lose it. We should restrain Israel from starting a war exactly because Lebanon is sure to win it,” he claimed.

READ MORE: Will Saudi’s gamble in Lebanon with Hariri lead to war between Israel and Hezbollah?

“Any country can take action against Hezbollah like the US does, even though the leader of Hezbollah has said repeatedly: ‘If you want to fight us, you can fight us, but leave Lebanon alone. We don’t want Lebanon to suffer because of us.’ We think if they target us, they will punish all the people of Lebanon, and those who dare do this will also face consequences. There will be consequences for the whole region, for Europe.”

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© Global Look Press

Earlier this week, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the chief of staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, has said he believes the current escalation in the region “is Iranian provocation.” He said that while Israel had no intention of launching an attack on Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement allied with Tehran, it was ready to share intelligence on Iran with Riyadh. “There is an opportunity for a new international alliance in the region and a major strategic plan to stop the Iranian threat,” said in an unprecedented interview with a Saudi newspaper. Tel Aviv and Riyadh do not officially have diplomatic ties with each another.

READ MORE: Lebanon suffers intimidation attempts to cancel gas deal with Russia – Lebanese FM

During his official visit to Moscow on Friday, Bassil said that there is currently an anti-Lebanon campaign in the Middle East. “Some countries are trying to use certain forces to remove the head of Lebanon,” he claimed, without specifying which ones. In his interview with RT, Bassil said that what the whole world is witnessing today in the region is “yet another attempt to create hotbeds of chaos and instability, which in turn lead to terrorism.”

“Even if Lebanon is a likely winner in a war, it does not mean it wants to fight,” he said, but pointed out he found it unlikely that the conflict would turn into a hot one. “I doubt that it will come to it because the party that starts such a war will have to deal with consequences.”

Quarter-life crisis? You’re not alone

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According to a LinkedIn research, 75% of 25-33 year olds have experienced a quarter-life crisis, often related to feeling as if they were at a crossroads in their career. Women and men alike have experienced it (73% vs. 76%, respectively), with 85% of those in Arts & Culture having had a quarter-life crisis, followed closely by IT & Telecoms, at 84%. The average age of a quarter-life crisis is 27 years old. Globally, nearly 80% of those aged 25-33 have felt under pressure to succeed in relationships, career or finances before hitting 30. Finding a job or career that they’re passionate about is the top reason this age group feels anxious (61%), even more so than about finding a life partner (47%) or dealing with student debt (22%). Nearly half (48%) of respondents feel anxious when comparing themselves to others. The online survey was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of LinkedIn from Oct. 31-Nov. 3, among 6,014 respondents across the United States, United Kingdom, India and Australia.

American Teenager ‘sells virginity to businessman for £2.2million

A Hollywood celeb and Russian politician were outbid !

Seem the price of a virgin can come real high these days

A teenager claims to have sold her virginity for £2.2million and that it is “a dream come true”.

The girl, named only as Giselle, auctioned her innocence through the notorious website Cinderella Escorts.

An unnamed businessman apparently made the highest offer of $3million – outbidding a Hollywood celeb and a Russian politician, according to the site.

Giselle, a 19-year-old American, says she plans to use the money for tuitions fees and travelling.

“I would never have dreamed that the bid would rise so high and we would have reached 2.5 million euros,” she said.

“This is a dream come true.

“I think the trend to sell your virginity is a form of emancipation and I am shocked about people who are against allowing a woman to sell her virginity.”

Giselle said selling her virginity for $3million is “a dream come true” (Image: Cinderella Escorts)

“If I want to spend my first time with someone who is not my first love, that’s my decision.”

A hotel has already been booked in Germany for the encounter and Giselle will be accompanied by security and can cancel at any time, it is claimed.

Cinderella Escorts, described as “the world’s most famous escort agency”, has been accused of taking advantage of girls who say they want to auction their virginity.

The mother of a Dutch girl called ‘Lola’ who offered her virginity before taking her profile down, accused the website of “dubious practices”.

Giselle said she will use the money to pay tuition fees and go travelling (Image: Cinderella Escorts)

She told Dutch media that her daughter suffered from mental illness and the advert had started off as a ‘a joke’.

Jan Zakobielski, 27, the man behind the German escort website, defended his business.

“Of course, the mother may now try to take articles offline by telling all kinds of horror stories,” he said.

“Do you get the impression that the girl in the video has psychological problems? I don’t think so.”

Cinderella Escorts rose to worldwide fame earlier this year when Aleexandra Khefren, an 18-year-old Romanian model, sold her virginity for 2.3 million EUR (£2million) to an unnamed Hong Kong businessman.

The website reportedly keeps 20% of every ‘sale’ as a fee.

Earlier this month Jasmin, a 26-year-old student from London, hit the headlines after bids for her virginity reached £100,000.

She revealed her parents agreed with the decision to sell her virginity rather than wait for “Mister Right”.

Giselle, 19, said she is delighted with the total which she plans to spend on tuition fees and travelling

Saudi Arabia calls on Hezbollah to disarm, threatens its expulsion from Lebanon

Riyadh’s foreign minister says ‘peace loving countries’ exploring ways to reduce terrorist group’s influence in Beirut.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Thursday called on the Hezbollah terrorist organization to disarm, warning the group that regional efforts were underway to oust them from the Lebanese government.

At a press conference in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, al-Jubeir denounced Hezbollah as “a tool of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards” and “a first-class terrorist organization used by Iran to destabilize Lebanon and the region.”

“Hezbollah has kidnapped the Lebanese system,” he said.

Al-Jubeir added that “consultations and coordination between peace-loving countries and Lebanon-loving countries are underway to try to find a way that would restore sovereignty to Lebanon and reduce the negative action which Hezbollah is conducting in Lebanon.”

The minister’s remarks came as the kingdom rejected accusations that Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was being detained in Riyadh following his shock resignation earlier this month.

“The accusation that the kingdom would hold a prime minister or a former prime minister is not true, especially a political ally like” Hariri, al-Jubeir said at the news conference flanked by his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“I don’t know the source of these accusations. But they are rejected and are baseless and untrue,” al-Jubeir said, adding that Hariri is in Saudi Arabia of his own free will and “he leaves when he wants to.”

Hariri has been in Riyadh since giving a statement on television on November 4 that he was stepping down because he feared for his life while also accusing Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of destabilizing Lebanon.

But Lebanese President Michel Aoun refused to accept his resignation from abroad, and accused Saudi authorities of “detaining” Hariri in Riyadh against his will.

At Thursday’s press conference, it was announced that Hariri had accepted an invitation to visit France in the coming days.

Aoun confirmed that Hariri and his family would arrive Saturday in France, “where he will rest for a few days” before returning to Beirut to make “a decision regarding the resignation.”

He welcomed Hariri’s decision to accept the French invitation, saying he hoped it “opened the door for a resolution” of the political crisis in Lebanon.

“I wait for the return of President (of the council of ministers) Hariri to decide the next move regarding the government,” Aoun told journalists.

Separately on Thursday, Lebanon’s Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, on a European tour over the crisis, told reporters that “our concern is that he (Hariri) returns and takes the decision that he wants.”

Bassil spoke at a news conference in Berlin with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who called the situation in Lebanon “very dangerous.”

He warned other countries not to interfere or do anything to threaten the unity and stability of Lebanon, saying “every attack will backfire and will make the entire region suffer.”

‘One employee walked out bawling — couldn’t take it anymore’

Above~Minnesota state Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, holds up his personal license plate during a hearing at the Minnesota Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Because of problems with a state computer system, such plates cannot be transferred from one vehicle to another right now.

Report

Twin Cities

Minnesota lawmakers got an earful Wednesday about the beleaguered new computer system intended to make life easier for anyone needing to deal with license plates and vehicle titles.

In fact, it’s made everything worse, according to license center workers, a credit union manager, an auctioneer and others who testified before a state Senate hearing.

Here are some of their stories.

‘WALKED OUT BAWLING’

One license center operator from Brainerd said his workers are quitting out of frustration.

Two employees have had to step away from the office to seek medical help from the stress of being unable to meet basic requests of customers, such as obtaining a duplicate title or renewing tabs, said Donny Vosen, who owns an independent license center with his wife.

Two others have quit, he said.

“One employee walked out in the middle of the day bawling — couldn’t take it anymore,” he said.

‘MNLiARS: SADLY, IT’S BECOME A JOKE’

The system is called MNLARS — Minnesota Licensing and Registration System.

Vosen said they’ve got another name for it in his office.

“We call it MNLiARS,” he said. “Sadly, it’s become a joke. This is a prime example of why people hate big government.”

WORST POINT OF 34-YEAR CAREER

Kim Griffith, who runs the city of Bloomington’s license center, has worked there for 34 years.

“This is the most trying time of my career,” Griffith said. The facility used to take customers until 5 p.m.; now they cut it off at 4:30 to allow staff time to catch up after hours, every day.

“We used our full year’s overtime budget in the first two months (since the July launch),” she said.

If things don’t change, the license center’s financial situation will be such that she’ll have to ask the city to subsidize the center with additional tax money.

She told the story of one man who made three separate visits, waiting about an hour each time, for a task that her staff was never able to complete.

“We have zero answers for our customers,” she said.

‘RUNNING OUT OF SPACE’

Jason Seeman, an employee of Insurance Auto Auctions, said the delay in processing titles is causing cars to pile up — almost literally — in storage lots.

From offices in St. Paul, the company takes vehicles whose ownership has been assumed by insurance companies and sells them at auction. But he can’t sell them without a clean title. And he can’t get clean titles fast enough.

It used to take 30 days; now it takes 90, he said.

Last week, the business applied for titles to more than 200 vehicles, while receiving 10. The math is obvious, he said.

We have 6,500 cars in inventory … more than half don’t have titles,” he said. “We’re running out of space to store them. This is not a good thing, with winter approaching.”

This is the second hearing lawmakers have held on MNLARS.

Officials with the Department of Public Safety told senators Wednesday that they’re addressing the problems as fast as they can.

Black bloc anarchist and anti~capitalist movement

Above~Black bloc West Germany

black bloc is a name given to groups of protesters who wear black clothing, scarves, sunglasses, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding, or other face-concealing and face-protecting items. The clothing is used to conceal marchers’ identities, and hinder criminal prosecution, by making it difficult to distinguish between participants. It is also used to protect their faces and eyes from items, such as pepper-spray, which law enforcement often use. The tactic allows the group to appear as one large unified mass. Black bloc participants are often associated with anarchism.

The tactic was developed in the 1980s in the European autonomist movement‘s protests against squatter evictions, nuclear power and restrictions on abortion, as well as other influences. Black blocs gained broader media attention outside Europe during the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, when a black bloc damaged property of GapStarbucksOld Navy, and other multinational retail locations in downtown Seattle

This tactic was developed in response to increased use of police force following the 1977 Brokdorf demonstration.

Black bloc illustration

On 1 May 1987, demonstrators in Berlin-Kreuzberg were confronted by West German police.After this, thousands of people attacked the police with rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails. The riots at the May Day in Kreuzberg became famous after the police had to completely pull out of the “SO 36” neighborhood in Kreuzberg for several hours, and rioters looted shops together with residents.

When Ronald Reagan came to Berlin in June 1987, he was met by around 50,000 demonstrators protesting against his Cold War policies. This included a black bloc of 3,000 people. In November 1987, the residents were joined by thousands of other protesters and fortified their squat, built barricades in the streets and defended themselves against the police for nearly 24 hours. After this the city authorities legalised the squatters residence.

On 1 May 1988, radical left groups organised a May Day demonstration through Berlin-Kreuzberg, ending in riots even heavier than the year before. The police were attacked with steel balls fired by slingshots, stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails. On 2 May, headline of the Berlin newspaper BZ was “Beirut?? Nein, das ist Berlin!” (Beirut?? No, it’s Berlin!). The riots finally became a tradition in Berlin-Kreuzberg and have recurred every 1 May since, but never as fatally as in the first two years.When the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund met in Berlin in 1988, the autonomen hosted an international gathering of anti-capitalist activists. Numbering around 80,000, the protesters greatly outnumbered the police. Officials tried to maintain control by banning all demonstrations and attacking public assemblies. Nevertheless, there were riots and upmarket shopping areas were destroyed.

21st century

Part of a black bloc in Hamburg during the G20 summit

In the period after the Berlin Wall, the German black bloc movement continued traditional riots such as May Day in Berlin-Kreuzberg, but with decreasing intensity. Their main focus became the struggle against the recurring popularity of Neo-Nazism in Germany. The “turn” came in June 2007, during the 33rd G8 summit. A black bloc of 2,000 people built barricades, set cars alight and attacked the police during a mass demonstration in Rostock. 400 police officers were injured, and also about 500 demonstrators and activists. According to the German Verfassungsschutz, the weeks of organisation before the demonstration and the riots themselves were amounted to a revival for the militant left in Germany. Since the “Battle of Rostock”, traditional “May Day Riots” after demonstrations every 1 May in Berlin, and since 2008 also in Hamburg, became more intense, and violence of the autonomen against police officers and political enemies at demonstrations of radical left groups have dramatically increased.

On the day of President Donald Trump‘s inauguration, black bloc groups were present among other protests in Washington, D.C. and other places. The groups engaged in vandalism, rioting, and violence. At least 217 were arrested and six police officers sustained minor injuries, and at least one other person was injured.

In February 2017, an event at the University of California, Berkeley by commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was cancelled by college administrators after protestors of a black bloc broke windows, shot fireworks, and caused a light fixture to catch fire. The cancellation of the event brought mainstream attention to anarchism and black bloc tactics, and led to a larger conversation about the role of violence in protest .

International development

North America

Black bloc members spray graffiti on a wall during the Iraq War Protest in Washington D.C., on March 21, 2009.

The first recorded use of the tactic in United States of America occurred at the Pentagon, in Washington, D.C. on 17 October 1988. Over one thousand demonstrators—a small number consisting of a black bloc—called for the end to U.S. support for the right wing death squads in El Salvador. A black bloc caused damage to property of GAPStarbucksOld Navy, and other retail locations in downtown Seattle during the 1999 anti-WTO demonstrations. They were a common feature of subsequent anti-globalization protests.

During the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto, a black bloc riot damaged a number of retail locations including an Urban OutfittersAmerican ApparelAdidas Store, Starbucks and many banking establishments.

Brazil

During the June–July 2013 mass public demonstrations, a group of people who identified themselves as “Black Blocs” started attending demonstrations, especially those held across the street from governor of Rio de Janeiro State Sérgio Cabral‘s residence and the state government palace.Police face accusations of infiltrating the movement and, at times, acting as agents provocateurs by starting confrontations. Many leftists claim that video footage shows an infiltrated police officer throwing a molotov cocktail that wounded a riot policeman, although this has been denied by the police and hasn’t been proven until today (2017).Protester violence occurred regularly during the Brazilian protests (particularly the week of 17 to 21 June) even when not linked with the black bloc, or with police infiltration.

Despite the denunciations by media, police, and even some activists, the black bloc tactic persisted in the movement. By October 2013, “The mask-wearers were welcomed by the protesters who wanted to wreak havoc during manifestations…Indeed, this sense of solidarity amidst the demonstrations, this shared manning of barricades, inspires a common determination to fight against the fear of repression.” According to a report by two Brazilian leftists published in Al Jazeera, this coincided with a revival in the breadth of the street protests that had not been seen since its early days in June. On 10 October, the Rio teacher’s union (Sepe) officially declared support for the recent black bloc actions, stating that the bloc were “welcome” at their demonstrations. Postings on teacher Facebook groups praised bloc participants as “fearless.”

Europe

A group of about 400 black bloc demonstrators took part in the 2011 London anti-cuts protest where they attacked various high end retail outlets; according to journalist Paul Mason this may have been the largest ever black bloc assembly in the UK. Mason says some of the participants were anarchists from Europe, others were British students radicalised after participation in the 2010 UK student protests. A black bloc protested the opening of the universal exposition Expo 2015 in Milan.

Amongst hundreds of thousands of protesters, protesting the G20 Summit in Hamburg Germany were thousands of violent black clad rioters who vandalised the city day and night, mostly night 

Egypt

On 25 January 2013, on the second anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution, black blocs made an appearance in the Egyptian political scenes where they have reportedly attacked various Muslim Brotherhood headquarters and government buildings and stopped traffic and metro lines in more than 8 cities. A group of young protesters, who identified themselves as the “Black Bloc”, have marked the second anniversary of the Egyptian revolution by blocking the tramway tracks in Alexandria on Friday.Egyptian Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah ordered the police and armed forces to arrest any participant in the Black Bloc, pointing out that the group was carrying out “terrorist activities”and is considered by the government and under the new Constitution a violent radical outlaw group.

Police infiltration

On occasion, police and security services have infiltrated black blocs, apparently for purposes of investigation. Allegations first surfaced after several demonstrations. At the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, among the many complaints about the police there was mention of video footage which “suggests that men in black were seen getting out of police vans near protest marches.” In August 2007, Quebec police admitted that “their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators” in Montebello. However, the officers purportedly did not engage in violence, and claimed that they were carrying rocks because other protesters were doing so. They were identified by genuine protesters because of their police-issue footwear.According to veteran activist Harsha Walia, it was other participants in the black bloc who identified and exposed the undercover police.

There is no evidence that the black bloc tactic is particularly vulnerable to infiltration, however, as investigatory – and even agent provocateur – activity has taken place regularly among completely nonviolent, non-“black bloc” campaigns. In 2003, the Oakland, California Police Department infiltrated a group of demonstrators protesting police brutality and the war in Iraq at the port; subpoenaed private comments by Captain Howard Jordan indicate that his plan was to steer the march away from the police station in order to avoid confrontation. In internal documents, Jordan mentioned this strategy was common in other police departments, including San Francisco and Seattle.”

Tactics

When we smash a window, we aim to destroy the thin veneer of legitimacy that surrounds private property rights … After N30 [30 November], many people will never see a shop window or a hammer the same way again. The potential uses of an entire cityscape have increased a thousand-fold. The number of broken windows pales in comparison to the number of spells—spells cast by a corporate hegemony to lull us into forgetfulness of all the violence committed in the name of private property rights and of all the potential of a society without them. Broken windows can be boarded and eventually replaced, but the shattering of assumptions will hopefully persist for some time to come.

— ACME Collective, quoted in Paris (2003)[57]

Tactics of a black bloc primarily include vandalism of private property, rioting, and demonstrating without a permit. Tactics can also include use of defensive measures such as misleading the authorities, assisting in the escape of people arrested by the police (“un-arrests” or “de-arrests”), administering first aid to persons affected by tear gasrubber bulletsand other riot control measures in areas where protesters are barred from entering, building barricades, resisting the police, and practicing jail solidarity.Property destruction carried out by black blocs tends to have symbolic significance: common targets include banks, institutional buildings, outlets for multinational corporations, gasoline stations, and video-surveillance cameras.

There may be several blocs within a particular protest, with different aims and tactics. As an ad hoc group, blocs often share no universally common set of principles or beliefs apart from an adherence to—usually—radical left or autonomist values, although some anarchist groups have called for the Saint Paul Principles to be adapted as a framework in which diverse tactics can be deployed.A few radical right-wing groups, like some of the “autonomous nationalists” of Europe or the Australian so-called “National-Anarchists have adopted “black bloc” tactics and dress.

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In 2000, some months after the Battle of Seattle and the A16 protests against the IMF in Washington DC, the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective (based out of rural Vermont), called for Black Bloc activities to be coordinated on the tactical level, through the temporary election of street officers democratically empowered to make fast tactical decisions, especially concerning movement, while in confrontation with state police forces. This collective also called for Black Bloc actions to entail reserve groups, who could be called into a clash by these elected officers. These proposals were mapped out in the first edition of the pamphlet Communique on Tactics. The pamphlet was controversial within the anarchist community. Some anarchists attacked this approach be being too formal and bordering on Leninist in structure. The Green Mountain Anarchist Collective countered that the direct election of tactical officers was historically in line with the CNT and FAI anarchist militias during the Spanish Civil War. Of those early segments of the anarchist scene that agreed, in principle, with these assertions were the Barricada Collective (Boston, MA) and Columbus Anti-Racist Action (Ohio). The Barricada Collective, in their publication of the same name, published the pamphlet, and also wrote their own essays calling for a more nuanced and more militant use of the Black Bloc in the North American anarchist movement.

In July 2001 the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective would go on to produce a second edition of the Communique on Tactics pamphlet in cooperation with Columbus ARA. This second edition further refined the proposal to suggest, among other things, that large Black Blocs, composed of numerous affinity groups, could reach a further level of tactical sophistication by each affinity group further specializing their capabilities (i.e. offense, defense, recon, etc.) and by investing coordinating ability to the elected officer core. This pamphlet, like the first, was debated among anarchists. Aspects of these tactical reforms were field tested with some success at the Festival De La Pueblo 5 May March in Boston in 2002, and the siege of the Lewiston Armory (in opposition to a failed neo-Nazi organizing meeting), Maine, 2003. Both these actions were organized largely by the Northeast Federation of Anarcho-Communist (whom the Green Mountain Anarchist Collective and Barricada were then affiliated).

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Football fans become violent in Brussels

 

Water cannons blasted at rioting football fans in Brussels as Morocco qualifies for 2018 World Cup finals

At least 22 police officers were injured when celebrations to mark Morocco’s qualification for the 2018 World Cup finals turned violent in Brussels on Saturday. Police officers attempted to disperse the crowd with a water cannon and rioters were caught attempting to overturn a van. Some 1,500 people were celebrating Morocco’s win against Ivory Coast, winning them a ticket to the World Cup. According to police, an estimated 300 of the revellers turned violent.

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