Castle Journal

Castle Journal


By: Nadeemy Haded

Today, Croatian voters vote in a second round of the presidential elections, whose results cannot be predicted due to the intense competition between the two candidates who reached the second round.

The outgoing conservative president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovich, who is seeking the support of the right-wing nationalist to win, is competing with her opponent, former Social Democrat Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, who poses a serious challenge to her.

A poll indicated that the former prime minister had advanced three points, but also revealed that 13% of voters were still hesitant.

The poll also revealed the rise of the radical right in a country facing the pressure of migrants on its borders, and like its neighbors in the Balkans, the emigration of its residents and endemic corruption.

Grabar Kitarovich won 27 percent of the vote in the first round. She hopes her calls to "the federation" will suffice to convince the electorate. She presents herself as the head of a family like the others and emphasizes her humble origins.

As for her opponent, who won a third of the votes in the first session, he is trying to deny charges of insolence and elitism. He condemns the concept of "authentic Croatia", considering it dangerous. In the first round, he benefited from the support of voters in cities and the division of the right.

Voting will take place from 6:00 to 18:00 GMT, with the results announced within an hour of polling stations closing.

The second round of these elections comes days after Croatia takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union, which is supposed to manage the post-Brexit era.

The presidency in Croatia is largely an honorary position.

Source: "AFP"


By: Nadeemy Haded

After US President Donald Trump said that Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps who was killed in a US air strike in Baghdad, was planning "imminent" attacks on US interests, some National Security officials and Congress doubted the use of that word to justify the process.

"I think there was a threat, but the question of how imminent it still needs to be answered," Democratic Senator Mark Warner, deputy chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Reuters Friday after a briefing to the Senate.

The word "imminent" includes near-attacks on American targets, and it may help the Trump administration legally advance the killing of Soleimani in self-defense.

A source in the National Security familiar with the internal government communications before the air strike said that the American agencies have gathered evidence that Iranian-backed groups or cells are actively planning to carry out attacks on American individuals and targets.

In response to a question whether the United States has strong evidence indicating that such attacks are "imminent," as Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described it, the source said this depends on the person's definition of "imminent."

After repeating the question during a briefing to reporters on Friday, a senior State Department official said: "With regard to whether the specific conspiracies that (Suleimani) masterminded have reached a stage of progress that they may allow them to implement, I do not know."

The Pentagon said in a statement on Thursday evening that Soleimani was "active in preparing plans" to attack American diplomats and military personnel in Iraq and the region, but did not use the word "imminent."

Pompeo said in television interviews Friday morning that the killing of Soleimani had foiled an "imminent attack" on American targets.

For his part, Gen. Mark Millie, the US Joint Chief of Staff, told reporters that the plots planned by Soleimani may take place despite his death.

Another congressional source familiar with the US intelligence reports on the threats said that testimonies made by intelligence officials to Congress indicate that allegations that Iran’s attacks on Americans in the region were imminent are "greatly exaggerated."

Source: Agencies


By: Nadeemy Haded

The Spanish Electoral Commission has instructed to strip Catalan President Kim Torra of his parliamentary duties, which means that he will lose the presidency of the region as well and the procedure will enter into force in the coming days after its publication.

In a statement, the commission said it had decided that "the parliamentary mandate of Kim Tora in the Catalan parliament is invalid."

This decision comes after the Spanish judiciary denied last December 19, Tora the right to run for 18 months on charges of "disobedience", due to his refusal to comply with the Electoral Commission's order to withdraw separatist symbols from the front of the headquarters of the region's government during the election campaign.

Tora denounced the decision as "a coup against the Catalan institutions." He said: "I will make all possible appeals against this absolutely authoritarian and irregular decision," calling on the Catalan parliament to hold Saturday's session.

He stressed that the only body that could strip him of his presidential duties is the Catalan parliament, which is dominated by separatists.

The court ruling passed on Tora is not considered final because he submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court, but the Electoral Commission did not wait for the Supreme Court ruling, and agreed to the request of the oath and right-wing nationalists who were demanding the removal of Tora.

The Commission’s decision came in an atmosphere of political tension in Spain on the eve of a session in Parliament, to install Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez for a new term.

The system of autonomy for the region of Catalonia in north-eastern Spain provides that its president be a deputy in the region's parliament.

Source: AP


By: Nadeemy Haded

The No. 3 power unit of the "Yugran Ukraine" Ukrainian power plant in Nikolaevskaya district of Ukraine has been disconnected from the electrical network, after the automatic protection system has stopped working.

The station management stated that this happened at five and four minutes this morning. The cause of the protection regime's takeoff is currently being investigated.

The station management confirmed that the radioactive situation in the station and the surrounding area remains within the specified normal level, and there were no changes in the environmental condition in the institution and the neighboring lands, and remained as they were within the limits of the prevailing standards.

During the past few years, the aforementioned station has witnessed several incidents. In 2018, it was announced that an accident that could have caused a technological catastrophe had been prevented. In details, it was found that the station management had purchased low-quality equipment and devices for the industrial security guarantee system at the station.

Before that, in January 2017, the system of stopping the work of power units took off, due to a technical defect.

Source: Linta Rowe


By: Nadeemy Haded

A researcher revealed that the CIA developed a technology aimed at restricting the use of portable anti-aircraft missiles after they left the US forces arsenal.

Experts say the technology may persuade Washington that deploying increasingly powerful weapons is a safe procedure.

"The new technology aims to restrict shoulder-held air defense systems," Reuters quoted quoted Dutch researcher Gus Fitzls as saying to a cyber security conference in Leipzig, Germany recently.

Fitzales revealed that this method was contained in a set of CIA documents published by WikiLeaks in 2017, noting that an error occurred at the time of naming the files, so many people did not notice them.

In this regard, this expert concluded that the CIA had concluded a "smart solution for controlling weapons", capable of restricting the use of missiles "for a specific time and place."

This technology, referred to as "Geofensing" or the geographic surroundings, prevents the missile from being used outside its assigned geographical area.

In particular, it has been reported that high-altitude shoulder-fired missiles supplied to the United States by its allies can contribute to wars, but they are often lost, sold, or transferred to extremists.

In this context, I note that American officials spent billions of dollars to get rid of the shoulder-fired "Stinger" anti-air missiles that the United States supplied fighters in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as from other regions around the world.

Source: Reuters


By: Nadeemy Haded

The Kremlin 20 site has published an archive of photos and videos dedicated to 20 years of President Vladimir Putin's leadership in Russia.

The archive contained 600 pictures and 100 selected videos, which lasted about two and a half hours, documenting important moments in the past years, some of which gained some popularity and many knew it, others forgotten, and a section that appears for the first time.

Earlier, the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated that the published archive includes selected and enjoyable moments from the past two decades related to various stages of Putin's work since December 31, 1999.

The first photos and videos documented Putin's appointment as acting president after former Russian President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation, and later the most important milestones and events in Vladimir Putin's march over two decades.

Source: Novosti

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